Posts by Category: Buell

Buell November 12, 2015 posted by

Never Dull – 1996 Buell S1

Not long after Harley-Davidson purchased a 49 percent stake in Buell Motorcycles, the company introduced their more mass-produced bikes, the 1995-96 S2 Thunderbolt touring bike, and curiously afterward, the S1 Lightning sportbike in 1996-98.  With total production of about 5,000 units, the S1 was a nice success for Buell as they tooled up for the succeeding X1.

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1996 Buell S1 Lightning for sale on eBay

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Using the 1203 cc Harley-Davidson derived V-twin, the Lightning has 101 hp and 95 ft-lbs. on tap.  The 5-speed transmission drives a clean, quiet kevlar belt instead of a chain.  The trellis frame is largely made from bent tubing and is complemented by the shapes of the intake and stainless exhaust.  Forks are adjustable 40 mm inverted, and the rear monoshock is mounted low, next to the muffler which is short to reduce the effect on handling.  Brakes are innovative, a single 340mm disk up front and 230mm rear, thought being that the single disk with 6-piston caliper will be lighter than a dual disk setup.  What bodywork there is looks very trim, a little bikini fairing and stubby seat console.

20151112 1996 buell s1 binnacle

20151112 1996 buell s1 left engine

The owner of this Buell has evidently spent some time with a tin of Nev-R-Dull, can't see the 10,000 miles in the polished aluminum, and stainless.  Many of the accessories and controls have been billet-ized, as well as a carbon muffler and Corbin seat.  There has even been some engine work to make things flow a little better, as well as an updated front brake.

20151112 1996 buell s1 right engine

20151112 1996 buell s1 left muffler

The as well owner keeps his comments spare and clean in the eBay auction:

1996 - S1 Buell Motorcycle. Clean, clean, clean. Low miles, PM wheels, Front EBC rotor, All billet aluminum accessories, Carbon fiber, Bartel's muffler, Bartel's air cleaner, Mukuni carb, Ported heads, American cylinders, Corbin seat. All stock parts, front and rear stands included- 91 HP.

20151112 1996 buell s1 left exhaust

Our editor generally advises we arm the asbestos pj's when a Buell rolls out, and no it'll never be very racey, but it's not terribly overweight.  The big twin reviewed as a quirky ball to ride, not perfect, but a great alternative, maybe not your one and only.  This one looks nicely appointed and well cared for...

-donn

Never Dull – 1996 Buell S1
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 

2009 Buell Other 2009 BUELL XB12XT ULYSSES
2009 Buell Other 2009 BUELL XB12XT ULYSSES
$5,995.00
Time Remaining: 4d 5h 37m
Buy It Now for only: $5,995.00
2014 Buell EBR 1190RX 2014 EBR 1190RX 9 miles American exotica powered by a powerful 185hp V twin
2014 Buell EBR 1190RX 2014 EBR 1190RX 9 miles American exotica powered by a powerful 185hp V twin
$9,795.00
Time Remaining: 5d 13h 52m
Buy It Now for only: $9,795.00
2012 Buell EBR 1190RS Carbon Fiber Edition 2012 EBR Erik Buell Racing 1190RS Carbon Fiber Edition Superbike 26 44
2012 Buell EBR 1190RS Carbon Fiber Edition 2012 EBR Erik Buell Racing 1190RS Carbon Fiber Edition Superbike 26 44
$27,500.00
Time Remaining: 2d 9h 50m
Buy It Now for only: $27,500.00
2009 Buell Other 2009 Buell XB12X Ulysses
2009 Buell Other 2009 Buell XB12X Ulysses
$6,150.00
Time Remaining: 2d 7h 56m
Buy It Now for only: $6,150.00
2009 Buell 1125R 2009 Buell 1125 CR
2009 Buell 1125R 2009 Buell 1125 CR
$5,000.00
Time Remaining: 5d 14h 19m
Buy It Now for only: $5,000.00
2008 Buell Lightning Buell Lightning XB12SCG Like New Upgrades CP Pistons 017 over
2008 Buell Lightning Buell Lightning XB12SCG Like New Upgrades CP Pistons 017 over
$5,800.00
Time Remaining: 4d 13h 12m
Buy It Now for only: $5,800.00
2009 Buell Lightning REDUCED 2009 Buell Lightning City X XB9SX 2300 Miles
2009 Buell Lightning REDUCED 2009 Buell Lightning City X XB9SX 2300 Miles
$5,500.00
Time Remaining: 5d 12h 11m
Buy It Now for only: $5,500.00
2009 Buell Firebolt buell firebolt xb12r
2009 Buell Firebolt buell firebolt xb12r
$5,500.00
Time Remaining: 5d 7h 59m
Buy It Now for only: $5,500.00
2003 Custom Built Motorcycles Pro Street 2003 buell lightning CUSTOM build Byran Fuller
2003 Custom Built Motorcycles Pro Street 2003 buell lightning CUSTOM build Byran Fuller
$14,000.00
Time Remaining: 2d 12h 33m
Buy It Now for only: $14,000.00

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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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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