Hero MotoCorp Ltd., a motorcycle OEM based in India, announced this week that it has formed a strategic partnership with Erik Buell Racing.
The goal of the partnership is for Hero to get technology and design input from EBR, bring next-generation high-end motorcycles to India and augment the company's R&D capabilities. Hero and East Troy, Wis.-based EBR will also be developing the Leap, a concept hybrid scooter that Hero showcased at the India Auto Expo. Pawan Munjal, director and CEO of Hero, said his R&D team and EBR have already begun working together and have made "definitive progress."
"It gives me immense pleasure to welcome Erik Buell to the exciting world of Hero MotoCorp. This is in keeping with my objective of quickly scaling up our own in-house R&D capabilities to a global two-wheeler technology powerhouse by leveraging a network of strategic international alliances," he said. "Erik and his team have been working closely with our engineers and designers to develop our next-generation range of products with cutting-edge technology and first-of-its-kind features."
Erik Buell, chairman and CTO of EBR added, "EBR is delighted to partner with a company as iconic as Hero MotoCorp. Both HMCL and EBR share the common commitment to manufacturing world-class two-wheelers with technology of the future. I have personally been deeply impressed with and inspired by Pawan's vision. He has given us a challenging brief, and our highly motivated team is working towards giving shape to that dream. We look forward to designing technology solutions which are in line with contemporary global standards and also futuristic in their appeal and utility."
The agreement is also resulting in Hero's first foray into racing, as the company will sponsor both Team Hero and team AMSOIL Hero in the AMA Pro Racing Superbike Championships this year. Danny Eslick will ride for Team Hero, while Geoff May will represent team AMSOIL Hero, both on EBR 1190RS bikes. This announcement marks the first time an Indian motorcycle OEM has sponsored an AMA Superbike team.
Buell launched EBR about two years ago, after Harley-Davidson ceased production of Buell Motorcycles. To read an article about EBR that previously ran in Powersports Business, click here.