Great job, hope you can run the Buell again on the dyno with the race kit. I have a new 2004 XB12S with the race kit and you guys are right it is a monster wheelie machine, plus the exhaust noise now out powers the lawn mower sounds with the kit muffler.
Great piece, well done. It was a welcome surprise... Not the usual boring shoot-out stuff.
From my own experience, the 1100S is the ultimate confidence-inspiring gentleman's ride. It will reward you over a lifetime, conquering real world situations -- but would probably leave it in the garage on track days. The (multidimensional) Duc proves that fun, style and real world practicality are not mutually exclusive. A closing thought... How can you have a Funky Twins Shoot-out without a Moto Guzzi?
Workin on a saturday, on lunch break, Tee'd off at the boss for not telling me he needed a project done by monday, and I find a little bit of happiness. Thanks for the review, it made working today worth it.
The Multistrada still strikes me as non-elegant in appearance, but looks to be a great all around bike. Wonder if after market pipes can solve the ground clearance problem (I've been known to break thing off bikes on the road).
The Buell looks cool and sounds like it does its job, not to bad for a POS Harley motor. The common complaint seems to be the gear box, though I could get use to it. Think I'd rather have the S model but with the faring from the R.
Never been a fan of BMW. Every time I ride one, all I can think of is "how much is it going to cost to replace the valve covers when I grind them down".
Read the intro again, the SV650, Concours and VFR are neither semi-exotic nor are they air-cooled. I swear SV650's must be on every street corner. You don't see the bikes in this article on every street corner.
However, the overall "Rightness" of the Concours, SV-650, and VFR 700,750,800/Interceptor transcends all previously established motorcycle boundries, rendering them instantly eligible for ALL shootouts.
The VFR and Concours were originally introduced in the mid-1980s and are responsible for single-handedly ending the cold war. It happened like this: When Berlin motorcycle magazine 'Moto Zum' did its annual drag-bike shootout, it included the VFR and Concours, unaware of their vastly superior performance and the hapless journalists quickly found themselves forever cemented (no pun intended) in history. Once the timing tree's lights turned green, the two bikes quickly accellerated through 570mph (a mark Dodge recently tried to approach with its feeble Tomahawk carocycle, of course they failed miserably, because they forgot to base the Tomahawk on an SV-8000) Caught unaware, the two journos rapidly coverered the 3 miles between the shutdown area at Manheim Dragway and the Berlin Wall, where their terrestrial journeys ended with the knocking-down of said wall, thus melting the Iron Curtain. In light of these facts, don't you think we could cut Seruzawa a break this time?
"#2 Buell. Kind of racy. Sounds cool. Plenty of pull with the motor. Vibration would probably get old, trying to hang onto the bars for long stretches and never being able to make out a single object in the mirror. Front brake is awesome, could probably throw you over the bars if you weren't careful. That HD motor is just too antiquated to get very excited about. "
Mr. Bass apparently does not appreciate the finer points of a modern air cooled V-Twin with hydraulic lifters and a mere two valves per cylinder. He apparently missed the fact that such an engine is far more efficient than any other comparably powered motorcycle engine on the market... can you say 60+ mpg highway?... and far more powerful than any comparably configured street motor on the market. The Buell engine has by far the widest power-band. Darn that antique engine with it's old fashioned roller instead of journal bearings. Darn that old fahsioned engine with it's slim compact 45 degree "V" configuration. Mr. Bass also fails to appreciate that unlike most of its contemporaries, the Buell engine never needs valve lash adjustments, a significant factor for those of us who actually put some serious miles on our motorcycles.
Nor does Mr. Bass recognize the superiority of the antiquated Buell engine with respect to emissions... How advanced is an engine that cannot meet emissions requirements without making use of a catalytic converter? The Buell engine meets emissions requirements without one. The others?
Maybe the new advanced engines aren't so new or advanced after all? Maybe someone who is supposed to be reporting on the virtues and/or vices of three motorcycles needs to learn a thing or two about motorcycle engines instead of regurgitating information assimilated from the trough of ignorance?
It is unfortunate that the type of misinformation and bias that Mr. Bass exhibits is also common within the rest of the moto-journalistic arena.
Likewise on the vibration. Mr. Bass is apparently confusing the ultra-smooth ride at speed of the Buell with another bike. It certainly vibes and shakes at idle. As others so adeptly reported in the same article however, it smooths once at speed. Got your facts straight Mr. Bass? When it comes to vibration while riding, maybe you are confusing your notes on the BMW with those of the Buell?
Overall, you guys put out another great article. I do agree that the Duc 1000SS would have made a better more fair comparison bike and would also love to see the new Guzzi sport bike included too... Maybe next time ALL the stars and planets will align. Keep up the great work.
Blake (Yes, I am a big Buell fan from way back. I am an avid Buell owner/rider/amateur racer and general Buell American Motorcycle enthusiast - www.badweatherbikers.com)
PS: You cannot go wrong with any of the three bikes tested, they are each exceptional values in their own niche, but if you are in the market for an XB12R or XB12S, you might pass Mr. Bass' comments through the objectivity filter.
PSS: The published MO Buell dyno results seem to cut off well short of the XB12R's stated 6,800 rev limit and peak HP. Looks like it would have easily broken through the 90 rwhp mark had it been run to the rev limit.
Different strokes for different folks Blake. You're entitled to your opinions and I'm entitled to mine. But don't try and tell me that I am "confused" as to what I did or didn't experience with my own 5 senses, nor characterize opinions that differ from yours as "misinformation".
I'm really tired of all these Buell fans frothing at the mouth telling us how brilliant a choice the old sportster motor is for a sporting motorcycle. Anyone ever consider that the xb9/12 series received that motor not because it was the best configuration, but because maybe that's all Erik Buell had to work with? I'm sure that the bike would have recieved a more advanced LC "cammer" motor if one were available to use.