As the current owner of a 2004 Buell XB12S with race kit and former owner of a 2001 Buell M2 Cyclone and having ridden my Buell back to back with a Ducati ST3 and Ducati 999 on the race track I have some ideas on this. You have probably read my ravs about how the Ducatis can truly stay in one gear around the track or down a fav canyon road from speeds of 35 mph to 130 mph, something that is impossible on my Buell but still provide that great V-Twin feeling I still want.
Buell needs a new engine, and yes I hope it would be as unique as the rest of the bike. With that in mind here are some thoughts as to what could happen in my dreams vs what will happen.
1. Buell develops an all new V-Twin, something as unique as the Buell motorcycle in which it will reside.
a. A high torque engine with a massive swell of torque from idle to redline.
b. A high horse power engine say 150+
c. A higher revving engine say 10,000 to 12,000 rpm with overrun to stay in one gear down your favorite canyon road.
2. Buell develops a new engine configuration such as a V-3 with the following:
a. High torque from idle to redline.
b. High horse power engine say 160+
c. Higher revving engine say 12,000 to 15,000 rpm with plenty of overrun to truly stay in one gear down your favorite canyon road.
d. Very unique sound to go with the unique bike.
1. Buell does nothing more with the engine program.
2. Buell forges on with the same old engine with minor upgrades and calls them a major improvement or
3. Buell comes out with a big block version of the current engine say a Buell XBRR XB Thunderstorm 1340cc engine modified for the street or
4. Buell comes out with an even bigger version of the Buell XBRR XB Thunderstorm 1340cc engine say 1500cc.
So few people take their bike to a track, even if there's one available at all, that sales aren't affected. How many owners of "proper" sportbikes go to the track? About .0001%.
I didn't know that there was some divine guidance on what constitutes a "proper" sportbike. How dare Buell not provide a bike capable of 175mph? How can anyone live with only being able to travel 140mph before being impounded?
Norton would have been surprised to discover that a Commando didn't qualify as a "proper" sportbike. Kawasaki as well would be chagrined to find out that the GPZ500 wasn't a "proper" sportbike.
I'm sure that "Washout" will soon be here to enlighten us.
The GMP is right again, GPTB says stay the course.
Despite kbashing, kwhinning, and kconspiracy. The GMP has predicted that Buell sales would be held back by the lack of proper engine. Despite the most definitive account of a actual back to back comparison by gbrummett , a Buell owner with an impeccable reputation on MO, the GPTB says "stay the course" a proper Buell engine is not needed. Has the GPTB rode the Buell back to back with a modern sportbike? Only Buz has.. but not on the track..
jbourne is spot on. HD is raking in massive profits and not investing in the future. Like Ford raking in massive profits during the SUV boom. Selling pickup trucks with SUV bodies Ford raked it in. Where did those profits go..Now Ford is losing money. I predict HD will go the same way... A company is most vulnerable when it is most successful. It gets arrogant and complacent.
I own a 2002 X1W Lighting. I love the bike, Instead of a new motor i would rather see a 6 speed transmission. Another thing with Buell is people like that Harley sound they get with them I know alot of pig headed harley guys who wouldn't ever think about owning anytype of sport bike but they would buy a Buell.
Yes, Harley does have the VRod motor. But I think I remember reading in interview with Mr. Buell where he talked about the issues of putting a VRod motor in a sportbike. Namely, it's long and heavy, and that would mean a Buell with a longer wheelbase and high dry weight, which is opposite if the way he's going with bike design.
Both the GPZ and Commando were top of the line sportbikes in their day. Dont think for a second that Kawasaki and Norton did not put the best technology available to them into their bikes. If they would have had the ability to make bikes even remotely comparable to the bikes of today they would have. Thats the difference, other manufactures are striving to develop new engines with more performance where as Buell is forced to constrain development to suit an outdated power plant. Ducati, Triumph and BMW both cling fiercely to "historic" engine layouts yet still have managed to develop these power plants into modern sportbikes engines by using all the technology available to them. Eric Buell should have the same opportunity.
Re: The GMP is right again, GPTB says stay the course.
I think the real question is "would a more modern engine benefit sales" and I just can't believe that anybody would say "no". And, incidentally, "sales are fine" is no kind of answer -- like it or not the chrome armchair market is growing old and will start to dwindle rapidly in the near future... Harley needs to be aggressive about having somewhere to go if they want to remain in the game.
Yes, I have a Buell. Yes, I love it. But there should be more engine choices. The bike has some great features, as jbourne has pointed out, and he is spot on in saying that they need a real engine option, say a 1000cc 90 degree vtwin. I almost bought an ST3 because it has a modern engine with seemingly limitless power. I bought the Buell, but the longer I have it the more I become annoyed by the engine's limitations. There is no technology challenge here, only a Harley arrogance challenge.
Please Harley. you have let Eric build a superb. modern sportbike. Let him have a better engine. If Suzuki can put a good engine in the SV1000, you can do it for Buell as well.
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