Third Time’s the Charm: Buell Motorcycles Is Back—Again
Sometimes, a shuttered motorcycle brand comes back from the dead. It happened to Indian, after all, and Soriano. And some companies are resurrected more than once. Up until now, it seemed like Buell Motorcycles would just be another brand left by the wayside. But now it’s back for the third time.
Buell Motorcycles and EBR haven’t had the smoothest time of it
Founded by racer and former Harley-Davidson engineer Erik Buell, Buell Motorcycles’ first bike came out in 1987. And throughout the ‘90s and early 2000s, the company combined Harley-Davidson powerplants with novel tech features. Many Buell motorcycles have stressed-member engines, for example, and several store their fuel in their frames.
In 1993, Harley-Davidson purchased a majority stake in Buell Motorcycles. And in 2003, it purchased Buell outright. However, Buell was then shuttered in 2009 following the Great Recession, Cycle World reports. But Erik Buell still wanted to make bikes, so a year later he opened EBR (‘Eric Buell Racing.’)
EBR hit the ground running with a track-focused superbike, as well as a sportbike and a streetfighter, Cycle World and The Drive report. Unfortunately, although it briefly formed a partnership with India’s Hero Motorcycles, EBR closed up shop in 2015, Motorcyclist reports. It briefly reopened in 2018, though, for limited production under Liquid Asset Partners’ management.
Erik Buell, though, wasn’t involved in EBR’s brief resurgence. After it first closed, he left and started an ‘electric mobility company,’ Fuell, RideApart reports. So far, Fuell has released an e-bike, the Flluid, RevZilla reports, and has an electric motorcycle on the way.
But Buell Motorcycles is back in business with some brand-new models
However, while Erik Buell is no longer involved with EBR, it’s still around, Hagerty reports. And in 2020, its owner, Liquid Asset Partners, purchased the rights to the Buell Motorcycles name, Bennetts reports. And now, it’s set to make a comeback with a full range of bikes, Autoblog reports.
So far, Buell Motorcycles lists three models on its website, all of which use the same liquid-cooled 185-hp 1190cc V-twin. Two of them are updated versions of previous EBR bikes, the 1190RX Hammerhead and 1190SX, RevZilla reports. The former is a track-focused superbike while the latter is more of a sporty naked bike, VisorDown reports. And both feature the brand’s fuel-in-frame design and rim-mounted disc brakes.
There’s also a hill-climbing model, the 1190 HCR, which has already won the 2020 AMA National Pro Hillclimb title, Cycle World reports. And Buell Motorcycles plans to release a desert-racing version of the HCR, too, called the 1190 Baja.
However, the company won’t just be making sportbikes and racers. It’s also working on smaller-capacity models and touring-focused motorcycles. In fact, Buell Motorcycles has already released a sneak preview of one of those touring bikes, the 1190 Super Touring. Which, given the Harley-Davidson Pan America’s imminent arrival, can’t be a coincidence, RideApart muses.
When will they be available?
Although Buell lists the 1190RX, 1190SX, and 1190 HCR on its website, it doesn’t list the prices. However, the company is planning on displaying the bikes at the 2021 Daytona Bike Week. Presumably, we’ll learn more details then.
As for future models, we only know that the company plans on releasing 10 models between “now and 2024,” Cycle World reports. We don’t know their exact pricing and technical details, or their release dates.
But still, Buell is back. Let’s hope it sticks around longer this time.
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