Buell Firebolt XB9R Motorcycles Reviews (28)
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2011-04-07 2003 Buell Firebolt XB9R Sport Bikes View Listings

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I bought my 03 XB9R used with 6,000 miles on it from the original owner. It has fantastic handling, is comfortable (even 2 up), has great sound & looks, with fun while having usable power (especially on winding hills we have here in Colorado). I love the bike and, thanks to Erik Buell's unique design, I have gotten nothing but compliments on it for its looks, sound, and even its performance from the friends I've let ride it. The only troubling issues I've encountered have been high and premature (I think) maintenance costs (Intake manifold seals, injectors, and fork seals required replacement at 7,500 miles) but otherwise it runs flawessly. This probably wouldn't be half as bad if someone other than HD could provide service and parts for the bike. It seems that these cycles are not universally understood by the HD mechanics tasked with providing OEM services to them and parts, controlled completely by HD, may become an issue as present inventories lessen. But, like any piece of art, it's beautiful to behold, fun to experience, and I think someday will be considered a classic. If you have one, take care of it.
- Mike, Litleton, Colorado

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2008-09-12 2006 Buell Firebolt XB9R Sport Bikes View Listings

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This bike looks great and rides and sounds perfectly. It has a very sporty look. Hands down it is the greatest handling bike out there and has the awesome sound of an American V-twin. It also gets excellent gas mileage. I will be riding Buells for a very long time. I highly recommend Buell to everyone!
- Josh, Pensacola, Florida

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2007-01-12 2003 Buell Firebolt XB9R Sport Bikes View Listings

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Everything about this bike is phenomenal. Handling is superior and the brakes could stop a semi truck in a second! But most of all, if you want a flashy bike that gets a lot of attention, get a Firebolt. I have had so many compliments on how the bike looks and sounds (with a jardine rt1 exhaust) it makes me feel like im on top of the world! Flash, style, speed, handling, this bike has it all!
- Brandon , Wausau, Wisconsin

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2005-06-03 2005 Buell Firebolt XB9R Sport Bikes View Listings

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I purchased the bike yesterday and let me tell you it's an awesome bike....it's very comfortable and provides great performance in the handling category. haven't been able to open it up because it's far from being broken in but I'll write back once I have more miles on it for an update....its a real eye catcher too.
- dave steady, newington, Connecticut

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2005-03-31 2003 Buell Firebolt XB9R Sport Bikes View Listings

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This thing is the best purchase I have ever made in my 26 years of existence. I am absolutely, without any hesitation, in love with this bike. The throttle response is great and it pulls cleanly and hard, at least hard enough, from down low. Today, I picked it up (bought it used with a 1000 miles on it) and took it for a spin around town. I jumped on the freeway and I had it to 80mph before I even realized it. This thing has plenty of get up and go, despite other reviews I have read on it. People are in awe of it everywhere I rode it. As for support, the people at the dealership have done an excellent job catering to all of my needs, I needed the mirror spacers, as I'm too tall for stock, and they got them on in short notice. One thing about the size of the bike. It is small, but my frame fits fine on it. It is actually a very comfortable bike, at least to me. Oh, and everything that is said about the turn-on-a-dime handling and superior front brakes, they're absolutely true. Do yourself a favor and test ride one of these bikes, you will enjoy it.
- Matt P, Appleton, Wisconsin

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2005-02-01 2003 Buell Firebolt XB9R Sport Bikes View Listings

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I am a 280 plus pound man who rides a 2003 Buell Firebolt XB9R. There aren't many people who know about Buell American Motorcycles, let alone ride them. That is a shame because it is an excellent motorcycle that has provided miles of trouble free riding for me. It provides the sort of exclusivity that exotic car owners enjoy for less than a fraction of the money. It sounds like a small block chevy at low speeds. Everyone asks me what kind of bike it is at traffic lights or while I'm posted up at the mall. My only complaints are that the bike leaves you smelling like you've been working on a car all day after short rides. And although the bike is virtually trouble free, routine maintenance is rather costly and frequent. Again it is the perfect choice if you choose to be unlike others who crave liter bike performance; however, if you want a bike that you won't lose in a parking lot, the Buell Firebolt XB9R is the only choice.
- Brandon Lewis, Albany, Georgia

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2004-11-26 2003 Buell Firebolt XB9R Sport Bikes View Listings

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Buell had the guts to design something that does not look Japaneese and that has the torque that a Mustang or Camaro owner could appreciate. The braking is awesome. The bike is a lady picker- upper. The sound of the bike gets the attention of any teenager and you are suddenly cool. The bike is so reliable most guys think it's a Japanese bike. Even my Japanese friends are buying Buells now.
- bill saltos, arlington, Virginia

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2004-05-11 2003 Buell Firebolt XB9R Sport Bikes View Listings

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THIS IS A REALLY FUN BIKE TO RIDE. NO, IT MAY NOT BE THE FASTEST, BUT IT HAS GOT PLENTY OF POWER AND A LOT OR TORQUE. YOU CAN EASILY GET THE FRONT WHEEL UP IN FIRST OR SECOND GEAR. I BOUGHT MINE THIS PAST SEPTEMBER AND HAVE HAD A BALL WITH IT SO FAR. I HAVE NOT ADDED THE RACE KIT YET, BUT PLAN TO DO SO SOON. I LOVE THE FACT THAT YOU don't SEE THEM EVERYWHERE.
- BERRY HOLLAND, JENSEN BEACH, Florida

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2004-03-29 2003 Buell Firebolt XB9R Sport Bikes View Listings

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First off this bike was not intended to compete with the inline four top end screamers. I had an XL lightning in which had a good amount more power, but lost it in a wreck. So I test rode a XB12r and XB9r, I bought the 9r cause it was a little less and didn't seem much slower as it would pull up in first gear pretty easy and the other 9r they had would not. I'm no motorcycle expert, but I have owned different bikes and have been able to ride many a bike. The XB9r fits me the best, good torque, good brakes, good gas mileage, comfortable at least for me, and as the add says different in every sense, isn't that what riding is about, finding a motorcycle that fits you the best and just riding it. It's not the best at anything but it does everything very well. And the 9r will do better than 120 mph. Just a little note the X1 I had would pull up into a wheelie at 2600 rpm with just throttle, how many inline fours will do that.
- mvh, clarksville, Tennessee

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2004-03-27 2003 Buell Firebolt XB9R Sport Bikes View Listings

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Walked past the bike in the dealership as I thought it was a 250cc. Decided to spoil myself and had organized to ride the race kitted version of the XB9R straight up. I now believe there is such a thing as one finger brakes as coming down a grade to a stop sign I managed a fifty meter endo. My face was still hurting three days later from grinning whilst riding possibly the most fun bike ever created. If you can get over the spec sheet bullshit and put away the egos about who has the most HP you will actually enjoy the bike for what it was designed.
- Jason, Blackwater, Australia

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2004-02-06 2003 Buell Firebolt XB9R Sport Bikes View Listings

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Ok like most of the others on here I'll be the first to admit its not gonna brake any top speed records. But thats not what this bike is all about, its light, short and flickable, the looks alone are what sold this bike to me, I ordered it from 300 miles away without even riding it or any other Buell. Got it on my door step and just drooled over its looks, wanted one ever since I saw it at the NEC bike show in the UK. Its a fantastic bike to ride, handles really good, will keep up with most things up to about 120mph, which is quick enough for most. Who wants to be doing 160mph+ all the time I mean when's the last time YOU did over 140mph?? So why do you need a Fire blade that does 175mph??? It makes me laugh when these people buy a bike because its got 160bhp, there is that old saying BHP sells bikes, Torque Wins Races enough said, this bike has plenty of that, in fact this bike has similar torque as the following: (bare in mind the Buell is a V-Twin and V-Twin's have more torque than BHP) First the Fireblade CBR1000RR 2004,163 hp, 178 kg and 80 ft*lbs. Second the R1,172 hp, 172 kg, and 76.6 ft*lbs. Third the ZX10R, 170 hp, 165 kg and 75 ft*lbs. For the XB9R, 92hp @ 7200 (REMEMBER IT'S A V-TWIN), 92Nm-68 ft-lb @ 5500 rpm and Weight is 175kgs. So when you start to look at the details and the fact that it drops into corners like nothing else you have ever ridden, and the fact that the wheelbase is shorter than an R6, you start to see the potential. Torque is where its at on this bike, its got LOTS of it, I got The Race Kit fitted and the XB12S air box cover (add's more grunt due to its internal design), plenty of over run, popping and rumbling like those monster V8's sounds fantastic, its just so different from any other bike out there, when its parked up at the pub with the other Japanese bikes, its always draws the attention away from the more tricked up bikes. I had a Honda Hornet before, and was worried about build quality of the Buell's, but I've not had it long but I also have not had any problems with it at all, runs fine, goes great, looks fantastic, its so very different from the other stuff out there, they all look the same. Its a bike for the individual, if you want to be different and your not shy......get yourself one of these things!!
- Steve Jones, Southampton, Yukon Territory, United Kingdom

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2003-10-21 2003 Buell Firebolt XB9R Sport Bikes View Listings

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Have a "03 XB9R. Almost 6000 miles. Not one problem. Not the fastest bike out there, but as quick as anything. Lot's of get-up-and-go and quick handling. Will outhandle ANYTHING comparable and carry more speed through the turns than any other street bike.
- Buelligan, Detroit, Michigan

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2003-07-01 2003 Buell Firebolt XB9R Sport Bikes View Listings

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I recently purchaed this bike and had the race kit installed. It has plenty of torque and power.I had owned ducatis to gsxrs , and this by far is the most fun bike to ride. It is so nimble and compact. Only reason I'm not giving it five stars i would like a little more power, but for a v twin the bike is awesome.
- Hunter, strawberry plains, Tennessee

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2003-06-22 2003 Buell Firebolt XB9R Sport Bikes View Listings

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Just got my first ride on this bike and it definitely impressed. The belt drive left the biggest impression on me as it is way smoother than a chain. I also rode a Lightning that did not have the race prep and it was noticeably slower. The Firebolt feels much faster than my current Ducati 900SS if that is any comparison. Overall the bike felt very tight and well put together. Plenty of power and tourque.
- Dino, Lakewood, Washington

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2002-12-04 2003 Buell Firebolt XB9R Sport Bikes View Listings

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I purchased my Firebolt this May and have since put about 5,000 miles on it, and I still have mixed feelings about it. For one thing it is way too expensive, and definately should not be classified as a sportfighter. It doesn't have the horsepower or torque to compete with any 600cc or larger sportbike on the road. This includes in town where the torque should help or in long straight aways. Even worse, I live in the coldest city in the continental US and it overheats. They put a lot of money and time into this bike and they should have at least liquid cooled this motor and bumped the hp at least 30 more ponies. The transmission is average, mine seems to be very sticky at slow speeds, and will not go into first gear from second unless you are moving at a farily good rate. The only other complaint I really have is the low beam headlight, the first time I went into a corner at night I lost all vision of the inside of the corner and nearly drove into the ditch; nor could I read any streets signs that night. I corrected this by moving the focal point to a considerably higher position, but now on coming traffic always brights me. I guess that's ok now that I can see and read where I'm going. As far as the handling, unless you are professional, you will not be able to out corner another sportbike. I don't care what the ads say, you really have to know whay you are doing. All in all this is a great beginner bike. Good torque to get going from a stop, but not enough to get you into much trouble. You really have to try to get the front tire to come up. I love my American products, and I hate to say this, but I think Eric made a great bike to cruise on in stlye not to race. When it comes to racing and durability, you had better buy a Janpanese bike. They are just flat out a better built and faster bike. don't believe me ask your local Buell Mechanic, if he says otherwise he's lying and find somewhere else to buy you Firebolt.
- Nate, Duluth, Minnesota

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2002-10-27 2003 Buell Firebolt XB9R Sport Bikes View Listings

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I can honestly say (because I have both Jap Bikes and American) that the XB9R for the twisties is the best... for all out top-end however, the mods will require extensive and expensive re-work of the engine and body. If you want a Deal's Gap killer, this is the bike. It will out pace my GSXR-750 and 1000R all the time in the corners and can out pace and out run the compitition in the twisties hands-down!!! The Suzuki's however are tops in the top-end as are the Kawasaki's but where you loose these jap bikes with this little American wonder is in the deep twisties. The XB9R stock is pretty pathetic... it does require the Race ECM, Race Muffler, Power Commander and reduction of about 10 lbs in total to really be a major threat to the R1. http://groups.msn.com/xb9r The XB9R is a great bike of low weight and great power to weight ratio.... the power is easy to stroke from this bike with a stroker kit and is a real kick-ass machine with the Brian Nallin 1050cc kit installed and re-maps.
- Corey B. James, Savannah, Tennessee

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2002-09-30 2003 Buell Firebolt XB9R Sport Bikes View Listings

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I recently got a chance to ride the XB9R with it's 'race' kit installed. The new mufffler makes the bike louder (of course) and the new computer and air filter seem to be doing their jobs well. The increase in HP is not really noticable until you get on the throttle. The bike accelerates smoothly thanks to it's really nice fuel injection system and almost doesn't feel like your going as fast as you are, then as you reach the top of the tach you feel it kick in. With a grunt of torque and the familure pull on the bars that you get from most other sport bikes finally hitting you. Turns even at high revs with high speeds (ok, I was only doing about 85 in a 40) are easy and quick. The bike has an incredibly light feel to it with all the weight centered and lowered to allow you to really flick it over, even if your a little lighter than the guys that ride. Careful if you light (compared to some of the guys I ride with) you may change lanes without realizing it. Compared to a GSXR or bike of that ilk, this is not a screaming fast crotch rocket, however, once in the turns there is a confidence that makes you unaware of how far your leaning over. This thing has a 45* lean angle.. on both sides.. and you can find your knees a lot closer to the ground than you thought they were in a hurry! I did have to wonder about the popping and mini backfire sounds that I kept hearing. Did the 'race' kit cause this or is the bike not set up right first off? Brakes on this bike are incredible and you will want to play with the adjustable levers so that you don't high side yourself, it's a one finger stop on the front brake, while the back wouldn't stop you from 60mph in less than 150 yards (at least that's how it feels).. Of course, you just lay on the rear going into a turn, and with all that torque you pull right out of it with power to spare. The 'race' kit does up the rear wheel HP which this bike needs. At stop lights, I couldn't help but think I was sitting on a large vibrator but once it's rolling, that almost obscene and annoying buzz goes away for the most part. If like me, you like to carry a few extras for when you stop.. well the 'trunk' really isn't. I could fit maybe a small wallet, 2 tampons, a lip stick and a small cell phone in, barely. The CBR's have a much nicer trunk and a girl does need her carry space. The odd look of the bike (marvin the martian?) makes it kind of neat, it's not a 'every' bike. The colors are kind of woeful though. I like the blue but wish you had a choice of something other than that orange some color blind stylist picked for the lettering on that bike. The white version has blue and orange for lettering. Oh well.. it's minor and cosmetic but I get to worry about things like that, you may not care. The riding poisition, compared to a gixer or CBR is almost relaxed, your handlebars are a little higher up and your tuck is not as severe, this keeps less of your weight on the arms and lower back. don't get me wrong, this is no toursport type ride. You will want to stop and take those stretch brakes while carving back roads, maybe just not as fast you would on a full bred sporter. Overview? If your looking for really fast, this is not it. If your looking for handling.. Grab this bike and hang on. If you want looks, it's unique enough to draw a lot of glances and even a few 'what is that?' at gas stations or other places you meet riders. It's fast enough for any back road or twisty, but on the super slab there are cruiser bikes (not just v-rod or Mr. Max) that I think can outrun it. But out turn.. never. For what it's worth.. I'd like to see a few better color choices. A little more power stock. Less backfire pop, pop while I'm riding and perhaps a little more room under the tail cowling. Hey, where do I hang my helmet on this thing?
- LadiesKiss, Washington , District of Columbia

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2002-09-16 2003 Buell Firebolt XB9R Sport Bikes View Listings

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Over the past few years, i have had a wide range of bikes. I have been waiting to get on one of these since I first saw the pics.My current bikes are a 1998 honda ace750 and a 2001 kawasaki zrx1200r. I recently bought sold a 2001 triumph daytona because of the riding position on my bad back! I did a 10 mile demo ride and here are my thoughts: styling: refreshing and different,, quality was impressive. Handling: fantastic, loves to fall into turns and very light on it's feet! Power: needs about 30 hp and it would be awesome! Engine: idles rough and shakes like a paint shaker. Horrible compared to the competition///NEEDS THE VROD MOTOR! Like it, but wont buy one.
- joe lacara jr, hammond, Louisiana

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2002-09-06 2003 Buell Firebolt XB9R Sport Bikes View Listings

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Little? you say? Yes, that's right. i am only 5'6" with boots on and i feel very comfortable at stops( I use the one foot method, due to reasons listed earlier). My reason for 4 stars and not 5 are as follows. The mirrors suck, and I wish it was more in the 95- 100 HP ball park. However, I'm a bit spoiled you see, I work in a dealership. i get to ride all sorts of rockets. My buddies I ride with are on GSX-R 750, Triumph Daytona 955i, and Yamaha R1. I do have a hard time keeping up on the long straights, but in the twisties it's all about the rider!! I only have 550 miles on my new XB so I have only pushed it slightly. It seems to wheelie OK in 1st and 2nd around 5500 rpm's, But it's no liter bike. Overall, a very fun little bike. Handles like a dream, accelerates nicley. If more HP is my only complaint than so be it. Ride the son of a b@*ch!!!
- d-rock, auburn, Maine

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2002-08-28 2003 Buell Firebolt XB9R Sport Bikes View Listings

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I have not had a chance to ride one yet but love everything about it. The only thing that i am worried about is the fact that there are only three go fast parts put out for it so far and they will give it another 10 ponies or so not the 110 hp at the wheel that any other V-twin can easily put out. I love the new wheel and brake assembly up front. It makes the bike look a little custom. The new xb9s is the bike to have if you like twins and dont need 110 hp.
- Dave M., Apple Valley, Minnesota

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2002-08-07 2003 Buell Firebolt XB9R Sport Bikes View Listings

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Ok, I know what your thinking.. what does he mean by 'amost'? Ok, here's my experiance on the bike. First off, let me tell you about the good and the better.. The bikes got a new engine that produces TONS of torque. The brakes are the most incredible (almost deadly) thing I've ever felt. The frame is one big leap forward in design. Tiny (52") wheel base, 52% of the weight on the front tire.. Get the idea? This bike will turn on the edge of the dime, it's almost thought controled. The brakes stop you so fast that more than one finger application could high side you at moderate to high speeds. I was able to 'acidentally' pull a wheelie through second without really trying. The digital fuel injection seems dialed in and ready to produce as much power as the engine can, the forced air intake works. Dings? A couple.. That cooling fan is a little odd when you shut it down and listen to it hum. Why is it not water cooled? The steering is kind of twitchy, so beginners or idiots this bike is for..NOT! For those of you that crave all out straight line flight.. it's got some, but not enough power to rival the big liter bikes from the Japanese names.. However. if you want to turn, and turn now.. like on the back roads, you can't beat it.. This bike is almost perfect and shows that some Americans can think in terms outside the usual box. There is nowhere that I know of where 165mph plus speeds are usable on the open roads.. So this is a greater joy to ride and to turn.. it's designed with real riding in mind.. and if you have what it takes.. grab a hold and straighten some curves! This is a spetacular ride!
- Teach, Sterling, Virginia

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2002-07-23 2003 Buell Firebolt XB9R Sport Bikes View Listings

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This thing flat out shocked me. I swear I thought about turning and it did. I've never ridden anything so effortless.
- Dave, Indy, Indiana

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2002-07-18 2003 Buell Firebolt XB9R Sport Bikes View Listings

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Doesn't make great reading from the spec sheet, and most critics of this bike have pre-judged it before riding it or going by Buell's slighlty dodgy reliability history. Ride one. I've just took delivery of mine and still breaking it in. But the demo ride sold the bike to me. It's so easy to ride very fast. the Dunlops give loads of confidence, it sounds great and looks good. If BHP numbers are really important to you, then spend a load on big bore kits and ignition modules etc. But the Ride is in the chassis, handling and grunt - a real riders bike - take it by the scruff and you'll be rewarded.
- Rich, Birmingham, United Kingdom

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2002-07-08 2003 Buell Firebolt XB9R Sport Bikes View Listings

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Rode one at the Honda Hoot. Looks great and sounds good. Brakes fine. Suspension is very nice and ride good. Tailpipe exhaust exits on your left foot at stop lights. Rear cylinder fan is noisier than my central air unit. Weird nasty harmonics from fairing at different speeds. Engine is a modified design from 1903. Please install the V-rod engine. This is a fine performing machine if you've only ridden Harleys, everyone else will be disapointed.
- monk, Lexington, Kentucky

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2002-07-04 2003 Buell Firebolt XB9R Sport Bikes View Listings

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Harley-Davidson of Miami let me take a trip on their demo ride. I parked my 95 FZR to the side and took the new XB9R to the streets. Incredible! At the red light, the bike just sat there, idling, sending messages of smooth vibrating notes through my spine. It's alive! I played with the throttle while curious passing motorists turned rubber-neckers. The familiar rumbling Harley potatoe sound coming from this GP looking petite bike had attracted the attention of many. The green light came; first speed clicked in smoothly, right before I released the clutch half way. The bike had an surprisingly strong acceleration in first, carrying my 6'2" and 210 lbs frame with no effort. I discovered that I had to watch it coming in second: In-line four riders such as myself tend to rev between gears, racing style. Second gear on a XB9R ridden four-cylinder style tends to brings to front wheel up if one is not careful. Plenty of grunt! The bike will give you a kick in the rear end. I coasted on regular streets, filling them up with the rumble of the V-twin, and finally took the motorcycle on a stretch of Interstate 95, just between two exits. I kept my promise to the dealer not to open it up beyond 3~4 thousand RPM, because it was not broken in yet. Therefore, I never discovered the top end capabilities of this little monster. However, at the exits into the expressway, I had a lucky all out green light, in and out. I went for it. I easily put my left knee down in the double left turn out of and back onto the highway, turns where I usually exercise more caution. I discovered that the XB9R might become my next weapon for turns, because it invited me to take turns at a higher speed than I did on the FZR. I returned to the dealer to drop off the bike. After the experience, I was shaking my head in disbelief. Buell is finally doing it to my satisfaction now. The XB9R is different from the X1 Lightning which I rode in the past. The seating position, styling, design and handling is radically different. Although the XB9R is underpowered for 984cc, yet understandably light, it will probably be my next bike. The air intake in the front, the air box, the racing-like handle bars, the bug lights, the pointy rear cowling, the slightly rear set foot pegs, the light weight, the GP-like wheels, the GP-looking swingarm, the Ducati-like rear view mirrors and the inverted front forks are all tremendously attractive features for a sport rider like me. I wish the XB9R had come with a full fairing similar to the one Cicotto races to protect the transmission, clutch covers and exhaust manifolds, . I also wish it had two air intakes instead of one. Maybe the next model will have that. I was thinking about buying a TL1000R, but after I rode the XB9R, the light weight and homemade combo restarted my thinking process.
- Darby, Miami, Florida

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