Here we go again. The wild ride that is Erik Buell Racing has announced that it is headed for another precipice. Will this be the one that finally, completely wipes the letters E, B, and R from the motorcycling landscape? Who knows, but we’re running out of fingers and toes to count the number of near-death experiences our favorite beleaguered motorcycle company has endured. What little we do know is contained in the press release below.

Here is our take on a few select quotes:

EBR will continue to review strategic alternatives with interested investors regarding production operations.

Translation: We’re not (completely) dead yet.

The combination of slow sales and industry announcements of other major OEM brands closing or cutting production only magnified the challenges faced by EBR.

Translation: If Polaris, with its deep pockets, couldn’t make a plucky motorcycle brand work, investors are skittish, thinking that nobody can.

To read the saga of EBR in serial form, check out the links below.

Erik Buell Racing Shuts Down

New Owners For Erik Buell Racing! UPDATED

The Wild, The Innocent, And The EBR Shuffle

The Goal Is To Have 2016 Model EBRs Rolling By Mid-March

Yet Another Streetfighter Shootout!

Begin Press Release:

 

EAST TROY, WI – EBR Motorcycles, LLC (“EBR”) located in East Troy, Wisconsin will begin a wind down of production operations commencing next week. EBR will continue to honor warranties and provide technical and parts support to current dealers and riders who bought motorcycles manufactured by EBR. EBR will continue to review strategic alternatives with interested investors regarding production operations.

The decision was a tough one for EBR as it has been solely focused on the growth and building EBR for success. The team at EBR has worked tirelessly making every effort to build the company. There is no fault on any of the team at EBR for this decision. They and their families have our deepest gratitude for their efforts and dedication to EBR. This difficult decision was based primarily on EBR facing significant headwinds with signing new dealers, which is key to sales and growth for a new company. In addition, EBR has had limited production in 2016 and 2017 that was under goal. The combination of slow sales and industry announcements of other major OEM brands closing or cutting production only magnified the challenges faced by EBR.

The limited production of remaining 2017 and 2016 EBR motorcycles are currently available from EBR’s top dealers. For a list of top dealers, please go to www.EBR.com.

  • allworld

    It really is a shame. The hope for an American performance motorcycles brand is bleak.

    • Numbone

      The answer is so obvious – TMC – Trump Motorcycle Company.

      • Larry Kahn

        No. Way. In. Hell.

      • Kenneth

        Made in China.

      • Gruf Rude

        Specializing in bankruptcy would align nicely with the business plan.

  • DickRuble

    RIP

    • Darren Yates

      Well that’s it third time lucky, don’t think so they should just place a sign on the door DNR sad but true and i own a buell which i will always keep i love it

  • Michael Howard

    Brings to mind the quote about doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. What a shame.

    • This is why I bought a couple HD- Buells and an EBR new back in the day. Even as a younger rider eyeing the Buell brand I knew it would be a “failed” brand much like the cherished brands of the 50s-60s that went by the wayside. I wanted to have a future collectors piece now 🙂

    • Born to Ride

      Yeah, his bikes have always been too quirky and aesthetically different to have wide spread appeal. No matter how much love the moto press heaped on his bikes, present and new, it just never seems enough. I was hoping that the readjusted prices might bring some success, but alas it just seemed to take all the profit out of the sales that they did get. Kinda makes Motus’ argument for them doesn’t it?

      • DickRuble

        I’ve never read a stellar review of a Buell bike. In every single comparison they ended up dead last or almost. “If you don’t mind some quirkiness, this is very good first effort from an American company” seemed to be the conclusion of every single review.

        • Born to Ride

          I was more referring to the old air cooled bikes. The XB9 and XB12 and especially the Ulysses were well loved for their handling and fun factor. Just ask Burns, he’ll tell ya all about it.

          • DickRuble

            I know JB liked the XB9SX a lot. He also likes the Street 750.

          • spiff

            Ha

          • spiff

            If the stars align I would get an S1 or X1 Lightning. I alway thought they were cool, an old school hot rod.

          • Born to Ride

            The white lightning is a sexy bike. Saw one for sale on CL a while back that looked mint at a price too good to be true. Then sure enough, “needs carb work to run” at the end of the ad. Carberation is one technology that I’m glad is firmly in the past. I would have a hard time going back willingly.

    • DickRuble

      Breaking news: Motus to issue a press release on the failures of EBR and how they do things so much better.

  • Uncommon Sense

    Just wait 25 to 50 years. An investor will purchase the Buell name and catch the next wave of hipsters looking for retro motorcycle brands.

    • Miguel Raton

      That would only be true if Buell had ever had a significant market presence [a la’ Indian, Vincent, et al.] If an investor announced they’d bought up Moto Parilla today and were bringing out new models, there’d be a collective “Huh?” from potential buyers everywhere. It would be like that in 25 or 50 years if someone did the same for Buell, I’m sad to say… 🙁

      • Gruf Rude

        Geeze, and I remember drooling over pictures of Parillas as a 17 year old . . . (six decades ago).

  • Randy Darino

    groundhog day?

    • Starmag

      Awesome snark.

  • Auphliam

    Well damn. That sucks.

  • Starmag

    Thanks for the plain-speak interpretation of the press release Evans. I’ve read Erik’s history, he just wanted to go racing all along like Count Augusta. Too bad he didn’t have the Count’s helicopter money.

    • asg21

      Agusta.

  • ADB

    My apartment dwelling son stores his EBR 1190RX in my garage for safe keeping. A truly phenomenal bike. Wonderful ride. Sad to see this happen again, but maybe not unexpected. I guess this proves H-D’s point once and for all that the only motorcycles that really sell in America are cruisers. Feet forward, butt down – please assume the position….

    EBR started the pivot to a more comfortable ride with the new Black Lightning, but I guess this too was an example of “too little, too late”. It takes a huge investment to be in the retail motorcycle business.

    • DickRuble

      The Black Lighting was a hack. They showed the bike two weeks ago at some show. EBR were taking orders and were expecting production units only in April May.

      • Auphliam

        Yeah, first it was $500 deposit and Spring ’17 delivery for the Black Lightning…but within days, the EBR web page changed and that was the deal for ALL new ’17s…that’s why I was concerned about MO getting an SX for the recent streetfighter shootout.

        That tells me they weren’t producing anything until it was ordered, ’cause it sure as hell don’t take that long to assemble a bike if you’re running any kind of regular production.

        This was probably a Go/No Go moment for LAP. If orders poured in from the IMS shows, they’d stick with it, if not, they pull the plug.

        • azicat

          My interpretation of “The combination of slow sales and industry announcements of other major OEM brands closing or cutting production only magnified the challenges faced by EBR”: component suppliers aren’t delivering anything to the production line until they’re paid for the back orders in cold hard cash.

          • Auphliam

            Yeah, that could be. On one hand you have suppliers that won’t provide unless paid up front, and on the other you have LAP who won’t infuse any cash flow unless they see some sales…

  • Vrooom

    I knew January 26th was the right day for the pool. Shame.

  • Lance H

    What a shame. I’m not a sportbike guy but I would like to see a strong American manufacturer competing with the Asians and Europeans.

    • Larry Kahn

      Buell offered semi-standard and ADV at times, sport touring, even a learners thing.

      • Lance H

        Yeah, the Buell Blast is still being used in many MSF schools today!

        • Kenneth

          The Blast deserves to be kept within the confines of a parking lot.

  • JMDGT

    As much as people like this idea there is no money there.

  • Gruf Rude

    If they issue a final, parts bin model, it should be called ‘the Zombie.’

  • SRMark

    Stick a fork in it

  • 281Marauder .

    EBR didn’t fail this time. This time it was the dealers which failed him.

    • asg21

      Did you buy one? This outcome seemed inevitable – why buy from a company with essentially zero dealer support? And really, the most positive remark I’ve ever read in a Buell review was “And, it’s built in the good ol’ USA! By Americans!” The early models looked kind of cool, but a “sportbike” with a Harley engine? That always sounded like a joke. And I haven’t read of any other manufacturers adopting any of his “innovations.” The road tests I’ve read about the rim brake generally said things like “Interesting, and it’s possible to make it work, but why?” And my Rickman-Weslake used the frame for the oil tank, as did two early KTM Dukes I owned, (’95 & ’03), but sportbike companies didn’t seem too impressed with the idea.

      Interesting bikes, and I buy American when I think it makes sense, but developing a new company to build a product with a potentially tiny customer base never seemed like a viable idea to me.

  • Shlomi

    These days I’m debating on pulling the trigger on MV Augusta, and EBR goes bust it’s all I needed to get my senses back.

    • ADB

      Amen. Even Moto Guzzi (I own a Norge) and Aprillia are starting to look like iffy bets in today’s market. Who will be next to fall?

      • Shlomi

        Aprilia & Guzzj are part of the Piaggio group which gives some financial stability. Both brands have more legacy and heritage to be compared with Victory or EBR, but who knows.

        • DickRuble

          Piaggio better do their bean counting carefully and consider if it’s worth pumping money into Moto Guzzi. Those bikes appeal to a segment of the population that’s quickly heading for the nursing homes. They also better revise the Aprilia line-up to make the bikes light, roomy, andl practical while retaining a design edge. Small and compact may be the trend in the Kalahari desert, but if I can’t fit on the Shiver, I won’t buy it.

          • Shlomi

            Guzzi knows their European customers, never changed their lines, and always remain small operation. Aprilia plays their racing heritage, small fast and compact. Try the Dursadoro over the shiver, a bit more roomy, or the caponord?

          • DickRuble

            The Caponord has some interesting technology and attributes but is very heavy for daily use around town.

    • HeDidn’tWeDid

      The problem with Aprilia and Moto Guzzi is if you live, like myself, in a place such as Little Rock, AR…the nearest dealer for either of these two brands is 300 miles away. Even Ducati, who have a much larger US presence than either of those two brands, is a 250 mile drive. I could not imagine buying a Dursadoro and bringing it back to Little Rock. Sadly, this is why my next ride will be a KTM…a brand I can buy and get serviced here. Plus, I’m not really that sad about buying a KTM Super Duke GT

  • TheMarvelous1310

    On the bright side, Polaris said it wanted to make sportier Indians, and Erik is still an incomparable chassis designer… Buell engineering, Ness design and the Indian name might add up to a perfect motorcycle!

    Don’t poke my bubble, I need to be happy about something right now.

    • spiff

      Let me know when your happy levels are good. We need to talk.

  • John B.

    Three cheers for the American entrepreneur! “It’s not the critic who counts…. but he whose place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

  • mikstr

    A shame…. I admire Buell’s drive to build a bike and company (even if I find many of his ideas are somewhat goofy)… His later designs seemed to be promising… Sadly, even if he were to find financing now, the whole Buell saga has become such a joke that I can’t see the brand ever taking off (used up its stock of credibility)

  • John Dickinson

    they needed the black lightning to be the AX

  • Auphliam

    Where’s that scrap iron dude now?

  • Classax

    Mr.Evan Brasfield,, I know it is common now in the era of complete lack of journalistic integrity to have bold incorrect headlines; whether this is do personal bias, desire to scoop the competition, get more web hot or just plain old failed reading comprehension I leave you to decide. How about a headline that actually has some truth to it. IE “ERB announces halt of production” or even EBR Ceases Production(again). The press release that has been copied and pasted mentions nothing of a closure. True the proverbial hand has picked up a pen and appears headed for the wall, but let’s tell that story when it actually does happen. This is the kind of poor press work that makes it even harder for a struggling brand to find it’s footing, putting out bad information not only unjustly harms the marque but it discredits not only the writer and his medium but the media as a whole. Fix your headline! Your a motorcyclist for Pete’s sake.

  • AM

    His “innovations” has brought him bankruptcy over bankruptcy and he insists on keeping it. Until he gets rid of the ” innovations” that clearly proved not to work he shouldn’t be expecting success. Engine is a vibrating dinosaur, front brakes that has no place in the marketplace, tank in the frame, it definitely makes it unique, but a unique that nobody wants to buy. And when you add to that, unreliability and no dealer network together with a price equivalent to a much better products from all Japanese, KTM,
    Aprilia and BMW, how can you expect to be successful I really do not know.

  • Auphliam

    FYI – This was just posted to the EBR 1190 Owners Group facebook page by EBR engineer Dan Hurda:

    “I just want to clarify for people exactly what the press release concerning EBR said.

    EBR Motorcycles is ceasing manufacturing operations and winding down that part of the business. The company is NOT closing.
    Warranty and service parts will continue to be available for the foreseeable future.

    The volume of orders and phone calls has increased dramatically since the press release, so if you aren’t getting immediate responses to your questions it is not because we stopped shipping parts or answering email, it is simply that just like before the press release there is a very small staff at EBR but now there is 4 or 5 times the work. Be patient we will answer your questions, we will ship your orders.

    If you do have parts of technical questions as always email them to parts@ebr.com or tech@ebr.com do not ask them via Facebook.”