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post #1 of 35 Old 04-30-2010, 04:59 AM Thread Starter
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When you hand around with hogs, 'yer gonna get dirty

I read with great interest the article by Steve Anderson titled The Demise of the Buell Motorcycle Company.

Cycle World - Exclusive: The Demise of Buell Motorcycles
This is some of the best writing this side of Cameron and Egan that this magazine has printed in a long, long time.

I'm going to try not to get in to a big anti-Harley diatribe here but it may down spiral in to that.

What Harley did to Erik and his company was nothing short of shameful.

And then so as rub salt in the wound BRP wanted to take over the line and Harley torpedoed it. They spent more money scuttling Buell then they could have recouped turning it over to BRP.....I suppose Harley thought that they didn't want some other company making a success of a brand they shut down; sort of like what GM did to Saturn. What a waste.

Harley claims to embody the "American Spirit". I'm here to tell you that there is nothing more American than an average guy building a motorcycle from the ground up in his damned barn. Period. In that sense the original Harley Davidson founders shared that spirit as well as Britten (even though he and 'ol Burt Munroe were from 'Zealand) and many others.

Buell Motorcycle Company was an innovator and Harley benefited from that. Lots of good people gave many good years of their lives to Buell. What a waste.

Harley? American? I think not. If any true blue card carrying America loving Harley owners can actually stand up and say with a straight face that what The Motor Company did was kosher...you're fooling yourself.

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post #2 of 35 Old 04-30-2010, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by kreinke View Post
I read with great interest the article by Steve Anderson titled The Demise of the Buell Motorcycle Company.

Cycle World - Exclusive: The Demise of Buell Motorcycles
This is some of the best writing this side of Cameron and Egan that this magazine has printed in a long, long time.

I'm going to try not to get in to a big anti-Harley diatribe here but it may down spiral in to that.

What Harley did to Erik and his company was nothing short of shameful.

And then so as rub salt in the wound BRP wanted to take over the line and Harley torpedoed it. They spent more money scuttling Buell then they could have recouped turning it over to BRP.....I suppose Harley thought that they didn't want some other company making a success of a brand they shut down; sort of like what GM did to Saturn. What a waste.

Harley claims to embody the "American Spirit". I'm here to tell you that there is nothing more American than an average guy building a motorcycle from the ground up in his damned barn. Period. In that sense the original Harley Davidson founders shared that spirit as well as Britten (even though he and 'ol Burt Munroe were from 'Zealand) and many others.

Buell Motorcycle Company was an innovator and Harley benefited from that. Lots of good people gave many good years of their lives to Buell. What a waste.

Harley? American? I think not. If any true blue card carrying America loving Harley owners can actually stand up and say with a straight face that what The Motor Company did was kosher...you're fooling yourself.
Could not agree with you or the article more.

That'll work........
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post #3 of 35 Old 04-30-2010, 06:41 AM
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Amen.

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post #4 of 35 Old 04-30-2010, 07:47 AM
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Where was buell before HD?
Did Erik has no say in signing with HD?

I am not happy how it played out.
But business is business and we will never know what the idea was.

I do not think HD gives a shit if Buell is successful anywhere else...

One more reason for people to hate HD I guess... but in the end... Erik had no better options. If not for HD, most people would not know who Erik was.

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post #5 of 35 Old 04-30-2010, 07:49 AM
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I have always like the Buell even with the Sporty engine in it, especially the X1 Lightning.
Eric Buell like stated started this out of HIS Dream to build a sportbike, he just needed a better powerplant, and it was finally getting there when the hammer fell and the Buell line ended.

I bet he regrets getting in bed with HD now, selling them 51% stock in HIS idea company, now they/HD have all the say and down goes another American Dream.


Pure Shameful on the HD side of the house.........

Now what are ALL the Pro Stock Drag Bikes going to do, go all back to Japanese bikes or just the V-rod?

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post #6 of 35 Old 04-30-2010, 08:19 AM
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def agree with you and the article OP. the buell idea and mission was nothing short of awesome. They had some AWESOME bikes imo (styling wise and ergonomic wise) it was just too bad they had to use HD's motors.... cus when i test rode a 2009 xb12Scg it was horridly lacking. Then as soon as they get a decent motor from Rotrax, HD goes ya no not gonna happen, Start > Turnoff > Shut down.

It was just unfortunate that HD was probably the only person Erik had to work with at the time when he was looking for financial backing.

I think someone needs to grab a XB12 and stick an RC51 motor in it... that would be AMAZING!

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post #7 of 35 Old 04-30-2010, 08:37 AM Thread Starter
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I think someone needs to grab a XB12 and stick an RC51 motor in it... that would be AMAZING!
OK the RC would be a good choice but my wilder side sez TL1000. Even the Rotax 990 used in the Spyder and the Tuono would have been morethan adequate. I test rode a Spyder two weeks ago and even in a so-called trike I thought it was a barrel of laughs.

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post #8 of 35 Old 04-30-2010, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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I guess the whole thing that really chapped my arse was that all the engine development costs, improvements in manufacturing methods, etc that were developed by Buell were completely charged to Buell instead of amortized proportionately between the two companies. I liken it alot, again, to the whole Saturn thing. Saturn developed new auto assembly methods that GM owned the intellectual property to but instead of spreading those costs among all the GM divisions that partook of them they put that entire burden on Springhill; all the while saying that the division never made GM any money. Then they integrated it (assimilated) in to GM and tried to make it into a more upscale brand between Buick and Chevy (Wait wasn't Oldsmobile in that niche? Oh yeah they shut Olds down years ago.)

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post #9 of 35 Old 04-30-2010, 08:48 AM
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In my personal opinion, HD's decision to kill Buell was like a home lobotomy kit. One more time lawyers and marketers put down the engineer, and that is a damn shame. One reason I'm more pro-Japanese than American is because the Japanese seem to focus on making a quality product, regardless of cost. Back in the 50's, Mr. Honda plunked down 1 million dollars worth of capital that the company didn't have to buy machine tools to make all the millions of Super Cubs he was going to sell. The man knew how to make a superior product and no bean counter was going to tell him otherwise.

I bet with a few more years of development, Buell would have made a damn fine sportbike. I wouldn't mind throwing a leg over an 1125, or that new Barracuda they had brewing, but I guess it wasn't to be. I do hope one of Japanese companies, or maybe KTM or someone similar snaps Buell up after his no compete clause is expired. The story was just getting good. Thank you all.

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post #10 of 35 Old 04-30-2010, 09:05 AM
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Buell was starting to get my attention with incremental quality improvements. I think HD had to protect their company and did not want to be overshadowed by a wildly sucsessful BARACUDA.

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post #11 of 35 Old 04-30-2010, 09:26 AM
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Everything Harley Davidson is and stands for sucks donkey dick. Just another reason I will NEVER own one of those useless pieces of shit. To bad Buell didn't have the opportunity to ditch that lump of a power plant and go with Rotax engines the way Aprilia did.

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post #12 of 35 Old 04-30-2010, 09:39 AM
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<You want an XB12 with an RC51 engine in it? Look to the left. What the Buell should have been.

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post #13 of 35 Old 04-30-2010, 11:07 AM
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How many people saying it is a shame bought a buell?

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post #14 of 35 Old 04-30-2010, 11:12 AM
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yayaya but the buells had this, look to them that always got me. plus.... those KTM's are not my cup o tea.... guy on a brand new one showed up to ride with me n my buddy... went to start his bike... dead, whole charging system failed on a 2 moths old 990.

Im saying its a shame... never owned one, test rode one and was sorely disapointed 100% with the powerplant... it vibrated you to hell and produce craptastic power.

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post #15 of 35 Old 04-30-2010, 12:58 PM
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The whole charging system did not fail. His rectifier did. Or he had a loose ground wire. It happens. If it was brand new it got fixed free. Didn't fix his ruined day, tho. Had he been paying attention, he might have seen it coming. Interceptors were notorious for rectifiers going bad.

I'm glad KTM aren't eveyone's cup of tea. Makes them cheaper for me. I have a whole lot less money in my slightly used KTM than I did in the money pit 919 that I still have. The KTM is lighter, more powerful, more comfy, handles better has better seat, brakes, suspention, etc, etc...

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post #16 of 35 Old 04-30-2010, 01:57 PM
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def not saying ktm's are bad at all... my buddies 690 smc is fun as hell... but they were way out of my price range when i bought my 919.

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post #17 of 35 Old 04-30-2010, 06:00 PM
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Everyone who has contact with HD gets screwed, including those who pay $20k for a $5K bike. All chrome and noise and no action.

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post #18 of 35 Old 04-30-2010, 06:02 PM
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Oops,I forgot the original question, When you hang around the Hogs you gonna get oily shoes!

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post #19 of 35 Old 04-30-2010, 06:46 PM
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Oops,I forgot the original question, When you hang around the Hogs you gonna get oily shoes!
lol we always kid the only guy in our group of riding buddies that rides a harley about oil and random harley crap. One day hes just gonna snap lol.

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post #20 of 35 Old 04-30-2010, 08:14 PM
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Most of my actual friends have a hardly or cruiser wife is getting a sport bike It's gonna be great watching her tease them all the time.

Common sense. So rare it's a god damn super power.
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post #21 of 35 Old 04-30-2010, 11:56 PM
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Took a spin on my buddies new HD FLX....or something, above a sportster but below whatever the big touring bike model is called. Very comfy and felt smooth (low RPM's) when in gear and cruising. Shifted like an old tractor and handled like a pontoon boat. Not my cip of tea. I will stick with the 919 for a few more years then move on to a VFR or ST. Even if HD made a bike that appealed to me i'm sure it would be way more than I would be willing to pay for a new one. It seems to me that dollar for dollar they just don't match up with other bike brands.

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post #22 of 35 Old 05-01-2010, 01:25 AM
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A very interesting article. Interesting about the V-Rod engine starting as a Buell project engine taken over by HD for their ride.

I liked the sporty based ones but thought the new CR models were pointless, offering nothing above a cheaper Japanese sports bike.

All emotion aside, and sitting on my side of the world away from the USA I cannot help but shake a big finger at the 97% of American bike buyers who did not support Buell and buy their product. If they had sold better at home they would still be around.

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post #23 of 35 Old 05-01-2010, 05:01 AM
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A very interesting article. Interesting about the V-Rod engine starting as a Buell project engine taken over by HD for their ride.

I liked the sporty based ones but thought the new CR models were pointless, offering nothing above a cheaper Japanese sports bike.

All emotion aside, and sitting on my side of the world away from the USA I cannot help but shake a big finger at the 97% of American bike buyers who did not support Buell and buy their product. If they had sold better at home they would still be around.
Exactly! But thats cause it is easier to bitch and complain that it is to spend money.

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post #24 of 35 Old 05-01-2010, 08:52 AM
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Why support something that is years behind the competetion? I do believe that's what we were talking about. I read that HD only sells about 50% of their stuff here. They have a $$$ game going and only the un-informed who watch movies about HD tuff guys buy them here. They take a fender off one, a tire off another and the handlebars off a 3rd and presto, a brand new bike model for $18,500.
A new bike model is like the Concours 1000 ~ Concours 1400 with nothing else the same! A VFR 800 ~ VFR 1200. An FJ 1200 ~ FJ 1300, these are new bikes.

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post #25 of 35 Old 05-01-2010, 09:38 AM
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All emotion aside, and sitting on my side of the world away from the USA I cannot help but shake a big finger at the 97% of American bike buyers who did not support Buell and buy their product. If they had sold better at home they would still be around.
this is because even though the bikes were nice styling wise and ergo, they had these crappy clunky motors that vibrated your hands off and produced crappy power...... why would i buy a bike like that.

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post #26 of 35 Old 05-01-2010, 09:46 AM
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And I guess that is my point... if you dont like the parent company and not planning on buying anything from the sub company.... what is the problem when they cut it loose?

HD should give a shit about customers who are not customers at all, but rather a bunch of 'haters'?

I like HD fine. I have no problems with the bikes or the company. I dont like the prices and have no intent to purchase. But, I can say that about many companies. But here is a thread of opinions about a bike they were not gonna buy from a company they dont care for.....

So pile on! Yes! You are awesome for buying a non Harley! And thanks goodness you have managed to break you silence here! You should all pat each other on the back and buy each other beer!

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post #27 of 35 Old 05-01-2010, 09:54 AM
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what im trying to get at is it was a shame harley killed buell once they started getting a good motor, the fact is i liked buells but the HD motor killed any love. IMO buells woulda started sellin once they had a good power plant which was only a matter of time after the 1125 rotrax motor.

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post #28 of 35 Old 05-01-2010, 10:20 AM
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Sure.... but Buell was nothing with out HD.
HD did an experiment. It did not work the way they wanted, they killed the experiment.
It is business.

But what I think I am reading in this thread...

A bike I had no intention to buy and funded by a company I don't like was cut.
I am upset over this because it was a nice bike in concept for me to look at.
I hate the parent company and bought my bike instead.

What I am thinking is....

Buell was shopping for a comapny to support his ideas. He reached an agreement with HD when noone else was making offers. It seemed to show some promise. HD got into some financial issues and sees a recession coming. They trimmed the fat and a company that was nothign before HD is now back to nothing.
I am also glad people bought the bikes they like, cause variety is great, but I don't get the constant 'HD Sucks' - You dont like it, dont buy one.

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post #29 of 35 Old 05-01-2010, 07:52 PM
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I tend to agree with a lot of what's being said. The problem is that Buell's own lawyer told him not to sign the contract. He did it anyway. Bad business deal.
He should have known, and I bet his lawyer told him this would happen. In this economy everything's tanking. Buell, Saturn, Hummer, etc. HD is hurting too.
I read they were thinking about closing plants. Honda has even moved some motorcycle production back to Japan. As far as the quality, it's really improved. I can remember back when AMF owned HD, they couldn't give them away. Since the family bought it back, they have improved greatly. As far as vibration is concerned, I read an article about Willie Davidson, and he was asked about the vibration issue. He said they could get rid of it, but wouldn't due to it being part of the HD legacy. I own a 07' Low Rider and it's a good ride. Hasn't failed me in 10K miles. I bought the 07' 919 a few months ago and really enjoy it too. They each have their place. The wife loves the harley and won't ride the honda. So I guess i'll keep both.

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post #30 of 35 Old 05-01-2010, 08:15 PM
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i just remember on my test ride on the 09 Buell Xb12scg commin to a stop from about 40mph, i pulled the clutch in 75ft or so before the stop to coast up and the whole bike started vibrating like mad... i went umm wtf is wrong, i looked down at the rear wheel then the front real quick, then went oh.... ya its a harley motor its ment to vibrate the piss out of you.

Got back from the test ride and straight up said to the sales men... its a great bike minus the harley motor... no deal. Got on my VTX1800 that i rode there and enjoyed the smooth ride home.

The reason why Buell is synonous with Harley sucks, is the fact that well Buell was told to use HD's motors... and well the motor of a MOTORcycle is quite a big part of that makes a bike a bike.

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post #31 of 35 Old 05-02-2010, 01:56 AM
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Weren't the Buell frames made in Italy?

Engines by Harley.

What exactly did Buell manufacture from scratch? I was always under the assumtion that Buell really didn't manufactrure anything, just bought a bunch of parts and put them together. I realise that no one mfgs everything, but geeze, I would think sooner or later you make your own frames and engines.

I agree they should have used RC51 engines. A bike like that would have been very tempting. Harley engined thing.... just a curiosity.

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post #32 of 35 Old 05-02-2010, 01:58 AM
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I'll always think KTM outBuelled Buell.

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post #33 of 35 Old 05-02-2010, 02:19 AM
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I'll always think KTM outBuelled Buell.
Exactly! And better. Much better.

And back to the CR- for the same money there were lots of better sports bikes.

I did find the comment about test riding a Buell then riding home on a VT1800 interesting - 2 fairly different bikes other than the engine configuration!
:001_smile: "I went to get some milk and came home with wine" :001_smile:

I thought the original push with Buell was to buy the American made sport bike - thus the V-Twin HD engine (what else was there in America to use?).

Plus in some ways Harley had no need for Buell after bringing out the new Sporster tracker bike (can you get it in the USA yet?) - tell you this is a good handling (Harley) and they are pulling Buell HP out of the engine. On a nice set of twisties a excellent rider can give a average sport bike rider a surprise!

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post #34 of 35 Old 05-02-2010, 09:35 AM
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I did find the comment about test riding a Buell then riding home on a VT1800 interesting - 2 fairly different bikes other than the engine configuration!
:001_smile: "I went to get some milk and came home with wine" :001_smile:

!
well i had just sold my jeep and wanted something more sporty than the VTX1800... it was just funny when i rolled out of the parking lot the looks i got from the HD staff, the roll on burnout helped some haha.

and i think the above is right... ktm always out buelled buell.

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post #35 of 35 Old 05-02-2010, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
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Exactly! And better. Much better.

And back to the CR- for the same money there were lots of better sports bikes.

I did find the comment about test riding a Buell then riding home on a VT1800 interesting - 2 fairly different bikes other than the engine configuration!
:001_smile: "I went to get some milk and came home with wine" :001_smile:

I thought the original push with Buell was to buy the American made sport bike - thus the V-Twin HD engine (what else was there in America to use?).

Plus in some ways Harley had no need for Buell after bringing out the new Sporster tracker bike (can you get it in the USA yet?) - tell you this is a good handling (Harley) and they are pulling Buell HP out of the engine. On a nice set of twisties a excellent rider can give a average sport bike rider a surprise!


Yes you can, but to OVERPRICED! like nearly 12 grand!

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