8. UP! H-D Buys into Buell


In 1993, Harley-Davidson bought 49% of Buell and mostly let Erik be Erik in his Troy, Wisconsin, factory. Actual practical motorcycles like the ’94 Thunderbolt S2 (with a few teething problems) were produced in quantity, and MO’s founder, Brent Plummer, was heavily involved in building Buells that competed successfully in AMA Pro Thunder competition when they weren’t strewn all over the MO offices. By 2003, Harley owned 100% of Buell, and in 2006, Buell announced it had shipped its 100,000th motorcycle.

  • Craig Hoffman

    My favorite part? Erik got the girl of his dreams! It may be awhile, but we will hear from Erik again, without a doubt.

  • ADB

    John Burns, you are on a roll this week. Great article.

    • Goose

      What he said. This, Garage Love and the mid sized adventure shoot out, wow. Great work formerly bitter little man. A real pleasure to read any and all.

  • Campisi

    No Buell retrospective is complete without at least a glance over the whole Blast saga.

    • Robert Latimerburnshurst-Tribe

      Some people love the Blast, some people never understood…There is a whole cult following of the little bike

  • Old MOron

    UP: Having John Burns as his chronicler.

  • JMDonald

    A few years ago I rented a Ulysses at the local Harley dealership while visiting my parents. I loved the thing but not enough to pull the trigger on a Buell purchase. Why is it we so badly want this guy to succeed? Maybe we all want to be like him to some extent. I’m sure there are any number of reasons. Party on Mr. Buell. I wish you well.