buell firebolt Questions [Archive] - Glock Talk

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bluepostal74
02-18-2006, 11:40
i'm interested in the firebolt and want to know if there are any shortcomings of the newer buells, 2005 and 2006. I've tried to pay attentions to there reliablity over the past couple of years. I have Yamaha FZ1 and love it. I also love the v-twin sound that you get with a buell engine. I test drove a 2005 lightning and loved the tourqe, really a lot of fun. I don't do steet stunt and street racing, I like to go fast, but only when its safe for me and others. I choose my battles carfully. I know the buell probably cant compete with the yamaha that I presently ride, but the buell just seemed to be alive underneath me. Hope that makes sence. Top speed is of no concern for me as long as it can get up to 120mph. I can count on one hand how many times I rode at that speed on the Yamaha. i guess what I'm really getting at is if money i would put down on buell would reward me or plauge me with taking it to the shop to have it fixed every other week. Nothing worse than having a bike in the shop on a sunny day that is your only day off for the week. Had a friend that went through 2 buell thunderbolts in 2000. both lemons. thanks for the replies....

NMGlocker
02-18-2006, 12:15
A guy I ride with has a Buell Firebolt.
So far it's been reliable for him.
It handles well in the twisties.
But it most definately isn't quick.
100mph on the Buell feels like 150mph on anything else, the motor is working very hard to break into triple digits.
For an around town play bike it should treat you well, but don't expect to keep up with the inline 4's when the road straightens out.

Clydeglide
02-18-2006, 16:56
The absolute best place for Buell info is BadWeb (http://badweatherbikers.com/). Just keep in mind these guys tend to be a little zealous, lol. Tell 'em Clydeglide sent you! They love me there.;Q

:cool:

fnfalman
02-21-2006, 12:33
I think that the major complaints about the current XBs from the handful of riders I know are two things:

1. The under exhaust really heats up your foot at the stop. That can easily be rectified by redirecting the muzzle (I hope).

2. The fan for the rear cylinder fails a lot.

The other issue is customer service. Everybody complained that they get treated like red-headed stepchildren at the dealerships.

The Buells are very different animals from other bikes. There are a lot of esoteric handling characteristics that one has to learn or relearn when transferring from other bikes onto the Buells. They flick over very easy but takes some really conscious efforts to lean the bike over hard so consequently you tend to run wider than anticipated.

The few times I got to test ride the XB12 and XB9, I didn't really get to romp on the gas, but I think that the 1200 will do 120-MPH without too much hardship.

As far as keeping up with the acceleration and top end of the I-4 bikes, there are no bikes that can do that other than the very top of the line Ducati 999R or the Aprilia RSVR. At least to probably around 140. After that the I-4 will leave everything else behind with ease.

NMGlocker
02-21-2006, 16:08
My Buell riding buddy almost had a big lowside the other day.
He had been riding his R6 at the track, then switched to the Buell to ride the street. When he turned in the front tucked on him and slid out a good 6" or more. The Buell definately handles unlike anything else.
He has the 1200cc motor in his, and it'll hit 120mph, but it stops really pulling at around 90-100 and creeps up on the last 20mph.
Around town he loves it, but when we hit the rural roads around here (long straights with the occasional turn) he gets dropped pretty quickly.

fnfalman
02-21-2006, 16:19
While I didn't get to romp on the various test ride Buells, I find it hard to comprehend how a 100-HP+ bike with the low weight of around 400-lbs would not have a quick rush to at least 120-MPH. OK, so the factory claims 103-HP at the crank, so realistically you'd see maybe 90 at the rear wheel. My Rockster is currently measured 90-hp/74-lbft at the rear wheel and it revs cleanly all the way to 120. The last ten MPH to make it to 130 is quite of a struggle though. I can't imagine why the Buell, easily 80-lbs lighter if not more, couldn't rev cleanly to at least 120-MPH. Note that I said "rev cleanly" and not "quickly". It's a big bore V-twin after all.

NMGlocker
02-21-2006, 17:47
I don't know?
It just seems like the gearing and torque meet in the wrong spot for 100+ acceleration.
Maybe I'm just so used to an arm stretching hit in the power at 100+ that the Buell just feels flat to me.

fnfalman
02-21-2006, 18:29
There you go. The Japanese liter bikes have the advantage of about 60-HP at the rear wheel. A stock Z10/CBR/GSXR/R1 would put out 155+HP at the rear wheel and about 70+LBFT of torque. All of these powers come on hard at around 7000-RPM which is about 100-MPH. My Rockster will accelerate with the best of the 600-cc crowd until around 100-MPH and then they pull away like I'm standing still. My Tuono will keep up with the liter bikes just fine until around 130 and then that's all she wrote.

Clydeglide
02-21-2006, 20:41
Originally posted by fnfalman
I think that the major complaints about the current XBs from the handful of riders I know are two things:

1. The under exhaust really heats up your foot at the stop. That can easily be rectified by redirecting the muzzle (I hope).

2. The fan for the rear cylinder fails a lot.

The other issue is customer service. Everybody complained that they get treated like red-headed stepchildren at the dealerships.

1. That's the first I've heard of that but I can understand why it may be a nuisance. I haven't ridden one yet but I will soon. Stay tuned.

2. I've only heard of this happening a few times. Compared to the old tube frame Buells, one problem area would be a blessing.

3. Customer Service. That will depend on the dealer. We are fortunate in this area to have a couple of strong Buell dealers. The Buellers around here love them! My favorite HD/Buell tech races a Buell. The bikes now have a 2 year warranty. Sorry about the dealers in your area. They must be run by chromosexuals.

I wouldn't compare a pushrod 45 deg V-Twin with an IL4. Apples/Oranges.

Good info as always, fn.

:cool:

fnfalman
02-22-2006, 09:07
I'm glad to know that you have good supporting dealers for the Buells. The SoCal H-D guys are dropping Buell line like flies. I think that there maybe three or four dealerships left in SoCal that deals with Buell.

The two guys that I ride with that have fan problem are both XB9 owners. There is a fellow with the XB12 but I don't know much about him and he wasn't the most talkative type.

And yes, you are correct in saying that the several dealerships/service departments/mechanics that showed disdain toward the Buells were "chromosexuals". Last year when I went to Glendale H-D to test ride the Buells (Erik Buell was there too), one of the guys that worked there muttered complains about how they were "tainting" the Harley image with a cheap ass crotch rocket wannabe.

P-Ratt
02-22-2006, 20:51
A friend of mine has one of the 9's and loves it. However, he was hit and sustained damage that required replacement of the frame since it is the fuel tank as well. Dinged or creased fuel tanks (frames) means replacement. Unfortunately he had to wait for Buell to do another run of frames since they don't stock spares. Took about 6 months to get a new frame from Buell.

Nobody wants to think about being hit, but since it wasn't totalled, he had to wait on the new frame.