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What reviews have you seen that say they are unreliable? I have known them to be rock solid. The engine has been around for over 15 years in the Harley Sportster. Granted the Buell has different Cams, heads and valves, but it is a very dependable motor.
Go to some of the links in Buell links and you will see some really high mileage Buells.

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Ride the Pace,
JD
 

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Reliable

Depends, Buells seem to vary quite a bit. Checkout badweatherbikers.com. I have a 1998 S1W that has given me a bit of trouble. The worst thing was holeing the rear piston at 19,324 miles. The factory did nothing and the local dealer was not interested in rebuilding my bike. Kinda pissed me off. These bikes are alot of fun, but, you will need a shop manual and you will need to be prepared to wrench. Badweather is a excellent souce of info. Probably the most disturbing thing I have read is one guy who knows personally five people who had the factory buy back their bike under the lemon law. And another ten on the web! Alot of the problems are dealer support, or rather a lack of. Like my dealer. I told him my story about blowing my motor, the bike was 18months old at that time. He says 'so what do you want us to do about it?' They, Harley dealers, make so much money hanging chrome and such they don't want a rebuild job. I now have 232k miles on my bike. Also kinda odd. I needed a new ignition swith. The local dealer tried for two months and is still trying as far as I know to get me the part with no success. I got the part from Modesto Buell in cal. A Buell only shop. Good luck
 

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reliable?

Buells are a rare sight here in Northern Ireland but I know 3 guys that have them. 2 of them have a love/hate thing going on as both have broke down a few times so far. The Buells come with a breakdown recovery package for 12 or 24 months so they always get taken back to the only Harley/Buell dealer in N.I. who I have to say gives excellant back-up. Personally, I had a ride on the Lightning & loved it but I wouldn't want it to be my only bike. I also think the new Firebolt looks the biz.
 

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I have a 1998 S1WL Buell which I purchased used. I have riden it to work almost every day the weather is half decent a 48 mile trip each way. I have put on 500 miles a week on the bike and have had no trouble at all with the bike other than replacing the battery once and one rear tire. The bike now has 10,000 miles on it. I have owned all brands, types and sizes and this bike has been the most fun of all. Best part is almost noboby knows what it is. There are so few of them its like having a one of a kind sport bike.
 

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buell reliable

I had a 98 BuellS3. I say had because on my way to work one day a construction truck decided he needed to be where I was. I lost. Before that fateful day I had my Buell for 10 month's. During that time I put over 15,000 miles on it. I replaced the rear tire once, had the swingarm bushings replaced once. Other than that I changed oil and road the wheel's off it.:)
 

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Here's my limited experience with Buells: Rode with a group last year to S.E. OH, and when we pulled up to a gas station the CBR900 rider noticed oil splattered all over his front fairing. Turned out to be coming from the Buell riding in front of him, the rear of the Buell was covered in oil. It had a couple thousand miles on it.
 

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ZeroMan said:
I've seen many reviews saying that Buells are often unreliable and troublesome. Is this true?

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FORGET IT!!!!!!!!!

buy Japanese...or Italian......or even British.

Friends don't let friends ride Harleys, very far.
 

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I did hear of one person who had a valve cover leak. Easy enough to fix. Unlike the Duck a "friend" had. He couldn't wait to get rid of it. Always leaking from every where.
 

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Hongs said:
I did hear of one person who had a valve cover leak. Easy enough to fix. Unlike the Duck a "friend" had. He couldn't wait to get rid of it. Always leaking from every where.
The Harley NEVER leaked?????

Yeah, right.
 

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My Buell never leaked a drop. Neither did my 90 Sportster. The rigid chopper with the Ironhead sportster motor leaked when I first got it, however I fixed that and no more leaks. It's a matter of being able to work on your own bike. If your not mechanicaly inclined or rich you can ride what ever you want and just take it to the shop.
 

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Hardly Dangerous

Hongs said:
It's a matter of being able to work on your own bike. If your not mechanicaly inclined or rich you can ride what ever you want and just take it to the shop.
You just proved my point.

The other brands don't NEED the repair/maintenance Harleys do.
Therefore, the other brands would less costly AND, by definition, more dependable, even if bought used.
 

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I guess you missed the point that one friend had a Duck that was always leaking from somewhere or just flat out broken down. He used to cary fluids in his tank bag so if anything got too low he could fill it back up. Part of owning a Harley is making it your's. Not just like everyone else's. Your bike is a statement about you. Are you an individual or just a copy of someone else? I prefer to make my own statement. I didn't need to work on my bike's. I enjoy'd working on them. I also worked on the Honda I had. It was just harder to work on.
 

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Alot of what 8uell said is true. Here in the San Fran area there is a definate shortage of good Buell dealers. But as far as problems we have a group of Buell riders that gather's once a month. We usually have 40-60 riders show up. Of those I only know of one who had any major problems with their bike. Yet, after the problems he had, the next bike he bought was another Buell. Either a glutton for punishment or the Buell is just that much fun to ride. I only got off my Buell without a smile once. That was when I was hit.
 

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I hope your "hit" wasn't serious. I hope it didn't end your riding career.

I guess there is nothing that can be said that will change either of our minds on the subject of Buell dependability. I just hope that Zero Man gets some useful info.

BTW the only parts of my bike that make a "statement" are the tires. They are shredded right up to the sidewalls and virtually new in the middle. What parts of you Buell made a statement about you?
 

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You want a bike that is good without any doubt get any of the big 4 japanese brand. Then you don't have to question anything; however, I am not saying that there is like .01% at times that some have a problem due to manufacturing. But they are the best. That's my opinion and I hope no one gets offended or butt hurt hehehehe :D
 

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Well It sounds like all of you that ride Jap bikes never vave any problems. Thats great and I hope it stays that way for you but I have not had that great experience with them. Along with my 98 Buell S1 I have a 83 Midnight Virago 920 Guess which bike gets the pan under when I park it. No not the Buell its the Yamaha. Guess which bike had the ignation module replaced 3 times, nope not the Buell. Guess which bike had the stator rebuilt twice and the voltage regulator replaced once, nope not the Buell. I also have a 250 Suzuki that I have had for 30 years never ever had a problem with it. I guess sometimes you get the bear and some times the bear gets you.
 

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Every jap bike I've owned in the last nineteen years has had problems.

1971 Honda CB350: drum brakes worked once then faded real bad, points bounced, leaked oil a little, electrics were crummy.
1985 Suzuki GS550ES: rear brake wasn't porperly adjusted by the dealer, ruined the disk (bike got stolen so it didn't matter)
1987 Kawasaki EX250: bad electrical parts.
1992 Yamaha XT600: Valve cover cracked just after the factory warranty expired, leaked oil everywhere. Bad electrics.Brakes suck.
1995 Kawasaki KLR650: Broken motor mounts at around 35000 miles.Brakes suck. Gas tank replaced under warrenty, bad leak. Faulty electrics
1998 Suzuki GSF1200S Bandit: Leaked oil right after I got it, gas tank leaked right after I got it. Both fixed under warrenty. Bad electrics replaced under warrenty. Speedometer went bad at 17000 miles, warrenty replaced. Valve cover still leaks a little oil, but I don't care anymore. Gas guage don't work anymore, another warrenty fix:mad: ALL of my motorcycles have failed to run at one point or another due to faulty electrics.
My next bike might be a Buell. ;)
 
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