LastBuellXB12ScgThe mournful expressions on the Buell workers’ faces in this photo say more than words can. So long old friend.

Harley-Davidson announced yesterday that the final bike built by Buell, a Lightning XB12Scg, rolled off the production line on October 30. This marked the 136,923th motorcycle built by Buell in its 26 years of operation.

On October 15 Buell’s parent company, Harley-Davidson, announced that the Buell line-up would be discontinued effective December 18, 2009. The move, along with ditching its investment in MV Agusta, was seen as necessary by Harley.

This desperate act was done solely to keep Harley’s “84.1 percent decline in net income and an 84.5 percent decline in diluted earnings per share from the year-ago [3rd] quarter” from plummeting even further.

Buells will be for sale at dealers until stock is depleted. Current Buell owners can rest peacefully knowing that Buell, or rather Harley, will continue to supply Buell parts for another seven years as mandated by federal law.

Regardless of your opinion of Buell motorcycles, you can’t deny this is a dark day for all of motorcycling, and not just Harley-Davidson.

Erik Buell had an undeniable passion for his products as viable and competitive (even superior if you ask him!) alternatives to other brands in the sportbike segment. If you’ve ever met Erik or heard him speak, you’ll understand.

Don’t know ‘bout you, but this photo gets me all choked up, as if I, too, have suffered a personal loss. In fact, I think all of us in the U.S. motorcycling community have suffered an immense loss.

Buell Motorcycles Shut Down