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I think that Buell seems to be going in a better direction now. How much power at the rear wheel do you THINK it makes? I'm interested. Also, I can't see why people complain about the reliability of the Buells. My dad and some of his friends have had no major problems besides the recalls. His 98 S1 White Lightning has 16,000 miles on it including at least 500 drag strip runs with .030 over cylinders and 11.5:1 compression. It must be those damn fuel injected Buells! I've heard of tons of problems with that FI.
 

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You have to give Eric Buell credit for using high tech ideas to solve traditional weight and balance problems. At least he has the courage to bring something new to the market, I hope the Firebolt proves to be as reliable as it is unique...
 

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How much is this thing supposed to cost? Air cooled motors do work, but just not as well as water cooled. Seems like some good concepts (the gas take frame thing actually does kinda make sense), but I can't get over the oil sump location and the ancient engine architecture. It'd be interesting to see in person, and really get a close look at some of the nifty little things, but those little tricks seem to be more novelty items than anything. I think the fundamental goal of any vehicle maker, weather they build street or race machines is to achieve reliability. You can't win a race if you don't finish it. You also don't tend to attract future customers if they have to call their buddy with the pickup on a regular basis. I'm sure there are Buells that are stone reliable, but I've heard plenty of horror stories too. I think Buell needs to exercise the reliability demons, and then get trick. Maybe they have achieved both with this bike. It'll be interesting to see. And see I will. For now, I plan on remaining a spectator of the Buell scene rather than an active participant.
 

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What's the price on this near-liter V-twin? $9,999, right?



So Buell wants to charge me liter-bike prices for super-sport performance. Okay.



As I see it, this bike appeals to two types of people: Those who want to be different (or want something different); and those who want to buy American.



Although this FireBolt comes with "innovative(?)" technologies, it doesn't seem like you testers have found any revelations in terms of riding... right? So Buell essentially fixes a non-existent problem?



I give props to Eric Buell for a nice looking bike, and the willingness to be different, but unless the price drops $3,000 or so dollars I think I'll go with the foreign-counterparts.
 

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Wow! How innovative this new Buell is! It has the oil in the swingarm, just like some dirtbikes have it in the frame. The gas is in the frame....big deal, I bet it doesn't handle any better than a traditional setup. Oh, and that engine really takes the cake. Let's take 2 Blast! cylinders and put them on a single transmission, that'll seem like there was a lot of thought put into the development of this "new" Buell motor. I'm disgusted by the fact that a bunch of these things will sell (just like the 900SS) using crappy technology, for a higher price than their Japanese counterparts. Not only are the Jap machines better performing, but they are much more reliable (except perhaps for the '97 TL1000S). Whatever, I hope that these bikes make someone happy, because it sure as hell won't be me.
 

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Nice idea in some ways, but I really don't like Buells on the grounds that they use shoddy old Harley technology. There's only 2 Harley's that tickle my fancy, the VR1000 and the V-Rod, with both coming from the same philosophy. If I wanted a Harley, I'd go for either of those - with the VR being a touch unrealistic due to availability. Mr Buell has v. good ideas, but I think he needs to get a lot more radical in the execution department. The bikes give the impression of being "hot rods" from their appearance, but seem deliver something that's a cross between a harley and a ducati monster. Personally I'd buy the latter over the Buell any day of the week. If there's a V-Rod powered Buell in the works and anyone's paying attention to this - pull out all the stops and make it something truly nasty, with performance, looks and innovation to back it up. Until then, the Buell's seem to sit in a kind of middle ground, with too many other bikes offering a whole heap more for less $$$. Mr Buell should speak to the Britten factory about licensing the VR1100 motor for a street bike - now that'd be something truly mind blowing and unique. Drop it into a chassis like the Firebolt, wrap it in carbon bodywork, Ohlins suspension and other goodies and you'd have the ultimate street muscle bike.



My 2cents anyway......last thought - Long live 2 strokes - esp. RG500's in RGV chassis'.... :)

 

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You gotta be kidding me.

You GOT to be kidding me. Admittedly it is an impressive feat of engineering, to get that much power and that little weight out of the big, ugly, pushrod, air cooled lump of an engine. But the result of puling every trick in the book, albeit impressive, is still hollow. 375 lbs. ~80 horsepower, ~60 ft/lbs of torque (based on claims of 92 hp and ~68 ft/lbs of torque at the crank from Buell's web site). And since it pulls every trick in the book, it's pricey. Of course it's reasonably good, it's hard to make a BAD bike using remotely modern design techniques. But still.

Lets compare with some options.

Honda CBR954, for $600 more. It will get at least 60 ft/lbs of torque from right off idle all the way through the redline, at least 120 hp (both based on the 929 figures), not to mention still a little lighter. And Honda "I'm not going to shake myself apart" reliability.

Suzuki SV-650, for $4300 less. No hardcore technological tricks, and still a good 15 lbs lighter, only 10 hp down (a bit more down in torque, mind you, 40 ft-lbs across the rev range, but what do you expect for so much less displacement). And if you want to be "different", spend the money on an SVATX body kit, super suspension, and a few track school appointments.

Or a CBR-600 (for $1800 less). And teh list goes on and on...
 

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I never thought I'd lust after an American-made motorcycle... I was wrong.



I saw one at the motorcycle show in San Mateo a coupla weeks ago, and REALLY wanted to take it for a test-ride... or even sit on it. Couldn't, though - they had it up on a pedestal. :(
 

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Be American - buy American

If it was the fastest bike on the face of the planet and Buell paid you to own it, you'd still trash it simply because it's made by an American company. You're living in the wrong country.
 

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"I've heard plenty of horror stories too. I think Buell needs to exercise the reliability demons"



I've also heard horror stories about Buells and Harleys in general. Fortunately, it is never from actual Buell or Harley owners, but people like you who desperately want to keep other Americans from owning something you can't afford.

And the word is "exorcise".
 

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Re: Be American - buy American

Ah, our resident Harley troll surfaces again. My advice: Ignore his small mindedness gentlemen. You only need to read some of his previous comments to see where he stands. If Harley or Buell took a dump, and put it in a box, he undoubtedly would praise it as the best dump ever. He's a "real" American, at least in his own small mind.

BTW, the firebolt looks fun, but it's not for me. I wish Eric Buell the best with his company, and in this endeavor.

luvmyvfr
 

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From http://209.58.136.120/rcls/nhtsa/99/99v106.htm

I think he was referring to this particular recall, although not on a single sided swingarm, it was a swingarm recall.

Models:

Buell S1 Lightning Years: 1996-1998

Buell S1 White Lightning Year: 1998

Buell M2 Cyclone Years: 1997-1998

Buell S2 Thunderbolt Years: 1995-1996

Buell S2T Year: 1996

Buell S3 Thunderbolt Years: 1997-1998

Buell S3T Thunderbolt Years: 1997-1998

Number Involved: 8,950

Dates of Manufacture: February 1994 - June 1998

Defect: These motorcycles were built with a swingarm that could break. If the swingarm should break, loss of vehicle control could occur.

Remedy: Dealers will replace the swingarm. Owner notification was expected to begin during June 1999. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Buell at 1-414-343-8400.
 

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Re: Be American - buy American

If I were posting pro-American propaganda in your country, THAT would make me a troll. Posting anti-American propaganda at an American forum makes you the troll (unless I'm mistaken and this website is actually Japanese owned and operated).
 

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I have to give Buell credit for being differant. There is nothing like this out there, and I hope that it is a winner. The Buell line has been getting better every year and I for one would have no reservation about putting my money down on this bike if I had any to put down!



This bike was designed to be a sporting street riders all around dream package and I think that they got it right!
 

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Personally I think Buell has taken a BIG step in the right direction. I am a big fan of racier streetbikes / sportier sporttouring bikes. I like the idea of having a bike that provides enough comfort for a shorter touring exercise and enough "spirit" (lacking a better word) to handle the occasional track-day.



To me, the fact that the bike uses some more or less innovative technical solutions and has a design that make it stick out among the hoard of UJMs is only positive. I respect everybody that dare to be different, as long as it has a meaning and drives development forward.



HOWEVER, the Firebolt has one major drawback according to my opinion. It needs more power. 92 hp on a sportbike, street or track, is not enough. When I turn the handle I want a thrill and 92 hp will not thrill me! I certainly hope that the Firebolt will be uppgraded with the new Revoulution-engine from Harley. If I rember it correclty that engine produces 115 hp on a cruiser. In the hands of Buell I think we can expect more and then things will start to get really intresting.
 
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