Posts by Category: Buell

Buell September 23, 2015 posted by

The Tools at Hand: 1991 Buell Westwind RS 1200/5 for Sale

1991 Buell RS1200 R Side

Given a clean sheet of paper and nearly unlimited resources, it's no surprise when major manufacturers come up with good motorcycles. In fact, when you consider those factors, it's shocking how often they get it wrong... But Buell had neither advantage in building his motorcycles and still managed to come up with some very interesting motorcycles. In fact, many of the most striking innovations in his early bikes like this Buell RS1200 were workarounds for the tall and heavy Harley powertrain he was using.

Too heavy? Save weight everywhere you can. Bulky non-unit engine and transmission? Centralize mass with a shock mounted under the engine. Vibey powerplant? Mount it using innovative heim joints that works like Norton's "Isolastic" system to isolate the worst of the vibrations and allow a stiff package that doesn't try to rattle the rider's teeth loose. Worried about losing your girlfriend off the back? Don't worry, the passenger seat cover doubles as a backrest!

1991 Buell RS1200 R Side2

Much of the bike's detailing honestly looks custom up-close. If you didn't know better, you'd swear those heim joints mounting the engine to the frame were aftermarket bits, but no, they were there from the factory, a measure of the quality components used to build these. Performance Machine is a brand often associated with Kustom Kruizer Kulture, but they make quality stoppers.

1991 Buell RS1200 Front Brake

And if the styling of this early Buell is, um... unconventional, the complete package exploits the antediluvian engine's inherent power, torque, and character for a uniquely American take on a sport-touring motorcycle.

From the original eBay listing: 1991 Buell Westwind RS 1200/5 for Sale

I am the original owner of this Beautiful Red California RS 1200/5 Westwind. Purchased in 1991 From Fremont Harley Davidson in FremontCalifornia, it has 5289 miles on it and is in very good condition. It has a small scratch on the tank and fender. It has a small crack on the fairing. It needs to have the fork seals replaced. It is bone stock expect for the screaming eagle Dyna ignition. It fires right up and runs like new. It has been garaged and covered since new.

I take for granted that most of you know this is one of the hand-built, low production models, before they were mass produced and cranked out by the thousands on an assembly line. This was when Erik Buell owned the company. It has a unique 5 digit VIN number acceptable to the DMV. Most vehicles have a 17 digit number.

1991 Buell RS1200 Dash

There are no takers yet with a starting bid of $5,500 but plenty of time left on the auction. Whether you love his motorcycles or hate them, Erik's obvious passion for motorcycling and innovative mind shine through in all of his bikes, and it's a shame he's had so much trouble. But it's a testament to his talent that people keep trying to give his ideas a home, so let's hope this new guy in Asbury Park can give Buell the stability he needs to keep making interesting machines.

-tad

1991 Buell RS1200 L Side

The Tools at Hand: 1991 Buell Westwind RS 1200/5 for Sale
Buell April 26, 2015 posted by

Long Term Collector Alert!: 2012 EBR 1190, Carbon edition

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The announcement earlier this month that EBR/Erik Buell Racing is discontinuing operations is pretty sad.   EBR was probably the best "all-american-sportbike" effort we have seen in quite a while.  While others such as Roehr, Fischer, Motoczysz came and went in a blink, EBR lasted over 6 years and were effectively a continuation of the concepts Erik Buell first began to follow in 1983.

For anyone not familiar with EBR and/or Erik Buell,  you really have to start back in 1993.   At the time Buell has been building his own sportbikes using Harley Davidson motors for about 10 years and was one of the men behind Harley Davidson's aborted VR-1000 racing effort.  Buell left HD in 1993 and founded his own sportbike motorcycle company, Buell motorcycles,  which over its 15 year lifespan produced/sold over 100,000 motorcycles.

Since early Buell motorcycles used Harley Davidson engines, Buell reached a partnership deal with Harley Davidson that allowed Buell to sell bikes within Harley Dealerships.   However this same deal seeded control of the brand to Harley and in 2009,  struggling to deal with the great recession, Harley shut down the entire Buell lineup.  Rather than give up on his dream of building great American sportbikes, Buell took his knowledge and started again and Erik Buell Racing/EBR was the result.

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2012 EBR 1190RS for sale on cycletrader USA

The 1190RS was actually EBR's second bike produced;  the first bike was a purely race oriented machine, the 1190RR.  The street legal 1190RS version was built to take all the race tech while being street legal (barely).  The 1190s was effectively built to go head-to-head with the Ducati 1098R and towards this end came with a  1200 cc V-twin engine  that produced 175 hp and lots of track oriented goodies, including titanium rods & valves, a cast-aluminum frame and lots of carbon-fiber bodywork.   Like its Ducati competition, production was very limited (only 100 1190RS units were reported to have been made) and prices were set quite high; 40,000 USD.

The 1190RS was followed by less expensive street bikes such as 1190RX and 1190SX which are really good bikes that offer 90% of the 1190RS experience at 50% of the cost.  However the RX and SX lack the ultra high end goodies of the limited edition RS and now the Buell is closing up operations, the 1190RS will most likely be the high water mark for EBR bike development/design.

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This particular is sitting at a dealership in South Texas and has only 13 miles.

Here is what the seller has to say: 

  • 2012 EBR 1190RS, bike #92
  • Full race exhaust and ECU
  • Lithium ion battery
  • Titanium rods & valves
  • Hydro-formed, cast-aluminum U.S.A.-built frame
  • Beryllium Copper Valve seats
  • Magnesium alloy wheels & sub-frame
  • Carbon-fiber bodywork

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Is this bike worth the 40,000 asking price?   Probably not;  the RX and SX models derived from this are currently available from 10-20k and history has shown just adding carbon fiber and titanium does not make a bike that much better or desirable (just look at the Aprilia Nera).  On the other hand, I do think this model will become THE model for collectors who wish to have an EBR.   While values will probably not climb anytime soon this bike might be appealing to a serious collector that has a very long term outlook.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner 

2015 Buell EBR 2015 EBR 1190 SX Almost Brand New 750 miles
2015 Buell EBR 2015 EBR 1190 SX Almost Brand New 750 miles
$6,990.00
Time Remaining: 5d 4h 15m
2009 Buell Other 2009 BUELL XB12XT ULYSSES
2009 Buell Other 2009 BUELL XB12XT ULYSSES
$5,995.00
Time Remaining: 5d 15h 17m
Buy It Now for only: $5,995.00
2006 Buell Other 2006 Buell XB12X Fully Kitted Out
2006 Buell Other 2006 Buell XB12X Fully Kitted Out
$5,000.00
Time Remaining: 6d 7h 41m
Buy It Now for only: $5,000.00
2004 Buell Firebolt TURBOD XB12R  FULLY BUILT
2004 Buell Firebolt TURBOD XB12R FULLY BUILT
$6,750.00
Time Remaining: 2d 17h 25m
Buy It Now for only: $7,250.00
2007 Custom Built Motorcycles Custom 2007 Custom Built Harley Davidson
2007 Custom Built Motorcycles Custom 2007 Custom Built Harley Davidson
$6,995.00
Time Remaining: 5d 6h 21m
Buy It Now for only: $6,995.00
2009 Buell 1125R Buell 1125R Last of The Breed
2009 Buell 1125R Buell 1125R Last of The Breed
$5,500.00
Time Remaining: 9d 14h 27m
Buy It Now for only: $5,500.00
2014 Other Makes EBR 1190SX 2014 Erik Buell Racing EBR 1190SX
2014 Other Makes EBR 1190SX 2014 Erik Buell Racing EBR 1190SX
$10,000.00
Time Remaining: 15h 25m
Buy It Now for only: $10,000.00
2015 Other Makes EBR 1190SX 2015 Erik Buell Racing EBR 1190SX
2015 Other Makes EBR 1190SX 2015 Erik Buell Racing EBR 1190SX
$10,000.00
Time Remaining: 14h 36m
Buy It Now for only: $10,000.00

Long Term Collector Alert!:  2012 EBR 1190, Carbon edition
Buell March 8, 2015 posted by

Raw Awesome 1998 Buell S1 Lightning

From the S2 Thunderbolt of 1994-95, the Buell S1 Lightning was a decrease in model number and price, but an improvement in many ways.  Developed by Harley-Davidson engineer Erik Buell, the Buell bikes pioneered many innovative features but never denied their desire for the brute horsepower of the 1203cc Sportster engine.

1998 Buell S1 Lightning for sale on eBay

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20150307 1998 buell s1 right

Adjectives like pure, naked and muscular are used on the Buell S1, some comparing its single-minded design to the Ducati Monster.  With the Buell features such as horizontal rear shock absorber, large diameter front brake disc, and isoplanar engine mounts, there is no denying the performance orientation of the 100 hp machine.

20150307 1998 buell s1 left engine

20150307 1998 buell s1 right engine

With under 1000 miles, this one seems mint.  From the eBay listing:

944 miles, one owner. To include new battery, original cylinder assembly with pistons, original heads, original air filter assembly (motor upgraded prior to delivery), plus original and Corbin seats. Bike properly stored in heated shop.

20150307 1998 buell s1 binnacle

There was a factory upgrade engine available in 1998, maybe that's what was installed on this bike, though there are countless H-D 1200 upgrades available.  Also seen here is a cone filter instead of the factory Power Volume intake.  The owner has upgraded to a Corbin seat but includes the factory piece.  WP suspension, low maintenance belt drive, and Italian controls complete this innovative package.  Blue trellis frame and orange bodywork have a good-natured effect on this thunder bike.

-donn

 

Raw Awesome 1998 Buell S1 Lightning
Buell December 27, 2014 posted by

Blue & White Buell: Buell XB12R in Washington

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2009 Buell XB12 for sale on ebay

Here is a Buell XB12 with only 3 miles on the odometer.  Now I know some regular readers of RSBFS aren't big fans of the Buell lineup, with the usual complaint being along the lines that they were just a disguised Harley Davidson and aren't really that rare.  But consider this- the Buell lineup was one of the first to use a frame that puts fuel in the frame spars and oil in the swingarm.   Also the traditional hub-mounted rotor gave way to a perimeter-mounted unit and another defining feature (a trend Buell started) was the "mass centralized muffler" that exited under the bike.

Its also important to note that for the XB12 the motor wasn't actually a Harley Davidson product.  Instead, it was for the first time a purpose-built bike specific for the brand.  The XB12 was reported to produced 103 HP at 6,800 RPM and 84 LB-FT at 6,000 RPM and be  good for mid 11's in the quarter mile.

buell riders left

All in all, the Bike had some pretty serious tech, a lot of which can be seen as evolution into Erik Buells new EBR bikes.  Reviewers were generally positive about the bike;  consider the following from motorcycle daily:

There are pros and cons to a Buell XB: adequately muffled, they sound great, and on the road, they’re a nice experience — the torquey motor pulls sweetly and provides adequate thrust for real-world riding. The true stars of the show are the chassis and the brakes. They’re both user friendly and provide good feedback. Heck, the seat is even comfortable enough for long rides if you can figure out how to fit luggage.

This particular Buell is the 1st gen with the Non-HD motor and incorporates all the other bits of Buell tech that the company was known for introducing.  Plus it only has 3 miles on the odometer according to the seller

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So whats this XB12 worth?  Well Buells in general haven't started to catch the attention of collectors and it will never be a piece of unobtainium.   Then again this bike only has 3 miles on the odometer - I guess anyone who buys this bike will have to make a decision on whether they want to just tuck it away and hope it goes up in value or actually ride it and enjoy it...decisions, decisions.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Blue & White Buell:  Buell XB12R in Washington
Buell October 7, 2014 posted by

Beluga Buell: 1989 Buell 1200 Battletwin

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I know a lot of RSBFS readers think that except for the new EBR bikes all Buells were kind of half-assed sportbikes that didn't measure up to the competition.   What is interesting to me is that if you say the name "John Britton" to these same people they will claim that the Britten V-1000 was probably the greatest bike of the last century.  Yet both John Britton and Eric Buell started out with a set of unconventional ideas and then built their bikes out of their garage workshops, producing something weird and kind of wonderful.  So perhaps its time to give the early Buell bikes a bit more respect.

1989 Buell RR1200 for sale on eBay

This 1989 Buell RR1200 Battletwin is located near Philadelphia, PA USA and currently has only 3500 miles.  For those of you unfamiliar with the Battletwin RR1200, it was essentially an evolution of the Buell RR1100 which was one of the most aerodynamic bikes ever built (FYI: The late 80's Buell 1000/1200 had lowerCdA than most modern bikes, including the wind tunnel designed Suzuki Hayabusa).  The major difference between the RR1000 and the RR1200 was the engine; while the RR1100 was powered by a vibration prone Harley Davidson XR1000 motor, in 1989 Buell adopted the new smoother HD 1200cc Evolution engine into the RR1200.

When it was introduced in 1989, the Buell Battletwin 1200 was an intriguing mix of old and new; a thoroughly modern chassis that was a Buell custom design, an exhaust positioned underneath the engine (to help with mass centralization), Marzocchi forks with anti-dive technology, and a horizontally mounted shock.  The looks were certainly different from what had appeared before;  as one reviewer wrote about it and the similarly oddball BMW K1 "they look like something built as a representation of what someone thought motorcycles would look like when we lived on the moon."

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NOTE:   The following pics with bodywork removed are from a source other than the auction and should not be taken to show condition of the listed bike.

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The bike’s wide seat was found to be quite comfortable and thanks to Buell’s patented Uniplanar engine mounting system, the already reduced HD 1200 engine vibrations were kept further in check. The bike rode on 16-inch Dymag wheels and brakes were floating discs with four-piston calipers.

Even though the BattleTwin weighed about 170 kilos the focus was on handling and was about as good as anything from Europe.

"It is a quick steering yet stable bike that is easy to ride at high speeds through flowing turns.  It likes to be taken through corners on power and can understeer if you backed off the throttle while leant over in a corner but power through with the engine driving hard and you’d be rewarded with positive and neutral handling that made it hard to believe you were on a Harley.  In comparison, the competing 1989 BMW K1 was overweight, top heavy, hot and slow."

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So what's it worth? Well it will probably appeal more to collector of oddball bikes than an investor, perhaps ending up parked alongside a HD VR1000 or Gilera CX125. Cost when new was about 12.5 k and this particular bike looks like it might need a new chain and probably some other items. Then again, according to a recent story done by www.motorcycleclassics.com, a good, well-maintained example could cost anywhere between US$25,000-50,000 today so this might be an opportunity for a collector/investor after all.

MG

Beluga Buell:  1989 Buell 1200 Battletwin
Buell October 6, 2014 posted by

Featured Listing: Ready to Race 2007 Buell XBRR

Update 4.22.2015: This bike is heading to a new home. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Update 10.6.2014: Now on eBay, links added. -dc

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Certainly not the handsomest machine, Buell’s XBRR was a factory racebike based on their XB12 streetbike that featured Buell’s customary obsession with mass-centralization and weight-reduction. Both very good ideas, considering the powerplant was based on Harley-Davidson’s antediluvian 1200cc, pushrod v-twin, but de-stroked and bored-out to 1339cc. With huge 62mm throttle bodies, the race-spec engine puts out 150hp and 100lb/ft of torque. It has no real powerband and pulls from just off idle until you run headlong into the 8,000rpm limiter.

2007 Buell XBRR for sale on eBay

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But while the engine is the motorcycling equivalent of a big-block Chevy, the rest of the package definitely goes its own way. In classic Buell style, fuel is stored in the frame and oil in the swingarm, allowing a low center of gravity and providing good surface-area to keep things cool. The bike also features Buell’s signature Zero Torsion Load perimeter front brake, with a Nissin 8-piston caliper!

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While I realize that Buell’s eventual move to a Rotax-based powerplant was necessary for the bike to compete on the world stage, there’s something cool about their use of a lumpy, torquey all-American v-twin, and the XBRR is probably the very last word in fast Harleys. And it’s likely to be the last word for some time. Instead of capitalizing on their rich racing history, Harley seems very content to rest on their “bad to the bone” image to sell bikes. Which makes sense as racing would require them to actually make bikes that can win races...

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Normally, I like to fill in some blanks with the history of a bike in question, but in this case is our old buddies over at AutoMania have already done a fantastic job detailing this history of this machine.

From the AutomaniaGP website: 2007 Buell XBRR for Sale

My love of riding what I term “Anvils” has carried me on the frames of many older and what some people would refer to as “antiquated” rides. Most have been air-cooled BMW’s, some of which have genuinely surprised riders, others reacting with phrases such as “There goes a garage sale looking for a place to crash”. There is an extremely satisfying feeling of using an outdated Engine as a basis to build a quick and sometimes surprisingly fast motorcycle. With that that explanation, please do not think me out of plumb for lusting after this particular bike, the 2007 Buell XBRR Production Race Motorcycle we have here at the shop.

This bike was originally owned by Harley Davidson of Fredricksburg on the east coast of the US. They raced it during 2007 and it was the #2 bike for their racer Brian Bemisderfer. In 2010 it was bought by it’s present owner who was going to race it in the lightweight Twins class in Utah and also running it in Sounds of Thunder which is a AHMRA class. While on the Dyno at Harley Davidson in SLC the crankshaft let go. It had not even been to the track. Two sets of crankshaft parts were obtained and sent to John Hoban of Darkhorse Crankworks who built and balanced a new crank. The motor was then sent to Latus Harley Davidson in Portland Oregon and they rebuilt the engine.

Since then the bike has set in an office on static display. It is fully race prepped and starts immediately and runs nicely. It has not been to the track. It is modified with: Burns race muffler, STM Slipper clutch, Brembo master cylinder and a Penske rear shock. It was fitted with a starter motor and lightweight lithium battery but also comes with the hand held remote starter. Included are e 3 or 4 different rear sprockets and a 1 tooth smaller front sprocket, a new primary chain and one or two cylinder head temperature sensors. Included also is all of the data acquisition tools and CD’s, receipts for parts and labor for recent work and some minor spares. The bike has never been registered, having been issued an MSO by Buell when sold new originally. The MSO will be supplied to the new owner or an Oregon title created, which ever is desired.

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Just 50 were planned, although 56 were rumored to have been produced. The XBRR was almost $31,000 when new, and the bike competed in AMA racing in the Formula Xtreme class. Its inclusion in that class was very controversial at the time, since it was intended for “production-based machines” and some of the other teams argued that the XBRR was anything but.

This example features a very desirable slipper-clutch, something the bike desperately needs that was not originally included. And the traditional Harley black-and-orange paint definitely looks better than the stock yellow!

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At $20,000 this could be a great way to go racing for a reasonable price, and although bodywork might be a bit hard to come by, tuning parts for the engine should be obtainable. Plus, how hilarious would it be, passing riders on a bike with a non-unit gearbox? Not to mention the noise! The noise!

-tad

Featured Listing: Ready to Race 2007 Buell XBRR