Buell closed for good

October 16th, 2009 Jesper Bram 29 Comments » | View blog reactions

Harley Davidson has decided to close down the production of Buell motorcycles. Here’s the official message from Erik Buell.

I was never a huge fan of Buell motorcycles. But I certainly acknowledge the impact they’ve had through the years. For me Buell was always the company that would put out some truly new and innovative motorcycles. It’s too bad that we’ll see no more new Buell motorcycles. It’s a great loss for motorcycling.

Here’s a link to a news report on the closing (the noobs turned off embedding).

My best to the workers at the Buell factory. I hope they will find new work equally inspiring. Now go out and buy a Buell while stocks last.

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29 Responses to “Buell closed for good”

  1. Spenser  October 16th

    I think I’m in the minority, but I always thought Buell made gorgeous bikes.

  2. Monica Dickey  October 18th

    My dad used to own a Buell, it was awesome. Sad to hear they’re shutting down 🙁

  3. jon  October 19th

    I feel bad for what they did to Erik Buell. He has put his heart and soul into that company since the 1980s. He sacrificed everything. And now they just decided to shut him down after they had just won a championship and produced a competitive bike. Doesn’t make any sense to me

  4. Jesper  October 19th

    I agree Jon. But that doesn’t count for much when the money boys comes around.

    Harley Davidson must have really been forced to cut their costs.

    But a week before having Erik come out and announce the discontinuation of the Buell Blast, and then the closing of the entire factory a week later. That makes it look like a monkey is driving the bus.

  5. FZ6R Ride vs. Buell Rides... - Yamaha FZ6R Forums - International FZ6R / XJ6 Motorcycle Community Forum  October 20th

    […] Buell closed for good | Helmet Hair – Motorcycle Blog Considering HD is dropping Buells, it might have been an investment more than anything. I looked at them too, wanted to buy American, but for the price to value, FZ6r was the way for me. […]

  6. ahog  October 20th

    jon stated
    He sacrificed everything. And now they just decided to shut him down after they had just won a championship and produced a competitive bike. Doesn’t make any sense to me
    Not sure that I understand that statement. WHAT DOES IT MEAN !

  7. Mike B. , Germany  October 20th

    I can’t believe it! Mr.BUELL has opened an entirely new market for H-D, and instead of supporting him, they dump him so they can keep on producing one antiquated “factory custom” after another! I sincerely hope that Mr.BUELL finds acknowledgement by some other motorcycle producing company/investor, so we, the BUELL riders/lovers can go on enjoying his expertise. In Germany we say: “those who are said to be dead, live longer” -so be it with BUELL.

  8. ahog  October 21st


    Eric didn’t sacrifice everything. Eric sold out his interest to Harley Davidson, made a lot of money doing so. So there for Eric is the one who sold out. Harley Davidson kept him on. Eric was fortunate.

    Using the Harley engine was not a move forward in sport bike tech. Using the Rotax engine was a move forward but to little to late, should have been done ten years ago.

    Won a championship/competitive bike only in Harleys /Buells and DMG’s eyes and the people that they wanted to mesmorize.

    How can there be a level playing ground when a motorcycle with 1125 cc competes in a 6OO cc class.

    Do you not think that it was rather strange when the Buell won several races rather easy to gain the points lead then sandbaged the rest of the year finishing just high enough to maintain that lead.

    What if they were to let the 1098 Ducati race with the Buell in same class, by the way a bike which DMG would not let compete. Buell should have been dropped several years ago from Harleys lineup but as long as they ” HD ” were making big money they kept Buel around.

    Buell has cost the company millions of dollars to maintain over the years without showing a profit. The only way that Buell helped the company was that it went into total sales for Harley Davidson but at a great cost

  9. johnE  October 21st

    Sad to hear Buell is gone. I never had a Buell, but I liked their look.

  10. Miguel  October 21st

    It’s a shame. I like Buell motorcycles and I regret very much this decision of HD. I’ve also published this article on my website a few days ago.
    Damn financial crisis!
    Greetings and congratulations for this fantastic site.

    Miguel (teneriders.com)

  11. ahog  October 23rd

    Wandell. [ceo of Harley Davidson ] said that the company intends to reinvest capital that would have gone into the Buell brand into the Harley-Davidson brand. The corporation made a $6.6 million capital investment in Buell last year and a $4 million investment so far this year. In return, the brand lost $18 million in 2008 and $27 million so far in 2009, including the $14.2 million impairment charge, he said.
    My point as I said erlier. Buel is not a self sustaining motorcycle and neverwas. Don’t blame harley Davidson for shuttering their Buell facility. Buell is not a competative bike in the industry. Even if Buell were to resurface where would one find a dealer that would be willing to invest their dollars and take a chance.
    Turn this around would you want to be a dealer of Buells. I don’t think so, your heart says yes but your wallet says no.

  12. carl  October 24th

    ahog, why not continue to ride your crappy HD with very bad handling while slagging off the best handling bike ever…. it seems that now the USA will no longer produce any decent technology to drive round corners…… what a loss to the motorcycle world that Buell are no more, what a fantastic, fun bike these were.

  13. ahog  October 24th

    Sorry to point out the facts Carl. But people shooting from the hip with comments that are only made out of passion and not fact then I have to interject my thoughts.
    I did not at any time comment that Buell was a less than a desirable motorcycle. That is only your assumption. What I pointed out was the fact that Buell is not the caliber of motorcycle that the Harley folks want you to believe that it is and that Harley did not short change Eric Buell, just the opposite.
    Harley Davidson gave Eric the opportunity of a life time and Eric seized the opportunity and Buell operated for many years under the Harley Davidson banner. Harley Davidson thrives on using the The Psychological Placebo effect on their customers. I do not stand behind any of Hraley davidson antics and never will.

    Yes I do ride a Harley [ SHOVEL HEAD ] It only is used on desirable days. Yes your comment would be taken well here crappy ride but at times fun.
    As for my nick name . A – stands for antique and Hog stands for Hog.

    I also own a 2002 Kawasaki Mean Streak, 1982 Yamaha XS 650, Kaw 650 Versy [ usually my daily commuter ] and a 916 Ducati my real pride and joy. As for me owning a Buell, I searched for a Buell several years back and could not find what I wanted at the time But to call Buell world class compared to other bikes on the market is stretching the point and I have been on several Buells and recently rode an 1125. Nice bike bike but world class ?

    I guess it depends on what crowd one travels with. There is no such a thing as a perfect bike. just like boats or cars. If a Buell is your weapon of choice then so it be just enjoy it but don’t over sell it , there is always something better.

  14. Jim  October 24th

    I took Harleey’s Rider’s Edge MSF course on a whim to learn to ride before I go too old (I was in my 40’s and had never ridden). Had no idea the impact that course would have on me. They used the Buell Blast and it felt and looked like a motorcycle, especially compared to the small bikes ABATE typically uses. I’m now on my third bike, a Honda VTX 1800 Retro, and I credit riding to maintaining my (almost) sanity. Never had a sport bike, but the Buell name and particularly the Blast will always be a special thing to me.

  15. usercarguzzi  October 27th

    Loved the Buell tried to buy a couple,rode them and realised that Eric just did not get it middle aged guys with one or two bikes would love to add his to their stable but they just would not fit the size of the guys with the cash to buy them I’ 6 3′ and 240lbs ride Italian German and British I wanted an American toy but not one that made me look like a pig on a football. Sorry to see Buell go I really tried to be one of your owners.

  16. Pan Chopper Man  October 28th

    Listen guys, …the only truely great motorcycle is the one YOU put together yourself. Now I’m not saying you should machine all your own parts or pour molten metal in your very own garage foundery in order to create your bike. I’m saying pick up those 3-inch thick aftermarket catalogs and start ordering individual parts. Then when you’ve been delivered all the shiney new parts required to build an entire motorcycle, put that sucker together. You will ride it with pride because YOU designed it and YOU put it together.

    Sure, …I have a Harley-Davidson sticker on the rear window of my Mustang, but it’s on there upside-down.

  17. Miguel  October 29th

    Pan Chopper Man:

    I’m afraid my technical knowledge is insufficient to do something like that. It could end up building a coffee maker 🙂

  18. ahog  November 2nd

    Here is one of the best articles that is spot on pertaining to the closing of Buell. Read it over a couple times and use the dictionary to decipher some of the key words if one does not fully understand them for this writer is one of the best. comments! articalhttp://www.roadracingworld.com/news/article/?article=38515

  19. rickp  November 3rd

    I agree with Hog that Buell isn’t producing a world class bike but Buell might have been HDs only hope at salvaging their future. Last I read the average age of a HD buyer is now 47 yrs up from 42 yrs. To the kids the HD brand image isn’t Easy Rider but dad’s or even grandpa’s cruiser. Buell definitely have some style aspects that could get the kids looking but lacked the complete package to compete headon with either the value minded Japanese bikes or the high $$$ euro bikes. Unless HD can reinvent their brand image to appeal to the kids, it’ll be a downward sales ride for HD that ends when the baby boomers park their bikes for the last time.

  20. ahog  November 3rd


    Great comment, it meets the future head on for Harley
    I have always found it interesting how the Harley immage was generated from the spin of reporters and second class movies.

  21. mattgm  November 3rd

    you have to look at the balance sheets guys – I’ve been riding for 30 years now owned just about every type and brand bike there is – right now – harley is on there back sides – 86 % reduction in revenue year to year -we may loose the only real American brand left in motorcycling. The real loss of young bikers is in the economics and culture . If HD were making tons of $ building buells they would still be doing it . The fact is the HD brand is the core biz – and in this economic environment thats where survival is .Young kids don’t buy bikes now because they can buy a toyota for the same $ and be dry to and from video gaming locations . The dark side of any corporation is that they have to answer to the stock holders . — also don’t delude your selves the buells you ride would have never been with out the investments and backing of the hd corp . Erics bikes pre HD were interesting but cost prohibitive and crude — This is a bummer no doubt but the reality is in most of the country – few people bought buells they went next door and bought the dyna wide glide —-

  22. Water tanks  November 9th

    My brother owns a buell. It’s a nice vehicle. It’s sad to hear that they are shutting.

  23. TechNomad  November 14th

    I think closing Buell is a poor decision. Harley Davidson demographics point to future decline without something to supplement their “core business” of selling a “lifestyle”. They need something to attract new blood. Buell could have provided that focus if HD marketing and dealers had been up to the task. Unfortunately, they’ve been sadly lacking for the most part.

    After HD announce that they were shutting down Buell, I bought a Lightning Long from High Country HD in Frederick, Colorado. It’s the best handling bike that I’ve ridden. HCHD gets it, but most HD dealers have failed to do Buell justice. I hope that Buell emerges from the ashes, but I bought one just in case that doesn’t happen.

  24. Pan Chopper Man  November 14th

    I never liked Buell motorcycles. You can’t chop ’em.

    Pan Chopper Man
    Maine, USA

  25. Andy  December 30th

    Great. Now i have to return to Kawasaki for another knee dragger when the Buell 1125R get’s to old and out of date. I own two Buell’s both of them the 1125R with the rotax engine, One is set up for all out racing and they are the best mutha F&&ing street bikes on the road. Period. There handling is best in class. I was banned from my local track, that i have raced on for over 20 years, after i handed all the Jap and Euro boys there balls on the 1125R. I never got the Harley supplied V-twins to make it with out crocking half thru the race. I laped everyone when i took the 1125R out on it’s first race. The rotax was smoth and reliable the whole 200 laps.

    Apprently the board of director’s at Harley is sitting the whole company up for a close down, they just lost the only youth market share they had by cutting Buell out. Hate to say it but H-D is loosing it’s share of the motorcycle indusrty 3 percent every year. And that is from not having new bikes that atteact young people, and Buell done that, it did it with me in 1996. I would have never sit my ass on any HD model if it had not been for Buell. I owned a Dyna for a few years liked the bike. Hated the fact it was a desighn older than me. Looks like HD is tailgateing GM down a one way road. In a few years all HD bikes will be collector items. As will all the american car companies. Hates off to corporate America, Thanks a billion.

  26. BMW UBER ALLES (ZA)  February 28th

    Like all unadaptable design’s Mother nature has selected Buell for extinction, if it was such a great bike it would have survive.
    I have ridden a Buell once and hated it, under powered, crap brakes.

    I guess it’s a case of horses for courses I grew up around BMW’s and I can understand the love a true Buell owner will have for it.

    Sorry for the workers and Erick Buell, It must suck to have your dream your pride and joy sunk thru no vault of your own, the crux of the story is you can not build sport bikes when you have HD for a boss, HD! were the only progress made over the lass 50 years was the new paint colours and a louder pipe! O yes there was the V-Rod lol they look great in my rear view mirror.

    So Erik next time dont sell your dreams so cheap.

  27. miguel  March 1st

    You’re right. It’s a bit difficult to make sport bikes under the umbrella of HD. Anyway, Buell is working on other projects (EBR 1190RR), most related to the competition, which I think is what he always wanted to do.

  28. health  May 16th

    So Erik next time dont sell your dreams so cheap.

  29. Ganjar  May 26th

    Well guy.. everything can happen.. so keep running.. Buell motorcycles will be gone

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