The May 2010 issue of Cycle World magazine has a story of the Demise of the Buell Motorcycle Company written by Steve Anderson. Many have speculated about the role Harley Davidson played in the difficulties encountered by Buell over the years and this article seems to underscore many of those suspicions with details on the sequence of events, written by someone who knew Erik Buell very well from the 1980s and as an employee of Buell for the last 5 years.
The fact that Buell did as well as they did over the years is amazing given the motivations and decisions inside the Motor Company, as detailed in this article. It does not portray Harley Davidson in a positive light. Anderson makes clear, many of the questions of why Buell did many of the things they did can be answered with one word, Harley.
There is also a short test ride by Don Canet of the prototype Barracuda 2, the bike that would have become the next Buell.
I very strongly urge you to read this in depth article and form your own conclusions.
UPDATE: Just a few additional facts some of you may be interested in. Not all of the talent at Buell was lost to the Buell effort, Matt Sheahan, who designed the 1125R frame and led the Barracuda II design team, now works with Erik Buell Racing, as does Analytical Engineer John Fox, who performed all the CFD analysis on the 1190RR fairing and the radiators. That’s good to know.