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This Buell new-engine thread just won't die...

Look guys, you just can't take a different engine and jam it into a motorcycle, as you might with an automobile. Bikes and their engines are intimately related. The character of a bike is dependant on the engine. Swapping motors leads to other changes in the bike structure that inevitably result in a different motorcycle.

This would be especially important in any redesign of the Buell. One of the key elements that separates the current Buell design from other V-twin sportbikes is the frame geometry and extremely short wheelbase, which gives the bike that Atomic Unicycle feel that I love so much. Ducatis have wheelbases like semis, and as a result they feel quite different than Buells. I ain't saying that's bad... but it is not the Buell "feel".

Designing this imaginary new Buell motor in a way that would allow it to fit in the space the Sportster motor occupies in existing frame might be a real challenge, and might not be possible. Altering the frame will change the character of the whole bike.

You want really big power from this new motor, don't you? Well then you will require water cooling. Which of course means you must find a place for a water pump, hoses, and that damn radiator. There is no place on the current Buell to locate these things. In order to accomodate them the frame must be altered and the wheelbase lengthened. There we go again... it no longer feels like a Buell. (Note: I don't want to see another damn reference to the V-Rod motor in this thread--- while it is a wonderful power plant indeed, it is absolutely WRONG in a Buell--- it's way too big and heavy and expensive).

And what configuration will the new Buell motor be? 90-deg.? 60 deg.? Like an Italian motor? Perhaps... but call me the old fossil that I am--- I really don't want to give up the heartbeat of that 45-deg. V-twin. I love that pulse, and those other engines just don't have it, no matter what kind of open pipe you might put on them.

We would all like more power, but aside from bumping up the displacement of the current engine another 100cc or so, I don't see how to get that power without destroying the character of the bike, which I am not willing to do. Track days aside, the current engine is perfect for real-world street/commute/canyon riding. I rarely feel as though I am being "left-behind", and if I do, its not because of any lack of ponies, its because I have two left feet.

Do not sell H-D short on engineering talent and marketing smarts. If Buell TRULY needs a new engine, mama will buy. But I really don't believe it is required. But perhaps I'm way off base here... anyway, didn't mean to rant. :)
 

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Ducati 1098 Engine in my new 2009 Buell

I forgot to mention one other thing. If Buell does not come out with a new much improved engine...

...then the engine in my new 2009 Buell is probably going to be a new Ducati 1098 engine.

Why?

Because I will be buying a new Ducati 1098 as my replacement bike!!
 

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Re: This Buell new-engine thread just won't die...

All of these points are valid but I don't think any of them render the investment of money and engineering hours worthless. I think a more modern power plant is absolutely doable and I don't think there's a chance of it getting out the door if it's going to negatively affect the riding characteristics of the bike... Eric would go on a shooting spree ;-)
 

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Took a test ride on a Ulysses and Firebolt last year and while the bikes didn't fit my ergos very well I like the feel overall. That said, while nice and torquey, the sheer amount of heat coming off that massive V was oppressive (it was a warm day) even after the bike sat for 10-15 minutes, and the gearbox felt clunky. I wasn't able to really open them up on the test ride, so I can't speak of top end.



Hopefully Buell spends more money on R&D and less on marketing and bodywork designers. I'd love to see a smaller, lighter and more modern V or parallel twin dropped in -- instead of that massive motor -- and Buell would be a true "modern" bike.
 

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The Toad
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Norton/Triumph whent out of business because of mismanagement and quality concerns. When Norton stopped production the Commandos were still amongst the best handling bikes on the road. The Japanese 750 and up bikes were overweight and flexy. Notice that Ducati managed to survive in a similar niche.



Lots of people wanted Commados. They just couldn't deal with the terrible reliability problems. I had one briefly and when it was running it was a real blast. Much more enjoyable than any Japanese 750. But it was too stressful to always be worried that the electrics would strand you.



Anyhow it's all simply personal choice. If Eric likes the sporty motor and people are willing to buy them then more power to him and them.



I'm sure he'll change things when he gets good and ready rather than listen to a bunch of whiners who were all so sure that he could never successfully market what he has successfully sold thousands of. Few of the people who complain about his engine would buy a Buell with an upgraded engine. They'd look at it and then buy the Japanese bike anyhow because no matter what happens the Japanese bikes are gonna be cheaper, better dealer network...yawn, heard it all before.



Eric sells loads of them because they aren't cookiecutteurs. And since Kawasaki has decided to shamelessly copy Buell with the Versys I'd say that Eric has the initiative. Who's copying who?
 

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Re: Ducati 1098 Engine in my new 2009 Buell

Harley has had the opportunity to make progress with this for about a decade now. The air-cooled motor in ANY of the line up will not make it through the next round of EU pollution regs. And will have a tough time here when the EPA starts enforcing their next round of regs, as well. HD must be keenly aware of this. So, the real question is: When will they let the cat out of the bag for the next "all-new" motors? Or do you even care about that at all? Are you concerning yourself with the current customer base or do you indeed have a plan for the future to address EPA / EU regs and your next generation of customers? Just wondering HD.....
 

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Snuggles
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Watch, the Versys weighs the same as a Buell and has half the torque and only 63hp, and and people will rave about it.



It will be called the perfect street tool.



And the Buell, which is not a race bike, gets smacked as under powered and heavy.



Do I think the Buell will have a new engine in its future? Yes I do. I think it will be something around 115hp.



Do I think it will be a trackbike killer. Nope. That isn't the point of a Buell.

 

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The Toad
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Re: Ducati 1098 Engine in my new 2009 Buell

Eric's already done what all the "experts" said was impossible. So I'll bet he's way ahead of a bunch of internet geeks and bureaucrats.
 

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Re: Ducati 1098 Engine in my new 2009 Buell

I appreciate your point of view and the comments you posted at the top. I must admit that despite my previous rant, I too would like the Duc's 150HP in a Buell.

But... how much does a 1098 cost? Would you be willing to pay Ducati dollars for the new 150HP Buell? It certainly would not be less expensive than the Ducati, would it?

I believe I would pay equal dollars for equal performance in a Buell. (But I wouldn't give up my XB, natch).
 

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Just because they come out with a new Buell engine doesn't mean they have to scrap the old. Did Ducati scrap the desmodue when they developed the desmoquattro? No.



You can also look to HD for an example. They came out with the V-Rod, yet they still make the air-cooled big twins as well.



 

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Re: This Buell new-engine thread just won't die...

I'm thinking a lightweight, 60 degree air-cooled DOHC twin would be about perfect.

It's hopefully narrow enough to keep the current wheelbase but a new design would be lighter and have some overrev.

It would be lighter than the current motor and if it stayed air-cooled the bike would be awesome.
 

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Re: This Buell new-engine thread just won't die...

The answer to the Buell question is- drum-roll please................................... Rotax 60 degree v-twin. With just minor adjustments to mounting point a Rotax v-twin could get the job done. Problem is that HD is too proud to let it happen.
 

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Snuggles
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Re: This Buell new-engine thread just won't die...

And, the entire Harley line got an engine upgrade but the Sportsters.

Reason dictates that the sportster will be next for an upgrade. There is also that funky sportster that is floating around the shows right now.

So would anyone be surprised if a new sportster engine pops up in the next 24 months? I wouldn't be.

And if the sportster engine gets a revamp/new design I would also wager that the Buell would have something new to go with it.
 

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Re: Ducati 1098 Engine in my new 2009 Buell

I do believe that the readily available and easy to get HD water-cooled "new generation" Buell would be in the neighborhood of around $12k. It's worth that if it's worth $10-11k now. Remember, Ducati is a "boutique" brand. I know I work at a Ducati shop. We cater to the guy that makes a little more than the average GSXR buyer. Buell can posisition themselves in much the same way.
 

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Buell is a step-child that will be permitted to do anything it wants to, so long as it doesn't jeopardize HD's marketing strategy. While not an exact analogy, look at HD's carefully measured approach to marketing the " prototype" XR1200 in Europe and not the USA. This is all about protecting robust Sportster sales here at home. Runaway Buell sales potentially resulting from the introduction of a new engine, VROD-derived, or not, can only hurt Sportster sales.
 

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Not if HD puts the motor in the next generation Sporty. It's inevitable that a watercooled bike is in the works. It just a matter of time before the "works" people leak the news.
 

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Re: The GMP is right again, GPTB says stay the course.

Well said... I think you said it best "Harley needs to be aggressive about having somewhere to go if they want to remain in the game."
 

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Re: The GMP is right again, GPTB says stay the course.

This is a complete paraphrase, but

Arrogance is the anaestetic that dulls the pain of stupidity...
 
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