Couple years ago HOG(NYSE) though they’d never hear of Erik Buell again… They’d shut down Buell and laid off everyone, Erik included. Refused viable offers to sell the company whole and sold the tooling off in bits, scattered to the winds. But Erik and his infamous “elves” weren’t about to go quietly into the night… Within weeks Erik was back in business just up the block from the Buell plant Harley’d closed, building racebikes under the “EBR Racing” name, as HOG(NYSE) even owned the “Buell” brand name.

Three years on from those dark days, EBR Racing is competing with the best BMW, Ducati, and the Japanese can field on the racetracks in a series where HOG(NYSE) couldn’t even supply a suitable pace bike. Just a couple weeks back EBR announced it’s first real street bikes. And EBR’s consulting relationship with an unknown Indian motorcycle manufacturer know as Hero has born fruit in the form of mid sized Hero bikes largely designed by EBR… And Hero just happens to be the world’s biggest motorcycle manufacturer, building twice as many bikes in a month than HOG(NYSE) manages in a year…

Now HOG(NYSE) usually at least likes to give the appearance of keeping their new models secret until they’re hitting the showroom floor, and they tend to do those introductions  with much ado, even though there’s usually not much really new. So Erik Buell intros his new EBR street bikes and reveals plans for some mid sized models in one of the world’s biggest motorcycle markets that HOG(NYSE) would like to get a foothold in. Must have been a stressful last couple weeks in the executive suites at HOG(NYSE), because they just dumped this on us…

http://street.harley-davidson.com/en_US

Ever up to date, HOG(NYSE) has (not so) boldly gone where Honda was a couple decades ago. That assumes HOG(NYSE) is actually going to build this thing, heck, it may be a plaster and balsa mock up or wonder of computer graphics. And given that some HOG(NYSE) dealers have already signed up to carry EBR, perhaps this is a bit of two wheeled “vaporware” to reassure HOG(NYSE) dealers that they’ll have a HOG(NYSE) product to defend against the EBR onslaught…

Not that this “Wee-Rod” has a snowball’s change in hell of surviving in HOG(NYSE)’s shrinking market segment… Look how they all but killed the V-Rod. Yup, a contemporary bike, even if it conforms to the Harley “form factor”, is DOA on a Harley showroom floor.

Meanwhile, Erik Buell and Hero have moved a couple steps further ahead…

 

 

 

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