If you really love motorcycles and you happen to win the lottery tonight your dreams could come true tomorrow.
The small but important, American motorcycle manufacturer Eric Buell Racing will be sold at auction Tuesday in East Troy, Wisconsin. The assets to be liquidated include the company’s inventory, its supply of parts and its intellectual property.
“We could literally be shipping motorcycles, probably within a couple of days, as soon as we brought back an assembly team” Eric Buell told Rick Barrett of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in an article published yesterday. “The bikes are just sitting there, covered in plastic, waiting to be finished.”
The company shut down in April and laid off 126 employees. It had reportedly received about $25 million from Indian motorcycle manufacturer Hero but was still $20 million in debt. Hero now owns 49 percent of the company which filed for bankruptcy in state court in April.
Sales of the EBR bikes, called the 1190 RX and 1190 SX were slow. They retailed for about $18,000 each. EBR also made custom racers for about $40,000 each. EBR was also designing motorcycles for Hero. Analysts have suggested the company was trying to build too many motorcycles at once.
Eric Buell admitted as much in a statement he issued April 20. “Unfortunately, in the end, we tried to do too much with too little funding, but it doesn’t diminish the accomplishments.” Buell wrote. “We introduced the world class American super bikes of 1190RS, 1190RX and 1190SX, while at the same time doing revolutionary work for Hero on the HX250R, Leap, SimplEcity, iON, RnT and many others, plus concepts never publicly seen. It was great EBR innovation and design, and introduced new technology to Hero and its suppliers to provide a real kick start for them. But in the end all of this simply overwhelmed us, and for that we are sorry and saddened.”
A Little History
Eric Buell, now 65, is the foremost American sport bike designer of his generation. He started as an engineer for Harley-Davidson. He founded the Buell Motorcycle Company in 1983. Ten years later Harley bought 49 percent of the company and ten years after that, in 2003, Buell became a wholly owned subsidiary of Harley.
Harley discontinued that sport bike line in October 2009. In all, there were 136,923 Buells. The next month, Eric Buell founded EBR.
Whoever buys the company tomorrow will purchase a turnkey operation.