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lanesplitter 12-07-2001 12:07 AM

Re: Buell XB9R Firebolt reader feedback
I sat on one at san Mateo, it was right behind the one on the pedestal.

luvmyvfr 12-08-2001 09:36 AM

Re: F1 V4 1000 motorcycle

Maybe you should read all the posts above you before you post. I never said the VFR wasn't tuned for torque. Jeesh, I just said I'd like to ride a V4 1000cc Tuned for Max HP. Hello? You there? Hello? JEESH

tesmanus 12-09-2001 04:37 PM

Re: Buell XB9R Firebolt reader feedback
It looks badass. Like it jumped out of some kid's monitor while he was playing Mortal Kombat. Put a K&N filter in the airbox, trash the muffler and fit a carbon-fiber cannister and you have the meanest looking and sounding bike on the road. Millions of squids will buy one, myself included.

tesmanus 12-09-2001 05:01 PM

Re: Buell XB9R Firebolt reader feedback
Competitive with what?

It should run with a Ducati 900SS or a Monster.

I've owned two literbikes and crashed them both into scrap, hurting myself bad the second time. I guess we all have to learn by our selves.

sneuxstorm 12-15-2001 10:18 PM

Rode The Firebolt
I had the opportunity to ride the Firebolt XB9R at the Long Beach Motorcycle Show this last weekend. Overall, I am impressed with the bike as whole. First, let me give a little background on myself so you can have a way understanding how I am relating to the bike, from my past experiences. I am male, 5Â’7" @ 170lbs. I have been a rider for about 11 years now. I first rode a Yamha FZR 400. The bike I rode for about 6 years was a Suzuki Katana 600 with a built GSX-R 750 motor in it. Recently, I have been riding a Ducati 748s and a Ducati Monster 900. I am in the market for a new bike, at first I was going to buy a Ducati M900, but after spending a few weekends with it (thanks Mike for the loaner) I found out that I wanted something that had a little more wind protection and had a little more guts (torque/power). My choices in bikes have narrowed to two, the Buell and the Yamaha R1. I chose those for very different reasons, which I will not get into here. I got to the convention center at 10 am. On Saturday, promptly got in the Buell line and waited my turn. I think I was in the fourth or fifth group that went out, not sure, but it was about 11 am. When I started my ride.

The Firebolt feels very compact, even more so that the M900. It feels a little wider in the crotch than the R1. The reach to the bars is fine and my toes hit the ground on both sides without undue strain. Instrument lay out is fine. I am not impressed with the gauges. They could have been better, the lettering is very hard to read. I like the adjustable brake lever, since my hands are small (size 6.5-7 in surgical gloves). I wondered why they didnÂ’t put in an adjustable clutch lever while they were at it. The engine started without trouble and settled into its an idle very similar to the 748s. The exhaust exits right into your left boot. The shifting mechanism seemed very stiff and I had trouble finding neutral. As we left the parking lot I found the slow speed characteristics of the bike very light and balanced. The haunch over the bars seems natural by now and the vibration has gone away. Exiting on to Shoreline Blvd., I notice exactly how much torque this bike has at low revs, more than any other bike I have ridden recently. It launches away very briskly. I start to smile. The first big dab of the brakes is very reassuring, with very good feedback. The forks donÂ’t dive down like the M900. The roundabout to Ocean Ave. is easy with just one hand on the controls. The quick launch to the next off ramp show the limit of the bikes ability to rev. It doesnÂ’t want to rev very high, I didnÂ’t look down at the tach, but it didnÂ’t seem like a lot and it gets very flat at the top. Full throttle shifting requires that you use the clutch. I am used to lifting off the throttle and flicking it into gear, but the gearbox seemed very tight and it did not want to do this. As the ride progressed I found neutral twice without asking. In comparison the M900 is the same, but the Japanese bikes all shifted more easily and crisply. The rest of the course showed the ease of handling of the bike and the very natural way that if flows from corner to corner and from power on to off.

Observations: The foot pegs are on the small and slippery. The mirrors vibrate like crazy at anything less that 30mph. The rear cylinder is hot and the fan blows into your right leg (and since heat rises, up your crotch). The seat is small and slick, just the way I like to ride it in the canyons. I like the indentations in the frame/airbox area, I tend to stick my knee in there when cornering, rather than putting my knee down (I donÂ’t have sliders on my leathers). I liked the low-end torque. I wished it revÂ’d a little more. I donÂ’t like what they did with the underside of the seat cowling. ItÂ’s like, they did everything they could to tidy up the bike, but then they got to the bottom of the seat fender area and said "f#*& it, stick some plastic on it and lets ship the thing."

Now the big question - Will I get one? I am not convinced yet. I am still out on the reliability issues, as well as the quality issues. That little rear underside cowling cover makes me wonder where else they might have taken a short cut. I like the ergonomics and the torque. I would hope that an aftermarket company is planning on performance upgrades for this bike. It needs to have a good voice to go with it. As for the wind protection issue, I think it has enough. I donÂ’t plan on riding long distances anymore, for the weekend canyon blaster that I plan this bike for, it will be just fine.

I would like to conclude with the statement that the Firebolt and I made for instant friends, and that I could see it as willing and able dance partner for the canyon ride. It feels that easy to ride fast, the minute you get on.

raphtze 12-17-2001 09:22 PM

chevy corvette
the only time a chevy corvette ran with DOHC was with the ZR-1 which was introduced in 1990 and ran until 1995. it wasn't really a chevy engine either, development was handed of to mercruiser marine to make it. the LT-5, was a 32 valve, DOHC engine, displacing 5.7L and producing a top HP of 405 hp. it is naturally aspirated.

by comparison. the latest corvette powerplant, the LS-6 also develops 405 hp, naturally aspirated, and is a 16-valve OHV pushrod engine. although it seems like antiquted technology, the push-rod engine designed by cutting edge technology can, and will produce (you should see the 7.0L 700HP pushrod engine raced in the C5-R) the performance.

HOW ever.....i'm not going to say this in defense of hardly ablesons. quite the opposite. they need to get more engines like the Revolution engine featured in the V-Rod. if erik buell wants to make a strong statement about american ingenuity and know-how, he needs to make the engine a top-priority. get rid of the the air-cooled HD powerplant, and put in something with a passion.

OH....just 2 say i 'm not a poser (and how isn't :) i happen to ride a 2000 vfr.....and i luv it 2 death :)

duggie 12-19-2001 11:01 AM

Re: Buell XB9R Firebolt reader feedback
it looks really nice, & i wanna take a test-ride, but i dunno whether or not i'll be able to part w/my

'95 s2! ;~) i got my s2 used in '98 (i knew i'd get one after a test-ride in '95, as soon as the power

issues were addressed). it cost ~$2k in parts/labor to get ~90rwhp, which is fine for me for a

street-bike. until i can afford those 1481cc aac cylinders w/keith black pistons, that is... ;~)

i dunno why everyone has problems w/power/reliability. my s2 has 27k on it, & is still goin' strong.

plenty of power to *still* get in lotsa trouble on the street... good-enuff handling to get outta some

trouble, too! ;~) and, so much more personality than the japanese bikes. (no way i will *ever* own

another honda, btw, after the way i was treated regarding the cam defects on my '83 interceptor.)

how much power/handling do ya *need* on the street?

other bikes i want include a modern air-cooled ducati or two ( i like my '78 bevel-drive darmah, but

it's a tank, really), and a ktm duke, or vertimate super-motard would be nice. or, mebbe another

buell? ;~)

so many bikes, so litle time! :>)

doug s.

The_Aerodynamic_Head 12-20-2001 09:33 PM

Amen, and Amen.

I am a *Capitalist* American.

I take most all of the points of y'all who responded to my first post. With regard to automated manufacturing processes: granted. But I think it's reasonable to assume that agreater percentage of motorcycles content is "hand-built" just due to the nature of the machines.

Next, as for the Big 3 auto makers. I am not an engineer, but I *do* make my living as an options trader. Here's the thing. sometime after WWII, the Big 3 started outsourcing all their tool-making, dye-making, machine-making work to third parties, who, of course, had QC challenges of their own. At the same time, the Asian makers started investing bootie-loads of capital to bring these same equipment-making needs in-house. Eventually the Americans found themselves in a situation wherein one consolidated tool-making industry was supplying the tools, dies, stanps, and machines for all three brands. The tool-making industry has a monpoly (close enough) and so are stagnant with regard to QC/innovation/cost structure. So the reason that an American-made Honda Accord is more reliable than an American-made Ford Escape is because Honda can control QC over the people that make the things that make the cars. The Big Three have become a victim of their own cost-cutting.

NOW, how much of this aplies to the bike industry?

I know not. And admittedly, H-D has done a complete turnaround in QC over the past few years, say, generally since the advent of the TC motor. Just because the parent has the money doesn't mean they're giving it to the subsidiary. Again, Ford. Virtually nil: that's how much they've given Rover for new product development.

Virtually nil: that's how much Benz have given Chrysler for design and QC. Instead they sent butt-kicking managers over from Stutgart. Why? Better Capitalism to do it that way.

Okay, maybe I made a bad call with the American workers thing. Because it's robots. Though I think my point's the manufacture that makes american automotive products inferior, not inherent design.

shock-guy 12-21-2001 01:15 PM

Re: Need a jolt?
Much less than that. A couple bolts to pull the belt tensioner, 2 for the swingarm cut-out. Slide said belt off, new one in. Ever change a chain? I'd much rather have a belt. Clean, simple.

shock-guy 12-21-2001 01:28 PM

Re: The reason for the term "hooligan bike"
You guys should really quit arguing and go to Buell's website. The XB9R is of the new genre "SportFighter". It is designed to be an excellent bike for the twisties, not a hooligan bike. Carve and shoot out of corners, not just do burnouts and wheelies in front of your buddies. Go buy an X1 for that.

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