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Buell back as “Erik Buell Racing”, FZ8 to replace FZ6?

Not entirely a crashing surprise, but it seems Erik Buell will be back in the business of making and selling of Buell 1125R-based race bikes and supplying competition use parts and servicing for them, all of which will be under license from Harley-Davidson, as well as offering technical support.

“I’m looking forward to helping Buell racers keep their bikes flying,” said Erik Buell. “We’ve got some exciting race development projects in the works and it will mean a lot to me personally to see Buell racers competing for wins and championships in the 2010 season and beyond.”

Buell President and COO Jon Flickinger also commented, “I’m pleased that Harley-Davidson is assisting Erik in establishing this business to continue supporting the racing efforts he has had so much passion for over the years. Harley-Davidson and the Buell Motorcycle Company will always be proud of their affiliation with Erik, and we wish him well in this new endeavor to support Buell racers.”

Erik Buell Racing will be based in East Troy, Wisconsin and will reportedly be staffed by Erik Buell and a veteran team of personnel.

Meanwhile, news also from the States suggests us Europeans will be able to look forward to a new FZ8, replacing the existing FZ6. Given the recent release of the fully faired XJ6 Diversion alongside the half faired and naked versions that appeared at the beginning of 2009, this move would prevent Yamaha having no less that five 600s competing for more or less the same market, as well as being better placed to take on the BMW F800 range, the Aprilia Shiver and the Triumph 675 and Street Triple. Oh, and probably charging more money for it, too.

Whether riders actually need an all-purpose middleweight that’s now bigger than the 750 superbike of yesteryear is another matter altogether. I might have to make a decision on whether to replace the trusty Hornet with an FZ6 sooner rather than later.

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