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I think buell may finally be able to ditch the embarassment they've been handed for so long in the series they invented and win a few races. Has anyone (besided a motojournalist) gotten any seat time on one of the Firebolts yet? I heard they were supposed to be in dealers soon, if not already.



I'm interested to see how it rides compared to my 900SS, after all, it's still a rubbermount, no matter how many tie-links you put in it.
 

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How do you like your 900SS? I know where to get one with 8000 miles on it for $2400. I just need to replace the plastic and straighten the frame a bit. Sounds like a cheap way to get into a Ducati, to me, but I wondered how does an owner like his ride.



Thanks,



luvmyvfr
 

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I have. I don't own one, but I did take a short varied ride at the LA Bike Show. I found it to be a great bike. The only thing really keeping it from being a daily driver for me is the position of the bars. They are just a tad too low and forward (and I am 6' with a decent reach), an inch up and 1/2 inch back would make a world of difference.



The motor made good power, the brake were phenomenal, and the vibes at speed are much reduced from the last Buell I rode (an M2).



I am in the market for one in 2004. I don't really want to buy a first year model. :)

 

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I rode one in Daytona and I have to say its a tight package. Drive train felt taught. No rear tire chatter on downshifts. It reved effortlessly, the exhaust can kept the noise down to almost nothing. I think that might be a complaint but I'm sure the aftermarket will fix that. Although, that is a pretty big exhaust under there. One more thing, I met Erik Buell down there and what a class act. He did some press interviews and he talked about it with such enthusiasm and excitement that I wanted to get my name on the Buell list NOW! I literally saw him rubbing his hands together like he just couldn't wait til the public gets their hands on this bike. This bike will define Buell as a company. They Rock. Erik I know you read this stuff and I just want to say thanks for signing my Buell Banner. Its hanging up on my wall.....



 

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I had a demo ride on one at Daytona. Nice bike but I'm not sure I see it converting a lot of people who are used to Japanese sportbikes. All you Harley/Buell riders will claim "Who cares?" but I'll bet Buell does. Although, I must admit, the roads that Buell picked for their demo rides were terrible for showcasing a bike like this. I know there aren't many roads with curves in Florida but the Triumph people managed to find one that was much more entertaining (by the way, the Triumph Daytona is one damn nice bike - love the sound of that triple!).
 

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I got to ride one at the L.A. Bike Show (February?). It didn't qualify as a full blown test but initial impressions leave me wanting more. The brakes were awesome with taught suspension. The tranny stills leaves something to be desired with mis-shifts if you are not deliberate with it. Moving the shift lever to suit might help a bit. I really wish I could have had it at Angeles Crest or Palomar for a real go. For now, interesting but jury still out... it doesn't have the upright dirt tracker riding position of older Buells,fwiw. Oh yeah, I rode my TLS to the show so these comments are in comparison to the TL.
 

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Even if they're doing better, it still has to be annoying to have your namesake series consistently dominated by another company's machine.



Also, given Buell's claims of corner-carving supremacy for the Firebolt, I'm waiting for the first real comparison run by skilled testers against likely competitors (more Ducs, 600-classers, maybe even an SV650) on both a tight track and real roads someplace.
 

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Damn, PLEASE give Buell a better engine...

They throw every exotic trick in the book: Super-sized airbox, forcing the gas into the frame. They put the oil in the swingarm to shrink the length a little bit. Perimeter brake disks. Yet no new basic engine design, but the same old sportster-iron.

And they still lose to a several year old Ducati design with only 3/4s the ccs, in the ultimate-made-to-measure class (since the rules stipulate 1.2L air cooled, or 750cc desmodromic, or 850 water cooled, so the Buells only face Ducati 750s and SV650s).

It would be entertaining if HD does manage to get the rules fudged to allow the Firebolt to compete in the 600 supersport class. Not succesful, mind you, but entertaining.

It would be even better if Buell was given a better engine. (Say, a 60 degree counterbalanced twin, or a 90 degree twin, or a V-4, or WHATEVER).
 

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Re: Damn, PLEASE give Buell a better engine...

Actually, its not an "old sportster engine". Take a look at the spec's. There was alot of thurough engineering that went into this motor and it feels like it. Although, I would like to see a watercooled v-twin in there also. But, the air cooled pushrod engine does feel different. Its interesting reading about what went into this new engine. Take a look...
 

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Re: Damn, PLEASE give Buell a better engine...

Actually, it IS the same engine for the most part. What the original poster was asking for is not more of the same basic architecture, but something different.

Now what do we know? It is a pushrod V-Twin. By virture of being pushrod alone, it's rev limited in comparison to OHC or DOHC motors. Not to mention Two valve to boot.

I would be more impressed to see a 4 (or 5) valve, over-square, six-speed motor. I would rather see something that's somewhat modern as opposed to WWII technology in a modern frame. At that rate, NASA should power the Space Shuttle with the same motor as used in the V2.

Later on,

.....
 

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I'd like to see a TRX850 in there punching. I believe you dont get them in the US, but they'd still qualify wouldnt they.

They are fast, and have been winning various championships in Europe for years.
 

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Re: Damn, PLEASE give Buell a better engine...

It is an underbored sportster-derived engine. The head is different, but it still has MANY of the limiting properties:

  • Two valve, pushrod design (seriously limits the RPM, so seriously limiting the power)
  • Split transmission/engine design (makes it bigger and heavier)
  • Air cooled (much less consistant operating temperature-> lower reliability, lower power).
  • 45 degree, uncounterbalanced twin (significantly higher vibration -> lower reliability)

Just because the pistons and head are different, and it is understroked, doesn't mean it is not still basically the old sportster engine, with all the inherant limitations.
 
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