Yes, I should have made mention of that for the uninitiated. My Bad.
In any case the point is made, that the big 4's race bikes are far from bullet proof. If I recall this is the second time this season that Rossi/Yamaha(motoGP) have failed to finish a race due to mechanical failure. Something that everyone, including me, have been hammering Buell for.
......is nothing but bright. They are in the process of proving that they have a viable race platform, and as they get the kinks worked out, I think that even more valuable that the R&D that they will get from the racing program is the EXPOSURE to the buying public.
Even if they don't immediately or constantly blow the top out of the scores and finishes, the money for improvement doesn't come from racing per se, it comes from selling more motorcycles!
Spoke to a fellow who claimed to be in the know, who said that Buell is switching to a Rotax engine for some of their bikes in a couple of years, and the racing versions would certainly use that engine. Hard to believe Harley would go for it, but that would certainly up the performance. They'd lose that huge displacement advantage though.
.... Is a big, nasty, oversized (for buell) supersport/sport touring rig. This IS a market that has a lot of DEEP pockets....
Something big enough to be cushy, but with all the adjustable bits (forks, shock, agressive lean angles, low maintainence, maybe a dual or oversized belt drive, etc, etc.) not as far up in the stratasphere as a Ulysses, and big enough for luggage, etc., and 2 full sized (read as plump) adults.
A scaled up Lightning with a big assed fuel tank, substantial wind protection, and more guts in the engine room.... with the new motor from H-D and the new 6-speed as well. Or even better, a juiced up V-Rod motor........
yeah i don't think they'll ever get there with the current motive power, but the fact they beat about 20 of those Japanese bikes with the old tractor is a pretty cool accomplishment in itself. And without the full factory backing of the bikes that were 3 secs. faster, well... the Buell might almost be in there with a shot.
Also the Pirelli tires are not quite there either...
I've been looking into singles for a project I want to do over the next few winters, so I've been all over Rotax's site checking things out. The XBRR produces 150 hp at the crank. The stock V990 Rotax produces 139 hp from a considerably lighter and smaller engine. Get it up to race tune and it will outperform the current powerplant and should have a significant savings in weight.
I've been waiting for this shift for a long time. I love the Buells because they fit me like a glove, but I've always held out because I'm not a fan of the motors.
A move like that would make sense, though ducati isn't selling much in the ST area, don't know what Triumphs sales are for their sporty tourer. I'm guessing these would be the key competitors for such Buell thing, but could be way off.
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