Posts by Category: Buell

Buell July 6, 2017 posted by

Previous Life – 1989 Buell RR1200 Battletwin

On the upswing in the later 20th century, Erik Buell was a sharp engineer who developed a succession of street machines from his weakness for race bikes.  The RR1200 Battletwin was based on the classic Harley-Davidson twin, expanded to 1198cc, used Buell's own "isoplanar" engine mounts, and had a contemporary streamliner body.  This example has traveled the world but covered just 567 miles, and has been readied for its next assignment.

1989 Buell RR1200 Battletwin for sale on eBay

 

Buell actually began his racebike work with a two-stroke 750cc square four powerplant, but a short affair with H-D turned his career toward the 45-degree twin.  The pushrod-actuated two-valve per cylinder Evolution engine used on the RR1200 makes 68 hp at just 6,000 rpm, and 72 ft.-lbs. torque.  Lighter than the engine's usual carriage, the Battletwin's trellis frame and aerodynamic fairing keep the 4-speed usable.  Buell's own brake design and underslung monoshock are just a couple of the innovations on board.  The full soapbar takes a lot of flack but does protect the rider and slide through the air.

 

The RR1200 offered here comes from Oregon, by way of England and Australia, where it was on display.  U.K. plate still on the back, the sunset livery seems to be the most common among RR1200's, though there are only a hundred or so to compare.  Not seeing any mods, though the turns signals are set on, well, manual.  Seems more fatigued than expected for such low miles.  From the eBay auction:

THIS IS A ORIGINAL, UN-RESTORED BUELL 1200 (RR)!!! THE 1200(RR) WAS ERIC BUELL'S THIRD MODEL. IT FEATURES A TRELLIS FRAME AND EVOLUTION 1200 CC ENGINE. THIS BIKE WAS SOLD NEW BY WARR'S HARLEY- DAVIDSON IN LONDON, ENGLAND TO A PROMINENT MEMBER OF THE BUELL OWNERS GROUP. IT CONSEQUENTLY WAS BOUGHT BACK TO THE USA TO BE SOLD BY BONHAM'S, AT A AUCTION IN CALIFORNIA. IT THEN WENT TO AUSTRALIA WHERE IT RESIDED IN THE HARLEY-CITY COLLECTION!!! IT WAS FULLY RECOMMISSIONED 12 MONTHS AGO WITH ALL SYSTEMS FUNCTIONING AS YOU WOULD EXPECT FOR A BIKE WITH THIS MILEAGE!  THIS BIKE PROVIDE A GREAT CHANCE FOR A MUSEUM,COLLECTOR,CAFE RACER OR BUELL ENTHUSIAST TO PURCHASE A TRULY COLLECTIBLE MOTORCYCLE, AT A REASONABLE PRICE. THE BIKE WILL COME WITH A NEW BATTERY. THE BIKE IS OFFERED WITH A CLEAR TITLE!!!

 

In 2009 Harley reportedly paid almost as much to retire the Buell name as it did to take a majority stake just ten years before.  Though revived for a time, with innovative and successful machines, it doesn't appear as though a white knight is currently in the wings.  This only helps the rarity of this early Buell, which could be dolled up a little, or displayed as is.  Bidding is quite active and approaching $14,000 with just under 5 days to run.  Without exotic mechanicals or electronics, this RR1200 could be ridden without really affecting the value.  It would be among a rider's memorable experiences...

-donn

Previous Life – 1989 Buell RR1200 Battletwin
Buell March 6, 2017 posted by

Captive Animal – 1990 Buell RS1200 Westwind

Erik Buell's creations have almost always been over on the wild side, and this later 1200cc Westwind is no exception.  Built in quite limited numbers, it had several innovations, and a big Harley twin which booked more ft.-lbs than hp.  The Kansas example has low miles and appears un-fettered, should clean up nicely.

1990 Buell RS1200 Westwind for sale on eBay

For the day, the RS1200 was a technical leader, with engine mounts constructed to limit vibration, Marzocchi forks with anti-dive, horizontally mounted rear shock, and mass centralizing short exhaust.  The supersport fairing allowed the 5-speed to achieve 124 mph and had generous dual accomodations.  Bespoke alloy wheels are behind the big dual disk brakes, since the RS pre-dates Buell's perimeter or zero-torque brake.

With just over 10,000 miles, this Buell has spent some time out of the limelight, but looks mostly stock and complete.  Thunderstorm heads should bring power to the 90 hp vicinity.  A Corbin seat has been installed and Performance Machine brake calipers, along with an easier to clean rear shock cover.  From the eBay auction:

Here is your chance to get one of the rarest Buell bikes.. 1990 RS1200 Westwind. Only 90 bikes built in 1990!
It is just a garage queen, I never ride it anymore... has thunderstorm twin plug heads, PM wheels, PM brakes... nice super clean original bike!... could use a set of fork seals, and there is currently no battery in it.-- I didn't want one to leak, or corrode, so I just took it out. Bike runs great, though (for a Harley-lol).
With its compact package, the RS1200 reviewed as good handling, as it had much in common with the Buell Battletwin, itself derived from the Barton Road Warrior race bike.  Chained to the back of the garage too long, this Buell looks like an easy return to riding status, and a rare and notable bike, with a familiar sound...
-donn
Captive Animal – 1990 Buell RS1200 Westwind
Buell February 14, 2017 posted by

Uppity – 2008 Buell XB12R Firebolt

Erik Buell created a few career's worth of rider's motorcycles, but they were also for the thinking rider.  The XB12R grabbed a few engineering concepts and hung on.  Centralized mass, low unsprung weight, and and frame rigidity were the factory's goals, and by all accounts they succeeded.  Harder to quantify issues like handling and fun factor are addressed by the short wheelbase and big V-twin.  Lightly updated, this XB12R is a badge-carrying 25th Anniversary edition, and looks great for its nearly 21,000 miles.

2008 Buell XB12R Firebolt for sale on eBay

Based on the Harley-derived 1203cc muscle, the XB12R sports 84 ft.-lbs. torque and makes do with a 5-speed trans.  Innovations such as fuel carried in the alloy chassis spars and oil in the swingarm are special to the XB series, belt drive, Zero-Torsion-Load front brake, and Uniplanar vibration absorbing engine mounts are Buell paradigms.  Futuristic but not really a glamour solution, the frame-mounted fairing has a bit of an angry bird thing going, but it works well with the big Showa fork tubes and padded frame elements.

Though the brand is again between sponsors, Erik Buell began as a Harley-Davidson engineer and racer, and started manufacturing his own designs in 1983.  This red and gray model has a few nice updates, current maintenance, and has also largely been left un-remuddled.  From the eBay auction:

There is a brand new, highly regarded, Drummer SS exhaust installed and the race ECM was
reprogrammed (by IDS, the builder of Buells race ECM's)  to match, precisely, the configuration of the Drummer, the K&N intake filter and the expected minimum octane fuel (92) to be used.
 
 The rear light has been upgraded to the 2010 rear LED light. There has been a new cooling fan installed in the last month as well as a new drive belt, front sintered brake pads, new rear pads, engine oil and filter were changed, transmission oil changed, clutch cable and head set bearings were checked. In the last 60 days both forward and rear rocker boxes were removed, machined and resealed, there is a new set of NGK plugs, and a recent AGM battery.

With its light weight and flexible power unit, the Firebolt tested as a great-sounding and turning sport machine, with simplified maintenance.  The limited choice of updates speaks well of the owner, as the engine has an ocean of mods available, and sportbikers love customization.  This XB12R really wants little more than fresh tires and a new rider...

-donn

Uppity – 2008 Buell XB12R Firebolt
Buell July 13, 2016 posted by

Tube-Framed Twin: 2002 Buell M2 Cyclone for Sale

2002 Buell Cyclone L Side

Patriotic bike enthusiast, racer, and entrepreneur Erik Buell had a dream: to make an all-American sportbike. That would have been nearly impossible for a small-timer to do if he’d insisted on creating an engine from scratch to power the bike, so Buell took a proven, iconic American motor and stuck it into his new motorcycle. The first-generation Buells were strikingly styled, but very odd. They worked pretty well but had a cobbled-together look and feel that didn’t appeal to mainstream buyers. This Buell M2 Cyclone is from the second “tube-frame” generation and has a spare, café-racer style a bit like an American Monster. When new, these did come in a number of wild color combinations, including the white-framed “White Lightning” version that had blue ceramic-coated headers. So not really bikes for shrinking violets.

2002 Buell Cyclone Clocks

The Harley Davidson 45° v-twin has a number of shortcomings, but a lack of character isn’t one of them. These things do feel very alive and, for many motorcycle fans, there’s no substitute for the “potato-potato” exhaust note and classic motorcycle sensations of the classic pushrod twin. It’s a pretty ideal engine for a roadbike, with mounds of torque from just off idle and a lazy feel that helps you relax a bit while your hands buzz into numbness… It’s relatively narrow as well, although the non-unit gearbox negates that advantage somewhat: it’s narrow between your knees leaves your feet splayed out to the sides. It makes plenty of power too: 91hp and 85ft-lbs of torque and a dry weight of 435lbs mean effortless motive force at pretty much any rpm.

2002 Buell Cyclone Front Wheel

The biggest problem is that the package is incredibly heavy, which is fine for a bagger designed to cruise the highways, but not so great for a lightweight roadster designed to carve up backroads and racetracks. But Buell used a number of tricks to keep weight down to reasonable levels, and the attention to detail on the tube-framed bikes is pretty impressive: heim-jointed rods control engine vibration, a compact rear suspension arrangement to keep the wheelbase short, and an exhaust packaged under the engine keeps the center-of-gravity... Centered.

2002 Buell Cyclone Tank

From the original eBay listing: 2002 Buell M2 Cyclone for Sale

Very rare 2002 Buell M2 Cyclone with the famed Harley 1203cc motor (well known to go into the 100,000 mile range with very little maintenance). Maintained by Harley mechanic. Clean title in hand. Never down, tipped over, or ridden foolishly. Extremely low miles (3,956). Starts, rides, sounds amazing. Owned by a mid-40s motorcycle collector who takes very good care of motorcycles. It is highly unlikely you will ever see another one being ridden near you and if you do, it likely will not be in the condition this great motorcycle is in. Needs nothing but a rider.

I am selling because I am buying investment real estate and putting the money towards that purchase.

Harley riders love this bike. Sport bike riders love this bike. It gets more comments and compliments from both the Harley guys and sport bike guys than any bike I've ever owned. Harley guys wave at me while riding it. Sport bike guys, too. It is a very rare bike that has a coveted spot in motorcycle appreciation by millions of riders.

There are no stories. It is a very rare, spectacular motorcycle, that is a joy to ride and to talk about with other riders who comment on it frequently. It runs 10/10. Compared to other similar year Buells, it looks 8/10 and I tend to be overly critical compared to most riders.

The seller also includes a list of recent services and modifications that have been done. This orange-framed machine is very striking, and appears to be in very nice, original condition with low miles. Only those tacky carbon-look short turn signals let the appearance down. Seriously: you stick a $20 pair of JC Whitney bits on your pride and joy? Plenty of manufacturers make affordable and classy bits if you want to get rid of the stock units.

2002 Buell Cyclone Front Wheel

Buells always generate plenty of controversy when we post them, and it's easy to see why: on paper, these bikes just don’t make all that much sense and the in-your-face styling is very love-it or hate-it. Except for that hideous airbox. That's just hate-it. But even hypercritical British biking journalists at the time seemed to get what was going on here: fun, more than outright performance. An all-American sportbike just because. I had the pleasure of riding a pristine White Lightning very recently and it took a few minutes to get used to the conflicting sensations: that throbbing, thudding twin contrasted with the light, flickable handling, like I was riding two motorcycles at once. That may not be your thing, but these definitely make handy backroad tools and you certainly will generate attention wherever you go.

-tad

2002 Buell Cyclone R Side

Tube-Framed Twin: 2002 Buell M2 Cyclone for Sale
Buell February 13, 2016 posted by

Uncle Beastly – 2006 Buell XBRR

Relegated to the past at least until someone re-incarnates the brand, Buell Motorcycles and Erik Buell Racing built some motorcycles that required one to suspend disbelief when new models were shown.  The track-only XBRR was one, the head-scratchingly big twin road racer offered here in new condition.

20160213 2007 buell xbrr right front

2006 Buell XBRR for sale on eBay

20160213 2007 buell xbrr left

Built in a lot of 50 and never intended for the road, the XBRR had 1339 cc's of 12.5:1 compression, in an air-cooled 45-degree twin.  With twin 62mm downdraft throttle bodies and 103mm pistons, the motor claimed over 150 hp and 100 ft-lbs. torque.  Only a 5-speed was needed with that powerband.

20160213 2007 buell xbrr left front

20160213 2007 buell xbrr dash

A lot of leading-edge ideas were displayed - fuel rode in the aluminum perimeter frame, and engine oil in the swingarm.  Ohlins provided fully adjustable dampers front and rear, and Nissin mounted their 8-piston single caliper for the zero-torsion-load front brake.  Hidden by the full carbon fairing, the exhaust and muffler were kept as close to the center of gravity as possible to help handling.  Wheels were cast and machined magnesium.

20160213 2007 buell xbrr right front brake

20160213 2007 buell xbrr right rear wheel

Coming out of Karpen, Germany from a specialty car and bike dealer, this XBRR has never been started, and wears the factory yellow paint.  A tough kind of beauty, but the XBRR shows purposeful aggression.  The seller also offers to coordinate shipping.

20160213 2007 buell xbrr right peg

20160213 2007 buell xbrr left peg

Though it  could be the basis for a supersport racing effort, this Buell should remain on display, especially since the story has been interrupted if not ended.  Buell went on to greater racing success with the 1125RR, but the XBRR was the final race bike of Buell's 25-year association with Harley-Davidson.

-donn

20160213 2007 buell xbrr left front

Uncle Beastly – 2006 Buell XBRR
Buell February 6, 2016 posted by

Long Term collector alert:
2012 EBR 1190RS (Carbon edition)

Note:  Some of the pictures in this post are from the web not from the listed ebay auction.

1190 rs 4

2012 EBR 1190RS on ebay

Ahh...what could have been....the EBR 1190RS, "built to prove an american sportbike could compete with the best in the world".   Sure we have heard that line before but from a technical standpoint, the EBR actually did it, most famously being reviewed as being as near as makes no difference to the benchmark Ducati 1199 Paginale.  The EBR matched the best the world could offer on the track too; EBR took a couple of the 1190 bikes campaigning in the Superbike World Championship and became the first American OEM to earn Superbike World Championship points.

For those readers not familiar with the EBR brand, the company was launched after Harley Davidson made a somewhat shortsighted decision to focus on its core market and shut down the Buell motorcycle brand.  NOTE:  Harley Davidson also sold off the MV Agusta brand at this time.

Buell lineup namesake and renowned designer Erik Buell, not content to go out with a whimper, raised some funds and launched EBR/Erik Buell Racing in 2009.  Some DNA of previous buell models can be seen in the 1190 RS (such as the frame serving as the fuel tank) but the bike was a clean sheet design designed to generate levels of performance equal to the rest of the worlds top bikes.   On the plus side, the 1190RS had pretty much all of the most exotic items in the EBR catalog as standard and only 100 of this carbon bodied edition were built.
1190 specs

On the minus side, the 1190RS was probably priced incorrectly; EBR set the price for a new 1190RS at $40,000 USD, which was within a hair of the Ducati Paginale it was intended to compete against.  The price makes sense from a competition standpoint but it was a huge sum for what was an unproven brand/first bike from a new motorcycle company.  Sales languished and were further impacted by EBR's introduction of two significantly cheaper but identically powered street orientied models known as the RX and SX models within a year.  Meanwhile EBR's initial round of funding was being exhausted and a second round never materialized, resulting in the whole EBR effort being suddenly shut down in April of 2015.

While still new in crate versions of the RX and RS appear regularly on sites like cycletrader and ebay, the RS version is a much rarer thing.  Available units seem to appear now and then, with sellers being mostly dealers who are holding out for buyers who want to pay the full asking price (here is an example on cycletrader).  This one is being offered by a Texas dealer with a 10,000 price reduction so its a relative bargain in the 1190RS world.

1190rs2

Now the question; is this EBR 1190RS Carbon edition worth the $29,999 USD asking price?   If the buyers intention is to actually ride it, then the answer is clearly no; very low mileage and even new RX models can be had for about half of that and will offer nearly the same riding experience as the 1190 RS.   This bike will probably only appeal to a collector with a long term vision, someone who can tuck this one away for about 10+ years, at which point it might become one of those "what-might-have-been-bikes"  ala the Fischer MRX650 or Harley Davidson VR1000.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Long Term collector alert:  </br> 2012 EBR 1190RS (Carbon edition)