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American Legion Rider
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm not a sportbike fan so I guess I contributed to this according to this article.

As you have likely heard by now, Erik Buell Racing is in receivership with no apparent hope for a bailout. For the second time in a decade Erik is facing the abyss, except this time he has $20 million dollars of debt hanging over his company’s head and his Hero MotoCorp investors have apparently washed their hands of the whole operation despite owning a 49.2 percent share of the company.

http://lanesplitter.jalopnik.com/erik-buell-racings-death-is-all-your-fault-1712321918
 

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Veteran Member
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The initial points he makes in the article are sensationalism at work, but he makes very valid points. Our American society as a whole is conservative and bland. We like the old standard, and shun most things that are new or different. It's just the way it is here, and why a company like EBR cannot make it efficiently.
 

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So long
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I'm sorry he didn't make it. I like the EBR 1190RX, except for the funky hula hoop front brakes and the digital display.
 

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Gone.
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It's not that Americans are always bland or stagnated in what they like. Look at the evolution of vehicles, both 2 and 4 wheeled, in the last 40 years. The last 20 years. Heck, the last 5 years! (What are those little things called? Smart Cars?)

It's that EBR didn't create a product that appealed to enough people, at a price they were willing to pay, and with the support they expected. No matter how innovative of a thinker or designer you are, if you don't make a product that people will want to work to buy, you're not going to survive.
 

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He should have got his planned ADV model to the market faster. I think that would have had more mass appeal and lured people in better.
 

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Motorbike Macgyver
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I'm sorry he didn't make it. I like the EBR 1190RX, except for the funky hula hoop front brakes and the digital display.
I'm really not very familiar with sport bikes at all, so I had to look up the model you referenced to see what you were talking about. You are right, that front brake does look a bit funky, but there's a reason behind it. You CANNOT get better stopping power than that. The larger the rotor, the better the stopping power. Same with drums, bigger drum, more stopping power. from the pics I saw, it looks like the rotor is attached to the rim, not the hub. That was more than likely necessary to get that size rotor on there. Personally, I think it's genius.
 

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American Legion Rider
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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah, I don't think the brake killed it. More like price alone. Everything I see about that bike says it should have been popular for those that like sportsbikes. And it may have been for those that race. But you need to sell to the public in large amounts and that crowd just doesn't spend large amounts on bikes.
 

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Gone.
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Last Bike Week they had a trailer set up here. It was in an area without any other vendors at all and where there was nothing else to encourage people to stop. They did have some bikes set up, and the trailer was painted with the name, "HERO," as were a few signs and banners, but had I not known already about the partnership I wouldn't have know it was EBR. I suspect a lot of people that passed the display didn't recognize the name and didn't know who was set up there either.

That was some pretty bad marketing all the way around.
 

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Yeah, I don't think the brake killed it. More like price alone. Everything I see about that bike says it should have been popular for those that like sportsbikes. And it may have been for those that race. But you need to sell to the public in large amounts and that crowd just doesn't spend large amounts on bikes.
The price on an EBR was the same as a new Ducati Panigale. EBR and Ducati are not high-volume companies. Ducati is still a going concern, EBR is not.
 

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I actually like the look of that brake. It's cool. But it's going to be a stretch for me to afford a new Honda, something like that is right out.
 

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Pegasus trapped in a human body on a motorcycle
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I remember reading an article in CYCLE WORLD that did a comparison between their street bike and the Ducati 1199. In that article, they basically gave the Italian bike a free /b/job, claiming it to be the greatest ride ever, while claiming the EBR bike was a distant 2nd, if I remember correctly. Never mind the fact that the EBR bike accelerated faster, had the same top end speed, was more comfortable, handled just as good. The only real fault was in the front brake of the individual EBR bike, and that was due to a bad rotor right from the factory. Had CYCLE WORLD given a more favorable review, and had taken into consideration that the bike was extremely refined for coming from a company that designed and built the bike from the ground up, maybe it might have had more appeal to riders out there.

Still, even with the added appeal that a more favorable review/comparison would have given the EBR bike, trying to compete with established manufacturers who put out comparable rides at a significantly lower price was just not in the cards.
 

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American Legion Rider
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Discussion Starter #13
The price on an EBR was the same as a new Ducati Panigale. EBR and Ducati are not high-volume companies. Ducati is still a going concern, EBR is not.
So then, what DO YOU think killed them?
 

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Driftless Rider
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It's very difficult to get ANY new business off the ground and making money. There either has to be a ready and willing market or the backers have to have deep pockets. A high percentage of companies go bust within the first few years, and even those that do succeed are often not profitable for years beyond that.
With something as complex as a motorcycle; (with the overhead of machine tools, product development, marketing, etc.) it is even more difficult.

The simple fact is that most people don't have the money to bet on a longshot when it comes to trying new, untested products. It is much easier and safer to purchase something from a proven company with a proven track record that you know will be around in 5 years to service your machine.

It's really too bad that The Motor Company pulled the plug on Buell, just when they had finally gotten to the point of building bikes that could actually compete with the sportbikes from across the oceans.
 

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So long
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I remember reading an article in CYCLE WORLD that did a comparison between their street bike and the Ducati 1199. In that article, they basically gave the Italian bike a free /b/job, claiming it to be the greatest ride ever, while claiming the EBR bike was a distant 2nd, if I remember correctly. Never mind the fact that the EBR bike accelerated faster, had the same top end speed, was more comfortable, handled just as good...
The comparison table at the end of the Cycle World article disputes your claim that the EBR was faster on acceleration or top speed. Look below to see how the 2 bikes actually compared.

As for street comfort that's a joke, right? These aren't bikes that will see any long distance street miles. They're track weapons.

PERFORMANCE
-----------------Ducati 1199 Panigale------------ EBR 1190RX
1/4 MILE--------9.84 sec. @ 145.68 mph-------10.12 sec. @ 140.29 mph
0-100 MPH-----------------------4.9 sec.--------5.3 sec.
TOP MEASURED SPEED---------173 mph-------167 mph
STOP FROM 60 MPH---------------117 ft.---------127 ft.
 

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So long
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The price on an EBR was the same as a new Ducati Panigale. EBR and Ducati are not high-volume companies. Ducati is still a going concern, EBR is not.
So then, what DO YOU think killed them?
In 2014 Ducati had record sales of 45,100 units. 9,788 or 21.7% of those were Panigale superbikes, basically 2 platforms, 899's and 1199's. The 899's sold 5,806 units and the 1199's sold 3,982 (less than 9% of Ducati sales).

EBR's business depended on a very limited demographic. How many units per year do you think he'd have to sell to become profitable? If He won away 25% of Ducati 1199 Panigal buyers would that be enough? My guess is pobably not. I think that's where he went wrong. His ego directed him to the superbike, the smallest market segment, instead of building a bike that would appeal to a bigger market segment, maybe commuters or midrange street riders.
 

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American Legion Rider
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Discussion Starter #17
I guess a street bike that could go track would have been better than a track bike that could go street. Although I'm not too sure what the difference would have been. That bike looked nearly like any street bike I've seen but totally admit I know nothing about them and/or what I'm actually looking at.
 
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