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ducatirdr 11-20-2001 05:53 AM

Re: Buell XB9R Firebolt reader feedback
Two new bikes from H-D that I've been waiting to view in person, the V-Rod and the Firebolt, have not shown up at any local dealers. What's the hold up? No full tests on the Firebolt anywhere. Why?

Also to address the age old why buy this bike that is down on hp and up on price. It's all about character and feel. Something that a lot of jounalists say is missing from CBR's and the like. I'm glad Buell is making bikes like this and I hope the QC will improve to Honda like standards but don't make it sterile. Keep the vibration and quirky styling.

Sure there are bikes faster and cheaper but do they make you smile after a year of ownership? After you find out the next years CBRXYZ is faster?

My Duc996 and H-D Roadking still have my heart skipping a beat when I role them out. Two timeless designs that will stand the test of time and win over hearts long after their models are replaced. I think the Buells are in that same catagory.

starvingstudent 11-20-2001 05:58 AM

Price is perfectly acceptable
This is NOT supposed to compete with CBRs and such on the track, so comments such as "liter-bike prices for super-sport performance" don't apply. There are no displacement caps for street riding, and this bike is aimed primarily at street-riders who want something sporty but also character-filled. The CBR600 and R6 are _not_ its main competitors: instead, the Ducati 900SS, BMW R1100S, Moto Guzzi V11 Sport, and the Triumph Daytona are. I think it's price is perfectly acceptable for what it delivers in that genre (the most stripped version of the R1100S still retails at $13,900!).

As for fixing non-existent problems, maybe Buell is taking a cue from BMW on that one ;-)

starvingstudent 11-20-2001 06:03 AM

Re: Be American - buy American
Could you please point out a SINGLE post with "anti-American" sentiment on this discussion? Criticizing a motorcycle, or even a marque, does NOT constitute bashing a nation. After all, if I make fun of a Honda CX500, I'm not bashing all of Japan, right? When I make fun of Moto Guzzi, it's not, it doesn't mean that I dislike Italy or Italians, right?

mandrake_the_mollusk 11-20-2001 06:03 AM

Re: Buell XB9R Firebolt reader feedback
HDI has put a lot of pressure on Buell to improve QC so it sounds like you were unlucky enough to get one of the lemons they were cranking out a little too frequently a couple of years ago. They are doing better but still room for improvement.

Most of the people who put down Buells for other reasons (e.g. having not exactly state-of-the-art engine technology) have never ridden one. Buells prove a little LESS technology can be far MORE fun for real world street riding. NO Asian or Euro sportbike can bring smiles to your face the second you ride it out of the lot like a Buell, and it happens as soon as you crack the throttle and feel that outrageous rush of torque that you've never felt except maybe from a big clumsy cruiser, never from a bike that's so nimble you just think and it goes there. And omigod the sound they make with a V&H exhaust! You can think of nothing but "THIS is heaven's motorcycle, the way all of them OUGHT to be!!!" (..until you buy it and something breaks that is ;-)

Poser 11-20-2001 06:18 AM

Buell upsets everybody
Sportbike types don't like Buells because they have pushrod engines with the redline of an old Chevy. Harley types don't like Buells because they are not "real" Harleys. They LOOK more irresponsible and dangerous than just about anything else on the road.

That makes 'em the perfect motorcycle!

Poser 11-20-2001 06:30 AM

Buell? Beauty?
One of the best features of a Buell is the way it looks. They have to be the most uniquely homely bikes ever made. I mean that in a good way. I never want to see a Buell that could be called beautiful. They make small children and dogs flee- and that is before you start the engine! Buell looks say HOOLIGAN better than any other bike out there.

BBD_Racing 11-20-2001 06:34 AM

Re: Buell XB9R Firebolt reader feedback
Allright, let's get back to some nationalistic jingoism. I'm an American engineer and am generally really, really mad that Harley is THE American motorcycle. They appear to be quite well made and the company does a helluva job on owner satisfaction, marketing, and other business practices.

It is the technology that bothers me. I want to look at an American bike and say "Look, we built the coolest tech." Cannondale looked to be doing that in the MX category, but the jury is still out.

Now we have the Firebolt. Once again, Erik has shown a great talent for some really cool innovations. I do, however, have a really hard time with his engine choices. From what I understand, he was not saddled with that POS engine, he CHOSE it. I understand the light weight issue, but that is the wrong solution. How about a turbo single? Smaller, lighter, wilder and totally unique.

I rode all the Buells a couple years back. Great chassis, decent power, HORRIBLE at idle. I direly wanted to like the bikes, but the paint mixer idle was really horrific and embarrassing.

One last point: it would really be nice if some American company built a motor vehicle that was at least close to Honda in terms of quality and reliability.

Eric 11-20-2001 06:42 AM

Re: Buell XB9R Firebolt reader feedback
I was very scared on the reliability front when I bought mine. That is the one issue that almost held me back. I spoke to a number of Buell riders, including several who had 15,000+ miles on their rides. I found a few people that had massive problems, but the majority had done little other than routine maintenance. I decided to buy new so I could get the 1 year/unlimited miles warranty instead of a slightly used model for 2000 grand less. Those that I spoke to with problems usually experienced them in the first 2500 miles -- I figured the warranty would cover that as I usually ride close to 10,000 a year.

In the end, the sheer fun, the beautiful sounds and the power everywhere in the rev range led me to buy the Buell over other bikes. I jsut keep hoping it doesn't break!

markszrz 11-20-2001 07:18 AM

Re: Be American - buy American

I remember going to my local Harley dealer to try out a brand new M2. You know I really wanted to like the bike. However upon inspecting the bike, I noticed the M2 already begining to rust. That is not acceptable from any manufacturer - period. Until Harley/Buell gets serious about addressing their quality issues - instead of selling higher quality aftermarket replacement parts (Harley/Buell calls it customizing) the Japanese will continue to sale their bikes to Americans who are willing to buy a great bike right off the showroom.

ziras 11-20-2001 07:35 AM

Whoever designed the logo should be taken out back behind...
the shed and shot. It looks like something off a box of new and improved detergent. It's niggling little details like that which stick the buell in a quazi kit bike category. (But hell, if I had some toy money I'd buy one in a minute just to ride a sportbike with a loud, stonking, torquey HD has the potential of being a very fun politically in correct bike...just a paint job, exhaust, and some trick doo dads away!)


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