Love or loathe his creations, you do have to admire the tenacity and drive of the man.
This time though the dream may be over. Only days after his 55th birthday, the avant-garde designer, engineer, ex motocross and road racer, Erik Buell has once again had to close the doors on his Milwaukee based motorcycle manufacturing facility.
“The turn we recently took, after we thought we were moving forward, was unexpected,” Erik Buell said in a statement to the Milwaukee Journal. “We thought we had secured funding, but in the end, we were not able to get the funding in place. Therefore we need to do the best we can under the circumstances for all parties in interest.”
The Milwaukee Journal also reported that ‘the company has more than $20 million in outstanding liabilities, according to its attorney, and is seeking court protection from creditors.’
With colossal Indian company ‘Hero Motorcorp’, holding a 49 per cent ownership stake (purchased in 2013 for $25 million USD) in the company, it seems strange that they did not prop the venture up further, perhaps happy to cut their losses. Or perhaps, Hero will buy the remaining assets, trademarks, intellectual property and use EBR or its engineering in its existing manufacturing facilities throughout India, of which there are many.
But from another statement made to the Milwaukee Journal, Erik Buell is still not ready to roll over and give his 30-year dream away.
“To say this setback is a disappointment does not begin to express what I feel right now. I am personally grateful for the support of our outstanding workers, customers and vendors. While this is a sad ending, I personally hope for a new and better beginning,” Buell said to the Milwaukee Journal.
We have contacted Australian distributor of EBR, Urban Moto Imports, for comment but are yet to receive a reply. Urban Moto Imports also distribute MV Agusta, Bimota, Benelli, Royal Enfield and Confederate Motorcycles throughout Australia.
In conjunction with European partners EBR had recently been competing in the World Superbike Championship. Locally, Victorian Superbike racer Chas Hern has been racing an EBR 1190 RX and put the machine on the podium at the second round of the ASBK Championship last weekend at Morgan Park.
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