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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, I've decided to venture into the lion's den and poke'em with a pointy stick.

My quest for a newbie bike (which I plan on getting in April 03) took me to the local H-D dealer, who shares space with Kawasaki. I went to look at Ninja 250s and 500Rs, but the Blast caught my eye. All the Buells look...unique I guess. After some 'net surfing, I sorta wrote them off, since I heard a lot of nasty things about reliability, etc. But I've also read some good things about them, especially for a brand spankin' new rider (at 35 no less). One really intriguing thing is the "trade-in-at-cost-for-a-bigger-Buell" option.

So in y'all's experience, how would you rate the Blast? How about experiences in trading up? Do they really do that? And what does Buell have interesting to trade up to? I personally like the Cyclone (I think that's what it is) but I've not heard much about it or any of the others. Of course, that may be because I don't kow where to look, but anyway, any advice/input from you Buell-philes would be appreciated.
 

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Ride it first

I don't like the way the Blast shakes. I bought my Cyclone after 2 test rides. I have been riding for 20 years though. One reason to buy a smaller or a used bike, if it's your first it makes the damage repairs cheaper. You will probably "drop" (read that as crash) a first bike a few times. Hopefully it will be soft get offs but the bike still takes some scrapes. If you've ridden awhile even dirt bikes just buy what you like. "Run what you brung" and all that. OK?
 

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Blast Experience

My Blast is my first bike. I bought a 2000 with 900 miles on the OD for only $3600 including the remainder of the warranty (about 4 months).

I'll list my grips first...

I needed the waranty, the early bikes used a paper head-gasket which had a tendancy to blow-out every 2000 to 3000 miles. Fortunatly Buell redesigned the part. The gasget is now made of metal and I've got about 10,000 miles logged since the part was last replaced.

The drive belt broke, twice, at 3,000 and 5,000 miles. It's supposed to last at least 15,000 miles. Most other Blastards haven't had this problem. I guess I'm just lucky. Why Buell decided to use a skinny belt instead of the fat sportster model I don't know.

On the 2000 models the paint on the footpeg extensions wore off real easy. From what I've heard the 2003 bikes have the paint problem solved.

And with all of the above I still LOVE THE BIKE. It is a kick! I'ts light, quick, and can do 90mph down the freeway (I'm 6', 190lbs.)

I have 15,000 miles logged on the bike and I don't regrete my decision at all. GO FOR IT! (but get a 2002 or 2003).

Dave
 

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The Buell is a POS compared to the EX250. The lil' Ninja is virtually trouble free with a 15 year proven design. To top that the lil' Ninja will out perform the Blast in every category. The lil' Ninja is very smooth and the Blast shakes all over the place. The lil' Ninja shifts very smoothly like all Kawasaki and the Blast has the Harley clunk. I guess the the only thing going for it is that you can trade it in on another Buell but why spend $10,000 for a bike that won't out perform a 10 year old 600.
 

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I can't speak to the Kawa 250 or 500 but I will warn you off Suzuki's 500. The neighbor kid has one and it takes at least 10 minutes to get the thing warmed up to the point that it won't stall when he lets out the clutch for the first time.

At least my Blast is ready to go in about 15-30 sec. An important consideration for me since I commute to Seattle by ferry and don't have a lot of time to wait for my bike to warm-up when the boat reaches the dock.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Just for the record....

.....my choices are pretty limited.

Ideally, I want a 2001-2003 SV650. From all I've read, it's a good beginner bike I can learn on and grow into. I will probably never outgrow it's capabilities. The factor that concerns me here is cost. I've yet to see one of those "No payments for 6 month" deals on Suzuki street bikes, so I'd have to plunk down some of the cash and finance the rest.

My alternate choice is the Ninja 250/500. My concerns with it are resale after I outgrow it, and from all I've heard, I WILL outgrow either of them in a few years, and I'd be depending on the $$ from selling the bike to finance whatever I move up to.

Which is where the Blast enters the picture. Good beginner bike (I've sat on one, but not gotten a test ride yet) with a built in "trade up" option. And I like the bigger Buell's, despite the bad press. That new Lightning is gorgeous!
 

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You might consider buying a used EX250. You can get a relatively new one ('00-'01) for less than $2,000 ride it a year and sell it for about what you paid for it. Now is a good time to buy what ever you will end up with. Bikes are cheaper in the winter. Buy it for cash, carry liability only and use it for a trade in when you buy a bigger, new bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
SW

Unfortunately the used cycle market in my neck of the woods is ATVs, dirt bikes, and full-dress Harleys in dubious condition. I've not found many (I think I saw two last month) suitable, used beginner bikes here, certainly no Ninja 250s. I check www.cycletrader.com periodically, but no luck so far. maybe things will get better come spring.
 

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I have on 01 250

Hey I have a good ninja 250 beginner bike for sale. ITs red/black and is slightly damaged......fell over under carport. Anway...they are excellent learners bikes. They are low maintence and reliable.
I live in Southwestern PA...if your interested...e-mail me at

[email protected]

I can give you pics and more info if you need it. There is absolutley nothing mechically wrong with this bike.
 

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i hope not desmo.

if a new big buell is a bike you'd like to have, the blast! is a great choice.

i don't know how well harley is backing up the buy-back program, but they held true to it with the sportster buy-back plan they used to have.

i haven't ridden a blast!, but i do like the ex500 a lot. the blast! and the ninja 250 have the same problem in my eyes, little wheels.

i like the new buell street-fighter (looks, never rode one). before that i loved the x1. but one ride changed my mind on the x1. it still shifts like a harley. :( maybe the thunderbolt-based bikes will be better.
 

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Only if your gonna trade up

I bought a new 2001 Blast with the intention of keeping it a few years. My last 500 single from '82 was a hoot for over 50'000 miles. Figgered the Blast would be about the same. Big mistake. Now I'll be the first to admit that some of my complaints are subjective. Most others were not.
1. The bike is made for smaller people. At 250+gear the suspension is bottomed out.
2. Its twitchy at freeway speeds. Some people call it quick handeling. I couldn't make it hold a line.
3. The ergonomics were horrible. Feet apart and way out in front, Bars too far back, and a seat that doubled as a medieval tourture device.
4. The engine sucks down oil faster than a 2 stroke. Every time you fill the gas tank you put in a 1/4 quart.
5. The tranny shifts like a third world garbage truck.
6. The mirrors fatigue off
7. Electrical components fail at an alarming rate. 2 speedometer sensors, the neutral indicator switch, the kickstand interlock switch, and the ignition module all failed under 5000 miles. Sure warranty covers it and I really enjoyed pushing the bike home every few hundered miles:barf:

Buell did get a few things right
1. It's easy to ride
2. Maintenence is simple
3. Got the best front brake on the planet
4. Great gas mileage
5. TRADE IN!!! Yes it works. I wasn't too sure about reliability of the bigger Buells but after 6 months of unreliability from the Blast I would have traded for a tricycle. They can keep their Blast:twofinger
The 02 M2 is a different story. Just passed 21'000 miles and lovin' it.
 

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OK.....reveiw from a fellow Blast owner...

:rolleyes: I LOVE MY BABY BUELL BLAST!!!!!
My blast is my first bike and I love it.... I to looked at the kawi 250 and 500.....The price was fine but they look just like they did 15 yrs... ago..
The Blast is new Hand Built!!!! and Sleek....
And the guy above was right you WILL drop it I've dropped mine...
The great thing is that new Blast tank covers and feirings ( I never spell that word right) are about $80.00 for an entire new body kit.
Hell you could change the color every month if you want.
And when I dropped mine my handlebars were $48.00!!!! Not bad for my own stupid fault!!!!
It's a great bike it's a great company....
And I would have to say buy one from to HD dealership the added benefits are great!!!! And they will useally throw in some free extra's!!!!! I got $400.00 worth of accessories at my dealership.....and a free helmet kawasaki doesn't offer jack shit....

Well i hop that helps....
Please keep me up to date....I'd like to know what you buy...
Surina
Buell chick
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Buellgirl

To be honest, the Blast is at the bottom of my short list, mostly cause I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to sell it when I want to move up.

The first pick (money willing) is a SV650. I think that bike would last me a lifetime. However, based on some opinions here, the '01 model is the best choice, and they are rare around here.

Next is the Ninja 500R. I think it has what would keep me happy long enough to learn on and save up for the next step.

The Buell certainly looks better than the Ninja, and I like the low maintenance aspect, but given it's performance, I'm not sure if it'd keep me smiling past the first year, and I'm also unsure of it's resale value, especially in WV. Buell no longer does the buy back thing. I need to ask the dealer about trade-ins though...

But I will certainly let everyone know what I get. And I do appreciate the advice!
 

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Blast!

Okay, from a fellow Blast owner - I don't recommend them.

I am short (5'1") and the Blast seemed a good choice - short, cute and I couldn't get into too much trouble with it, right? So my wonderful hubby bought me a brand new black 2002 Blast so we could ride together....

Bah.

Damn thing.

It is sitting in my driveway, sucking down insurance and payment money (because the local HD dealers won't take it back to sell, since they are all BURIED under other Blasts that have been turned back in) and it has less than 200 miles on it. Yes, 200 miles. I got BORED with it in no time. Not to mention the fact that the little bugger scared me.

No way would I take it on the freeway (no balls) and I refused to take it through an unprotected intersection unless I can see both ways and there is NO oncoming traffic (again, no balls).

I really, honestly feel that it is a difficult bike to ride. The throttle is touchy when starting off and the stupid thing has a habit of stalling at really bad times....

I moved up to a Honda 2000 F4 after putting only about 100 miles on the Blast (or less) and I regret it not at all. I love the Honda and the only time I'm scared of the bike is when I'm trying to scare myself by going too damn fast! :twofinger
 

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Blast vs. the 250Ninja

Ok, I'm totally biased here. As I run the World Largest Buell Blast Group/Club over on Yahoo.
I'm not a newbie to bikes as I've been riding over 30 yrs (I'm 45). And to top if off I'm a really BIG guy,i.e.-6'4"/225lbs.
But I promote the Blast. I have ridden and liked the Kaw EX250R Ninja alot. But I love Thumpers. I'm a retired Flattrack Racer, who ONLY raced 500-600cc thumpers(4stroke Singles). And I'm fond of any thumper I've owned or ridden.
When it came to a Choice a few years ago for a fun little sportbike that was easy to own and insure and maintain...it really became a No Brainer. The Buell (P3)Blast was my hands down favorite over the baby Ninja.
Sure the bike shakes at idle... but i tell you, my one Blast has 15,000miles on it and it ONLY got smoother as the miles added up. I really think it took until 5k miles until the motor was fully broken in. As for smoothness...the Blast(and Buells) are designed to shake at low Rpm and smooth out at higher speeds. And the Blast! is really smooth from 60-75mph- whereas the 250Ninja is a Buzzing/ No torque screaming Banshee !
The Ninja always needs to be revved, has little if any torque and basically although a tad faster (The Blasts' Top speed is rev limited at 96mph), I can hit the rev limiter in every gear including top gear. My one Blast (in my photos) is fairly stock with only a V&H pipe and jet kit , plus a few other mild tweaks which produced a dyno certified 30.2 RWHP. I have a Race Blast Motor waiting to be installed that is 600cc with hot cams, ported head/ hi comp piston and a few other tricks...and this motor ought to produce about 50RWHP as the same combo has been dynoed on a friends Flattrack Blast Racer.
But as it is, My tiny Blast with MY FAT ASS on it will BEAT any Stock 250 Ninja out there ! And it won't be sounding like a Toro Lawnmower on Helium while doing it !
BTW- the Blast is the most reliable Buell built to date with the exception of the NEW XB series bikes.
Now I'm NOT saying a little Thumper is a Killer sportbike, coz thats like comparing Apples to Oranges(No, make that GrapeFruit). But what I am saying is the Blast is in the same catergory as the Ninja 250..and a helluva lot easier to maintain and hop-up and and it's Also "Different in Every sense" !
The Blast maybe a Beginners bike...but it's also a unique thumper that has much potential.
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/Buells-Blast/
Visit My Yahoo Group and find out more !
Sure Jap bikes are GREAT...but they are also Not Unique , not american and sound like Whiney little Children.
In this size bike, give me Sound(Thump), torque and the Uniqueness to stand apart and have people walk over and ask me about my bike (Buell).
I was a Jap bike fan for 2 decades, then I met Erik Buell. While I cannot yet afford to own an XB Buell...ASAP I' will ! And that bike won't be better that a 600cc Jap superbike...but it will be Different!
Anyway, I'll step off my Soapbox...and if any of you 250cc Ninja riders pass thru central Pa., give me a Shout...so i can Blow the Freakin Rice Whine out of your.....

~Ralph
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swjohnsey said:
The Buell is a POS compared to the EX250. The lil' Ninja is virtually trouble free with a 15 year proven design. To top that the lil' Ninja will out perform the Blast in every category. The lil' Ninja is very smooth and the Blast shakes all over the place. The lil' Ninja shifts very smoothly like all Kawasaki and the Blast has the Harley clunk. I guess the the only thing going for it is that you can trade it in on another Buell but why spend $10,000 for a bike that won't out perform a 10 year old 600.
 

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Flattrack Blast!

Oh, and here's a photo of Team Harley's Flattracker as was raced by Jen Snyder a few years ago. These bikes even produced around 60 RWHP from 505cc !

I just happen to love thumpers and Flattrack was my Roots...but I also W.E.R.A. Road Raced as well....And it was on thumpers after I left my first 2-stroke twins in my blue haze smokey past.
 

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I think calling a Buell Blast a sportbike is stretching the defination. I stick by my original observation that the Blast is an over-priced, unreliable POS. While I could see myself owning a Buell it would never be a Blast.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Update

Guys (and gals) I have been rude. I never did post on what I eventually got.

I got a local Yamaha dealer to sell me a new 2001 YZF600R for $5,870 back in April, and I absolutely love it. It was too good a deal to pass up, and as it turns out, the 600R wasn't TOO much bike to start out on. My only regret is that it's black, and shows every fleck of dust, scratch, etc. :D

However, I'm already drooling over the FZ600 or maybe that KTM Duke. :drool:
 

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So my Friend, what do you ride now ?
As for clling a Blast a Sportbike, no-I wouldn't either. I'd call it a Standard Bike, built by a company that BUILDS Pure Sportbikes. It IS a Beginner bike.... But with a few tweaks,it's as GOOD as ANY 250 Ninja- Sportbike ?
BTW- how many miles have you riddn a Blast ?
While the Blast isn't exactly cheap anymore, a used bikes' price is a GREAT Value. And Reliability is Excellant! (The first yr 2000 bikes had some Bugs).
LOL...you're a funny man.

Ride Safe !

P.S.- I guess the Blasts' lean angle doesn't make it a sportbike ?
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swjohnsey said:
I think calling a Buell Blast a sportbike is stretching the defination. I stick by my original observation that the Blast is an over-priced, unreliable POS. While I could see myself owning a Buell it would never be a Blast.
 

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