Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Frankfort, KY 40601
I have a Buell S2T and can tell you that the components on this bike are comparable to those on some of the best sportbikes. This bike rails in the twisties. Nothing like a lot of low end torque to open up the passing lanes.
The new Buell engines are not really Harley Sportster engines, as they produce much more HP and TQ than Sporties (101 crank HP and 90 ft/lbs TQ @ 5,500 rpm stock). You can easily buy a kit (exhaust system, air cleaner assem., electronic module) from Buell to increase the low end power even further. These engines are not the most technologically advanced machines out there, but they don't have to be to get that power, 'cause they have cubic inches.
So what does all of this mean in the real world: A low maintenance engine you can work on without special tools. A torque monster on the highways, where the battles are fought and won at below 100 mph. A sound like no other motorcycle in the world (nothing sounds better than a Buell on the pipe at 6800 rpm). A bike that has folks walking up to you all the time asking you what it is and where can they get one.
Sure, there are lots of bikes out there with more peak HP and higher top speeds. These things are really important on the racetrack where you can keep the engine rpms on a rolling boil, and don't have to worry about what is around the corner of that blind curve before you dive into it at 90 mph. Buells are sport bikes for the real world, although I have seen them eat up everything on track days too, as long as the straights are 1/2 mile range. There is nothing like having that much mid range torque in a street dual.
I also have a YZF 600R that I ride at track days, so I have some real world experience to call from. I like all of my bikes for different reasons, but I like my Buells best.