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Thread: What goes around comes around

  1. #1
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    What goes around comes around

    17 years. I'm not saying I'm the world's best at delayed gratification, but 17 years has to be pretty good. That's how long it's been (give or take release dates and such) since I first saw a Ulysses and decided I wanted one.

    Somewhere in the 1997-1999 range I was first exposed to Buell. I had a friend with a purple S1 w/ Performance Machine wheels, Penske shock (which tore it's eyelet apart while I was riding it, but anyway...), Vance and Hines exhaust, etc. He let me borrow that S1 (and his Guzzi 1100 Sport...which I also fell in love with) quite a lot and I really grew to love it. I think that bike set the hook. Eventually our friendship fell apart and we went our separate ways, but I never forgot that Buell (or that Guzzi). It was just so raw, so mechanical. So...appealing.

    Fast forward a few years, a couple of cross country moves, and a hundred or so bikes (I was a used parts dealer for a while) and I picked up a beautiful green '97 S3T. Through this bike I developed connection with a mechanic at a local Harley dealer. He has since gone on to become a mechanical engineer and 20-year friend of mine. He is also the reason I was recruited for race team for this local Harley dealer, and got to spend some time on the track with their XBRR. That was an amazing bike but I was always terrified of damaging this 1-of-50, $50k bike. I never had that fear on my GSXR race bike.

    It was this timeframe that the Uly debuted. During an open house at the dealership I borrowed a Uly for the weekend (I also borrowed a Fat Boy, which really opened my eyes to what a Harley was 'about'). I recall being...if not disappointed, then "let down" by a couple of issues with the Uly. The first issue was it's seat height. I didn't like being tippy toe everywhere. The 2nd issue...how smooth and tame it was! Compared to my crude, rough and tumble S3T, the Uly was a venerable sewing machine! Velvety smooth! I also recall feeling like I ran out of revs and power too early, but I was in my 20's and used to also screaming around on Japanese sportbikes at the time. I didn't think the Uly was THAT much of an upgrade to my S3T, so I kept my mean grean Buell machine.

    Eventually life, marriage, kids etc took their toll on my riding. By 2013 I was only riding the Buell hundreds of miles per year. As opposed to hundreds of miles per ride, back in the day. So I sold it. Over the years I'd look at Ulys for sale but never felt I've have the time to actually ride one. That changed a month or so ago, when a friend of mine sent a link to a pair of Ulys for sale on ADVrider. A runner '06 and a running '07 (with a bad crank). They were only an hour away from me, and the price was too good to pass up.

    17 years after my initial fascination, I've become a Uly owner. Well, technically an owner of 2 Ulys. And I can't express how excited I am about it. How much I've enjoyed the couple of short rides I've taken on it. I sold the last remnants of my S3T only last year (hard luggage), but in the past week or so I've uncovered several of my Buell bits from back in the day...a Buell shirt from 1997, Buell hat from the "own the corners" period, sling bags from Demo Days over the years, some Buell branded tank bags and soft side bags, etc. In a lot of ways it's been like a kid on Christmas morning! It's like discovering buried treasure!

    It's late in the year, and I'm not a fan of the knobby tires on the bike (we've got DRZs for that), but holy cow I've been having fun on it. The sound, the vibes (ironically, it's a crude beast compared to my VFR), the upright riding position. And the looks. I've always loved the looks. I won't have a lot of time with the bike before I put it into hibernation for the winter, but I'm so excited to have it and really look forward to spending more time on it in the future.

    Here are the bikes as I picked them up. Black one is the '06 runner, '07 has the bad crank / motor (I've tightened the stator nut hoping it might be that, but nope...the rattle is still there).
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    Last edited by motoguy; 09-16-2023 at 09:34 PM.

  2. #2
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    The black Uly now looks like this. I always wanted an orange Uly. I managed to track down an orange seat, but didn't find an airbox cover or flyscreen for what I considered reasonable pricing. I got some local quotes to paint the items orange, but they all come with a decent lead time. Riding season is winding up for me, and I wanted to spend some time riding the bike, so I decided to try my hand at a wrap. First one I've ever done, but it came out good enough to give me the orange Uly I always wanted!
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Great story! Thanks for sharing it

  4. #4
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    Congratulations I saw those for sale. What a great deal and the wrap was the right choice unwrapping is WAY easier than unpainting if you want to change it up.

  5. #5
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    Good story.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cvc View Post
    Congratulations I saw those for sale. What a great deal and the wrap was the right choice unwrapping is WAY easier than unpainting if you want to change it up.
    For my first ever wrap attempt, it went better than I had hoped. To the point that I'm looking for an extra airbox cover and flyscreen. Never know when I may want to have a British racing green Uly to match the VFR! lol I'm not sure how durable the wrap is going to be, but it's an easy and quick way to change the looks of the bike.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member TheWood's Avatar
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    Well done; and enjoyed the back story. Good looking family portrait you got there.

  8. #8
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    dreams do come true

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by redsqwrl View Post
    dreams do come true
    I'm really, really liking the bike. Might even sell the VFR in the spring. I've not spent enough time on the Uly to be able to say that for sure though. I've also not spent any time on it mid-July to see if it cooks my right thigh...

    I'm in the process of looking for salvage bikes to get an engine for the red '07. Preferably an 08+ bike so I can get the upgraded engine and all the goodies I need for it. Financially it makes way more sense to just part is as-is, but...I just don't want to. I just really like these bikes and want to bring another one back.



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