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Thread: What Year Lightning Should I be Looking at to Purchase?

  1. #1
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    What Year Lightning Should I be Looking at to Purchase?

    Sorry if this has been asked before but I am looking to purchase a Buell Xb12SS (also looking at a Monster 1100 but Lightning preferred) and I have been looking for 2009/2010 bikes but the ones that I was going to make an offer on sold a couple months ago and the few that I'm finding are overpriced so as I'm getting more impatient I'm wondering if I should look at bikes that are older as well? I've been wanting a Buell for a while now, now that I no longer have my GSXR I can now possibly get one for the right price. I settled on the 12 based on what I've been reading on the forum.

  2. #2
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    Lots of information on year by year upgrades in this forum somewhere I believe. If I recall correctly, there was a nice upgrade to a bunch of parts but loss of air-hole in the frame kept some turbo hopefulls away from the new ones. I believe this forum has gotten a bit slow. Here is the thread from the "golden years". Wow, 10 years ago. Insane how old I am.

    https://www.buellxb.com/forum/showth...en-model-years

  3. #3
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    With XB's, for the most part, the newer ones are better. They did various upgrades over the years, and the 2010 got the best of them... and since Buell was shut down by Harley that year, there are also few of them out there.

    (Most) owners know this and ask a premium for their bike in return. If you just want to put gas in and ride, aim for the newer ones (granted they were well maintained and not abused). If you know your way around a toolbox and are comfortable and able to work on bikes, an older model may be fine. Just bear in mind that the newest models are approaching their 10th birthday very soon. Ultra low miles is not a indicator of condition...

    Also, coming from a GSXR and if you're looking at a Monster 1100, just realize those bikes are going to be much faster and smoother than an XB12. A Monster 696 or GSXR 600 is probably going to be closer in performance to the XB12. However, the cool and fun factor of an XB is hard to beat, and you will need to get used to being asked questions about it wherever you go.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    The breakdown is pretty much pre- or post 2008 with the Thunderstorm engine and DDFI2 or 3 ECMs

    The earlier bikes are rock solid and ok with lots of abuse, the post '08 bikes addressed a few not so common issues and updated the electronics as the march of time and progress allowed.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3BcMKN-2Nk&t=7s

    IMO. It's more important to get the right good bike at the right deal in your budget than worry about what year it is.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cooter View Post
    The breakdown is pretty much pre- or post 2008 with the Thunderstorm engine and DDFI2 or 3 ECMs

    The earlier bikes are rock solid and ok with lots of abuse, the post '08 bikes addressed a few not so common issues and updated the electronics as the march of time and progress allowed.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3BcMKN-2Nk&t=7s

    IMO. It's more important to get the right good bike at the right deal in your budget than worry about what year it is.
    Awhile ago, you wrote up a pretty detailed post about how an older, well maintained bike can be a better deal than an ultra low mileage later one.

    You should revive that for this thread.

  6. #6
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    Since the particular Buell someone is interested in is fairly rare, you can't usually find it in your locale quickly. I wanted a Uly, preferably an XT which would be 08 or 09 with some of the desirable enhancements. I'm on a really tight budget so I eliminated some bikes that I should have jumped on. I bought an 08 XT from NC which was advertised to have been "meticulously maintained" by someone from the aircraft industry. The pictures on CL were very good looking. I messaged the seller and thought it was a good buy so I flew down to NC, rented a truck to drive home. Given my limited budget, I felt I couldn't waste that investment of air fare and truck rental so I went ahead and bought a filthy XT in so-so condition. With great help from Mr lunatic fringe, I think it will be a reasonable bike when I'm finished.

    So my message is: Holy Crap. If you don't have time and money to go look at Buells all over the country, it is really tough finding the best deal for you.

    Thanks to all y-all here on buellxb for helping me through this.

  7. #7
    Hi cap1, I have a 2006 xb9 I purchased from cooter for my wife, I own an a 2009 xb12r, build and quality seem the same to me, however the 2009-10 refinements and upgrades are better.
    Also, I went from a 2012 Ducati 797 to the xb12, the xb12 is nicer, more balanced a bit more power and way less required maintenance , just valve adjustment and maintenance on the ducati was almost 600 smackaroos, whereas the Buell does not need much other than easy general maintenance, oil changes, etc. important point for me as I don't wrench on my bikes much. just my 2.5 cents.

  8. #8
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    Thanks everyone, after everyones input and all things considered I will try to patiently look out for a 2008+ XB12 unless I find something older for a steal.

    Quote Originally Posted by 34nineteen View Post
    With XB's, for the most part, the newer ones are better. They did various upgrades over the years, and the 2010 got the best of them... and since Buell was shut down by Harley that year, there are also few of them out there.

    (Most) owners know this and ask a premium for their bike in return. If you just want to put gas in and ride, aim for the newer ones (granted they were well maintained and not abused). If you know your way around a toolbox and are comfortable and able to work on bikes, an older model may be fine. Just bear in mind that the newest models are approaching their 10th birthday very soon. Ultra low miles is not a indicator of condition...

    Also, coming from a GSXR and if you're looking at a Monster 1100, just realize those bikes are going to be much faster and smoother than an XB12. A Monster 696 or GSXR 600 is probably going to be closer in performance to the XB12. However, the cool and fun factor of an XB is hard to beat, and you will need to get used to being asked questions about it wherever you go.
    Thanks for the input, I would like to just put gas in and just ride. I'm not worried about having a bike that's faster, I'm not going to be able to use that much speed on the streets and I don't find that much speed to be safe on the streets. Faster doesn't necessarily mean more fun, I'd rather have a bike that sounds great and makes me happy which is why the XB is highest on my list and the Ducati is only an option at a steal due to its reliability.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cooter View Post
    The breakdown is pretty much pre- or post 2008 with the Thunderstorm engine and DDFI2 or 3 ECMs

    The earlier bikes are rock solid and ok with lots of abuse, the post '08 bikes addressed a few not so common issues and updated the electronics as the march of time and progress allowed.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3BcMKN-2Nk&t=7s

    IMO. It's more important to get the right good bike at the right deal in your budget than worry about what year it is.
    Thank you, this helped me in my decision to look at 2008s as well, although the black frame for the 09/10 is more attractive to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Bob View Post
    Since the particular Buell someone is interested in is fairly rare, you can't usually find it in your locale quickly. I wanted a Uly, preferably an XT which would be 08 or 09 with some of the desirable enhancements. I'm on a really tight budget so I eliminated some bikes that I should have jumped on. I bought an 08 XT from NC which was advertised to have been "meticulously maintained" by someone from the aircraft industry. The pictures on CL were very good looking. I messaged the seller and thought it was a good buy so I flew down to NC, rented a truck to drive home. Given my limited budget, I felt I couldn't waste that investment of air fare and truck rental so I went ahead and bought a filthy XT in so-so condition. With great help from Mr lunatic fringe, I think it will be a reasonable bike when I'm finished.

    So my message is: Holy Crap. If you don't have time and money to go look at Buells all over the country, it is really tough finding the best deal for you.

    Thanks to all y-all here on buellxb for helping me through this.
    I don't have the luxury of being able to travel for the right deal, I have a 6 month old at home and a wife a who works 6days/90hours a week.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pittboy View Post
    Hi cap1, I have a 2006 xb9 I purchased from cooter for my wife, I own an a 2009 xb12r, build and quality seem the same to me, however the 2009-10 refinements and upgrades are better.
    Also, I went from a 2012 Ducati 797 to the xb12, the xb12 is nicer, more balanced a bit more power and way less required maintenance , just valve adjustment and maintenance on the ducati was almost 600 smackaroos, whereas the Buell does not need much other than easy general maintenance, oil changes, etc. important point for me as I don't wrench on my bikes much. just my 2.5 cents.
    Thank you, this reinforces the reason why the Buell is highest on my list and the Duc is only an option at a steal.

  9. #9
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    Btw I found a 2007 for $3k, not sure if it's a good deal. It's 2 hours away from, the ad gives no details, I had to ask the owner for year and told him not at that price. I feel like I would do it at $2500, what do you guys think or am I being unreasonable?

  10. #10
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    Too far,??????, perfect reason for a walk ( ride ) about !

    Your trading it in, for what ? Inquiring minds want to know, also nosey people ?


    Last edited by njloco; 03-28-2019 at 01:31 PM.

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