Buell® officially fastest in independent report
An independent report has confirmed the rise in popularity of niche motorcycle brands in the UK, with Buell® displaying the fastest growth in 2007. The innovative American manufacturer – whose founder Erik Buell is still heavily involved in the development of new motorcycles – grew by 36.96 per cent in the UK market.
Two other niche motorcycle brands also appeared in the top four percentage growth figures, while some of the major manufacturers showed signs of slowing sales. However, the overall picture for motorcycle sales growth looks positive for the industry as a whole, despite increasing legislative threat and the introduction of more difficult testing and training procedures later this year.
The Buell® brand’s growth is expected to accelerate further in 2008 as a result of the introduction of the unique 1125R. The liquid-cooled machine – in authorised Buell UK dealerships from March with an on the road price of £8,495 – represents a new direction for the brand and complements the existing air-cooled range.
The 1125R replaces the popular XB12R Firebolt in the 2008 model line-up. It also has an increase in horsepower of 46bhp over its predecessor, making it Buell’s most powerful production motorcycle to date. However, the focus on performance and handling (as opposed to top speed) has been retained in the motorcycle’s design along with the Trilogy of Technology concept.
Buell® was the first manufacturer to use a fuel-in-frame design to achieve the optimal centre of gravity, which helps to make quick direction changes seem effortless. The other two key design components are chassis rigidity for improved cornering and low unsprung weight for increased stability.
“These sales growth figures are extremely positive,” says Buell® UK Managing Director Paul Stroud. “2007 was a strong year for Buell® and we aim to build on that to make the brand’s 25th anniversary in 2008 one to remember.
“We’re entering an exciting new area with the 1125R and hope that this will provide an added dimension. In addition, the air-cooled XB family is stronger than ever with improvements to existing models including small engine updates, heated grip plug-ins and limited edition anniversary graphics.”