Erik Buell Racing 1190RS on the road soon

While Harley Davidson lurches from crisis to crisis, its former employee/partner Erik Buell’s company Erik Buell Racing is on the rise.

Erik’s race bikes have been award winners on the American circuits and the time spent drawing up plans for new road bikes while under HD’s wing will not be in vain it would seem.  Coming soon will be a road ready version of EBR’s successful race bike, the 1190RR.

A teaser video of some form will be appearing on Erik Buell’s music label Rat Pack Records website today, September 14th, which will be a music video that will somehow feature a first look at the new road ready 1190RS.  Also on the site is merchandise marked with the EBR 1190RS logo.  The website states;

The 1190RS will be the new street bike from Erik Buell Racing! The design is currently in the pre-production / testing stage and is not yet available for public sale. Show your support and be the very first to get your new 1190RS and new EBR logo merchandise! Check back here Tuesday, September 14th for the 1190RS “teaser” video featuring music from Wratchet Head the new project from Michael Wilton of Queensryche!

While it doesn’t sound like we’ll be getting much in the way of technical specs during a brief music video, it’s a good way to start getting the word out that the company is ready to tackle the market despite the poor economy.  Surely someone is kicking themselves at  HD for their overly hasty decision to dispose of Buell and his team.

Check out Rat Pack Records for the music video

Visit Erik Buell Racing for details of their current sports bikes

Some of the merchandise available for the 1190RS-

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You Can’t Keep a Good Buell Man Down..

Great news today as one of biking most influential figures manages to keep his innovative brand alive.

Erik Buell has breathed life back into his company only days after the last bike rolled off the production line.  Buell returns, with the full backing of Harley Davidson, as Erik Buell Racing.

In it's new guise the company will produce Buell
motorcycle parts and race preparation services for engines and
motorcycles, along with its 1125R motorcycles under licence from HD, for race purposes only.

“I’m
looking forward to helping Buell racers keep their bikes flying,” said
Erik Buell. “We’ve got some exciting race development projects in the
works and it will mean a lot to me personally to see Buell racers
competing for wins and championships in the 2010 season and beyond.”

“I’m
pleased that Harley Davidson is assisting Erik in establishing this
business to continue supporting the racing efforts he has had so much
passion for over the years,” said Buell President and COO Jon
Flickinger. “Harley Davidson and the Buell Motorcycle Company will
always be proud of their affiliation with Erik, and we wish him well in
this new endeavor to support Buell racers.”

Well done Erik, is nothing beyond this guys enthusiasm!

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The Last Buell rolls off the line, falling bike sales…Stand By for Action!

Well that's that then, the last Buell has rolled off the production line.  With no sign yet of a venture backed spin out from Harley Davidson that may well be the last ever bike under the Buell brand we're likely to see.

Harley Davidson issued the following statement:….

“A Buell Lightning XB12Scg
rolled off the company’s East Troy, Wis., assembly line, the last of
the 136,923 motorcycles built in the company’s 26 years of operation.  

"Parent Harley Davidson announced on Oct. 15 that the Buell lineup
of motorcycles would be discontinued effective Dec. 18, 2009. Buell
motorcycles will continue to be sold through existing dealers until
inventory is depleted.”

Real heart warming stuff from Harley there….

The bike industry like nearly every other business has taken a bad hit during the recession, which is starting to look more and more like it will be a 'W' shaped one.  This means that for the little bit of relief that appears to be happening now, it could slide back to critical levels again in the New Year….oh joy.

In the UK bikes sales are down a whopping 27% in October 2009 compared to the
same month last year. Overall sales have plummeted by 19.4% so far
this year, which is disastrous.  Some of this is the recession but some is surely down to the bad press generated the testing fiasco which is still rumbling on. 

Ride The WIld Wind will be consulting with several organisations next week to investigate the possiblility of a nation wide campaign for a scrappage scheme for bikes to help the industry.  Bikes aren't a hobby but a legitimate form of transport which are usually more economical and environmentally friendly than cars and certainly heavy goods vehicles, and public transport. 

We'll keep you posted.

Stand by for action!

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Victory Motorcycles hit by downturn..

U.S. motorcycle maker Victory is struggling, much like it's much larger fellow manufacturer Harley Davidson, with July to September 2009 sales down a staggering 56%!

Victory are trying to weather the storm by restructuring shipments to dealerships but it's hard to see how best to cope with tumbling figures, which for the same period last year amounted to $21 million, dropping to $9,344,000 this year.  Also unlike Harley they can't mercilessly chop off limbs, as was done with Buell and MV Augusta, to make savings.

The best sales performance from the company is in accessories and clothing lines which dropped only 11%, meaning somewhere potential owners are hopefully getting ready by dressing as Victory riders until the recession ends.

It's worrying news for bike businesses in general at the minute but to manufacturers of big cruisers you have to wonder if some of their best customers, the retired/retiring big bike buyer off to tour the highways, simply aren't there anymore with pension crisises and financial pressures from depenadants.

Scary times…

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Buell No More..

It doesn't matter
if you were a fan or a detractor, we should all mourn the loss of
Buell which is to cease new bike production. Any time a small(ish)
30 year old company fails it's sad, because it's the jobs that go
with that closure that's the thing you have to remember. Mechanics,
fabricators, dealerships, sales people, and their families, connected
with Buell are the ones that suffer.

Some comments have
been harsh saying the bikes are rubbish and weren't selling, but
while the styling may not to have been to everyone's taste, Buell
have over the years brought some technologies to mass market that
were game changers for bike production.

The worry is that
if companies like Harley Davidson are chopping off limbs as a cost
saving exercise due to economic pressures, how many other small
brands owned by big names may follow Buell?

An understandably
emotional Erik Buell posted a message about the closure on Buell's
website which you can view here – http://www.buell.com/en_us/company/

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