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Long term reliability of Buell lightning?

61418 Views 166 Replies 68 Participants Last post by  WaltB
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.
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A Thunderbird Sport or T100 Bonneville would be a good choice, especialy the Bonnie, low seat hight combined with usable power and good handling, decent price and "cool factor" off the charts make it a good pick

If she has to have a V-twin then I'd go with the Warrior.
I don't really agree with you. If you build a reliable bike or car or whatever then a long warranty period doesn't cost you anything. It does however show that you have confidance in your product. With the case of Hyundai, then yes, they had to warranty them for ten years to show that they fixed the reliability issues of their earlier models.

Any new car you buy they push like hell to get you to buy an extended warranty because they're sure your vehicale won't break. IE if you pay $1500 for an extended warranty and your vehicale doesn't fail, they've just made an extre $1500, conveniantly financed (at 8%) at the time of sale.

Manufacturers like Triumph and Bmw offer long warranties because on average their vehicales don't fail. I'd say with Buell they're trying to repair their image but from what I've read the newer ones are holding up better, and at least Buell steps up to the plate when their bikes have problems.

As far as Sporty engines lasting 20k miles that pertains to Ironheads, and wasn't really true then. I can run any bike you show me into the ground through abuse and no maintainance so that doesn't prove anything. The deciding factor with any bike or auto is going to be the dealer. If you get a good one they'll go the extra mile for you, if you get a prick you'll have to fight them for anything warrantied or not.
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I have to agree with you, I think the new Buells are a vast improvement but unless one of my friends buys one I won't find out.

If it were my girlfriend buying a bike I'd point her to a Triumph or the 620 Ducati as well. The 599 Honda looks like a nice bike, but I'd probably stick to the Euro's for the "cool factor"
So, reading between the lines... You're saying the Buell would be a great bike for someone who doesn't ride very much.
Re: my take on this issue ...

I'd hit his dog in the butt, If she was a hottie
Buells are a hot topic on this site. Most hate em, but very few have ridden them. The early models were a lot of problems, but it seems that the new ones are somewhat better.

I still don't think that you will have the quality and reliability of the Jap stuff, but you will have something with character (expensive to fix and repair).



The Buell is no different than a Ducati in some respects, and it would be far cheaper for routine maintenance than any Ducati.



I am in the process of purchasing a used 9S for $6k with 450 miles on it. The guy who bought it thought he was going to be racing R6's! I'm was also looking at a 900 Monster S for about $8K.



Neither the XB or Ducati is ever going to win against the supersports etc, except maybe in the curvy bits. Where the Buell and Ducati do win out is in the fun factor. Riding with torque is completely different than dealing with HP. The ability to twist the grip and go is appealing to a lot of people who want to have fun without dealing with a narrow power band.



Buell in Canada has done track tests for the last 4 years, and I have ridden all their bikes on these tests. It's a full day, with everything supplied, including an Instructor who runs his own race school (FAST in Quebec). My point: These bikes are a lots of fun!!



I'm sure that any 600 out there would turn a faster lap with the right rider, but there wasn't one person out there that was capable of outriding the bike. To prove this point the instructor took 4 of the best riders, put them on xb9's and X1's (with race kits). He took the Blast and gave them a 1 lap lead (1.8miles). He passed the fastest of the 4 on the beginning of their 5th lap. Once again proves that for the most part it's the rider not the bike.



As for reliability we thrashed these bikes (10 of them) all day and put on over 200 miles of hard riding, no problems other than tires on the xb's.



Back to the subject:



Buell can be a lot of fun, but could be a headache (you never know). Basically a simple bike and regardless, there are a lot more Harley/Buell dealers than Ducati dealers (at least in Canada)



Ducati: Check out the "routine" maintenance costs (approx $350 / 6000 miles), gorgeous bike with Italian mystique.



Decisions like these are a *****!







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All three are related. Bush is to blame for all

[*]9/11 Bush failed to heed the warning of the now famous

August sercurity memo


[*]Bush's tax cuts were targeted to the wrong group the rich who don't spend most of their income. It created the largest budget deficit in history. Which will continue hurt the economy for a decade. Bush along with the Republican Congress is in charge of fiscal policy it his fault period. The economy is not a force of nature it is man made and is controlled by fiscal (government spending) and monetary policy (money supply, Greenspan)

[*]Bush is to blame for Iraq. Sadam was no threat to us or his hostile neighbors (Turkey, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Syria). He was contained by two no fly zones and under constant survellience. He had no WMDs and no 9/11 terrorists were from Iraq. Bin Laden was a known enemy of Sadams.
It's all Bush's fault. The buck stops at his desk

[*]9/11 Bush is to blame, He failed to heed the warning of the now famous

August sercurity memo


[*]Bush's tax cuts were targeted to the wrong group the rich who don't spend most of their income. It created the largest budget deficit in history. Which will continue hurt the economy for a decade. Bush along with the Republican Congress is in charge of fiscal policy it his fault period. The economy is not a force of nature it is man made and is controlled by fiscal (government spending) and monetary policy (money supply, Greenspan)

[*]Bush is to blame for Iraq. Sadam was no threat to us or his hostile neighbors (Turkey, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Syria). He was contained by two no fly zones and under constant survellience. He had no WMDs and no 9/11 terrorists were from Iraq. Bin Laden was a known enemy of Sadams.
The Iraq War will cost over $200 billion

This is major hurt to the economy, because most of this money is spent on Iraq not building stuff here, like bridges, schools, etc.
[*]9/11 Bush is to blame, He failed to heed the warning of the now famous

August sercurity memo


[*]Bush's tax cuts were targeted to the wrong group the rich who don't spend most of their income. It created the largest budget deficit in history. Which will continue hurt the economy for a decade. Bush along with the Republican Congress is in charge of fiscal policy it his fault period. The economy is not a force of nature it is man made and is controlled by fiscal (government spending) and monetary policy (money supply, Greenspan)

[*]Bush is to blame for Iraq. Sadam was no threat to us or his hostile neighbors (Turkey, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Syria). He was contained by two no fly zones and under constant survellience. He had no WMDs and no 9/11 terrorists were from Iraq. Bin Laden was a known enemy of Sadams.
Come on this is a motorcycle site!!! You liberal's kill me.
Why do assume I am a liberal? Think about ?

I am not a liberal I am McCain Republican.

I like balanced budgets.

I like fighting wars only when absolutely necessary.

I like a strong defence, which means paying attention to intelligence, not waiting for 9/11 to happen so you can take out a dictator in Iraq (who wasn't responsible for it)

I like a strong vibrant economy, with opportunity for all, not just folks that make over $200,000 a year.

From all of the above would you say I am a liberal or do I just think Bush is the worst president in history?
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That is cool and funny

That is cool and funny about the Blast outrunning the other bikes just because of rider ability.

I totally agree though, these new squids just don't get it about rider ability and are probably the ones squawking about how their bike is faster then another bike based on a magazine test and not their own prowess.

After seeing my friend who used to race bikes take a stock Suzuki 1400 Intruder and outrun a new squid on his new GSX-R 750 out at Canyon lake road I was a total believer in just how disparate rider ability can be. It seems to make a much greater difference on bikes then it ever does in cars.

Thanks for the interesting post.
Re: Why do assume I am a liberal? Think about ?

Heh heh. McCain Republicans ARE liberals. Heh heh.

I'm just glad that people like you weren't voters back in 1941. We'd still be trying to figure out what we did to make the Japanese attack us.

Back to ignore mode.
History for Dummies (Seruzawa)

"I'm just glad that people like you weren't voters back in 1941. We'd still be trying to figure out what we did to make the Japanese attack us."

Who was the president of the U.S. then (1941)? FDR the biggest liberal of them all. Ha Ha.

Does the New Deal ring a bell?? Ha Ha Ha
My wife is 5'2" and is able to get her feet on the ground on my Honda Magna (with the fork tubes extended above the triple tree an inch). Check one of those out. It's a nice handler and has plenty of power.
Does she keep the snubby in her tank bag?



You gonna pony up for that Tuono or what?
I have got to say this. KPaul you suck. You have taken an enjoyabe webstie and turned it to sh#t. I hear enough about politics everywhere else in life, I don't need it here. I have to sift through all your garbage just to read about bikes. MO shut him up! Please.
They're both the same levels of coverage. Both had similar purchase prices. I don't know if the insurance company has a list of performance bikes, but I imagine number of models stolen, incidence of model wrecking, etc. would have more influence than just displacement.
Sadly, they've stopped making Magnas (my first bike), although one might be able to find a 'new' one at the dealership. I bought my '96 in 1998, and it was outstanding. *sniff*

Anyhow, he seems to be looking at new bikes.
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