Buell Motorcycles Reviews on Cycle Insider (63)
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2006-11-04 2000 Buell Cyclone M2 Motorcycles View Listings

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I have read a bunch of reviews on the 2000 Buell M2 Cyclones, a lot of which complain about the reliability of this bike. I bought my Buell used with 9000 miles on it and have put 11000 miles on it in the 1 year that I have owned it. This is by far the most fun bike I have ever owned. It is comfortable, fast, and very reliable. Except for having the rear head pipe coming off during a 140 mph sprint, the only thing I've done is change the oil and adjust the primary drive chain. I have never had a problem with the rear suspension or the speedo. Granted, Buells are not for everyone but if you like the attitude that comes with this bike and random girls coming up to you in the grocery store parking lot to ask you about your cool looking bike, you should definitely get one. It was the best $ I ever spent!
- Jason, San Luis Obispo, California

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2005-09-28 2000 Buell S3T Thunderbolt Motorcycles View Listings

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I purchased a 2000 fuel injected Thunderbolt earlier this summer. At the time, I also had a 99 Sportster sport. Since the Buell purchase, I have sold the Sportster. The Buell runs better, faster, is lighter, and is a winner. The performance is spectacular and it is amazing what the Buell folks can do to a harley 1200cc engine. I used to think my sporty was pretty quick until I began riding the Buell. All I will ever do now is replace someday with a newer Buell model.
- Mark, St. Louis, Missouri

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2004-10-03 2000 Buell S3T Thunderbolt Motorcycles View Listings

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Talk about American Made, whew, this was my first American bike and it DOES make me GRIN!! Having been raised on Kawasaki's and Triumph triples of the 60's an 70's most of my younger life. The Buell was different, just like my "Tridents" when I fell in love with them. Brutal torque, I had to put a set of Trident bars on it just so I could hold on! I got it with 1400 miles a second owner, race kit, PM wheels, she was a fire breathing dragon as far as I was concerned that handled better than my Triumph! Enough said there. I'm 53 and a bit crippled up (Crashed a SuzukiGS750 in 78 hard, Ouch) so vibration is my enemy. If you can stand the vibration(from my Harley buddy that I let ride it, "What vibration, She's as smooth as silk")she'll take you anywhere you want to go and more reliability than any other bike I have ever owned. I rode her 8000 miles in 16 days last year on a trip out west from Florida to Idaho via California. My longest day was 987 miles, Sonora, Tx to Scotsdale, Az. Most days were around the 750-800 mile mark in all kinds of weather(47 degrees to 100+) including a downpour in Texas that stopped me for 2 hours as it rained 6" in 2 hrs! She sat out in it the whole time and started on the first push of the button. I've heard others tell their tales of woe but my Buell has been great. Simple to repair, I did those valve cover gaskets myself in 4 hours, 2 taillight bulbs in that time, belt still good but wish the tires went as far as the belts do! I have added some creature comforts, Throttlemeister, Moto-lights, the better to see Montana deer with, taller Zero Gravity wind screen, taller still by Rifle would be better! and of course those Ugly western style Triumph Handlebars, I can sit up or lay down on the tank bag. The Saddlebags are the narrow style and have never given a problem and they are always stuffed! Did I mention the brakes? I also have a Monster Fuel injected 2000 md. and have racing cast iron dual Brembos on it, the Buell weighs more and still stops better! About handling, think it and it goes and fully adjustable too! One day I'll have a Goldwing but I don't think it'll make me GRIN like the Buell does, at least not going uphill into a bunch of twisties and the thrill of racing down the otherside. As for what would make it better? Maybe some foward rider pegs, a better seat, that 6 speed tranny from Baker would be nice, the Rifle sheild, that's about it.
- Brian Brodhead, ft. Myers, Florida

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2004-02-10 2000 Buell Lightning X1 Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought a used and modified X-1 with just over 7k miles on it recently. I've been riding almost 30 years and have had cruisers, crotch-rockets and everything in between. Much as I like the silky-smoothness of Japanese sport bikes, I find the personality of such rides lacking (for the record, I have a 600 Ninja in the stable as well). The X-1 though, it redefines image! It is the hairy-chested brawler of performance bikes; don't get one if you're shy and timid. Be prepared to be the center of attention every time you fuel up and plan your schedule to allow chat sessions every time you park it somewhere! The real reward is this bike performs every bit as well as it looks, the chassis is a thing of wonder. It slices and dices the curves and rips down straight stretches with a growl. I also have a 1200 Sportster and the difference in handling and performance is astonishing, the Buell reigns supreme. If you've ever ridden a Sportster, you'll also be amazed at the smoothness of the Buells. On the freeway they cruise along buzz-free at 60+ mph. Nice! In summary, get an X-1 and get in touch with your inner hooligan, you'll be glad you did!!!
- Tres Wright, Dallas, Texas

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2003-09-19 2000 Buell Cyclone M2 Motorcycles View Listings

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Bought 2000 M2 Buell August 2000, $7400 out the door. Have 17100 miles as of 9/15/2003, still all stock. Had the typical rear rocker gasket leak at 3k miles, front one at 10k, no leaks since. Had cell die in battery at approx. 5k miles, warranty replaced. Replaced swing arm bearings at 10k miles during 10k service (Idaho has a lot of bumpy roads), no other problems. Get about 5-6k miles on rear Dunlop D220 (the D205 replacement), about 9k miles on front Dunlop D220. Have gotten 58-60 mpg at 60-80 mph on trips between Boise and Missoula, Montana (have the Ventura baggage system which cuts down on wind resistance). It does a good job for sport/touring on mountain highways with the relatively upright riding posture. The seat is comfy, and there is almost no grip vibration at 65-80 mph. With a tank bag, sometimes use the passenger pegs for feet, rest helmet on tank bag when knees start to ache on real long rides. Also does good in freeway traffic when commuting to work, the bright orange is quite visible (one of the reasons I bought a Buell). The belt drive is clean and quiet too. Brakes are good, use only 2 fingers on front one. Ride with both Harley and BMW guys (on 2000 models, they also have had their share of problems (one R1100S had, at 5k miles, the powertrain gears in the swingarm drive assembly fail catastrophically, which then destroyed the the entire swingarm housing, another, a BMW R1200C, keeps breaking the plastic turn and brake light housings due to vibration, and it too had a battery go bad). Overall, it has been ok for me.
- Dave Hembree, Boise, Idaho

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2003-08-05 2000 Buell Lightning X1 Motorcycles View Listings

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I've ridden Harleys since I was old enough to ride a hummer(12). This was my first sport bike, and wow. That says it all. The only disappointment is the lack of umph past 120 due to the gears and the aero, but how many times do you need that type of jail bound speed? I am currently stroking out the bike to 111 cubic inches, with slight mods to the tank. I have a 54 mm throttle body, a 575 cam with 253 duration, thunderbolt cnc hurricane heads, a k&n ramhorn, and vance&hines s2r exhaust. It's hard to find anyone on the street who can keep up, even without downshifting. the bike is scary in the corners, because it feels like the bike is laughing at the road wanting more. I love my baby, all 11,000 miles of the experience have been great, with no shop visits other than the recalls.
- Matthew Malott, Norfolk, Virginia

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2003-06-27 2000 Buell Cyclone M2 Motorcycles View Listings

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Been riding the M2 for about a year and a half now, and I like it now more than ever. It turns out that my difficulties in lofting the front wheel were resolved by a bit more aggressive use of the throttle. Still can't do anything in 2nd yet, but I'm working on it! A note of caution when adjusting the rear preload--crank that locknut down! Mine backed off on me, and the vibration messed up the threads and now I can't get it to thread back on (doh!). No other reliability issues to report so far; maybe the best $5K I've spent. I found a cheap speedo fix in a Garmin Geko GPS unit for $95, and I think that the sputtering is just the bike's way of telling me to switch to reserve. It's annoying when I'm on the highway, but now I can feel it coming and switch tanks on the fly. I sometimes dream about Suzuki's new SV1000, but I think the M2 looks cooler and was a whole lot cheaper. It's all the bike I'll ever need--especially now that I'm a dad!
- Fred Janke, Detroit, Michigan

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2003-05-17 2000 Buell S3T Thunderbolt Motorcycles View Listings

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I now own a 99 S3T in Colorado after owning several bikes from 5 "Yap" bikes to 3 different Harley's and have enjoyed most of them. After riding a freinds S2 all through the Italian alps for 3 years I knew what my next bike would be after returning to the states. I love to "Cruz" and "Ride" the S3T allows me to do both. It's very comfy on the long runs and when it's time to get on it this bike holds the road like glue and grants unbeatable control in the curves. The bike does generate some heat to the legs and a optional tall touring windscreen but overall this one is a keeper, don't know why they discontinued the S3. What were you thinking Eric?
- Rocky Mtn. Buell'r, Colorado Springs, Colorado

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2002-12-31 2000 Buell S3T Thunderbolt Motorcycles View Listings

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I am 57 and have been riding since I was 14. I had the Buell 2000 S3T for 2 years and was a fun travel companion. Mine was full race, chrome sportster engine, black/nuclear blue, tons of carbon fiber, great noise, but too much attention had to be paid to the road in front of you. I traded it in for an Electro glide Classic. The S3T can be picked up at the Gainesville, Fl dealership for 1/2 the price paid for, not including all the extras.
- Dennis Trimble, Gainesville, Florida

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2002-10-22 2000 Buell Cyclone M2 Motorcycles View Listings

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Stock this bike leaves much to be desired. With performance mods to exhaust, carb, intake, and ignition you will be pleased. With head-work/cams, you will be dazzled. This is definitely a bike for gear-heads, not for R.U.B.s. This bike excels in the twisties, sounds awesome with after-market exhaust, and is defintely a head-turner. If you want something different that begs to be customized and tweaked; this is a great all-arounder for ya. Rear brake is weak, vibrations are high below 3000 rpm, and bike is unstable at 95 mph +.
- Jake Stern, Charleston, South Carolina

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2002-09-04 2000 Buell Cyclone M2 Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought my first 2000 Buell Cylone(with added tachometer) about a month & a half ago & have never been happier with a bike before in my life! Over the past 18 years I've owned several different makes of motorcycles (four dirt bikes not included), from a vintage two stroke twin to a Norton Commando to a dual-sport to a full fairing sportbike, But have never owned anything like this!! The first thing I did to the bike was to replace the stock pipe with a V&H slip-on and remove the stock air box and add a ForceWinder intake system in its place. The torque is amazing and the handling superb! If like me you're interested in a beautifully built great handling comfortable sport/tourer with that impresive "Harley sound" but either can't come up with the cash for a big twin or can't see yourlelf clad in leather chaps with little more than a skull cap helmet for protection, this may be the bike for you.. Like a harley, this bike definitely turns heads on the road! Be prepared for lots of interested people with lots of questions and comments about the bike.. But make no mistake... The Harley riders won't consider you one of their own, just because you're riding an American built bike with a "Harley like" engine in it. That aside, there's just something about cruising down the road on a head turning bike, making that unmistakable rumbling sound that I just never get tired of. This is a bike I'll hold onto for a long time to come! -Tim
- Tim/Owner/Rider, San Mateo County, California

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2002-08-01 2000 Buell Cyclone M2 Motorcycles View Listings

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I purchased a NEW Cyclone 2000,M2 from the oldest Harley dealer in the US. A.D. Farrow, in September. I love the way the bike rides, but I have had a bunch of problems, all starting at 2,700 miles. Rear rocker box leak, rins hot, and now my speedometer is only working half the time, get this, one day after getting her out of the shop! Also, Harley's people don't seem to understand how the warranty works. I haven't had it a year=, and they STILL made me pay the 50 dollar co-pay. that's not fair, and it's not right under the terms of the warranty. Good bike I guess, but beware, they will try to cheat you at the dealer when this NEW machine starts with ALL these problems when it's brand new. I'm still fighting to get my 50 dollars back. I need it to get the speedometer fixed now!! Buell can do better, just watch those snakey service reps.
- Glenn Vinson, Reynoldsburg, Ohio

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2002-07-15 2000 Buell Cyclone M2 Motorcycles View Listings

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Although my M2 has been somewhat fun to ride, it by no measure compares to the endless problems I have had with it. Beware Beware Beware!!! Here are the problems I have had so far during only the first 10k miles: 500 miles: speedo failure 550 miles: speedo failure (again) 1598 miles: rear rocker cover gasket leak 4500 miles: battery failure causing bike to die completely (in the desert away from civilization) 5000 miles: muffler cracked and nearly fell off 5303 miles: primary gasket seal leak 6500 miles: cracked header pipe 7300 miles: rear shock absorber failure 8500 miles: primary gasket seal leak 9481 miles: speedo failure (yes, again) 9481 miles: front brake rotor deemed bad (was this way from factory) 10000 miles: cracked header pipe (again) 10611 miles: speedo inop (gee, again?) But the real point of this review is to let you all, whom are planning to purchase a Buell, that the warrantee is what gets you. I paid an additional $1200 cash at the time of purchasing this bike for the extended warrantee. What the salesman conveinently forgets to tell you is that after the first year, the extended warrantee kicks in and you are required to pay $50 deductable for each and every time you have a failure. As you can see by the problems I have had, it can get expensive. I might also add that Harley-Davidson Extended Warrantee is not all that friendly or concerned with you once you have purchased the bike. I sent a 3 page letter to Buell in Milwaukee an FYI letter stating the dissatisfaction I am having with the materials and workmanship, the customer service (or lack thereof) and the letter I received was nothing more than a "well, too bad". Beware of these guys. Get a nice Japanese bike like my 20 year-old Yamaha that never breaks. Good luck Rob Bowdish
- Robert Bowdish, grass valley, California

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2002-04-19 2000 Buell Cyclone M2 Motorcycles View Listings

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Last year, I bought a 2002 Buell Cyclone and have just hit the 2,500 mile mark. One thing I must admit, you do need to have a mechanical sense if want to be happy with it. The dry sump confuses a lot of riders, and sometimes people overfill it. You really need to check it right after riding, because the oil may leak past the valve and run back into the motor then you add oil again and it is overfilled. I like the oil control of the dry sump, but you need to know something about motors to appreciate it. I agree on the break-in period and the need to follow the manual. Also, be careful about the motor oil you use. These air cooled motors are particular and I do not second guess the guys that made the motor. Too many guys out there know things that simply are not true, and they blame equipment for their own ineptitude. The Cyclone motor does produce a bunch of torque exactly where you use it on the road. It is not a repli-racer crotch rocket (btw: I like those types of bikes too). It will get to "straight to jailspeeds very easily. It will lift the front wheel very easily, if you are into that sort of thing. It has a fast steering and a lack of a real fairing, so your arms are out in the wind. If you an unaware rider and you hold on tight with your hands, the buffeting of your arms will shake the front end and that is very un-cool on the far side of 90 mph. Many guys out there say the bike is unstable when it is really improper riding technique. They would be happier with a slower front end. My only big complaint about the stock Cyclone is that annoying hick-up it does right after closing the throttle and opening it just a little bit. It does not happen all the time, but when it does, it causes a momentary delay. I understand that it is part of the lean stock carburetor setup. I did make some changes that really did make the bike a lot better in throttle response. I re-jetted the carburetor, replaces the big air box with a Forcewinder air intake, and replaced the stock muffler with a Vance and Hines SS2R slip-on. It really made the bike feel more awake, and it is worth it for the sound and look. It is not so loud that your neighbors will complain so much, and now, it does sound more like a Harley. It hick-ups much less. I have been told by another Cyclone owner that the 42mm Mikuni really helps more than re-jetting, but it is almost $400 and I decided to wait. Also, the motor is not covered by that air-box. You tall guys will like that the Forcewinder air intake gives you more knee room. The Buell Cyclone does draw a lot of looks in my small town, and I am not always glad to get the attention. I can ride it all day with no problem, and I am middle aged and my back is not the best. The 5 gallon gas tank will get you fairly far, which helps when the gas stations a few and far between. The dealers have not been gouging on the price as they do for regular Harleys, and the Buell will not hold its resale as well as the other Harleys. Also, I understand that 2002 is the last year for the steel frame Buell, except for the Blast. Supposedly, the larger 2003 Buell models will be aluminum framed.
- Greg K, Kansas City, Kansas

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2002-03-13 2000 Buell Lightning X1 Motorcycles View Listings

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had mine almost two years and 11000 miles with only a speedo sensor to replace.sounds awsome with the vance-hines muffler.really fun bike to ride.
- bobby getman, charlotte, North Carolina

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2002-03-06 2000 Buell Cyclone M2 Motorcycles View Listings

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This message is to all those who complain about this bike. I really don't care to hear about your GSXRZ700RZ1218 Crotch Rocket and how the it'll blow this bike away, etc. This bike, being a product of Harley Davidson, has it's share of problems, most of which I have dealt with. If the bike is properly broke in as specified in the manual, you shouldn't have many problems at all. The reason there are so many complaints about this bike is because of all those out there who think they can jump on this bike and crank it up to 10,000 RPM's. It just doesn't work like that. All I can say is this is the most fun I have ever had on a bike. It is a high maintenance bike...no question (as are all Harley's). Just as long as you follow all instructions in the manual for the break in, and you regulary inspect the bike and catch problems before hand, I would recommend this bike to anyone who doesn't mind getting their hands dirty. I love bikes...riding, cleaning, and working on them. This is why I'm not complaining about Buells. They are a good all-around bike and I am very please with my Cyclone M2.
- Mike Ferguson, Lincoln Park, Michigan

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2002-01-28 2000 Buell Cyclone M2 Motorcycles View Listings

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I owned a 2000 M2 for one year. It had been in the shop 8 times! Problems included: oil leak on both rockers, oil leak on rear shock, speedometer, front forks, loose seat, swing arm rubber mount, muffler mount, battery. Also handling at high speed is very unstable due to the fact that the swing arm moves to the sides being rubber mounted.
- Nick, Binghamton, New York

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2001-12-27 2000 Buell Cyclone M2 Motorcycles View Listings

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I have a 2000 Cyclone M2. It is the "MOST" fun motorcycle I have ever ridden, and I have ridden over 70 different bikes over the past 7 years. It is not a typical crotch rocket, rather, it is an extremely agile TORQUE MONSTER. It is truly a 0-100mph kind of bike. No major mechanical issues yet either. If you want a ride that will wrap a smile around your head every time....get the Cyclone!
- Motorcyclist, New Jersey

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2001-12-26 2000 Buell Cyclone M2 Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought the Buell in Aug. 2001. Black of course. It has been a joy to ride, and hell of a head turner. I recomend the Vance and Hines slip on, and jetting the carb. I did this before my first 600 miles. Just like riding a different machine! I also added the Racoon tank mask. The bike fits me amazingly well, being 6'5 creates some limitations to the choices of bike to purchase. I had a rear rocker leak @ 2500 miles, and the rear faring was cracked at the rear mount points @ 3000, all covered under warranty. If you like loud, torque, and agressive handling, this is the machine for you!
- Steve B., Columbus, Ohio

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2001-09-25 2000 Buell Cyclone M2 Motorcycles View Listings

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Just to let a couple of you know -- HVPS stands for Helmholtz Volume Power System.
- Rider, England

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2001-08-07 2000 Buell Cyclone M2 Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought my first American Bike last May, a 2000 Blue Streak M2. Man...this bike handles great and is fun in the turns. Other than that, what a piece of junk! The bike spends most of the time in the service dept. It only has 2300 miles on it (not for lack of effort on my part) because it has had the following problems: 1. week 1-Electronic ignition problem $1400,00, 2. Bad head $2300.00, 3. Bad carb $500.00, 4. Broken muffler and mount $300.00 (although, I got an upgraded V/H pipe out of this). The Harley dealers treat Buellers like retarded stepchildren and the parts distribution system is slower than slow. I will never buy another Harley product and will reluctantly buy foreign.
- Pete, Benicia, California

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2001-06-03 2000 Buell Cyclone M2 Motorcycles View Listings

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If you still have the the fuel canister on the bike get rid of it (vapor lock).
- jason, USA

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2001-05-26 2000 Buell Lightning X1 Motorcycles View Listings

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This bike is simply too much fun. I have had a race kit installed and the power is staggering while remaining silky smooth. Oh, and the sound is awesome. This bike is a blast to ride and a real head turner. This is my second Buell and I have no complaints with the bike. Additionally, dealing with the sales and service staff at Danbury H/D-Buell is truly a pleasure.
- GMorris, New Fairfield, Connecticut

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2001-05-16 2000 Buell S3T Thunderbolt Motorcycles View Listings

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Well, okay, I have an S3, not an S3-T... but I've added the factory luggage, handlebars, and aftermarket larger windscreen. All that's missing are the fairing lowers, which I don't want anyway. :) I really like this bike. It replaces another sport-tourer, a 1985 Suzuki GS1150ES, and everything I liked about the Suzuki is present in the Buell... only a little moreso. The handling is excellent, the motor strong and torquey, the brakes powerful (albeit a bit grabby when it was new). It also draws attention from other motorcyclists everywhere I go ("What is that? A Harley sportbike? Cool!"). And, for a 6'2" 200-pound rider, the bike *fits*. And there's no damned chain to lube! Yay, belt drive! The rough edges part... the 2000 Buells have had a couple of recalls (rear shock, front muffler mount). At 2500 miles, it developed an oil leak on the rear cylinder rocker-arm cover... a warranty fix. It spits a little oil back through the breather tubes. I'd trust it to go across the country, but let's be honest... it's not a Honda in the reliability department. that's okay, though, at least for me... part of my relationship with my bike involves a set of wrenches and TLC. I like it.
- Lance, San Jose, California

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2001-05-04 2000 Buell Cyclone M2 Motorcycles View Listings

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Without a doubt the most smiles-per-mile of any bike I have ever owned! It's truly an awesome Street Bike, meaning it's not street bike trying to pose as a race bike. It's got fantastic performance from 0 to 120 mph, stump-pulling torque, and carves up a back road with ease. I did a 400+ mile day last week in the CA foothills, all twisties, all day. I ride the bike fairly hard, wearing the tires all the way to the edge. (I did have to raise the footpegs to get clearance, my only real complaint about the bike). I have had one rockerbox leak at about 10000 miles. This bike is super easy to live with and maintain, I can't wait to see what this new model is going to be.
- Doug, California

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