Posts by tag: pushrod

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
Buell July 5, 2020 posted by

Secret Weapon – 1995 Buell S2 Thunderbolt

Early in the Buell / Harley-Dave relationship, the racer and design engineer was thought to be the icon’s entreé into sportbikes.  This immaculate S2 has access to plenty of thunder, and every update imaginable.

1995 Buell S2 Thunderbolt for sale on eBay

The S2 had production versions of most of the ideas Erik Buell had been incubating for several years, the quick-steering tube frame, Uni-Planar engine mounts, underslung rear shock and muffler, and extra-large diameter single front disk – all surrounding Harley’s torquey 1203 cc motor.  WP supplied upside-down forks and the unusual monoshock which extends as the chassis compresses is from Showa.  H-D production engineers fitted their belt drive and put their manufacturing expertise into the sculptural exhaust system.  For a bike with planned production of 300 units per year, the frame-mounted fairing, tank and seat console flow together very well.

Obviously owned by a real fan, this Buell looks excellent an has been carefully updated with choice parts, addressing many of the model’s foibles.  As much as the tank bra breaks up the lines of the bodywork, the next owner will appreciate all the scratches the tank doesn’t have.  The auction shares a – video – and says it’s by the previous owner, which indicates that most of the pictures are as well, so a question or two there.  A long list from the eBay auction:

Work and upgrades:
• Borla muffler  
• Piggyback kickstand plate (prevents the motorcycle from leaning too much to prevent a fall)
• Updated ISO’s all around (Buell redesigned the ISO mounts in 2001)
• Updated exhaust hanger (Buell redesigned the muffler hanger mount in 2001)
• Updated primary tensioner (HD/Buell update to all Sportsters and Buell in 1999)
• Updated shifter detent plate 
• Updated crank seal 
• Bronze oil pump gear 
• All new James top end gaskets with jug pigtails 
• KT Performance heat shield 
• Shorai Battery (Lithium light weight battery)
• Original Rear Shock rebuilt by RaceTech 
• Original Front Shocks rebuilt by Lance Kuglar (St. Paul HD)
• Corbin Seat Recovered by Baldwin
• Under seat tote and fairing bags 
• Screaming Eagle CDI Box 
• New signal light control box
• Zero gravity smoke windscreen 
• Updated/late style front rotor (Buell redesigned the front brake rotor in 2001)
• Newer continental tires 
• Jim’s Mega-nut on bead blasted and sealed front pulley 
• CV Performance Carb Kit  
 
Accompanied with the bike:
• Rising road service and parts manuals
• Sales brochures (with some pricing scribbles from 95)
• Borla brochure
• Buell sticker and postcard from the period
• Owner’s manual
• Stock muffler in like new condition
• Rubber stock foot pegs 
• Additional lower belt guard

The T-Bolt sold better than expected right away, and the two companies had several good years together, but eventually applied for an uncontested divorce.  Even though the S2 is on the softer side of sports-biking, the turn and squirt ( maybe even shift ) ride got great reviews.  It’s a strong starting bid for the first real production bike from Erik Buell and friends, but it is a sharp example with all the right upgrades.

-donn

Secret Weapon – 1995 Buell S2 Thunderbolt
Ghezzi-Brian March 16, 2020 posted by

Gorgeous Guzzi: 2001 Ghezzi-Brian Supertwin for Sale

The Daytona/Sport 1100i were very entertaining machines, with plenty of grunt from the nearly 1100cc v-twin, matched with quality suspension and brakes. Unfortunately, they were also burdened with shaft drive and nearly 100 extra pounds of weight, compared to other Italian sportbikes of the era. So basically a charismatic engine in an overweight package. Sadly, Colin Chapman wasn’t available to help out, but Giuseppe Ghezzi and Bruno Saturno, two halves of the Ghezzi-Brian team, stepped up to build the lightweight, but very pricey Supertwin that cost nearly $15,000 in 2001 money.

There’s a lot of clever engineering going on here, and the completed machine supposedly weighed in at nearly 70lbs less than a Daytona or Sport 1100i. The bike certainly looks lighter and more agile than a Sport 1100i, although I feel like the colors on this example date the bike a bit. Perimeter brakes similar to Buell’s ZTL or “zero tortional load” system supposedly reduce unsprung weight up front and look really trick, the frame channels air through to the airbox below the rear shock, and a redesigned rear suspension helped to reduce the torque reaction of the shaft drive.

I have an old “all Italian” issue of Bike magazine that features one of my favorite comparison tests of all time: an Aprilia RS250 versus a Ducati 748 versus a Bimota YB9 versus a Moto Guzzi Daytona RS. Obviously, the “big old bus” Guzzi didn’t fare well in such light-footed company, but their big, longitudinally-mounted v-twin could still be entertaining slotted into something like this Ghezzi-Brian Supertwin. And this wasn’t the end of the line for Ghezzi and Guzzi: in the Supertwin you can see the kernel of ideas later used in the stunning MGS-01.

From the original eBay listing: 2001 Ghezzi-Brian 1064cc Supertwin for Sale

Frame no. FP1239

As Roland Brown of Motorcyclist puts it:

“I’m carving through a series of immaculately surfaced bends in the hills near Lecco in northern Italy, aboard a stunning new V-twin whose jutting cylinders, grunty power and off-beat exhaust could only come from Moto Guzzi.

“The Guzzi factory at Mandello del Lario is only a short ride from here, but this bike isn’t the first dramatic result of Guzzi’s recent acquisition by Aprilia. This is the Supertwin 1100, now being hand-built in small numbers by Ghezzi & Brian, a specialist firm from the nearby village of Perego.

“As you ride it, carving through the twisties, the aural clues don’t match the experience. The grunty power and off-beat exhaust could only come from Moto Guzzi. But this isn’t just a Guzzi from the Mandello del Lario factory, this is the Supertwin, a hand-built, low production superbike from Ghezzi-Brian, the specialist firm from the nearby village of Perego.

“Moto Guzzi is one of the oldest and most storied motorcycle manufacturers in existence, but they’ve drifted pretty far from their sporting roots, owing to their purchase by Piaggio, a move that has kept them afloat, but forever relegated to building vintage-styled and cruisers to prevent them competing with more sports-oriented bikes from sister-company Aprilia. Really though, the downward slide began long before that, as Guzzi just couldn’t keep pace with the ruthless development of modern sportbikes from Japan. Luckily, there’ve been a few bright spots along the way, like this Ghezzi-Brian Supertwin that point out just how much life is still left in Moto Guzzi’s v-twin.

“Produced by Giuseppe Ghezzi and Bruno Saturno this is a race-replica designed around Ghezzi’s successful racing machine, the Supertwin features quality suspension at both ends and clever engineering designed to reduce weight. The slim bodywork reveals the iconic longitudinal v-twin and contrasts nicely with the hulking mechanicals. The huge perimeter front brakes look incredibly trick on the OZ Racing wheels and should offer up excellent stopping power to go with the increased straight-line performance that comes mostly from a huge weight reduction: the Supertwin weighs in at a claimed 427lbs dry, down 55lbs from the largely stock V11 Sport that donates its engine. Power is a modest 91hp but the 1064cc motor puts out impressive torque to match the amazing soundtrack. 

“Ghezzi’s frame is based on a steel spine and uses the motor as a stressed member, but that’s where the similarities end. The Supertwin spine doubles not as the oil tank but as the airbox, taking in air under the tank to feed the intakes that run back from those jutting cylinders.  There’s plenty of clever engineering rearward, too, where a multiadjustable Bitubo shock lies horizontally and is worked by a rising-rate linkage. In Guzzi fashion the Supertwin’s box-section steel swingarm incorporates a parallelogram arrangement to cancel torque reaction.  But this bike’s real innovation is up front, where its multiadjustable, inverted Paioli fork holds a 17-inch wheel whose twin discs are a massive 420mm in diameter and are fixed to the rim rather than the hub. The entire system, incorporating four-piston calipers biting on thin discs that are fully floating to allow for heat expansion, has been developed by local firm Braking.”

The bike offered is presented in truly excellent condition throughout with the gentle patina of a sparingly used, but meticulously kept near 20-year-old machine. The odometer reads an original 7,500 kms from new, most of which were enjoyed earlier in its life, as it has been on static display in three prominent private California collections for the last half of its existence.

The bike is offered in a Bill of Sale, but I can assist with titling. Please contact me.

For additional photos and details, please visit Classic Avenue.

The $24,900 asking price is a lot of cash for a Guzzi-powered special with pushrods and two valves per cylinder. In the plus column, 90hp should provide plenty of poke in the relatively light machine, the design is extremely exotic, and Guzzi engines are very durable and easy to service. Unfortunately, the bodywork is nearly unobtainable, and I’m not sure where you’d pick up a set of those perimeter brake discs, or a replacement wheel if you ding a rim.

-tad

Gorgeous Guzzi: 2001 Ghezzi-Brian Supertwin for Sale