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The Sportier Dude
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(feel free to repost a previous thread if one exists)

so yes, I was just curious as to why that company went out of business (I know it's a part of HD now).. if our more historically-minded members could add something to the conversation that would be awesome.

I knew the name Buell from before. Recently was walking back home with bags of groceries when I noticed a stranded Bueller. His (fuel injected) bike wouldn't start. Gave him some advice and it worked.

Anyway, I liked it up close a lot. I like how the frame is tall off the ground and it has that dual look (sporty but off-roady too).

Great review article on the Ulysses, in case you missed it


Rogan
 

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Here's a cut-paste from the Wikipedia article about Buell.. (Note: we all know that Wiki can be wrong, but the article kind of matches up with what I've read elsewhere on the net)

"Harley-Davidson forced Buell to follow the rigid product planning and distribution process beginning in the 1990s, with the philosophy that Buell was the starter brand, and customers would eventually trade up to a Harley.[8] By 2008, Harley's credit arm, Harley-Davidson Financial Services (HDFS), was struggling, and the lower resale value of Buell motorcycles meant that new bike sales were significantly affected.[8] When Harley CEO Keith Wandell was hired, he immediately questioned why Harley even owned Buell.[8] Wandell had never been on a Harley before being hired, was heard talking about "Erik's racing hobby", and questioned "why anyone would even want to ride a sportbike".[8] He organized a team to analyze "the adrenaline market", and concluded that sportbikes would encounter high competition and low profits, while cruisers had high returns.[8]

On October 15, 2009, Harley Davidson Inc. announced the end of production of Buell Motorcycles to focus more on the Harley Davidson brand. Selling Buell was not legitimately considered, as Harley didn't want their Harley dealerships to sell an outside brand, and Harley didn't feel Buell had much value without the dealer network.[8] Closing the Buell brand was estimated to cost Harley approximately the same as their total investment in Buell over the past 25 years."

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Money talks basically. It's a shame, really. I'm not much of a sport bike guy, but if I were to get a sport bike I'd snag up a XB12Ss or XB9S in a heartbeat.
 

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basically HD hobbled Eric Buell to the point where he had nowhere to go. He makes a great bike (IMHO a better bike than HD) but the powers at HD wouldn't let him fly. It was actually a deal he shouldn't have gone with in the first place so part of the blame goes to Eric himself. HD never bothered to market the brand so it didn't take off as it should have. They dumped Eric and the brand.
 

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Second Wind
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...so yes, I was just curious as to why that company went out of business (I know it's a part of HD now)...

Rogan

Buell was part of HD. Now it is nothing more than garage artifacts scattered across America. Buell doesn't exit anymore. HD auctioned off EVERYTHING.

That said Erik Buell Racing is up and running.
 

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That said Erik Buell Racing is up and running.
While I like HD, them shuttering thier Buell division was the best thing they could have done for Erik. EBR is standing in a great place right now, poised to explode onto the market once they release their less expensive models. Rumor has it mass produced, less exotic versions of the 1190 will be in the price range of a BMW S1000RR.
 

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I agree with Lurch. Buell wanted to make world class sport bikes. That was never going to happen with the HD management in charge. Buell should have never signed over his company to Harley, and they gave him a way out. That being said. I would love to buy a Ulysses. It was a great bike and in an area that Harley could really use a product in right now.
 

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the ebr 1190rs i think are very slick looking i hope to see them do well on there own i wish there where more good american made sport bikes out there to choose from
 

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Master of Rex Kwon Do
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I have to agree with everything already posted in this thread...

I am Buell owner and love it. My 2000 M2 Cyclone is by far the most fun I've had on 2 wheels.

IMHO, the Buell line was everything the Sportster could've been. Even if HD would have just used a Buell inspired motor, the Sportster would be a much more respectable "sporty" bike. It really baffles me how a company like HD could have the keys to Erik's work shop and not "leverage" some parts over to their bikes...

I've seen a few interviews with Erik Buell (can't seem to find them now) and he had been after HD for years to allow him to build a liquid cooled version of the HD motor. Adding liquid cooling to his already light bikes would put the performance a whole lot closer to the sport bikes he was trying to compete with.

When HD finally let Buell build a bike with a non-HD engine, (the 1125r) they finally built a bike that could compete with the import sport bikes. Unfortunately, that was in the 2009/10 model year.

The 1190rs is an amazing bike (just wish I could afford it) and rumor has it EBR is releasing 3 new models for 2012 the Rx/Ax/Sx. I can't wait to see these new bikes!!!!

IMHO, HD will regret dumping Buell some day, even though it was probably the best thing for Erik Buell.

Note: I know it may seem like I'm bashing HD. I'm not, I love HD motorcycles, it just think they screwed the pooch. I'm planning on getting either a Fat Boy or VROD this spring... I'm gonna remember the HD dealers who refused to service my Buell just because it's a Buell.
 

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Rode a Buell once; didn't like it at all. I thought it markedly inferior to any of the Japanese sportbikes, with nothing special about it other than it was American made. In fairness, I never liked any HD that I tried either, when compared to Japanese bikes.
 

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Funny thing...............
The Harley purists look to the Buell the same way they do the V-Rod. "They aint Harley".
Not sure how the sales of the new-ish XR1200 are doing, but have seen advertisements for that bike. Can't say I've ever seen a commercial for the Buell.

I've ridden different Harleys, usually customer's "choppered" bigger-inched bikes. Never could get used to feet-forward riding, and find the bikes to be awkward. What I find funny is how the power falls off the more you rev it.
BUT........... been on a few different Sportsters and love the things. Lighter and more agile, oh but I forget. Harley'ers hate Sport'ers too, which are looked to as girls bikes.

Never been on a Buell, but surely wouldn't pass up the chance.
I can see where that'd be a blast to ride.

Didn't Harley acquire Aprilia at one time, and recently pawned that company off also?
 

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Funny thing...............

........... been on a few different Sportsters and love the things. Lighter and more agile, oh but I forget. Harley'ers hate Sport'ers too, which are looked to as girls bikes.

QUOTE]

Harley folks do not hate Sportsters. Many Harley people have had at least one at some point. As far as the Girls bike thing, that is something Non-Harley people will say to a guy on a Sportster. I would love a Sportster. But then again I would also love a Buell or a Vrod. All for different reasons because they all are very different bikes.
 

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My best friend has a Sportster, and it's honestly a nice bike.......... really nice.
I would never insult someone and say they had a girl's bike, just saying how some clans of idiots view the thing.

As for the V-rod, yeah........ I remember when they were introduced.
Saw a black one w/polished wheels. It was perfect for me.
The wife said I could have it (if I really wanted it).
Started saving for a down-payment but never scored the bike.
Used a portion of the "Harley fund" and invested in a few old classics.

No prejudice against the Buell, actually have a Sportster, myself.
Just that it's an on-going project with a long way to go.

Eric out-sourcd engines with Bobadier in the last production year (which bike was that for?), maybe it's the track bikes I'm thinking of.
Hopefully he can design a lighter-weight engine/tranny package than what the Sportster powerplants had.
 

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Master of Rex Kwon Do
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Rode a Buell once; didn't like it at all. I thought it markedly inferior to any of the Japanese sportbikes, with nothing special about it other than it was American made. In fairness, I never liked any HD that I tried either, when compared to Japanese bikes.
While I agree they don't compare to "Race Replica" or Super Sport bikes as far as the numbers go.... Where the Buell line up (especially the 2008 - 2010 model years) excels is the gut wrenching torque in the middle of the tach. If you've only had one chance to ride one, you probably weren't able to get the most out of it. (it does take some practice to really push them to the limits) I've made more than a few metric riders "eat crow". (I've also been smoked by a chick on a Duc though)

I like having the bulk of my hp/torque available between 2500 - 5000 RPMs. I've had japanese sport bikes and loved them. I like not having to rev the **** out of my bike to get to where the "FUN" is...

For me, the '96 - '02 tube framed Buells are the perfect blend of performance, riding position and sound.

I also think the new EBR models will close the performance gap even more.
 

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I also think the new EBR models will close the performance gap even more.
From the preliminary reports out, he didn't just close the gap, he surpass the performance gap altogether. Which should be the case, given the new EBR bike is nearly $40K. I expect his less expensive bikes, coming soon, will still up the ante.
 

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Malevolent Savant
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Badlands-4-2 said:
posted by Ping King;
_______
Funny thing
........... been on a few different Sportsters and love the things. Lighter and more agile, oh but I forget. Harley'ers hate Sport'ers too, which are looked to as girls bikes.
________


Harley folks do not hate Sportsters. Many Harley people have had at least one at some point. As far as the Girls bike thing, that is something Non-Harley people will say to a guy on a Sportster.
Unfortunately ... some Harley folks do!
I was at a good friend's Nissan dealership a few weeks back and some customer (unknown to me or my buddy) happens to see my HS football coaching jacket and asked me about it, so we started chatting. We got to talking about motorcycles and such. He's owned a 06 Road King & just traded it in for a fully dressed Electric Glide w/ all the bells and whistles. I said, "I hope to one day afford a HD and that my first one will most likely be Sportster." The look he gave me when I said that, was like 'What are you, some type of ***?' and he said "but ... that is a girls bike." To which I replied, "I am sorry. What did you say?" To which he back pedaled and said "The Sportster is a good bike."

In retrospect, I'd have much rather have said ... "Skipping over the fact that you just insulted not only my manhood but my intelligence in making a financial decision. To me, the 883 or even the 1200 are more nimble than your Electric Glide and I can accessorize it as I see fit. Plus, it gets better gas mileage and is way more than half the cost. And I'd love to stand here and debate you on the benefits of the Sportster over your coach on wheels, but I have to better things to do than to chat with the likes of you. Have a good sir."

That said ....

Like others have said, I think Harley will kick themselves for closing Buell. But, as far as Eric is concerned he can run on the path he sees fit for his bikes, now.
 

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At $40k price tag EB can keep his bike. Nice lookin tho.
Keep in mind that this first bike is a full on race bike, even available in full carbon fiber. It has the best of the best parts bolted to it. Then he slapped some lights on it to make it street legal. :) It's like a Lamborghini of motorcycles. It is in the same category as some of the limited production Ducatis and MV Agustas. EBR is supposed to release some more mainstream bikes soon, that will be competitively priced with most liter sized bikes already available. He shows them as coming soon on his website.
 
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