The Wall Street Journal reported this morning that Hero MotoCorp. Ltd. of India has bought 49.2 percent of Erik Buell Racing LLC, for $25 million. Hero and EBR had already begun a collaboration last year, in which Hero gives EBR support (and sponsors EBR’s AMA Superbike effort) in exchange for technical expertise. After a break-up with Honda a couple of years ago, Hero is now reported to be India’s biggest seller of motorcycles and scooters—5.91 million sold last year—most of which the WSJ says displace between 100 and 223cc.
EBR currently produces only its very racy 1190R Superbike, but the story states that Buell has plans to produce more models. Buell produced only 65 bikes in 2012, but Ravi Sud, chief financial officer of Hero MotoCorp, says the goal is to sell 20,000 in 2017. Quite a ramp-up.
Erik Buell currently is traveling in Wisconsin’s Upper Peninsula, where he says the communications are terrible. He did, however, manage to get one text message through to us here at CW Central: “One step at a time. This investment will help a lot!”