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Pholt 06-09-2004 04:10 PM

Re: You asked for it: My Buell experience.
Very pleased to see a real world description like this. Mirrors my own experiences for the first few days of my ownership. I had had many Japanese bikes, mostly Yamahas, and was looking for something other than being a member of the R1 army again. So, made in the USA patriotism, and temporary insanity caused me to make this choice.

I'm glad I did, I may never go back. It turns out that this bike's torque and handling more than make up for any of the technical disadvantages I found when compared to my previously owned masterpieces. And the "WTF is that?" factor is unbeatable. All it needed was some finish work, which, at the price they are selling for shouldn't be needed, but who buys anything and leaves it stock anyway?

First thing done, adjust the suspension. You should have heard the puzzled inquiries about this process from the Harley owners on the dealer floor, "You can adjust the suspension? Why?".

Second things done were cosmetic changes. All the cheesy stickers and warnings were tossed. The heel guards and pegs were changed for more color coordinated pieces (black). Passenger pegs removed.

Third, synthetic oils for the engine and transmission. Although I had almost no trouble with my transmission, the synthetic oil did improve tranny feel. And that hot air cooled V-twin is a torch for lesser oils.

Fourth, changed all the lighting to high intensity LEDs, headlights to Raybrig.

Fifth, the big equalizer. The installation of the race kit, "Not For Street Use". The race muffler does away with the "variable valve technology" (read polution control), and drops five pounds in the process, the intake kit opens up the airbox flow and uses a K&N filter, and the race ECM comes with a high performance fuel map, and is reprogrammable to optimize dyno tuning any H-D dealer with a dyno. Even without dyno tuning, power, torque, and sound all increased and improved dramatically. More dramatically than modifications like these did for my previous bikes. That made the difference needed for the road.

Granted, these things did add another 1400$ in cost, not including my highly skilled labor, and one could argue that the higher price of the Buell should include them. And granted, the Engine Control Modual is only accessable by proprietary dealer software and pc interfaces. But modifications like these are often considered part of the ownership process of many bikes, and the H-D dealerships are often very cooperative in helping you get the additional costs covered by whatever financing you might have. I was aware of the need for the extra work going in, so for me, it was a very rewarding process. And is still rewarding every time I ride. Tires next.

Nplateau 06-09-2004 05:53 PM

Re: Excellent Review
Thank the new intern.

pdad13 06-09-2004 06:23 PM

Re: You asked for it: My Buell experience.
That is a cool bike. How'd you get one? I've also read some nice things about it, so some people in the MC press apparently get it.

EbonFlame 06-09-2004 10:43 PM

Compliments and suggestions.
Though I'm not intending to kpaulize, I feel I should congratulate you on the excellent write-up. It was both informative and entertaining.

Many of us, I think, want a lot more real-world experiences from real-world riders on bikes that we're thinking (or dreaming) of buying... while it's wonderful to know who Sean can smoke on the latest and greatest, I'm also very curious to learn more than a sentence or two about how a bike acts on the street.

Two of my favourite things on MO in the past while have been this little thing and "life with the VFR," published a while back. Since I'm looking down the road for another streetbike (6 months to a year, probably,) I'm considering a lot of options in the sporty-street riding segment, and stuff like this goes a long way towards helping me learn about what's out there in a more-than-dyno-numbers way. This would work perhaps better than the occasional "what should I buy?"

I'd love to see MO's staffers write "long-term" street tests, when possible, but I also have a suggestion that seems do-able fairly easily, if we all would contribute.

Could we get a new section in the news archives (or whatever) called "Life with..."? Then, as many of us as possible could write out as much as we had to say about our current rides, using this as a template... how did you like the bike when you bought it, how do you feel after 10,000 miles, what's gone wrong, how is it to live with the thing every day.

Questions I'd love to have answered in these kind of articles are things like :

Do air-cooled Ducatis break all the time? How's maintainance on them? Did you choke on the bill the last time you dropped it in the parking lot and had to replace a fairing panel?

How's the world on a CBR600F4i when it's raining out? Is it somewhat livable as a daily-type rider?

What has the upkeep been like on your YZF-600's carbs? Does it like you in the cold mornings?

Seriously, JB and whom it may concern -- I'd love this kind of thing. Of course, you know the reader/rider feedback is one of the things that makes MO a great place to be.

What's we think?

gceaves 06-09-2004 11:49 PM

Re: You asked for it: My Buell experience.
To pdad13,

You write damn well, especially about motorcycling. You should quit your cubicle job and become a motorcycle writer.

To EbonFlame,

Great idea. A database like that would be a great boon to our MO experience.


ender 06-10-2004 01:22 AM

MO Pay this guy!!!
MO should have posted this as an article, not just a news item. It is as good or better than most of the reviews. Get some pictures and put it where it belongs, on the front page.

nweaver 06-10-2004 02:41 AM

The price is NOT steep...
There are reports of them going for $2k under list price,which makes the price reasonable.

However, having ridden a 600 supersport on the same demo-ride course as I rode the Buell (TT600, two years previous), I can say that the 600 felt so much better.

5valvethumper 06-10-2004 02:47 AM

Re: You asked for it: My Buell experience.
I live in Philadelphia, PA. There's a dealer here. There's dealers in almost every state..mostly around metro areas. They don't make the Skorpion anymore, but check eBay, I've seen some there. I'm hoping Honda, Yamaha, or someone makes something better next year. I've had mine for 7 years and spending the day to take it in for service gets old. At this point the XB9R is looking like something to check out. A dealer is two miles from my house. I love my MZ though, it's been really great.

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