Posts by Category: Buell

Buell May 31, 2022 posted by

Potato, Potato, Potato – 2001 Buell X1 Lightning

 

Image 61 - 2001 Buell

2001 Buell X1 Lightning

In the early 90s, Harley Davidson realized they needed to round out their cruiser/touring-focused lineup  with an offering that allowed the company to cut itself a slice of the rapidly growing sport bike market. By acquiring Buell, a company started by an ex-Harley engineer who was building race bikes on his own, HD wandered where they never had before. The X1 Lightning was one of their first attempts to play in the sport bike space before Erik Buell really went wild with his low center of gravity and multi-function parts designs. As intriguing as some of Buell’s later designs are, the X1 capitalizes on what is great about the simple design of a naked motorcycle while also being totally unique.

Image 1 - 2001 Buell

Overall condition seems really good for a 21 year old bike. Paint is fresh and the polished rims are still in great shape.

Image 91 - 2001 Buell

The flat white gauges accent the white racing stripe that goes up the windscreen and tank. Very retro look that has aged incredibly well.

9,776 miles is low low low for the engine. The Evolution motor which was the starting point for the X1’s engine is one of the greatest powerplants ever made. Simple and dead reliable. Just keep you fluids fresh and you shouldn’t have any issues as far as the motor goes.

Image 101 - 2001 Buell

Polish the subframe to match the wheels. Mirror finished X1 subframes are the way to go. The owner has installed the Buell accessories seat. Good seats are critical for comfort on any Harley-powered motorcycle so you won’t be disappointed there. All the other mods are tasteful and can be undone with the factory parts that are included.

Image 141 - 2001 Buell

One of the most entertaining aspects of any Harley engine is the torque you can use to shoot yourself from one stoplight to the next. One of the most entertaining aspects of any Harley engine that Buell got his hands on is experiencing the stoplight to stoplight torque and then staying in it and feeling the extra hp that he squeezed out of it. Reworked heads and cams give the classic Evo motor 82 hp and 78 lb ft of torque compared to stock Evo’s 61 hp and 65 lb ft of torque. It’s weird to rev these motors out because you think they’ll shake themselves apart but the power is up top and you need to force yourself to stay in it to get there. The rubber-mounted engine provides a much smoother ride than the Sportsters of the era but it can’t change where it came from.

Image 81 - 2001 Buell

Buell just didn’t make a trellis frame and slap a hotrod motor in it. He was bred on road courses where  handling is paramount. Fully adjustable Showa forks are used in the front and the Showa shock on the bottom actually gets pulled instead of compressed in response to a bump. The position of the rear shock is odd but it was done to keep the weight down low and also because there isn’t much space to put it anywhere else. Buell did his best to keep the wheelbase short on his bikes so everything is packaged up tight. The singular 6 piston Nissin caliper will provide a surprising amount of stopping power up front as well.

From the seller:

“2001 Buell X1  Limited  Edition paint, New Michilen power pilot tires, Rizoma led turn signals, New Brake Pads, Bronze oil pump drive gear, SuperTrapp Exhaust, Power coated seat rail, accessory seat, Hammer Performance intake. Low miles in Excellent Condition. All Original parts included.”

Image 14 - 2001 Buell

The X1 is a solid addition to any collection. The styling has aged nicely and the motor/chassis combo give you an experience that is totally unique to the Buell lineup. Parts are easy to come by and there is an active Buell community that can help you sort out any issues you might have. The seller has allowed people to make an offer but I don’t think $5K is a crime for a such a clean example. As a Buell owner, I am biased but if you can get past the vibration and onto a twisty road you will undoubtedly leave with a smile on your face.

-Norm

 

 

 

Potato, Potato, Potato – 2001 Buell X1 Lightning
Buell February 24, 2022 posted by

Ice Storm – 1995 Buell S2 Thunderbolt with 4,050 Miles !

Buell’s first production machine with Harley-Davidson’s backing started their relationship off on the right foot, selling more than four times what planners had thought.  This collector-ready example was parked for a score of years but has been rejuvenated without turning it into a budget buster.

1995 Buell S2 Thunderbolt for sale on eBay

Buell had their tuners breathe a little more life into the H-D 1203cc pushrod twin, and wound up with a conservative 76 hp and 66 ft.-lbs. torque.  Some references say the tube frames were hand welded, and made room for the two 40mm carburetors to look to the right.  Harley’s low maintenance belt drive was adapted, and Showa supplied adjustable forks and pull shock.  An early take on the signature single front brake is used, with a 340mm rotor and 6-piston caliper.  Shapely fairings are finished in a multi-stage pearlescent paint and the airbox and belt drive covers are carbon fiber.

Clearly a knowledgeable fan, the seller found a gem that had been in storage, and went over it with a fine tooth comb.  A few parts had dried up in storage but are now refreshed, with niceties like the shock cover and plenty loud stock exhaust.  Wishing the seller had taken a photo of the S2 with the lowers installed, and maybe the numbered side cover.  Original tires should be replaced but saved in case Mr. Barber needs another S2.  Some of the comments in the eBay auction:

This is the nicest original S2 I have seen since I picked up my first back in June of 1994!

I purchased this bike from the original owner in March of 2021 where it spent the last 21 years on stands in storage with just 3,950 miles on the odometer. This is a 49 state bike #382 of 1399.

It is in very nice shape; original Ice White Pearl paint, never dropped, with extras such as OEM factory paint matched fairing lowers, touring bars and the originals, foot peg lowering brackets and the originals, and fairing bags along with an under-seat bag. It also has all the original dealer invoice and Signature Series documentation. All the original Buell correspondence, sales brochures, factory service manual, and parts book for this bike are included with the purchase.

It is still rolling on the original tires and there have been only 3 recalls performed on the bike that includes the fairing stabilizer, front brake line, and rear shock.

The original owner replaced the primary chain adjuster with a M-6 unit and the ignition was swapped out for a Dyna single fire cone unit and dyna coils. I replaced the M-6 unit with an NOS OEM unit. The M-6 adjuster, and original OEM ignition components go with the bike. An additional D & D muffler that came with the bike is included in the purchase.

Maybe not destined for the astronomical auction circuit like some sportier models, the S2 might be better choice when the spaces are wide open.  More of a riding collector than the higher revving and lighter in weight, Buell’s choice of powerplant will always have its fans.

-donn

Ice Storm – 1995 Buell S2 Thunderbolt with 4,050 Miles !
Buell December 16, 2021 posted by

Raw Awesome Hyperbole – 1998 Buell S1W White Lightning

One of my first posts at RSBFS concerned one of these Buell beasties, and still pushes some buttons a few years down the road.  This example is even nicer, low miles, original finishes and just a few dealer-installed upgrades.

1998 Buell S1W White Lightning for sale on eBay

Launched a few years after the Ducati Monster, it was Buell’s second road bike and their take on naked muscle.  Each valve on the Evolution V-twin has its own short camshaft, gear driven and accounting for some of the signature H-D sound.  101 hp isn’t bad for an air-cooled 1200, and the great torque band made shifting gears an option.  The S1W had updated cylinder heads and oceans of character.  Sporty in a way the parent company never considered, the Lightning’s oversized single front brake and W-P suspension stopped and turned as well as it accelerated.  Quirks abound, with the pull shock, underslung muffler and uni-planar engine mounts that really isolate the rattling engine in most of the powerband.

Showing just 5,537 miles, this S1W shows beautifully and is evidently on only its second collector.  The original owner had a few choice options installed and verified their performance with a dyno session.  Corrosion is isolated to a few fasteners and bare aluminum parts, but these would be almost a pleasure to correct.  Looks like a big “return to duty” service just a few years ago and annual maintenance appears up to date.  The seller has a very thorough walkaround – here – and details in the eBay auction: 

This is a very special motorcycle.  It is the holy grail for many Buell collectors, as it was for me.  This is the demanded, one year only, 1998 S1W “White” Lightning retaining its striking, original, and demanded, Molten Orange and Nuclear Blue finishes.  For those not familiar, the 1998 S1W Lightning from the factory has the better “Thunderstorm” heads (black) which increase the horsepower by about 10, and was a one year only model.  This S1W has traveled only 5,500 miles and is very well sorted having received a significant amount of recent maintenance.  It is ready for the road now and is a blast to ride.  Another aspect that makes this S1W very special is the addition of the Buell factory “race kit” and a couple other special Buell items, AND stock parts being included too.  The Buell Race Kit includes a better flowing air intake and filter, larger diameter header, and race muffler, a race “computer” is also present which raises the RPM range, and very hard to find Buell rear set foot pegs. 

The torque and midrange power make this bike quite fun on the street.  Dyno charts are included showing 90 hp and 80 ft lbs of torque to the rear wheel.  This S1W was originally purchased by a gentleman that worked for a magazine which they featured the motorcycle in the magazine.  A copy of the magazine, original Buell touch up paint, receipts, owner’s manual, stock parts, and some other goodies are included.  This is a one year only special model motorcycle, in one of the most demanded and unique color combos, in great condition with low miles, featuring some factory Buell “race” goodies, with stock parts included, and some other goodies.  All of these factors are considered when attempting to determine the value.  This is a special collectible bike that can be ridden and enjoyed as is or be stored and continue to go up in value.

Most White Lightnings were predictably white, and molten orange scored only 295 builds.  Over just a few years, Buell production numbers varied to a surprising degree, along with quality control.  But rarity assured, maintenance isn’t difficult, and almost any Harley dealer can help out.  This example won’t need much assistance to be a show winner, and a blast on the way.

-donn

 

 

Raw Awesome Hyperbole – 1998 Buell S1W White Lightning
Buell October 17, 2021 posted by

Act Fast: Bargain 2009 Buell 1125R

The American V-Twin brings thoughts of open straight roads and a very specific sound.  Potato, Potato, Potato.  At one point a brilliant motorcycle designer thought that there was a way for the American V-Twin to be known for something else.  Sublime handling.

Erik Buell started producing bikes and very quickly developed a reputation for amazing performance and a distinctive package.   He was willing to push the envelope and try new and interesting engineering projects.  Oil tanks in swingarms, fuel tanks in frames, rotors running around the outside of the wheel, shocks under the engine are just a few to that spring to mind.  Early bikes sourced engines from Harley Davidson, but by the late 00’s a Rotax engine was being used.

The 1125 series weighed in at 375 pounds, one of the lightest sport bikes on the market.  Power came in at just a hair under the 150 horsepower mark.  The CR was aimed at the super naked group with slightly more upright bars then other offerings in the line.  None were said to be easy on the eyes, but the riding experience is said to make up for the looks.

From The Seller’s eBay Listing:

Your Bidding on 2009 Buell 1125cr. It is stock except for Power shifter for clutch less shifts, Bluetooth tuning, K&N filter with ECM Map. No warranty, sold as/is.

With just over 12k miles and a Buy It Now price of $3200 this bike is sure to find a new home fast.  These have a cult like status among owners.  Known for being reliable, fun and easy to live with.  There is little at this price point that can compete in terms of performance and uniqueness.
If a reader here ends up snagging this bargain please be sure to let us know about it in the comments.

 

Act Fast: Bargain 2009 Buell 1125R
Buell July 25, 2021 posted by

The American Superbike: EBR 1190RX

So you are shopping for a 180 horsepower V Twin superbike, but you find the offerings from Ducati a little too……what is the word?….Italian.  You want something different, not a bike that you will see very often.  You love a good story and racing history.  Enter the EBR 1190RX.  Mr Buell has one of the most amazing stories in modern motorcycling.  No doubt will end up in the history books.

2014 EBR 1190RXfor sale on eBay

These bikes are dripping with interesting engineering.  Almost every review raves about how well they handle and how nice they are to live with.  Rotax supplied engines ensure power and reliability.  The styling can be mistaken for a brand new model.  Production data is limited, but it is safe to say EBR did not make thousands of these.  The owners groups are very loyal and provide a robust network of knowledgeable people to keep these on the road should an issue ever arise.

Listing is lacking some details, but appears to honestly list an faults.  The new owner should budget for a new set of tires and a basic service as with anything with low miles, tires age out.

From the seller’s eBay listing:

2014 Ebr 1190 Rx , origonal owner bought new in april 2014. Near perfect condition, small tear in rear seat and hairline crack in side fairing about an inch long. Completely stock other than super bright led tailights and rear turn signals. Come with original tailight bracket and turn signal and rear stand. Well maintained and hardly ridden.

The current Buy It Now price of $9,000 is roughly half what this bike would have sold for new.  With just 2353 miles on the clock this could appeal to either a collector or a rider.  A rider will be treated to amazing performance for the entry price.

The American Superbike: EBR 1190RX
Buell April 5, 2021 posted by

Nyellow – 2003 Buell Lightning XB9S

A world away from their earlier tube-framed generation, Buell introduced their Lightning XB9S.  Today’s Buell is a 2003 model with just 5,718 miles.

2003 Buell Lightning XB9S for sale on eBay

Buell packed a helping of their design paradigms into the XB9S, starting with the alloy chassis whose spars held 3.8 gallons of fuel, the “tank” housing the airbox.  Harley’s 984cc twin resided under the frame, and delivered 92 hp.  Showa usd forks worked well up front, and the alloy monoshock held the dry sump’s oil supply.  The rim-mounted 375mm front brake theoretically allowed the wheel to be built lighter, reducing unsprung weight.  After slinging the exhaust and rear damper under the engine, not much mass was left to de-centralize.  Sunny day bodywork included short fenders and a body-color fly screen.

As dealers often do, no history is offered for this great-looking Lightning.  The presentation is lightly used and undamaged, and levers have had a nice upgrade.  Summer yellow bodywork is a lighthearted color for such a rumbly streetfighter.

With Harley’s production engineering help, Buell pushed a few over a thousand XB9’s out the door each year,  over its seven year run – with a couple of special editions to boot.  They asked a premium price and Buell’s advanced ideas made it worth the upcharge.  This example doesn’t appear abused or neglected, and doesn’t ask much of a premium for good looking copy.

-donn

Nyellow – 2003 Buell Lightning XB9S
Buell January 6, 2021 posted by

Lightning Strikes Twice – 2000 Buell X1 Lightning

Buell kept the Lightning name but introduced many welcome changes when the S1 was updated to X1 for 1999.  This Florida rider kept the earlier blue and orange paint scheme, and boasts recent tires and valve maintenance.

2000 Buell X1 Lightning for sale on eBay

Buell kept a lot of the good things about the S1, especially the 1203cc V-twin, now with Thunderstorm heads which made 88 hp.  The bent tubing frame was retained, and the trademark Buell components like the oversized “zero torque load” front brake, uni-planar engine mounts, and underslung pull shock.  The sculptural exhaust heading to the centralized muffler remained part of the visual statement.  New for the X1 was a brushed aluminum subframe supporting a more generous seat, nicer Showa dampers and an engine scoop to hide some of the mechanicals.

Offered by a private owner, this X1 looks very good for its 20,400 miles, with a quite stock appearance.  The seller seems to have tried to lighten the look with a smaller air filter and removing the belly pan.  A D&D muffler is hiding down there, and the stepped Corbin looks to be wider all around.  Comments from the eBay auction:

2000 X1 that I have owned for several years and is in very nice condition.  I am not going to go on and on about, you need any info please email and I will tell you all about it, it needs nothing, has brand new less than 100 miles on tires, has new top end and you will not find a cleaner x1. This is all factory the way it came out of show room except for exhaust, levers and air cleaner. Also comes with chin fairing that can be seen in photo, chin fairing does have some chips in the paint.

Like the S1 before it, the X1 was the back-to-basics machine in Buell’s line-up, with the advanced suspension and brake components to cope with the monster torque.  As Buell was becoming more Harley-ized, production engineering and build quality were improving as well.  Though an X1 from a collector’s hallway might be nicer, it seems like a lot of bike is packed into the buy-it-now, along with the lack of damage and recent maintenance.

-donn

Lightning Strikes Twice – 2000 Buell X1 Lightning
Buell July 28, 2020 posted by

WannaBe(emer) – 2002 Buell S3T Thunderbolt

Marketeers at Buell must have looked longingly at BMW’s fanbase and wanted to access some of that longer-than-an-afternoon enthusiasm.  This S3T has all the last year of production improvements, light mileage, and excellent cosmetics.

2002 Buell S3T Thunderbolt for sale on eBay

Late in the Thunderbolt program, Buell had made a lot of updates to the S3T, like electronic fuel injection tailoring the mixture to 101 hp.  The long stroke of the 1203cc Sporty motor, with factory Thunderstorm heads, takes care of providing a healthy 66 ft.-lbs torque at 5,500 rpm.  The almost maintenance-free belt drive smooths out most driveline lash and is lighter than a chain.  Showa provided their multi-adjustable 40mm fork  and underslung rear shock.  Buell’s signature 340mm single disk is up front, with a six-puck caliper, mounted to a set of very pretty fabricated Comstar-type wheels.  The rear exhaust is tucked inside the frame of its way to the central muffler, and can’t get to your leg.  The seat shape was also improved over the years, and the fairing is a nice compromise between local and long distance.

No ownership history is provided, but this S3T has been cared for and shows beautifully.  Seems little needed to be done to improve on the factory’s ideals, with just an intake added.  Its chunky good looks visually prepare you for the 500 lb. riding weight.  The bags are enormous and aren’t an everyday on-off item like the BMW, so they can stay off until a long trip beckons.  Comments from the eBay auction:

Buell’s top of the line bike in 2002 with MSRP of $13,395
Equipped with the Deep-sized Detachable Color Matched Saddle Bags that
have fitted removeable luggage per picture.
Wheels are the factory optional Performance Machine Polished Aluminum.
Factory rated at 101 Horsepower and 90 ft-lbs of torque it is not for the timid.
Fuel Injected and with the Harley Belt Drive it is very low maintenance.
Being the last year of the Tube Framed Buell’s it is a future collectable
especially with the rare color combination. (Volcano Gray / Blaze Orange)
This bike is factory stock with the exception of the upgraded Uno air cleaner
and vinyl rim stripes.
Bike is in very good condition with some minor imperfections.
See scratch on front fender in picture five.
Right passenger saddle bag has a minor scuff on side.
Plastic fuel tank cover has some typical Buell air bubbles in the paint.

The S3T reviewed as a sport tourer that didn’t forget about the sport, with the big torquey lump that made the sections between corners disappear.  Quality control issues seem to have been largely put to bed this late in the game, though even with the isoplanar engine mount stuff wants to come apart.  This Thunderbolt looks unfettered and ready for another 20K miles.

-donn

 

WannaBe(emer) – 2002 Buell S3T Thunderbolt