Another one bites the dust. Irony so thick you could cut it with a knife. Next thing he will ask if there is room for his Bush-Cheney sticker on the fender. Seriously, I think the Buell is a pretty fine bike, and would be more fun than the one you own now. If you don't want different, then it ain't for you.
He forgot to ask the all important "How long will the battery hold a charge while the bike sits unridden?" question. My guess is that he'll be buying a Buell right after he takes that riding shcool program he's been talking about, and comes to visit one of us in person.
Can you do all the maintenance on your own? i.e. I am all thumbs mechanically. I can change oil and sparkplugs (and gap them) but anything more than that .Self adjusting valves right? Fuel Injection no carbs right?.
I'm no mechanic, but have found it pretty easy to work on, and the service manual is really excellent. Yes on the valves and injection.
If you use synthetic oil, how long can you go between oil changes?
How long do you WANT to go? I'm running synthetic, and still plan on changing every 3k miles, but could end up pushing that up to 5k if I'm on a long tour. Some people run really long change intervals, I don't. Clean oil = happy engine...
How is the Buell on tires? How much are they?
How do you ride? Pretty much the entire lineup comes with Pirelli tires now (except for the Blast) Diablos on the XB-R and XB-S with Scorpion Syncs on the City-X and Ulysses. The D616s on the Ulysses (now changed to Scorpion Syncs) seemed to go between 3-5k miles. People have run Pilot Roads for 7k+ without trouble... It really varies based upon how you ride, and what the roads you ride are like.
How about insurance? Right now I have full coverage and liabilty. Does anyone have Harley insurance?
I'm only carrying liability right now so can't really say. I've heard there is a new deal with insurance from HD, but have no experience with them.
How are the Harley dealers when it comes to Buell service?
It really varies. Some are really fantastic, others suck. I have noticed, however, that in several dealerships that don't have great sales support for Buell, an number of their mechanics ride them, and are great supporters of them.
How much can you ****er on the price of a Buell? no second stickers right?
You're dealing with an HD dealership, and they are not in the habit of negotiating price. With the '07 models hitting the floor soon, you might be able to get a small break on an '06, but pretty much figure they'll look for MSRP. You might be able to deal on freight and/or setup.
Any reliability issues with the new Buells?
I've got a Ulysses, which was a new model for '06. There have been a few issues. One for early manufacture sidestands, and one for accessory windshields. The XB platform as a whole is several years old now, and most of the kinks really appear to be worked out. I think it was reported in one of the cycle mags that they had the lowest defect rate of all manufacturers...
Good luck with your decision! I don't think you can beat these machines for pure ear-to-ear grin inducing fun.
DONT DO IT!!!! Buell ain't right for you...REALLY. You wont like it and we'll have to hear about it...and hear about it...and hear about it. An SV1000 is more your speed. If you must leave the safety cocoon of Japanese bikes,try a Triumph speed triple,or even Guzzi Breva 1100 ; but let the Buell be.....PLEASE. You and the rest of us will be much happier.
Knock yourself out, you'll love it if you are a street rider. It is an aggressive back road bike, but will leave you wanting more at the track if you're used to I4s. Mine eats BT-014s like popcorn at a movie, so I suggest an aggressive ST tire like the Pilot Road, or Avon. Mine has required no maintenance except oil. Check oil frequently too, as the big air cooled seems to have an appetite for it. I have no leaks or smoke, but I'll be darned if it doesn't lose some somehow. One last note. It took me a long time to be convinced that the FI was working properly. It seemed to sputter and miss a bit on the highway, like a lean condition. The dealer happily reset the TPS and AFI free of charge. It's either better now or I'm used to it. Check out http://www.badweatherbikers.com/ for all the info you ever wanted about all Buells but were afraid to ask. My insurance was $25/month at State farm for full coverage. HD dealers will not service a Buell to my knowledge unless they carry Buells. I got my 2004 XB-12R for $7999 end of year sale in 2004. Look around and be patient. Also, a used one will be fine - they're bulletproof and a no-brainer to maintain.
As there are some excellent answers already posted, I will answer some that haven't been fully addressed. I own a 2001 Cyclone, which is 100 lbs. heavier, and I weigh 235lbs. 1) Oil - Dealers are now happy suggesting 5000 miles between oil changes, with the Screaming Eagle Synthetic Lubricant. I change mine at every 2500 mile service. 2) Tires - I have 25,000 miles on my bike. On the rears, I got 4000 miles on D205's, 3000 miles on D208's. Grip on D205's was horrible, D208's was much better. On Pirelli Diablo's I got close to 5000 miles of wear, and the best grip of them all. Made the mistake of switching to the new Michelin Power's, and only have 500 miles on these, but it has the roughest ride, of any tire I have ever had. So much so, that I checked the tire pressures three times with different gauges! I run 32 at the front, 34-36 at the rear. And I don't think it has much better grip than the Diablo's, but I can't say for sure yet! Certainly not better than the Corsas! If you want more mileage, try the Diablo Strada's - Pirelli makes the Diablo in three flavours! If I was going to err to another marque, I would try the new Metzeler. I understand that Metzeler and Pirelli have some sort of joint technology program going. It is about time that MO did a tire test anyway... I put a Diablo Corsa on the front once, as at the time they did not make a 170 section for the rear, so I just ran the standard Diablo, and the grip was phenomenal! Diablo's are also a more stable [less nervous], ride than the D208's, at high speeds, but the Dunlop's turned in a bit quicker. Don't know about the new Dunlop Qualifier. All of these tires should run you about $110 for the front, about $150 for the rear, but the Buell dealer charged me $75 apiece to install! 3) Buell service can get expensive - a major service, every 10,000 miles or so, can cost you $500. And if there is anything else broken, as was one of my motor mounts and oil lines last time, add $800! Service and Attitude vary by Dealer. Phil Peterson's in North Miami, has done a good job by me, but they only have one Tech, Ricky, that does Buell's. 4) I use the Progressive Insurance from Harley, and it is about $400 a year, for Liability and Fire and Theft, but not for uninsured driver, or hospital protection. This is in Miami, where we were recently, and accurately, voted #1 city for worst drivers! I hope these comments have helped you.
If you are tall enough then buy the ULY. I have one and love it. No problems so far. My electraglide just sits in the garage because everytime I go for a ride I seem to pick the ULY. It just is darn fun.