Is Hero Moto Corp trying to take over Erik Buell Racing?

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On Monday, India’s The Economic Times reported that, in addition to inking a technology and design partnership deal with Erik Buell Racing, and sponsoring EBR’s race team, the gigantic Indian bike manufacturer would also acquire partial ownership of Erik’s tiny startup. That didn’t jive with what Erik told us or what was officially announced, so we dug deeper.

“Hero Moto Corp…will buy a minority stake in US motorcycle firm Erik Buell Racing for an undisclosed amount,” reported The Economic Times. “The move is aimed at securing uninterrupted technological support from the US racing motorcycle maker once associated with iconic brand Harley-Davidson.”

But, last week, Erik told us, “No ownership between the companies. Just helping each other in ways that are good for both of us.”

Today, the visionary motorcycle designer confirmed that, saying, “What I sent you is a correct statement of the current relationship. I do not speculate.”

It looks like The Economic Times selectively pulled quotes from a statement made by Hero CEO Pawan Munjal. He specifically denies any equity deals have been made, but doesn’t rule out their possibility in the future.

“We have a flexible and free-flowing relationship, which is based on friendship, shared values and a common vision,” states Munjal. “This is going to be a long-term association, and as we go forward, we may look at further strengthening this relationship through joint collaborations in several other areas, and at that time, one may look at the option of equity participation. However, this is in the realm of the future. Currently, all our time and efforts are concentrated on our joint product development strategy and the forthcoming racing season.”

  • 2ndderivative

    I propose that such a deal (not necessarily with Hero) is both inevitable and desirable for EBR.

    • Jeromy

      Well even Ducati is looking to be bought out. It’s a nice thing to have parents with deep pockets.

      • Thom

        Mercedes Benz / AMG ;-)

    • craymor

      I don’t know, Eric might have learned his lesson from Harley, and might not want to get that big again….

      • tomwito

        Yeah, but they might wanna build cool bikes. Not an image of “I’m a cool old dude”.

  • Racetrack Style

    times change, so anything is possible.

    May the good start carry into a demanding but rewarding race season, then go from there next year.

  • Archer

    My personal (rather extensive) experience with the Indian press says “believe NOTHING you read and then discard the rest”. I’m serious, I’ve never seen such a bunch of incompetent over the top “journalists” as I have in that country. Don’t ask me how I know, it’s ugly. And yeah, it’s a broad brush I’m painting with- and for good reason.

    • Core

      Thanks for the heads up.

    • smoke4ndmears

      Thanks for the confirmation of something I’ve suspected for some time, and just from articles that poke through on googles news aggregator.

    • Thom

      @ Archer

      Well mate I wouldn’t call your post a ‘ Broad Stroke ‘ as much as I would a statement of blatant outright ‘ Fact ‘

      Nor would I isolate it to India

      From the Automotive/Motorcycle Industry news – to politics – to the economy and on and on and on here in the US ..

      BS in multitudes is in fact the Norm with I’d guess at least 98% of all so called ‘ Pundits ‘ here

      Shovels to be handed out to all HFL members upon sign out :o)

      • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1200]

        Thom , you ‘ re back . Were you wintering somewhere ?

    • Gene

      Or as a friend said: “Is it actually possible to get any world news these days without it being diluted 9 parts bullshit, 1 part fact?”

  • slowtire

    I hope we don’t hear this next from EB…”I decided that the important thing was that the bikes get built. I would have preferred them being built and owned in the US, but Hero stepped up and I had to go with it.”

  • damien

    He needs to sign a better deal than the one he had with Harley, that’s for sure.

  • je

    Erik, I believe in you and if you decided to give up a stake in your company to get us a sub 17k naked version of your 1190rs *cough* typhoon *cough* then im cool with that.

  • Thom

    For what its worth ;

    A) This story about EB being bought out has gone way beyond the Financial Times and in fact is pretty viral across the net ( I’ve tripped across it at least ten times in the last week in various places )

    B) PO’d as I was when I stepped away from HFL a bit ago I’m glad HFL got the story right and everyone else is blowing smoke

    C) Here’s hoping for EB’s continued Independence with an equal if not greater amount of success to go with it

  • MotoRandom

    Thom!! You’re back!! I was starting to worry that KC’s finest had thrown you in the pokey for harassing hipster youngins’ or maybe your wife made you move to Montana and cut off your internet access. It’s been a little too “civilized” and “respectful” around here without your curmudgeonly fist-shaking causing mayhem. I’m looking forward to the return of your “FACTS” and the unnecessary (well, typographically incorrect) use of spaces before your puctuation marks. Have at it man!

  • Rick

    First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is…

    • DoctorNine

      I see what you just did there…

  • rohorn

    Investigation for a fee vs. regurgitation for free – I know what I prefer.

    That reminds me – I used to think it would be fun to do a website covering dumb motorcycle bloggers and even dumber comments – but that would be about as fun as documenting filty public toilets, plus I don’t have a writer’s work ethic. Or maybe the problem is that I do.

    And what EBR interests me a lot more than the latest h-d marketing video which was pavlovianly covered elsewhere but not here. At the risk of sounding nauseatingly kiss-ass, thanks for vetting the articles you post.