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Team Hero EBR Says It Will Finish WSB Series Despite Closing of Erik Buell Racing

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Niccolo Canepa aboard the Team Hero EBR 1190 RX

Team Manager/rider Larry Pegram is telling the press that the Team Hero EBR WSB squad should be able to complete the 2015 WSB championship series, despite the troubles that have led to the closing of the manufacturer Erik Buell Racing as reported Wednesday. Pegram rides in the championship with Niccolo Canepa.

The Team Hero EBR effort has shown significant improvement of late. Canepa, for instance, scored the team’s first point of the year and reached Superpole 1, last weekend. Reliability issues also seem to be improving, as both team riders finished each of the races last weekend at Aragon.

It appears the team is receiving funding directly from title sponsor Hero Motocorp, rather than relying on funds from the distressed Erik Buell Racing. The series continues at Assen this weekend.

17 Comments

  1. Boscoe says:

    Sad stuff. Bike was beaut. Resisted the temptation to buy on looks alone. Glad now. But sucks that US doesn’t have sport bike.
    Of course, Harley IS bringing out a 1000 cc road racer. Hmmm…. any connection?

  2. Provologna says:

    My Ulyses was probably me least favorite of about 70 bikes. Sold it within weeks after buying it. A horrible POS in many ways. I don’t care that some persons loved them. It’s just my opinion and YMMV.

  3. Michael H says:

    Just a random thought here – What if Hero wanted to own 100% of EBR? The easiest way to do that would be to delay a funding payment, forcing the company into receivership, then go to the ensuing auction and buy the remains of the company. Voila! One hundred percent ownership, without having to negotiate the purchase of Erik Buell’s share of the business. Probably at a discount, too.

    Stranger things have happened.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      “Stranger things have happened.”

      Actually, that kind of thing happens all the time. We don’t and may never know what went on behind the scenes, but my guess is that Hero became a little disillusioned with the path Erik Buell insisted on following. Hands were dealt, bluffs were called, bluffs were revealed to be more than bluffs.

      I also suspect Hero might make a play for the assets, in full or in part depending on how much of the assets they believe are valuable. The race team is still going, and Hero is the only actor in this play with the means to make that a reality. The marriage with Erik Buell may be over, but I don’t think Hero’s strategic goals have been altered.

    • Lenz says:

      I’m not sure where the real value of EBR can be found. Manufacturing capacity is entirely mobile / transnational, they have no bankable IP, marketing success or brand allegiance of significance. The innovative flair Mr Buell and Co showed has been overshadowed by commercial incompetence ie survival by cash injection but ultimately irrelevance and death.

      Mr Buell will not be a penniless man when the dust has settled.

  4. Kagato says:

    Not a huge Buell fan, but I hate to see a scoot maker go down. I have absolutely no idea how to run such a business, but my instinct would be to start vewwy vewwy small, and build on that small start. I would most likely be shooting towards a direct-injection two cycle mill, designed to be scaled up like the Kawi Triples…wait…that’s not a small start is it? ; – ) Samurai Scrambler–yeah!

  5. Dixit says:

    Well, it really looks that this will be their last season

  6. Norm G. says:

    Cancel Christmas Larry, bring it on home.

    unless there was at least a fully funded 5 year business plan in play before any of this ever started…? there’s no point. you and I both know the EBR as it sits is not a race bike, thus the only meaningful takeaway from any current racing effort was to have been collecting data for a MkII rehomologation. you can’t accomplish that in 1 year and 2 months. hell, you’d be hard pressed to get a new Apple store (stocked to the rafters with i6’s) off the ground in 1 year and 2 months.

    • xLaYN says:

      EBR has some things to learn from McDonalds, empty spot, see the other side of the street, bam new Mc.
      “unless there was at least a fully funded 5 year business plan in play before any of this ever started…? there’s no point.”
      that’s damn right… so why? I think he maybe thought it was for the long run, and racing is what he dream with so it made sense to bet for that future; but under current situation I don’t see why keep the project running.
      now it’s a good time to buy a spare engine for your EBR motorcycle.

    • Dirck Edge says:

      Continuing the team might reflect Hero’s long term ambitions more than EBR’s.

      • Norm G. says:

        yeah, I thought about that. then in the next moment i REJECTED it wholesale considering they’re shutting him down, but simultaneously still trying to capitalize on Erik’s kit. what’s all this then…?

        I mean, if they’re going cowardly back out of a deal (in theory) then take your lumps like a man and back ALL THE WAY OUT, not half way. just my thoughts given the limited info available.

        • Provologna says:

          The word “cowardly” seems suspect, especially considering it’s followed soon after by “limited info available. (The full story is permanently unknown and unknowable.)

          My product is made in China, Hong Kong to be exact. My past employer manufactured in China. One of my friends has visited three times (never again he says, largely due to poisoned atmosphere). The owner of a huge and successful Chinese corporation chauffeured him around in a Merc limo for a golf game and more.

          I’m not saying the following is common, but a reliable source described above said it’s not uncommon for business disputes to terminate in someone’s death in China. Brings a whole new meaning to taking one’s “lumps like a man.”

  7. bad Chad says:

    Sucks, but two months from now, my money is on the the team is dead too.

  8. Jeremy in TX says:

    Good news for the team, anyway.

  9. Gordon Haight says:

    Meh.

  10. ApriliaRST says:

    Kickstarter?