Free Erik Buell

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freeerik.jpgUpset that American motorcycle innovation has gone the way of intelligent political debate and print media? Now you can express your outrage with a t-shirt. “Free Erik Buell” is printed on American Apparel t-shirts, so we’re keeping the Made In America theme intact while offering you a high-quality product. See how that’s still possible? Hit our Buell tag page if you need to catch up on the events that made these shirts a necessity.

Free Erik Buell T-Shirt 

  • CafeRacer1200

    Just the ticket to ride me Buell in. Thanks!

  • Tony

    Cool! Nice job guys!

  • noone1569

    Man, love to get one of those but 26$ is a lil rough, feel like I’m taking it from Harley.

    • CafeRacer1200

      Have you priced the Buell shirts? This is a bargain.

  • Jimi

    Good to see someone profiting off of the shattered dreams of Eric Buell. To bad its not him tho.

  • Tony

    Well we could ask Mr. Buell if he minds HFL profiting from this . . .

    . . . but he’s not allowed to talk to the media, so I guess he won’t be able to comment.

    I can’t speak for him, but I would think that if I was in his place, I’d hope something like this could raise some interest and maybe put some pressure on Harley to allow him to make motorcycles.

    . . . or at least talk.

    • Jimi

      I had considered that, but I came to the conclusion that the only people who would know who Eric Buell is, are the people who read blogs like this one or who are familiar with the motorcycle industry. Those people already know what has happened, and as such would not need a t-shirt to inform them. Those who do not know who he is, are unlikely to find out and do something about what has happened (I’m not even sure they could do anything, further putting the t-shirt’s effectiveness in question).

      There were a lot of articles building the publicity/sympathy surrounding the discontinuation of the brand, and now someone is capitalizing on that publicity/sympathy. I really enjoy this blog, but I don’t think this is appropriate. Covering the story is more than enough, profiting off of it while trying to aim the negative attention at Harley is unnecessary.

      Oh, and I’m probably missing something here, but “Free Eric Buell” from what? Is it just a statement designed to draw attention or soemthing? Eric Buell might need a lot of things right now, but I don’t think freedom is one of them.

  • Ted M

    Tony

    HD wants to make this go away quietly..

    Anything that keep this going no matter how small is good thing…

    Thank You HFL

    I just ordered

  • Beale

    I had done something like this right after the announcement. In all honesty, I think we have a better chance of reviving Hodaka than Buell Motorcycles.

  • Beale
  • geonerd

    If Best Buy can sell motorcycles then AA can goddamn well sell an electric Buell. And I’d sell my GSXR750 to buy one.

  • tony

    I think this is more important than many people realize.

    Erik Buell could start making that true Superbike pictured on the front page within a few months if Harley Davidson would simply let him.

    But they won’t let him and they have no reason to let him. Why would they? For the relatively small amount they’d receive by selling the rights, they’d be setting up a competitor that could do real damage to them 10 years from now.

    The only way they’ll let him make that bike is if we DEMAND that they let him make that bike. If we put enough pressure on Harley and show them we know what they’re doing it and we won’t allow them to pretend to be a company that is all about freedom when they won’t even allow Erik Buell to talk to anybody.

    The last thing Harley wants is a serious offer for Buell and they’re doing everything they can to discourage that . . . including keeping Erik Buell under lock and key.

    We can’t allow them to get away with this. This isn’t over. With enough vocal pressure from us, we still can get our Superbike.

    Don’t give up. Don’t roll-over. That’s what Harley wants us to do.

    • BobG

      The only way they’ll let him make that bike is if we DEMAND that they let him make that bike. If we put enough pressure on Harley and show them we know what they’re doing it and we won’t allow them to pretend to be a company that is all about freedom when they won’t even allow Erik Buell to talk to anybody.

      Ahhhhhhhh, the consiracy theorey has shown it’s face. You ain’t demanding crap my friend. Like you would buy it anyway. You’d use the excuse that Harley owns it, so you’re not buying it.
      Get a clue.

  • http://www.urbanrider.co.uk urbanrider

    Make some HFL t-shirts. I would buy that.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      But these are HFL t-shirts. They’re controversial, funny, timely and cool. We’ll be doing more shirts and stuff in the future too.

      • BobG

        Hey Wes, I got an idea for a good HFL shirt:
        FREE THIS SITE FROM KNOW-IT-ALL HARLEY HATERS.

        • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

          Sure, make it look nice and sell it on Cafe Press. I’ll buy one.

          • BobG

            What, no guts?

            • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

              Don’t worry, Bob. I’ve got one cooking I think you’ll love.

      • http://www.urbanrider.co.uk urban rider

        Listen to your readers! We want HFL!

        Please ask Grant to design me one as follows:

        Front: HFL Logo with web address
        Back: ‘Chrome is for FAGS’

        Cheers

        • BobG

          But no one would see it under your Valentino Rossi
          cartoon outfits.

          • http://www.urbanrider.co.uk urban rider

            Don’t hate me BobG, hate Eric Cartman. South Park was funny until they started ripping you, huh?

    • knuckledonkey

      +1.

      I would buy a HFL t-shirt. Black with the logo white. Nice.

  • BobG

    I’m sure you do!

  • tony

    One thing we should all keep in mind is that Buell may only exist because Harley has supported them, but Harley only exists because WE (the American motorcycle community) have supported them.

    Did any of you buy a motorcycle in the mid-eighties? If you did, you paid a big price to keep Harley alive. Reagan put a huge tariff on >700 cc imported bikes and without that, Harley would have died.

    Not only did we pay the direct price of higher MSRP’s, but we lost our choices of models and saw the face of the motorcycle world change.

    The simple act of Harley signing over the rights to Erik Buell wouldn’t pay back the debt they owe us . . . but it would be a start.

    The bike is designed tested and ready to go and it wouldn’t cost Harley a dime to turn over the rights. Investors would jump at the chance, a new company could be up and running and producing an American Superbike before the end of 2010.

    I can see why the Harley board wouldn’t want that. They don’t want any competition, but why would any motorcycle rider, even if we’re talking about a Harley rider, not want that?

  • tony

    Wes, have you tried to contact Erik Buell?

    I’ve heard from a couple different sources that he’s not allowed to talk to the media and I’ve also heard that if you ask the Harley media department about it you’ll hit a stone wall.

    Why won’t Harley let Erik Buell talk? I think that’s a reasonable question for journalists to ask.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      I’ve spoken to him enough to know he won’t say a bad word about Harley, even now. The video says it all though.

  • tony

    I’m sure you’re right, Wes.

    I wish Buell fans could show some restraint as well. I understand the emotion, but when fans lash out angrily, both sides get defensive and productive conversation can’t continue.

    I don’t hate Harley, but I’ll continue to pressure them until they allow Erik Buell to make motorcycles.

  • DoctorNine

    I’ll buy one…

  • BobG

    “The simple act of Harley signing over the rights to Erik Buell wouldn’t pay back the debt they owe us . . . but it would be a start.”

    They owe you nothing Tony. Do you know how many idustries have been saved in this country because of tariffs? It works the same for other countries as well.

    “I can see why the Harley board wouldn’t want that. They don’t want any competition, but why would any motorcycle rider, even if we’re talking about a Harley rider, not want that?”

    Even a Harley rider? Hey thanks for including us lowly Harley riders. I’m also a lowly Honda, Yamaha and Polaris rider. Your reasoning is simply amazing.

  • BobG

    Don’t hate ya. Just understand that all Harley riders don’t fit into that South Park mold(I did get a chance to see it and thought it was pretty funny), nor do all sport riders fit into the Rossi imitation mold. You can’t pigeon hole riders like that just because they ride a particular make of bike. I admit some of the Harley riders are over the top with that stuff, but I think thats from wanting to fit into a sub culture that they fanasize about. And so what. It’s also true of some riders of the big four cruisers. Let them have their fun.
    I’m not a pirate, nor do I care to look like one. I enjoy riding the particular Harley that I own as well as my Honda, Yamaha, etc. I don’t particularly hang with riders who think Harley is God’s gift to the motorcycle world. I could say alot about what the sport riders do and look like, but I won’t because I don’t care as long as they’re having fun and not hurting anybody. It’s that simple.

  • BobG

    And another thing. I love this site. I think it’s one of the best, if not the best, out there. It’s timely, has great bikes, great photos and most of the time it scoops the other sites. I just can’t understand the childish bashing of Harley by mostly uninformed people.

  • http://www.urbanrider.co.uk urban rider

    Some of the humour, myself included, can be a bit school ground but it’s well intentioned banter, nothing to be taking seriosuly.

    With regard to HD, there are some definite HD bashers who make the odd post but I don’t imagine they really represent the average reader of this site. ‘Culture, style, design’ is the mantra of HFL, HD get a kicking here because they let themselves down on that fronton a daily basis!

    I think there is nothing more Wes and Grant would want than HD to be at the forefront of those three, and I imagine they kick HD especially hard on that front simply because they want to be proud of American made motorcycles, just like I am of the wonder that is Triumph Motorcycles here in Britland.

    That said, I am around the corner from HD’s largest European dealership, Warrs, and the vast majority are a bunch of FAGS by the definition of Eric Cartman. That’s not me bashing, it’s fact.

    • BobG

      I would agree with most of what you say, except the culture part. HD has a cultural existence here in the US, unlike anywhere else. There’s a lot of history with the company that people associate with, especially in a young country like ours. The 1% clubs have alot to do with the mystique of the brand as well. 1% clubs are a huge sub culture here and in Canada and around the world for that matter, who have chosen HD as their brand. Add in the thirst that Americans have for nostalgia, and you have one very successful motor company. Will they ever build the fastest, sleekest, reliable, do-it-all motorcycle? Don’t bet on it. They know there market and they are experts in selling to it. And believe me, they will adapt to a changing market. As for me, I’m quite proud of owning an HD. I simply like the bike I have and enjoy riding it. I’m also proud of owning a Honda and a Yamaha. Hell, I’m proud to even own a motorcyle!
      Like I said before, I just have a hard time listening to the people that talk out their ass. But then again, it’s the internet.

      • http://ridethetorquecurve.blogspot.com hoyt

        “And believe me, they will adapt to a changing market. “

        when have they in the past?
        how will they in the future?

        You mentioned “uninformed” a couple of times. I appreciate the criticism towards some of the hypocritical hd-bashing, but what don’t some of these people know?

        Frustration comes from (in part)…

        1.
        HD had their hand out for a bailout shortly after a 10+ year period in which they earned hundreds of millions in net income EACH year. (meanwhile taunting such ads as “fear sucks. screw it, let’s ride” and “It’s a Free Country, Act like it.”

        That is hypocritical bullshit.
        And I thought Ford and GM’s complacency with selling SUVs was bad. How will HD adapt to a changing market?

        2.
        HD dealerships and Buell – the stories vary but seem to be numerous. Customer service and sales experiences on the XB platform is bad enough, but consider the 1125R…

        HD spent x millions on a completely ground-up motorcycle (only the 2nd time HD has done so in decades), and this is one way their dealerships treated the launch….

        A local HD dealership (down the street from a Kawi dealership and a Ducati/Yamaha dealership) put the 1125R in their Used Building. That’s how they treated the investment. Can you imagine investing that effort and money, then you find your dealership doing this to a brand new launch?

  • Cartman

    What I think is funny, is that if Buell designed the worlds greatest sports bike and it said Harley Davidson on the tank none of you would buy it anyway.

    • DoctorNine

      …but what if it said ‘Harley Earl’…?

  • Hank

    The new Buell Barracuda II is essentially done (88%) and ready to go to market next June. In race form the bike exceeds 200RWHP and World Superbike was in the “design matrix” during development.

    There was an element, after this years myriad of Buell racing succes, of “wait . . if they have a home run just as we can’t get a hit with our two new models, we’ll look like idiots”.

    For an interesting take on some of the politics, the “Buell throat slitting”, read Dale Franks blog that was about a month prior to the announcement.

    http://dalefranks.com/cycles/index.php/2009/09/buells-future-uncertain/

    The action was planned and pulled over on Wandell and Olin, both newcomers to the motorcycle industry, who got sold a personal vendetta dressed up as a “good business move”.

  • cWj

    Oh, he’s pretty free now.

  • BobG

    “And believe me, they will adapt to a changing market. “

    when have they in the past?
    how will they in the future?

    Hoyt, If and when THEY, not you, They, determine their market is changing, they will adapt. You can not ignore the company’s success as a business. They are going to continue to build what they believe will sell, just like any other company. They listen to their customers, not their critics, and build accordingly. If you want to change things at HD, apply for the job.

    • http://ridethetorquecurve.blogspot.com hoyt

      BobG -

      I don’t ignore the company’s success as a business (e.g. I pointed out the hundreds of Millions in Net Income per year for successive years.)

      I didn’t think you had an answer to either of those questions.

      The problem you fail to see is that HD can’t all of a sudden decide to change when the market does change, especially with the energy paradigm shifting. They now also have reduced the variety of their revenue stream to essentially one style by eliminating Buell. Furthermore, their “faithful” by-in-large shun the only engine that will be feasible in the next decades.

      You also didn’t answer the question about your claim that the people commenting here are “uninformed”. Enlighten us…

  • G.Irish

    Can you make a F*** Erik Buell shirt for those of us who do not like him and do not feel sorry for him? I appreciate that he has come up with unique features for his bikes and made a somewhat successful little motorcycle company.

    But it disgusted me to my core how we would crow about beating the ‘big, bad Japanese’ factories with his 1125 in a 600 class. It may have broken his heart to have HD shut him down but his arm was already broken from patting himself on the back.

    I would’ve liked to see a new Buell that was hideous and could compete one equal footing with the other superbikes. If Buell were able to win then, then all kudos to him. But the Erik Buell’s gloating and Buell’s distasteful ads about Daytona Sportbike this year were a joke. I’m sorry for the people that lost their jobs, but not sorry for Erik Buell.

  • BobG

    Hoyt, contunue hating HD for whatever reason you do. The HD faithful hating the only engine that is feasible is your opinion. I agree that there is no mass love affair with the V-Rod, but how do you know what will be feasible in the future. How do you know they aren’t working on something new right now. Again, why do people like you that obviously hate them, even care? I would think you would be happy if they went down the tubes. They were succesful before Buell and wiil be successful after. Why does that offend you? Is it because you want them to be as good as they possibly could be? That’s BS. Maybe they are happy with what they do. The way they have marketed the lifestyle associated with their bikes is legendary in the business world. Do you despise Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki for attempting to clone their style of bike? It’s simple, DON”T BUY ONE!

    • hoyt

      You are so quick to put me in a category of HD haters. Wrong ‘em boyo, Bobby. I’ve commented on this site in defense of HD at times, so you can calm down on that front.

      There is reason for disdain towards a company, while posing as the Independent, Rebellious-type, had their fucking hand out for Bailout money shortly after unprecedented Net Income; meanwhile a bulk of their die-hard faithful are the same people who use the word socialist directed at others.

      All of your questions in your last post are indicative that you miss the obvious reasons to justifiably call HD’s bullshit. The reason you are missing these points is because you are caught-up in “everybody hates me, nobody likes me” fury. Not true.

      If we can’t call b.s. on HD’s recent past, the rest of American manufacturing is doomed and CEO accountability will be hopeless.

    • http://ridethetorquecurve.blogspot.com hoyt

      You are so quick to put me in a category of HD haters. Wrong ‘em boyo, Bobby. I’ve commented on this site in defense of HD at times, so you can calm down on that front.

      There is reason for disdain towards a company, while posing as the Independent, Rebellious-type, had their fucking hand out for Bailout money shortly after unprecedented Net Income; meanwhile a bulk of their die-hard faithful are the same people who use the word socialist directed at others.

      All of your questions in your last post are indicative that you don’t understand the obvious reasons to justifiably call HD’s bullshit. The reason you are missing these points is because you are caught-up in “everybody hates me, nobody likes me” fury. Not true.

      If we can’t call b.s. on HD’s recent past, the rest of American manufacturing is in a bad way and CEO/”executive” accountability will be hopeless.

      • BobG

        Oh, now I see. It’s politics. I should have known.

        • hoyt

          Politics are only part of it Bob – “should of known” whatever that is supposed to mean. HD interjected politics into this situation with their hand out, not me or anyone else.

          Your problem is that you can’t differentiate between the HD haters and those with justifiable criticism towards their business practices (which put them in a very poor position in several ways).

          You want to know where the talent is? How about starting with the people in East Troy, WI who have the knowledge & skill to design a motorcycle engine & chassis that performs exceptionally well (ever look at the Helicon’s torque curve?)

          The 1125R aesthetics failed in my opinion due to Buell’s emphasis on aerodynamics.(an engineer’s engineer).

          “Unfortunately, in the current economy here and elswhere, no one is stepping up to do anything” –

          some look at this time as an opportunity to get suppliers & contractors to get work done at competitive prices (e.g. Motus Motorcycles). Aprilia, KTM, & BMW have achieved amazing things in recent years.

  • geonerd

    Sure has been a good couple of weeks for the pro-HD comments. It’s almost as if “they” are working together…

    • BobG

      Yea, that’s it.

    • BobG

      Ohhhhh, you caught us.

  • BobG

    Wes, how come my replies to ‘geonerd’ appear before he even posted? Spooky.

  • http://www.urbanrider.co.uk Urban Rider

    @ BogG

    Ok, case in point. We had a customer in our store today who lives in the Middle East, buying kit for a HD he was yet to buy. I asked him why he was buying a HD. His reply was that he had never owned a bike before and he wanted something that looked cool and made a lot of noise, he was unashamedly vain about his planned purchase.

    I have no issue with his preference whatsoever, but it does further demonstrate to me that HD are like the ‘America’s Got Talent’ of the bike world. I.e. they package up mediocrity as something special with a bit of razzamatazz and people who are not too discerning about motorcycles or in AGT’s case, music, lap it up in spades because they see it as entertainment, just a bit of fun, which it is.

    But just as you could argue Simon Cowell should be using some of his power, money and influence to promote excellent music instead of soley generic crap that sounds ok on the ear one day but is forgotten the next, HD should be developing the next generation of badass motorcycles to help ensure motorised two wheels stays relevant to future generations.

    Where are all your talented American design and engineering grads? Not at HD I bet, most likely working in Japan.

    I really don’t understand why they don’t do a KTM. KTM were known for their off road bikes yet developed a kickass race bike in the RC8, in part just to show they could and demonstrate their brilliance. I’d love to see HD develop their own street bike for the 21st century, when was the last iconice American vehicle design?

    • BobG

      Good points UB. I’d like to know where the talent is also. Look at Victory. They’re product line is essentially the same as HD. All of their models are similar to what HD sells. I guess everyone looks to HD for something inovative and new because of their stature in the industry. Whether you like or dislike Buell, HD obviously made a financial decision. Thats their choice. And if HD is content with what they are doing, so be it. But why doesn’t someone else step up to the plate? Is it that the big four are just too big. I have no idea.

      • http://www.urbanrider.co.uk urban rider

        I’m not that familiar with Victory as a company, however from my little historical knowledge it seems that great products/design often come from either great wars or great recessions.

        Maybe I have rose tinted specs on but I’m waiting for the next iconic motorcycle to arrive, I wasn’t riding when the 916 was released and I want to experience a shift that great in motorcycle design.

        Perhaps we have it in a bike like the Brammo?

        But surely it should be coming from the HDs of this world.

  • BobG

    Well said. Usually when there is a niche to be filled, someone steps up and fills it. Unfortunately, in the current economy here and elswhere, no one is stepping up to do anything. The shutdown of Buell is evidence of that. I’d like to see some US company come out with something new, the tech is certainly there. Will it be from HD, you never know but I tend to doubt it. And that’s ok with me. Look at it this way – just because Chevrolet can build a car doesn’t mean they can build a Ferrari. A pleasure chatting with you, have a nice night.

  • BobG

    Hoyt,you’ve lost me and you’re going to give yourself a coronary, so you win. Uncle. I give. Your right about everything. I’m wrong.
    Besides, right now I’ve got to head over to my local HD dealer and buy a chrome mustache comb. They just came out and their really cool.

  • http://plugbike.com/ skadamo

    Can I get a version with “the dumpster” on the back :D Actually, naw, I don’t want to make grown men cry.

  • jim

    Everyone seems to be so worried about Erik Buell, but what about the many fine people who performed the day-to-day mundane jobs at Buell? Erik was a big shot at HD before the Buell brand was blessed (and financed) by HD. I was an insider at HD, I’ve met Erik Buell and listened to his rants in meetings where he treated good people like they didn’t have sense to come in out of the rain. He was always the smartest person in the room, just ask him. He is walking away from this still a very rich man. Granted closing Buell wasn’t his idea and most everything that’s been said in these comments regarding HD wanting the Buell brand to just disappear is true. But let’s heap a little more concern for the Buell rank & file employee and little less on the namesake. My 2 cents…

  • http://www.yahoo.com Tom

    Well said Jim. Your 2cents is probably more money than these employees are going to have left soon. This is why the HD lemmings are wrong when they lie about critics wanting HD to die. Too many working people will get hurt if it happens.

  • http://www.ryanrodco.com Eric Ryan

    Do you think you guys could kick down to the original designer a size L in Black? e-mail me for shipping address.