The lights are still off at Erik Buell Racing. The manufacturing assets of the company, which closed its doors last April, were sold at auction last Thursday for $2 million to a company called Liquid Asset Partners.
Various intangible assets of Buell already belonged to an Indian motorcycle company called Hero Moto-Corp.
Erik Buell Racing’s unpaid debts include $733,000 owed to Japanese engine design firm Mito Tech, $390,000 owed to Porsche Engineering Group and $202,000 in unpaid employee compensation.
A motorcycle enthusiast and entrepreneur named Bruce Belfer had previously promised to buy the manufacturing assets for $2.25 million but was never able to pay that amount
According to a press release distributed last Friday, Liquid Asset Partners’ “management team has worked with banks, retailers, courts, manufacturers, and investors. They make cash purchases or run commission disposition sales in retail, wholesale, industrial and motorsports industries. Past work in the motorcycle industry by the management team includes the Cannondale Motorcycle Factory in 2002, the Indian Motorcycle Factory in 2004, the American Ironhorse Motorcycle Factory in 2009, the Buell Factory in 2010, and assisting with the sales of major distributors, dealers, and suppliers.”
The release quotes Bill Melvin, Chief Executive Officer of Liquid Asset Partners, as saying: “There are still a lot of options on the table for a new owner to come in and continue making EBRs. EBR is not a start up, this is an established brand with a huge following across the globe. With the internet, motorcyclists everywhere will know this business is still for sale and we will be open to discussing options. Tell everyone! Maybe it will be crowd sourced, maybe a private investor will step in, maybe we will provide financing for the right team to move forward, or maybe a large manufacturer will acquire the brand with additional due diligence. Our hope is that someone will continue to manufacture these amazing motorcycles and with our acquisition we are adding more pavement to the road so that can happen.”
Erik 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.
EBT sold custom racing bikes and a couple of off the shelf models that cost about $18,000 each.
When his factory closed last April, Erik Buell wrote: “Unfortunately, in the end, we tried to do too much with too little funding, but it doesn’t diminish the accomplishments. 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.”
Liquid Asset Partners advises that, “Parties interested in Erik Buell Racing as a viable business should contact Liquid Asset Partners at 616.719.5917 to sign an non-disclosure agreement and receive additional information on the sale process.”