By on February 25, 2021

Buell

EBR Motorcycles of Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 2020 acquired Buell and is bringing the storied brand back to life. Models are currently in production, based on the 1190 platform renown for its horsepower and handling.

Buell

Bill Melvin, EBR Motorcycles CEO said, “Buell is back! We are excited to bring Buell back with this assortment of superbikes and performance motorcycles. We start with the fastest American production motorcycles, hand built in the USA. We’re building out those platforms for more touring and adventure models, then we’re expanding our displacements to be competitive with other global brands. The Buell Nation can grow and thrive again.”

Buell

You may recall the part where Erik Buell joined Harley-Davidson, and the two brands co-existed for awhile despite creative and philosophical differences. The union didn’t last, and its dissolution was ugly. Buell was back on its own without visible means of support, and it floundered. At that point, it appeared Buell would become one of the motorcycle industry’s casualties, another brand that had seen better days.

Buell

Melvin, a liquidation and turnaround specialist, maximizes acquisitions through his firm, Liquid Asset Partners, making cash purchases or running disposition sales. Working with banks, retailers, bankruptcy courts, trustees, manufacturers, and lenders, he and his company have been in business since 1974. How they bought the remaining assets of Buell is unknown, but suffice to say it was enough to kickstart the company once again.

Buell

New dirt, dual-sport, touring, and cruiser motorcycles will be forthcoming from EBR Motorcycles, with as many as 10 new models by the 2024 model year.

“Buell is known as the American brand for high performance, innovation, & adventure. Fast is fun again on a Buell. We will continue and expand on that,” said Melvin. “The future will be fast and fun on a Buell.”

But I’m back from the dead
Starting over man
Something to believe in
Something to live for  – “Back From The Dead” – Blessid Union of Souls

[Images: EBR Motorcycles, Liquid Asset Partners]

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18 Comments on “Buell Motorcycles is Back From the Dead...”


  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    The motor out of the ugly Pan America might be a good choice for a GT bike. Sport bikes right now are out of favour. “Naked” streetfighter’s are the bike of choice for youth riders. Once again HD and affiliates are late to the party with the wrong offerings.

  • avatar
    don1967

    “We start with the fastest American production motorcycles, hand built in the USA. We’re building out those platforms for more touring and adventure models, then we’re expanding our displacements to be competitive with other global brands.”

    Translation: 125cc to 500cc motorcycles that will be as American as Apple iPads.

  • avatar
    Syke

    Very, very happy to read this. Buell made a damn good bike, was definitely something different from the usual Japanese four cylinder sport bikes, and always got the short shift from Harley-Davidson. Mainly because it “wasn’t a real Harley”, conveniently ignoring that the brand was pretty much the only bike you could carry in a Harley dealership that would appeal to someone who was younger than a Boomer.

    I always felt that Harley’s slide began the day they dropped Buell and sold off MV Augusta.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      “Buell made a damn good bike”

      Not really. I rode at least 8 different ones at a demo ride. They all felt different at the controls. Brakes, fit and finish was awful.

      A buddy had a Kawasaki dealership where we test rode several ZX6’s in a day. Fit and finish was excellent between bikes.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        Problem is: Anything as complicated as a competitive modern vehicle takes 50 years, and a million iterations, of meticulous perfection and ironing out of every darned detail, to get to anything qualifying for “damn good” ranking by anyone who simultaneously knows and cares. There simply is no other known way. No matter how hard some half literate, clueless coquetry of sales hacks, “billionaires”, “investors” and self proclaimed “visionaries” may like to pretend that having other people’s earnings redistributed their way by central banks enables them, out of all dunces, to somehow get around that; they never have and never will.

        NASA _may_ be able to fake a thing or two on Mars Rover budgets and access to an above average number of big brains, but even those Rovers are pretty shoddily slapped together, and honestly not really all that, compared to what Honda by now can sell profitably for about a grand a pop, all over Asia.

        It’s easy to get the basics right. Stick a big engine in a frame with wheels, and any halfwit can get something with an impressive sounding (to those easily impressed….) spec sheet. But beyond that, the curve to perfection gets steeper and steeper rapidly. Hence requiring more and more trials and iterations, and more and more data of actual real world usage, rather than just silly virtual “models.” There simply is no other way.

        And just to add insult to injury: The zx-6 is likely the greatest sport bike for the street ever built. Fat chance any gaggle of dreamers in a garage will get even close, before their grandchildren have long since replaced them at the wrenches.

  • avatar
    Imagefont

    HD is caught is a trap of their own making. They sell traditional Harley’s – they are their own tradition. And they can’t really improve, update or come out with anything new – if they do, it’s not a real Harley.
    Buell could have coexisted along side Harley if they had promoted it and invested in it. Some Harley DNA in a bike that appealed to a different market segment.
    These new Buell’s seem to borrow and the original rim mounted disk brake but little else. They look generic, they need to set them off with unique character or it’s over before they start.
    Nothing screams wild unbridled fury and a wander lust for the open road like “Liquid Asset Partners”.

  • avatar
    greaseyknight

    Living in Milwaukee and knowing a former Buell engineer, couple of things.

    Buell and EBR are two different companies, Harley bought Buell, and then closed the company. EBR was a new company started by Eric Buell.

    The global brands is likely a company based in India called Hero, that produces motorcycles aimed at the local market.

    Eric Buell is currently working on electric motorcycles with a company called Fuell.

    EBR filed a Chapter 128 re-organization, which is a Wisconsin only form of Bankruptcy/Reorganization/repayment of debts.

    That all being said, from what I’ve seen the EBR bikes are crazy cool, basically “production” race bikes.

  • avatar
    redapple

    Hand Built = Good
    Is a canard.

    From a quality engineering perspective, it s bad. Real bad. Repeatability is highest with machine work. It is LOWEST with human hand work.

  • avatar
    jmo

    If I’m reading this correctly Harley executives decided the easiest way to make their bonus was to focus on their traditional boomer dentist wannabe Hells Angle clientele. Harley is in the shitter as a result. Buell with a solid “naked” streetfighter lineup would have been a path to the future. But the MBAs killed it and another great American business teeters on the brink of irrelevancy. Do I have that right?

    • 0 avatar
      Turbo Is Black Magic

      Keith Wendell who was the HD CEO at the time had never ridden a motorcycle… ever, and did not understand why people would want to go fast on a motorcycle. He was an idiot of monumental proportions and even we so far as to eat $135M in shutdown costs rather than sell the brand to Polaris that actually wanted to buy it at the time… they did not want to take the risk of Buell doing well down the road, furthering his image of a blundering idiot.

      Ironic that HD seems destined to forever repeat its mistakes…. a shoe guy is now the current CEO…

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    I hope they thrive, but I always thought the Harley engine was a disadvantage, despite its impressive torque. There’s more sources for power now and I hope they exploit them to the fullest.

  • avatar
    markf

    Yawn, another “American” brand building underpowered, overpriced V-Twins.

    • 0 avatar
      Turbo Is Black Magic

      Underpowered? The 1190 RX is 419lbs and makes 185HP! It’s as close as you can get to a WSBK bike without stepping up the BMW HP4 or Panigale R money….

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