Ever ridden a Buell? - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 44 Old 01-07-2007, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Ever ridden a Buell?

Well, I did yesterday. Granted, it wasn't a long day trip or anything, but a quick 30 minute ride on an '03 XB9S. All I can say is WOW! The torque is everywhere on that machine; even moreso than the RC-51. It's owner is a friend of mine, and he was test riding his brother's new 06' GSXR-750.

I was first and foremost amazed at the seating position. I thought Honda was pretty drastic when I owned my 600RR, as for the rider feeling perched over the front tire, but that was nothing compared to the Buell. The first thought that entered my mind, was how insanely short the wheelbase is on it. Shockingly, though; there is hardly any noticable weight placed on your wrists or feet. The weight distribution for the rider is nearly neutral, even under braking.
Ground clearance was my next thought. As the rider's feet are tucked pretty high, and out of harms way, but not at all uncomfortable. He had it set up for GP shift which was a chore for the first few miles, but I quickly remembered the pattern. 2nd gear, it wants the front wheel in the air with little to no effort. I was short shifting a bit to learn the engine, and it still wanted to raise the front up @ 5K. 3rd gear, absolutely no difference, locomotive-like pull, and trying to lift the front. The only downside I can see would be the top end. I think it tops out around 120 with a tailwind on a downhill slope, so it would'nt be the best track weapon. With it's short wheelbase though, corners are not even given a second thought. He had some pirelli supercorsa's spooned on, so I got the full taste of traction. I was even impressed at the power delivered from the H-D derived engine (although, I would have much rather seen a different powerplant wedged in there.)
All in all, a very capable bike, and I was pleasantly surprised at the ergos for the pilot. Buell is a genius at engineering, it's just too bad he is locked in with the H-D engine. I have a whole new respect for the Buell's now. His brother has promised to let me ride an XB12 with pipe, and Power Commander next.

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post #2 of 44 Old 01-07-2007, 02:59 PM
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I've ridden many. They all had that torque... and to be honest a very mechanical feel to them. None were very 'smooth'.

Did you notice an insane amount of vibration at idle?

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post #3 of 44 Old 01-07-2007, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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Yep, kind of like a tractor on the farm. But it wasn't too annoying. I noticed the mechanical feel when shifting. It wasn't butter smooth like the Japanese mfr's, but I always had a positive shift. No misses.

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post #4 of 44 Old 01-07-2007, 03:08 PM
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Yeah the vibration was never annoying but when at idle I was always worried it would fall off the kickstand! One it was in gear and moving... it just went away.

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post #5 of 44 Old 01-07-2007, 04:04 PM
 
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I have two co-workers that have let their buells idle over onto their side......both broke the passenger pegs off when they fell

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post #6 of 44 Old 01-07-2007, 05:30 PM
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My Next door Neighbor traded his 2000 Mille off on a Buell a few Weeks ago. About a week before all this snow actually. We ride together a lot, but with the weather I have only managed about a 5 minute test ride around the neighbor hood. His is an 04 XB12 firebolt, and I agree with about everything Ridgerunner said in my short experience. Lots of torque, not so impressive top end, But the thing is beautiful and seems to have great fit and finish. Yes if you rev it on the kickstand it will walk around. It sounds pretty good stock but he has a Jardine exhaust ordered for it. Will post more impressions of it when we can get some seat time together.

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post #7 of 44 Old 01-07-2007, 06:15 PM
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I have lots-o-seat time on buells.

I refuse to even speak of the bike in terms of performance because everyone wants to look at the Dyno or whatever.

Fact: the fun factor on a buell is incredible. They are my second favorite hooligan bike. (No buell in particular, but the entire line up minus the blast- S3 being #1)

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post #8 of 44 Old 01-07-2007, 06:32 PM
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A buddy used to race Buell's in Pro Thunder. He has ahd a couple and they are fun.

Fun factor is great!!
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post #9 of 44 Old 01-07-2007, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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I'm really looking forward to the ride on the XB12. Although, after the 9, I can't imagine much more usable torque.

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post #10 of 44 Old 01-07-2007, 07:12 PM
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I too was very concerned that it would fall over whilst idling... you don't dare rev it up unless you're on it or holding it up and even then you feel like you're having a seizure. That aside, It was smooth on the power, I liked that. I didn't like much else.

Ever notice that companies are always looking to get lighter and lighter swingarms for less sprung weight for the rear suspension?

Ever notice that Buell fills their swingarms with oil?

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post #11 of 44 Old 01-07-2007, 09:18 PM
 
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Are you guys joking about the falling over idling thing or what? That seems like a major engineering flaw, you think they would've just made the kickstands slightly shorter.

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post #12 of 44 Old 01-08-2007, 05:17 AM
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I dont think there is any danger from it idling on the kickstand, but in the driveway on a slight incline revving it on the stand will produce enough motion to walk the bike down hill a bit, never close to falling. Actually it sets better on the kickstand then his 2000 Mille, that thing seemed to have to long a stand, it tipped over once when we stopped for a break, stood there about 10 minutes, then suddenly we heard bang, turned around an his bike was on the ground.

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post #13 of 44 Old 01-08-2007, 10:07 AM
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I've never seen one go over... but have watched them idle wildly enough to worry about it.

Once on the gas and moving however they smoothed out quite a bit as mentioned.

Yes a very fun bike for sure... but for that price? You can get more for less and still have some fun!

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post #14 of 44 Old 01-08-2007, 10:21 AM
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I would consider a Buell if not for the price and engine. Now, if they kept the price the same and dumped the V-Rod engine in, we might be talkin' As is, I already have a torquey lump in the 919 and it cost waaaaay less. Plus, the closest Honda stealer is about 15 minutes away but Buell has a dealer over an hour away.

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post #15 of 44 Old 01-08-2007, 04:09 PM
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I ride Buells as much as possible. I really love those bike.

The problem with them falling over at idle was due to a falty kickstand that was recalled. Newer ones don't have that problem.

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post #16 of 44 Old 01-08-2007, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midwest View Post
You can get more for less and still have some fun!
If you read my earlier post, i disagree. You can get far more numbers on paper. But in the end, numbers are what you talk about. Fun and inspiration you get when riding.

The Buells far exceed most japanese bikes IMO in the fun factor. Sure the Japanese bikes may be fast, lighter and more nimble, but I bet most japanese riders at least wants to check out a buell. I bet most buell riders are content never sitting on another bike.

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post #17 of 44 Old 01-08-2007, 05:03 PM
 
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My best friend rides an XBs12 and he wishes he had his TL1000 back.......
The Buell is fun, but he says he misses the speed.

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post #18 of 44 Old 01-08-2007, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hondaf4iguy View Post
If you read my earlier post, i disagree. You can get far more numbers on paper. But in the end, numbers are what you talk about. Fun and inspiration you get when riding.

The Buells far exceed most japanese bikes IMO in the fun factor. Sure the Japanese bikes may be fast, lighter and more nimble, but I bet most japanese riders at least wants to check out a buell. I bet most buell riders are content never sitting on another bike.

OK ... hows this... you can get more 'Fun and inspiration' for less money!

They are fun... like California... but you would never want to live there (sorry WIM). Its always nice coming home (Honda)!

My buddies LOVED their Buells... but absolutely hated it when I would walk them in the quarter mile with my 97F3 and also walked them at Road America... granted thats a HP track... but it was a 600! The ony thing they did better was wheelie... but that 'fun' can only last so long.

"Sure the Japanese bikes may be fast, lighter and more nimble" - Just read that to yourself and think about it!

Not sure how many Buell Riders you have near you but I bet I have a few more. When I had my RC I was riding Buells more than the RC... yes... they did want to sit on a another machine. Especially a twin.

If I am wrong... why dont you have one?

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post #19 of 44 Old 01-08-2007, 08:53 PM
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You're blunt... I like it.

When I was at the CCS races in Daytona I noticed 1200cc Buells racing in the 600cc class. 3 of them, all in back of the pack. I know this isn't a racing thread and you are talking street enjoyment... but ahh, hmm. Just saying, they're pokey.

I like my tubby RC-51 and it's no top notch. To each their own eh?

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post #20 of 44 Old 01-09-2007, 09:39 AM
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Maybe I was too blunt... and should have asked what exactly "street enjoyment" means...

If its riding wheelies and doing stoppies and ripping burnouts... with a lot of smoke and great sound... then yes... thats a good bike for "street enjoyment".

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post #21 of 44 Old 01-09-2007, 10:01 AM
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I'm not done...

Buells ARE marketed as a "track weapon or street bike".

Maybe I am just negative towards them because they have really gotten away from what they once were or 'supposed to be designed to be'. Some of the things they do like the oil in the swingarm... pretty trick... but are we gaining much here? Does it outweigh the aforementioned additional unsprung weight? A year a go I had a tour through thier plant and was impressed with their quality builds... and like I said they DO some pretty trick stuff on a stock bike. Like their rim mounted brake rotor. Interesting idea but I asked a guy what the result was from having a larger (heavier) rotor that far out on the rim did to the RWHp... granted he was not the engineer who designed it... but he had no clue. I was hoping for an explanation of going from a dual to a single in that instance actually shaved enough weight to offset the gyro effects of the larger rotor. And most are willign to give up a SMALL loss of power for a gain in braking... but I havent known Buells to be exceptional at braking. Breaking yes... braking no! So why spend the added cost of R&D on a specialized rotor, mounts, rim, and even caliper and all... if you dont really gain a whole big heaping amount of something from it?

Buell to me seems like a place where a bright engineer with many great ideas got sent with an unlimited budget from a HUGE manufacturer with little or no experience in making, marketing, or even designing that type of bike. As far as standards go... they are great bikes. But I wouldnt call them a sportbike which is what I think they believe they are. And the price... I don't aggree with much of HD's pricing.

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post #22 of 44 Old 01-09-2007, 10:04 AM
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I do not own one for the same reason I do not own a speed triple. It does not fit "my needs."

Also note the lack of a japanese bike in the stable.

I do not tear ass on the street either. 100mph is plenty fast for me and I do not judge my fun by whether or not my buddies are faster. If I did, I never would have bought my old RC51. My buddies GSXr 1000 could eat it alive in a moment.

Fun is 45 mph listening to the twin when you crack the throttle. Fun is riding the torque curve at 5K rpms.

Fun to me is not owning what everyone else has just because you are worried your new machine won't stack up when talking about what you own.

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post #23 of 44 Old 01-09-2007, 10:11 AM
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Fun to me is not owning what everyone else has just because you are worried your new machine won't stack up when talking baout what you own.

But fun is watching a guy with a bike that is half the cc's your is, and half the price too... tear all over your bike in its intended and designed use? Maybe I am missing something here... being different and sound is not worth $4-5k in my book. I understand if all you do is talk about your bike.. but we rode ours quite a bit.

Doesnt the Ulysses meet your intended use? I wonder why you didnt buy that bike?

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post #24 of 44 Old 01-09-2007, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hondaf4iguy View Post
I do not own one for the same reason I do not own a speed triple. It does not fit "my needs."

Also note the lack of a japanese bike in the stable.

I do not tear ass on the street either. 100mph is plenty fast for me and I do not judge my fun by whether or not my buddies are faster. If I did, I never would have bought my old RC51. My buddies GSXr 1000 could eat it alive in a moment.

Fun is 45 mph listening to the twin when you crack the throttle. Fun is riding the torque curve at 5K rpms.

Fun to me is not owning what everyone else has just because you are worried your new machine won't stack up when talking about what you own.

Considering the speed limits where most of us live, what is the point of owning a GSXR1000 anyway? .. let alone a Busa.

It seems to me that if you have something that is fun to ride, speed really isn't important.

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post #25 of 44 Old 01-09-2007, 10:13 AM
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Exactly my point. Ask Midwest.

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post #26 of 44 Old 01-09-2007, 10:19 AM
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I dont think I am killing the bike over speed more so than performance over price point... but maybe I am wrong... someone tell me the point I was trying to make.

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post #27 of 44 Old 01-09-2007, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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Even for carving canyons?

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post #28 of 44 Old 01-09-2007, 11:08 AM
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I didnt know the east coast had canyons... wouldnt that be outside your 'intended use'?

Hey... why not ask that hell of a nice guy from the Shindig... I forget his name but he posts here occassionally... OK rarely. The guy from Naples that test drives HD's and Buells for a living...

What does he ride?

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post #29 of 44 Old 01-10-2007, 04:01 AM
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Rick rides whatever he wants. He also has very little negative to say about Buells. When he races, he rides Japanese, but this post wasn't about racing.

As for Canyons on the east coast... Well, I guess canyons may be the wrong word, but last I checked, the Dragon is a fun ride nestled right in the middle of the east coast.

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post #30 of 44 Old 01-10-2007, 04:47 AM
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It's not worth it trying to talk to Buell haters about Buells. They won't ever like them, and I won't ever stop liking them.

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post #31 of 44 Old 01-10-2007, 05:09 AM Thread Starter
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I enjoyed my ride, and there's absolutely nothing Midwest can do to change that. It would seem he is in the minority anyway.

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post #32 of 44 Old 01-10-2007, 06:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Sneaky Steve View Post
It's not worth it trying to talk to Buell haters about Buells. They won't ever like them, and I won't ever stop liking them.
Midwest isn't a Buell hater, per se. He's merely pointing out that he doesn't really feel the need to ride or own one. I agree with him, for the record, and I find Buells very attractive in many ways. There is no way I would buy one because it wouldn't fit my needs as a rider, but the fact that I would never consider buying one doesn't make me a Buell hater.

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post #33 of 44 Old 01-10-2007, 07:51 AM
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Oh for sure I am not a hater! Quite the contrary... like I said they do some pretty trick things on their bikes. I always enjoyed riding them... for a short time. My biggest gripe being pricing.

Yes they are a fun hooligan bike, but how much of your riding time do you actually spend Hooliganing (is that a word?) around town?

F41guy still hasnt answered why a Ulysses wasnt on his adventuer touring short list of bikes to buy... If he likes Buells so much!?

They could even be turned into a nice stripped down Motard maybe... but rather expensive dont you think? I've seen A LOT of things done to Buells... some are just amazing builds... just not my cup of tea. And from those I know on here... not yours either.

Great bikes that can do a lot of things.. but all are overpriced and other less expensive brands can be had that outperform them in almost every way. Is that not a fair assesment?

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post #34 of 44 Old 01-10-2007, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hondaf4iguy View Post
As for Canyons on the east coast... Well, I guess canyons may be the wrong word, but last I checked, the Dragon is a fun ride nestled right in the middle of the east coast.
Your kidding right? The Dragon is on the east coast? I am not good with geography, but I could have swore that the eastern edge of Tenn was a good state away from the coast.

You touring guys have your odometers all screwed up!

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post #35 of 44 Old 01-10-2007, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midwest View Post
F41guy still hasnt answered why a Ulysses wasnt on his adventuer touring short list of bikes to buy... If he likes Buells so much!?
I was never asked this question so I never answered it.

I guess you want an answer so here it is: The biggest gripe agains the Ulysses for me was the 17" front tire for off road application.

The Dragon is easily accessible to east coasters and also is in NC. I guess that is not east coast to you.

Midwest - Re-Read the original post. Performance was not the question in this thread. The fun of riding it is. Personally, I think you have a beef with Buell (of some sort) as stated before and you are sadly trying to make an arguement. I feel as if I am defending saying they are a fun bike because you don't think they are worth it.

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post #36 of 44 Old 01-10-2007, 08:40 AM
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Sadly... your in it too.

Buells are fun. I think we all agree. Buells are expensive... I think we all get that too. Buells don't perform well when compared to other bikes, I beleive we all agreed on that too.

Lets just leave it at that.

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post #37 of 44 Old 01-10-2007, 08:43 AM
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Deal

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post #38 of 44 Old 01-10-2007, 08:45 AM
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Now what am I going to do today?

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post #39 of 44 Old 01-10-2007, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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Go test ride a Uly for me.

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post #40 of 44 Old 01-10-2007, 09:21 AM
Shiraz
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midwest View Post
Oh
Yes they are a fun hooligan bike, but how much of your riding time do you actually spend Hooliganing (is that a word?) around town?
?
Just for the record, you can actually spend a lot of time "Hooliganing" around town.

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