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Buell S3T Thunderbolt reviews

4.2
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Reliability
4.2
Overall quality
4.2
Performance
4.3
Comfort
4.2

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18 ratings and reviews

Voted most helpful review

Sanders

Great Lakes, Illinois

Reviewed on 2010-03-19

Motorcycle reviewed2001 Buell S3T Thunderbolt

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5.0
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.
Reliability
4.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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Voted most helpful review

Mark

St. Louis, Missouri

Reviewed on 2005-09-28

Motorcycle reviewed2000 Buell S3T Thunderbolt

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4.0
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.
Reliability
4.0
Quality
4.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
4.0
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Voted most helpful review

Brian Brodhead

ft. Myers, Florida

Reviewed on 2004-10-03

Motorcycle reviewed2000 Buell S3T Thunderbolt

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5.0
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.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
4.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
4.0
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Voted most helpful review

LC

Argyle, Texas

Reviewed on 2003-09-28

Motorcycle reviewed2002 Buell S3T Thunderbolt

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5.0
As a rider of H-Ds since 1972, I thought I'd try something a little different, particularly since my friend Bob ate my lunch on the back roads of Arkansas. You see he was on a Screamin' Eagle Road Glide, and I was on a 95 Heritage Nostalgia. Nonetheless, dragging that steel sled through tight 10- 20 mph turns was a drag. I came home and traded for the S3T, and I love it. It's faster than I need,handles superbly, and stops as fast as I want. I recently took a one week, 2,000 mile trip through New Mexico and Colorado. The bike cruised at 80mph without missing a beat. It loves to be between 3,000 and 4,000 RPM while cruising. I'm now at 6,500 miles since last year, with only one problem, the oxygen sensor had a glitch. The dealer took care of it under warranty, and I was on my way. Bottom line, it's a great bike, with a lot of fun inside. Is it a crotch rocket? No. But it will keep up with any of them in the turns. This bike handles exceptionally well. Do I miss the old sled? Yeah. But I won't get rid of the Buell. I'll just add another ride to the stable. Enjoy.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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ADB

Illinois, Illinois

Reviewed on 2003-06-20

Motorcycle reviewed2001 Buell S3T Thunderbolt

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5.0
Excellent True Sport Touring bike with tons of torque. Smooth over 2500, and handles like a dream. Only needs are a taller screen from the factory, and a nice integrated backrest. Luggage is first class, and seating position for someone 5'8" is perfect. Bars are medium height. Also needs a factory plug in for an electric vest. 8500 miles to date, and though I have had some glitches in the fuel injection, Buell went of their way with factory and dealer help. For others that have posted with one star, they need to call and talk with Buell customer service to get things resolved quickly.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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Voted most helpful review

Rocky Mtn. Buell'r

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Reviewed on 2003-05-17

Motorcycle reviewed2000 Buell S3T Thunderbolt

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5.0
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?
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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Voted most helpful review

Dennis Trimble

Gainesville, Florida

Reviewed on 2002-12-31

Motorcycle reviewed2000 Buell S3T Thunderbolt

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4.0
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.
Reliability
4.0
Quality
4.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
4.0
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Voted most helpful review

Another Buell victim...

Detroit, Michigan

Reviewed on 2002-12-06

Motorcycle reviewed2001 Buell S3T Thunderbolt

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1.0
I purchased my Buell S3T about a month ago and am ready to sell it after only 200 miles. The overall quality of the bike is very poor, and the handling is even worse. I made numerous attempts to contact Buell with some of the concerns I have but they don't return my calls. The "customer care" line is nothing more than voice mail. Did I mention that I sat on hold for 15 minutes before the voice mail? I've owned about 8 other bike before the Buell, and I can honestly say that this is by far the worst. Junk on wheels. I can almost hear Erik Buell laughing at me as I write this.
Reliability
1.0
Quality
1.0
Performance
1.0
Comfort
1.0
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Voted most helpful review

William Luce

Portland, Oregon

Reviewed on 2002-09-12

Motorcycle reviewed2001 Buell S3T Thunderbolt

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5.0
I have a 2001 S3 and I love it. The hate part comes in a couple of places, one is the fact that since it is fuel injected it is harder to find a different intake. The other is the fact that I had an Oil leak that no one could find, so my bike was spending more time in the shop than with me, but that has been fixed, and since then I haven't had a problem
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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St

Honey Brook

Reviewed on 2002-02-15

Motorcycle reviewed2001 Buell S3T Thunderbolt

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1.0
I recently got my bike back from the shop and decided to go for a ride with some friends.About 50 miles from home it began backfiring and surging. It is once more headed back to the shop. At this rate I'm going to have to get visitation rights to see my bike. I only hope that the problems are all fixed before the warranty is up.
Reliability
1.0
Quality
1.0
Performance
1.0
Comfort
1.0
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