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Wealthy American Motorcycle Enthusiast Behind Purchase of EBR Assets? (Updated – Buyer Plans Production Re-Start)


Various reports around the web, including this detailed one at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel web site, indicate the remaining assets of Erik Buell Racing have been sold out of an insolvency proceeding to an entity known as Atlantic Metals Group LLC. The sale for $2.25 million will result in the transfer of both tangible and intangible assets of EBR including, according to the MJS “the factory machinery, tooling, motorcycle inventory, parts inventory, accounts receivable and intangible assets.” Those intangible assets include, presumably, the EBR name, logo, etc.

According to one report, together with postings on the EBR 1190 Owners Group Facebook page, it appears that one of the principals behind the acquisition is a U.S. motorcycle enthusiast named Bruce Belfer, whose family founded a large interior lighting manufacturer/distributor, now headed by the Belfer Group. We are trying to confirm some of these reports with Mr. Belfer directly.

UPDATE – The Milwaukee Business Journal has posted an article with quotes from Mr. Belfer indicating he will immediately move to re-start motorcycle production. He indicates he is experienced at U.S.-based manufacturing, a big plus. Here are some quotes from the article: Belfer said he plans to “turn the key and get the business back up and running.” Later he is quoted as stating: “There’s not a single piece of machinery that I don’t have or can’t buy.  EBR is people, skilled people, craftsmen and innovators. That’s what I was buying. Everything else I can buy at the store.”



  1. Mr.Mike says:

    When EBR went under I thought that if I were a billionaire and had the money to burn I would definitely try to resurrect the company just for the fun of being involved with such as great team and Erik Buell’s vision. Glad someone is actually doing it. I wish Mr. Belfer success in this venture.

  2. Dale says:

    Dirck always seems to find what’s pertinent:

    This might say it all when it comes to EBR making a comeback. Can they? Wrong market?

    At 58, I’ve got an upright Buell Thunderbolt in the garage, with a new Norge sitting alongside. Speed and comfort, both. 300 mile days no problem on either.

    On the flip side, the 2016 GSX 1000 pictured looks fabulous in that classic paint scheme… superb understated style. Elegant even.

  3. kjazz says:

    Good luck Mr. Belfer. Bring em back. Damned exciting motorcycles in my humble opinion. Maybe not the best in some measures/aspects, but compelling designs and performance. By anybody’s measure they are in the hunt.

    More motorcycles; more options for us!!

  4. Norm G. says:

    before the heavy weighs in and passes final judgement on this deal (giving it his blessing or going on to lash it with condemnation) i need clarification on how Mr. Belvidere defines this one simple description…

    “U.S. motorcycle enthusiast”

    unbeknownst, did I just mix and mingle with the young fella this weekend in Indianapolis…? as i strolled down 16th Street with me family in tow, was he the chap on the EBR who ’caused me to whip my head around (double take) based on nothing more than sound of the bike alone…? Friday in the upper deck, was he the guy who challenged me (in good humor) to an arm wrestle for my $50 dollar lemonade and shishkabob bounty…? dunno.

    so with all due respect, on this one it’s not enough for him (or anyone) to declare Mr. Belfer as fit. to an uber anorak, the phrase “U.S. motorcycle enthusiast” only means he has a 50/50 chance of being a TOSSER, and we’ve seen this movie.

  5. jar says:

    A lot of lives for Mr.Buell.
    Hope Mr. Belfer has $100million deep pockets and brilliant marketing people.
    He’s purchased a name, a chassis, a design, and machine equipment.

    The name:
    Outside of cognesceti, is little known, often even in the United States the statement “I ride a Buell” will be met with blank stares or incomprehension.
    Further, but staying within understanding circles, the name at best spawns love-hate reactions.
    Valuation = less than squat.

    The chassis:
    While unique and garnering some degree of acclaim from motojournalists and riders of various pedigree and background, has for years failed to achieve (earn) any merit of significant measure on the track in real competition. The chassis works has no history of success. It is massively costly to produce, with large expensive castings front and rear, connected by (4) stampings, and a shock mount all welded along multi-plane complex weld paths. Then sealed to prevent leakage, and pressure tested. Much the same story with the swingarm, a large expensive, cored casting. Tooling for all has been around a while, likely worn to some degree, carved up with modifications and adjustments, heat checked and likely ill maintained.
    Valuation: slightly less than squat, because scrap metal can always bring some cash.

    The Design:
    Again, like the chassis, its “differences” from the field provide some level of interest and recognition. However, a unique brake rotor, driving need for a unique brake caliper, in order to facilitate unique wheel design all serve to exponentially drive up cost. Such would be reasonable, should the design prove to be far superior to existing conventional setups – but such has absolutely not been the case. If we sum the parts, fuel in frame, massive chassis stiffness, inside out rotor, lightweight wheels, and low CG we realize a substantial design effort to be differenct that has paid little dividend. As it stands, the design as a whole has proven ineffective at garnering market attention, driving measurable sales, or establishing a championship racing dynasty. At this point, the concept is need of a major overhaul and significant improvement just to attain same technological level as the peer group.
    Valuation: A big, black hole sucking cash.

    The Machine Equipment:
    Likely good stuff, assuming EBR was keeping up with maintenance. Can be used in other business efforts with regard to fabrication and metal cutting.
    Valuation: Absolutely the best part of the deal. Even if just a couple of manual bridgeports…

    Mr. Belfer has a long road out front.
    He would likely be money ahead with a solid Brembo/Showa front end, a conventional swing arm, a tube frame chassis, and a solid, rev happy, narrow vtwin motor of 90 degrees.

    Of course, he could’ve just bought a duc like everyone else, put $2,380,000 back in his pocket, and saved himself much pain, agony, and additional costs…..there just aren’t that many John Bloors on this planet.

    • Dirck Edge says:

      Wow, very strong opinions. I hope they are based on actual ownership of a modern Buell motorcycle. I have ridden Buells (referring to the liquid cooled models) on the street and on the track, and in my opinion the chassis are superb. When I look at Buell’s racing pedigree, I immediately understand that Harley never gave Buell the necessary resources to succeed, and EBR’s tiny, underfunded WSB effort was, considering the competition, improving more quickly than I had originally expected (when it was rudely interrupted). Mr. Belfer’s family has been successful manufacturing products in the United States, and I think we should give his judgment regarding the prospect for success with EBR the benefit of the doubt at this point. I like the fact that he immediately wants to restart production and get some cash flow going. Sounds like an experienced businessman who understands the fundamentals of manufacturing success. I’m sure it will be very challenging, and the effort may fail, but I believe Mr. Belfer is making an intelligent risk assessment based on his business experience, and I wish him luck.

      • jar says:

        @ Dirck
        Quite familiar with the breed, significantly more so than the average bear.
        You will note that nothing in my post implies or speaks to any specific “performance” aspect of the product. In fact, my opinion is much the same as your own with regard to the actual performance of the animal on the whole. Stable, quick to drop in, eminently responsive, fun, a hoot – all fair descriptors in my view.

        I would argue your position regarding HD having not provided BMC the “necessary resources to succeed”. Such is a broad blanket statement, often and easily assumed to be accurate, because it makes for a compelling fable and fosters a fair bit of sympathy/empathy for Mr. Buell. The truth is somewhere in between, as usually is the case.

        With regard to WSB, they had no where to go but up, at least slightly (nach).

        Regarding Mr. Belfer, I would be disinclined to offer “benefit of the doubt” or gain much confidence in the “experienced businessman who understands the fundamentals of manufacturing success”. For me, Mr.Belfer’s intention to “immediately wants to restart production” strikes me as someone who does not fully understand the game he has just endeavored to play. Business success does not necessarily equate to “motorcycle business” success. The Indian guys (pre-Polaris), the Henderson guys, the Norton guy, the Rohr guy, the Big Dog guy, and the Motus guys (jury still out) can likely support my opinion on the difficulty of finding success in the motorcycle market.

        I think Mr. Belfer made a heart based decision rather than a business one. I think he felt he picked up a “bargain”, at the sum of $2million+ for a stack of IP, some hardware, some tooling, some machine tool equipment and a good story.

        In the end, it will really come down to how Mr. Belfer measures “success”. It really is a different yard stick for all of us.

        Could EBR/Belfer continue as a niche bike manufacturer for 10 or 15 years? Maybe. But Indian has shown the palate for $30k cruisers to be dry and tacky, and Motus has indicated much the same around amazing sport tourers. A re-launched EBR focusing on a niche would be competing with a host of $20k magic machines from the major players – a terribly tough niche to slug through. Assuming such a sustainable pocket of customers could be carved, would Mr. Belfer consider such a success? I don’t know.

        Could Mr.Belfer re-launch EBR with the same product at the same price point with the same dealer network and achieve 10k-20k US sales? Or even the same product, at half the cost, in twice the dealer network? I highly doubt it, in either case. If such is the goal, if success is to be measured by significant market volume and sales and return – if the business case demands on such; then I suspect Mr. Belfer will join the ranks of those looking at John Bloor and Triumph, scratching their heads still trying to figure out “how’d he do it?”

    • Grover says:

      I think “jar” brings up some good points. Being different does not always equate to being better. I hope that the Buell line is successful and expands to include machines for those of that don’t necessarily need 200 hp to have fun on a bike. Variety is a good thing.

      • rerun says:

        “Being different does not always equate to being better.”

        Most times it does not equate it but in today’s world everyone wants to be special, so they have a built in bias to think different is better, when most likely it is not. But who cares? In a consumer society, what the consumer thinks rules, whether he is right or not is irrelevant.

        Different is better bias is a built in part of our world view. Think about it, time is meaningless without change. So in a world of time, which a Capitalistic economy is always in, all things must be in a constant flux, including the brands. We need ever new brands to give us the hope that things will change and one day we will be born with a better life than what we have, just as Hollywood starlets must be in a state of constant change, because we soon tire of them, no matter how well they hold an umbrella, just as we would soon tire of our “too normal” lives without the constant illusion of change.

        In a world full of rational consumers, Buell has no chance, but in the real world, full of irrational, ever hopeful idiots, Buell was bought for next to nothing and has a bright future assuming the company and brand is managed with any sense of competence and feel for the newly emerging trends in motorcycling.

      • JVB says:

        Remember when KTM(Husky and Maico) in the 80’s was a niche brand that was almost 2x the cost of comperable japanese dirtbikes? Remember when Ducati was a “trendy” brand only bough by rich folks or people who could wrench on their own bikes? Whenever the bump in pricing between mainstream and boutique is reduced to the cost of a few upmarket parts one would add to the mainstream bike, then the boutique brand acquires previously unavailible buyers.

        EBR could make an affordible “base” level street-fighter that would become the main seller, while making uplevel sport bikes. Many say the 2V monster saved Ducati more than once.

        Good luck to the new ownership, but I believe only Polaris would have guaranteed long-term survival.

  6. zuki says:

    I had a lot of fun on the two Buells I owned – 2003 XB9S Lightning, and 2006 XB12Ss Lightning Long. I miss the XB9S most and wish I hadn’t sold it. I kinda wish I had bought the XB12XT in 2008 when I had a chance. I think I would still have that one today if I did.

  7. ApriliaRST says:

    Buell should do another dual-sport as their bread and butter bike, taking all the things it learned from owners during the product life of the Ulysses to ensure sales at a scale to turn a decent profit.

    I’d suggest skipping the mega-beast category and instead aim for a bike that outdoes the KLR: Respectably low weight, enough power to get the job done, light maintenance requirements, trick back rest and other features from the Uly, done-right hand guards and metal under-engine rock shield, better suspension than the target bike (not difficult), and so on. I’m sure Buell can make a better list than I.

    Once in the market, don’t upgrade it unless the upgrades are backwards compatible. They could outsource the motor, a concept Erik is familiar with and something Buell fans would accept.

    • TURBOMAN says:

      EBR needs a Middleweight sportbike and cruiser..Triumph came back in 1995 with a nice line up and a 600 sportbike..If this is done and a good finance company to get customers feet in the door everything else will fall into place..

    • peter harris says:

      A bike that can outdo the KLR?!! Talk about about aiming for the stars!!!!

  8. Gary says:

    Good luck, Mr. Belfer. As you know, in business, timing is everything. EBR would have been a stunning success five years ago, before the new breed of KTM, Ducati and BMW engine technology. Now you are facing an uphill battle. I sincerely hope you pull it off.

    • rerun says:

      The dude spent 2 mil to just buy the name, Buell, because it already has name recognition and is considered by many enthusiasts to be apart of Americana. That’s nothing to buy such name recognition and positive brand vibes.

      In the late 80’s, the Japanese retreated from the cruiser market allowing Harley to grow as large as it has in that segment. It seems in mid 10’s, the Japanese are basically abandoning the American motorcycle market all together. Without them, there is ample opportunity room for Buell motorcycles to grow in the US. The guy bought Buell for next to nothing. The only question is whether the next generation of Buell bikes are actually built in the US or in India, but minus the Japanese, the American motorcycle market is not as competitive as you make it seem.

      • TimC says:

        The Japanese are abandoning the market? You’re including Yamaha in that statement?

      • Blackcayman says:

        “The guy bought Buell for next to nothing.”

        True but that got him where EBR is today.

        Getting them to be a successful manufacturing company will take “significantly” more cash.

        There is still the problem of making the bikes competitive in the market segments they are in and choose to move into in the future – that takes a lot of cash too.

        • rerun says:

          Motorcycling is a recreational activity in the U.S., just like drugs you could say, and like the drug industry (both illegal and legal), it’s demand that rules not supply. In other words, so long as the demand is there, the supply will be there and demand will determine the cost, not necessarily the supply.

          I see Buell parlaying it’s name recognition into making low cost, sporting, street fighter bikes, with low to moderate displacements. Steet fighters are the next big trend in biking. Young people becoming poorer and not having the same expectations as their parents is the next big trend in America. Make the two trends meet, and with the Japanese not choosing to be aggressive or nimble in this market, whalla, you have a sizable market for an upstart, cool, not too uppity or expensive brand to grow in. Buell would be a perfect brand to fill this growing niche in the coming new motorcycle market in the U.S.

  9. chris says:

    Provologna ,Get a life, you have NO credibility ,and could not even hold Erik’s jock strap, by the way how is your motorcycle company doing? and how many patent’s do you hold ? and how many races have you won?

  10. bipedal says:

    Go Eric!

  11. TURBOMAN says:

    The 1190SX ROCKS!! Will spank that KTM RC8 and their 1290 in the 1/4 Mile and hang on the roadrace course..

  12. Vrooom says:

    Wonder what he plans to do about a dealer network? Hopefully there is a businessman behind this, EBR had the bikes, but not the business acumen or backing to make it work. Financing and logistics need to be worked out.

  13. Auphliam says:

    Oh good. Maybe now we’ll stop seeing “Buy EBR” comments on every g#ddam Polaris/Victory article.

  14. John says:

    This is good news. I think we need more small manufacturers with innovative ideas. Honda is a big company that brings very little of interest to the table. They just need to branch out, because they’re going head to head with KTM and at a pretty high price. A smaller V-twin? A 600cc single? Something unique and different. The current EBRs would be cool, except KTM does this product very well already. But a well done ADV bike could help things significantly too.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Something unique and different.”

      done. see picture attached.

      re: “The current EBRs would be cool, except KTM does this product very well already.”

      all predicated on the assumption ‘Merican loyalists know or even give a rats about KTM. here in the states, good or bad, KTM aren’t even remotely a “yardstick” by which things are measured.

  15. mechanicuss says:

    Meh. Maybe Jay Leno will buy a couple. Other than that, its a boondoggle.

  16. rapier says:

    Does the world want or need another premium high performance motorcycle that is about as good as several others but has no real brand appeal, or cred, or panache. It is USA built but USA and high performance/high tech vehicles have become a contradiction in terms worldwide and EBR wanted a global bike.

    The EBR may or may not be as good as a Ducati or a KTM twin but how many are going to opt for one? It doesn’t have Ducati’s brand appeal or KTM’s growing supply chain backing it up. Both having super high tech systems in place which the EBR’s don’t. Then too I think the ultra performance market has plateaued, at best. The 1190 is a neat bike but why choose one besides a desire to be different? It simply isn’t going to get the oohs and ahhs at the curb that many owners want. Instead it will get “a what?”.

    Hat’s off to Eric Buell for his singular individual effort but but the world does not work that way anymore. It works corporately. The little individual proprietor stands no chance.

    • rerun says:

      “Hat’s off to Eric Buell for his singular individual effort but but the world does not work that way anymore. It works corporately. The little individual proprietor stands no chance.”

      And this pessimistic backdrop is precisely why it will work. People like little guy beats big man stories, esp. the young millennial set who are searching for different brands from their old, uncool fathers to identify with, so they can quit buying old, rusty ass Honda’s who a messing with Obama’s air quality plans.

      Notice all the new start up fast food places which are successfully popping up everywhere. Hamburgers, motorcycles, what’s the difference? It’s all about branding and convincing the young and enthusiastic that you are something fresh and new and not old and farty like their fat, decrepit, lame butt fathers or a soggy Big Mac.

    • Provologna says:

      I would strongly disagree with “about as good,” unless you see no difference between two open class sport bikes making +/-200hp, one having full, state of the art electronics control package with integrated ABS and yaw/pitch controls (something akin to state of the art military aircraft, F1 GP, etc.) and the other lacking such. Oh, one the one with electronics control package has a stellar multi-decade business history with a parent company having almost endless deep pockets, the other a history equal to nothing.

      Did you omit the “sarcasm” indicator?

      In a similar vein: am I the only one to notice that beyond the quality or lack thereof of Buell motorcycles, Eric Buell has the worst motorcycle business sense and business acumen on record?

      This guy and his “inventions” have well earned their place in the dust bin of history, including this latest debacle. I would prefer this blog stop with its fan boy postings.

      Eric should have stuck with to his garage endeavors with H-D motors featuring state of the art architecture for mid-20th C. farm implements.

      Eric Buell should be ashamed to show his face.

      • Jeckyll says:

        When they pulled that ‘special’ brake setup off the EBR bikes in world superbike and replaced it with a standard setup, the bikes were immediately 1 second faster. Though still way behind the rest of the field.

        I think there will be a niche market for EBR, but with the electronics playing such a big part in race / race inspired bikes, I don’t see them being more than a tiny player for those looking for a “US” sportbike.

        Along with the fact that sportbikes as a whole are selling less and growth seems to be in the ‘adventure’ segment…

      • Bueldog says:

        You have no clue. I’ve ridden for over 30 years and have owned (and currently ride daily) a Buell XB9. I’ve had everything from Rickman framed Hondas to Moto GuZzi Le Mans, to Speed Triples etc etc, and nothing I mean NOTHING that I have ever ridden has a quicker turn-in or the ability to change directions faster that the XB series Buell. I have over 32,000 hard miles on my current XB and the quality – contrary to your learned opinion, is very high. Quick to yell fan boy, but ignorant of your subject matter. I don’t know why I wasted the time to respond. Shame on me.

  17. toad says:

    Unless they come out with a steller product at a competitive price I can’t see this working. Factoring in the uncertainty looking forward I would never dump a premium asking price into a bike that may be unsupported a couple years from now, especially with the reliability issues Buells have shown in the past.

  18. Philip says:

    I wish upon them incredible success in every aspect of their operation! Without my involvement in any and every way. I’m out.

  19. James says:

    Has there been a big sale of the unsold EBR 1190s like there was with the 1125s after Buell went down? Can they be bought cheap?

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Harley-Davidson subsidized the Buell fire sale. There was no manufacturer support available to dealers to do the same with the EBR motorcycles. I know some of them dumped the bikes they had to make cash. Others didn’t and probably still have the bikes.

    • Roadrash says:

      I recently saw a new unsold EBR 1190 on the showroom floor of a a multi-brand dealer. It had a price tag of under $11K on it. I think you’d be hard pressed to find a new machine with that much performance for that kind of money.
      The big what-if of course will be are you going to be able to get parts and service for it?
      I had 5 Buells over the years, including one of those $7K fire sale 1125R’s. I didn’t have any reliability problems with any of the bikes. I did have a lot of fun on them!

  20. Pacer says:

    So, this is my take. You get the whole thing for under $3 million. Pass the savings to the customer. There need bikes on the street and dealers willing to take them. As you create new models and find success then, and only then can you expect to get top $. Also, compete in the small bike markert. I don’t think anyone’s bread and butter are in superbikes.

  21. ehh says:

    Hey anyone remember u.s. highland motorcycles? Yea didn’t think so.

    • Tank says:

      It would be nice for MD to do an article about U.S. Highland. The company had a major setback when the partners died in a plane crash.

    • John says:

      I do. I spoke with Chase only a few days before they died. They had some potentially fantastic product and extremely innovative. It would be great to see Buell access some of their engines and designs, which are still available for sale.

  22. JPJ says:

    As motorcyclists we are just a very small group. The day of global expansion for transportation needs is growing. I thought the Hero / Buell alliance would inject enough money for the engineering and production of a middle weight standard (450-800cc capacity). As noted earlier competition for these bikes, will be tight. Profitability and margin for profit would require large production runs. I wish the new Buell much success in the future. A commitment to American jobs & manufacturing. If this new iteration continues down the same road, as high end boutique large sportbikes, I think the end results could be similar. Insanity ” Doing the same thing over, and expecting different results”.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “As motorcyclists we are just a very small group”

      see entry for the niche business of motorcycling.

  23. Motorhead says:

    The EBR brand is not as famous as Indian, which also went through a series of optimistic owners and bankruptcies. My guess, the EBR brand will likely cycle through a couple more iterations before it dies for good. Unless it’s a zombie, which keeps coming back. Would Belfer consider launching a Zombie model? EBR could easily upgrade it’s name BBR: Bruce Belfer Racing.

  24. Kagato says:

    Hopefully the new guys will discard the junk “sport” bike thing and use that engine in a really stretched low-slung cruiser chassis. We’ll want the pegs way out front, use the same tranny as the Ridley’s, factory ape-hangers, tassels on the grip ends, mini-gun spinning exhaust tips–lots of possibilities here.

    • Tom R says:

      I really hate saying this…..but from what I know of the motorcycle market, this idea has a better chance of profitability/success than doing a sport model.

      Man, I just threw up in my mouth.

  25. Frank says:

    I agree to agree with those who’ve said that diving into the high water end of the pool straight out of the gate is not the best way to build a solid financial enterprise. High quality, good value, good looking, and fun to ride bikes, (more than one), give you a shot at getting larger numbers of people engaged and buying. Yamaha seems to have done just that with there fz-07’s and 09’s. Keep the high end ‘show case’ model in the line up too, but don’t rely on it to provide the structural cement that supports the growth of your new enterprise. Better to build something from the ground up, than the top down.

    • ApriliaRST says:

      >> those who’ve said that diving into the high water end of the pool straight out of the gate is not the best way to build a solid financial enterprise.

      Despite my earlier comments, the bike they’ve got is the bike they need to sell, and I’m all in support of the effort. It’d be nice if every sport-bike enthusiast would buy just one. One little bike added to your collection wouldn’t hurt, now would it?

    • Blackcayman says:

      “diving into the high water end of the pool”

      Where’d they teach you to talk like this? (Melvin Udall)

  26. OMG says:

    Will the stupidity ever end? An interior lighting designer will clearly set EBR on the path to success. I suggest he just stick all the crap he’s buying (and it is crap) into a hydraulic crusher just like HD did with the blast. It will cost less in the long run.

    • Jason says:

      He bought a turn-key motorcycle manufacturer for $2.5 million! All the development is done and the tooling paid for. He should be able to make a go of it IF he can keep Erik reined in and focus on selling the current bike. Dumping the debt should even allow EBR to lower the price of the current bike to a more reasonable level.

      • jim says:

        If it was such a great deal for that price wouldn’t Polaris have bid?

      • GKS says:

        I didn’t see anything that suggested that Erik Buell himself was included in the sale. I think that would be subject to negotiation of an employment contract between Erik and Mr. Belfer.

  27. Mike says:

    Saved from the brink of disaster and insolvency is possible given the right combination of knowledgeable people and resources/finances.

    Another well worn and disputed Eric Buell rehash…..of course not.

    If not…then what is there a lesson in being just a weeee bit optimistic in and for motorcycling and motorcycle company making it back. Of course there is….short read (almost as short as the above link length)..…page 94 and 95…, admit in now if you were doing totally negative posts and predictions before this ashes to riches amazing motorcycle company transformation actually happened

    The point …anything is possible…..there is hope…..there is always hope ….and if this works…….all motorcyclists win

  28. young burt says:

    Like they said, thinking if Erik stays away from round 3 it may work.
    And honest to goodness do a proper shake down once the bike is built and not throw unproven, untested constantly breaking down,waiting to see what lets go and sort it out later bikes. there said it!

    • Stuki Moi says:

      The whole “racers with engineering degrees” thingy, did work out for KTM in the end. Now they are almost as refined (and neutered) as the Bavarian counterparts. What KTM did do different, was they started with a focus on a more accessible, grassroots racing activity than Superbikes. Not that the the top level off road/MX racers and teams are any less alien than their street bike counterparts, but even regular guys can more easily wrap themselves around a 250 MXer than a 1200cc Superbike Twin.

      If Buell could somehow connect with a more performance minded, yet still American’ish, market; they could serve that and grow with it. Flat track type bikes are an obvious candidate, although how well it translates to street riding is hardly obvious. I do think it needs to start with a smaller, but being American, not too small, offering. People need to be able to afford it, and afford tires and other consumables for it, and have fun with it on anything other than the largest tracks. The original Buells were perhaps a nice recipe, just done with a thoroughly modern middleweight motor.

      • TimC says:

        “Now they are almost as refined (and neutered) as the Bavarian counterparts.”

        That’s a pretty bold statement considering how BMW seems to have come alive in recent years.

  29. joe says:

    How about a sportster competitor that works without several thou of aftermarket stuff??? 100HP, decent suspension and seat; sub 30 inch seat, mid mount pegs and bars for $10K?? In other words, a real standard!!!!

  30. Provologna says:

    I have noticed extreme lack of choice in the motorcycle market. And middle class wages have been skyrocketing for so long now. So this purchase makes good sense.

    /sarc off

  31. Provologna says:

    Change the name. IMO anything with this guy’s stench on it is cursed. I still hate my old Ulysses, sold ten years ago, owned for a few weeks. Piece of dung, I don’t care how glowing are other owner reports.

    And the blatant theft of Honda’s logo is quite laughable, if not illegal.

    • Emptybee says:

      Never noticed the horse’s head in the Honda logo before. Thanks for pointing this out.

    • Mike says:

      Hummmm….given some of the bikes from Honda over the past 15 years they might considering a change from the horses head in the logo….. to a tight view highlighting the other end.


      Provologna says: August 7, 2015 at 11:01 pm

      “I still hate my old Ulysses, sold ten years ago, owned for a few weeks. Piece of dung, I don’t care how glowing are other owner reports”

      My reply: No way….and for 55 years I thought all this time….. I held the longest grudge in the world over not getting picked first for a 5th grade recess playground pickup softball game!!! What a trail of “stench” I also expelled all these years over it”

  32. Kent says:

    I don’t know if it will be a Buell, but some day. I’d really like to own an American made motorcycle. That’s a pretty simple thing to do, unless you don’t ride cruisers.

    Give me a US made equivalent to a Wee-Strom, a 690 Duke, or a KLR that doesn’t suck and I’ll start saving my money. I know it’ll cost more than something made overseas in large quantities, but I’d like to have an American bike in my garage. It’s one of the few things in my life where I don’t have to option to buy locally.

  33. Tom R says:

    “Wealthy American Motorcycle Enthusiast Behind Purchase of EBR Assets”

    How to make a small fortune? Start with a large fortune and then go into the motorcycle design and manufacturing business.

  34. Johnny ro says:

    This is really nice news. I was a fan of EBR although did not want the bikes, not a sport bike rider and did not want anything to do with Harley. Harley is OK in its way but not me there, same as for serious sport bikes for road use.

    I think the price to become profitable is far more then $2.3 million. Sorry if this is obvious.

    I hope buyer resources are vast and highly complimentary with EBR needs which feels like the reality; not just $100 mm in cash sitting there, instead adaptable processes and resources already in place for their mainstream products. Just another fascinating new product for new owner whose head is in the right place.

    • TimC says:

      Wow! Great! Thanks for posting!

      “There’s not a single piece of machinery that I don’t have or can’t buy,” Belfer said of the purchase. “EBR is people, skilled people, craftsmen and innovators. That’s what I was buying. Everything else I can buy at the store.”

      • TimC says:

        How the hell is this “awaiting moderation”?? Granted, I see the article got updated with this!

  35. azi says:

    The optimistic side of me hopes this will follow the path of Hinckley Triumph / John Bloor. Smart wealthy industrialist with a streak of patriotism and motorcycle enthusiasm revives a struggling local brand. Fingers are crossed.

  36. Freddie says:

    Googling his name leads me to this article. The picture looks like him. Same guy?

    Fifty-two-year-old Bruce D. Belfer, a New Jersey resident, allegedly kicked the man in the face and struck him “with a blunt object,” according to a press release from the New York State Police.

    Belfer was charged with second-degree felony assault and criminal possession of a weapon, a misdemeanor. He was arraigned in the village of Tannersville Court and has been released on bail.

    • Stuki Moi says:

      Sounds about as safe to hang around with as an electronics free, 200hp EBR…..

    • Andy Sierra Vista says:

      Umm… unless the owner and CEO of a major industrial concern also moonlights as a security guard at country music concerts… I’m guessing probably not the same guy.

  37. Tom R says:

    “Atlantic Metals Group LLC”

    Sounds like a scrap/recycling business. Sorry Buell fans, this is probably the end of the line.

    As other hopefuls have learned, an effective way to make a small fortune is to start with a large fortune and then go into the motorcycle design and manufacturing business.

  38. John says:

    EBR – Fiercely Dependent.

    I kid, I kid EBR……kinda. Glad they got rescued though. Hoping for them to put forth a smaller V-twin at some point. I can’t rationalize nearly $20K on any bike.

    • Stuki Moi says:

      Was going to say the same thing. There are 10 Liter+ Supernakeds slogging it out. And ditto for superbikes. But very little direct competition for the Street Triple; although everyone who can fit on one, seems to love it. Ergo: Street-Twin for midwestern sized people is an underserved market. 400lbs, 100hp at the crank. 750 or so twin. AMA Flat track legal motor (and why not make a flat track inspired one as well…). American to the core, but still “worlds best” at what it does. Even Erik Buell is getting older. At some point, you’d think even he could manage to get excited about something less crazy than 200hp rockets most suitable for rear wheel land speed records.

      • Montana says:

        Yup, a lightweight, torquey, versatile, American, street standard for under 10K.
        Great handling, comfort for the long haul, and the facility for luggage.
        Classic motorcycle styling rather than egret or insect clones.
        And no more V-twins please, inline triples have fewer parts and are cheaper to build.
        Complicated electronics? No thanks. Basic engine management and ABS on the rear wheel is enough.
        Oh, and how about a classic American name rather than EBR or Victory.

        • Wendy says:

          I believe this is called an Indian Scout. Fits most of your needs, and if it had ABS, I would be riding one now.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            Indeed, it is light years ahead of a Sportster. I am surprised ABS wasn’t an option on that bike at the very least.

          • Malcolm says:

            2016 Scout, ABS is optional, in Indian Red only. New speedometer looks better than ’15. I’m thinking about one… Gloss black with the optional wire spoke wheels w/black rims, and “1920 solo saddle”. Thing that bugs me most about the Scout is the left fear shock is pushed out really far to clear the belt. Looks weird from behind. Wish the aftermarket would figure out a fix for that.

          • Stuki Moi says:

            It’s seating position and rear travel is just not very friendly to ones lower back……

          • Snake says:

            If only the Scout had a real fuel range – they really blew it. And I called them up to tell them so.

            Oh, BTW, while we’re talking midweight bikes: The media darling of this year, the FJ-09, is *not* selling anywhere near the hype. I’ve been to THREE different dealers and two of them have only sold ONE each and the third, the largest dealer in that metro area, hasn’t sold a single one. And it’s sitting right there on the showroom floor…ignored.

            Because, and I’ll say it again: the average buyer for a 900cc middleweight isn’t going to fit a 34-inch seat.

      • Snake says:

        @Stuki Moi:

        “ut very little direct competition for the Street Triple; although everyone who can fit on one, seems to love it. Ergo: Street-Twin for midwestern sized people is an underserved market. 400lbs, 100hp at the crank. 750 or so twin.”

        I’ve been yelling the same thing for the past few years, nobody in the business wants to hear it. Don’t hold your breath.

        The motorcycle manufacturers are too busy courting the motorcycle writers for good reviews, the large majority of which are over 6-foot males (go ahead, check the statistics, I dare you) with racing backgrounds who look for horsepower for excitement. The more power and the larger, the merrier; 600cc bikes are now written up as “beginner’s” bikes in this new [fantasy] world. 900cc bikes with 34-inch seat heights, 1000cc literbike supersports are the “must have” street bikes of the season. Can’t do 140MPH? Don’t bother showing up.

        Enjoyment of the ride is no longer about the *ride*, it is about how much adrenaline the machine can inject into you in a short amount of time.

  39. Hughlysses says:

    “What purpose?” Comment from Mr. Belfer on Facebook:

    “To address any confusion, Atlantic Metals division of BGI is a manufacturer of fabricated metal equipment in the architectural, electrical and lighting businesses. We are not in the scrap metal business. We make things. We make them here in Jersey, in the USA, with American engineers, American ingenuity, and American skilled labor. Been at it for over 30 years. We know how. EBR is intact and in good hands. Thanks for keeping the faith! More to come. Time to get to work…”

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Been at it for over 30 years. We know how. EBR is intact and in good hands. Thanks for keeping the faith!”

      Norm G for the moment makes his best Mckayla Maroney face (not impressed).

  40. chris says:

    No Spaceman, it is back in business ,just one question for you ,How is your motorcycle company doing? what I couldn’t hear you. I think this is great and now we will see what E.B.R. can do ,And yes I own one a 2014 1190SX and it is by far one of the best performing bikes I have ever ridden, it has been very reliable and I really enjoy it.

  41. The Spaceman says:

    “Fiercely Out of Business.”

  42. -D says:

    Very good news indeed!

  43. Jeremy in TX says:

    $2.25 million is a skippy good deal for a fully functional motorcycle OEM.

    Well, here we go again.

  44. xLaYN says:

    Let’s say it because they want to continue developing and creating new motorcycles under EB guide (let’s assume) I ask (because I don’t know):
    -Why has the bike not being competitive (in sales/getting to be the brand of choice or enough to sustain development)? is the price?
    -Assuming they could get the price competitive (read this as +/- some amount of money you are willing to pay) against other exotic twins, would you buy it?
    -let ignore the price; is/was dealer network (I know is important for you on USA), reliability, power, edge, differentiating factor the reason/culprit?
    -What can be done differently to make the brand shine and be financially sustainable?

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I am sure that is what the new owner is asking his team right now.

      I think the 1190RX competed in a market that is just simply much too fierce. It made competitive power, but that isn’t enough anymore. It was way behind with respect to electronics. If success in racing still sells these kinds of bikes, then the EBR racing effort didn’t help.

      I don’t know how many motorcycles came with the asset purchase, but with small sum paid for the company, EBR could potentially pump them into the market at drastically reduced prices to create some quick cash flow. Of course that would force them into a position of having to come pretty close to that price point in the future as well.

      It took a brave soul to buy a new EBR (or to commit to being a dealer) the first time around. It will take an even braver soul now.

      As far as what can be done differently, I think they should try to emulate Triumph rather than Ducati. You don’t have to be the most different or the cheapest or the most expensive to make a bikes that appeal to a broad audience. Make a good bike at a good value. Ditch the divisive stuff like the fuel frame in favor of some tubes and make some good street bikes instead of trying to beat an R1 around a race track.

      In any case, they have a long slippery slope they need to climb.

      • xLaYN says:

        “they should try to emulate Triumph rather than Ducati”
        a classic example, remember how hard the Daytona I4 tried and how the change to the triple made it a successful product? (at least that’s what motorcycle magazines said :P)

    • ApriliaRST says:

      Up to now, Buells are a niche market, so those who want them will not be bothered by lack of dealer network so long as parts are delivered accurately and in a reasonable period of time. I’ve been there: check my screen name. LOL

      To make money, you need to create demand. There are many ways to do that, but one seemingly good one is to create one ‘halo’ product that sells like hot cakes. That means it has to be cheap and desirable to a big group of people. Then demand its critical mass and profits can generate.

      To compete with other exotic twins, about the only thing Buell could capitalize on is their born again and again and again history.

      I hope they find a way.

      • ApriliaRST says:

        Then demand *hits* critical mass and profits can generate.

        Gosh, my fat fingers wish we could edit!

    • xLaYN says:

      “Make a good bike at a good value”
      “create one ‘halo’ product that sells like hot cakes”

      I’m not sure if this is a tougher market than the super-bikes, for example I would say “rebuild the sv650: trellis frame, displacement up to 750, twin, Made in USA in competitive price and add a personalization pepper and salt: different fuel tanks, wheels, sub-frames and exhausts (so even if is the same frame, swing arm and engine you can cover anything from the hipster cafe racer to the enduro theme)” but the Duc scrambler, Kawi 650 twin mill, Yami 700cc twin, Suk 650 are all there.

      I hope whoever is in control can get to a successful formula, another player is always good news.

    • stinkywheels says:

      I hope this electronics crap is a fad (probably not), I can still hope. The bike with the most friendly power, nicest sound, sweetest handling, VERY good electronics package (according to all the shootouts and tests) is struggling to sell bikes, Aprilla. The only bikes I can afford to fix (which will happen sooner or later) don’t have 5k$ worth of computers and sensors. The only ones that can sell a bike with tons of electronics are BMW. The rest are resell disasters. They’re selling, purchase price isn’t the issue, it’s faith in the dealer network, and serviceability that will determine if they sell another and what can be done with the used bikes. It will come down to who can take a bath on a new bike after riding it, and will the dealer be there to take a tradein and not have a bad reputation with the used bikes they have to resell. Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, BMW, all have a lot of other markets to push losses or low profits off on.

  45. al says:

    So I hope it is true, but i have to wonder for “what purpose”?

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