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Thread: Do I really want a Buell?

  1. #1
    Member ksquare's Avatar
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    Do I really want a Buell?

    I've kinda lusted over a Buell for a number of years (around 6). I like the engineering and look of the bike and certainly would appreciate good handling. Last night I had an opportunity to test a 2003 XB9S. Compared to what I ride, I was not overly impressed. Number 1: it was too loud. It has a short slip on muffler which is probably more cosmetic than functional. I guess the noise level hindered my learning of the bike - it was such a distraction. I know, that can be easily changed. Number 2: Vibration. I've never ridden a Harley before so I wasn't sure what to expect. I noticed that every 30 seconds or so I had to scratch my nose due to the vibration. No, my name isn't Pinocchio. Acceleration was good but not any better than what I ride. Handling is hard to rate after a short test ride. The seat wanted to position me right up next to the airbox whereas on my other bikes (79 Honda CBX & 75 Honda CB400F) I can sit back a bit from the tank. Looking at a picture of a Buell, it looks like to me the seat is designed that way. I really wanted to like the Buell & had the $ to buy it. I guess I just lost a little lust. It's not that I don't like a little music from my bikes. My CBX has an RC Performance exhaust for that purty F1 sound but it isn't as raucous as the Buell. I kinda like the hooligan aura of the XB9S but I'm a responsible senior (blah). I know this is all subjective. Just wondered what actual Buell owners think of my issues? Do I need to give it a longer test ride :-)

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    94a.jpg

    If you don't like noise and vibrations, they are not for you. Barring handling, an XB is going to feel pretty crude compared to a relatively modern japenese bike (see: noise, vibrations).

  3. #3
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    "Never ridden a Harley"? Well, you still haven't

    Compared to a '79 CBX and a 37HP CB400 the Buell should have rightfully impressed. Don't make the mistake that 'the' 17 year old Buell you rode represents 'all' Buells. Maybe sewing machines are your thing? Buellers prefer machine guns

    Yes the seat is designed to keep you 'on the tank'. Just like any performance bike for the last 20 years.
    Yes, the big pistons and heavy crank in any V-twin vibrate, a lot. I-4's make my hands numb.
    Yes, tiny aftermarket mufflers are loud and not much sounds better than a CBX with a good tuned exhaust. Maybe a H-1... Barrett??

    Even though its a bad idea to meet your hero's, give it a fair shake. Go find a NICE, STOCK, one and give it a rip. Buell owners are a voracious bunch and usually happy to share the experience. Near El Segundo, CA? I have a nice one you can ride. Maybe you change your mind? Maybe you don't, but IMO, it's worth a second look.

  4. #4
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksquare View Post
    I've kinda lusted over a Buell for a number of years (around 6). I like the engineering and look of the bike and certainly would appreciate good handling. Last night I had an opportunity to test a 2003 XB9S. Compared to what I ride, I was not overly impressed. Number 1: it was too loud. It has a short slip on muffler which is probably more cosmetic than functional. I guess the noise level hindered my learning of the bike - it was such a distraction. I know, that can be easily changed. Number 2: Vibration. I've never ridden a Harley before so I wasn't sure what to expect. I noticed that every 30 seconds or so I had to scratch my nose due to the vibration. No, my name isn't Pinocchio. Acceleration was good but not any better than what I ride. Handling is hard to rate after a short test ride. The seat wanted to position me right up next to the airbox whereas on my other bikes (79 Honda CBX & 75 Honda CB400F) I can sit back a bit from the tank. Looking at a picture of a Buell, it looks like to me the seat is designed that way. I really wanted to like the Buell & had the $ to buy it. I guess I just lost a little lust. It's not that I don't like a little music from my bikes. My CBX has an RC Performance exhaust for that purty F1 sound but it isn't as raucous as the Buell. I kinda like the hooligan aura of the XB9S but I'm a responsible senior (blah). I know this is all subjective. Just wondered what actual Buell owners think of my issues? Do I need to give it a longer test ride :-)

    You should run. You know what you like and you know this isnt it.

    A quick synopsis.

    The exhaust is too loud.
    It vibrates too much.
    Acceleration is meh.
    Handling is questionable.
    Seating position is uncomfortable.
    Last edited by 34nineteen; 12-10-2020 at 02:26 PM.

  5. #5
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    Just don't leave with out letting us know where it's for sale.

  6. #6
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    I do find it a little funny to criticize handling. I haven't ridden a CBX, but have read/heard they are pretty flexy with that amount of power in that frame. My first bike was an '83 GS650, and I wouldn't dream of comparing it to my XB. Was the standard riding position more comfortable? Sure. But it did little to inspire confidence in the curves and handled worse than my roadstar.

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    Am I considered a hooligan for owning an XB9SX? It seems pretty "tame" to me. There are bikes that have way more power and even handle better but that's not why I own one.

    I guess I love the idea of an American sports bike and that a guy like Erik Buell had the guts to do it - and did.

    There's no reason to feel like you "have" to like a Buell. I'd never own a CBX, that thing is just massive - but I get the following; it's different and that's cool.

    Buell's aren't for everyone, that's for sure. My brothers are all about Yamaha's, dad's into Brit bikes (all of us are), I like just about all the sports bikes (and classics) out there, but Buell's just speak to me.

  8. #8
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kz6fittycent View Post
    Am I considered a hooligan for owning an XB9SX?
    I've read your posts. I think you were a hooligan before throwing a leg over a Buell.


    Quote Originally Posted by kz6fittycent View Post
    I guess I love the idea of an American sports bike and that a guy like Erik Buell had the guts to do it - and did.

    There's no reason to feel like you "have" to like a Buell. I'd never own a CBX, that thing is just massive - but I get the following; it's different and that's cool.

    Buell's aren't for everyone, that's for sure, but Buell's just speak to me.

    Agree 100% ^^^^^

  9. #9
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    I agree 98%. I'd own a CBX just to hear that howl. Closest thing to an old F1 engine on the road I've ever heard.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 34nineteen View Post
    i've read your posts. I think you were a hooligan before throwing a leg over a buell.
    takes one to know one!



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