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Discussion Starter #1
Im looking to potentially replace my duc with a Buell Firebolt 900 or 1200...

what are the things to look out for on the buells? (like belts/valves for ducs what is it for buells?)

Any experience with them? quality, performance, value, problems...
advice appreciated.

((other things im considering : 2002 aprilia tuono, other larger duc monsters, open to suggestions...nothing too ricey or RR ))
 

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+1 on Geets. I've had an S1 and an XB12R. Great bikes and very few issues. You can buy the 1200 as cheaply as the 900 so it's a no-brainer.

Belts are easy to replace but expensive so check the inner teeth AND the outside of the belt that rides on the tensioner assy. No valve adjustment as the engine uses hydraulic lifters. Brakes are great and pads are inexpensive. Plug replacement is a PITA so ask when they were last changed, Buell reccomends every 10K.

Other than that, not much to worry about. The bike handles great and has more power than most of us will ever need. I was an H-D and Buell mechanic in a former life so pm me if you need any help.
 

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I think their top and lower casted clamps are complete shit. Potentially look into replacing them with some that are machined out of steel or billet. We saw a lot of these "totaled" by crashes at the track when we ran them in 2004 at TPM. I think they are pretty neat and fun to ride/race (uber torquey). Rake/Travel of these bikes on the track takes a bit to get used too as they turn in really easy, and i seemed to get head shake (potential tank slapping) out of them a lot (especially at VIR North). However, i'm a pretty light guy (135-145lbs), and have a hard time moving enough mass forward to control that on the bigger bikes.

Go for it!

Tex
 

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I can see where Tex is coming from. I'm 175lbs and had no problem with head shake but a few owners did complain of same. My S1 was a complete tank slapping whore at any speed above 100mph. However, completely different bike and off the subject.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
now I must ask the question: is the 1200 easy/easier to afford, maintain insurance and parts wise? Cuz ive always eyeballed buells, and i think i want one now. im 23.
I know very little about sportster/HD engines in general...Geeto what did you mean by your comment-- is that a good or bad thing? (sounded like not much can go wrong with it).
 

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Too bad I didn't have the cash at the time to pick up a new Buell since they were basically giving them away for under half of the new price. My dealership had a few 1125/rr going out the door for 5k and everything else for less. I wonder how many new ones are still in any dealerships?
 

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The Buells are pretty easy bikes. Handle well, great torque, and they make enough noise to make your neighbors frown. I picked up an O2' X1 for next to nothing as the guy was just loooking to pay off what he owed on the bike after loosing his job.

02' was the last year of the tube frame and i think the styling is much better then the new XB style. However, the new XB's do handle better.

Last year I took a trip to Road America with some friends and we had a Honda 919, an R6, some cruisers and me. My Bike could get all the 4 cylinders out of the hole and the R6 wouldn't pass me until 45mph and the 919 a little after that. Cliping at 130 down some old country roads sure was a blast and made the trip a little too short.
 

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Those roads back by Road America are really nice. Can't wait this year for the vintage bike races again. Maybe this year I'll ride over as I'm just 45 minutes away on the other side of the lake.
 

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We always meet up in Ixonia (5 miles past Oconomowoc) and ride in from out there. The first time I couldn't figure out why I would drive an hour west to drive an hour north, but those roads were perfect. We usually go up for the AMA, but this year i am boycotting them becasue it is always rainy and cold. it will usually take me two days to thaw out from that ride.

This year is the year for Vintage Bike races!!
 

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Tex, the thing about cast vs billet trees

billet has grain

that is why I don't like to see pinching design on the steering stem, especially at the lower tree as it is the most heavily loaded area on most any motorcycle.


Just something to gnaw on...
 

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okey doke. so in this case your saying that "grain" in the metal itself can lead to fracturing?

the second biggest problem with them is when they do crash, the frame (gas tank) gets tweaked (normally by the clipons and controls) to where the insurance company will total it immediately. nothing says "very risky" to an underwriter than a person riding around with a gastank which has been "modified" from a crash.

tex
 

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In the HD world, anything under 1200ccs and made after 1970 is basically worthless. hard to sell, not much up top, and usually cost about the same. If it were a sportster you were looking at it would be less of a problem because you can just put the 1200 barrels on it and be done with it, but buells have different cams and heads so you would have to find 1200 buell barrels, heads, cams, etc...

you are buying a sporting motorcycle, stop buying the pussy versions and go for the gusto.
 

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Yeah..... take a good look at the russian techno looking ones recently posted

Aluminum billet has grain like wood

It goes in one dierection to the other, likely side to side on those

Unlike cast, the cyclical failure rate of those can be computed

Had it been threaded or frictioned home, it wouldn't be a consideration

Many of the boeing parts I've machine were of 7075 that had to have multiple certification..... grain direction was always one of their required certs.

Makes the metal very expensive.

Without? Simple, over-engineer and over-build.


The 04 and later sporties arent as charming to me as the earlier ones.

The altered valve train geometry is one reason..... the transmission no longer having a trap door is another.

On that note, make sure the one you get, 04 or later has a transmission that shifts as slick as a F1 car

If it does anything stupid in the transmission, know it is a complete teardown and case split.

They do no longer pop out like a cassette and I've ridden quite a few that were in need before they clocked 10k.

Everything else is reasonably straight forward and simple, dont skrimp on the spark plugs, get iridium.
 

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I certainly cant agree.... the 45 and 61 inchers after 1970 kick ass if they are R's.

And dont forget the G's which ceased in 73 after a run over 40 years. They were the most expensive in the lineup for all the years they were offered.

Nalin mods 883 heads to put on hotrods and buells, the cylinders are all the same.... the stuff is plentiful and inexpensive.

Outside of that, except for 883's being a tough sell because of screwy american thinking

a well prepped 883 kicks serious butt and is much more pleasant than the bigger slugs

883's were designed and sold to be closer to optimum once they had 1200 cc cylinder bores churning under tge heads that clearly never were designed to be optimum for 883 ccs


Harley's brilliant marketing, zero sarcasm, they know how their sheeples think, or don't

The xb9 as sold, is an anemic no resale slug.... they can be improved greatly



quote:Originally posted by Geeto67

In the HD world, anything under 1200ccs and made after 1970 is basically worthless. hard to sell, not much up top, and usually cost about the same. If it were a sportster you were looking at it would be less of a problem because you can just put the 1200 barrels on it and be done with it, but buells have different cams and heads so you would have to find 1200 buell barrels, heads, cams, etc...

you are buying a sporting motorcycle, stop buying the pussy versions and go for the gusto.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
i wouldnt have thought a xb9 was anemic at all...sounded big enough for me....but what do i know...
ill take your word for it.
the one im looking at (12r) has the factory race kit (maybe a pipe also dont remmbr), pegausus logo special seat, wrapped pipes, "good tires", black gold color combo, 7k miles and wants low 5's for the bike.
now whats the consensus?
random question:
how come dealers in NY wont let us test ride bikes? out of state its possible right?
 

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of course i needed to exclude XR harleys from my previous statements, but then again XRs aren't really sportsters so much as they are v-twin flat track murder machines forged in the fire god's kiln.

I don't know anything about the G's. I do know when I was looking at a '71 Ironhead sporty y'all told me to run away like it had herpes on top of its clymidia.
 

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They are pretty much sportsters with better heads

68-70 had the good clutch. Simple and it works well. The 72-73 had their own top ends but most have been updated.

77 was the first year for the georotor and several other goodies

The best of the IH, in my opinion, is the 84 1/2 as long as the alternator clutch is not taking a dump.

Thr older stuff takes lots of work to update and make reliable, just like brit bikes

They can be very solid though. Most people fail to gear them tall enough.

The 68 here is as tall in the primary as possible and is 25 and no more than 41 in the rear

Works out to over 150 at 6000 rpm

Loafs smooth as an electric motor at 90mph and will do it all day long.
 

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Vince, you may be able to buy a new 1125 for the same money.

The 53 incher has ports too large, pretty sure, and you really have to wind them up to make them go.

The 74 inchers make 20 ft lbs more torque and its there from the basement to the attic.
 
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