Kaplan Cycles Touting Tie-In With Buell Motorcycle

ROCKVILLE, CT – Details haven’t been revealed, but GasGas motorcycle dealer Kaplan Cycles has revealed a “partnership” with Buell Motorcycle to expand its offerings. It is now selling the American-built brand’s sport bike (and upcoming cruiser) models. In videos posted Thursday on YouTube, Kaplan Cycles invited riders to “buy yours today.”

The videos show new 2024 Buell models inside the New England Motorcycle Museum, which dealership owner Ken “Kaplan America” Kaplan founded, as well as cruising the street outside and popping a wheelie.

In keeping with his vigilante image as “Kaplan America,” Kaplan is seen on social media brandishing a handgun while standing beside a Buell Hammerhead 1190 sport model. It’s a brash way to announce a tie-up with a motorcycle company. Call it called actively encouraging purchases.

The exact relationship between Kaplan Cycles and Buell isn’t known. Up until now, Buell has sold its pricey models directly to customers in the U.S. Connecticut law prohibits direct sales by manufacturers to consumers, but nowhere does Kaplan Cycles state that it has become an authorized dealer.

RIDE-CT has emailed both Buell and Kaplan seeking an explanation of the new relationship but hadn’t received a reply by late Friday afternoon.

Kaplan Cycles previously sold another American-made sport bike brand, Motus, which went out belly up in September 2018 after 10 years of trying.

The low-volume, recycled Buell brand, meanwhile, was revived in Grand Rapids, MI in early 2021 and offers high-powered, premium models. For instance, the 185-horsepower Hammerhead 1190 has a base price of $19,995 and tops out at $25,995. Buell’s first cruiser model is due in 2025 with a price somewhere between $20,000 and $30,000.

Whether this is a one-off arrangement for Buell in a state where it’s barred from selling its products under its current sales model, or whether Buell is shifting to a more traditional business model nationally of selling through dealers remains to be answered.

(Screen shots taken from Kaplan Cycle’s Facebook page.)

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Since 2010, RIDE-CT & RIDE-NewEngland has been reporting about motorcycling in New England and portions of New York.

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