Buell is returning from the dead (again), with promises of superbikes and performance motorcycles.
An announcement made last week by CEO Bill Melvin confirmed the news.
“We are excited to bring Buell back with this awesome assortment of superbikes and performance motorcycles,” said the American manufacturer’s head honcho.
“We start with the fastest American production motorcycles, hand-built in the USA, so that’s a nice start! We’re building out those platforms for more touring and adventure models, then we’re expanding our displacements to be competitive with other global brands.”
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Once upon a time, Buell was paired with Harley-Davidson, but it looks like all of those ties have been severed. The brand was founded in 1983 Erik Buell, who was an ex-Harley engineer.
Buell was actually responsible for kickstarting the Porsche-designed Revolution engine, wanting to slot it into a fully faired AMA Superbike for 1998. Harley-Davidson decided the engine should actually go into a sports-tourer, then took over development, making it “too big, too heavy, too expensive and too late” for Buell.
Harley-Davidson acquired 49 per cent of Buell in 1993 and Buell became a wholly owned subsidiary of HD by 2003. After years of low profits and opposition from Harley’s brass, Buell was shuttered in 2009.
Now fully owned by EBR (another Eric Buell-led company, the ‘R’ standing for Racing), Buell is back in production, with the 1190 platform leading the charge.
That means models like the Hammerhead 1190RX sportbike, the 1190SX supernaked, the 1190HCR hillclimb racebike and the soon-to-be-available 1190 adventure touring machine should all be returning to dealerships in the near future.
Other new models include dual sport and dirt bikes, cruisers, small-capacity machines and more sports bikes.
Even more intriguing is this little nugget from the press release: “Buell is also in the initial exploration phases for a high-performance electric model and is open to collaboration ideas with other companies.”
There are still a few questions yet to be answered, like who will build the small capacity engines and how does Buell suddenly have the cash for all this new development, but to be honest, it’s just great to see the brand back in action. Hopefully this time it can make things stick.