I'm disappointed. Clearly this is just a modification of the 9R. That would be fine if they were selling that well. Maybe they are and I admit that I don't know for sure, but somewhow I doubt it.
Personally, I was hoping for a replacement for the S3T. Something one could really travel on w/significant fuel range and hard bags. Neither of the XB bikes are anything but day ride/sport bikes. I won't be waiting another year for a Buell sport-tourer, but I wish them well (BTW, that 3.7 gal. gas tank just dosen't cut it, all innovations aside).
LOL Hey longride I saw this flyer for yoga for Sr. Citzens. Maybe if you took that you would be able to ride bikes with out sticking your feet forward. Yep you are right one week with me I would fix Buells problems. Heck one week I could fix Harley's problems as well.
This is the bike I should own someday, except for now I'm getting acquainted with my new Triumph Speed 4. The Triumph and Buell seem to be very similar bikes. I hope some magazine or other will see fit to test the two together.
I'm also waiting to see if they come up with a sport touring version with this frame but more long distance ergos, somewhat larger wind screen and a little more power or a 6 speed would really make an interesting bike.
We had no issues with the exhaust causing heating problems to our tire. When you ride the bike it appears that the turbulence generated by the rear wheel, your foot and off the lower belly pan is enough to disperse the exaust away from the bike.
If you want to stand out in the crowd, Buell is definately the way to go. Harley has really got to start paying attention to what people are saying though. Porsche helped out on the v-rod engine. Why can't they lend a hand in a new Buell engine? It's not practical to put the revolution engine in because it's just too heavy, so find a way to downsize it. And the sportster engine has just about hit the limits of it's capabilities. Increase the power and nail down the reliability problems. The investment made on these two items would probably lead to a nice payoff in the long run.
Harley: "We want you to build the ultimate sportbike, with state of the art frame, suspension, and brakes. Let your engineers run wild. Think out of the box. No sacred cows. Breakthrough designs. Go for it, Eric. The sky is the limit!"
Harley: "But it's got to have a Sporster engine."
Buell: "Errrrgggg .... " (followed by the sound of a body slumping to the floor.
Give Eric his props ... he has done a stellar job in developing a cool sportbike around an engine better suited to pulverizing kidney stones than shredding apexes. But for God's sake, can you imagine how good his bikes would be with, say, a Suzuki TL motor? Until the mill is upgraded I can only say, "I wouldn't hit my dog in the butt with a Buell."
I share your desire to see Buell move to the next level as far as engine technology. I just hope it's not at the expense of character. I love my creaky old 1200 tractor-engined Buell. I can choose from a number of great-performing modern engined machines, but I bought the Buell because it has balls and character. I would hate to see them lose that because it's the intangibles that make it a great ride.
The engine in the new Buells is NOT the Evolution Sportster engine. It is so completely re-vamped and re-engineered that it should be considered a new powerplant.
The Blast, which shares basically 1/2 the XB's engine, has proven to be hardy and reliable. Anyway, Buell's reliability/recall issues were never with the engines.
I was referring to reliability in general as I am aware that the problems are not with the engines. My bad for not clarifying. So far as the engines go I would not suggest losing their character as that is a very important part of identity, I am suggesting a modernizing. These engines may be heavily re-worked but still call the sportster engine dad. An entirely new platform is what I suggest, and this can be done without sacrificing any character so long as that is considered to be one of the engineering goals. If Buell is to have an engine that can keep up with the handling expectations they have, this may be the only option.
I think this is a good move for Buell, at least partially. The Firebolt has some geat innovations, and this appears to be an attempt to make it more mainstream, with broader utility and appeal. Unfortunately, I think they've hurt themselves (assuming their objective is to sell motorcycles) in two ways.
The first is the seat and rear fender. The pillion seat looks almost homicidal, especially for a bike with strong acceleration. The rear rack (?) falls in the what-were-they-smoking category. This does not appear to be a very practical bike.
The second is the price. At $9,995, it's $1500 more than an FZ-1 and $2,000 more than a 919. It's also $4,000 more than the lesser-powered, but still revered SV650. All three of which have dramatically better records of versatility, after-market support, dealer support and reliability.
Does this mean I think this is a bad bike? No, but I don't think it's going to sell very well. Maybe at $7,495 more people would take a chance on it, but $10k will buy a lot more bike than this elsewhere.
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