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Discussion Starter #1
Today I drove by a local HD dealer. I was thinking "let's testride a Buell".

So I went in, and asked if I could do a testride. The model I could test was the "Lightning XB9SX".

Previous to te testride, I heared often "You should go and test A Buell, it steers amazing and has lots of power...etc"

So what does Buel say about the bike:

The high-revving Thunderstorm® 984 cc, 45-degree V-Twin delivers raw, torquey power over a wide rev range. With a power delivery that’s smoother than the neighborhood pimp, its 92 hp and 68 ft. lbs. of torque give it the best torque-to-weight ratio in its class. Blip the throttle, dart between traffic and give those bike messengers something to worry about.
And

With a 52-inch wheelbase, 21-degree rake, 3.3-inch trail and 52% front weight distribution, the Lightning® CityX has the agility to turn a taco run into a knee-dragging, moto free-for-all (with extra hot sauce).
So how was it?

-the bike is a joke. The frame could be something but has a to soft suspension to really "ride it like you stole it".

-the gearbox is a piece of shit. It is like the crapgearboxex that you find on choppers. Not acurate and really not the thing to mount on a sporty naked bike.

-the engine: hahahaha :wtf: that really sucked! The engine gives A LOT of vibrations! Once you put it in gear and you rev it, nothing happens. i mean really, There are honda Monkeys that give more sensation then this.

Only thing positive about this bike are the brakes. But then again, the suspension is way to soft to really brake hard.

I say, lose the chopper engine and chopper gearbox and put in a stiffer suspension and this might turn in to a nive bike. The way it is right now, it is NOT what they claim it to be...


GreetS
 

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You should have tried a Firebolt, :stickpoke Yes the engine is agricultural compared to a MV or any Jap bike or even a Duke or Aprillia, but they do handle well when the suspension is set up right, the bike you tried is a city cruiser. :blah:
 

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Earlier this year, I need a commuter bike and when to a HD/Buell dealer. Not a single person came to help me in the 15 minutes I were there. :(
 

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there's been a lot of chatter here in the USA about the Buell racing in the Formula Extreme class (AMA). for those of you that don't know, the basic rules of that class are like superbike, but the starting point is a 600cc bike. you're allowed to modify a lot of stuff - suspension, gears, head work (i think), so on. there is a lot more permissible under formula extreme rules than under supersport.

a buell has been racing in that series, with none other than Jeremy McWilliams as the rider. yes, the former MotoGP rider.

the buell is 1339cc! so, how does a 1339cc air-cooled twin qualify for the formula extereme class? who knows?

when the buell entry was first announced, a lot of people were crying "foul" since the bike seems so far outside of the rules. a lot of people were thinking this thing would just destroy the field.

reality has worked out a little different. the bike has hardly been able to finish a race. it has had several clutches go, it's blown the motor more than a few times, and the last race, McWilliams was riding around while the motor was putting oil on his rear tire! somehow he finished.

i think it's great that a new bike is trying to get into this class, but i wish people would stop trying to do it with 1940's technology. let's face it, an large displacement, air-cooled, push-rod rocker-arm twin (not harmonically balanced) is not the starting point for a road-racing motor.

alex
 

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Discussion Starter #6
altoon said:
i think it's great that a new bike is trying to get into this class, but i wish people would stop trying to do it with 1940's technology. let's face it, an large displacement, air-cooled, push-rod rocker-arm twin (not harmonically balanced) is not the starting point for a road-racing motor.
Man, you read my mind!
 

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altoon said:
there's been a lot of chatter here in the USA about the Buell racing in the Formula Extreme class (AMA). for those of you that don't know, the basic rules of that class are like superbike, but the starting point is a 600cc bike. you're allowed to modify a lot of stuff - suspension, gears, head work (i think), so on. there is a lot more permissible under formula extreme rules than under supersport.

a buell has been racing in that series, with none other than Jeremy McWilliams as the rider. yes, the former MotoGP rider.

the buell is 1339cc! so, how does a 1339cc air-cooled twin qualify for the formula extereme class? who knows?

when the buell entry was first announced, a lot of people were crying "foul" since the bike seems so far outside of the rules. a lot of people were thinking this thing would just destroy the field.

reality has worked out a little different. the bike has hardly been able to finish a race. it has had several clutches go, it's blown the motor more than a few times, and the last race, McWilliams was riding around while the motor was putting oil on his rear tire! somehow he finished.

i think it's great that a new bike is trying to get into this class, but i wish people would stop trying to do it with 1940's technology. let's face it, an large displacement, air-cooled, push-rod rocker-arm twin (not harmonically balanced) is not the starting point for a road-racing motor.

alex
That's a pretty thorough misunderstanding of the situation.

Power is not solely derived from cc's, a common mistake.
 

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Buell is one of my favorite makes. Love the character, the performance in the canyons, the torque, the killer exhaust note. A real world, not overkill performer. Use to have an '02 Cyclone in the barn and miss it dearly. Few bikes drew rave attention like this thing. Utterly reliable. Great service and attention at the H-D dealer where purchased. Hopefully another Buell will be in the barn someday.

 

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Didn't they enter 7 of them in the Daytona, with non of them actually finishing! I also heard that with the short wheel base, they couldn't keep the rear wheel on ground while braking into corners...nor could they keep the front wheel down coming out of corners under acceleration. I have that report in one of the magazines I bought a few months ago.

Here, we had one at the track that blew an engine and spilled oil all over the track causing bunch of bikes go down...now everytime there's oil on the track, we say someone "Buelled" on the track!!! There are no more Buells on the track anymore....???
 

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Anyone who's been here a while knows I have a soft spot for Buells. What is rather sad is that most of the guys critical of them in this thread are American. When did you last read of Pigiolino slagging off his country's products? With the exception of Triumph, my own country's once booming bike industry is f***ed, the reasons for that are many and varied. You may think I'm a hypocrite cos I own an Italian bike and a Japanese one, not a Triumph, but I do think the Sprint ST for example is a nice competent bike and I would have one tomorrow if finance wasn't an issue.

Buells are quirky and different to most other bikes on the road, they are not everybody's cup of tea but they are fun to ride IMHO if you accept them for what they are. :blah:
 

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john said:
Anyone who's been here a while knows I have a soft spot for Buells. What is rather sad is that most of the guys critical of them in this thread are American. When did you last read of Pigiolino slagging off his country's products? With the exception of Triumph, my own country's once booming bike industry is f***ed, the reasons for that are many and varied. You may think I'm a hypocrite cos I own an Italian bike and a Japanese one, not a Triumph, but I do think the Sprint ST for example is a nice competent bike and I would have one tomorrow if finance wasn't an issue.

Buells are quirky and different to most other bikes on the road, they are not everybody's cup of tea but they are fun to ride IMHO if you accept them for what they are. :blah:
I don't hate Buells, it's more of a "that's all you've got?" type of thing. We are Americans. If we can build the fastest planes and go to the moon, why no F1 cars and top level sport bikes? I think there are a lot of cynical answers to that, but I think there are no really good ones.

I've ridden Buells. They are totally different, so much so that your average sport bike rider isn't going to get it at all. It's a shame. They do work good for the most part.

As for the ones at Daytona, they all had the same failure basically, the engine was too powerful for the clutch. The bike has been praised by some pretty competent racers.

And as for 1300+ cc, HP is roughly equivalent to air displaced. If you have a 600 revving to 16,000 or 16,500, that's displacing close to the same air as an 8000 rpm 1300cc bike. Factor in 2 valves, ineffient flow characteristics of the heads, and there you go, almost even air displaced over time. That's why the rules are what they are. Funny how nobody complains about the Ducati 749 being unfair in 600 racing? It's actually at a disadvantage these days I believe...

The track has been oiled in front of me by japanese bikes far more often than italian or american, even if you scale it for the number of bikes out there.
 

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altoon said:
now's your chance to explain it to me.
Which will make more power? A motor that fills its 1,000cc cylinders with an air/fuel mixture 5,000 times per minute or one that fills that same 1,000ccs 10,000 times per minute? That's one reason why the "little" bike has the advantage.

Then you've got valve area. Put four of the biggest valves you can in a cylinder and those four valves will flow more air than the two biggest valves you can put in that same cylinder. More cylinders at the same displacement gives more total valve area and the one with greater valve area puts out more HP. It is for that reason that nobody races a twin-cylinder bike in MotoGP even though twins get a weight break over four- and five-cylindered bikes.

Air-cooled bikes suffer more in the heat while water-cooling keeps teh temperature where it needs to be for maximum HP in severe conditions. Thuse, the rules attempt to compensate for the disadvantages of a slower-turning, air-cooled bike with less valve area.

But even with enough CC's to give it the same theoretical peak HP, the Buell is still at a disadvantage and it's because of what comes after that little "@" sign in the HP ratings part of the spec sheet.

The bike that makes HP at HIGHER RPM takes advantage of gearing. The bike that makes peak HP at LOWER RPM gets penalized by gearing. That little "@" sign is so important it's included in the official ratings of every car, bike and truck. Without it, the HP figure is pretty much meaningless....

Let's take hypothetical two bikes, one a 600cc bike that makes 150HP AT 15,000 RPM, the other a 1350cc bike that makes 150HP AT 7,500 RPM. OK, OK, that's not exactly how a Buell compares to a 600cc Formula Extreme bike, but it's really not all that far off...

Let's further assume that both bikes weigh the same and let's assume both bikes have the same frontal area/ aerodynamic characteristics.

Now let's gear them so they both hit 150mph at redline. The "little" bike is gonna kill the Buell on accelleration. Why? It's geared way, way lower. In fact it's running rear gears that are numerically 1/2 the ratio of what the Buell runs.

All those guys on Harleys who think their bikes make "so much torque"??? Sure they do...

AS LONG AS YOU IGNORE WHAT COMES AFTER THE "@" SIGN IN THE RATINGS.

Gear that Road-Kill for the same theoretical top speed as your F-4 and kiss all that "torque" (and accelleration) good-bye.

Another way to look at it is to gear our hypothetical race bikes down so they have the same final-drive ratio. With the same weight and rear gears, they both accellerate at the same rate but the 600 kills on top speed. Why? The Buell accellerates until it tops out at 5,000 RPM. Meanwhile, the "little" bike just keeps going until the motor is turning those rear gears TWICE AS FAST AS THE BUELL.

Yes, this is oversimplifying things but it explains why a bike that makes peak HP at a higher RPM will have an advantage over a bike that makes peak HP at a lower RPM - EVEN IF THEY MAKE EXACTLY THE SAME PEAK HP.

The Buell will have some big advantages in a flatter torque curve, but any way you slice it, gearing WILL play a factor and the bike that can take advantage of gearing will always have the advantage.

Lot more to HP and performance than just displacement.
 

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Yeah, forgot to add, water cooling helps too :)

It's a shame that nobody is racing the Guzzi race bike. That thing is sweet, other than the shaft drive.

There's a guy who's tearing it up properly in club racing with a BMW R 1200 S. He's beating some bikes he has no business beating. There's still hope for the air cooled twins...
 

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acruhl said:
I don't hate Buells, it's more of a "that's all you've got?" type of thing.

That's exactly it. Even the "underpowered" (by comparison of course) Ducati, with the same CC engine will absolutely ROCK a Buell, hell a 749/750 will probably rock a Lightning or XB...which is a shame. Cause you'de think with HD building that motor for so long, they'de know it inside and out, and be able to absolutely OWN the twin market....too bad, THEY are the ones getting owned....
 

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It always amazes me how some people react to Buells. On one hand you've got people who can appreciate a bike for what it is, it's finer qualities.(all bikes have them believe it or not) ...those that understand the purpose of a particular bike and can see the good. Then you have those (and you can tell quickly that they are biased from the git-go) that can do nothing but zero in on all their possible shortcomings with over-exaggerations, often comparing them to other bikes it clearly makes no attempts or claims of competing with. You want a supersport ultimate performing repli-racer? Have enough brains to know you don't bother looking at a Buell in the first place.....and if you do, only to sit and bash them because they don't compare favorably to your ZX10 or whatever only shows your thickheadedness and lack of understanding that not all bikes have one purpose....as some seem to think.
The bashing always boils down to the old motor, the old technology, the horsepower, cc's, etc. vs. the latest greatest technology...... Why is always that way? You just don't get it! Soo sad that some see things the way they do. Kudos to those that can find the good and do get it..... Who gives a rats ass whether it does'nt have the horsepower, or that the motor and trans is slow revving/clunky?! People who like the bikes will buy them... They like the bike for what it is and does, and who are you to belittle them or the bike? Your looking at them from a whole different perspective, and who says your perspective is correct, OR the only way??!!! Stop with the non-sense and enjoy your MV...........
 

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I don't raeally have a problem with Buells, but I wish they were better for their own sake.
In Phoenix (one of the highest per capita motorcycle cities in the country), they sell so slowly that over the past several years all but 3 H/D dealers have dropped Buell, and two of them are the same company (that also owns several other non-Buell carrying stores)!
I think much of the problem comes down to cost. IMO they just cost too much. Most of the Buells sold here don't sell until they're well over a year old, ussually more, and then have to heavily discounted.
I myself considered buying a 2004 XB12S instead of my Brutale, but even with the discounts, it was still almost as much as my discounted MV!

And another note: The claims Buell makes about handling, ech, now THAT's exagerating.
 

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LWS66 said:
It always amazes me how some people react to Buells. ...........
I agree that most of us are willing to embellish what we know to make a point or to strengthen a position based on perception or bias. This goes both ways, though. I have owned bikes that were truly mediocre at best (Kawasaki Concourse comes to mind), yet most owners fashioned views that dressed abundant shortcomings as “character”.

So, readers beware… De-bouncing or normalizing of views (either side) is required but pulling punches may make the message less provocative, yielding less “truth” in the end. No doubt there is a legitimate appeal in Buells, driving folks to purchase and represent for them. Likewise, there are real issues that are not overlooked by those who may not comprehend the allure.

I tend to gain greater insight from the detractors, as I know what I like quicker than I recognize long term or subtle design shortcomings. This statement is true for bikes I own and love, just as much as for those I don’t understand.
 
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