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pattonme 05-22-2002 10:40 AM

Re: braking in turns
1, not *all* racers use trailbraking and of those that do I'll bet a significant portion use the rear. This is well known and considered reasonable methodology.

2. Using the front in trailbraking is a recent fad. A fad made possible, due to the significant advances made in calipers, rotors, pads and tires. Just because you can get away with it doesn't make it the sane thing to do. Those who trail the front very often loose it and crash till such time as they get the hang of it. And every now and then they still screw it up, or a bump upsets them or a slight surface imperfection they weren't aware of comes along and they crash.

Meanwhile I never have reason to crash in the middle of a corner because I lost the front end. And I further benefit from a stable chasis without relying on crutches like zillion dollar suspension bits.

Instead of tiptoeing around a corner with baited breath hoping you didn't do something a smidge off, I can be on the power and going for the next corner.

Corner speed is where it's at - especially average speed. Sure, a trail-braker might have that touch more speed at the entrace but he's slowing down and praying he didn't carry too much. I might have entered a fraction slower but I have no worries, mate.

the brain can only process so many things at once. The brain does far better when it's not distracted by worrying about "am I going to loose the front end." As Keith Code will tell you, survival instincts are more harmful than good. Why trip the reflex when you can instead relax?

but what do I know.

jibosch 05-22-2002 01:04 PM

Re: Buell XB9R
I just received notice that the Fuel Tank Surlyn Cover had come in. About $209 for the Part, $62 for the labor [they are gouging on labor hours!]. So the 5 mph 'drop', cost me about $1000, and after two months I am still waiting for mirrors and a bikini fairing. And this is supposed to be a begginer bike, which Buell should have had spares for.

I guess that if you want to play - you gotta pay - but customers should not expect this to be a 'cheap' Harley, except for the entry price - and that is offset by the inneficient parts system.

So Buyer Beware!

I also own an M2L Cyclone, with S3T handlebars for a more 'standard' seating-position. The XB9 is just too radical for my tastes - so Buell has just lost me as a Customer, because I will not purchase a bike, that I have to lie-on, to cruise down a street! The Cyclone is a great bike - its demise is questionable. And Buell, with only two bikes for 2003, does not bode well for the future of the company. Especially when one is a training bike!

nbyers 05-22-2002 02:06 PM

I really want to like the new Buell too. The engineering is innovative, it's made in the US, it's a small but hot bike and I'm a small guy.

Thanks for the lengthy post, Jeffrey. Good, thoughtful info.

Vlad 05-23-2002 02:17 AM

Re: Buell XB9R
I personally can't wait until you compare it to the Ducati 900SS. I plan to get a new bike in a few months and had settled on the 900SS as the bike of choice, regardless of a seat height that I find a bit too tall. I'm a short guy, about Burn's size, and I would love to find a low seat height alternative. But the real question is does it handle as well as the Ducati?


TwoBuells 05-24-2002 03:34 AM

Re: Buell XB9R/RC51
I just put 150.1 miles on my XB and filled it last night, 3.1 gal...thats 48.7 mpg and it was back and forth to work miles, no hwy all backroads.

buella_1 05-29-2002 05:04 AM

I just got a hold of my blue XB9R yesterday and I don't have the same conclusions as you. I do get the vibrations at idle, but I expected some of that anyway. The vibrations are nothing to me. It only shakes the mirrors at idle which don't really matter to me since you can't pass anyone at a stand-still. These are minuscule vibrations by HD-engine standards also. The vibrations in the hands at idle are nothing like the constant stings of i-4's at high rev. It smooths out pretty good after 1.5k to 2k and stays pretty smooth at least to 5k (haven't got enough miles to really go past that with my break-in style). I like the powerband it has, but I wasn't trying to compare it to a water-cooled litre bike either. I think it's more a matter of adjusting to the type of bike than anything else. The best torque isn't used by keeping the rpms revved high like inline 4's.

Of course any air-cooled bike is going to feel a little short on the top-end when you compare it to water-cooled. The difference here is it does feel as light as it is maybe more, at least with everyday riding. As far as reports of it being heavy on turns and tedencies of pop-ups on the turns, I haven't tried that out yet. But I love the feel of the bike. It has plenty of torque & hp for an daily or weekly ride.

If Buell ever came out with a water-cooled version, if it rode anything like this one, I'm sure I'd get it and add it to my xb9r. I think they would work well marketed sid-by-side. For now I'm riding this one as much as I can. I will look into the pop-up in turns, but doubt I will notice it as much since I'm not an expert course rider.

(I tried to be as neutral as one could who just bought the bike in question)

SR 05-29-2002 09:48 AM

I really want to like this bike, but several things about the Firebolt that are supposed to be innovative don't make sense to me. First, why the heck do you want oil in the swingarm? That just adds unsprung weight, which last I heard doesn't help performance. And the rim brakes? The wheel weighs less but the weight is concentrated on the perimeter of the wheel where it has a greater negative effect. Gas in the frame? Okay... I don't see how that is helpful, but I guess it doesn't hurt. And whats up with that "new" engine? They made the old Sportster lump smaller thereby reducing the torque and horsepower. This is good? It's not like Buell doesn't have the money or the time to design a better engine from scratch. The older 1200 cc Buells were cool because they were/are brutish hybrids that put a hopped up cruiser engine in a sportbike chasis. To me the Firebolt feels different. It 's more like a modern sportbike hobbled by an old tech engine and questionable design features instead of a classic engine in a modern chasis, which has sort of an underdog appeal to it. Just my 2 cents.

nweaver 05-29-2002 12:23 PM

Some make sense, given the engine constraints
The disk mounted brake means the unsprung weight (which the suspension has to deal with) is less, but the rotational inertia (which gives stability) and the cooling (based on the area of the disk) is the same.

The oil in the swingarm was a space saving issue, because the sportster engine is so large compared to a modern 60 degree V twin (Aprilia) or I-4, that removing the oil tank to the swingarm saves a fair amount of space.

The gas in the frame is for two reasons: First the frame has to be huge to give it rigidity (the engine can't be used as a stressed member), so the internal volume might as well be used for SOMETHING. The second is that the airbox needs to be huge to help the engine work, forcing the gas elsewhere.

The smaller engine has less of an effect on horsepower than torque, since it is understroked so it can revv higher. But it is still mostly limited by the 2 valve, pushrod, air cooled basis.

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