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Original Article:
First Ride: 2008 Buell 1125R

Please discuss the Motorcycle.com article First Ride: 2008 Buell 1125R in our Motorcycle Forums below. Use the reply button to let others know your comments or feedback on the article. Constructive criticism is always appreciated, along with your thoughts and personal opinions on the bikes and products we have tested.
 

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"Subsequently, a lighter wheel can be used, with lighter steering as the benefit. I can only hope other makes will grasp this concept, soon."

Not quite. The ZTL system makes for HEAVIER steering...

It reduces the unsprung weight of the wheel (lighter spokes, which makes the suspension happier), but it increases the rotational inertia (larger diameter brake disk). Thus at higher speeds, the wheel resists changing direction more, effectively acting as a speed sensitive damper.

Until Honda came out with the electronic damper, it was the best solution for speed-sensitive damping (the electronic damper allows a non-linear rate, unlike the ZTL which is a linear-rate speed-sensitive damper)

Its why the previous buells were able to get away with such little rake without a damper: the wheel is a damper with its greater rotational inertia.
 

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GSX-R750 VS. Buell 1125r at Streets of Willow!

Thanks Guys!!

Great article and as usual with a unique point of view!!

Can hardly wait now to read the bike to bike comparos that are sure to come.

I can see it now GSX-R750 VS. Buell 1125r at Streets of Willow!
 

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I can't help it. I've been trying to avoid writing negative things in these forums but every time I see this bike I'm appalled at how freaking ugly it is. The XB's on the other hand are truly one of the nicest looking bikes around. How they managed to take what was basically an XB and screw it up so bad in the "style/design" department,...it's beyond me. Well actually it's not beyond me.

1. Fairing is way too wide.
2. Side scoops look like something designed in an 8th grade shop class by someone who was inspired by their mom's Tupperware bowl set.
3. Underslung exhaust appears to have been designed by the same 8th grade shop class with inspiration from......I have no idea.

Sorry. I'll shut up now.
 

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Who's the Buell expert out there? There was a reference: "instead of the other Buells’ Italian Verlicchi chassis" that surprised me. I certainly don't know Buells as well as HDs, but I had no idea they sourced a frame! I always thought their innovative frames was their forte. I guess you learn something new every day, if you stay relatively sober. Details? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller??
 

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This could be the sport bike niche I am looking for.

This could be the sport bike niche I am looking for.

Who else offers optional heated grips in this class? Who else offers tip over protection from the factory?

Who else offers a sport bike with belt drive? Who else offers fuel in frame?

Answer, nobody I know of.

Sounds like a great sport bike street bike made for people who actually put some miles on the thing.
 

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Who's the Buell expert out there? There was a reference: "instead of the other Buells' Italian Verlicchi chassis" that surprised me. I certainly don't know Buells as well as HDs, but I had no idea they sourced a frame! I always thought their innovative frames was their forte.
Guessing here, but it could be that Verlicchi is the maker, not the designer? Or that Buell had the idea and then contracted with Verlicchi to put it into metal.
 

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My member is not Junior!
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Designed by Buell...

Who's the Buell expert out there? There was a reference: "instead of the other Buells' Italian Verlicchi chassis" that surprised me. I certainly don't know Buells as well as HDs, but I had no idea they sourced a frame! I always thought their innovative frames was their forte. I guess you learn something new every day, if you stay relatively sober. Details? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller??
Buell is usually the designer of all things Buell, but the frame was "made" by Verlicchi. Now an American firm is punching them out.
 

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Who's the Buell expert out there? There was a reference: "instead of the other Buells' Italian Verlicchi chassis" that surprised me. I certainly don't know Buells as well as HDs, but I had no idea they sourced a frame! I always thought their innovative frames was their forte. I guess you learn something new every day, if you stay relatively sober. Details? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller??
Hey Ken, It was outsourced. It was designed by Buell but made by the Italians. Economics, I guess. Anyway, it's all been moved in house now. Guess the design has paid for itself and it can be made here for the same money they spent for the Italian's work.

Everyone that has giving Buell crap for the "tractor" motor can now gleefully run down and buy a "proper" American Sportbike. Time to step up to the plate and buy American.

Wait for the Sporty XR version coming to a showroom near you. Figure a re-tuned version for 110-115 hp w/ 90ft lbs torque. Showa Inverted with Buell brakes- Daaaaamn, that'd be trick. YOU GUYS AT HD LISTENING!!!!!
 

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I'm no engineer, but...

"Subsequently, a lighter wheel can be used, with lighter steering as the benefit. I can only hope other makes will grasp this concept, soon."

Not quite. The ZTL system makes for HEAVIER steering...

It reduces the unsprung weight of the wheel (lighter spokes, which makes the suspension happier), but it increases the rotational inertia (larger diameter brake disk). Thus at higher speeds, the wheel resists changing direction more, effectively acting as a speed sensitive damper.

Until Honda came out with the electronic damper, it was the best solution for speed-sensitive damping (the electronic damper allows a non-linear rate, unlike the ZTL which is a linear-rate speed-sensitive damper)

Its why the previous buells were able to get away with such little rake without a damper: the wheel is a damper with its greater rotational inertia.
You might want to take that argument up with Buell, an engineer/designer, himself.

A quote from Buell materials in re ZTL brakes (perimeter mounted):

"This allows for the design of an extremely light wheel, reducing steering inertia and unsprung weight for exceptional feel and agility."

And yes, I realize such "materials" often say what sellers of product want them to say. But I'm certain Erik Buell would agree with the copy... the brake is his idea.
 

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Another HD Italian connection...reminds me of Aermacchi. This power plant and it's technologic innovations really do open a lot of great opportunities for HD, IF they choose to take them. There were a lot of people expecting, even clamoring for, the Revolution engine to be put into more platforms, but that never happened. I think a lot of HD execs break into a cold sweat when they consider straying too far from the tried and true pushrod, aircooled, V-Twin paradigm.
 

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The Toad
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Shows you what one guy can do with a dream and some ideas as long as he's not encumbered by nosy bean counters, Boards of Directors and marketing "experts". Some other companies I could name could revitalize their moribund model lines this way.
 

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Pete, did they give you any idea why the engine is called "Helicon?" Is it just marketing or is there something behind it?

From Wikipedia:
Helicon (crater), a lunar impact crater
Helicon (physics), low frequency electromagnetic waves
Helicon (planet), a fictional planet in Isaac Asimov's Foundation Series
Helicon Filter, a raster graphics editor
Helicon Records, an Israeli music label
Hélicon, a brass musical instrument
Mount Helicon, a mountain in Boeotia, Greece
"Helicon 1" and "Helicon 2", songs by Scottish post-rock band Mogwai
 

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The Wrecking Crew here doesn't sound too convinced that this new Buell is the shyt. That is bad news, because he is marketing this bike directly at most of the guys here. It looks nice enough, but I still don't think this will sell any better than the old one. I think the Euros might go for this one in a big way.
 

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The Toad
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Oh c'mon.

The Wrecking Crew here doesn't sound too convinced that this new Buell is the shyt. That is bad news, because he is marketing this bike directly at most of the guys here. It looks nice enough, but I still don't think this will sell any better than the old one. I think the Euros might go for this one in a big way.
All those guys said they wanted a liquid cooled Buell really bad! You don't think they are going to run out and buy them? You mean I was right when I predicted (heh heh) that when Eric did put out a sportbike with a "proper" engine the same guys would just think of other excuses not to get one?
 
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