Looks like the Free Erik Buell t-shirts worked, he's quitting Harley to setup a new company, Erik Buell Racing. "It will mean a lot to me personally to see Buell racers competing for wins and championships in the 2010 season and beyond," says Erik. His new company will supply race-use-only Buell motorcycle parts, prepare bikes for competition and will build and sell Buell 1125R racebikes under license from Harley. The company will be based in East Troy, Wisconsin and many current Buell employees will be offered jobs. Hooray! We wonder what this means for the SBK-ready Buell Baracuda II. Official statement below.
Update: Don't get your hopes up that this news will mean the return of Buell street bikes, at least in the near term. Since the 1125R has already been homologated by AMA Pro Racing, it can continue to compete. The rule book states: "Once a motorcycle has been approved, it may be used until such time that the homologated motorcycle no longer complies with the technical rules."
Update 2: You can now find Erik's video statement above. Compare how happy he looks here to his video announcement that Harley killed Buell.>
Milwaukee, Wis. (November 20, 2009) - Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE:HOG) announced today that following the company's recent decision to discontinue the Buell motorcycle product line, Erik Buell, Chairman and Chief Technical Officer of Buell Motorcycle Company, will leave the company to establish Erik Buell Racing, an independent motorcycle race shop.
Erik Buell Racing will specialize in the supply of race-use-only Buell motorcycle parts and race preparation services for engines and motorcycles, and the building and sale of Buell® 1125R-based race-use-only motorcycles under license from Harley-Davidson, as well as providing technical support to racers of Buell motorcycles.
"I'm looking forward to helping Buell racers keep their bikes flying," said Erik Buell. "We've got some exciting race development projects in the works and it will mean a lot to me personally to see Buell racers competing for wins and championships in the 2010 season and beyond."
"I'm pleased that Harley-Davidson is assisting Erik in establishing this business to continue supporting the racing efforts he has had so much passion for over the years," said Buell President and COO Jon Flickinger. "Harley-Davidson and the Buell Motorcycle Company will always be proud of their affiliation with Erik, and we wish him well in this new endeavor to support Buell racers."
Erik Buell Racing will be based in East Troy, Wisconsin and will be staffed by Erik Buell and a veteran team of personnel.
Erik Buell Racing