Erik Buell, legendary sportbike designer and head of Erik Buell Racing (EBR), has signed on to an agreement with a name not usually associated with racing: Hero MotoCorp of India.
Although the first reaction is one of surprise, the longer you think about it the more it makes sense. India’s pool of 37 million motorcycles as of 2002 means that there is a huge untapped market there for American motorcycle manufacturers, and by associating with well-known American racers, Hero’s brand-name will receive a definite boost.
Current EBR racers Danny Eslick and Geoff May could be riding Hero decals as soon as March at the Daytona International Speedway. That’s when the 2012 AMA Pro Racing program kicks off, and Hero’s committed to sponsoring the Buell racing program for the season.
Another reason the partnership makes sense is the dearth of tech guys left behind after Honda pulled out from their joint partnership with Hero in December 2011. CEO Pawan Munjal has already talked about how he’s looking forward to seeing Erik put flesh to some of the two-wheeled dreams he has had. He even used the word “scorcher” to describe the bikes they have planned.
India, get ready.