I have ridden for 22 years non-stop. Bikes owned include all japanese models (Suzuki GS1100E, RD's and RZ's, Goldwings and zx-7's) until this 1999 Buell. Here are the things that surprised me, good and bad, since riding and owning it.
1. The low-end torque and HP all the way from just off idle to it's rather short redline. The bike pulls hard without having to rev her up (good because it doesn't rev out anyway).
2. Feels hooked up in adverse conditions. In local thundersqualls I still feel comfortable leaning her over. I hypothesize it is the low center of gravity and the heavy flywheel but I am not sure.
3. The belt-drive, NO MORE chain lube all over everything and adjusting chains. Haven't really adjusted the drive belt much in over 30,000 mile or so.
4. Parts cost MUCH less than japanese bikes. Turn signals and tail light lens, 6 or 7 dollars. Brake lever, 20 dollars. Japs always ran twice as much.
5. Replaced 3 or 4 or 5 speedo sensors. They are magnetic and seem to just quit working at times.
6. Idle shake is high, but the carb model is better than the fuel injection.
7. Mine has been reliable and I have over 30 or 40 thousand miles on it, not sure because speedo sensor goes out.
8. Good street bike, not a race bike, but still quick.
9. I don't feel as dead-rock stable at speeds up to and over 100mph as on my previous ZX-7's (2, 1989 & 1997).
10. H/D replaced the rear shock with their new Penske (I think) model 2 years out of warranty with a good will gesture and only charged 100 dollars.
11. I replaced and had to pay for brake disc out of warranty and couldn't believe Buell wouldn't pay for it after it WORE OUT in a year.
12. Lots of aftermarket HD specialty shops that will work on the bike when it needs tires, etc., but I still carry the workshop manual in with me anyhow.
13. The BIGGEST surprise is the abuse from the jap bikers, I was used to that from the HD folks and didn't care for it too much then. Now I get it backwards from the jap folks, just AMAZING.
14. HD Insurance, full coverage is only about about 350 dollars per year.
My experience with recalls is that alot of bike brands have them and H/D did a total recall on the entire bike line to cover themselves on little things after they bought out Buell. Pretty responsible actually. I hope Buell makes it and I might even buy another one. I don't know if HD will support them long enough to turn a profit. But they have sold 100,000 bikes so far, according to figures I heard here, and their real prices end up being in the sub 10,000 range on all models after they need to get the models moving from the showroom. I only paid 8 for the 1999 M2 even though it was a first year model. What do other actual riders think of these opinions?
KEEP THE DIRTY SIDE DOWN...