The End of Buell - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 10-15-2009, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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The End of Buell

Sad day for the industry.


http://www.buell.com/en_us/

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #2 of 17 Old 10-15-2009, 01:33 PM
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Yes, it is. I've always wondered how they remained in business since their customer base was pretty small. I guess the handwriting was on the wall when they dropped the Blast, which is H-D's "trainer".

Guess if you want a bike with "USA" on it, it'll be a big cruiser. Maybe H-D will make one or two models. Hope so.

Buell brakes are the standard by which I've always judged other bikes brakes.

I'm really bummed.
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post #3 of 17 Old 10-15-2009, 04:58 PM
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No kidding. They made some pretty impressive machines, and their drag bikes are second to none.

Big Ray in North Iowa
1972 Yamaha DT250 (my first bike)
1975 Honda CB360 (my college ride)
1976 Yamaha XS750D (burned, may she R.I.P.)
1980 Yamaha 850 Special (went to new home)
1981 Yamaha 850 Special (former daily ride)
1982 Kawasaki KZ250 L-1 CSR (sold)
1996 Suzuki DS80 (my son's first bike)
2000 Kawasaki KLR650 (my new love)
2008 Honda CRF100L (my son's first "real" motorcycle)
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post #4 of 17 Old 10-15-2009, 06:28 PM
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I hate to hear that. Erik Buell was a great innovator to H-D, a bike I would never even look at twice until he came along. What a loss not just for Erik, but for the employee's that are now looking for a job. I was just warming up to looking at and hopefully test riding a Ulysses. I feel guilty now for not seriously considering a Uly in the past. I did hear that H-D treated the Buell line as a bastard stepchild. Too bad. I'll bet the cost of any Buell just went way up.

Last edited by flash; 10-15-2009 at 07:29 PM. Reason: Addition
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post #5 of 17 Old 10-15-2009, 08:41 PM
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I passed a well ridden blast on the way home. Gave a sympathy wave.




"In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV." R. Pirsig

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post #6 of 17 Old 10-15-2009, 09:32 PM
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Unfortunately, the writing's been on the wall for a while. They've been a money drain for HD for a few years (or always). Excellent bikes, but nothing I'd want to own.. A friend has a Thunderbolt and I've ridden it several times.. Great bike, but not my type, even tough it was the best HD engined vehicle I've ever ridden, and I've ridden several..

Naw.. I was shocked when they picked up MVAgusta in this market, and I guess the time came to shed the money losers..

I really don't care what happens to HD, truthfully. I hate to say that, but the only thing that I hope for is that they keep going because I know a couple guys that work at the paint plant in Tomahawk, WI.

Unfortunately, those who live the "lifestyle" has worn my care for all things Harley pretty thin. I just love being told how the best motorcycle on the earth is over 100 years old and is actually running on technology that's almost as old. Engine as big as my car, and making as much horsepower as my lawnmower.

Sometimes, I'm a jerk.. But it's usually for a good reason..
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post #7 of 17 Old 10-15-2009, 09:42 PM
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I just watched Erik's video at buell.com. Pretty sad.

Dan, I feel what your saying about HD...and I come from Harley stock, I was around them my whole childhood. And they haven't changed much. I wouldn't want one. But damn, can't we build anything here that will succeed? If it wasn't for the dentist and accountant Harley crowd, HD would be gone too. Chinese bikes are getting better, Japanese bikes are bulletproof, and it is only a matter of time until you won't be able to buy an American motorcycle.




"In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV." R. Pirsig

PPMC #1.
Soon, we ride.

AKA JD Mader or you can call me "Dan" just not early for dinner.

Click my handle for a link to my homepage/blog...which has nothing to do with MCs. Free literature and music! Viva La Revolucion!
-------------------
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post #8 of 17 Old 10-15-2009, 09:50 PM
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I'd rather see Buell survive and prosper than HD. I have several friends who live near the Buell plant and know Eric personally.. Great guy, great vision, and I would love to see this in a different direction.

I'm concerned about the soon-to-be only other USA bike manufacturer, too.. Polaris dumped huge money into the ugliest touring bike ever made, the Victory Vision

I've seen way more in Polaris/Victory showrooms than on the road.. I'm wondering how long they'll dump money in that hole, too.. Victory's the most US made motorcycle today.. Second place is the Honday VTX/Goldwing lines made in Ohio, and both of those lines are headed to Japan..

Harley may become the USA made motorcycle again, by default..
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post #9 of 17 Old 10-15-2009, 10:27 PM
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Didn't Buell start using Rotax engines? Probably pissed on some cornflakes by doing that because now the Harley aspect was removed from the Buell and the Rotax engines are rock solid which would show the Harley engines up and HD couldn't allow that to happen.
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post #10 of 17 Old 10-15-2009, 11:08 PM
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Well, they're still 51% Harley Davison owned, but yes, they're Rotax engines.

In the end, it was sales that killed them.. For years they've been giving away cool freebies in order to draw people in for road tests. I have a hat that is confused with a Dallas Cowboy hat all the time.

The big thing to remember is that even though Buell was Harley owned, Harley owners don't ride them, and Buell riders seldom rode Harley. The mix made sense at first, but the seperation was expected...

What's also expected is someone buying the Buell line.. Just seems too big and important to die.
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