Posts by tag: Harley Davidson

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
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
Harley Davidson May 29, 2015 posted by

Italo-American GP Machine: 1977 Harley-Davidson RR250 for Sale

1977 Harley Davidson 250GP L Front

Today’s Harley-Davidson RR250 may be new to most of you. We don’t get the opportunity to feature Harley-Davidson motorcycles on this site too often, unless we’re talking about throbbing pushrod v-twins hiding in quirky Buells. And all the “boat-anchor” jokes aside, Harley has plenty of racing heritage, although mostly outside of what interests most of us: roadracing. But back in the 1970’s, Harley took advantage of its partial ownership of small-bore specialist Aermacchi to mount a successful Grand Prix racing program.

1977 Harley Davidson 250GP R Side

These bikes were basically a pair of Yamaha dirt bike engines welded up, and that kept running costs very reasonable and should make parts relatively easy to source today. The resulting motorcycle was actually lighter than the Yamaha’s TZ machines and proved to be very competitive: starting in 1973, Harley-badged Aermacchi two-stroke parallel twins won three 250cc championships in a row, and bikes were raced as late as 1978.

1977 Harley Davidson 250GP L Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1977 Harley-Davidson RR250 for Sale

Harley Davidson RR250

Gran Prix Year 1977

Bimota Frame

Water cooled

Twin Cylinder

Ex-Official Machine

Fully restored

1977 Harley Davidson 250GP R Front

The listing is obviously very spare, and doesn’t tell us much about the bike. Does it run, or is it intended as a display piece? If it’s an “ex-official machine,” were there any notable riders or successes?

The bike is located in Rimini, Italy, but that’s no surprise, since there weren’t too many opportunities for these bikes to race in the US. And since it’s never going to be registered for road use, importing it shouldn’t be too difficult. Regardless, it looks like it’s in excellent physical shape, so collectors can be sure it’ll look great displayed in your living room.

-tad

1977 Harley Davidson 250GP L Side

Italo-American GP Machine: 1977 Harley-Davidson RR250 for Sale
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

20150307 1998 buell s1 left

20150307 1998 buell s1 right

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