Posts by tag: Erik 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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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 May 19, 2011 posted by

Bullish on Buell: 1989 Buell RR1200 Battletwin

For Sale: 1989 Buell RR1200 Battletwin 1 / 34 NOS never titled

Erik Buell started his engineering career at Harley Davidson, but left H-D to pursue an opportunity to market Buell Motor Company 750cc two stroke racebikes to privateer teams competing in the AMA Formula 1 series. The racebike stint was short lived, as the AMA discontinued the series in favor of Superbike less than a season later.

Buell then turned to streebikes. He obtained a large quantity of XR1000 motors via his contacts at H-D, and he used these to create the RR1000. Between 1987 and 1988, Buell delivered 50 bikes to customers, placing the Buell Motor Company on the map. When his supply of XR1000 motors ran out, Buell adopted the new H-D 1200cc Evolution engine, upgrading the bike and making the necessary changes to package the new powerplant. Through the 1989 model year, Buell created an esitmated 65 RR1200 bikes; this is one such machine.

Notice how these early Buells contain many of the iconic features seen on later bikes. The Uniplanar engine mounts - to allow the engine to be used as a stressed member while still isolating the vibration of the big twin - continues to be a patented feature on modern Buells. This bike also shows the under-the-engine suspension and exhaust - both necessary compromises to package the big twin.

From the seller:
The history of this RARE motorcycle is part of Harley-Davidson's success in Canada. Legendary enthusiast, racer and man behind the largest importer of Harley's in the world(Trev Deeley) brought this machine into Vancouver as one of only three ever to be imported into Canada. I am sure that Trev did all he could do to promote Buell, simply becauce of Buell's brillance and innovation as a motorcycle racer. Stories of this RR1200 in the window of Deeley's east Broadway motorcycle shop are consistant..."so many traffic rear-enders distracted by the Buell in the window"...the machine was removed from it's display. From the spot light to the warehouse; that's where the RR1200 sat for some time. One of Trev's racing pals eventually purchased the RR1200 and moved it into his private collection.

Never registered. 152 miles of demo. Sales brochure and original price tag included. Serviced and ready to show or vintage track.

Very rare, very low miles, and never registered - to be honest I'm not even sure where to begin concerning pricing on this one. Thankfully, there are many bidders out there who are currently showing the way. While the auction opened below $1k, bidding has been very brisk; at the time of this writing the price has risen to over $14,000 and the reserve is still in place.

This bike is a very unique piece of motorcycle history. With its aerodynamic wrap-around fairing, color scheme straight out of the 1970s, thundering performance and interesting back story, the next owner will be very lucky indeed. To check out the pictures and details or to watch the sprited bidding, . Good luck!

MI

Buell March 3, 2010 posted by

1985/86 Buell RR1000 Battletwin Factory Racer Located In The U.K.

This is a Buell RR1000 that ran for the factory in AMA competition!  Located in Tring, United Kingdom is a 1985/86 Buell RR1000 Battletwin. 

Supposedly there are 50, or so, of these running around the world and due to collectors eating these up early on--Gasp!--the majority of the bikes were never raced.  The chassis that is featured here has, as the seller claims, been run in the 1985/86 AMA Battle of the Twins events and a Battle of the Twins event in Italy.  To know the entire history of this bike, we must go to the seller:

This bike was purchased as a kit of parts directly from Erik Buell in 1992 (less wheels, forks and brakes) by an Italian collector who then built the bike to it's current specification in 1993. The bike was then raced in the italian BOT (Battle of the Twins) of that year under the CR&S banner.

The chassis varies slightly from the production RR1000 chassis and is described by Erik Buell as a "lightweight version which is better for racing". This chassis and other parts were used by Buell Racing in 1986 as part of the "works" supported race effort.

This bike is top spec inside and out built with Brembo billet brakes and race discs, Ohlins suspension; front forks are GP type and rear shock was built for Buell and the wheels are Technomagnesio. The Engine, primary and gearbox were completely overhauled in 2002 receiving new pistons, titanium valves, race springs, rods, all bearings and crank rebuild. Cams are Storz and the heads are fully gas followed and twin plugged. Carbs are 42mm flatside Mikuni's. Exhaust is Buell works. The bike has done very little work since but has been maintained regardless.

This bike seems be made up of some very real factory parts with a very real race history.  The seller claims to have, and shows, the documentation of this bike's history.  Recently, everyone seems to have become sentimental to anything with a Buell badge--except perhaps a blast--because of the recent demise of Buell.  The sale of this bike seems to coincide perfectly with this rose-colored rush to remember the good times before H-D brought everything to a halt.  This bike is all the money at $155,000; however, it is one of the first Buells and actually carries an AMA season and European race history.  This bike is very rare no matter what your thoughts of Buell as a company are; What will reassure that this bike stays insanely valuable will be a large number of people feeling that this bike is very, very special--I don't think this should be a problem.  See a fantastic write up by Dave Gess here.  See the RR1000 on eBay .

AG