Posts by tag: Harley Davidson

Buell January 23, 2018 posted by

Strange Pursuit – 1991 Buell RS1200

Early on at Buell, Erik was transitioning to road machines, lining up dealers, arranging drive-trains with Harley, and a couple of hundred was a successful model.  A break in the weather ( or maybe the no-reserve auction ) has generated some interest in this low-mile RS1200.

1991 Buell RS1200 for sale on eBay

The RS1200 is based on the Battletwin and used the big Sporty V-twin.  Early Buell concepts like the uniplanar engine mounts, underslung pull-shock and mass-centralizing Supertrapp exhaust are on display, but later fuel and oil tank ideas and ZTL brakes were still a gleam in the founder's eye.  The bike also has anti-dive Marzocchi forks, house-designed alloy wheels, and a racy but peculiar pillion seat, which contained the passenger in response to the torque of the 4-speed Screamin' Eagle 1200.

With under 12,000 miles, this Buell is in between regular riders, but the Kansas owner has had it tuned up and save a spring for the rear brake ( pedal return ? ) gives it a clean bill of health.  Corbin could do a quick re-cover on the seat and a day at the spa would do the pearl white body a world of good.

From the eBay auction:

Selling my RS1200 Buell. 1991 model. Early Buell. About only 200 of these RS models were ever made. Clear and open Kansas title In hand. 

Just under 12k miles on it. Runs and rides excellent. Brand new tune up, battery etc. 
I have a video of it running if you wish. Send me your email address and I can email it to you. 
All the lights and horns and dash lights work as needed. Only thing I see it needs it spring is loose on rear brake and never took time to fix it up so it’s not working. Front brake works perfect. Tires are good.
The paint and fiberglass work is in pretty good shape. This is a fairly rare and desired Buell.

Pre-dating H-D's financial interest in the company, the RS1200 was substantially hand-built and the short chassis got high marks for sharp handling.  Also the fairing, expansive enough to protect a full-size rider in the RS's relaxed riding position.  The MSRP was $15K, quite a number in 1991, and bidding is surprisingly active for an auction with six days to run, but a no-reserve auction can excite.  As can a January thaw's promise of spring, and thoughts of a flat Kansas two-lane and a bargain on a big loud 1200...

-donn

Strange Pursuit – 1991 Buell RS1200
Buell October 16, 2017 posted by

Fashionably Late – 2007 Buell XB12 Super TT

One of Buell's last Harley-powered models, the XB12 Super TT has a slightly longer and more stable XB2 chassis, powered by the 1203cc pushrod twin.  Styled as a super / hyper street machine, it's a great performer and snappy dresser.

2007 Buell XB12 Super TT for sale on eBay

Part of the XB2 upgrade was more fuel in the frame, and the STT has 4.4 gallons available.  The familiar Sportster powerplant is shrouded in the alloy perimeter frame, with Buell's Thunderstorm heads and downdraft fuel injection providing 103 hp and 84 ft.-lbs. torque. Showa suspension is fully adjustable and the signature 6-piston Zero Torque Load front brake provides a visual statement as well as great stopping power.  The binnacle fairing has a number plate look to it, as do the panels below the seat, adding to the short, spare, lightweight look.

The Illinois owner has put under 3,000 miles on this STT, and has kept it very clean, and apparently upgraded the suspension and seat, but doesn't shout about it in the eBay auction:

SUPER NICE ORIGINAL CONDITION NOT MUCH TO SAY OTHER THAN THESE ARE RARE AND IN MY OPINION THE NICEST LIGHTNING THAT THEY MADE. THE BIKE NEEDS NOTHING OTHER THAN A NEW HOME. I HAVE A FEW EXTRAS THAT ARE INCLUDED WITH THE SALE AS ONE OF THE PHOTOS SHOW. I MIGHT HAVE A FEW MORE MILES ON BIKE AS I WILL TAKE A COUPLE SHORT RIDES BEFORE STORING IT FOR THE WINTER.

The black forks are at least a cosmetic improvement, and the owner shows a more road-oriented white front fender on the spares page, which would be going on first thing if it were mine.  While the overall design might be an acquired taste, the STT reviewed as a great fun bike, no more or less practical than any other hyper, but the big torque makes it a leave-it-in-drive kind of ride.  Fully sorted might be a good way to describe the XB2, a mature though innovative frame design and bombproof Evo motor, along with Buell's funky solutions to some age-old motorcycle design issues...

-donn

 

Fashionably Late – 2007 Buell XB12 Super TT
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 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 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.

20151112 1996 buell s1 right

1996 Buell S1 Lightning for sale on eBay

20151112 1996 buell s1 left

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