Some History Of Buell Motorcycles by aihaozhe2

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									It has been said that Erik Buell, founder of Buell Motorcycles, was born on a
motorcycle. While that story is a bit enhanced, Erik Buell did begin riding
motorcycles at the tender age of 12. His intense passion of the machine led him create
a line of extreme and supreme motorcycles.

In the late 70s, Erik Buell worked his way through school by taking a part-time job at
a local motorcycle dealership. He had considerable knowledge of the workings of
motorcycles and quickly advanced from trainee mechanic to service manager. During
this time Buell also began racing motorcycles at the amateur level. After graduation,
Buell went to work as a chassis engineer for Harley-Davidson.

In 1978, Erik Buell recorded the fastest newcomer qualifying time for the Daytona
200 motorcycle race. Four years later he left Harley-Davidson to pursue his dream of
designing his own race bike. In 1983, he did just that when he designed and built the
RW750 motorcycle specifically to compete in the AMA Formula One road racing
class.

Buell tested the RW750 motorcycle throughout 1983 and clocked a top speed of 178
mph during testing at Talladega, Alabama. The first production of the Buell RW750
was released in the fall of 1984.

The following year, the American Machinists Racing Team announced that 1985
would be the last year for Formula One racing. Buell's type of motorcycle would be
eliminated from the racing circuit. If he wanted to continue in racing, he would have
to go back to the drawing board and begin his design from scratch.

Buell began working on building a world-class sportsbike, powered by the
Harley-Davidson XR1000 engine. A total of fifty Buell RR1000 motorcycles were
produced during 1987-88. In 1988 the Harley-Davidson XR1000 engines were
discontinued and Buell had to further re-engineer his design.

The resulting RR1200 model was introduced in 1988. This model used the new
1203cc Harley-Davidson Evolution engine. Sixty-five Buell RR1200 motorcycles
were produced for sale through 1989.

During this time, Buell also introduced the RS1200, a two-seat version of the RR1200
model. Over 100 of these unique models were produced through 1990.

The 1990s produced revolutionary designs to Buell motorcycles. The company
expanded production facilities and added a new composite and paint shop, which led
to greater flexibility and control over the manufacturing process.

In 1991, Buell introduced a single-seat version of the RS1200. The Thunderbolt S2
was introduced in 1994 under partnership with Harley-Davidson. A sport-touring
version, the S2T, was added to the Buell line-up in 1995.

A new line of street bikes were introduced in 1996, including the Lightning S1
motorcycle which was voted "Hooligan Bike of the Year" by Cycle World Magazine.
Other innovations included two new designs of the Thunderbolt motorcycle; the
Thunderbolt S3 and the Thunderbolt S3T.

Buell introduced the Cyclone M2 touring bike in 1997 and developed the
Thunderstorm engine in 1998.

In 1999, Buell rolled out completely redesigned models of the Lighting and Cyclone
motorcycles. Both bikes had new body styles, frame, suspension, larger and more
comfortable seats, and bold colors.

At the end of 1999, Buell's new designs and engineering innovations pushed sales to
more than 8,000 motorcycles in one year.

Buell has always maintained a close relationship with Harley-Davidson. In February
1994, Harley-Davidson purchased 49 percent of Erik Buell's company and the new
Buell Motorcycle Company was born.

Four years later, Harley-Davidson purchased another 49 percent; leaving Erik with a 2
percent share and a long term employment contract. The Buell Motorcycle Company
is now a subsidiary of Harley-Davidson, Inc.

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