I am seriously looking at the Z right now also. You can find them on sale for a pretty good price( under 7000). According to paper it should be all the buell is and some in any performance catagory. The fact that the buell is really cool helps it a lot, but I think the Z is about as cool. So the only thing that is stopping me is that I don't want to find out that another naked bike is released for 2005, that I like better, a month after I get the Z. Ohhhhh my life is so rough!!
Z1000 looks cool in passing but the longer you look at one, the more cheese you sees... and as you push it round in the driveway, it feels about 100 pounds heavier than a new buell xb. other than that, it's a cool bike and i know not why they didn't bring in the Z750 which the Brit mags seem to like just as well.
I rather have new XB9city or whatever they call it, personally...
I've owned several Buells and many late model Japanese inline 4's.
I think a major consideration for you is the twin vs. the I-4 configuration. If you REALLY like the Buell because of the twin motor's torque, you should get a ride on the Z1000 first. If your dealer wants to sell one bad enough, he'll let you ride it, assuming you're not some squid coming in with t-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops.
The Z1000 will be much more reliable than the S3 (and all the previous generation Buells). BUT, the new XB series Buells should be much better.
As background, here's where I'm coming from: 1990 Honda 650 Hawk, CBR-F4, bunch of dirtbikes, have ridden various other stuff (inlcuding some Buells a couple years ago), roadraced the Hawk and an SV650 for a couple of years. 37 yrs old.
I absolutely adore my Z. I desperately want to love Buell, being an American engineer, but the motor just kills it. I can't stand vibration. Motors must be smooth to earn my respect.
The Z does have a buzz zone between 6500 and 7000. That correllates to 90+mph in top gear. You don't have enough fairing to ride that fast for long, so it isn't an issue. At cruisiing speeds from 40 to 85 mph, it is glass.
The motor is a real gem. The brakes are maybe a little soft at the lever, but they have great strength and feel. The seat takes a few hundred miles to break in, but now I am OK with it. The ergos are great.
And MO is totally full of dookus about the instrument binnacle. It is extremely easy to read in all conditions as well as being cool to look at.
It is fast and fun. If I put a throttle stop on it at 40%, I could teach a newbie to ride on it. On the other hand, it wheelies a little bit at the 100mph 3rd to 4th shift. Fast bike.
Mine is pearl blazing orange. I paid $7250 out the door and it gets plenty of attention.
If he's dumb enough to buy two Buells he probably can't ride anyway, the tail section and pipes will be gone in a week after he gets on a bike that actually runs and makes power like a real motorcycle.
My personal choice would be either get a new XB12 or a new Speed Triple. To me the Z1000 just looks like another cheesey Japanese anime`bike. Fine if you like that sort of thing.
You already like your Buell's and the XB9 and 12's are supposed to be head and shoulders above the older ones. If you want smoother power and torque with an eye catching look the lime green Speed Triple with a black D&D can is about as cool as you can get.
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