Erik Buell Racing closes, affecting 126 employees


East Troy-based Erik Buell Racing LLC permanently ceased operations on Wednesday at noon. The racing motorcycle manufacturer, located at 2799 Buell Drive, had 126 employees.

According to the WARN notice, Erik Buell Racing failed to acquire a capital investment and subsequently filed for receivership in Walworth County Court. The company anticipates that its assets will be sold.

“To say this setback is a disappointment does not begin to express what I feel right now,” said founder and chief executive officer Erik Buell. “The turn we recently took, after we thought we were moving forward, was unexpected. We thought we had secured funding, but in the end, we were not able to get that funding in place. Therefore we need to do the best we can under the circumstances for all parties in interest.”

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He continued, “EBR is closed for now, but the dream and the vision still exist. I understand that Henry Ford’s initial efforts at an automobile company failed and yet Ford still made his vision a reality that exists today. 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.”

Erik Buell Racing, a spinoff from Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson Inc. founded in 2009, opened an office in the Netherlands in 2014 to help expand distribution and overall brand awareness in Europe.

Also in 2014, Buell was a recipient of the BizTimes Media Bravo! Entrepreneur Award. The award honors business leaders who best exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit with bold leadership.

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