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Author Topic: RIP Buell  (Read 1916 times)

72westie

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RIP Buell
« on: October 15, 2009, 03:02:22 PM »
Just got a e-mail from a old customer who worked for Buell. Harley just shut them down as a cost saving measure.



The Company will discontinue production of Buell motorcycles. Remaining inventories of Buell motorcycles, accessories and apparel, while they last, will continue to be sold through authorized dealerships. Warranty coverage will continue as normal for Buell motorcycles and the Company will provide replacement parts and service through dealerships.

The decision will result in a reduction over time of about 80 hourly production positions and about 100 salaried positions at Buell. Employment will end for a majority of Buell employees Dec. 18, 2009.

Harley-Davidson, Inc. expects to incur approximately $125 million in one-time costs related to the discontinuation of the Buell product line. The Company expects to incur approximately $115 million of that amount this year
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Chasfield

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Re: RIP Buell
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2009, 04:21:35 PM »
That is bad news. You would have thought that the brand gave HD sufficient market diversity to at least keep production going, albeit on some highly rationalised basis.
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Vince

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Re: RIP Buell
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2009, 04:54:02 PM »
     Go to www.buell.com for the story.

The Garbone

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Re: RIP Buell
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2009, 05:27:33 PM »
Damn,  I was thinking of getting a Ulysses XBT eventually.  Guess that idea is now toast. :-\

Merry Xmas to those employees,  thats the same day the company I work for is putting this quarters layoffs on the street also...  I escaped this round....   >:(  Sucks all over.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2009, 05:29:55 PM by The Garbone »
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ace.cafe

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Re: RIP Buell
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2009, 06:39:50 PM »
They are also selling off MV Agusta, which they just only bought a year ago.

It'll be interesting to see who buys MV.


scoTTy

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Re: RIP Buell
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2009, 11:13:33 PM »
buMMer on both counts  :(

Kevin Mahoney

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Re: RIP Buell
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2009, 03:05:07 AM »
What surprised me was that Harley just flat out closed Buell and is selling MV. Wonder why they didn't try to sell Buell.

birdmove

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Re: RIP Buell
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2009, 03:49:44 AM »
   Dam!! I got a temperary layoff from the HD/Buell dealership I work at (six weeks with a firm return to work date-I hope), and look what happens. I am a big fan of Buell motorcycles and Erik Buell in particular (except for his recent treatment of the Blast!!). For those that haven't ridden a Firebolt, you missed out on a great handling motorcycle.Lightnings too.

   Jon
Jon in Keaau, Hawaii

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thoughts from a Buell lover
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2009, 02:36:28 AM »
Definitely a sad day. I was in shock for hours after I heard the news.

Buell has been a money pit for Harley since the start. When I worked as a service manager at a Harley dealership in Texas, we carried Buells. Unfortunately, we sold very few (maybe two in a year... including the one I purchased). The store owner finally decided to stop carrying Buells completely.

Little niggling problems have shadowed Buell from the start. They still have large numbers of recalls (even on models that have been in production for many years). The Buell club (B.R.A.G.) was a dismal failure, as was the magazine (FUELL). They tried rather unsuccessfully to make a name for themselves in racing. When they finally did (Danny Eslick won the Daytona Sportbike series on a Buell this year), it was very controversial. Buell never had much in the way of aftermarket accessories or merchandising. The Blast model was an embarrassment; and it only got worse when Buell had an ad campaign featuring him crushing a Blast into a tiny metal cube. And of course, Harley dealerships really had no idea how to promote Buells. They just don't know how to sell to sportbikers. Another issue is that Buell somehow managed to make some powerful enemies in the powersports media. One that springs to mind is the SuperBikePlanet.com website. They regularly made it known that they hated Buells.

So when you combine all these challenges, you get a snowball affect of the sportbike community deciding Buells are crap. That's what happened. A part of me is amazed that Harley kept Buell for as long as it did.

Kevin, to answer your question about why Harley didn't consider selling Buell.... I'll bet that it has to do with the fact that all the air-cooled models are still running on engines made by Harley. So, Harley is probably not interested in continuing production of those engines (which have evolved beyond the 1200cc Sportster engines that they were based upon). The two 1125 models use Rotax engines.

Don't get me wrong. I really enjoyed the four Buells I had. I'd keep my current XB12R if money were no object. But, I have been planning to eBay it for a few weeks now. I wonder if people will see it as a collector's item or as something that will be hard to get parts and warranty support for? I guess I'll find out when the auction ends.

rideOn

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Re: RIP Buell
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2009, 07:30:57 PM »
a 26 year run with awards and nhra and superbike championships is terrific. buell should proud. he went longer on his own than with h-d. maybe he should have stayed on his own. sorry for the folks this affects....sucks. fyi, honda in florence, sc is going to hire 120 people in it's atv plant.
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Cabo Cruz

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Re: RIP Buell
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2009, 02:46:06 AM »
Give a listen to the sad farewell message by Erik Buell:

http://www.fasterandfaster.net/
Long live the Bullets and those who ride them!

Keep the shiny side up, the boots on the pegs and best REgards,

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1Blackwolf1

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Re: RIP Buell
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2009, 11:21:52 AM »
  Was never a great fan of Buell, just bad they lost out under the circumstances.  I believe a more tragic loss at this time is Saturn.  A well built, reliable American made car.  Made equally as good as anything Jap/German, and generlly a lot cheaper.

  Two more American brands wiped away, and that will soon become as remmebered as AMC.  Will.

 
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Chasfield

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Re: RIP Buell
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2009, 05:35:52 PM »
No company that puts thunderin' v-twin motors in lightweight, agile frames can be all bad.

 :(
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1Blackwolf1

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Re: RIP Buell
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2009, 05:41:20 PM »
  Never said they were bad, just was never a big fan.  Nothing bad meant by the statement.
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Chasfield

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Re: RIP Buell
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2009, 05:45:56 PM »
I was generally musing rather than responding to your last reply - sorry to confuse. I can see that you feel for  the loss of the company, even though you might not have gone out and bought a Buell.
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