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Very interesting read. So, if I had to take a Buell on a long cross-country trip, what model would I be looking for ? Or are Buells still considered city exclusively ?

And - first.

 

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As a Buell owner (06 Cityx), even I don't get the point to this bike.



I respect Erik and everything he has created, but I kind of feel this is made just to fill a supposed product hole.
 

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Nice article by Peter Brissette, but one of the specs were a bit confusing.

Hard Contact, Left 46°(U.S. Units) 49°(Metric Units)

Have metric degrees shrunk recently? :)
 

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i love the look of the lightnings but i live on roads meant for a Ulysses. looks like a good compromise but i cant imagine enough people in situations like me exist to warrent this model.



maybe folks that can only own one bike and want that bike to be a street bike but also want to do some light supermoto on the weekends?



and whats with the paint schemes?
 

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As an owner of a XB12S...

As an owner of a XB12S I just have to ask, "Why are you giving us another repackaged Lightening?"

What we need is that new 150 HP engine with 120 foot pounds of torque, a little longer wheel base would be nice and bang! I would buy another Buell.

I have 26,000 miles on mine now, when I reach 100,000 I'm going to trade for some more power, if Buell delivers a lot more power, it might be a Buell, if they don't it's goodbye Irene, er I mean Buell.
 

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You gotta live where I do to appreciate what this bike is made for. The road depicted in the story is the norm here in the western Maryland mountains. I don't know if I'd go for the Uly, the CityX or the TT, but those are some great choices. I thought I got over these bikes last summer. Crap. My wife is gonna be pissed, I'm gonna be broke, my dealer is gonna ***** me off...Time to refill that Zoloft prescription before the anxiety attacks return. What are the chances of winning the Maryland lottery?



I hope that the crayon scribbled paint scheme wasn't the best submission in Buell's goofy "you-design-it" contest. My three year old grandson makes better messes on my kitchen table with his magic markers. I guess it wasn't aimed at my demographic. Time to eat that Zoloft and go sit in the corner.
 

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This is the first XB model I can't warm up to at all.

GB hit the nail on the head with "repackaged Lightning."



Supermoto, TT, whatever. It should be called the "XB12SF Superflous."



Yeah, it's nice to have a bike that can handle urban environments and sketchy roads but don't they already make those bikes? Seems like parsing a niche market pretty fine.



Of course, the TT is just another way to introduce an "all-new" model using basically the same parts with very little R&D cost. That may work for H-D but it's not going to go very far with the crowd Buell hopes to attract.



Worse, it's ugly in pictures and only slightly better in person. And not ugly in a good way.
 

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Re: As an owner of a XB12S...

Have you installed the air filter/race ECU/free-flow muffler combo? No, it won't give you the 150HP that you want, but it'll certainly give the bike a nice pick-me-up. My XB12 responded nicely to this simple mod.

As much as I love the old Sportster-based motor (and I do indeed) it seems that extracting 150 HP from it while maintaining the day-to-day street reliability it has now might be asking a bit too much.

Then again, there are good aftermarket sources of piston/cylinder mods to obtain displacements in the 1400cc+ range. I'll bet you could get a good 130/140 HP with no compromise in reliability. If and when my stock motor needs a teardown, I believe I might go for it... (heh)
 

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I really like Buells but *YAWN*. This is a HD type new model introduction. They used 95% of an existing bike and tweaked the suspension and rake a little and now they have a new model. I would like to see Buell use some of the innovation and creativity to come out with a truly new model. Of course his handlers at HD most likely have the last say in those decisions. I know all manufacturers make parts bin specials but all of Buells bikes are getting this way.
 

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Excellent review Pete. Nice pictures...

"I'm not an arrogant guy. Those [other] guys are making some good bikes. I just want some respect for what American engineers can do."

I applaud what Erik has done given his resource constraints i.e. not allowed to build a proper engine. Even Buell owners like gbrummett are asking for more power. Well the only way to do that given the antique motor design is to add displacement again. I can see it now XB-14s ..

Also I agree with others this isn't a new bike. Like to see a sport tourer with ABS an hard bags.. I don't mean the Uly boys.. I mean a real ST like the old tube frame one..Thunderbolt ST I think it was called. Lower pegs and higer bars.

Heck if you offered a bike like that with ABS I even might buy it to commute with. Even with the antique motor..
 

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Excellent Post

"As much as I love the old Sportster-based motor (and I do indeed) it seems that extracting 150 HP from it while maintaining the day-to-day street reliability it has now might be asking a bit too much.

Then again, there are good aftermarket sources of piston/cylinder mods to obtain displacements in the 1400cc+ range. I'll bet you could get a good 130/140 HP with no compromise in reliability. If and when my stock motor needs a teardown, I believe I might go for it... (heh)"

You nailed it great post..
 
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