Common Tread

Erik Buell Racing goes out of business

Apr 15, 2015

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that Erik Buell Racing has closed down and the company is going into receivership in a move similar to bankruptcy under Wisconsin law.

Harley-Davidson first bought all of Buell in 2003 and then shut it down in 2009, along with selling MV Agusta, when Harley decided to change its strategy after the 2008 financial crisis cut U.S. motorcycle sales in half. Erik Buell Racing was the company the popular founder formed in the wake of Harley's decision. The company raced in AMA Superbike series and then World Superbike and received a lot of publicity for the new 1190RX sport bike.

Buell told the Journal Sentinel that the company ran out of money, despite a big investment from Hero, India's largest motorcycle manufacturer. The Journal Sentinel reported that the company had 126 employees.

It's hard to think the newspaper account didn't get at least one fact wrong, saying that "The company had been doing well on the racing circuit but struggled financially."

In 2014, the Buell team's first year in World Superbike, Buell only scored two points all year. The two 2015 Buell riders, Larry Pegram and Niccolo Canepa, scored a combined total of three points in the first six races of 2015.