Buell Motorcycles Reviews (219)
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2016-11-01 2006 Buell XB12X Sport Bikes View Listings

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220900 miles and still Great. 48-50 mpg on good fuel. Traveled 1100 miles in 24 hours on it. 6000 miles two up cross southern US. Desert heat, southern mountains and rain. Commuted. Just a Great all around sport utility bike that can do anything within reason. emphasis on sport. Love the tourqe.
- TonyT, Alabama

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2014-05-19 2005 Buell Lightning CityX (XB9SX) Motorcycles View Listings

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I rode a 150cc over seven years; finally opted to "step up" to this versatile creature. One can sit upright or drop into a tuck. Almost a decade later, the styling is unimitated. It's throaty rumble turns heads and has powerful front brakes and an exquisitely balanced chassis. Drop it into 4th on a highway incline and the bike breaks away effortlessly. A short wheelbase invites underestimation. We've been riding five weeks, from 3,900 miles to 7,900 miles. This bike is almost ideal for traveling around Atlanta; from the local highways, to the city streets, to the interstates.
- arqueware, Atlanta, Georgia

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2012-06-16 2005 Buell Firebolt XB12R Sport Bikes View Listings

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After riding two years on a Buell Blast, I finally upgraded to a Buell Firebolt XB12R in 2006. It needed some getting used to, but I have to say it is easier to turn the Firebolt into the corner than the Baby Buell. Six years later I am still riding the Buell, I am looking at other bikes, but for some reason they just don't seem right, none of them has the clean look of the Buell. It is too sad that Buell was disolved. I am commuting on the bike, so I probably use only 20% of the bike's potential, but it handles fantastic, I absolutely love it. 50 miles to the gallon is not a bad thing these days neither. Just hope I can get 50,000 miles more out of the bike.
- Gabi, Cascade, Wisconsin

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2012-05-16 2009 Buell Ulysses XB12XT Sport Bikes View Listings

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Well I liked it so much I bought a second one! Maybe that's all I need to say. I rode most of what Yamaha, Suzuki, HD and Honda had to offer around 1200 cc. I wanted it all-fast, torque, thrilling in corners, lean but seats two for day-long treks with no complaints, light and doesn't look like a chrome two wheel Winnebago. I can drive in the bubble when I feel the need for speed but don't have to all the time feel like I'm tying my shoes all day. I have my fast tour bike but when I drop the rider and the luggage - I have my crotch rocket! The second bike I did most of the same add ons but that one I did the custom exhaust. The first one is stock exhaust. I will say that the best tires I driven on with these bikes were the Pirellis - it came with and playing with widths and race tires mostly left the bike feeling odd in twisties. Further testimonial to those stock tires is surviving a rear blowout from sharp metal at 94 mph! Yes I know that's speeding. The tires rode flat and did not disintegrate under me but it was a nightmare ride across lanes and median! A lesser tire would have been the end. I drive long distance and short hops but almost all on highway ramps, highways or crazy city streets with the worst South Florida maniacs! The torque is awesome and I've playfully left just about most guys, bikes, cars, etc. in the mirror at times. With the exhaust mod on a traffic-less day, I made an easy 147 with gobs more to go. Except, that is, for my obvious realization of no good excuses for the officer who pulls me over and my delayed common sense of what a crash at that speed will feel like. I made this a one time just to see trip told me to knock it off. I wired the Zumo for ear bud for both positions for rider tunes and love these bikes to death. My two Honda's are truly for sale My Harley brothers keep trying to get me to buy an HD too but when I get them to ride the Buell XB they love it and start scratching their heads. Truthfully, I've never had anybody try the bike and not say what the heck?!?! Wow! Dude-be careful - that's a rocket and man it corners fantastically!
- Anonymous, Margate, Florida

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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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2010-03-19 2001 Buell S3T Thunderbolt Motorcycles View Listings

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I'll startout by saying Buells aren't for everybody. If you're looking for warp speed, look somewhere else. If you're looking for a bike that is a good all around bike, then a Buell is a bike you want. There is mounds of negative press about Buell and for years it deterred me from buying a Buell. I couldn't resist looking at Buells everytime I started thinking about a new bike. Finally, I bought one. Somebody was almost giving away a S3 that his wife had ridden only once or twice and didn't like it. I found the negative press to be exaggerated a little. The bike does shake/lope a little bit at idle, but it is smooth as silk once you get above 2500. I have never had a major problem or a minor one for that matter. The motor is solid and doesn't leak. If you're thinking about a Buell, get an older tube frame Buell, you won't be disappointed.
- Sanders, Great Lakes, Illinois

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2009-09-06 2009 Buell Ulysses XB12XT Sport Bikes View Listings

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I wanted a Harley at first but saw these Buells, and fell in love. Lots more power, and a lot more functionality than a Harley, and all you lose is a little bit of the image. Great sport-tourer or adventure-tourer or sport v-twin, whatever you want to call it. I replaced the pirellis immediately with dunlop 616's so I could explore and camp up on the mountain forestry roads. Works great, definitely not a dual-sport, but gravel, or hard packed dirt; it's good to go. Each bag will fit a full face helmet and then some. Seat is excellent, thought it was too hard at first but rode 600 miles and felt fine. Windsheild takes the wind off of your torso, but still hits your helmet. Acceleration is sport bike like and top speed is pretty close. Just going off of power and rpms at 100mph in 4th and 5th; it would probably top out at 140-150 but doesn't have quite the aerodynamics of say an R1, so not a supersport bike. It's also not an adventure bike like the ktm 990's, but gives you plenty of confidence on gravel, although I did take the bags off the only time I took this down gravel roads.(lightened it up) Hoping gas mileage keeps improving. Gets about 45mpg right now, hopefully this will improve. Heated hand grips are still too hot to use, I will try them in the dead of winter. Great bike, and something different and a blast to ride.
- Willy B, Grapeview, Washington

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2009-08-02 2006 Buell Ulysses XB12X Sport Bikes View Listings

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I've owned Suzuki, Honda, HD, and other Buells over the years, but have never been this satisfied with a motorcycle...there is nothing that makes me feel like I might one day sell it and that is saying something. I've ridden halfway across the country on this thing through about a third of the United States and the bike handled every situation well from canyon passes to rain storms to gravel roads. Also might add that the bike did everything while remaining comfortable during consecutive 600 mile days...not even tired or sore at the end. The only negative for this bike is that if you are much shorter than me then you might not fit the bike, but I'm not taking away a star for something that is directly responsible for the way the bike handles and the comfort level. Even went camping with a tent, fishing poles, cooler, air mattress, and all the other gear.
- Bob, OKC, Oklahoma

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2009-07-18 2009 Buell Ulysses XB12XT Sport Bikes View Listings

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Power? I think for anyone in their right mind or old enough to know better it should be ample. It will wheely and will pull at least 120mph(I ran out of courage) with the bags. Handling? This is a true sportbike. Not a Goldwing or Harley cruiser type. There are six separate suspension settings, enough combinations to keep one busy for awhile. It handles. Buells own the curves they say. Comfort? For me,living in a cooler climate the right leg heater is quite nice. The seating position is upright and comfortable. I wasn't really expecting a LazyBoy recliner. Reliability? Read 'Big, Bad and Dirty Buell XB12X Ulysses Adventure Board'. There might be some minor issues, but all bikes generally have them. I just traded my FLSTN on the ULY about a week or so ago. One employee at the Harley dealer asked me, 'Are you really trading your Deluxe on a Buell? another said So, you're the one trading your Harley for a Buell. I felt kind of defensive about this and in the back of my mind thought I may have made a huge mistake. I had owned Harleys since 81. I did not screw up. The ULY is the best I've owned. After this I will not go back to Softails, Roadkings and Electraglides. This thing is a HOOT! Sorry Harley, I won't be buying any of your chrome doodads for this one or loud pipes or performance kits. It needs none of it. I think I'm more in the market for protective clothing with this one. Maybe a GPS and a few more minor upgrades, but not many. Anyone in the market for a beanie helmet? How about some well used tats? I'll keep the beard.
- mithrageist, moira, New York

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2009-07-02 2003 Buell Lightning XB9S Dual Sport View Listings

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As I've been riding on the big bike just a little over a decade, the Lightning finally explains my 'Review Title' without any doubts. Just got it for a couple of months with excellent condition and as all the Lightning's lovers do, I take it on the road almost everyday with no burdens. Ultimately, this is one of all two wheels kind that you have got to take on if you want to get into the heart of 'Live to Ride' spirit!!!
- Sam, Hadyai, Thailand

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2009-04-30 2001 Buell Cyclone® M2 Sport Bikes View Listings

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Initially attracted to the fuel-in-frame & oil-in-swing-arm technology and the beefy, wrap-around frame of the XB12S (2004), I ended up selling the XB and keeping my M2. The M2's 23-degree steering head vs. the XB's 21-degrees, was just enough difference to provide a more planted, confident feel to the handling. Likewise, while the mirrors on the M2 smooth to crystal clarity at about 2800+ RPM, the XB's mirrors never stopped vibrating, leaving you wondering if the vehicle behind you was a VW or a Peterbuilt. Ease of seat removal and no screaming mimi rear cylinder cooling fan were also deciding factors. With a Forcewinder intake providing greater knee room, and a Vance & HInes SSR2 making music and providing better exhaust flow, the M2 leaves nothing to be desired. And, in my prejudiced opinion, it's a prettier bike.
- Peter, Candler, North Carolina

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2009-01-29 2008 Buell Ulysses XB12XT Sport Bikes View Listings

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This is Buell's Swiss Army knife. Great handling, best suspension I've ever ridden, and the ability to handle two-up without any issue. This is truly a sport-touring dynamo. You forget you've got enough storage capacity to travel for weeks, because you feel like you're ready to tackle the track. I love this bike. It's my first Buell.
- MP, Dallas, Texas

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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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2007-09-13 2007 Buell Lightning XB12STT Dual Sport View Listings

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I bought my new Buell XB12 Super TT last December. Easily, it's the best bike I have ever owned. It has some quirks which I will tell you about, but overall, it's a sweet ride. It has plenty of juice for traffic. You don't have to shift down to get any maneuvering power, it's instant, and it's on demand. The riding position is perfect. It sits high enough so that you can see traffic and your body position isn't too agressive. This is an excellent posture for urban slalom. In a drag-race, my Buell will do about as well as a 650cc Suzuki. My red-line is at 6.8 grand so a 650cc bike will bound ahead but will lose ground in the top gears. My Super TT will top at about a buck-fourty, which is a bit faster than a 750cc, and then it's `sayonara.` However, bigger bikes will leave me behind. In a cornering contest, my Super TT makes all the competition cry. The lean angle, handling and corner-exiting torque are all supierior to anything else on the road. Maneuverability and its ability to escape and accelerate through traffic are superb. Trust me - I live in Seattle. As I mentioned, there are some quirks: First; you have to `un-learn` your Japanese riding style. This is no exageration. Second; you must warm-up this bike before you ride away. If the engine is hot, you feel the joy. Otherwise, a cold engine isn't much fun to ride and could be unsafe. Again - trust me on this. Third; Road grime. The number plates really suck up the road-grime and it gets everywhere. I can't explain it, it just does. I turned those goofy number plates into a couple of `frisbees.` Then I got the Ulysses lower front fender and now road-grime isn't a problem. One last opinion: This bike is not for beginners. It can perform well past a newbie's ability to control it.
- K. Hazelton, Seattle, Washington

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2007-09-04 2008 Buell Lightning CityX XB9SX Motorcycles View Listings

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The perfect combination of performance and styling for city and weekend riding: - All the torque and power you need whenever you want it - Engine sound is unbeatable - Head-turning looks - Effortless reliability
- A, Canada

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2007-07-21 2002 Buell Blast Sport Bikes View Listings

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I am not an expert but I have ridden for over 32 years. I've put well over 100,000 miles on two wheels, including several coast to coast trips. I recently sold my '98 Heritage Softail Classic, then sold my '97 Sportster Hugger, then sold my '81 Honda Passport. I was completely bikeless for the first time in many years. It had to be worse than coming off crack. After six months I just couldn't take it any longer. I bought a '02 Blast with 2123 miles on it, which was well within my budget. I have driven just over 100 miles per day, for several days now. It should be illegal to have this much fun on a bike. Ooh, it's not as comfortable as the Softail (my butt goes to sleep around 30 miles), and it won't pull the front wheel up like the Sportster would (but has plenty of get-up-and-go), but it is a kick in the pants to ride and I've averaged 65 mpg. All my old ridin' buddies laugh at me but, I'm in it for the ride. I'll have to post again when I get some more miles on it, but so far I am thrilled with the little bike.
- W Avara, Denham Springs, Louisiana

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2007-07-16 2003 Buell Lightning XB9S Dual Sport View Listings

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I bought this bike new in Feb. '03 because it was what I had been looking for. I had also looked at the Ducatis, Triumphs, Aprilias, etc. I wanted an air cooled, belt driven,compact, light, nimble, reliable, locally serviced and if at all possible, American made. I also required a bike that needed 0 upgrades to correct design/build flaws. The Buell met all the requirements on paper, received excellent reviews, and has been tons of fun to ride and live with. Thumbs up!
- ray weber, santa cruz, California

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2007-07-11 2003 Buell Blast Sport Bikes View Listings

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2003 on up, Blasts were near flawless. Quality at Buell had peaked with regard to this model so I bought one. It is comfortable if you're under 5'10". It takes bumps admirably and handles with security if you are near 175 lbs. It is true you have to give it more gas than other bikes during take off due to its engines low rpm torque, but this unusual characteristic you get used to within a day of riding. I've ridden this on tight twisties and long days including some highway travel and it's exceeded my expectations. Hi-way travel is not recommended, not due to power but comfort as with any motorcycle short of a touring specific bike. My particular Buell has the Buell Performance intake and dual exhaust. This woke up the bike substantially in the mid to high rpm range! It seems the media has a job to criticize all it can find to substantiate their existence. They're forced to compare all sorts of different bikes of different prices from different intended purposes. This rarely serves anybody well and usually ends up misleading. This is a fun, small, light, well built bike that truly gets 70 mpg. It really is a personal thing but if you want an American designed and built bike that's fun, economical and reliable, you can't go wrong if you fit.
- Dan, Boston, Massachusetts

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2007-06-13 2006 Buell Ulysses XB12X Sport Bikes View Listings

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Just finished a 700 mile odyssey on my 2006 Uly. A great bike when you can only have one. You'll never run out of power. (unless you cruise at 110+) The bike is big, but very flicakable, even fully loaded for a three week trip. Averages 49 mpg. Purrs like a kitten between 2800 and 5500 RPM. The tall suspension, means you can focus on the scenery without having to 'pick' your way on a line over rough roads.(even unpaved) Engine heat is tolerable in traffic, and is unnoticed at speeds above 25. This bike is not for short people, it is tall and somewhat top-heavy. Buells get a lot of wierd stares, but folks understand when you explain that it is a part of Harley-Davidson.
- Bill G, Hackettstown, New Jersey

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2007-04-15 2006 Buell Lightning Long XB12Ss Sport Bikes View Listings

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This bike has been flawless from day one. In fact, the more miles I put on it the better it runs. I use it for commuting back and forth to work and poker runs. I have no problem going any distance as the bike is very comfortable and gets great gas mileage.
- jj, vero beach, Florida

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2007-03-16 2006 Buell Ulysses XB12X Sport Bikes View Listings

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Tall but manageable. (Been fixed in the 2007 model) Good, more than adequate performance from the engine, gearbox not as good as the competition though. Very comfortable for pillions. Great everyday bike and commuter.
- Terry McCarthy, Hobart, Australia

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2007-02-18 2006 Buell Ulysses XB12X Sport Bikes View Listings

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So I bought the Uly as my first bike...perhaps not the smartest thing I've ever done. On delivery day I think I had a grand total of 8 hours on a motorcyle my entire life. I quickly discovered that the 1203 requires that you use a little finess--long story but the Uly and I slid across a parking lot on our first time at bat. Fortunately, we both were fine. Gotta give a round of applause to the engineers who armored this thing--it's very tough and we both walked away with only a little scratch. Since then I've managed to keep it on the wheels. I bought the bike from a dealership who had it as a demo--benefit: I have all the accessories that were available at production. I started riding the bike as a commuter and quickly found myself taking the long way home. I moved to CA this past fall and took the bike on a ride in New Mexico--great time. Here in Cali it's a commuter and my weekend escape vehicle. The seat height is very tall, I have the optional lowered seat and I can barely flat foot this thing loaded. The Thunderstorm V-twin makes plenty of power to keep up with traffic. I have had my mileage range from 38-56 mpg, usually it's around 45. Generally it does better when I'm solo, when it's warmer and when it has 93 octane gas (only 91 is available here). Mileage doesn't really matter much since it's all better than my truck. I find the guage cluster to be low and out of the line of sight but usually that's not an issue...sometimes when you are all by yourself in the twisties you may look down to discover that you are going much faster than you thought you were. First gear on this bike is a little high and can make riding off-highway at very low speeds a bit of a challenge; in normal city driving it's not an issue. The fuel-range is great, the bike rides well and handles effortlessly. At high speeds the sipes in the front tire may make it want to hunt back and forth ever so slightly (about an inch) but it's not dangerous and if you are ever on an unbarricaded mountain road and hit a patch of gravel in the turn, you will be grateful for this machines ability to instantly recover itself without loss of control. The rear brake is kind of underpowered but the front brake is huge and more than takes up the slack--DO NOT GRAB THE FRONT BRAKE HANDLE. The suspension on the Uly is great and is adjustable from like 135-450lbs or something. I don't play with it much but the bike comes with a table of presets to go off of if you wanted to set it up for two-up riding. I leave mine in the 220-260 range for me and my gear--minus the gear it is the slightest bit on the stiff side but still handles like a champ. Riding in gravel for the first time will probably scare you since the normal tight/connected feeling that the steering has will suddenly be gone, but the Uly still handles pretty well as long as you aren't crazy. In emergency braking, the front tire seems to stay connected very well, the suspension dive is pretty substantial though (I didn't know it could compress that much) and it may scare you more than whatever you were trying to avoid, but the bike remains controllable and will allow you to seamlessly transition into avoidance. The engine does vibrate a bit until you hit 3000 rpm or so, but of course you do get the benifit of a satisfying V-twin roar. The electric cooling fan is sometimes loud and stays on longer than I would like it to but it seems to work well. The accessories I have are all pretty useful. I think the GPS is great but I try not to look at it too much, it is an excellent little piece of gear from Garmin and even dims itself at night to protect your vision from glare. The lowered seat was an imperative for me, it's comfortable and I don't find myself wishing to stop even on the longest rides. My machine came with the twin saddle bags which make the Ulysses a practical commuter and and excellent touring bike. I have had no problems with the side bags, they are waterproof and very tough, the right one took the brunt of the fall that first ride and survived with just a scratch. The tall windshield is something I have to look into still, the Uly offers great protection to your knees and your hands but I could do with a little less wind buffeting. The Ulysses seems to handle fine in the wet, I have ridden through many pop-up thunder storms and one hail storm and had no issues. I haven't done any two-up riding yet, but I have hauled 50 lbs in the saddle bags without any noticeable change in performance. I have had the bike in for one routine maintenance at around 1000 miles and the dealer replaced the O2 sensor as well...mileage improved. I have also had one non routine maintenance--I had the RH turn signal wiring harness replaced after it became intermittant--appearently it got pinched either in that first ride or by one of the tie-downs I used to secure the bike in my trailer during the move out here. Additionally, I broke the license plate light bracket one morning while trying to quickly remove the cover...it was like $6 to replace so I will chalk that one up to my own impatience. The fit & finish on the machine is great, it always starts (as long as you remember not to leave the key switch in the accessory position overnight), it's tough, and it's plenty powerful. I don't know that I would add much to it except the windshield and perhaps a set of driving lights but that's just me.
- SgtSpook, Oceanside, California

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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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2006-12-30 2001 Buell Blast® Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought this bike about 2 months ago. This is my third bike I've had. I am 22 and drive a semi, when I bought this bike it had about 10k miles on it. I've done some normal maintenance on it. It's comfortable for me and handles great. My wife rides on the back and we have gone on rides lasting hours. The only downside of this bike is that it lacks power when there is a passenger. I've had mine up to 110 MPH and still had throttle left. I agree that the distance between 1st and 2nd gear is a big jump, but with a few city miles on it, it will be natural. I haven't had any problems except that parts are cheaply made, but they are cheap to replace. It's never stalled in corners and has never been laid down. People say that they are POS. I question their riding quality and the quality of their upkeep. This is a great bike whether it be for a beginner or someone that just loves to ride. This bike hugs the road and never wants to let go.
- Jon, Yukon, Oklahoma

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2006-12-15 2001 Buell Cyclone® M2 Sport Bikes View Listings

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I've been riding for 41 years and have ridden everything from a 1965 55cc Yamaha to an alcohol burning Norton dragster. For most of those years I've owned vintage Harleys and Nortons, with a rice burner or five thrown in. Last year I was looking for a street bike that would keep me in the Harley family but would give me the handling and feel of the old Brit bikes I owned (without the leaks and electrics), with modern day comforts and reliablity. that's how I ended up with the Buell. I chose the Cyclone primarily because the seating position was more forgiving for both pilot and passenger and I like to ride... As a bonus, the price was just too good and the bike was kept in mint condition by the original owner. All that being said, I could not have made a better choice. I've owned it for 18 months and have put 18,000 miles on it (in Vermont!). The only problem being a rear rocker cover leak. My bike was made just before HD changed these gaskets to steel so I just called the HD dealer and bought a steel gasket kit ($35). It only took me a few hours to make the change. My wife wasn't terribly thrilled that I did it all in the living room so I could watch MotoGP and Superbike but she got over it... I have ridden 400 mile days on this bike and regularly do 250 mile rides- I'm talking 30 to 40 in a riding season. I've done 200 with my son on the back carrying a backpack... This bike handles like a 250 and accelerates with the best of them (Ducati, RC51, etc.). I've lifted the front wheel by hitting the gas during a lane change in 3d gear. It is super comfortable, and starts every time. I do run synthetic oil, don't beat the bike (are wheelies 'beating'?) and keep it under 130- usually. Seriously, this thing has so much torque that I rarely shift over 3500 RPM. Check the specs and compare the torque to any other bike on the road... OK, 'nuf said. If you want the absolute best value in a motorcycle, get a Cyclone. I would recommend getting a 2001 or '02 however, as Buell made a number of significant improvements in 2001. There is the standard M2 and a M2L which has a 1 inch shorter suspension and the seat is cut down as well. Mine is the M2L.
- Bo, Rochester, Vermont

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