Remember that American firm Buell Motorcycles, formed by ex-Harley Davidson engineer Erik Buell? Probably not, but its history is an interesting one, formerly Harley Davidson owned, and ran as a subsidiary from HD, and with good sales numbers. 2006 saw Buell hit the 100,000th motorcycle sold, but 2009 saw HD drop the line in an effort to put more focus on their own products, with final sales numbers of Buells at 136,923.
Buell’s origins started in 1983, making solely racing machinery after boss Erik was a privateer road racer. After success in racing machinery, Erik looked to making street machinery using Harley Davidson engines. Ten years later Harley invested $500,000 into Buell in exchange for 49%. Harley added Buell to their Skunkworks program, which aimed to produce radical new models. 1998 saw Harley purchase a controlling stake in Buell, taking them on as a subsidiary company.
Buells have always used Harley Davidson engines, mainly from the Sportster, and Vrods often in a much higher state of tune than the standard HD version. Buell themselves have also come up with some revolutionary technologies. Their ZTL Zero Torsional Load floating brake system featured an inside out brake caliper. This allowed the suspension to function better and reduced unsprung weight on the front.
Fast forward to 2021, and Buell are back, motorcycles are in production at their Grand Rapids, MI site. There are new models, the Hammerhead 1190RX, the 1190SX Carbon Fibre, Super Touring 1190 and the 1190HCR.
“We are excited to bring Buell back with this awesome assortment of superbikes and performance motorcycles. We start with the fastest American production motorcycles, hand built in the USA, so that’s a nice start! We’re building out those platforms for more touring & adventure models, then we’re expanding our displacements to be competitive with other global brands. The passionate Buell Nation can grow and thrive again.”Bill Melvin, CEO Buell Motorcycles
The firm is aiming to make models in all areas of motorcycling from dirt, adventure, touring and cruisers (and hopefully sports!) with a range of engines from small to large displacement. Buell is also planning an electric model offering and is working in collaboration with electronic tech firms. At current they are making models based on the 1190 platform, which pioneered the fuel in frame, and ZTL technologies giving what Buell claims as exceptional handling and high horsepower.
“Buell is known as the American brand for high performance, innovation, & adventure. Fast is fun again on a Buell. We will continue and expand on that. We have already launched a dirt bike with Cipala Racing that won an AMA Championship and Buell will be dominating at NHRA this year. The future will be fast and fun on a Buell.”Bill Melvin, CEO Buell Motorcycles
Hopefully this news means Buell can get back to doing what they do best and building innovative motorcycles. Whether we will see them back over here we wait to find out but hopefully we will!
- How much does a Euro trackday really cost?Motorcycling isn’t a cheap hobby, regardless of what aspect you do. From riding on the road to track days, Motocross, trials, or even just watching, it takes a lot of hard-earned to get started. With the rapidly worsening road conditions, decreasing speed limits, dashcam heroes and standards of driving these days, it’s not uncommon for… Read More »How much does a Euro trackday really cost?
- WMC250EV continues on track to take electric speed record!It’s infrequent yet refreshing these days to find somebody straying from the norm and doing different, going off at tangents to everybody else, with a similar target in mind, radically thinking outside the box, for a new way to hit the same target. Ironically, I found one such example at MotoGP 2021 Silverstone with the… Read More »WMC250EV continues on track to take electric speed record!
- Triumph motorcycles releases Speed Triple 1200RR: The most technically advanced Speed Triple yet!Since teaser images were released a few weeks ago, we knew Triumph was working on something sportier, with most hoping for a fully-faired Superbike slayer from the British firm. The teaser images showed a new sportier-looking front end and seat cowl but strategically hid the sides and fairings, getting sportsbike fans rather hot under the… Read More »Triumph motorcycles releases Speed Triple 1200RR: The most technically advanced Speed Triple yet!
- Triumph backs the struggling hospitality industry in new ‘Ride out to help out campaign.’The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the hospitality industry hard, with many restaurants, pubs and other biker meeting places and food outlets being forced to close. Triumph has decided to launch their own version of ‘Eat Out to Help Out’, dubbed ‘ Ride Out to Help Out’, original. The campaign encourages bikers to get out and… Read More »Triumph backs the struggling hospitality industry in new ‘Ride out to help out campaign.’
- What is E10 fuel and can I use E10 in my bike?Dubbed the biggest change to petrol forecourts since 4star was dropped back in 2000, the new E10 (10% ethanol) petrol grade could have a huge impact to all motorists. We all use petrol (bar electric bikers), and with petrol making up most fuel types (electric and cake powered after running out of petrol), all of… Read More »What is E10 fuel and can I use E10 in my bike?