In a case of East meets West, Hero MotoCorp has signed a partnership agreement with Erik Buell Racing that will see the Indian manufacture sponsor the EBR AMA Superbike team and potentially introduce Buell-designed motorcycles to India.
Hero MotoCorp will sponsor riders Danny Eslick and Geoff May and their EBR 1190RS race bikes in the AMA Superbike Championship. Eslick will represent Team Hero while May will represent AMSOIL Hero.
EBR will also provide research and development support to Hero for the development of new models. Hero currently claims the market share lead of the motorcycle in India, though much of that was built up from its former joint venture with Honda. Since the dissolution of the Honda partnership, Hero has sought out new partners, a search that wound its way to East Troy, Wisc. and Erik Buell.
“EBR is delighted to partner with a company as iconic as Hero MotoCorp. Both HMCL and EBR share the common commitment to manufacturing world-class two-wheelers with technology of the future,” says Buell, chairman and chief technical officer of EBR. “I have personally been deeply impressed with and inspired by Pawan’s vision. He has given us a challenging brief, and our highly-motivated team is working towards giving shape to that dream. We look forward to designing technology solutions which are in line with contemporary global standards and also futuristic in their appeal and utility.”
Hero’s product lineup currently consists of small-displacement motorcycles and scooters, but with the help of EBR, the company hopes to introduce high-end, more powerful motorcycles in order to maintain it’s grip on the Indian market while major international manufacturers begin to make footholds.
EBR is already collaborating with Hero on its Leap hybrid scooter project which was first unveiled last month in New Delhi.
“It gives me immense pleasure to welcome Erik Buell to the exciting world of Hero MotoCorp,” says Pawan Munjal, managing director and chief executive officer of Hero MotoCorp. “This is in keeping with my objective of quickly scaling up our own in-house R&D capabilities to a global two-wheeler technology power-house by leveraging a network of strategic international alliances. Erik and his team have been working closely with our engineers and designers to develop our next-generation range of products with cutting-edge technology and first-of-its-kind features.”
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