Are Buells reliable? - Page 3 - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #21 of 74 (permalink) Old 08-19-2001, 12:26 AM
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A friend of mine rides a newer duck 996, every time he backs off the throttle a big cloud of oil smoke rolls out of his exhaust. Bad valve guide seals maybe?

Build a man a fire, and he is warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he is warm for the rest of his life.

Everything I know I learned from killing smart people and eating their brains.

Last edited by Fatman; 08-19-2001 at 12:33 AM.
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post #22 of 74 (permalink) Old 08-19-2001, 01:24 PM
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Originally posted by JDM1200
Nothing funnier than a duck rider telling anyone his bike isn't dependable. Hmmmmm adjusted any valves lately?
You are way wrong. Valve is adjustments are MAINTENANCE not REPAIR and have nothing to do with dependability.

Overall, Harleys need more repair than Japanese bikes. I refer you to 8eull's post. Ten LEMON LAW RECALLS is a lot for a bike manufactured in the small numbers Buells are.

This is just a theory, but I bet that most Buell buyers buy them because they are harley riders and don't want to "ride rice". Thererore, they ride Buells like moderate speeds, and therefore have very frew problems.

I bet the ones who try to ride them as if they were serious sportbikes do have dependability problems.

I personallly have seen this. Where I ride there is a group of 8 or 9 Buell riders that show up ocaisionally. I check out their tires. None have any wear out to the sidewalls.

My Duck is run up to redline several times everytime I ride it and it has never broken down.

Another case in point is this. Several times I have had the opportunity to "dice" with another two Buell riders when I am riding my 1988 BMW R100 RT. Usually, I am travelling at a comfortable pace when they catch up with me, so I let them by. but them I fall in behind and , despite their best effforts I usually re-pass the slow one and the other one can never get more than a few bike lenghts ahead of me and, trust me, he tries. Clearly, the Buell can get away form a 13 year old BMW with luggage, especially in a straight line, but it appears that they just don't want to ride their bikes that hard.

It seem that most Buell riders are just like their full dresser counterparts. They buy their bikes because they want to make a "statement", not go around corners fast. I refer you to Hongs second to last post.

Therefore, if ridden within their limits, Buells probaly are fairly dependable.

Like I said, nothing can change your mind or mine on this subject, but I think the numbers are in my favor.
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post #23 of 74 (permalink) Old 08-19-2001, 07:55 PM
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I never said valve adjustments were part of dependability. Just using it to prove ducks are maintenance intensive!
Theories are just that theories. Got any evidence to prove your point? I have several friends who do ride them as sportbikes with no probs!
I have seen ducks with flat spots on the rear also, whats your point?
You just prove the old point that its the rider not the bike! Eddie lawson on a Gold wing could beat me around Laguna with Me on a R1.
You like to make generalizations about a whole group of riders! Not a good habit to get into. I mean one could say guys who ride ducks....nevermind.
Just because you don't like Buells doesn't mean everyone else should not like them too! And I'm pretty sure a rider of equal skill on a Buell could smoke your paltry 900 SS! Do the numbers, more torque, more hp, and Buells corner like they are on rails!
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post #24 of 74 (permalink) Old 08-19-2001, 09:02 PM
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My experience with Buells is based what I have observed first hand, as described and what I have heard. One of my friends lives across the street from a Buell owner. His neighbors friend came over with his Buell one day and the had this problem with his Buell. Chunks of metal were coming out of the exhaust!

My "theory" is just that, but it is based on who I have spoken with and, again, what I have observed. Another friend took a demo ride on a Buell and was underwhelmed. He rides a honda f3.

You asked what my point was about the Buell rider's tires. It was this. On that day there were several Japanese and Italian bikes on the parking lot also. At least SOME of them had tires worn to the sidewalls, while none of the Buells did. It, in a small way, points to my theory that people who buy a Buell buy them for reasons for other than going around turns very fast. Of course, every one who buys an R6 doesn't have that intent in mind, but I believe a higher percentage do.

You are right, a more skilled rider on a Buell could probably pass me. But it has not been done yet, and I am the slowest one in my group.

You are right, Ducatis are more maintenance intensive than probably any other bike.

I,ve just got to ask this, however.

In the last 8 years, how many races has a HDvr1000 DNFd? WSB or AMA????????????????

I know it is irrelevant to this discussion, but it shows how little priority HD really puts on racing.

Ducati on the other hand.........

Also, before all of these new rules, Why did Hondas have to use restricter plates in AMA flattrack????????

I don't dislike Buells. If hd built a 130rwhp 375lb dry wt sportbike that handled like an Aprilia RSV mille R and was dependale as a japanese bike AND I didn't have to pay a HD stealership $2,000.00 over retail and wait 12 mo., I'd probably want one.

Eric Buell is doing the best he can with what he is given. What he is doing just doesn't appeal to me.

I think we are beating a dead horse here. You think Buells are dependable and I don't. You own a Buell and I don't. That makes neither of us impartial.

By now, ZeroMan has probably given up and bought an Mz.
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post #25 of 74 (permalink) Old 08-20-2001, 08:14 AM
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As far as my "hit". It wasn't to bad. Tweleve fractures in the right leg. Compound fracture in the right knee. Six total fractures in the right knee. No pulse below the right knee. Ten hours on the operating table the first day. More two days later. One week in intensive care. I have a new understanding of morphine. My leg is still attached and I now am playing Kendo (Japanese fencing). I don't have another bike yet. I think my next one will be bigger and slower. I might try the new Harley v-rod.
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post #26 of 74 (permalink) Old 08-20-2001, 08:31 AM
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Forgot to add this. I do agree with desmo on a couple points. None of us are impartial, and we all ride diferently. As far as riding to the edge. The first weekend I had my Buell I took my wife for a 800 mile ride. Even with bag's and a new motor I still ran the tires all the way to the edges. I always rode that way. Still I had no major problems. I gladly invite desmo to come the the bay area sometime to check out our monthly Buell meeting. All makes are welcome. You can check out all the bikes and talk to tthe owners. Then you can make a better judgement. I'm sure you sill still prefer a Duck but that is your choice. About the metal pieces coming out of your friends exhaust. If he had the race pipe, it was most likey the packing. The packing is suposed to be replaced every 1000 miles. Hence the name "race pipe" Many of up ride without repacking. Makes the bike a little loud, but some people like that.
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post #27 of 74 (permalink) Old 08-20-2001, 09:03 AM
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M2 cyclone reliability.

My experience with Buell reliability has been first hand, I have a 2000 M2 cyclone. I would not argue for a second that a Buell's strength is reliability, it's strengths are elsewhere.

I WOULD argue that they are worth it to some people, one of which is me.

I've owned a bulletproof Yamaha 600cc. It was great, until I rode the Buell. The Yamaha excelled in reliability, the Buell excells in character. A Ducati would likely be in the same category (higher character at the cost of higher maintenance needs) but would be harder to get parts for

If you do get a pre 2001 Buell, spend the first month of weekends replacing the front muffler mount bracket with the free upgraded part, replace the existing primary chain tensioner with the upgraded part ($15), and have a couple sets of james steel rocker box gaskets ($30) sitting in the garage waiting for the rocker box leak to start. Three or four evenings work, less then $100 worth of parts, and your Buell will be reasonably reliable.

If reliability is your primary concern, go buy yourself a Toyata Tercel and be done with it. There have been times where I have had more pleasure working on the Buell then riding my Yamaha.

Nothing against my old Yamaha standard... it was a great bike, reliable as heck, fast as stink, it was perfect. It just lacked character.

Also take into account that although the Buells need more maintenance, the maintenance is easier. I am by no means an expert wrench, but with simple tools and an evenings work, I could have the entire transmission out and on my bench. Not much too it.

Trash a head (there are two and they are completely seperate, so you would have a hard time killing both), and you can buy a new unit direct from Buell complete with the valves fitted and ready to bolt on. Less then $300 and about 3 hours work (two hours of which are removing old gasket material ). Need an engine part? Drop by any one of about 20 Harley oriented shops within an hour of you, and get either the Harley part or the Custom Chrome aftermarket part. They probably have it in stock.

And keep perspective, the Buell was built to be a great road bike, not a great race bike. This means things like very low unsprung weight, which does little for you on the track (where pavement is smooth and clean) but can make a world of difference between work and home. Top speed is something like 130, which is pathetic by superbike standards but is still 40 mph faster then I will ever go. At 70 mph on the interstate, you won't find a smoother more comfortable naked sport bike, and you will likely be pulling around 50 miles per gallon.

And if you are judging a bike by flat spots in the center of the rear, remember to take into account that the bike is producing astounding amounts of torque at VERY low RPM. This is very hard on tires. My current tires on the cyclone are only about 200 miles old, and are worn within 1/4" of the extreme edge. Big deal, I could do that in a parking lot and never break 20 mph.

So if reliability is your primary concern, don't buy a Buell, you likely won't be happy. If reliability is your primary concern though, why on earth are you riding a motorcycle, when even the best of them will pale in comparison to even an average subcompact car. You are obviously choosing to ride a motorcycle for some other reason... and for many of us the things a Buell offer far outwiegh the things a Buell lacks.

So you want me to "admit" my Buell is unreliable. Shrug. Sure. "Hi my name is Bill and my Buell is unreliable". "And by the way there is not a Japanese bike made today that I would rather own". Not because I have anything against the Japanese, but just because they have not built anything that I want.

There are some Ducks I would love to own, but I got my 2000 cyclone for $5200 one year old with 3000 miles on it. To get a Ducati, triumph, or BMW I like as well, I would be looking at $10,000 and up, and would have a hard time getting parts and community wisdom. Mock these Harley guys if you want, but they have been keeping bikes running for more years then you have been alive, and passing the wisdom from generation to generation.

Ooops... the compile I was waiting on just finished... guess I will end my rant now

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post #28 of 74 (permalink) Old 08-20-2001, 12:41 PM
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Well let me justify the note on the Buells bought back under the lemon law. The one guy knew of fifteen bikes the factory had bought back. This is a sore point. I had asked on the Buell bulliten board if anyone knew the number, total of bikes bought back. The answer I got was that, that sort of thing really did not mean anything cause Buell was a new company or dealer support was poor or whatever. In reality I think most of the problems are the dealer. You can enforce the lemon law (I think) when you have had the bike in the shop for the same thing three times and it cannot be corrected. Or it has been in the shop a specific number of days. So many of these guys have dealers that are idiots or just don't care. Case in point. A guy had complined of excessive oil usage. The shop did a compression leak down and told him it was fine. The oil usage was within limits. So he took the bike to a Buell only shop (Modesto). They called him to tell him the rear cylinder miserbly failed the compression test and he got a rebuild free under warranty! In additon to my dealer not wanting to rebuild my bike I have had to argue with the service writer when I told him not to change the fluids. I use synthetics, change the fluid myself. You guys might not know that Harley has a HD branded oil that they insist is the only thing that should be put in their bikes. They even say that to use oil other than HD will void the warranty, which is a lie. So the service writer says that they always change the fluid and that they would change mine whether I liked it or not! About that time the Buell tech walked out and told the service writer that I did indeed change my own fluids cause I use synthetics. That they performed the scheduled service except for the fluid change. The service writer was not happy about that but wrote it up.
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post #29 of 74 (permalink) Old 08-23-2001, 08:31 AM
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Smile Gotta laugh.

Anybody else getting a little chuckle about the Buell and Ducatti owners arguing back and forth about reliability and maintenance. I have to laugh.

What next, V-Max and Hayabusa owners arguing about who gets the best fuel economy? Or people with drag bikes arguing about who gets the best tire life?

Gotta laugh.

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post #30 of 74 (permalink) Old 08-26-2001, 06:48 AM
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No I'm not saying Buell's are totally reliable. I'm just saying your the kettle calling the pot black. Funny you should mention the VR 1000. No it hasn't had quite the success of the Ducati, but if you will check your AMA stats you will see that the dreaded VR 1000 finished ahead of all Ducati's in points last year. Besides Using your logic, I don't see many 900 SS out there winning superbike races.
If you don't like Buell's fine. Just don't come on a Buell board and expect to change peoples minds.
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