Good lord. johnnyb, that is not a healthy comment, nor is that a healthy result for motorcycling. The problem with the Buell is that it's engine is, by any reasonable standard, terrible. While I appreciate the Buell chassis and certain of their engineering innovations which are good for motorcycling, their ridiculous adherence to an inferior engine technology is exactly why their race results are so uninteresting.
As motorcycle consumers, we shouldn't buy in to Buell's fraud. And that's exactly what they will remain right up until they build a bike with an engine that isn't based on that old Harley POS. Buell has a great chassis, and they really think about handling - but for whatever reason, they seem almost religiously defiant to the point of idiocy about engines.
With a 1.3 (1.4?) litre motor, they should be in AMA SBK, not FX. Coddling Buell with favorable rules is not the way to get them to build a product that we want. Hammering them unmercifully until they realize that some of us want a bike that doesn't have the worst engine in motorcycling is the way to go.
Ducati engines are significantly more advanced than Buell engines. Not to mention that Ducati liter bikes run against in-line 4 liter bikes, whereas Buell's must use a significant displacement advantage to run with the 4 banger 600s.
The Buell concept works well for the street, I believe, but I think what Christian is referring to is that Buell motorcycles could indeed use an upgrade in the engine department. A more modern V-twin is a good idea. Don't you think it would be grand if Harley started putting in V-rod engines into Buell frames?
I get it. They are FUN street bikes that have character. Having ridden one I fell in love with that instant torque along with exhaust note and v-twin vibe pulsing through it. Never owned an inline 4 in my 25 years of riding. I never will.
Next time you talk to Mr Buell let him know I would love to club race a Buell if he offered a club racing purchase discount/contingency like Ducati or Suzuki does. Come on the AMA series is for the rich guys what about us poor club racers?
I haven't seen any races this year, but could it be that Ciccotto is just an awesome rider? Remember EBos used to place high on the ZX-7, and won some races, long after it was considered outdated, underpowered and overweight. What would this guy be doing if he were on a factory 600 instead of the Buell?
Well there is no doubt that Mr. Ciccotto is a great rider to get that bike to 4th. That, and a lot of help from the rules and H-D (unofficially of course).
I do think that if they get a V-rod motor in it, with the proper mods, they might even get the missing top speed, thats been hampering them on the bigger tracks (without sacrificing the cornering or low end acceleration).
Interesting comments about the Buell engine. I ride a Buell XB12S with race kit daily and found the contrast between it and the new Ducatis very interesting. I test rode a 2004 Ducati ST3 and 999 yesterday at Firebird raceway here in Phoenix AZ and I couldnt help but wonder what it would have been like riding my Buell powered with the Ducati 999 engine on the same track. Hum .
JB, I doubt that the Beull engine in AMA FX is very much like that which we would find in a stock, street going bike. I would also venture to guess that there are other factors as well (rider, track setup. etc...) which contributes to this scenario. I don't mean to take anything away from Cicotto's achievement, nor do I mean to denigrate the Buell motorcycle especially since I feel fondness for them, but think about it JB, wouldn't you like to see a MO' better engine in the bike?
Nice to see these results. Remember, there is a world out there beyond the UJM.
I have owned a Buell now for about four years, and it is a wonderful motorcycle. Not the fastest, but nowhere near the slowest either. Comfortable and solid.
One other note - I like all bikes, but the reason I subscribe to MO is the fact that they give every manufacturer a chance. Try reading Motorcyclist if you ride something made in America - all they do is bash Buell and H-D. Cycle World and MO are the only real "fair and balanced" road testers out there.
No bike is perfect, but any bike is better than none.
Guess everyone will still complain if Ciccotto finally gets on to the podium......
Thanks for the owner feedback. I like the Buells, I just feel that the motor is a drawback, considering the slow reving nature of the beast (relative to the newer designed water cooled vtwins). I think it would be an interesting test to plop a 999 (or RC51, or TL1000) motor into a Buell chasis and see what they say about that combination.
I would also like to see Mr. Buell apply some of that foward think design to a new ST rig. Could come up with some interesting solutions to the Sport or Touring gap that seems to exits in the current crop of bikes out there.
Maybe he can win the "Daytona 200" next season. Then i would laugh. I agree 4th is not the same as winning, but for all those who characterize the Buells as way off the pace, well obviously it just ain't the case.
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