2009 Buell Blast®
Thorough knowledgeBy (I am an Owner) on Feb 13, 2010
I have owned a Buell Blast (bought for my wife), I have taught the MSF based Rider's Edge motorcycle safety course, and I have managed a motorcycle safety school where Blasts were in the fleet.
I am a 41 year motorcycle rider and racer; and I have been a motorcycle instructor since ... 2000 and I am an ATV instructor, a MSF Dirtbike instructor, and finally a road-racing instructor for severl track-day promotors. I have been involved in the m/c industry for over 20 years in some capacity or other. My personal fleet is currently 9 bikes; I've owned Japanese, American, and Italian brands.
I give that lengthy intro to say this with confidence: The Buell Blast is a very poor starter bike. The clutch has a vague ingagement zone where the clutch initially engages and then does not continue as you slide the clutch...then 'bam' it engages all at once. This is something that a veteran rider can overcome easily, but for the beginner rider this confuses their concept of "friction zone" and what it is supposed to do.
Also, the bike weighs quite a bit more than comparable bikes...QUITE a bit more. The tall-ish gearing makes it a bit cumbersome in parkinglot situations. The build-quality is not on par with competing bikes, either; fitment and leaks are reminders that Harley Davidson is in the family tree. The bike shakes so much at idle that bolts have been known to back out, especially the mirrors that won't seem to stay put no matter how tight they are tightened. And the bikes love to foul plugs (a product of the "automatic choke"...which we have dubbed the "automatic JOKE").
For a 492cc bike to shake like this and only make 27 ponies (at the rear tire) and have these collective short-comings is unsatisfactory.
Perfect Starter BikeBy (I am an Owner) on Jun 14, 2009
Having not ridden a bike in 30 years I decided life was short and bought a Blast. The bike exceeds my expecations for performance. It corners beautifully and top speed is somewhere around 95. Plenty of speed and fun for an old guy just starting out. Highly recommended and the Harley folks are ... always helpful with maintenance, questions, etc. Have a blast!
Is a BlastBy (I am an Owner) on Apr 17, 2009
I own one of these Blasts and it has been a decent bike. They are priced low, are easy to maintain, and seem pretty durable so far. I have had mine for over a year now and have not had any problems with it after 1000 miles. Another great thing is that these bikes are built here in the USA!
Real Riders Think OtherwiseBy (I am an Enthusiast) on Nov 02, 2008
My wife has ridden a 2005 Blast for 55k miles. She has ridden it across the US 3 times. It did have one problem in that time that left her on the side of the road. The stator went bad. It was not a hard repair in the garage.
I think the bike fits a niche that no other bike does, and that is ... an inexpensive, dependable bike that corners well, and has a low seat height of 25inches. The bike has plenty of power at 500cc and keeps up with my Yamaha FJR1300cc on the highway at 80mph all day long. I have ridden the new Ninja 250cc and I like it but it will not keep up with the Blast and cost is much higher on that bike.
The Blast is not junk and has proven to be dependable and fun. It is not for everyone but the unique design and great ride puts this bike in a class by itself.
You will find a wealth of information at this site on Cross-Country travel by Blast.
AVOID AVOID AVOIDBy (I am an Owner) on Oct 27, 2008
Poorly built, dated design, junk. Bike falls apart with minimal useage.