PDA

View Full Version : Buell to be Discontinued



PGlaves
10-15-2009, 01:54 PM
It appears that the Buell brand will soon go the way of Studebaker and Oldsmobile.

This from American Motorcyclist:

"Details of Buell and MV Agusta Actions

The Company will discontinue production of Buell motorcycles. Remaining inventories of Buell motorcycles, accessories and apparel, while they last, will continue to be sold through authorized dealerships. Warranty coverage will continue as normal for Buell motorcycles and the Company will provide replacement parts and service through dealerships... "

Entire article, here:

http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/news/story.asp?id=1445

Brettendress
10-15-2009, 02:02 PM
That is great news Buell was junk anyway

mika
10-15-2009, 02:05 PM
H-D reported its 3rd Qtr statement and major changes. While the sales decline seems to be slowing compared to last month the decline in sales over last year is in the range of 21% world wide. The resulting decline in income numbers is devastating.

H-D is making changes in its go forward business strategy with a ÔÇÿsingle-minded focus of efforts and resourcesÔÇÖ. This is resulting in a variety of changes that are headlined by
- The discontinuation of the Buell brand and
- The sale of MV Agusta

harley-davidson.com ( http://www.harley-davidson.com/wcm/Content/Pages/HD_News/Company/newsarticle.jsp?HDCWPSession=hhyJKXyfYn44zQWKRlhS9 vh5hCPK1QnF1JyLv7hnLtTMxnwF5nhD!-226096283!1216897707&locale=en_US&articleLink=News/0581_press_release.hdnews): Press Release - Harley-Davidson announces 3rd quarter results, Unveils long-term business strategy

WOW!!

I never expected this.

crazydrummerdude
10-15-2009, 02:06 PM
"Great" news? Kinda sad in my opinion.

I liked how they gave away free stuff. Their neck gaiter is my favorite (and most useful) piece of winter riding gear.

osbornk
10-15-2009, 02:24 PM
If you look at some of the sales numbers near the bottom. the drop is hugh.

108625
10-15-2009, 02:26 PM
Wow.

Right after Eric publicly crushed the "Blast" (or "Be - Last"), after they began their very aggressive new marketing campaign (big new ads inside the front covers of the major magazines), and scored their latest AMA-DMG racing rules favoritism coup, the doors close. We can't even say the hammer dropped; because Harley knows somebody will buy MV Agusta, yet they aren't even risking the folly of trying to find a buyer for Buell... Which says it all.

I'm sorry to hear about all those who will lose their jobs over this, but hopefully that will be minimized to the production side only, as most of the mechanics and salesmen may still remain employed at the HD dealerships.

Just when their bikes were getting interesting, too.

testinglogin
10-15-2009, 02:36 PM
Hmm... maybe BMW can pick up MV Agusta? :)

wezul
10-15-2009, 02:55 PM
Based on the economy and the demographics of HD's customer base, this news does not surprise me.
The numbers in their financial statement indicate that this is a necessary move.
Although I have never been an HD fan it would be sad to see this iconic American motorcycle company disappear.
I personally shall follow this with interest.

Manfred
10-15-2009, 02:57 PM
If you look at some of the sales numbers near the bottom. the drop is hugh.

Wasn't Hugh the Borg with an individual personality? :bolt

mika
10-15-2009, 03:12 PM
BuellÔÇÖs closing is not all about quality control. The product line is dependent on H-D or Rotax engines.

The discontinuation of the Blast speaks more to H-DÔÇÖs problems with production capacity in these times than to the product itself. The loss of the Blast has potential long term impacts on motorcycling in general. The Blast was used by many training programs nation wide and its loss and the loss of the H-DÔÇÖs support has the potential for a major negative impact on bringing new riders into the sport.

The Buell brand has always been at the mercy of H-D for engines. When it was an independent company H-D regularly curtailed engine supplies based on its production needs at the expense of Buell. The Rotax deal for the 1125 held promise for the future but without H-D corporate support that production slot will go to other companies.

MV Agusta presents a different prospect than Buell because it has its own production plants. Cagiva may be included in the MV sale offering which would allow a purchaser to expand a product line fairly quickly with a known name.

Offering for sale is one thing but selling MV is another. Who will buy it in this market? Keep in mind the big bike motorcycle industry is not only being hit by the economic crunch but a declining customer base for its products. In addition there is rumored competition in offerings in the motorcycle company sales. VW, one of the few transport companies with money, is rumored to be in negotiations for the purchase of Ducati. Who will step up for MV, a business that has been troubled for the entire decade?

The underlying story is the contraction of H-D and will it survive? With very few monthly exceptions, H-DÔÇÖs increase in sales peaked in December of 2006 and has been declining since. European sales that have mitigated this decline in recent years are now showing declines. It is expanding into other new markets such as India but these are fraught with their own issues that may be very problematic for H-D.

The loss of jobs with the Buell closing is placed at under 200 combined production and other staff. The losses at the dealership level are yet to be seen. H-D has seen dealerships close in the last couple of years. I suspect that this winter will see many more closures. How this impacts the next years in motorcycling remains to be seen.

A friend of mine here in fly-over-land is fond of saying ÔÇÿthis ainÔÇÖt the end of the world but you can see it from my deck.ÔÇÖ This ainÔÇÖt the end of motorcycling but we are in for big changes over the next years.

statdawg
10-15-2009, 03:14 PM
I almost bought a Buell Lighting a while back, I am sad I didn't. Buell was one of the only sport bikes that is accepted to hang out with the H D crowd which is plentiful where I live and proactive in community involvement. The Buell was fast and they made the same great noise for safety reasons, and they had the cool factor for the next generation of riders if they could afford them. Plus their attire was much more appealing than BMW and they inspired the rider to visit a dealership than go internet aftermarket as we do with BMW. I am sad to see them go, but like Bultaco there will still be some around long after we are on our 3-4 BMWs from now.

dancogan
10-15-2009, 03:22 PM
I'm sad at the loss. Buell was able to think outside the box and that innovation will be missed. I also liked my Ulysses, except for the heat problem. Does this mean my Buell hat will become a collector's item? They probably gave away a bazillion of them...

jforgo
10-15-2009, 03:29 PM
[QUOTE=Statdawg;507199] Buell was one of the only sport bikes that is accepted to hang out with the H D crowd which is plentiful where I live and proactive in community involvement. QUOTE]

I guess I am the BMW version of a one-percenter, since I take my Airheads many many places where I am the only non V-Twin. And I never give a f**k whether the HD riders (or seat occupiers) like my bike, or not. Acceptance is something I may or may not give, but certainly never crave. Rejection by posers is a compliment, in my book.

Sue
10-15-2009, 03:32 PM
I've had the honor of meeting Eric, and he is truly a sport-bike enthusiast. Man - you have to hurt for ANYONE who watches his dream fade away.

I, for one, liked the Buells. They were fun, lightweight, sporty, and were made just a few miles from my house. Their brakes were phenomenal. When my daughter Hallie bought one for her first motorcycle, we were happy for her. At 300 pounds, it was something she could handle and still looked great.

This 3 minute video is worth watching.
http://www.buell.com/en_us/

mika
10-15-2009, 03:51 PM
Hmm... maybe BMW can pick up MV Agusta? :)

:ha
Why now?

BMW has had at least two chances to buy MV and passed them up. The first was when Cagiva-MV-Husqvarna was headed to bankruptcy in the first part of this decade and was sold to Malaysia. BMW passed on buying the group or any part of it. A year latter it the group was bought back by an Italian 'bank group' and resurfaced as MV Agusta. BMW bought Husqvarna from them but passed once again on the chance to buy the entire group. The third time may be the charm but I don't think so.

H-D may be cashed strapped and wanting to sell but would they accept what BMW would be willing to pay for it?

The MV brand has cache but would strap BMW dealers with another high end product line. The Cagiva line, to the extent it still exists is weak. Its rumored revival was full of things targeted at competting with BMW. What is the value in that.

Production capacity is a possible selling point. Since the purchase of Husqvarna a great deal of time and effort have been spent separating the production lines of MV and Husky. Husky has the capacity to expand in its current digs so what is the need for additional capacity in a down market? The other unkown for us about BMW is KYMCO. We don't really know what the relationship is between the two. Is KYMCO just a supplier or is BMW an inverstor in them? If they are what would that mean for an analysis of a potential MV purchase.

Been wrong many times before and could well be wrong this time. My guess is rather than the third time being the charm it will be a case of three strikes and BMW will stay out.

YELLOW_S
10-15-2009, 03:56 PM
"Great" news? Kinda sad in my opinion.

I liked how they gave away free stuff. Their neck gaiter is my favorite (and most useful) piece of winter riding gear.

+1

I didn't care for Buell either, but still a damn shame to hear this. Hopefully they come back, everyone has there own "thing".

deilenberger
10-15-2009, 04:09 PM
I can't imagine BMW buying a brand like MV.. about all it has going for it is history. It's not like it has engineering BMW wants, or a market that BMW wants. You don't make money competing with yourself. With BMW moving in the performance bike market with the S1000RR - that's exactly what they'd be doing.

It's sorta like when people prophesied that (1) Ford would buy BMW - in a hostile takeover. This was in the great auto maker consolidation era. I tried pointing out that a hostile takeover would be impossible since the company is basically controlled by one family that has firmly resisted any outside takeover for decades, but that didn't stop the prophets.. (2) That BMW would buy Volvo from Ford (in the great auto-maker de-consolidation era - still ongoing) - and BMW eventually had to announce they saw no reason to take over Volvo because it would be competing with themselves.

If HD can't find a way to make money off MV - what makes anyone think BMW could? I suspect BMW is smart enough to know that.

BMW bought Husky because Husky has a following that actually buys bikes, and Husky has a dealer network that may be very useful to push the X bikes out through. And Husky was AFAIK - making money. MV has none of these.

YMMV - rumor central reporting in.. :clap

statdawg
10-15-2009, 07:04 PM
[QUOTE=Statdawg;507199] Buell was one of the only sport bikes that is accepted to hang out with the H D crowd which is plentiful where I live and proactive in community involvement. QUOTE]

I guess I am the BMW version of a one-percenter, since I take my Airheads many many places where I am the only non V-Twin. And I never give a f**k whether the HD riders (or seat occupiers) like my bike, or not. Acceptance is something I may or may not give, but certainly never crave. Rejection by posers is a compliment, in my book.

Yes you are if that is you. :thumb

So you have the craving to be different and post to tell everyone. Again Buell was one of the only sport bikes that is acceptable to hang out with the H D crowd which is plentiful where I live ( where I live ) and proactive in community involvement ( which they raise more money for Veterans, Johnny needs a new liver and cancer than BMW riders do or ever did despite a local BMW club ). Do I hang with the HD crowd ? No I just show up at fundraiser events with my poser costume with helmet, and BMW bike, pay the fee and leave. This cheapest thing on a BMW hates the tough guy crowd that at the end of the day that have to call Momma to see if there is enough milk in the fridge........yes dear I am on my way home. :)

I am going to miss the loud sport bikes on my commute. Maybe they rode to be the 1 % of HD, their dream and individuality. :thumb

texanrt
10-15-2009, 07:45 PM
Most buell owners I know like their potent high-torque v-twin motors and innovative design features. Despite the quirky looks of some models -- I rather liked the bikes myself and would have bought a Ulysses if the seat height wasn't so high.

A video message from Erik Buell:

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

Manfred
10-15-2009, 07:52 PM
I've test ridden a couple Buells and was quickly convinced that I would kill myself within a couple of weeks. Fast, quick, awesome brakes. My Yamaha Virago felt like a farm tractor after a short ride on a Buell.

texanrt
10-15-2009, 08:15 PM
Based on the economy and the demographics of HD's customer base, this news does not surprise me.
The numbers in their financial statement indicate that this is a necessary move.
Although I have never been an HD fan it would be sad to see this iconic American motorcycle company disappear. I personally shall follow this with interest.

I still regularly visit some of the HD dealers when I'm running around town keeping my Softail battery charged. The showrooms are quiet these days. Back in 2006, when I bought my Softail, my dealer employed a half-dozen salesmen, several ladies working the clothing lines, and at least two or three parts/accessories guys. Yesterday, I stopped by to find out the story on the Road Glide -- another HD "touring" bike that has been "customized & lowered" for 2010 -- and found only a few people working. The line of bikes waiting for service is much shorter these days. The number of new and used bikes sitting on the floor is growing. Some of their used bikes are now "marked down" -- something you wouldn't have seen a few years ago.

During the last 10 - 15 years, Houston's Harley dealerships expanded from 2 original dealers to 7 -- each had to build a huge fancy building to house an enormous inventory of goods in addition to the bikes.

Sad to say, but the business plan HD developed over the last dozen years was built for the good "high growth" economic times -- the dealers that bought in during the high times are going to be stuck with some expensive real estate and high overhead. I don't think they're all going to make it -- like so many other industries -- we're going to have to adapt to the "new normal" which is much like the "old normal."

MAYLETT
10-15-2009, 08:30 PM
I hate to see people lose their jobs, and I don't like to see a contraction in the motorcycle industry, but if it had to start somewhere, I'm glad that it started with Buell.

knary
10-15-2009, 09:15 PM
BMW bought Husky because Husky has a following that actually buys bikes, and Husky has a dealer network that may be very useful to push the X bikes out through. And Husky was AFAIK - making money. MV has none of these.

YMMV - rumor central reporting in.. :clap

FWIW,
Husky has a dealer network like I have hair on my head - thin at best. The Husky guys were quite exited to hear that they might get an actual dealer network through BMW - though they were and are a bit scared of what BMW corporate might do to their beloved bikes.

knary
10-15-2009, 09:16 PM
Buell made compelling bikes. They took a different approach than most anyone else and though there were some issues with some of the machines, their kind of innovation should be applauded. They will be missed if they aren't reborn in some new guise in the coming years.

ALIENHITCHHIKER
10-15-2009, 10:06 PM
The motorcycling world is diminished by the demise of Buell.

More than BMW, more than the Italians, and with few exceptions, more than any custom builder, Buell produced innovative bikes and pushed the conceptual envelope.

We may be witnessing the birth of a new cult bike.
This really makes me want one!!! I'm probably not alone.


Afterthought: give HD about 5 years and we may well see the Buell marque resurrected - powered by its water cooled Porsche designed engine, which is what it deserved all along.

Sailingfool
10-15-2009, 10:18 PM
That is great news Buell was junk anyway

You Sir are a Dork. Buell did things their own way, and they took on the world doing it. Say what you want about the Daytona Superbike and Buell's displacement advantage (but do mention the weight penatly), but their tiny little effort beat the big guys, and they did it with innovation, not by copying anything. Really, Beating Ducati with a twin at their own game? Have you ever ridden one?

I test rode an XB12 Lightning and absolutely loved it, Sportster engine and all. The bike is nearly 200 lbs less than my K, and handles like my mountain bike. My first spirited run through the gears produced and accidental but completely enjoyable and easily controled wheelie while shifting into second. The sound was louder than I liked, but I can see where it would be addicting. And those brakes! Why aren't any other manufactures using that design? Any high school physics teacher would see the advantages! The only reason I didn't buy it, and the only reason I'm not buying a 1125r is because they are tiny! I'm 6'4" and look like the bear on the bike at the circus. The ultra short wheelbase, steep fork angle, and bakes that would stop the Space Shuttle would have me on my nose the first time granny made a left in front of me.

Junk? Why, because they don't have the reliability of a BMW? Says who? They are pretty easy to work on, and use Harley parts for the most part. Sure, you have to rotate the engine to get at the rear spark plug, but that's pretty easy after you've done it once from what I've heard. It's about a thousand time easier than doing a spline lube, and I'd bet it would be on par with removing the fairing on a K1200RS for service.

What could be the great news here? World beating American inovation crumbling? 200 American jobs lost? More strain on American dealers? Happy Buell riders scrounging for parts in the next few years? Yes...sounds like great news if you are a dork, Dork!

OK, Rant off.

SPOKESMAN
10-15-2009, 11:23 PM
Why anybody would be happy to see the demise of an American marque is beyond me. It's not like anybody was forcing you to buy one. All it amounts to is a few less choices for the motorcyclist, less competition for the motorcyclist's dollar, and the loss of a few more American industrial jobs, probably to overseas production.

What's the upside? A chance to Harley bash? Great.

grafikfeat
10-15-2009, 11:28 PM
Shame really...

108 jobs... >poof<

More here... (http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/15/harley-davidson-to-discontinue-buell-sport-bikes/?hpw)

oldhway
10-15-2009, 11:30 PM
I'm going to merge this with the other 2 threads on the same subject.

r11rs94
10-15-2009, 11:35 PM
Wasn't Hugh the Borg with an individual personality? :bolt

Why yes he was. That crazy Borg. :nyah

bmwdean
10-16-2009, 02:48 AM
Down for the count:

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

wezul
10-16-2009, 02:58 AM
Yeah man, two threads on this already.

saab93driver
10-16-2009, 03:09 AM
It's sad to see the company go but as for Eric Buell I find it hard to feel much sympathy. After all he got to realize his dream to a degree that most of us will not even come close to and I would be willing to bet he isn't walking away empty handed.

ANDYMCLAIN
10-16-2009, 04:19 AM
H-D must have to take all those huge profits made over the past few years and invest it in developing new bits of chrome or coffee mugs, or in their marketing department to convince people the "lifestyle" is cool. You know, if they have to explain it..... I rode a friend's Ulysses and was quite impressed. Just one more reason to despise H-D.

I-MAN
10-16-2009, 01:50 PM
Very Sad, having owned a Buell Blast for a short period this year before i got the G650GS, i learned to identify with Erik and his vision and great motorcycles. I could be harley decided it would be better to sell and develop pet products and Buell motorcycles

On a recent trip to San Francisco, i got Bob the cat the Harley Low Rider cat toy

http://nymandolin.org/img_0010.jpg

That may be the future of HD

Good luck to you Erik in your future endeavors.

kenk
10-16-2009, 01:58 PM
http://www.ama-cycle.org/news/story.asp?id=1445

osbornk
10-16-2009, 01:59 PM
The Buell was for a different rider than the typical HD rider. HD's main customer base is the Boomers that finally acquired enough money or rating to buy the bike of their dreams. Their market is dropping because the Boomers that wanted a HD have gotten one or they have health/age issues that eliminates them from being customers.

HD will lose the Buell customers to other marques and the drop in sales of the traditional HD will continue to fall.

85138
10-16-2009, 02:24 PM
I've been rooting for Buell's since I owned a '93 Sportster and saw some of Erik Buell's earlier efforts. The initial release of the XB9R has me salivating. However, I must say I was underwhelmed riding the XB9R and XB12R and comparing them to air cooled Ducati's, the SV650 and more modern Ducati's and sport bikes. My old DUC 900SS felt better.

I like the uniqueness and overall design though to be honest, if you read ride reviews the bikes never quite lived up to expectations (despite centralised mass, lightweight, unique brakes, etc.). The aging Sportster plant was one achilles heal along w/ notorious unreliability. With the Rotax engines on the 1125's, things were certainly improving though the looks of that model didn't appeal as much to me.

Perhaps Polaris could take a look at MV to broaden their line. Tough undertaking in these troubling times but if the price is right ...

Hopefully Mike Czysz is looking at the remnants (Buell & MV) which would provide instrant entree into the market and facilitate launching is his futuristic ideas ... http://www.motoczysz.com/main.php?area=home

mika
10-16-2009, 02:39 PM
The Buell was for a different rider than the typical HD rider. HD's main customer base is the Boomers that finally acquired enough money or rating to buy the bike of their dreams. Their market is dropping because the Boomers that wanted a HD have gotten one or they have health/age issues that eliminates them from being customers.

HD will lose the Buell customers to other marques and the drop in sales of the traditional HD will continue to fall.

In general it is easy to agree with your assessment until your last paragraph.

On a simplistic level HD will loose Buell customers to other marques. The real concern the motorcycle industry and motorcycling in general is there are not new customers to replace the boomers. This is not just an American phenomenon. Study after study by the various industry councils and independent studies showing a rapidly aging customer base that is not attracting new young riders in numbers that will sustain the industry.

amiles
10-16-2009, 03:09 PM
In general it is easy to agree with your assessment until your last paragraph.

On a simplistic level HD will loose Buell customers to other marques. The real concern the motorcycle industry and motorcycling in general is there are not new customers to replace the boomers. This is not just an American phenomenon. Study after study by the various industry councils and independent studies showing a rapidly aging customer base that is not attracting new young riders in numbers that will sustain the industry.

I continue to be mystified by the younger generations not being interested in motorcycles. When I was in my 20's all I could think about was girls, motorcycles and cars, pretty much in that order. Are they all sitting home playing video games and looking at porno?

mika
10-16-2009, 03:14 PM
H-D must have to take all those huge profits made over the past few years and invest it in developing new bits of chrome or coffee mugs, or in their marketing department to convince people the "lifestyle" is cool. You know, if they have to explain it..... I rode a friend's Ulysses and was quite impressed. Just one more reason to despise H-D.

H-D has clearly been a master in licensing and managing its name to third party manufactures of product. Ducati is the only other MC manufacturer to be able to come close to duplicating their success. What did they do with the money? YouÔÇÖre well wide of the mark.
- two examples are in this threads story source. First they purchased and further developed Buell motorcycles. Eric Buell started and ran Buell as an independent and was eventually bought out by H-D. Secondly MV Agusta was purchased by HD with some of that money as well. If a fraction of the leaks and rumors were true riders missed out on the resurrection of the Cagiva Elephant and several Cagiva sport bikes that were reported to be in rapid development in an effort to expand customer base and bring a return on investment.
- H-D has spent a great deal of money going through the hoops and the expense of establishing itself as an exporter to the European market.
- H-D has been is about to enter the India market after several years of effort to overcome import barriers, transport laws and other legal issues.
- A final example of what they have done with those profits is they paid investors dividends. I am not a big fan of the ÔÇÿHarley lifestyleÔÇÖ stuff nor do I purchase H-D branded items, yet I must admit to be a past owner of H-D stock. The dividends paid and the money made by buying and selling H-D stocks is, I suppose, in part responsible for my BMW lifestyle.
:ha

It is easy to make fun of the branding but if you are a fan of motorcycling there is much more to this story and deeper implications for motorcycling than chrome coffee cups.

mika
10-16-2009, 03:26 PM
I continue to be mystified by the younger generations not being interested in motorcycles. When I was in my 20's all I could think about was girls, motorcycles and cars, pretty much in that order. Are they all sitting home playing video games and looking at porno?

:ha

There was an order to the thoughts?

I canÔÇÖt multi task worth a darn anymore. I look back fondly on my youth when I could think about girls bikes cars and how to avoid homework all at the same time.

I donÔÇÖt understand why the industry is having troubles attracting new riders and obviously they donÔÇÖt either.

mistercindy
10-16-2009, 03:52 PM
Sad. I'm inclined to blame Harley, or at least their dealers. I've been to several Harley dealerships to look at Buells, and one of the common elements is that there wasn't a Buell anywhere near the front of the store. They were usually back in a corner somewhere. In the Allen, Texas dealership that has a second story, the Buells were crammed in a wide spot of a hallway upstairs. :dunno If you walked into the place you wouldn't know a Buell was there unless you were led to them. The floor space was such that Buells were the obvious red headed step child. Maybe that wasn't true nationwide, but it was certainly true in the dealerships I visited.

Its a shame that, other than huge cruisers, there isn't one American motorcycle manufacturer that plays a large role on the international motorcycle stage.

grafikfeat
10-16-2009, 03:56 PM
I donÔÇÖt understand why the industry is having troubles attracting new riders and obviously they donÔÇÖt either.

Attention span and price.

jforgo
10-16-2009, 04:15 PM
Attention span and price.

Plus you can't just click on an icon and get a "new life" when you screw up. That is an alien, scary concept for "21st Century Digtal Boy".

mika
10-16-2009, 04:21 PM
Attention span maybe, but I am not certain price is as important an issue as everyone is ready to make it. The graying of the sport and the industry was taking place long before the current economic crunch.

It may be more along the lines of what BMW experienced in the 50ÔÇÖs. A post war boom in sales then flat and declining while their customer base started wanting cars instead of bikes for transport.

:dunno

criminaldesign
10-16-2009, 05:15 PM
Paper this morning says Harleys 3rd quarter fell 84%.

I bet all the cookie cutter large HD stores are biting them in the butt.

I'm a good bit younger than a majority on here but I remember when places still had a bit of character. Nothing, I mean nothing has any appeal or individuality anymore. Everything is the same, shoddy and made to replace.

It's the same with communities and not just business, cos everywhere you go it looks the same as everywhere else when the companies move in, take over main street and hang up the golden arches or other crap hocking stupid burgers, over priced fuel, or walmart moves in and takes up an a zillion acres and dollar stores pepper in the cracks. Schools even have business partners placing soda machines in the cafeterias rotting kids guts, seems capitalism has gone a bit wide and I don't mean to start a political thread cos it never goes anywhere. Just a simple vent.

Quantity over quality seems to be our motto.

MAYLETT
10-16-2009, 05:46 PM
I continue to be mystified by the younger generations not being interested in motorcycles.
I'm just not sure that this is the case, despite the studies and statistics that seem to suggest it. The industry might have overexpanded during the boom years and done so with the mistaken assumption of an ever-increasing upward curve, but a natural plateau accompanied by downward economic trends don't necessarily mean a lessening of base-level interest.

Two or three decades ago when Harley-Davidson was begging the U.S. government to protect them from bankruptcy caused by the onslaught of Japanese bikes, I remember many of the same arguments. I specifically remember mention of Harley attracting only the graying crowd, and that in order to survive Harley needed to attract 20-something riders. Well, HD never really did attract those younger riders until they got old enough, and gray enough to afford HD motorcycles. Harley-Davidson also went on to make a fortune from those graying riders.

Also, my own anecdotal observations are that the roads are packed with younger riders on smaller to mid-sized sport bikes and scooters. I've never seen as many scooter riders in my life as I've seen the past couple of years. I think a logical assumption is that many of these scooter riders will graduate to bigger, more expensive motorcycles.

Yes, the motorcycle industry is definitely set for a consolidation, but I don't see that as necessarily representing disinterest from younger adults. Most of the admiring stares my new R 1200 RT gets is from 20-something year olds — it's mostly just that the price is too high, just like it was for me at that age.

grafikfeat
10-16-2009, 05:57 PM
Most of the admiring stares my new R 1200 RT gets is from 20-something year olds ÔÇö it's mostly just that the price is too high, just like it was more me at that age.

Yup. I get the same on my R1200C. Until I mention you can pick one up for under $6K.
When I was 21-22 in the USN I went to a Triumph dealer in S. Callyfornya and the '78 750 was $1850.
Good Luck today. :hungover

bmwdean
10-16-2009, 08:19 PM
The Buell Blast! 500cc single was used by H-D Rider's Edge BRC courses all over the nation. IMHO it was a terrible bike on which beginners could learn riding motorcycles. For a beginner it was too heavy. The grabby front brake caused crashes. The clutch was on or off -- no friction zone -- which was hard for beginners to learn to use. It was too powerful and the gearing was too high for learning to ride on an MSF range. Finally, its vibration was fearsome. As an MSF trainer, the Blast was a disaster.

I wonder what Harley will use now for its Rider's Edge courses. If it is smart, it will use beginner-friendly Japanese 250cc training motorcycles. But don't count on it.

Rpbump
10-16-2009, 08:59 PM
The loss of jobs over the last 2 years coupled with a down housing market, poor managment / credit policies, fragile economy, and threat of inflation has seen GM and Chrysler go thru bankruptcy. The loss of Buell mc's could be a harbinger of things to come. I hate to see a business failure that is connected with a sport that gives me so much enjoyment. Hopefully HD knows that a failure to service Buell mc's will affect how present/future customers think when looking to purchase a new mc. I was planning on retiring Dec 31st this year but will now probably work until Dec 2012.
Ride Safe :usa :usa

swall
10-16-2009, 09:55 PM
If wonder if V-Rod is also on the chopping block?

texanrt
10-16-2009, 10:11 PM
The Buell Blast! 500cc single was used by H-D Rider's Edge BRC courses all over the nation. IMHO it was a terrible bike on which beginners could learn riding motorcycles. For a beginner it was too heavy. The grabby front brake caused crashes. The clutch was on or off -- no friction zone -- which was hard for beginners to learn to use. It was too powerful and the gearing was too high for learning to ride on an MSF range. Finally, its vibration was fearsome. As an MSF trainer, the Blast was a disaster.

I wonder what Harley will use now for its Rider's Edge courses. If it is smart, it will use beginner-friendly Japanese 250cc training motorcycles. But don't count on it.

+1 The blast was too much bike for beginners -- during my rider's edge class 3 guys crashed practicing emergency stops. Way too much front brake for beginners.

Mancuso Harley in Houston was running their Rider's Edge class the other day -- on brand new Suzuki 250CC bikes -- not a Buell Blast on the practice range.

Bob_M
10-16-2009, 11:39 PM
HarleyÔÇÖs failure to develop Buell was an opportunity lost. Harley does not have a product targeted to younger riders, or riders who want American products, but donÔÇÖt want old tech or the whole clique/bad boy baggage that goes with the brand. If Buell were cultivated to bridge the brand into something modern and efficient then Harley might have something to sell that I would be interested in buying. Tis a pity.

henzilla
10-16-2009, 11:49 PM
Evening ...thought the Womens Forum needed a thread about Buell Motorcycles being discontinued... there seems to be 3 or 4 going on elsewhere:brow

all I have


Enjoy the evening

:wave

36654
10-16-2009, 11:53 PM
I continue to be mystified by the younger generations not being interested in motorcycles. When I was in my 20's all I could think about was girls, motorcycles and cars, pretty much in that order. Are they all sitting home playing video games and looking at porno?

Hmmm.........look at their salaries/wages. Young American adults will be definitely poorer than their parents. Today's salary/wage is "before" benefits and retirement. If they have a health or 401(k) plan, their disposible income is probably 15~20% less than what we thought our salary/wage meant 20 or 30-years ago. Also, these young folks are paying ridiculous amounts for rent or mortgages. Oh, and that paid vacation we accumulated, they get less of it.

For kicks, I sometimes show my 1981 employee's benefit booklet from Allis-Chalmer's Corp to young employees. To them, that "Plain Jane" 1981 benefits package looks like something from a fairy tale.

They might do some stupid things, but the young folks are entering a different world than we ever knew. I do pity them.

oldhway
10-16-2009, 11:55 PM
Evening ...thought the Womens Forum needed a thread about Buell Motorcycles being discontinued... there seems to be 3 or 4 going on elsewhere:brow

all I have


Enjoy the evening

:wave

We're trying to keep this to one thread. You have been assimilated into the collective, resistance is futile.

36654
10-17-2009, 12:03 AM
H-D has clearly been a master in licensing and managing its name to third party manufactures of product. Ducati is the only other MC manufacturer to be able to come close to duplicating their success. What did they do with the money? YouÔÇÖre well wide of the mark.
- two examples are in this threads story source. First they purchased and further developed Buell motorcycles. Eric Buell started and ran Buell as an independent and was eventually bought out by H-D. Secondly MV Agusta was purchased by HD with some of that money as well. If a fraction of the leaks and rumors were true riders missed out on the resurrection of the Cagiva Elephant and several Cagiva sport bikes that were reported to be in rapid development in an effort to expand customer base and bring a return on investment.
- H-D has spent a great deal of money going through the hoops and the expense of establishing itself as an exporter to the European market.
- H-D has been is about to enter the India market after several years of effort to overcome import barriers, transport laws and other legal issues.
- A final example of what they have done with those profits is they paid investors dividends. I am not a big fan of the ÔÇÿHarley lifestyleÔÇÖ stuff nor do I purchase H-D branded items, yet I must admit to be a past owner of H-D stock. The dividends paid and the money made by buying and selling H-D stocks is, I suppose, in part responsible for my BMW lifestyle.
:ha

It is easy to make fun of the branding but if you are a fan of motorcycling there is much more to this story and deeper implications for motorcycling than chrome coffee cups.

IMHO, the real story will be found in the meltdown of H-D Financial Services. Remember money was cheap and all debt was AAA rated. That isn't the case today.

henzilla
10-17-2009, 12:08 AM
We're trying to keep this to one thread. You have been assimilated into the collective, resistance is futile.

DANG...that was no fun at all!! :wave

typ181r90
10-17-2009, 12:12 AM
I continue to be mystified by the younger generations not being interested in motorcycles. When I was in my 20's all I could think about was girls, motorcycles and cars, pretty much in that order. Are they all sitting home playing video games and looking at porno?

Well I'm 25 and am not really sure if I fit into your "younger generation" category, but I own an airhead and love it, do have friends that ride bikes, however not any in my age category (all 40+ years of age). I wouldn't say that the younger crowd is too busy watching porn and playing videos games, I'd say it has alot more to do with roads and economics.

I'm married, live in a super congested area, own a ****ty 200k house (and that is on a cheap 37.5x100 ft lot - NJ/NY prices there), pay the highest property taxes in the nation, and work very hard to enjoy a middle class lifestyle (if there's such a thing anymore). I can't justify spending the money on a new motorcycle when there are cars out there that can transport more people and drive comfortably all year round for less than a bike is going for.

My friends who don't own homes pay rents between $800-1200 a month (for studio apts, again, NJ prices here) and are turned off by local gridlock and aggressive drivers in very small spaces. The first day I had my bike (and this is no exaggeration) I had to avoid a dumptruck running a red light, a sportscar switching into my lane (180 degrees from me) without looking (while on a cell phone), and people up my ass in traffic for the entire ride to work.

Alot of people I work with either can't afford it or simply don't want to deal with the dangers and frustrations of the area. I'm fortunate enough to be able to wrench on my own stuff and love the old stuff to avoid high prices of bikes and mechanics, but I'm the minority in my area.

I apologize for the long post, but like another guy said, alot of kids are and will be making less, with much less benefits, than their parents and this topioc gets me going

R80RTJohnny
10-17-2009, 12:27 AM
It's sad to see the company go but as for Eric Buell I find it hard to feel much sympathy. After all he got to realize his dream to a degree that most of us will not even come close to and I would be willing to bet he isn't walking away empty handed.

Empty-handed no. Broken hearted yes.

jwilly51
10-17-2009, 01:52 AM
HD dealers treated the Buell brand like something shoved down their throats. Very few stocked them or even wanted to talk about them. I was always getting promos to test ride a Buell, but just try and find a "participating dealer".

Too bad. I have a lot of respect for Eric Buell and really feel for the guy. He put his body and soul into making it work. His bikes were way out of the box.

I doubt the dealers will miss the brand, hell, most of them are probably happy to be rid of any thing that's not an HD.

Guenther
10-17-2009, 03:14 AM
I would think 180 workers is not a lot to build motorcycles. And I see a couple of them in my cowtown. Did HD ever split out the Buell operational loss?

I think HD - like many other business - got to greedy, ahem agressive in their expansion strategy. Could you imagine, the HD dealer in my cowtown also is the only BMW dealer here now. While Harleys are parked inside the BMWs are parked on the parking lot for display during the day. Tztztz...

/Guenther
(...who had been looking at the Ulysses just a few months ago)

mika
10-17-2009, 05:46 AM
:rofl

You guys crack me up.

So many of you are slamming H-D for doing/not doing things while slamming BMW for not doing/doing the same things.

In the US H-D claims +380 dealers and of those 306 are listed as Buell dealers. At the corporate marketing level they have done a ton of things to promote and develop the brand over the years they have owned it.

H-DÔÇÖs annual reports do not break out a separate P&L for Buell but do give a variety of figures that paint a picture of where it was in the company.

In 2008 Buell represented 2.2% of the income for H-D just ahead of other.
World wide revenue by product (Dollars in millions)
76.5 % HARLEY-DAVIDSON MOTORCYCLES $4,278.2
15.3 % PARTS & ACCESSORIES 858.
7 5.6 % GENERAL MERCHANDISE 313.8
2.2 % BUELL MOTORCYCLES 123.1 0.4 %
OTHER 20.5 TOTAL NET REVENUE $5,594.3

Buell shipped 13,119 units in 2008 which was up from the 11,513 shipped in 2007 and ahead of what I believe was the previous annual high of 12,460 in 2006. The Buell sales are predominately US with H-D taking the main line as an export. In 2008 the company shipped 303,479 H-Ds down from 330,619 in 2007.

For a bit of perspective BMW claims to have shipped 11,617 units to the US which was down 3.9% from the previous years. With a smaller and more narrowly focused product line Buell outsold BMW in the US for each of the years ÔÇÖ06-8.

When all the dust settles BuellÔÇÖs survival will probably be seen as an engine supply problem. Both the Sportster engine based models and the Rotax 1125 models present business problems Buell probably could not overcome.

The Buell line is dominated by the Sportster engine. With the closing of an engine plant pending along with other consolidations the supply of engines for Buell may not have been there in an ongoing basis. Within the H-D sales numbers the often maligned Sprotster represented 20% or 60,678 units for 2008. The supply may well not be there for both the Sportster and Buell.

The 1125cc Rotax engine has been generally well received. The problem here is not so much the bike or the engine but the cost of the engine. When the deal with Rotax was made the dollar was strong and the margins were good. The dollar is weak the expense is greater while market conditions have put big pressure on keeping prices to the consumer down to keep sales up. The business model may not be there.

Engine supply issues threatened to put an independent Buell and Eric Buell out of business in the past. It may be finally the real culpererate for an H-D owned BuellÔÇÖs death is engine supply.

Financial Services was mentioned in another post. This is a segment of H-DÔÇÖs business that took a big hit in 2008 and holds on going exposure. Income in this area for 2007 was 212,169 while in 2008 it was only 82,765 (dollars in thousands). H-D holds a great deal of customer finance paper. They have taken hits in the last two years for this. The worst of the customer paper may be over. They also hold a lot of financing of dealerships. This is where their real exposure may be. Where it will end up in 2009ÔÇÖs report will undoubtedly be continue a downward trend.

Financial issues in another sense have bitten H-D this year. It has been responsible for changes in leadership in the corporation. It will be responsible for more nasty headlines about H-D in the future.

statdawg
10-17-2009, 02:40 PM
:rofl

You guys crack me up.

For a bit of perspective BMW claims to have shipped 11,617 units to the US which was down 3.9% from the previous years. With a smaller and more narrowly focused product line Buell outsold BMW in the US for each of the years ÔÇÖ06-8.


:rofl:rofl

Maybe the lackluster BMW sales is Xplor's problem beneath their stoic fasode, or how BMW dealerships who sell other brands will have one Open House for their BMW models and two or three Open Houses for their Triumph, Ducati or Japanese brands. I suspect that the grumpies will cling to their beemers or HDs so it should not affect our generation. But I was glad when Bultaco folded its easier to get parts for them now than it was back in the day.

:violin

azduc
10-17-2009, 02:44 PM
Thanks Mika, your explanations are always so complete and sensible, a welcome voice of reason I must say.
I was wondering what will happen to the Harley used market when HD Financial begins to sell off their repos? And pity the Buell owners with new bikes that are now worth less than the out the door price at the dealer.
At least the economy is getting better.............(tic, tongue in cheek).

I am sure that Eric Buell will rise again, his passion, engineering skills and ingenuity will keep him in the forefront of the motorcycle world.

RINTY
10-17-2009, 04:03 PM
I think that with the onset of the recession, there was bound to be some fallout in the motorcycle industry.

I am sorry to see Buell go; I thought they were neat bikes.

A few years ago, I rode an XB9S on that twisty ridge road east of Idaho City, and it was a total blast (sorry, couldn't resist :)).

rbertalotto
10-17-2009, 06:38 PM
Amazing how things change. In 2004 my son was "awarded" a place in line to be able to purchase a HD Fat Boy at only $1000 over retail! He had it less than two weeks and someone paid him another $2000 over what he paid for it.

I was invested in HD and watched it closely. The local "Want Ad" magazine would have four or five used Harleys in it.

I remember how quickly the Want Advertiser expanded to seven or eight pages of used bikes in 2007. And at greatly discounted prices.

Just do a search on Craigs List for HD. Look at the quantity and prices.

Someone asked about V Rod. This product never developed. Especially in USA. It had a bit of a sales trend going in Europe, but that has died from what I've read.

HD built a new factory in Alabama just for this V Rod product line. I'm told it is either closed or it is closing. But as far back as a year or two ago the workforce was just a small percentage of its start up force.

These are very difficult times we are living in. In 58 years I've never seen anything like it. And I was a business owner during the horrific Carter years. That was a walk in the park compared to what is going on now.

36654
10-17-2009, 08:56 PM
Amazing how things change. In 2004 my son was "awarded" a place in line to be able to purchase a HD Fat Boy at only $1000 over retail! He had it less than two weeks and someone paid him another $2000 over what he paid for it.

I was invested in HD and watched it closely. The local "Want Ad" magazine would have four or five used Harleys in it.

I remember how quickly the Want Advertiser expanded to seven or eight pages of used bikes in 2007. And at greatly discounted prices.

Just do a search on Craigs List for HD. Look at the quantity and prices.

Someone asked about V Rod. This product never developed. Especially in USA. It had a bit of a sales trend going in Europe, but that has died from what I've read.

HD built a new factory in Alabama just for this V Rod product line. I'm told it is either closed or it is closing. But as far back as a year or two ago the workforce was just a small percentage of its start up force.

These are very difficult times we are living in. In 58 years I've never seen anything like it. And I was a business owner during the horrific Carter years. That was a walk in the park compared to what is going on now.

There's a big difference from the late 70's. Today, we have no rust belt industry to loose, just stock brokers and bankers which we keep at all costs. We don't build, we just charge each other interest and fees on something imported from abroad or built in-country by illegal alien labor to keep prices low and profits high. Prior to the reformation, this was called usury and it was considered a sin.

How one makes their living is important. I'm much more impressed by those who create or build, than those who merely profit.

OK, I'm stepping down from the soap box, now. Just had to let that out.

PGlaves
10-17-2009, 09:26 PM
There's a big difference from the late 70's. Today, we have no rust belt industry to loose, just stock brokers and bankers which we keep at all costs. We don't build, we just charge each other interest and fees on something imported from abroad or built in-country by illegal alien labor to keep prices low and profits high. Prior to the reformation, this was called usury and it was considered a sin.

How one makes their living is important. I'm much more impressed by those who create or build, than those who merely profit.

OK, I'm stepping down from the soap box, now. Just had to let that out.

Amen!

grafikfeat
10-17-2009, 09:36 PM
The keyword here is "Tangible" or the lack there of.

crazydrummerdude
10-17-2009, 11:30 PM
Are they all sitting home playing video games and looking at porno?

Not all of us play video games.

:brow

ultracyclist
10-18-2009, 02:25 AM
...and I will not re-hash.

Motorcycle brands notwithstanding, I admire the Erik Buell as the person who tried to fulfill his dream beyond all odds. It is the old "David and Goliath" story.

What really bothers me about this is that he may go the way of many other old Wisconsin companies.

I have many friends who own H-D's (afterall, I am in the heart of H-D land), and they all said that Beull Bikes were always treated as "unwanted relatives" by the dealers.

Personally, I would like to see a private equity group pick up Buell, but that is wishful thinking at best.

ultracyclist
10-18-2009, 02:30 AM
You crack me up!

We all know that you are in denial about having that X-Box motorcycle racing program:laugh

But seriously folks....

This was not meant to be a hijack!

MLS2GO
10-18-2009, 04:07 PM
All the V Rods ever produced have been made in Kansas City. That plant also makes the Dynas and Sportster. There may be some compnents plant in Alabama but it's not the V Rod plant.

BUDDINGGEEZER
10-19-2009, 01:16 AM
There's a big difference from the late 70's. Today, we have no rust belt industry to loose, just stock brokers and bankers which we keep at all costs. We don't build, we just charge each other interest and fees on something imported from abroad or built in-country by illegal alien labor to keep prices low and profits high. Prior to the reformation, this was called usury and it was considered a sin.

How one makes their living is important. I'm much more impressed by those who create or build, than those who merely profit.

OK, I'm stepping down from the soap box, now. Just had to let that out.

Well said.

I have wondered when we have shipped our manufacturing overseas, will the Burger King worker go to McDonalds to buy his burger and vice versa?

Ralph Sims

grafikfeat
10-19-2009, 01:28 AM
...will the Burger King worker go to McDonalds to buy his burger and vice versa?

They already do... :sick

copilot
10-19-2009, 01:33 AM
I watched the video with Eric Buell. Wow - did I feel his pain. You could sense that this was his baby. I really am sorry that it all went down this way.

mika
10-19-2009, 12:35 PM
gazettextra.com (http://www.gazettextra.com/weblogs/latest-news/2009/oct/17/walworth-county-officials-hope-retain-motorcycle-c/): Walworth County officials hope to retain motorcycle company

maxscycle
10-19-2009, 02:47 PM
Please remember that Buell is/was a stand alone company. It is/was not part of HD. It was its own company.
The analogy is do you know anyone that owns or have you ever seen a Lincoln Town car, or a Lincoln Continental, or a Lincoln Navigator?
Do those people own a Lincoln? Or do they own a Ford? Lincoln is owned by Ford. Much the same way as Buell is owned by HD. It is a separate company.
That's all. Thank you
Max:nono

mika
10-19-2009, 03:12 PM
:scratch

Buell is a wholly owned subsidiary of HD. It was run as an independent brand. However, from a business standpoint its earnings were reported in the H-D reports and no independent Buell stock exists. This is much the same situation that Husqvarna is in with BMW.

bmwgsrider
10-20-2009, 03:30 AM
On page 25 of Oct issue talks about the founder, Erik Buell, crushing it into a 3-foot cube to make the point that Buell is rededicating itself to performance and innovation.

Buell isn't being discontinued... the Buell Blast is dead and crushed. I never did like that bike. If I had that bike, I would give up riding... that's how the bike made me feel.

Right after I obtained my motorcycle license from MSF course, my local Harley dealership loaned me a Blast to ride over a holiday weekend. The dealership was hoping after the weekend I would come back and purchase the bike which I didn't because I hated it! I was a beginner rider on the street but I grew up riding dirt bikes. The Blast is a beginner bike which is what it was meant for... the bike was not for me to begin riding on.

sfarson
10-20-2009, 05:35 AM
In 2008 Buell represented 2.2% of the income for H-D just ahead of other.
World wide revenue by product (Dollars in millions)
76.5 % HARLEY-DAVIDSON MOTORCYCLES $4,278.2
15.3 % PARTS & ACCESSORIES 858.
7 5.6 % GENERAL MERCHANDISE 313.8
2.2 % BUELL MOTORCYCLES 123.1 0.4 %
OTHER 20.5 TOTAL NET REVENUE $5,594.3

Buell shipped 13,119 units in 2008 which was up from the 11,513 shipped in 2007 and ahead of what I believe was the previous annual high of 12,460 in 2006. The Buell sales are predominately US with H-D taking the main line as an export. In 2008 the company shipped 303,479 H-Ds down from 330,619 in 2007.

For a bit of perspective BMW claims to have shipped 11,617 units to the US which was down 3.9% from the previous years. With a smaller and more narrowly focused product line Buell outsold BMW in the US for each of the years ’06-8.


Just FWIW, I think the Buell volume #'s above are worldwide totals. I've always seen reports over the years, from different sources, noting Buell volume in NA at around 5,000 units. Fetched the latest industry figures from Motorcycle Consumer News.

BMW
2007: 11,772
2008: 10,338

BUELL
2007: 4796
2008: 4830

Buell sells more bikes overseas than domestically, a reason why they introduce them first in Europe. BMW volume is about twice that of Buell in NA.

texanrt
10-20-2009, 02:35 PM
I think a great combo would be a V-Rod powered Buell -- didn't somebody say the V-Rod line might be the next to get the axe?

sfarson
10-20-2009, 04:06 PM
Erik Buell was asked about the V-Rod Revolution engine powering a Buell. He mentioned the engine's weight was a problem (it is a heavy engine) and he didn't care much for all the unsightly and exposed liquid cooled plumbing.

The V-Rod won't get the ax. Overseas it is one of H-D's biggest sellers, and in many countries it is #1. International is H-D's source for growth. And the V-Rod volume in NA isn't too shabby. A report several years ago noted NA V-Rod volume at around 16,000 units. That's more than all BMW's combined.

85138
10-20-2009, 04:08 PM
I think a great combo would be a V-Rod powered Buell -- didn't somebody say the V-Rod line might be the next to get the axe?

Or something like this? http://www.roehrmotorcycles.com/index.html

Recall the failed Harley Superbike racing effort used an engine based on the V-rod layout. My layman intuitive expectation was for Buell to adopt that into a performance sport bike for the street. But that must be more difficult that it would seem, I'd like to think ... or they'd would have done it. Or maybe they wanted something that could realistically win races (without favorable DMG treatment pitting a Litre + twin against I-4 600cc's). I also recall reading that the V-rod plant was too heavy and large for Buell's design criteria.


Would be interesting to see how Roehr (above link) does though granted that would be more of a niche high price point effort than the Buell's aimed for.

mika
10-20-2009, 04:34 PM
:blush

Thanks for the catch sfarson. The perspective may still have value but I did make a leap in the closing paragraph that I should have caught myself while bouncing between H-DÔÇÖs 10k report and BWMs annual report. The US market share for Buell has been holding just under 1% while the BWM share has been +/-2% for some time; currently climbing as its sales declines in sales seem to be less than others.

While the Buell brand has taken advantage of the Cologne and Milan shows to introduce models it has been my understanding they have made all models available world wide in the same year. The H-D move that struck me as curious was introducing the XR1200 in Europe and making it a Euro only offering for the beginning of its run.

The hub-bub around reaction to the V-Rod engine has always sounded like, in many ways, like the Airhead reaction to the introduction of the Brick. Like it or not it will be part of the lineup for years to come. As pointed out it is a big seller internationally and was key to H-DÔÇÖs effort to overcome the obstacles to begin exporting to India.

sfarson
10-20-2009, 11:32 PM
...
The hub-bub around reaction to the V-Rod engine has always sounded like, in many ways, like the Airhead reaction to the introduction of the Brick...

That's a good analogy, and to be sure, a thoughtful analysis in this thread. :nod

texanrt
10-21-2009, 01:41 PM
Erik Buell was asked about the V-Rod Revolution engine powering a Buell. He mentioned the engine's weight was a problem (it is a heavy engine) and he didn't care much for all the unsightly and exposed liquid cooled plumbing.

The V-Rod won't get the ax. Overseas it is one of H-D's biggest sellers, and in many countries it is #1. International is H-D's source for growth. And the V-Rod volume in NA isn't too shabby. A report several years ago noted NA V-Rod volume at around 16,000 units. That's more than all BMW's combined.

Didn't know that! I watched the Discovery/History(?) channel program on the V-Rod development and always thought that the V-Rod concept was a good one -- I just wasn't keen on the dragster styling and forward controls. My brother-in-law has one and it runs great, but is only comfortable around town.

I wish they'd have taken that motor and developed a sport-tourer. I've seen a V-Rod with a Road Glide fairing -- but the forward controls don't work for me as a touring machine.

I wasn't aware that HD was selling so many overseas -- I hope it's enough to keep the idea alive.

mika
10-21-2009, 03:46 PM
thekneeslider.com ( http://thekneeslider.com/archives/2009/10/21/buell-supporters-trying-to-save-the-company/): Buell supporters trying to save the company

jsonline.com ( http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/business/harley.html): Buell riders are asking Harley to give the brand a second chance

Rev_Eddie
10-21-2009, 06:10 PM
: The H-D move that struck me as curious was introducing the XR1200 in Europe and making it a Euro only offering for the beginning of its run.


Many manufacturers have models that are only for specific regions.

I'd ASSume H-D felt that the XR wouldn't really sell that well in the US,
and took it elsewhere first.
Maybe it's also a way of judging how much demand there really
is in the country that didn't get it.
In this case, they brought the XR1200 to the US a year later.
To my understanding, out side of a couple areas, it hasn't sold that well in the US.

After they had been out a few months, I called my dealer last spring about a new XR1200.
"How many did you get", I ask?
"Just one" he tells me--"and we didn't order it. H-D had their way of making us take it."

"How many people you have in line for it" I say.
"Just you" he tells me.

In the spring rush season, I got a smokin' discounted deal on a bike that many claimed
they wanted, but no one actually stepped up and bought.

I think H-D knew what they were doing by not putting this bike's initial emphasis on the US market.

They now have a 2nd model called the XR1200X.
Guess where it's available (and where it's not).........?


Eddie

texanrt
10-21-2009, 10:20 PM
I think H-D knew what they were doing by not putting this bike's initial emphasis on the US market.

They now have a 2nd model called the XR1200X.
Guess where it's available (and where it's not).........?


Eddie

Great points.

It's another great idea that doesn't have much of a domestic market -- or it's not being properly marketed. If I were a HD marketing guy I'd take a couple of those bikes --- hire some really good riders --- and send them out to the Dragon, the Snake or anyplace else popular with riders to demonstrate them to the Motard and Sportbike crowds. Just parking them in the showroom isn't going to get the word out -- the customers HD is searching for aren't sitting around a HD dealer -- they're out riding.

I like those bikes -- the HD dealer I frequent has a couple --- at first glance, I knew they'd be fun on the Dragon.

mika
10-22-2009, 07:53 AM
snipped-

Many manufacturers have models that are only for specific regions.

Eddie

I am well aware of that. You need not go beyond the Roundel to find Euro only models and even within that models that, in an ongoing basis are only sold in Ireland or Spain for example. Other companies have exported bikes and cars to Canada that never legally made it south of that boarder except on tour.

The XR decision struck me as curious at the time because the bike harkens back to an American icon. When it was announced I had space in a multi-bike garage that house two street tracker projects whose owners were likewise surprised. On reflection our interest in street trackers was more as a project bike to build rather than one to go to a dealer and buy. For HD to sell in Europe it had Harley chic, iconic value and in many ways worked for the mega-moto style rider.

This brings me back to Buell closing up shop. There is much I like about the Buell XB series. I have ridden a couple and find them an engaging bike. It makes the short list of bikes that I regularly check when I am dinging around at a bikes show, on ebay, craigs list or pick up a copy of some cycle trader. I could easily see buying a used one. At the same time I have never considered it on the list of bikes I would go to a dealer and buy new. I would happily buy parts from them just not the new bike.

mika
10-23-2009, 11:49 AM
roadracingworld.com (http://www.roadracingworld.com/news/article/?lnk=rss&article=38515): A commentary on the end of Buell Motorcycle Company

http://routingbyrumor.files.wordpress.com/2007/12/pogo.jpg

texanrt
10-28-2009, 08:26 PM
Mancuso HD, the sole Buell dealer in Houston, sold out of every Buell they had in just a few days with some hefty discounts. They're even considering bringing in some bikes from an out-of-state dealer they moved so fast. I spoke with a salesman and they're providing full warranty service with any bikes sold and they expect HD to manufacture parts for 7 years. Parts and service should continue uninterrupted despite the production shut down. Another salesman in Austin claims there are still bikes at the factory that haven't shipped yet -- but at the current sales rates, they should be gone soon.

mika
10-29-2009, 04:26 PM
thekneeslider.com ( http://thekneeslider.com/archives/2009/10/28/harley-davidson-closing-alabama-test-facility-outsourcing-non-core-operations-in-york/): Harley Davidson closing Alabama test facility ÔÇô outsourcing non core operations in York

texanrt
11-18-2009, 06:34 PM
http://www.motorcyclingmag.com/files/Last-Buell-Motorcycle-Built.jpg


http://www.motorcyclingmag.com/Last_Buell_Motorcycle_Built

schweinweg
11-26-2009, 11:34 PM
I love my buell and was looking forward to the new models that were rumored to be out in 2011.When it comes time to replace my uly as my front line bike,well there just isn't anything out there that does it for me.I like my bmw but they don't make them anymore either.
The bad part is the folks that have lost their jobs.Buell workers(elves) were a small group of dedicated enthusiasts,who did take on the giants of the motorcycle world and were squashed by their own parent like some sick child abuser.ok maybe that's a little carried away.
Buell Forever Harley Never.

ka5ysy
11-29-2009, 02:01 PM
The Buell Blast! 500cc single was used by H-D Rider's Edge BRC courses all over the nation. IMHO it was a terrible bike on which beginners could learn riding motorcycles. For a beginner it was too heavy. The grabby front brake caused crashes. The clutch was on or off -- no friction zone -- which was hard for beginners to learn to use. It was too powerful and the gearing was too high for learning to ride on an MSF range. Finally, its vibration was fearsome. As an MSF trainer, the Blast was a disaster.

I wonder what Harley will use now for its Rider's Edge courses. If it is smart, it will use beginner-friendly Japanese 250cc training motorcycles. But don't count on it.



Jeff, with all due respect, you are totally wrong on this one.

The Blast is perfect for a training bike because it is capable of taking huge abuse on the training range and still continue working. The typical crash damage is the loss of the turn signal lenses and stalks. Rarely does anything else break off. The only other thing that is an expendable item are the shift lever (you can straighten this 3 times before it breaks) and the peg support struts (These can be pulled straight many, many times). The parts are cheap too.

The "grabby front brake" is simply people improperly grabbing the front brake before the weight transfer occurs, and we brief that a lot when running braking exercises for that reason. Many of the guys and a few of the girls have to be told to use only two or three fingers until they get a feel for the brakes, which is usually after exercise two or three of the BRC. We always brief "squeeze the front brake lever", and I usually tell students to lead slightly with the rear brake which gets the weight transfer going. Buell brakes are very powerful by design, and the only reason I did not purchase a Ulysses was lack of anti-lock brakes and the timely arrival of the R1200R at the end of 2006 at my local BMW shop (test ride victim!).

Clutch: It is easily adjustable and if that was an issue on a Blast you were riding, it was the fault of the shop using them for not setting it up properly. It is also a wet clutch that is not prone to burnout like some "training bikes" I have had the displeasure to work with.

Weight: About 370 pounds wet. Not really an issue for anybody I have taught because the CG is so low. That includes a lot of tiny ladies who were absolute newbies, and some of whom were vertically challenged on the "low" seat.

The specs for a Ninja 250 shows a dry weight of 352 pounds. Wet it should be about 360 or so, so is essentially the same bike with only 27 HP from its engine, so this argument is totally erroneous.

Other common trainers:
Honda Rebel 250. Wet weight: 329 lbs.
Honda Nighthawk Approximately 350 lbs.



Too Powerful (???) :The Buell blast is powered by single cylinder, 4-stroke, 492cc (30.02 cubic inches) engine at about 34 horsepower. In actual fact, most of my students jump into much higher powered sport bikes (which I try to discourage without much luck), so the massive 34 hp Blast is a good training bike for them to figure out how and why they will kill themselves on the CBR1000 they purchased the week before class and dumped in the road several times already.


Fearsome Vibration: Its a Thumper for chrissakes, not a Boxer R1200RT !. At training speeds it is ok, and the heavy flywheel in the engine is very forgiving to improper clutch use and starting in second and third gear until they figure out getting back to first on stops. If you really want to ride it at highway speed (!!!), some Thottlemeister heavy ends work great to damp the buzz.

As a MSF/RidersEdge bike it is the proper tool for the job at hand.

The Blast will continue, for some amount of time, to be produced for the Riders Edge classes. There is a rumor about that HD is preparing a replacement which I hope will be as tough a little trainer as the Blast.

Japanese "lightweight" trainer... I certainly hope not, unless they can take the abuse the Blast can, or we will end up with crates of bike pieces at the ranges.

The loss of Buell is simply the result of the inability of HD to get dealers to sell a really nice bike that had some warts, because it "Wasn't a Harley", and other bad business decisions on the part of HD in its finance division. Think "Housing Bubble bust" applied to motorcycle financing for people incapable of repaying the loan. Economics 101 simply applied

radiofun1
12-18-2009, 09:41 PM
how about "arrowhead". Kinda looks like one.

drharveys
12-27-2009, 11:16 AM
I'm definitely going to miss the Buell Blast. My daughter has one. It was her "beginner bike" and she likes it. Even after riding an F650 in Europe, she just wants the Buell.

Here we are after a practice session:

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e204/drharveys/DSC00770.jpg

And here she is in the driveway:

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e204/drharveys/DSC00876.jpg

And, as the guy who took it around town getting it getting it fixed up, I like it too.
No, it's not a high-performance bike -- it's just basic transportation around town. You can hop on the interstate for a couple of exits, but that's not what thumpers are for.