Erik Buell Featured on Entrepreneur.com

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Entrepreneur.com, the web presence of Entrepreneur magazine, has a feature article on Erik Buell and his Erik Buell Racing (EBR) company. While the article reveals some lack of knowledge of the two-wheeled world by overusing the term “crotch rocket” as the generic description for sportbikes, this is forgivable considering it’s coming from a publication specializing in small businesses and, well, entrepreneurs, and not motorcycles.

The article otherwise does a good job of giving a brief but broad synopsis of Buell and the triumphs and tragedies encountered with BMC (Buell Motorcycle Company) — it’s a good primer on Buell if you’re not fully up to speed on Buell’s life in motorcycles. A benefit of the article’s business nature is that we gain some insight and relevant news related to Buell’s plans for EBR and current challenges facing the new-ish company.

From the Entrepreneur.com article:

“We had the potential to do 1,500 bikes [the 1190RS] in 2012, but we had to revise that down to 900. I didn’t think it would be this hard to raise $20 million,” Buell laments, pointing out that the total he needs isn’t much more than what many less-established tech and service companies are getting every day from banks and venture capital firms.

“I think there’s a lack of interest and understanding in this country about what we’re trying to manufacture. We’re not trying to be like Jesse James’ West Coast Choppers,” he says, referring to the small-volume, custom-built bike brand. “We’re trying to be BMW and produce, in volume, hundreds of millions of dollars worth of sport bikes.”

Also interesting, and something we don’t hear very often, are Buell’s claims of emissions efficiency for the 1190RS. According to the article  the 1190RS produces only one fourth of allowable emissions by EPA standards, and only a third of  emissions allowed by California standards.

Perhaps most encouraging to read is Buell’s hope of producing enough of the 1190RS by the end of 2012 that will see the bike in the $10,000 to $20,000 range.

Warm up your wallets and read more at: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/222783

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  • robin fischer

    One more in a very long line of MC start-ups that have been doomed by lack of capital and small scale. Buell has certainly demonstrated tenacity, but that is not enough in the capital-intensive world of vehicle manufacturing. Even innovative design and engineering, a Buell trademark, gets buried by lack of money. Last year’s ground-breaking 1190 RS has already been eclipsed by Ducati’s new Panagale at a much better price point. As before, Buell has been forced to join a larger, better funded partner [Hero Motorcorp] to carry on. The open question is whether that ultimately ends as did the H-D collaboration. I wish Erik nothing but the best, but frankly am not optimistic