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EBR Resumes Motorcycle Production Today, According to Press Release

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When we tested the 1190RX at Indy, we were impressed. Erik Buell Racing had done it … produced a competitive American superbike. Then it all went wrong, and we thought EBR was gone.

The insolvency proceedings produced more than one buyer, most recently Liquid Asset Partners, which promised to resume production. Out of the blue, we received the following press release earlier today stating production starts now, March 1. Have a look:

EAST TROY, WI – Get ready to throw a leg over the ‘American Sport Bike,’ turn the key, and twist the throttle! EBR Motorcycles resumes production beginning March 1 with a stable financial plan in place from Liquid Asset Partners. The new company, EBR Motorcycles, LLC, will start with production of 2016 1190RX and 1190SX motorcycles. The first bikes are scheduled to roll off the line March 17 with a Press Day for approved media. The public, Buell Nation, and EBR fans are invited to attend the EBR launch party on March 18 at the EBR motorcycle factory on Buell Drive in East Troy, WI. There will be free food, an EBR team ‘meet and greet,’ tours of the production line, and other events at venues in the historic downtown village of East Troy, WI.

“This would not be possible without the EBR team. All the credit goes to them for waiting out the storms during the last year,” said Bill Melvin Jr. “Now the clouds have cleared; EBR is able to shift into gear knowing that it has financial stability, a profitable multi-year plan, and a 5-10 year vision. We feel there is still room for new partnerships or investment, but it is not critical. EBR is on solid ground and moving forward. We are turning the key and twisting the throttle!”

“I am really looking forward to the launch and the press day. I have dedicated my life to this and want to get the word out on how great our motorcycles are,” said Erik Buell, Founder and CTO.

Ed Laben, Director of Sourcing said, “It is so good to see the factory coming back to life! The energy, talent, and enthusiasm of this team are unparalleled, and I can’t wait for the world to see what’s coming down the road.”

The next steps for EBR Motorcycles are to identify the 2016 top US dealers and to work closely with them for the re-launch. Riders can prepare to buy from these premier dealers, helping to grow and solidify EBR Motorcycles in 2016. Information on EBR’s aggressive new 2016 MSRP, warranty for 2016 bikes, and plans for racing will be forthcoming next week.

New Management Positions at EBR Motorcycles Include:

  • Steve Smith: Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  • Bill Melvin Jr.: Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
  • Erik Buell: Chief Technical Officer (CTO)
  • Kim Tordik: VP of Business Operations
  • Ed Laben: Director of Sourcing
  • Dan Hurda: Director of Engineering

Anyone interested in EBR Motorcycles or dealership opportunities should visit www.EBR.com.

Any press parties interested in attending Press Day on March 17, please contact Marissa@LiquidAP.com.

Concurrently on March 18, assets excess to current factory production will be sold through a public liquidation run by Liquid Asset Partners for approximately 30 to 45 days (excess machinery, equipment, tools, excess race assets, and excess parts). This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to buy a piece of history at the factory level.

Anyone interested in more information about the EBR partnership, investment opportunity, or purchasing assets that are excess to current production should visit www.LiquidAP.com.


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96 Comments

  1. azi says:

    How do you make profits on a 4 year old product that no one was buying previously?

    • Jamo says:

      They should probably give up on the ultra high performance race bike dream and make a street bike out of it. Something like the new GSX-S1000F or the Ninja 1000 or others.

      • Scott says:

        Isn’t that what the 1190SX is supposed to be?

      • Snake says:

        RE: Jamo’s post.

        THIS.

      • Montana says:

        Not sure there’s much of a market for pricy sport bikes these days.
        People are willing to pay the big bucks only for tourers, cruisers and adventure bikes.
        I’d like to see Buell take on the adventure bike market.

    • Jason says:

      You take all the unused parts laying around the manufacturing plant, assembly them into motorcycles, sell them at hugely discounted prices, close down production again.

      Liquid Asset Partners might as well use the production line before they sell it at auction.

  2. Norm G. says:

    keep this up and Erik’s going to have design and build a model called the “Phoenix”.

  3. Blackcayman says:

    “They’re going to sell them at a loss and make up for it in volume….”

    20 years ago a person actually said that to me and he believed it.

  4. chris says:

    I can not believe how many of the critics of Buell and E.B.R. on this sight really seem to be very uninformed about past failures and how and why they occurred! if they would become educated and know the facts then they would probably embrace this rebirth as a great thing. after all how many of these Monday morning quarterbacks have done anything remotely like designing a motorcycle and having unique patents and making bikes that in the very first year were compared VERY favorably to the likes of Ducati, read the magazine articles THEY ALL said great things about E.B.R.

    • VLJ says:

      What they all said was that while his latest creation was still at a clear deficit compared to the competition, the deficit was much less than it had been with his previous efforts. Offering the usual backhanded compliment, they waved the U.S.A.! U.S.A.! flag and applauded him for his perseverance.

      They also pointed out that his new bike made no more horsepower than the class leaders while still suffering from inferior fit and finish, an absolute dearth of electronics packages, no dealer network to speak of, and an exorbitant pricetag that was difficult to justify on any but the most jingoistic grounds. They said he was getting close, and it was certainly a worthy achievement. They expressed hope that he would continue to make strides and further close the gap, which would necessarily involve the creating of not just a more polished product but also a more realistic, sustainable business model, including the addition of a real dealer network.

      And then Hero pulled out.

      The end.

      Or…maybe not? Here we go again…

  5. Jamo says:

    I think I would stop calling the motorcycle a “Buell” or an “EBR” or anything eponymous. “Buell” sounds like something a baby does when it has a stomach ache. GIve it a real name.

    And under any name, if you didn’t buy one before, why would you buy one now?

    Finally, it’s a nice bike, if a few years old. But the best things about Buells was the under-body exhaust. Many Japanese models have adopted that. I don’t know why he abandoned it.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      “But the best things about Buells was the under-body exhaust. Many Japanese models have adopted that. I don’t know why he abandoned it.”

      There is an exhaust tuner taking up the under-body space on these bikes if I remember correctly.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I don’t know why he abandoned it.”

      same as Ducati with the 959 he couldn’t meet the noise regs. race team abandoned it as predicted for power reasons. no matter the style trend or era of electronics, power at high RPM is still made the old fashioned way.

  6. Ed says:

    The only thing Buell has perfected is how to go out of business. Their failure is quite simple, a tremendously overpriced unit vs the competition, not a fully developed vehicle, a poor dealer network at best, and the biggest legion of fans that will never actually buy a product, and a product that doesn’t have a market to bear any growth. Combine that with poor business structure and no real backing and we’ll all be seeing this play out again. We should review the list of those involved in the press release and find out who their financial advisers are and be sure to never use them. Too bad Buell doesn’t go the way of Bimota or Ryca, build a great chassis and use popular metric powerplants.

    • Dave says:

      Totally agree.

    • GKS says:

      You beat me to the post! My thoughts exactly on using the Bimota model of building an innovative chassis around an existing engine. Designing, developing and certifying an emissions legal engine takes an awful lot of dollars and man hours, hard to do for a small outfit like EBR.

    • SeTh says:

      Nothing wrong with being a show model. It worked for Orange County Choppers for a while. Maybe he needs a reality show. Our Miss Buell..you have to be over 55 and be an avid Eve Arden fan to get that.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      How would building a bike around a Ducati engine for instance make the business any more viable or the end product any more desirable to consumers? EBR already has an engine, and it is a good one at that.

      • Jdilpkle says:

        agree

      • GKS says:

        The EBR engine design is now four years old (not counting the age of the Rotax on which it is based). In the motorcycle category in which EBR chooses to do business, that is time for an update. Design age/longevity may be a desirable attribute for a cruiser, but not a sportbike.
        The class leaders all sport electronic controls (ride modes, traction control, ABS, etc.). As stated above, to develop these in-house is time consuming and costly, especially when amortized over the comparatively few units that EBR sells. By purchasing an existing engine/electronics package, EBR could get these updates at a lower cost per bike.
        The major manufacturers seem to be willing to work with Bimota, why not EBR?

      • Bart says:

        It wouldn’t! Still needs dealer/parts network that works, modern electronic engine and chassis control, etc.

        It would be compared to the Ducati with the same motor, and that wouldn’t go well vs. price/performance.

        If inside/out brakes, gas in frame, oil in swing arms really solved any first-term problems you would see similar solutions on the present generation of leading edge sport bikes.

        After riding well set up late model R1’s on the track, everything else feels old and crude!

  7. Alex says:

    Man, this guy has more lives than a dozen cats. He folds, it seems like he’s down and out for good, and someone steps up for him. Unbelievable.

  8. Grover says:

    Why do folks keep dreaming that Polaris will somehow acquire Buell? Polaris is quite capable of designing a top-tier sporting motorcycle. Thing is, they don’t WANT to do anything other than cruisers. Period. They had a ready audience for a Project 156 type of bike and screwed that up. No, Polaris isn’t going to get involved with Buell at any level.

  9. mg3 says:

    Kind of sad to see that we are going to watch this whole melodrama play out all over again. America (and the whole world too) doesn’t hunger for yet another over-powered, uncomfortable, impractical, expensive sport bike, even if it is made here. There are already too many of those to choose from, most of them being well refined and close to perfect for what you can actually do with them on the real world’s streets and racetracks.

    On the other hand, if an American manufacturer were to come up with a modern, practical, mid-sized, customizable, affordable ($7-9K), cool looking (in a traditional way – no origami!) work-horse motorcycle – well there just might be thousands of Americans who would like to get in on that ‘Made-In-America’ game. Otherwise Erik, just drop the whole idea and spare us all another 10,000 tearful comments on MD.

    Contrary to what you hear all over the media these days, success stories are not built on ‘Dreams’ alone. Buell’s dreams, as tantalizing as they might be, have failed at least twice now. Time to add some ‘reality’ to the dream. Make a bike that will sell in large numbers, then use the profits to realize your dreams, whatever they are. I’m still rooting for you!

  10. "Bob K says:

    I agree with everyone else on the uphill struggle. The name is just beaten and battered. At least with Indian, they had a storied history and were part of a mainstream market at one time.

    Buell was always niche, but at the end, they were at least profitable. Not HD profitable, like they want. HD could’ve left them well alone as they were self supportive, even to the end. EBR will never see that again.

    It’s a shame, I’ve had 10 Buells since ’94, all pre-XB lineup. Great everyday bikes that made sense for regular people. They simply haven’t made anything that appeals to me since.

    But, I really would like to see EBR release the AX that’s ready to be produced. Maybe I’d be interested in it. I have no use for bikes that are only good for an afternoon ride. I need commuting and cross-country capability. Maybe that’s what he AX is. Let’s hope that Hero didn’t stop it in it’s tracks. They are the reason we haven’t been allowed to be told what it is.

    • mattf says:

      Ditto..

      My advice would be introduce the 1190AX ASAP and then follow up quickly with the 600-700CC version using that twin they developed with Hero.

      Also offer both bikes in a no-nonsense UJM – er.. UAM? .. form that is scrambler-able, cafe-able, dirt-trackable.. whatever-the-heck-the-owner-wants-able.

      To me race-replica’s have zero draw in real life.

  11. John D'Orazio says:

    Can’t wait to NOT buy one!

  12. Tom R says:

    How many years can a money-losing “business” operate before the IRS declares it a hobby?

  13. LG says:

    …. will flop again.

  14. stinkywheels says:

    I’m a big fan of EB and his bikes. I’m always hoping this American company will finally get into the mainstream. I don’t hold out much hope but the crossed fingers/pretzel pretty much describes me. I’m hoping they will support all of us that are hoarding/using his last products to make us want another (I’ve got 3). I’m so sorry motorcyclists are so focused on electronic nannies to make our buying decisions. It would make the bikes considerably more cost effective which along with lack of dealers was most of his problem.

    • VLJ says:

      The thing is, even despite the conspicuous lack of electronic nannies—a deal-breaker in this class, for many buyers—the 1190RX was just as pricey as the far more polished European offerings. The 1190RX was also more expensive than its Japanese competition, all of which were considerably better-sorted than the Buell, in addition to offering vastly superior dealer networks.

  15. Ricardo says:

    Good for Erik Buell in his pursue of a dream, he made it come through and continues. this is called COMMITMENT, and I wish more manufacturers had this passion for the sport.

  16. Tank says:

    “I am really looking forward to the launch”- isn’t that what they said about the Titanic?

  17. Grover says:

    Better eat the food quickly at the press launch before they go out of business and pull the plate from under your chin!

  18. Neil says:

    * Hey Yellowhammer – that’s a great way to give everyone a virus. I work in IT. That server with the photo on it may not have virus protection. Been there. Lost the entire hard drive. Virus software on many machines does not help.
    * * The bike is a nice machine. Sat on it at the dealer. The clutch was very tough to pull so I assume one does not need it when the engine speed is matched. Horrid in traffic needless to say. The bikes also raced well and sounded great at Road Atlanta when I went to the races there. I think if I want a Ducati I just buy a Ducati. American made, yeah, but I want to see it do well on the track then. Somewhere reliability has to be tested.

  19. Tom R says:

    “The public, Buell Nation, and EBR fans are invited to attend the EBR launch party on March 18…”

    Buell Nation? That must be the Lichtenstein of the motorcycle world.

  20. allworld says:

    I love that Eric is back. My concern is; the current owners are a liquid asset firm. Not the long term motorcycle enthusiast type. Still there is a glimmer of hope that Eric can somehow buy back his own company.

  21. Mick says:

    I really miss having the occasional dinner at Dos Amigos in East Troy.

  22. Larry K says:

    Maybe if they really get rolling they can build what many of us were hoping the “Octane” was to be (i.e Pikes Peak-ish). I bought an 1125CR the day after closing for a nice price,($5300 otd!) kept it until it was due a valve adjustment (12,500 miles) and let it go at that point. I go through bikes often anyway. But there was no close dealer competent enough to trust with the valve adjustment and getting access to the valve/cams area is a major pita that I was too lazy to tackle. If they can possibly redesign to make that easier that would be a big plus.

  23. waitman says:

    I just sent this email to EBRacing. If you agree with me, other emails might be very influential. As much as we’ve belly-ached recently, let’s try to let this manufacturer at least know we’re out here! What do you say friends?

    “We are all Extremely Happy for you!

    My sincere request: Please, please, please give some thought to producing a bare-bones, high hp, minimalist, affordable street-tracker. Current engine would be awesome but I know a 600-750cc version is a possiblity if memory of previous EB engine design serves me correctly.

    The recent hype put up by the Victory Project 156 race effort awakened a real desire for this type of motorcycle. The complete failure of Victory to build a production version that was anything similar to the Pikes Peak bike was a total disappointment to a very large segment of the motorcycling world (Victory Octane).

    We want no overstyled, plastic origami-looks. No more cruisers. Just a raw, powerful, great handling, 450 lb. American motorcycle that is totally form-being-bitch-slapped-by-function.
    You have already covered the sportbike and streetfighter genre beautifully so…

    If you will, an XR750 type but with incredible performance and handling. Lightweight, mid-controls, usable bar height and a 4 gallon tank. A price range near 10K$ would move a whole bunch of units.

    There’s a real need for this type of bike. Other manufacturers have put up smokescreens and hyped just such a motorcycle but none have delivered. I’m almost glad because I think you are the company that can pull it off and now is the time to do it. We’d love to see America (EBRacing) at the top of the list in performance motorcycles!

    I could go on and on. I thank you for your time and consideration. I wish you nothing but the best.

    Thanks to EB and his dogged determination. I know there are great things to come.”

    • Auphliam says:

      You should’ve CC’d Steve Menneto on that email 🙂

      • waitman says:

        I’m thinkin’ Mr. Menneto wouldn’t g.a.s.

        • Auphliam says:

          Yeah, you’re probably right…hence, the Octane.
          I just thought it would be nice to remind him how disappointed people are with their decision to do nothing with the hype they generated.

          • waitman says:

            Totally agree! I didn’t mean to be dismissive. I’d bitched so much already I decided to channel my efforts more positively. I really encourage all to let EBR know we’re out here. Maybe someone will listen to the consumer. Instead of wishing and hoping and waiting for fulfillment, a more pro-active stance might push a “struggling” business in a new direction. Worth a shot IMHO.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      ” totally form-being-bitch-slapped-by-function.”

      Haha. I love it.

      • waitman says:

        Though generic and non-committal, a very quick and cordial response from EBR nonetheless. There’s no telling what effect a large response to their recent resumption of production and future designs might inspire. I usually don’t get this quick an answer from companies that are safely in the black.

        [Hi Gabriel,

        Thank you very much. We are very happy to get things rolling here again. Initially we’ll be focused on getting the existing 1190s rolling down the assembly line again, but you count on seeing new exciting things from us in the not too distant future.

        Thank you,
        EBR]

    • Dave says:

      Indian just got their engine approved for dirt-track racing. Wouldn’t it be a thumb in the eye if Buell were to go DT racing and beat HD at the only venue they still get race exposure at?

  24. Dale says:

    Excellent news.

  25. chris says:

    Great new’s I have been following this all along, and it is great to see them back .I own a 2009 Buell Firebolt X.B12R and a 2014 E.B.R. 1190 SX and They are by far the best handling bikes I have ever ridden ,and I have been riding and done all kinds of racing over the years and have owned 26 bikes to this point. and those two bikes have some real character. BEST OF LUCK E.B.R.

  26. wjf says:

    “Racing bikes which have been converted for road use never really work. It’s like making a hard core adult film, and then editing it so that it can be shown in British hotels. You’d just end up with a sort of half hour close up of some bloke’s sweaty face.”

  27. skybullet says:

    I hope the skeptics are wrong and this time Buell pulls it off. The product was so close to being viable and the Harley dealers could not figure out how to sell them. Get the right marketing plan, the right dealers and the bike is ready to compete.

  28. Cagefree says:

    Here we go again, with their track record and premium price I can’t imagine who would buy one.

  29. Jeremy in TX says:

    Why is production restarting? Where did the current stock go? Who will be taking delivery of the current work in process? I can’t imagine that there is a long line of dealers waiting to get in on selling these bikes again.

    I wish them all the best, but I think I know how this story ends. And no, Polaris isn’t involved with the ending.

  30. rapier says:

    Supersports bikes alone do not make a viable business. Well screw business.

  31. roadrash1 says:

    Happy to hear this!
    I hope to see them around for years to come!

  32. Max says:

    Hope they buy all the magazines that tested the bikes and make a list of improvements to make immediately. These bikes were only a few tweaks from being world class!

  33. Brian says:

    I guess I’ll be the one to say it: Today’s March 1st, not April 1st 🙂

    • SausageCreature says:

      Nah…the April 1st press release will be that customers are buying them.

      Ba-dump-bump.

  34. Kevin says:

    Well I’m glad to see there’s life at EBR. I’m also glad that Eric Buell is no longer running the business side of things as he’s proven he’s no businessman. EBR desperately needs a midsize, affordable, LIGHT, Standard or Sport(y) model as an way into the brand. Something in the 500-600cc range. EBR did design a 620cc twin for the previous owners (Hero), it would be great if they could use that technology to expedite a new model.

    • Spiderwatts says:

      Best comment yet. Part of me says, here we go again, and part of me says, please get it right this time, with a CEO and financial stability (for now), this is the best chance yet. I’ll try to be positive and give him one more chance. I just bought a BMW, so no funds available right now. But in a year or so maybe. Best of luck to you Mr. Buell.

      • Michael H says:

        Agreed. It looks like the new owner has kept Eric in the engineering area, and put others in charge of the money. Good idea.

    • Stuki Moi says:

      I’d looooove to see a serious twin sport bike in the 500 odd range. Just where it should be, engine wise, for most riders. The Big4 can respond with 400 I4s, triumph with a 450 triple, KTM with an LC4 based 700 single, and we’ll have the future of grassroots racing and sport riding…

      • Ronbob says:

        +1 I love riding my XB9SX, but the wife’s Blast was possibly more fun in the really tight stuff. I wish I hadn’t totaled it 18 months ago.

  35. mickey says:

    well isn’t this an interesting turn of events lol

  36. Jdilpkle says:

    I’ve crossed my fingers so many times my hands look like pretzels. I ride a Buell daily (my third one) and I can’t get excited at this point. We’ll see. As a side note, my XB9SX has over 36,000 miles on it and I’ve replaced one clutch cable and the belt pulley bearing. It’s been reliable as a stone, and just about as fast in a straight line – but, man, does it murder an apex!! Hoo Doggie.

  37. John says:

    I’ve always liked the feel and ergonomics of the Harley Buells, but didn’t want the engine. These look a lot less consumer friendly and more for racing. They need to find a niched and make more models from the same engine, like a flat track inspired model or a sport tourer. But they also need to do a smaller, more affordable models that brings cash flow, if they can find the niche.

    The one niche that is screaming “Vacancy!!!” right now is the 500-600cc ADV twin. If they made a bike light enough and agile enough off road, they could still charge $10K or more for it and get it.

    • Stuki Moi says:

      Erik Buell himself, and the team as well, are racers. That’s where their passion lies.

      • Grover says:

        Their passion should be making a profit. You can’t stay in business if your not making money. Passion is great, but it doesn’t put food on the table.

        • Stuki Moi says:

          But in a competitive market, you’re not going to succeed at building something you don’t care about. Unless Buell hires the Husaberg Enduro Team, I doubt they’ll have anyone on staff who cares enough about mid weight ADVs, to bother building a great one. After all, how much midnight oil is someone who lives for 200mph wheelies down straightways going to burn, obsessing over how well a chain pulley on a 45hp bike handles being loaded onto a straw float somewhere in the Amazon?

      • John says:

        Their lineup under Buell was more varied and interesting. I understand that the FIRST thing they would do is a race bike, and then a naked version, but they have it, time to keep diversifying. And hit holes in the market. They are going up against 10-20 really awesome, high-end bikes with their two bikes they have.

      • motorico says:

        Their passion doesn’t translate to my buying a race targeted motorcycle. I have a Buell XB and I love the bike. I have no interest in anything EBR will offer soon.

  38. Scotty says:

    Me too Bob. Wish them all the best. Cut out the hyperbole and they might find a steady market.

  39. TexinOhio says:

    This has the history of Indian all over it. Bunch of investors who don’t care about the product just want to capitalize on the name over and over again.

    Until someone like Polaris for instance steps up to truly back the brand buyer beware.

    • TimC says:

      I’m not sure I’d bring up Polaris around here right about now….

      • TexinOhio says:

        Well I look at it this way. Polaris saved Indian. Polaris wanted to get into the electric bike market so they bought Bramo (or however you spell it). So if Polaris ever did want a sportbike under their umbrella this could be a way to go.

        I know the Octane ruffled a lot of feathers around here and I’m not impressed with it either honestly.

        Right now EBR has too many similarities to Indian. So that’s all I got.

        • Blackcayman says:

          Polaris Industries will purchase a company where they see value and opportunity.

          ………….

        • GKS says:

          Actually, Polaris didn’t “save” Indian. they purchased the company to get the rights to use the brand name and logo. Having that, they discarded the rest and went to work at building their own “Indian”. This is much the same as KTM buying Husqvarna, they bought the name and therefore the history. But technically, there is no connection to the past.

          • mickey says:

            At least some of us understand that and historically for the name it makes a big difference

            Like that new piece on the Piaggio Group claiming to be the most winning group in racing history, claiming the wins for Moto Guzzi, and Derbi which they had nothing to do with. aLl this ” claiming” of history drives me crazy.

          • mickey says:

            Oh yea, they are claiming Gileras wins too.

  40. goodlyRun says:

    As an owner of an ’09 1125r I REALLY hope this time it works out.

  41. mechanicus says:

    OK, they’re back, but who’ll buy one? I guess Jay Leno will get one. One of the kids around here will probably get one and extend the swingarm out 2 feet and put a loud megaphone on it and drive around and terrorize us.

  42. Bob says:

    I applaud them, somewhat skeptically.