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Thread: 'Melvins'

  1. #1
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    'Melvins'

    Melvins. Thats what they should call them. And fine! You do you, Bill, but be honest about it. Want "Ten new models in a year"? cool. Still 'Melvins'. I really don't see the need to buy or use the Buell (TM) for any reason. Sure motorcycles have been re-branded many times before for a market base because of nostalgia or reputation. It's a long list of current brands that apply to that.

    Buells aren't old enough for nostalgia, and from a reputation standpoint, let's be honest. The gen pops opinion of Buells reputation is 'weird brakes and bankrupt twice', or even 'great engineer' if they know a little, but neither equate to selling a new brand?. Even assembling EBR's from warehouse parts is not "Buell (TM)". They haven't engineered a single piece on it and they're not making XB's.

    Melvin stated their "Lead Engineer" Is Jacob Stark. No offense to him, but his qualifications is not an Engineering degree on the wall. They are FaceBook self-promotional guy who "Figured I'd start to work on bikes about 10 year ago", and lost a shop to his GF by not paying the bills. Maybe he's great! Maybe he's not. But he's not any "Engineer" until he finishes engineering school. He might even re-think some of the parts he sells

    At least when the EBR 1190 came out it was competitive. Although less than a year later it was electronically dated and I do NOT see EBR being able to keep up on that front then, or especially now with Melvin. A $20K hyper sport bike without even ABS?! Are you joking? Groms have ABS! In fact, with the new infrastructure bill it will be ILLEGAL to sell a motorcycle without ABS.

    I still am very much in love with my EBR, It's the LAST analog hyper sport bike we will ever see.
    My Bubbles says "Damn, they are sucking the cool out of your bike" and I couldn't agree more

    TL;DR
    Get off my lawn.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Thats so bad it is uncomfortable to watch.
    I originally thought it would be an avenue for continued parts availability for my favorite bike() but turns out LAP seems to be single handedly financing Bill's dream by hiking EBR parts prices to the MOON Even drawing the used parts market up with it.

    Jacobs shop thing was a little personal as I have a friend that got screwed in the process (and I know of others), not to mention that as a shop owner for over 22 years, I NEVER left a bill unpaid. NEVER. It adds a bad rep to an already poorly perceived industry, AND none of his responses had the slightest hint of culpability. Every excuse in the book. "**** happens" would have been better. But instead, "My girlfriend didn't pay the bills!" c'mon man... Like I said, I've met Jacob a few times, and I liked him. But business? Uh, hard pass.

    Check out what the new Buell® "Lead Engineer" designed all by himself!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGK6oEgLEKE
    BTW, I got 12,000 miles of 80% track use before I changed my front pulley.

    Note the promotion attempt by posting YouTube vids under different names. Shady, old hat, and so bad it's not even convincing. They self-make every 3 minute YouTube promotional video (that also read from the same script), show the same horrible 3 renderings and a picture of the first Black Lightning from 2016 over and over.

    The latest press had a 6 pictures. 4 of the 'shop' repeated and scanned terribly, with some horrible photochop add-ons (of the SAME renderings) and 2 of people important enough to shake hands with but no names? Partner from the UAE? Cool! WHO is it?

    This all SCREAMS of scam, but I just can't see where the money comes from? Are they playing the bigger game of venture capitalists? Hike up the perceived value, go public, sell shares, profit? Sorry but thats played out already, and again.

    All that, and I'm confident someone in 2022 paying $20K for a bike designed a decade earlier will actually get that bike. It's not a scam at that level, but theres definitely something going on.

  3. #3
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    Funny you mentioned abs on even a Honda grom India was the first to require ABS. On bikes about 2017 (either the passage or implementation ) thus bringing the price down over the next few years. There is no reason the new “Buell’s” should not have ABS standard and if the new engineer is worth his salt then a retro fit kit based on that would be offered for any XB based bike helping to get the production numbers up.
    Why get paid only once for your work or knowledge?
    On all new liter bikes are only three different ABS systems each with their own calibration.
    How much can they really cost a manufacturer if a $3995.00 Honda can have it.

    PLUS I want a kit for my XT.

  4. #4
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    I'm just curious to see if the new Buells will come with the "Jacob Stark EVAP Mod". After all he does claim there is a problem there that can cause "front cylinder failure leading to complete engine failure and accidents".

    You'd figure since Bill Melvin (probably) also still owns "EBR" he would want to get in front of this to make sure no one gets hurt or killed due to a problem that their "lead mechanical engineer" has identified and designed a solution for (at least for his Buell customers and the EBR owners who bought bikes after he purchased the company).


    So, I guess this begs the question of "is this really a problem"?

    -Is it caused by abuse or lack or maintenance? Or is it just an isolated issue of a part randomly failing at the wrong time in the wrong way?

    -Is it an actual problem that the factory knows about? According to their "lead mechanical engineer" it would appear that a problem has been identified by said "lead mechanical engineer" and a solution is at hand and available to the public (for a price).

    -Is this really not a problem? Maybe when he was hired on at Buell and got a peek behind the curtain, he realized this "problem" of a "front cylinder failure leading to complete engine failure and accidents" isn't really a problem after all.


    Unfortunately, this whole thing could get construed in the same light of the old Ford Pinto recall.


    I'm not trying to bad mouth Buell or Bill Melvin, as I think it is truly wonderful they are trying to get Buell back in the spotlight. He may not even know that video is in existance.

    I do find it odd that the guy he hired as his "lead mechanical engineer" is calling out a potentially fatal problem in Buell motorcycles and is broadcasting it out to the world on YouTube. I'd figure he'd delete that video once he got hired at Buell, as having it out there can create all kinds of problems for the company.



    Last edited by 34nineteen; 12-16-2021 at 04:58 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    You bring up a fantastic point. That's what progress is. Without any real engineering staff, the EBR bikes lost ALL progress almost a decade ago

    There is no amount of testing that can address every situation on a machine. Billion dollar spacecrafts fail too. Once EBR manufactured and assembled it's parts in 2014, thats it. No progress, no more revisions, no updates. For instance, the torque specs for the EBR's front rotor bolts were updated in 2016. I don't know why (I'm no engineer), but it's pretty scary the new Buell(tm)'s "lead engineer" doesn't know either.

    They're assembling "new" bikes from EVERY single EBR part that is over 8 years old. Any issue, common or not, will never be revised to be a better part. Including safety issues. They aren't just standing still, the bar is always moving. The new Buell (tm) is going backwards

    Even worse than that, is your exact point, 34:19 The evap solonoid would be a cheap and simple change to make. But even that simple 'upgrade' is in question. Some self taught mechanic (without any degree) bought a slightly better solonoid and put it on his buddies bike, tested it himself for a second or two, then picked up his FB megaphone to sell it. Maybe it works? Maybe it doesn't? Maybe it's worse. Send it to the EPA, then we'll know.

    Nostrum anyone?
    Last edited by Cooter; 12-16-2021 at 06:33 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    How big a safety issue would dictate a Buell (tm) recall? Do they even have the ability to do one? Do you get a warranty with your $20K purchase better than a handshake and a smile from a man I wouldn't buy a used car from*?



    * I don't know Bill Melvin. But the opinion I have curated about his company from his own promotional items is worse than if he'd never produced them at all

  7. #7
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cooter View Post
    You bring up a fantastic point.
    I always bring up fantastic points.



    Quote Originally Posted by Cooter View Post
    Even worse than that, is your exact point, 34:19
    Well, that didn’t last.


    The thing with my point, is that this is a potential safety issue pointed out by the "lead mechanical engineer". Not just a failed instrument cluster, cracked fairing or a rear header pipe redesign . Jacob is known for being "the man" when it comes to Buell and when he says "front cylinder failure leading to complete engine failure and accidents", I'm sure thats not some half cooked hypothesis and probably should not be taken lightly. Now that he works at Buell as the "lead mechanical engineer" this should be at the top of the list of issues to resolve (especially since he devised a solution). Further more, if he truly believes it to be the cause of "front cylinder failure leading to complete engine failure and accidents" he should have brought it right up to Bill Melvin as Jacob has the solution at hand.
    Last edited by 34nineteen; 12-17-2021 at 12:16 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cooter View Post
    You bring up a fantastic point. That's what progress is. Without any real engineering staff, the EBR bikes lost ALL progress almost a decade ago

    There is no amount of testing that can address every situation on a machine. Billion dollar spacecrafts fail too. Once EBR manufactured and assembled it's parts in 2014, thats it. No progress, no more revisions, no updates. For instance, the torque specs for the EBR's front rotor bolts were updated in 2016. I don't know why (I'm no engineer), but it's pretty scary the new Buell(tm)'s "lead engineer" doesn't know either.

    They're assembling "new" bikes from EVERY single EBR part that is over 8 years old. Any issue, common or not, will never be revised to be a better part. Including safety issues. They aren't just standing still, the bar is always moving. The new Buell (tm) is going backwards

    Even worse than that, is your exact point, 34:19 The evap solonoid would be a cheap and simple change to make. But even that simple 'upgrade' is in question. Some self taught mechanic (without any degree) bought a slightly better solonoid and put it on his buddies bike, tested it himself for a second or two, then picked up his FB megaphone to sell it. Maybe it works? Maybe it doesn't? Maybe it's worse. Send it to the EPA, then we'll know.

    Nostrum anyone?

    So, counterpoint.

    When Buell released the XB, they were basically using an engine that dated back to the 1980's and carried it in the lineup all they way to the end in 2010. A motor based on a 25 year old design!

    Granted, the 1125 was released in 2008, and while pretty revolutionary for Buell, Honda had bested it in 2000 with the RC51 and arguably Suzuki did so even earlier with the TL. And Erik kept that engine around until EBR v1 folded with little to no updates aside from a "big bore kit" (1190), drilled charging rotor and a sight glass in place of the dipstick. So, 2015-2008 = 7 year old motor design.

    So, is EBR v2/"the new Buell" using a cutting edge motor that is 8+ years old in their new line of motorcycles? Yes, but lets see what they have planned for the future. Maybe there is an ET-V3 motor lying in wait for all those 8 year old parts sitting on the shelves to be sold off to make room for the new stuff.

    I agree that the motor is long in the tooth for a "bleeding edge of tech" superbike like the EBR/new Buell and SHOULD have a new motor. But this is a motorcycle company that is owned by a company thats sole purpose is to split up and collect assets from companies gone kaput. Not a company owned by the largest American motorcycle company out there. I'm sure there were plenty of days when Bill Melvin looked in the mirror and asked why he was trying to save the motorcycle company that Erik ran into the ground and basically distanced himself from (an oversimplification). I'm not saying Erik is a bad guy or didnt know what he was doing, although I did question the companys direction from the get-go... but I also knew nothing about any non-compete clauses or other stipulations from the shuttering of the Buell brand. Nor do I know anything about running a motorcycle company, aside from what articles I've read on the internet being an opinionated keyboard warrior.

    I give props to Bill for giving it a go and keeping Buell alive, even if it isn't the company we want it to be. How many years has it been now? 4 going on 5?

    PS. Hey Bill, if you read this forum crap, I'd love to see a Buell version of the Vitpilen 701, styled like a S1.
    Last edited by 34nineteen; 12-20-2021 at 03:38 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    The short answer is no I bet you a six-er of tasty beverages theres no friggin any type of V3 EBR engine all dusty in the back of that warehouse. Erik didn't have that kind of money or it would have been in the EBR in 2014 and Bill's team sure hasn't shown any engineering prowess. It's so expensive to design an engine from scratch a lot of mfg's cheat with a cam change for a different models or even cross-branding like Bimota/Kawi, Husky/KTM.

    And why? EPA approved 185HP isn't enough? The 22hp I got from an exhaust and ECM change tell me theres some horses in the stable of that 1190 V-twin. Hypersport bikes that have been freshly re-designed like the 2022 Fireblade and the 2022 Speed triple have less HP (I know I'm cheating a little here).

    Using current mfg's as an example, you could conceivably still run the 2014 EBR as a long-in-the-tooth 2022 model (looking at you BMW S1000r) without any 'architecture' change. BUT (huge butt) it would take engineering by a REAL engineering TEAM, to update the small but common issues, and sweeping upgrades in electronics, to not be laughed right out of the dealership.

    Some motorcycles in this crazy hyper sport category are still running manual suspension, but the lack of IMU controlled ABS, ride modes, and better traction control, are absolutely inexcusable. Put the old parts together, sell it as a cheap 'classic' way to go fast for $13k ($15K Carbon Edition), or invest a sunken pirate ships worth of gold doubloons to update the bike with 25 more HP, and pour a ton of electrons over the suspension, cruise, throttle, modes, brakes... I bet it would could still be a contender. It's a safe bet because it was built to battle the Pani V-2 and that pretty much is all Ducati has done to that bike, and it's still stellar today.

    BUT! (more big butts) they are STILL battling the publics stigma of the Buell (tm) name. Fool me once, right? IMO, using a different name (i.e. "Melvins") and even with the clarity that they are just assembled EBR's, would foster more trust in the purchase, because as you said...
    Quote Originally Posted by 34nineteen View Post
    the motorcycle company that Erik ran into the ground and basically distanced himself from
    That said, I am just an opinionated keyboard warrior that only knows about running a motorcycle company from what I've read on the internet. Thank you Bill for not sending all the parts to the scrapyard, it's the only way I can keep my beloved EBR in tip top shape. Do you have a water pump seal? all THREE of the "new" ones from that dry dusty warehouse have leaked immediately

  10. #10
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    The new Buell may be figuring out its finances too. I'm sure they are still being relatively conservative to make sure the whole thing doesnt turn into a soup sandwich (again).

    Even in Eriks case, per the Cycle World article, HD only injected $500k into the company, and was holding Eriks house as collateral. I dont know what Bills investment is into EBR/Buell, but its probably been surviving off of money from LAP and the occasional sold motorcycle. Does anyone know how many motorcycles have been sold under Melvins watch? I can imagine that LAP is being leveraged to provide funding to keep EBR/Buell up and running until it can (hopefully) do it on its own. I also imagine that Bill is keeping enough separation between the two companies, so if Buell does go under again, it wont have creditors trying to take down LAP to get the bill paid. Again, I am speculating here, as I have NO knowledge of how the two companies are aligned/separated.

    You're absolutely right about the price of new engine development, that same Cycle World article claims that Harley/Buell owed Rotax "an eight figure sum" for the 1125 engine. I doubt the new Buell is even turning a profit at this point. Maybe Bill and Rotax are working on a V3 motor to be released later. Sometimes a manufacturer needs to create its own customer to buy its product. If Rotax makes a palatable deal for Buell/EBR to provide them motors to sell motorcycles, it could wind up working out mutually beneficial for them in the future.

    You know the current sales model for EBR is consumer direct, not through dealers. I think even Erik was trying to get away from the dealership model. Even if they tried to get back into a dealer, its going to be an extremely hard sell, as that bridge was burned twice in fire sales.

    Once again, this is all speculation.


    Speaking of product development, it is curious to see the new V-4 Panigale was bested by the clapped out 55,000 mile GSXR 1000 in that Revzilla video.


    Last edited by 34nineteen; 12-20-2021 at 11:14 PM.

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