Throughout The Car Industry
Buh Bye, Buell, MV Agusta Next On The Chopping Block
I consider myself at least slightly knowledgeable when it comes to motorcycles. Regarding Harley-Davidson's sales figures however, a working knowledge of the paralever isn't really necessary. Harley is in trouble, severe trouble. Their sales have tanked, probably because of the economy, but I like to think it's because their bikes are horrible: heavy, under-powered, louder than hell, smelly, ridden mostly by accountants who should have bought a Goldwing . .
As is always the case with bloated conglomerates, the interesting product is the first to get the ax (Pontiac G8 anyone??! . . still burns me up). To this end, Harley does not disappoint. Buell, this is your swansong . . .
Erik Buell began stuffing American engines into tiny, homemade sport bike frames twenty-six years ago. Though his bikes have never been what one might consider 'reliable', they have introduced many innovative designs and ideas, many of which are currently being ripped off by the Japanese Big Three and Ducati. Mass centralization, a concept that Buell took far beyond anything anyone else has tried, has revolutionized sport bike construction, evidenced by the recent schellacking handed out on the AMA circuit by Buell 1125.Rs. In its first year the 1125R was able to win the AMA Sport Bike Championship, the first for an American bike since 1986. Harley decided to kill the Buell brand today, leaving 180 workers without jobs, and one very sad Erik Buell, as this video demonstrates . ..
Unfortunately for Harley, Buell may have been the least of their problems. They still own MV Agusta, a company that has done nothing but vomit profit for the shaky six months Harley has owned them. Geez, are they surprised nobody wants a $20,000 sport bike that was designed fifteen years ago? They shouldn't be. Not when an eight thousand dollar CBR-600 will mop the floor with the flashy Italian.
So here's to you, Harley; way to kill the only bright spot in American motorcycle manufacter, be proud. I can't really blame you, I've seen about two Buells outside of showrooms in my life. Still, they served a purpose, where as Fat Boys and Dynas only annoy me. Shame, shame.
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