EAST TROY -- Once owned by Harley-Davidson and shut down in 2009, Erik Buell is back, and now, he's on two wheels! He's jump starting a new company and a new line of bikes.
Buell says he's excited about his new line of sport bikes that will compete with the likes of Ducati and generate hundreds of jobs at his East Troy plant. He's getting a $20 million injection of foreign capital to fuel the launch from FirstPathway Partners of Milwaukee through the federal EB-5 program.
The program provides U.S. residency and citizenship to foreigners who invest in American companies that create jobs.
Erik Buell Racing was founded by Buell in 2009 after Harley-Davidson shut down Buell Motorcycle Company due to the recession. The new company has been using part of the old Buell Motorcycle space in East Troy to build racing style bikes that sell for more than $40,000.
"The next step is to build a much more affordable motorcycle," Buell said.
With the new capital, Buell's new company will expand to the full 54,000 square foot plant on Buell Drive and create the new line of street bikes expected to cost about $20,000.
"It's very exciting actually to start over again. I really appreciate the opportunity we had with the old company because we got a lot of fans, made quite a few motorcycles, sold them worldwide, and we also learned a lot. Now, getting a fresh start where we can be kind of independent and very much focused on the sport bike customer is a real breakthrough for me and the team here," Buell said.
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