Yeah, first post! (I haven't been getting out enough lately.)
Actually, I considered an XB, too. I had heard all sorts of horror stories about older Buells, but I hear the new ones are pretty reliable.
Of course, I don't own one (just thought the price was too high), but I did a substantial amount of asking around and reading. Obviously an owner would be a much better source, but hope this helps.
Note: Short wheelbase, good torque, high bars and a small woman could be a painful combination. If she gets one, tell her to go easy at first. I've heard of brave, brawny men looping those things when they got a little too excited. Especially the XB12.
This is a no-brainer. You have two bikes that every second guy says are rough and unreliable crap. Then you have a third one that is smooth, solid and a test winner. If it is too tall you'd better swap her and keep the 599.
I now have over 7,000 miles on it and it's been one of the better bikes I have ever owned. It doesn't use any oil, gets 42 to 50 mpg depending on how you ride it and has never leaked a drop of oil. The only issue I had was a recall to reroute the horn wiring to prevent chafing of the wire on the horn mounting bolt. I didn't think it needed rerouting as it showed no wear but they rerouted it for free and gave it the customary washing anyway.
I also purchased the complete race kit, which really transforms this bike from a quiet Ok top end to a bike that sounds much nicer and has a much more usable power band to redline from 4,000 rpm, see dyno at http://www.geocities.com/gbrummett/Buell_XB12_Dyno.jpg. The slight loss down at lower RPM isnt even noticeable.
After break-in I had this new bike out on a country road and held a sustained 130-mph for several miles without any problems at all.
My older Buell (a 2001 M2 Cyclone) would puke oil out the air cleaner at any sustained speed over a 100, and it was very prone to rocker box gasket leaks in the winter.
To say I am much happier with the new Buell would be an understatement. Even the new key is wearing better and I couldn't be happier.
Drug Free for three days now. The pills were given to me by a Doctor who is a Bush supporter. I started talking to him about Budget Deficits and WMD and he took out his pen and pad. I know they want to silence me. check out this
...My 98 S1W had a slew of problems and defects... I hardly got 1,000 miles on it before I sorted it out enough to sell it... Newer one's I've heard are higher quality... I won't ever find out personally though... Since the '98s1w I've owned three ducati's (still own two of them M900sie, 750ssie)... A Monster 620ie at 383 pounds and 61 hp stock is a good starting place for a real fun ride... And used 750's are about the same performance wise... Either one could be had for half of a XB9, and personally I feel the "cool factor" and refinement of the Ducati outweigh the Buell... Different in every sense? I'd agree, including common sense.
I ride a 2002 ZX-6E Kawasaki and it is comfortable and low seat height. I have 29" inseam and can put both feet flat on the ground at stop lights. Current name is ZZR 600 for this bike. Dead reliable, great ride, fast and great gas mileage, usually over 50 mpg on REGULAR 87 octane gas. I owned a ZZR 400 for three years in Japan (same bike, smaller bore and stroke) and put over 25,000 miles on it with great overall results. The current ZZR 600 is less than a Buell by $4,000 or so!
E buell himself says difference is like between a small block Corvette and a big-block one, and in a bike as small as xb I just like the freer-spinning, higher revving feel of the 9. with the race kit, doesn't seem to give up a helluva lot of power either. (also i am a cheapskate.)