Buell Motorcycles, an American motorcycle manufacturer founded by former racer and Harley-Davidson research-and-development staffer Eric Buell, began introducing racing bikes to the market 1982. Harley-Davidson acquired a minority interest in the company in 1993 and bought a controlling share five years later. At the end of 2009, in response to the global recession, Harley-Davidson shut the Buell subsidiary down, effectively putting an end to the unique motorcycle company’s sport-oriented line. In 2002 Buell introduced its first aluminum-frame motorcycle, the Firebolt XB9R, which remained in production through 2004. The company debuted its sibling, the Firebolt XB12R, a naked bike, in 2003. The 2009 Firebolt XB12R model was a carryover.