Buell builds last bike

Dailies -


Last_Buell.jpgThis Buell Lightning XB12Scg is the 136,923rd and last motorcycle to leave Buell’s East Troy, Wisconsin assembly line. As of today, Buell no longer makes bikes. 

  • bzr

    Wow, that was fast.

    Let’s pour one out for the only line of sportbikes built in America that actually mattered.

  • http://www.dainese.com DaineseDan

    Say what you will, but that is a serious bummer. Very sad.

  • DoctorNine

    This sucks so bad that I can’t even describe my disgust. My only consolation is that I know Erik Buell has the capacity and the creativity to rise again, once his unholy alliance with the Devil has concluded.

    Mr. Buell, this is my personal salute. Don’t let the present circumstances make you forget what you are capable of. Life is too short to waste as a company wonk. Do what you love. Cheers.

  • Mason

    This doesn’t feel good. As much pain as it causes me to think of the world without Buell, I cannot say I am upset I do not own one.

    I hope Erik Buell comes back smarter and with cool products. I’d love to see him sell crate engines, so people can create things like this:


    I want Buell in racing, done the right way.

    I look forward to reading stories about Mr. Buell as well as his former employees doing great things in the future.

  • Jefferson

    C’mon guys. How can an American icon like Harley Davidson focus on its orange t-shirt and leather vest sales with a self-centered jerk always wasting their time by wanting to develop and build motorcycles?

  • CafeRacer1200

    I originally was going to buy an 1125R until the local dealer screwed me over on it. Besides, the insurance would have been double that of the XB12R that I traded my ’03 Triumph Sprint ST on. This was three weeks ago and yes I got a screamin’ deal including free 1000 mile service and a Buell t-shirt. I’m really sorry that it took this to get me onto a Buell. It really is an amazingly good bike.

  • Beatpusher

    Is the guy in the middle of the pic flipping off the last Buell evar! Lolz

  • Beatpusher

    I forgot the question mark

  • MEE

    It is a sad day indeed… Let us hope we will see the rise of Erik Buell again.

  • Papasan

    I’m picking XB12 up Sunday! You have to hate to see something like this happen to an original, but that’s how things turn out for independent thinkers here in the good old USA…
    Good luck to all the Buell workers, hope you all find work soon!


  • 4Cammer

    HD never had a clue how to sell Buell motorcycles, and despite this Buell was able to sell close to 137,000 very different, interesting and fun bikes.

    Now HD can go back to taking orders, charging MSRP+ and not needing the ability to actually sell the product. Wait, no they can’t…

  • bjorn

    Can’t believe a new issue of cycle world came out, a month after this news, and NOTHING> That’s why pub’s like HFL will rule in the future.
    As far as Buell goes- sucks, but f’ it. That’s the real world. They were way too cool for long haul. The world likes mayo. Buells are Tapatio.

  • http://matthewabate.wordpress.com Matthew

    I never really wanted to buy one of these, but I’m still really sad about it. I’m also pissed that H-D are so typically short sighted. What happened to

  • http://matthewabate.wordpress.com Matthew

    Wow, server error. To finish my thought…

    I never really wanted to buy one of these, but I’m still really sad about it. I’m also pissed that H-D are so typically short sighted. What happened to American Ingenuity, America’s Can-Do attitude. H-D are a bunch of pussies, pardon my French.

  • RT Rider

    Well with Buell gone now HD can concentrate all there R&D and sales depts on designing and selling there new line of belt buckles, t-shirts, do rags and all the rest of the assorted shit that goes with there harley “lifestyle”. I stopped at the local harley dealership (now out of business) to look at a Buell XB12 and the salesmen totally blew me off. I wasn’t dressed up like a pirate with a pony tail so they didn’t recognize me as a customer. If HD was a new company and just released there present line of motorcycles they would be out of business within a year. No one would buy that out of date crap. They would be the laughing stock of the motorcycle industry. When the present baby boomer generation gets to old to buy a motorcycle HD will be out of business. Younger buyers will not buy that out of date shit.

  • CBontheMV

    Sad day, indeed. We used to produce things in this country; really cool, ingenuitive things that people all over the world wanted. Now we reward laziness (wall st) and ship all manufacturing overseas (thank you again wall st) so that we make the quaterly numbers. I’m sad that we’ve lost another uniquely American product and I’m sad that those workers are losing their jobs because wall st dictated that HD try and squeeze out another $0.03 a share.

    • hoyt

      true, but HD is to blame more than Wall St. :
      1. HD’s screw-up with their financial arm
      2. HD’s lack of accountability and/or willingness to ensure dealers uphold standards towards one of their products.

  • Joe

    Pic says it all really. Downcast eyes, concerned looks, tight lips. What a bummer.

  • BL

    i can’t believe they’re just quitting, i mean is it completely worthless? You’re not even going to try and sell it? Hey Harley, how much for buell? I got 5 on it.

    • vic

      they are probably going to sell all the tooling& equipment and make some quick cash in India or china ,where there is a strong demand for this kind of stuff,even in today’s market.i just sold 4 cnc machines and 3 robot welders from a company that went bust to a Indian manufacturer they had it for pennies on the $.they have cash and it;s a buyers market

  • pdub

    That picture says a lot. You can look at every face there and find an expression of consequence. You can see more than the loss of a paycheck on those faces.

  • Buell

    Buell was a good motorcycle. Sure it had a few problems but what motorcycle is perfect? I was actually considering the purchase of a XB12GT untill I stopped at the HD dealer here in town. The first salesman I talked to said he did not know much about the Buell but he would find a salesperson that did. I waited around for about 1/2 hour and finally the owner showed up and asked me what I wanted. He seemed irritated and was very rude to me. I asked him a few questions concerning the engine heat and a Buell aftermarket part that would help with that problem. He did not known what I was talking about. I then started to ask him about pricing and a demo ride when 2 guys dressed up like the Village People walked in and were looking at the harley’s. He immediately went over to them and treated them like his long loss brothers. I told him that I had to get back to work and I would stop again later. He comment was “ya right”. Needless to say I purchased another brand of motorcycle but I must admit that I was quite excited about the Buell after much searching on the internet on the bike. I still have 2nd thoughts about not buying the Buell but the HD dealer treated me so rudely that I would never go in there again. Buy the way – that dealer closed his doors last fall and filed bankruptcy.

  • BobG

    “I originally was going to buy an 1125R”

    “As much pain as it causes me to think of the world without Buell, I cannot say I am upset I do not own one.”

    “I never really wanted to buy one of these, but I’m still really sad about it.”

    Just three reasons why Buell is history.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

      Yeah, the other part that is bothersome is the lack of dealer support, in many cases dealer spite, reported in the comments of multiple HFL articles now by potential customers as well as long-standing customers of H-D machines.

      And no, this isn’t a Harley rant. Obviously, H-D corporate does not train dealers to act this way as it is counter-productive to sustainable and healthy business. Bad dealer practices are currently rampant throughout the industry. Just ask any woman who has recently tried to buy a bike for herself and gotten the “where’s your bf/husband” while being steered to the apparel section.

    • CafeRacer1200

      Bob, I made the original statement that I was going to buy an 1125R. You took my comment out of context when I did, in fact, buy a Buell.

  • Victory

    Harley dealer like to sell harleys because then they can sell the buyer the offical harley rider clown outfit and aftermarket parts like the screaming eagle stuff. A screaming eagle kit will give a harley a eye popping 68 or 70 horsepower and don’t forget the screaming eagle exhaust system that gives the rider an extra 3 inches on his dick. I rode by a harley dealer on my way to the Quad Cities and that dealer had a Tattoo parlor in his dealership. Now that fits the harley profile better than Buell.

  • http://aeromach.net USIron

    Guess they weren’t selling enough Buell T-shirts, belts, stickers, boots and dog bowls to be a worthwhile venture.

  • GW Man

    HD dealerships are a boutique shop that happens to sell motorcycles as a sideline. You can get your rear window decal for your pickup, vest with HD on the back, t-shirt with HD on it, chaps, do-rags, jackets with HD on the back and on and on and on. There is more floor area in a HD dealership for the pirate clothes than display area for the motorcycles. Dealers could not sell Buell buyers the pirate outfits and all the chrome shit that goes on a harley so they pushed them in a corner and ignored them.

  • Tony

    It’s one thing to say to your son or daughter: “I’m afraid I can’t afford to take care of you anymore. You’ll have to move out.”

    And quite another to say: “If I can’t have you, nobody can!” While sticking a knife in their heart.

    Unless Harley allows someone else to pick up Buell, I’ll never EVER buy one of their bikes.

  • Too Young

    Harley could have sold Buell and kept production going. Nobody has to worry about me not buying a Harley. I would give up riding before I would be seen riding a Harley. I am in my 30′s so I don’t fit the Harley profile anyway. God, my friends would have a holiday giving me shit if they saw me riding a Harley. I have friends that ride Buell’s and they really like them. There biggest complaint was the service or lack of it that they got at the Harley dealers. They were treated like 2nd class citizens as the dealers gave preference to the clowns riding a Harley.

  • Scottie

    Speaking of T-shirts, belts, stickers, boots and dog bowls, the H-D store here in Manhattan has two floors of stuff and just one bike in the window.

  • Doug

    For years the whiners complained about what pieces of crap Buells were. Now the whining is about how dare Harley do this! Most of the whiners never owned a Buell in their lives. I’ve owned two, and I’m not whining. I’ve owned Hondas, Yamahas, Kawasakis, BMWs, Ducati, and HDs. Man, I cannot count the amount of models that the other brands have axed. The MT-01′s here in Canada are collected dust on dealers floors. Yamaha just axed them from the 2010 list. Oh God! how could they….. Puleez go wring your crying towels out. The first Buell I had was before HD gave Mr. Buell cash. It leaked out of the rocker boxes. My next was after HD gave Mr. Buell money, it did not leak, but Mr. Buell had troubles developing a decent kickstand. Buell had a habit of releasing products before he got it right. The topper is Mr. Buell crushing his product for advertising. Ruthless engineering…. yeah right.

  • Bryce

    I think it’s a damn shame. I too went in to buy a Buell a few times and was treated like some kind of outcast. They seemed to be well priced bikes with a lot of cool features. Eric is a pretty good business man and a great asset to the mc community. I’m sure he’ll pop up again soon with something else. How impossible would it be for him to start buying motors from HD and building his own bikes again?

  • Adrian

    As an owner of two Buells and just for a bit of balance,there were some dealers who were pro-Buell, unfortunately they were few and far between.

    If you stuck to your guns and told the wavering dealers you came to look or buy Buells in my case they came around…after all a sale is a sale.

    This is not too say of course that most of them were more interested in selling a parade float to go with the pirate clown costume.

  • Too Young

    Maybe Eric Buells first mistake was his association with HD. How many people would not consider a Buell because it had a HD motor? I would think that Eric Buell could have come up with a better motor than the Harley crap he was using. Talk about ancient technology. Between having to deal with the stupid harley dealers and using outdated harley engines I feel his days were numbered anyway. Many people liked everything about the Buell motorcycle except the engine and having to deal with the harley morons.

  • http://www.yahoo.com Tom

    I still think a Buell Blast is a perfect city commuter, but beyond that, Too Young is right in that younger people simply didn’t consider a Buell because of the HD engine. HD lemmings talk about noise while the Japanese and Euros actually produce power.

    A HD Sportster 1200 makes only 70hp while the new V-Rod that is supposed to show the “new” power of Harley is 1250cc and yet it still can only make 125hp at best. My TLR is only 1000cc and that design made 135hp when it was introduced 11 years ago. And, this on a bike that was criticized as heavy and had crappy handling…..by Japanese standards.

    When the Japanese can do more with less and at a lower cost, Buell was facing a nearly insurmountable challenge. Nearly, because I recall reading that Buell’s financials were still in the black this year over last year. Like Pontiac finally getting its act together, it looks like HD followed GM’s lead and killed a brand just getting it right.

    • BobG

      More of the same ‘ol crap. Tom, what is the best bike in the world, and why don’t you own it?

  • tonyw

    No wonder they went out of business, in the pic it shows 1 guy working and the rest standing around watching. :) Seriously, it is sad to see any manufacturer close it’s doors. I wasn’t always a Buell fan but it is still sad.

  • http://www.yahoo.com Tom


    Your temper tantrums do not change reality. There is no best bike in the world because of so many different needs. A REAL biker would know that.

  • kirb

    I still have my ’99 cyclone and it’s been a great bike for 10 years. I just picked up a ’09 1125CR only because HD put out $5k in rebates…The dealers that tried to tack $1k on to the bike and then take the rebate can kiss my ass and I hope you go out of biz like you should. I found a no-BS dealer willing to work with me who will get all my future cash.

    Long live the two Buells I now have.