H-D said no to BRP offer

The Canadian recreational products manufacturer BRP
(Bombardier Recreational Products) made two offers to buy the Buell line from
Harley-Davidson, according to motojournalist Alan Cathcart.

In the March 2010 issue of American Motorcycle Dealer,
Cathcart writes that Harley’s management "rejected two attempts by Canadian"
firm BRP that could have saved Buell.

The Buell 1125 line of sportbikes uses motors made by Rotax,
which BRP owns, and so the purchase would have preserved an important
customer for that motor, says Cathcart. He says BRP originally offered to buy the two Rotax-powered motorcycles, then the whole company.

BRP is an off-shoot of Bombardier, which started out decades ago producing snowmobiles in Quebec but has since branched into aerospace and other endeavours and in 2003 sold off the recreational products division, BRP.

For more, see the story on page 50 in AMD.


  1. HD screwed this up big time. What they don’t want the share holders to know is that Buell was profitable. Harley used Buell as a write off to make their own numbers look better. The main reason they did not want to sell Buell was it would have been very successful under proper management. Buell should have had its own dealer network and been kept completely separate from HD. A lot of good designers, Engineers and stylists lost their jobs at Buell because HD did not want them to shine on their own. Wait until you read the new Cycle World story in the May issue. HD at their best!!

  2. What if AMF would have treated Harley Davidson in 1983 like Harley Davidson treated Buell in 2009. AMF gave Harley a chance to survive in 1983, damn Harley Davidson for not giving that chance to Buell. Nothing like throwing away a good company and good jobs to save a little face. They sure didn’t save any money….

  3. HD didn’t want to sell Buell to Bombardier, so Bombardier will have KKR just buy the whole company in a LBO.
    that would just be too cuell!

  4. Real smart closing Buell right after winning the AMA Daytona Sportbike Championship. In this years Daytona 200 Shawn Higbee crashed on the re…-start first lap, but rode to 8th place, turning faster laps than anybody except the winner

  5. I agree I am a share holder of Harley and I am really pissed.Harley had better get its head out of its ass.I always rode the Buells at the demo rides and you could not get the smile off my face after the ride [ got sh*t for pullin a wheelie ] The younger sport bike types were starting to get the Buell thing.What do we have left over. The v-rod that no one wants the rocker that no buys.But I suppose they can take the big book – o – shiny parts bolt them on a Sportster and dream up a new model.Oh my mistake they just done that [ again ]

  6. Harley must have a unit construction, big inch, water cooled bike in the wings or say good bye to their new generation of buyers. HD must want to sell all of the product with an HD name on it so all of the dealers are forced to buy in. The Shareholders should be PISSED.

  7. I was all excited about the idea of a new Can-Am then Bondo threw a tall glass of icy cold truth in my lap,”So that would’ve meant that the Canadian taxpayer would be part owner of Buell?”

    I don’t know about part owner, but forced financial suporter for sure. Then they’ld probably build them someplace else to ad salt to the wound.

  8. Eric may have an agreement with harley that prevents him from designing bikes or competing in some way. Harley might have found it cheeper to close Bule than compete againsted it.

  9. JoBlo, even if I had zero interest in this other than as an emotionless shareholder, I would have been ticked off that they could have sold an asset to raise cash, but chucked it in the garbage instead.

  10. To Brian P.

    If idiots buy Harley or the Cie is so bad why all Japanese motorcycle manufacturer try to copy the design of H-D.

    I’m not an Harley fan I hate V-Twin but they are nice bikes and good looking and reliable forget old 60 and 70 Harleys)

  11. I recently talked to a bike dealer (he used to be a factory Can Am rider), and he told me there will be Can Am road bikes on the road within 5 years.

  12. I’d read that a while ago. It caused great adness. as I really wanted to see a Ulysses with the 1125 engine. And Buell’s styling would’ve fit right in with the rest of BRP’s offeringd.
    Maybe we’ll see another Can-Am 2 wheeler yet (hope, pray.)

  13. I have confidence in Eric Buell’s engineering genius that he could design bike a new bike from scratch without using any HD patents. This would be a perfect marriage for Eric and BRP. As nice as the watercooled engine is, a good simple pushrod aircooled motor should be designed for the Ulysses version for world traveller.

  14. There may be licensing / patent / trademark issues with using the exact engine or Buell chassis, but there can’t be anything stopping them from tweaking the design to make it their own. They have the resources!

  15. So that would’ve meant that the Canadian taxpayer would be part owner of Buell?

    I’m just thinking of the billions going to Bombardier in bailouts, payoffs and corporate welfare over the years. Just sayin’.

  16. Now that H-D is out of the picture, what’s to stop BRP from entering into a whole new arrangement with Buell ? Seeing as BRP/Rotax is the proprietary engine supplier already, it only makes sense (or am I confused again) ???

  17. I’d love to have seen the Can Am name plate on a two-wheeler, and the Rotax-powered 1125 would have made a suitable example. All that research and development wasted. Bummer.

  18. IDIOTS. Memo to self: Do not deal with H-D. Do not buy H-D stock. Do not buy a H-D bike. Memo to BRP: Nothing stopping you from making your own bike …

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