When Harley-Davidson killed its Buell brand back in October of 2009, Buell had only recently entered the liquid cooled era with its then state-of-the-art 1125cc v-twin built by Rotax. This engine was extremely impressive when it debuted at the press launch of the Buell 1125R in 2007. The genius engineer Erik Buell finally had the engine to complement the incredible chassis he had developed to house an archaic air-cooled Harley motor. Things were looking awfully good.
When Harley decided its future was in the past, Buell’s future looked bleak. Initially, the Erik Buell Racing venture looked like it was aimed at a tiny niche, i.e., the production of race-ready bikes and extremely limited-edition bikes such as the $40,000 1190RS (pictured).
Buell has been teasing three new models on its web site, denoted RX, SX and AX, but with a financing commitment from GE Capital now in place, Buell can begin to realistically develop a dealer network and proceed toward production of these three new models, expected to be a lower cost sportbike, a naked and an adventure model. Importantly, each of the new bikes is expected to be priced under $20,000 in the United States when they arrive in 2014.
Erik Buell started in his garage, had to be largely disappointed with his eventual marriage with the giant Harley-Davidson, and now appears to be moving towards his ultimate dream of unfettered, independent development of state-of-the-art performance motorcycles. We watch with great interest.