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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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Re: test ride! :)

Re: It's all Bush's fault. The buck stops at his desk

Why don't you take your lunatic opinions somewhere else, dumbass? This is a motorcycle forum.
There are still '03s around.

Too bad they dropped it. It is a nice alternative to the boring V-twins of the liter class and below. It'll smoke any of the 1100 Shadows or Stars.
She won't let me look in the bag. It's probably just as well.

The new bike will depend on the state of the exchequer next year. 11K for a Falco will be pushing it. The Speed Triple is more likely.

Unless the Harley market finally tanks! Used FXWGs for a song! Woohoo!

Whatever I get probably won't be Japanese. I've already got 4.
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Re: test ride! :)

I too would rather have the Speed Four than the 599. Better suspenders and 10x the cool points! ;)
I've got our cars with State Farm and my agent tells me it's strictly displacement based.

So a 1200cc sportster costs more for me to insure than an R1.

No perks for MSF or factory anti-theft devices like the new Ducatis have.

I'm married & in my 30s and an R6 will cost me about $400/yr full coverage, while an R1 would be about $700/yr. Not bad, IMO.
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Definitely keep in mind the extra cost of Ducati routine maint, and short valve-adj intervals compared to everything else out there.

The Buell doesn't have valve adjustments but the dealer will still try to screw you on maint costs. When buying a new one, they try to sell you a 60k service plan (10 6k services) for $1500+ USD. Here's the kicker - my local Buell dealer wants about $300 for a normal 6k svc if you don't have the contract. What a bunch of crap. Either you give us $1500+ now and ride the bike for 60k miles (most folks don't) or give us $300 every 6k miles to do an oil change and check some bolts for tightness. There's no chain or valves to fuss with so wtf are they charging you for?

In short, I think the worst thing about Buell is having to deal with slimy H-D salesmen, then overpriced H-D service departments.

If you want something non-mainstream with less BS, I'd go for a Triumph, or maybe a Duc if you don't mind big bills for maint and (god forbid) parts.

Good luck!
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Who is to blame?

pdad13, Buzglyd, and Seruzawa started this by flamming me like a bunch of Jr. High Girls when I was having a private thread conversation about outsourcing. Instead of ignoring what was said or replying thoughtfully, they inserted themselves into the thread and engaged in name calling and falsehoods. i.e. they were chickenhawks. This will stop today. But they (pdad13, Buzglyd, and Seruzawa ) need to take their toys and go home if they can't play nice.
Re: Why do assume I am a liberal? Think about ?

Oh, you are a liberal alright. Sorry dude you can label yourself anything you want but your blind attach on Bush gives you away. BTW- too much money returned to the so called rich? I am along way from rich and yet I got some of my money back. Wanna be fair, oh really? Let's try this, every year take the funds necessary to run the country and divide it by every adult with the ability to work. Then let everyone pay an equal amount. That's fair isn't it? Right now the so called rich guy has to pay for several others that have no ambition, and liberals like you go crying when someone who has overpaid get a little back. Well what’s fair??? Can you answer that with a logical mind?
Sen. McCain (R-Arizona) doesn't agree with Bush is he a liberal?

Hey I am for fiscal conservative. Balance the Budget Mr. Bush. I am pro-life. I am for Workfare over welfare. That is not liberal friend. Alot of conservatives are upset with Bush. The Iraq war, huge budget deficits, and now it looks like Bush could of prevented 9/11. How? By reading a fracking memo which says Bin Laden wanted to attack inside the U.S. it goes on to mention hijacking, New York City etc.

Hey pal Kerry wants to give more taxes back to you the little guy. Don't believe every thing you see on foxnews.
Re: Sen. McCain (R-Arizona) doesn't agree with Bush is he a liberal?

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
If you can't change your own oil then you'd better change your panties.
Buy the Triumph, if not the S3 then a Thunderbird Sport or a Thruxton. (The Trophy, I'm afraid may be too much bike for you)

Remember your history, cool kids ride Triumphs.
If I was looking for a metric cruiser the Yamaha Warrior would be my choice.

When I hear Sabre's and Magna's I always think of my '84 V65 Sabre, That was fun !
"You are obviously quite stupid."

Apparently. But mainly because it was only the Buell engine that I said was crude?...

"I don't have any personal experience with the newer Buell's reliability (the focus of this man's question)"

...So you'll just publicly display your MAS affliction (Male Answer Syndrome), and speak about something you have no experience with then?

", but I could tell you that a V-Rod is NOT a sportbike. A strong motor alone does not mean a bike is classified as a sport model."

...Nor does a relatively "weak" one (the Buell's in this case) make a particularly good one. My old GS750 would likely eat either one of these bikes alive in a 1/4 mile, if not in the curves. A $7000 1200 Bandit surely would. I'm assuming you've had no actual experience on either of the bikes, or you would know that steering response and turn in feels significantly better on the V-Rod than the Buell -- the exact opposite of what you'd expect. The suspension is also quite capable on the 'Rod. The limiting factor is ground clearance. Don't be so willing to believe the marketing types. Sometimes they lie. While it's not a "sportbike", the V-Rod is a pretty decent $12,000 "sporty model" motorcycle. Pity it's $18,000.

"Ignore billhawley's advice and you should do fine."

Hard to argue with THAT logic Ron... My stated recommendations were for reasonably priced alternatives that would meet the stated criteria of power, handling, reliability, and (30" or less) seat heights. Didn't mean to confuse the issue with facts!

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From your comments, it sounds like, in essence, you do agree with me.

i.e. Hyundai, and Buell trying to repair their image.

I also agree that the extended warranty is generally pushed and is a big money maker for the dealer. The manufacturer only gets a relatively small portion of that $1,500. The point I am trying to get across applies to the standard warranty applied by the manufacturer and used as a selling point for the vehicle.

One interesting point you bring up is that a long warranty SHOWS that you have confidence in your product. I would ask: To whom do you NEED to show it? To a customer that is already convinced of it's reliability? That would be a waste of advertising dollars. No one spends millions of dollars on advertising that the sun will come out tomorrow because that issue is not in doubt. It is only in the case where the percieved reliability of your product is in doubt that you need to SHOW that you have confidence in your product. I am just pointing out that, when an automotive company is in trouble, it is standard practice to try to increase sales by upping the warranty ante. Take for example Mitsubishi here in the states, their latest line-up of vehicles are just not selling at all and haven't for the last 2 or 3 years. Voila! New! Longer Warranty! Do you see the connection here?

My point is just that falling for the long warranty argument in terms of what vehicle you choose to buy is just not a very well considered judgement. I was really just commenting on the number of "You should buy a Buell because of the longer warranty" comments I have read. I personally would like to try a Buell out as I think it is refreshing to see a company buck the design orthodoxy regarding how motorcycles should be designed and built. Peace and Love
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Re: It's all Bush's fault. The buck stops at his desk


I second that opinion.

I have to conclude that the political stuff has to come from someone who can't read the name of the website.
I'm fine with routine maint myself, but this guy may not be, and therefore it's worth considering.

I do think it's a reflection on Buell (H-D dealers) that they want so much money for what seems like so little maint.
First, let's consider how quality is measured. Some Buell owners will vouch their bike's quality with their wife, some will curse the beautiful contraption as a nice piece of modern art, all forms and no functions. Why the discrepancies?

High quality products, by defination, have less variance than lower quality products. The Japanese somehow managed to push the variance so low, it is less than 2sigma deviation compare to most American make bikes.

Case in point: Almost any Hondas will perform consistently. While with Buell, sometimes you get a superb bike, no problem whatsoever, but some other times you might end up with a modern piece of art.

As always, life is your call!
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The Sprints are cool too. Aside from the Bonnneville Americas any of the Triumphs are an attractive package.

I'm going to stock up on Loctite and spare pistons in advance!
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