Down for the count:
Yeah man, two threads on this already.
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.
'08 SAAB 9-3 AERO 'vert
'08 Honda Element EX
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.
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
That may be the future of HD
Good luck to you Erik in your future endeavors.
2009 BMW G650GS
2006 Honda Big Ruckus
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.
'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.
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
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
Last edited by mistercindy; 10-16-2009 at 04:32 PM.
Former owner of an '03 R1150R