A Commentary On The End Of Buell Moto...

A Commentary On The End Of Buell Motorcycle Company

There are 31 comments on the Roadracing World story from Oct 22, 2009, titled A Commentary On The End Of Buell Motorcycle Company. In it, Roadracing World reports that:

FIRST PERSON/OPINION Via e-mail: On Buell Companies rise, companies fall. It is an inexorable process with only the span of time between the two events being in question.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Roadracing World.

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Matthew Krupek

Nanaimo, Canada

#1 Oct 25, 2009
Please save Buell, someone step up. For the jobs lost to the amazing product, lets get the word out there. Buell cannot go out like this. It can stand on its own two feet.
John

Mason, OH

#2 Oct 25, 2009
What a sad, sad decision. Buell did not just represent a great American made product, it represented what America once was and still can be. Innovative, different, weel built and dtermined to accomplish something. I hope like hell this company is somehow re-born. America needs good news and jobs right now.
Tom Balaban

Chicora, PA

#3 Oct 25, 2009
I just bought a new Buell this weekend. It sits next to my HD Springer in the garage. If times get tougher for me, the HD goes and the Buell stays. How's that taste Mr. Harley Davidson executive? Your under-powered, chromed out piece of crap that I sold my soul for can't hold a candle to my new XB9. Fit, finish, performance and the riding "experience" makes the HD look pretty sad. No new HD for me in my future. I can't quit smiling when I talk about my Buell!! After I wear out the Buell, I will be riding a KTM Super Duke. Nuff said??
Nobody

Maitland, FL

#4 Oct 29, 2009
Matthew Krupek wrote:
Please save Buell, someone step up. For the jobs lost to the amazing product, lets get the word out there. Buell cannot go out like this. It can stand on its own two feet.
I don't believe it's possible for anyone to 'step up.' Buell is not owned by Erik Buell; it's owned by Harley Davidson. Harley owns the name, the company and the rights to all patents and designs. Erik Buell is just an employee of H.D.

Besides, if the truth were known, Buell has probably been a money drain for 26 years. I'd be willing to bet that bikes like the 1125R each sold for less than Buell's production cost in order to compete with Japanese sportbike costs. The manufacturing numbers are too small to support the low price. Add to that the money spent in racing development and the money spent on paying racing contingencies and you have a huge money pit. No business man in his right mind would even consider trying to buy it.
BBletterin

Lansing, MI

#5 Oct 29, 2009
Wow there NObody,you must not ride a Buell or you would definetly talk a different story,I love my Ulesses and looked long and hard before I got it. Guess you drive no american cars as well.better wake up before your language changes as well.
Buellthis

Louisville, KY

#6 Oct 29, 2009
To tell you the truth Ive owned two Buells and they were both JUNK. The only reason i got the second one was because I convinced myself the first one was just a stroke of bad luck, so I got another X1 and that had even more problems than the first one. Lots of recalls and when it did run there was so much vibration the bike was a comfort nightmare, numb hands, sore butt, sore back, ect... Screw that, you can have your Buells I hate them, and good luck finding someone to work on them, there is a good reason there are only a handfull of dealers that will even touch them, its because they are garbage. The EVO and shovelheads were and are great cruizing bikes and I feel those are the best in the world but the Buell just cant compete against the in-line 4 metric sportbikes. This elimination should have been done a long time ago, So long Buell, Good to see you go.
Migheli

Montpellier, France

#7 Oct 30, 2009
Pure bullshit.
Still somebody who does not know what he's talking about...
It's not because you were able to destroy 2 Buell bikes that you've got the truth on this brand and its reliability.
They are just NOT for you.
I'm riding Buell motorcycles since 1997 and I do not agree with your simplistic comment.
Buell Motorcycle Company realized his best sales number in Europe and believe me, Buell riders here won't forget that HD sacrified, killed their favorite brand...A big mistake in terms of marketing and image !
You should go to your HD dealer and order one of their big fat ass motorcycle cause they will soon need your help.
I'll continue to ride my '00 X1 forever, with pride.
Double thumbs up, Mr Buell !
Greetings from France.
Buellthis wrote:
To tell you the truth Ive owned two Buells and they were both JUNK. The only reason i got the second one was because I convinced myself the first one was just a stroke of bad luck, so I got another X1 and that had even more problems than the first one. Lots of recalls and when it did run there was so much vibration the bike was a comfort nightmare, numb hands, sore butt, sore back, ect... Screw that, you can have your Buells I hate them, and good luck finding someone to work on them, there is a good reason there are only a handfull of dealers that will even touch them, its because they are garbage. The EVO and shovelheads were and are great cruizing bikes and I feel those are the best in the world but the Buell just cant compete against the in-line 4 metric sportbikes. This elimination should have been done a long time ago, So long Buell, Good to see you go.
Sherm

Utica, NY

#8 Oct 30, 2009
Never having owned a Buell, I can't pass judgment. From reading the reviews it does seem that over the past few years the bikes have gotten quite good.
But I do think a marketing down side was their shape and appearance - tall with a short wheelbase, and homely parts. In my opinion if ever there was a bike that "looked" like it was designed by a committee, its the Buell.
Maybe if Eric had gone right to Rotax at the beginning, things would have been different. I don't think it was an act of genius to try and build sport bikes around Sportster engines.

Since: Oct 09

Location hidden

#9 Oct 30, 2009
Personally I'm not interested in Buell's or Buell type bikes. I don't even like the looks of them. I love the HD 2009 FLSTC-but Buell type bikes ARE a popular style, especially with people who are into envelope pushing and street stunt ops. HD would do well to keep that angle open, and even promote it more. People can have two styles of riding and those who are into the Buell style or vs/vs can transition to the other at some point and HS could have had BOTH sales. The other thought is that maybe they are going to continue with Buell body and engine etc and just change the name to HD. Maybe they think product name recognition would be better for sales in the long run. i hope they carry parts and service for the ones they've sold and not create orphans. This would really be bad for future sales of any bike!
Jon

Mason, OH

#10 Oct 30, 2009
Buellthis, I have serious doubts that you ever owned a Buell. I have never met a Buell owner who disliked his ride. Reliability, I have never had a single issue with my 2003 XB9S. It is by far the best handling bike I have owned or ridden. You'll wish you kept your alleged 2 in several years when you see the re-sale value!
Shovel

Hollywood, FL

#11 Oct 30, 2009
Buellthis wrote:
To tell you the truth Ive owned two Buells and they were both JUNK. The only reason i got the second one was because I convinced myself the first one was just a stroke of bad luck, so I got another X1 and that had even more problems than the first one. Lots of recalls and when it did run there was so much vibration the bike was a comfort nightmare, numb hands, sore butt, sore back, ect... Screw that, you can have your Buells I hate them, and good luck finding someone to work on them, there is a good reason there are only a handfull of dealers that will even touch them, its because they are garbage. The EVO and shovelheads were and are great cruizing bikes and I feel those are the best in the world but the Buell just cant compete against the in-line 4 metric sportbikes. This elimination should have been done a long time ago, So long Buell, Good to see you go.
I have to agree with Buellthis, Im a Mechanic that works for a large Harley Davidson dealership,(We actually have two locations) Ive been doing this for 25 years with the same company and I gotta tell ya, we dropped the Buell brand flat out years ago. We got no support from Buell as far as Engineering support, No Tech support, We even had to each go to a Beull certification class and even during the class we all agreed that this was going to be a problem child. In the early days these bikes were total crap, after about 2004 they started to get a little better but not by much. I sure as hell would not own one. I felt bad for the poor customers who thought they were getting a great bike only to have it spend more time in the shop than on the road, after taking a big loss most customers sold them, Ive spent many many hours wrenching on these worthless bikes and I havent worked on one in years and refuse to do it when asked. Right now I am seeing 99 to 2000 Buell Lightnings, cyclones, the larger ones (Not the Blast) selling used of course for around $2500.00, with very low miles most likely because they spent a lot of time being broken. I dont see the value of these bikes going up, they have to be a good machine to do that, these are far from good. I even have issues with the EVO motor, not a bad motor, but far from perfect. My 79 Shovelhead has close to 100,000 miles on it and other than routine maint. its pretty much been perfect for me. On a rating of 1 to 10 with 10 being the best I would rate a buell at about a 3, and thats only because they have a cool look about them but for comfort and reliability no thanks, you can have them. Any actual certified Harley Davidson mechanic that reads this blog will agree with me on this one. I am so glad to see these bikes go.
BBletterin

Lansing, MI

#12 Oct 31, 2009
Well there shovel, my ulysses is nothing but a sportster engine,hopped up some.If Buells are so bad then I guess your real opinion of harley in general is bad as well. I haven't dealt wiith the rotax engine, but my ulysses is pretty strong & is a blast to ride. Sorry your dealings with Buell has become so bad.Jap bikes are slowly creeping into Harleys cruiser market too.If America dosen't stand & produce affordable reliable FUN bikes we better learn forgin languages.
smartA

Tulsa, OK

#13 Nov 1, 2009
If Buell was such a "Great Bike" then why did Harley decide to discontinue the line? Because they are garbage.
Jon

Mason, OH

#14 Nov 2, 2009
Shovel, be specific about what you consider problems. I still have not heard of many problems and see a lot of them for sale on Ebay with a ton of miles going for a good price. Any person that would praise the crap shovel head over an EVO motor is either stuck in the old days and refuses to change because he has one or simply has no clue what he is talking about. Reminds me of when I started out as a mechanic in the early 80's all of the old timers used to tell me how crappy fuel injection was compared to a carb. I'll bet you like carbs still.
BuellBoy

Milford, MI

#15 Nov 2, 2009
Shovel its ok don't feel bad if you can't fix a Buell. Afterall you are from Florida. Anything harder then 2+2 is a bit of a challenge for you southern fellows. Buell just tried to develop a bike that actually can stand toe to to toe with a Ducati. I believe you would not know what a Ducati is since that is another brand that spanks the jappy bikes and you would not know that.
Buells are the most reliable bikes out there. I know guys like myself with buells with over 50K and never needing to go to the shop.
You do know that Buell spanked the japp bikes thsi year in the AMA, guess not most Harley guys think a racing bike is something that can do 100mph.
Love Buells its the only brand that japps can't make fun of like HD,lol
exXoneowner

Hollywood, FL

#16 Nov 2, 2009
My 99 X1 I purchased new and I cant remember how many recalls there were but it was a lot, that bike was total junk. Buell took the AMA this year because of its support staff, any manufacture can take that title with the right team of Engineers, design people, and the top notch support that team got. I did not have that support when I had mine, I just got the run-around with the dealer saying "That should do it, good as new" only to be back the following week with another problem or recall notice in the mail. Selling that junk pile was the best thing I ever did, I took a big loss but it was well worth it. You Buell lovers have yourself convinced you own a great bike because your to proud to admit its junk but deep down inside you know you are riding complete garbage.
BBletterin

Lansing, MI

#17 Nov 3, 2009
Whats up with Flodida? Hanging chads? Buel ,like ALL brands are going to have some problems,especialy if a new approach to bikes is being tried. Hell Harley used to have the worst reputation for shaking,oil leaking break down that any company could have,but people kept buying them. They are light years better than they were. I'm 48 & remember there problems. Buell is the ONLY cutting edge that Harley had. I'm not a Harley hater, but think that a better decision could have been made reguarding Buell.
full face

Pittsburg, CA

#18 Nov 3, 2009
I never owned a Buell, but I've ridden plenty. I appreciate their uniqueness and their novel approach to function-driven design. I almost bought an '03 XB12 Lightning until my wife said she wanted to ride on the back, so I bought an Aprilia RST instead. She only rode with me twice; shoulda bought the Buell. I demo rode the 1125r when it was released, and instantly knew it was my next bike. Light, fast, and comfortable? Unbelievable! I had to have one, but the impact of the recession on my finances said I had to wait. And wait. Visit the dealers, salivate, and wait. Suddenly, there were fewer and fewer Buells to throw a leg over -- and then they were gone. HD KILLED MY DREAM!
full face

Pittsburg, CA

#19 Nov 3, 2009
I've been shopping for a long time. I rode a bunch of bikes in comparison, '04 XB12 Firebolt, '04 XB12 Lightning, '05 Suzuki GSXR 1000, '05 Suzuki Hayabusa, '08 KTM Super Duke, '07 Aprilia Tuono Factory, '08 BMW K1200S, '08 BMW F800, '08 MV Agusta Brutale 750, '07 Speed Triple 1050, '04 Kawasaki Z1000, '04 Kawasaki ZX6R, '07 Honda CBR 600RR, '07 Ducati Monster 800, '09 Ducati Streetfighter, and the '09 Buell 1125R. It came down to the Speed Triple and the 1125R, and my final decision would've been the Buell. The only other bike I would consider is the KTM RC8, but I never rode it and it's too expensive.
Jon

Mason, OH

#20 Nov 3, 2009
exXoneowner, I have solved the mistery, obviously shovel was your mechanic at the HD dealer. I should have known. Not sure what is going on in Florida but I would have to say stay out of the sun because it is clearly baking your brains! BuellBoy has the same experiences that the rest of us Buell lovers have had, pure, reliable biking happiness.

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