Erik Buell Racing Closes Doors | NEWS

Lack of funding causes EBR to shut down

Erik Buell Racing, which rose from the ashes of Buell Motorcycles after then-parent Harley-Davidson shut it down, is once again going dark. Despite selling 49 percent of the business to Indian motorcycle manufacturer Hero, EBR executives are saying that a lack of funding is responsible for the closure.

Erik Buell told us as production of the 1190RX ramped up: "What I'm most excited about is the group of people I've brought together. At most places there are just a few people who get it and are motivated—here, it's everyone. It's very high-performance environment, and it's shocking how fast we can turn something from concept to reality. That's so cool."

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel quotes Erik Buell as saying, "The turn we recently took, after we thought we were moving forward, was unexpected. We thought we had secured funding, but in the end, we were not able to get the funding in place. Therefore we need to do the best we can under the circumstances for all parties in interest. To say this setback is a disappointment does not begin to express what I feel right now. I am personally grateful for the support of our outstanding workers, customers and vendors. While this is a sad ending, I personally hope for a new and better beginning."

EBR was reportedly waiting for another round of funding to continue operations and pursue further development of the 1190 lineup, which included the RX and SX. An adventure-styled spinoff called the AX was waiting to be produced. Recently, Buell offered deep discounts on unsold 2014 models of $2,000 to $4,000. At press time, the EBR website had been taken down.

In our road test of the 2014 1190RX, we praised the bike's powerful, torque-rich engine, sharp handling, and high-tech amenities even as we noted some of the rough edges, a few of which were fixed as running changes. Now, unfortunately, it seems unlikely that we'll see the "version 2.0" that we were hoping for.