Posts by Category: Buell

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Buell September 25, 2022 posted by

Carbon Drag – 2012 EBR 1190RS Carbon

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2012 EBR 1190RS Carbon Edition

After Buell had made it out of his garage and struck gold Harley, it’s safe to say he had saved up a couple of bucks along the way. He was tired of Harley management tying everyone up with red tape and decided to get back to his roots: designing and building bikes on his own terms. With an idea, confidence, and a couple extra zeros to his name, Erik Buell started EBR. Erik really only had time to produce 1 architecture at EBR which was used for the all the models that were released under the brand. Today, we have the cream of the crop that came out of East Troy, the EBR 1190 RS Carbon. The 1190 RX is the fully faired base edition which is a monster in itself. The 1190 RS came with racing-focused upgrades and the Carbon Editions were essentially the actual race bike. Roughly a 100 RS models came out of the factory and a sliver of those were draped in carbon fiber but no one is sure exactly how few were made.

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As made pretty evident from the pictures and name, the Carbon Edition came with full carbon body work. Very cool for 2012 and pretty easy to explain. However, the coolest carbon bit on this motorcycle is the brake cooling duct. Remember how we said this was a race-ready bike? The cooling duct kept the brakes in the operating window and maintained great feel over a race distance. On an EBR, especially on an 1190 RS, you’re going to need that due to the unmatched front end feel you can get out of this bike. The single caliper, rim mounted rotor, and magnesium wheels reduce unsprung mass over the front wheel and allow racers to trailbrake much deeper into corners. Just watch Danny Eslick race the 1190 in AMA and you’ll see what I mean.

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Aside from the Carbon drag, The 1190RS also had a few chassis and engine upgrades. You have an Ohlins TTX with a remote adjuster on the rear and an Ohlins fork with the race cartridges up front. I’ve had the pleasure of riding a set of their road and track cartridges and those are incredible. One can only imagine the competence of full race cartridges. The motor received Carillo rods, CP pistons, higher lift cams, titanium valves, and a slipper. Did I forget to mention all the RS editions were handbuilt?

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Forgive the turn signals, high beams, and horn.

From the seller:

2012 1190RS Carbon Fiber Edition. #73 of less than 100 ever made. (FB does not have the correct model and miles) Not many out there still in this condition. Made in USA. Over 175HP. Under 25 miles. Clear Title in hand. Its a little bit hard to let it go. But It needs to be driven and enjoyed more than I can give. Its under 400lbs. With magnesium rims. And needs nothing. Must go to a person that understands what this is. Asking 30k obo Located in New Rochelle NY 10801. Sold as is where is. No low ballers please I know what I have and not hard up to sell. Call Steve 914-576-3332 for more info. Check out our feedback. Buy from a trusted source.

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The technological innovation on this bike is arguably the coolest thing about it. A small of team of engineers were able to pull together something that was able to compete with the big 5 on tracks. Not only did they build something that was competitive, they built something totally different so there wasn’t an opportunity to peek at a neighbor’s test to see what they came up with. Aside from being different, it bucked the notion that all things American were heavy and sluggish. I would absolutely love to hear stories about what the other folks on the paddock were saying about this thing as it crossed the finish line.

As far as pricing goes, it’s tough to say where these should land. A carbon edition recently made it as high as $17,000 on BaT in May 2020. Our seller is looking for $30,000 which isn’t totally unreasonable as you have all the ingredients for a future collectible: low miles, rarity, racing history, innovation, and a story. Buells and EBRs are still relatively new so they’ll likely need some time before they get to ride the value curve. It’s certainly fair to say some of the early model Buells are starting to receive that recognition they deserve.

Thanks for reading!

-Norm

Carbon Drag – 2012 EBR 1190RS Carbon
Buell August 14, 2022 posted by

Track Twin – 2003 Buell XB12R Firebolt Track Bike

Image 6 - 2003 Buell XB12R

2003 Buell XB12R Firebolt Track Bike

Motorcycling is something that people do out of passion. Most of us have a passion for riding but only a few have a passion to build and even less are any good at it. Of those who build, only a few can build something new and different. That’s what made Erik Buell so special.  He was an enthusiast who loved to race and engineer motorcycles that ended up making it in the big leagues. After many iterations, it’s fair to say most know him for his XB line of motorcycles that he built during his time at Harley Davidson. Today, we have an example of one his great designs that was taken one step further. A well-preserved Buell XB12R Firebolt track bike.

Image 11 - 2003 Buell XB12R

There’s a lot to digest here.  A stock Buell XB is already an interesting bike. One thing that makes them particularly interesting is actually the philosophy that governed the design of the XB. One of those philosophies is that it had to be a really good street bike. Big torque and comfortable ergonomics were key. However, many of Buell’s designs were brilliant because they brought new innovations that made them great track weapons.

Image 61 - 2003 Buell XB12R I won’t go through all of the quirks on the XB as I trust most of you have listened to the podcasts and seen the Youtube videos. The one thing I do want to mention that really made this a great track bike is the front end. At the top, you have fully adjustable Showas that very competent and easy to work on. Moving down, you have the rim-mounted disc and single 6 pot caliper. The use of a single disc/caliper lowers the unsprung weight. The rim-mounted disc allows for a lighter hub and spokes so you have less gyrospcopic inertia at the wheel. During corner entry, the lack of unsprung weight and inertia gives you loads of front end feel and more importantly, confidence. If you have a proper pair and ride this on the right road you can see for yourself.

Image 11 - 2003 Buell XB12R

As far as modifications go, you have the standard changes for a Buell track bike. Chain conversion, track fairings, and a kill switch. The folks who raced this went above and beyond with the engine modifications and race ECU to get every last bit of power out of the motor. The best bit is the factory race muffler. Almost worth their weight in gold at this point, this is what makes the Buell stand out to the common man. It’s weird but incredibly satisfying to hear the lopey v-twin shoot out of corners.

Image 1 - 2003 Buell XB12R

This is certainly an accomplished race bike and I’m sure the owner has many stories to pass down to the future buyer. Some of those stories will explain the battle scars this bike carries but no track bike is perfect so consider that when assessing value. Also, the seller mentions the bike has sat for a number of years which is probably a bigger concern but that doesn’t affect Buells more than other bikes. I’ve sat for 12 hours today and I feel like I won’t start tomorrow morning. Buell motors are Harley motors so they aren’t rocket science. There’s an incredibly strong community that that can help you through any questions and parts are easy to come by on the forums or from Harley.

At $3,950, the value won’t exist for every buyer. You have to be there for the story and appreciate the efforts of someone who wasn’t afraid to cut his own path. Or maybe you want something interesting to toss in the trailer for classic track days. After all, this is almost 20 years old.

-Norm

Track Twin – 2003 Buell XB12R Firebolt Track Bike
Buell May 31, 2022 posted by

Potato, Potato, Potato – 2001 Buell X1 Lightning

 

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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