Erik Buell Racing follows Victory into closure

Erik Buell racing

For the second time in as many years, Erik Buell Racing is ceasing operations, following closely on the heels of compatriot Victory Motorcycles.

The American motorcycle market is in a slump, particularly in motorcycles over 900cc, which includes almost every American-made motorcycle.

Harley-Davidson and Indian Motorcycles are counteracting the trend with strong sales overseas, particularly in Australia, Asia and Latin America.

But Buell and Victory were haemorrhaging sales and profits too much to be sustained.

Erik Buell Racing has issued the following statement:

EBR Motorcycles, LLC (“EBR”) located in East Troy, Wisconsin will begin a wind down of production operations commencing next week. EBR will continue to honour warranties and provide technical and parts support to current dealers and riders who bought motorcycles manufactured by EBR. EBR will continue to review strategic alternatives with interested investors regarding production operations.

The decision was a tough one for EBR as it has been solely focused on the growth and building EBR for success. The team at EBR has worked tirelessly making every effort to build the company. There is no fault on any of the team at EBR for this decision. They and their families have our deepest gratitude for their efforts and dedication to EBR. This difficult decision was based primarily on EBR facing significant headwinds with signing new dealers, which is key to sales and growth for a new company. In addition, EBR has had limited production in 2016 and 2017 that was under goal. The combination of slow sales and industry announcements of other major OEM brands closing or cutting production only magnified the challenges faced by EBR.

The limited production of remaining 2017 and 2016 EBR motorcycles are currently available from EBR’s top dealers. For a list of top dealers, please go to www.EBR.com.

A sale of production equipment and excess parts will start in March.

It’s been a tumultuous couple of years for EBR:

  • The company ceased production in April 2015;
  • It was bought by Michigan company Liquid Asset Partners in February 2016;
  • EBR returned to small-scale production last March;
  • They released their 2017 models and promised new bikes in 2018 in September; and
  • As recently as November, EBR unveiled a blackened and lowered 1190SX “Black Lightning” model.

    EBR Black Lightning
    EBR Black Lightning

After such upheaval, the company could not earn the trust of dealers, including Australian distributors Urban Moto Imports.

It is such a shame as Erik is a nice guy with a lot of great and innovative ideas.

  • Will Victory and Buell be the last of the motorcycle closure this year? Who’s next? Leave your comments below.

3 Comments

  1. American motorcycles are almost as bad as American motorcars. I won’t be surprised if the company that makes all those crappy Jeeps, Chryslers and Dodges start having problems as well.

    1. Pity Buell couldn’t develop the Ulysses model, that was sweet with the dinosaur Sportster derived engine. Why do they all concentate on such narrow focussed models these days when Buell and BMW proved that you can build a good allrounder. Are we just suckers for the marketing jockers?
      The other Aussie Graeme

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