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What performance/motorcycle category should Buells be placed under??

  • Street class: (w/ Katanas, Nighthawks, etc)

    Votes: 22 78.6%
  • Supersport class: (w/ the 600 SS's)

    Votes: 3 10.7%
  • Harley class: (w/ sportsters, softails, etc.)

    Votes: 3 10.7%

  • Total voters
    28
  • Poll closed .
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi Everybody,

I've gotten some harsh remarks (not from anybody here at SBW) but on other sites about commenting on performance features and capabilities of Buells vs. the 600's, 750's, open classers, Duc 996's, etc. After owning an M2 and 2 Suzuki sportbikes, the reliability and performance has been night & day. I'm not trying to start another heated debate between Buells and imports I just want to see what everybody feels...

Any Buell dealer (at least where I live) will tell you that though underpowered top end, an M2, S3, or X1 will be EQUAL to a GSXR, CBR, YZF-R, or ZX-R in HANDLING and SPEEDS under 80 mph. That's what I've heard from local H-D/Buell dealers.

I know how I feel I just want to be democratic and see what the rest of you guys & gals think...

PLEASE SEE THE POLL...thanks:)
 

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Street class

All magazines discussion with eric buell that I have read have made it clear that the firebolt was designed to be the "best handling streetbike".

This clearly makes it NOT (intended to be) a supersport or a race-replica.

Therefore, I am voting to put it in the streetbike category.

In that category, it may be competitive, except for that price thing.
 

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Buells?

They may have a place, but so does a Suzuki Bandit. They are a hoot to ride through a twisty mountain pass just the same as any other bike.

Buells will not be considered "True" Sportbikes until they become at least a threat on the track (against something other than similar Buells)

This aside, the Firebolt looks better than their previous attempts and seems to be closer to a true effort.

The fact that they could not hold a candle to most sport bikes on the track should take nothing away from them, but if Buell thinks they have built a true sportbike, they are wrong. I don't care what the numbers say, I don't see any champagne gettin splashed on them.

I would say that anyone that owns one should do so proudly, but don't try to defend it against any true sportbike with even half the displacement because you are gonna lose.

There's my 2 cents.

Regards-
 

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Not all sportbikes are fast sportbikes, and not all sportbikes are cutting-edge technology-wise, either.

For example, the Katana (which I've even seen termed a "standard" :confused: ) is a sportbike; just not a cutting-edge one. Remember, it won the AMA Supersport championship back in '88 or '89. It's still in the lineup because it's A) cheaper than a GSX-R600 and B) doesn't require you to do pushups on the handlebars.

Anyhow, the Buells... I've always felt they were great sportbikes in search of an engine. There's no doubt that the chassis/handling/tires/riding position/brakes are up for some serious scratching, they just have an engine that won't be letting them win races with the latest Japanese iron, that's all. Is an MG or Miata less of a sports car because it can't race Porsches and Corvettes?

I do tend to take riders of Buell/BMW R1100S/Ducati 750SS as pretty serious sportbike riders, because they seem to get the fact that there's more to sportbike performance than wheelies and dyno numbers and plastic fairings.


I'd venture to say that a Buell is every bit as much of a sportbike (if not more so) than a ZX-11 or Hayabusa, if we take the definition of "sport" as cornering in the mountains and not going fast in a straight line.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Many defininitions of a sportbike

I'd venture to say that a Buell is every bit as much of a sportbike (if not more so) than a ZX-11 or Hayabusa, if we take the definition of "sport" as cornering in the mountains and not going fast in a straight line. [/B][/QUOTE]QUOTE]Originally posted by Tamara

A lot of good points....

But I have owned an M2 and a Hayabusa. I also have a buddy who owned an S3 who now owns a Hayabusa.
We both agreed hands down, that bar technical tracks and roads under 25 mph (such as the canyons you mentioned:)) that a Hayabusa is a better handler. But to each their own. Buells are a great backroads bike.

I know a salesguy at a local H-D dealer that said he has a sport bike. When I asked what kind he said a Harley Dyna-Sport (or whatever that Superglide with better tires is called). So definitions of sportbikes vary greatly depending on who you talk to.

I just started this poll because I want to see what others think. And to see if anybody else has heard from Buell dealers about the delusional performance capabilities Buells will have vs. a GSXR or R6. (e.g., telling customers who are buying their 1st bike that a Buell will handle neck in neck with a GSXR.) Another dealer in Milwaukee even said an X1 will hang with a Hayabusa or R1 to 55 or 60!!!:rolleyes: None of this is to take away ANYTHING from Buells. They are a popular bike. It's just to clarify bogous performance comparisions.

I got chided by somebody who said in reference to the 600's:
"Blah Blah Blah!!Horses for courses!!...600's are for the track...Buells are good street bikes" That's all true and fine... .., then leave it at that and don't compare it to a Japanese bike that
underweighs it by 75 lbs, has a better chassis, and has 25 more horses at the wheel and will ditch it through corners over 15 mph (provided the riders are close in skill)


Take Care:)
 

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Originally posted by Tamara I'd venture to say that a Buell is every bit as much of a sportbike (if not more so) than a ZX-11 or Hayabusa, if we take the definition of "sport" as cornering in the mountains and not going fast in a straight line.
I disagree.

A sportbike is a motorcycle that was designed to compete in road racing.

I don't think that a xz11 or a Hayabusa were built for with that purpose in mind. Neither was a firebolt. They may end up being raced, but that was not their intended design.

I think we're stretching a bit too much here to classify a firebolt as any thing other than being a streetbike that was designed to go around sharp turns fast. It may end up BEING raced, either against other firebolts, or against restricted sportbikes, but it was not designed for that. That is what Eric Buell has said.

The line is fuzzy b/w steet bikes and sportbikes, I admit, but I am going mainly by what Mr. Buell has stated.

Yes. I know that R1,R6,xzx9/6, gsxr600/1000,F4i, 954 come with rear foot pegs and a passenger seat, too, but they were designed to be raced, although not every one made is actually raced.
 

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Sportbike=racebike?

The 600 Katana was designed to go supersport racing against the then-new Hurricane and sell well to street riders.

Buells and BOTT racing owed their gestation to each other.

The Ninja 250 and 500, by that definition, are not sportbikes, nor are the seminal GPX900 Ninja and GSX-R1100, while the FJ600 and GPz550 are.

That distinction might be cutting it a bit fine.

I think there are plenty of sportbikes that aren't race bikes, but that there aren't many racebikes that aren't sportbikes. (Just like there are plenty of sports cars that aren't race cars.)
 

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OK,

You guys and gals are ALL delusional!

I don't care if you race them or not, or they were designed to be raced or not.

We all have a pretty good idea of what a sportbike is, and I sincerely doubt that if you think SPORTBIKE and close your eyes, any of you will see a Buell appear. That doesn't make it a bad bike, and it may be the sportiest bike so far with a Harley in its DNA, but fit in the true definition of a sportbike? Sorry. Is it pretty cool? yes. But so is a Supermotard they race them and I don't consider them sportbikes either.

What's this better handling under 80 mph crap? Which one of you doesnt go faster than that daily?

If you you want to say the new Firebolt is a sportbike, fine. It just isn't a very good one. I say it isn't a sportbike. Especially considering anything even close in displacemanet will destroy it on a track, or a backroad with riders of equal skill.

Regards
 

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What's this better handling under 80 mph crap? Which one of you doesnt go faster than that daily?
Well, now, that depends on where you ride, doesn't it? ;)

Deal's Gap, f'rinstance, doesn't have much in the way of 120mph straightaways. :cool:




Edit: Didn't/doesn't the Lightning have a factory race package available at the dealer for $800, u-install-it? Granted, it only let you race other farm machiner... er, Buells, but still... ;)
 

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I haven't been to Deals gap, but I am willing to bet you do over 80mph on parts of it when nobody is looking, and if you don't, ride a cruiser.
 

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brklate said:
I haven't been to Deals gap, but I am willing to bet you do over 80mph on parts of it when nobody is looking, and if you don't, ride a cruiser.
There was something about they way your attitude came across in your postings, but I couldn't put my finger on it. After a closer investigation, I realized you are from New Jersey and that answered my question!
 

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You're right, I guess you haven't ridden The Dragon.

(To borrow from Arlo Guthrie "On one side there was a mountain, on the other side, there wasn't nothin'..." :D )
 

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Have read about them & read comments of them---

-----but have never seen one in my area.
Not what I would class as a sporbike & feel it might fit with Suzy Bandit & someother upright riding position bikes.
 

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Re: Have read about them & read comments of them---

Smitty said:
-----but have never seen one in my area.
Not what I would class as a sporbike & feel it might fit with Suzy Bandit & someother upright riding position bikes.
Just looking them over, I thought them to be similar to the Ducati monsters but have never ridden one.
 

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Based on the arguments against, we must now add the TLs, SV650's, Ducati Monsters, EX500's, Bandits, ZR-7's, FZ1's, GS500's, and the like to the list of "cool but not a sportbike." I disagree completely. My SV is a sportbike, Tamara's TLs is a sportbike, tsisson's FZ1 is a sportbike and slowrat's Katana is a sportbike. Try to tell Grok that his supermotards aren't sportbikes. :eek:

It's about attitude and the way someone rides, far more than how a manufacturer designates a bike.
 

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Hey Phalanx,

That New Jersey stuff is pretty brilliant considering you are in a state that re-elects Ted Kennedy every year.

I said I didn't ride Deals Gap.

I did live North Carolina for two years where they had twisties where over 20 mph was impossible.

In any case, maybe I will make to "The Dragon" this year.

Oooooooh, do ya think I'll live through it?

Hahaha.

C'mon people, lighten up. Just because it isn't a sportbike doesn't mean it isn't fast. It doesn't even mean that it can't beat some sportbike in the straightaways or twisties.

It still isn't a sportbike.
 

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Took the Bait... wrote a rant :)

Because of the long stroke two valve design, the piston speed of the 1200 CC Buell engine limits top RPM to about 6500 RPM, and even there the engine is suffering... Remember each cylinder is displacing 600cc's. These same attributes however, while killing the absolute top end, give a bottom end that any bikes but the absolute best superbikes can only dream of. At 3000 RPM, a stock Cyclone can be pulling close to 70 foot pounds of torque, and maintains around 80 from shortly thereafter all the way up the the 6500 RPM redline.

This means you have decent horsepower on the ground at the rear wheel from basically idle to redline.

Go look at a dyno pull on an R1 or a GSXR1000, and look at what RPM the torque is finally hitting close to 80 foot pounds, and see how much room you have left before redline. I don't even know either of these bikes EVER produce 80 foot pounds

Remember torque times distance is power, so my above example is actually a minor slight of hand to make a point. The inline fours have lousy torque, but they are spinning so fast they make up the power anyway.

But just as important is to remember that peak horsepower is nothing more then the measure of what your bike is doing at the instant you have to shift. It is a good way to determine a bikes top speed, but a bad way to determine a bikes acceleration. To find the acceleration, you have to look at the total area under the power curve, not just the instantaneous value at redline.

If you take the Power curve (I am being honest this time instead of using smoke and mirrors and quoting the torque curve) of my Buell Cyclone, and lay it over the power curve of your R1 or GSXR-1000, I think you will find that they are not far apart for a significant part of the rpm range.

3000 RPM on the Buell probably produces the same amount of power as does 7000 RPM on the inline four. 6800 RPM on the Buell probably is very close to the inline four at 10000 RPM or so.

(Of course then you have to shift the Buell, while you can wind out the inline four for another 2000 to 5000 RPM, which is where the real power from these superbikes suddenly shows up).

But note the actual amount of time you experience that extra 2000 to 5000 rpm margin during acceleration is the blink of an eye... if you notice it at all. How many sportbike riders on these superbike class machines actually use this RPM range as opposed to just short shifting. How many riders have the skill, the courage, the luck, the physical conditions, and the lack of cops to effectively put 150 horses onto the street consistently.

I would bet that at the average RPM that a sportbike rider runs at, at the moment they roll on the throttle they are on a 30 Horsepower bike.

About the only thing superbike kind of top end power is useful for is absolute top speed, when it all goes to just pushing air out of the way. Putting much more then 100 horses down on the street during acceleration below 80mph or so won't do anything beside spin the back tire or loop the bike (unless you have a really long wheelbase and the associated sluggish responsiveness in handling).

So to dismiss the Buell is to say a GSXR1000 or an R1 is a booring bike at any RPM below 10000.

You would be foolish to take a Buell to an open class race. But by the same token, your GSXR-1000 could be eaten for lunch by a large displacement two stroker. In either case, I could care less, I don't race them. In fact (as others have already stated) if you are going to dismiss the Buell as a sport bike because it is not competitive in an open class race, then you should disqualify ANY US street legal bike, as there are two stroke and custom formula one bikes that will humiliate them all on the track.

I like my Cyclone because it handles great, pulls VERY hard at any engine speed from idle on up, and because I LOVE the sound of a low revving large displacement aircooled pushrod 45 degree VTwin. The sound and character of the ride gives me every bit as much pleasure as the arm wrenching acceleration. I could jump on the bike, ride it for four hours straight comfortably, and I get 50 miles per gallon and a 200+ mile range. I can scrub my Dunlop D205's right up the the ragged edge, and the first part of my bike to touch down in a hard lean is the toe of my shoe.

The problem is not that a Buell is not a sportbike, the problem is that what are commonly called "sportbikes" are really "trackbikes". They are set up to win races, but are generally all around annoying on the streets we ride on and the laws we are subject too here in the US. I think they are very cool in terms of what they can do, but I think they are silly for riding on the street... just as silly as taking a Buell to an open class race.

And before you dismiss the dealer as an idiot, I would bet that a Buell Cyclone and a GSX-1000 would be very close 0-50 from a standing start. Before you bet against it, note that the Cyclone can hit 50 in first gear, and that the extra 50 horses on the gixxer can't do much for you at this range of speeds besides simply loop the bike.

Enough about the Cyclone, now onto the new Firebolt (XB9R)

Cycle World rode the new XB9R (the Firebolt), and talked about the broad smooth torque delivery. They asked Erik Buell if he was not concerned that such smooth broad power will give riders the impression that the bike is not as powerfull as it really is. His response was something to the effect of "we built this bike for riders that really want to go fast, not some geeky kid looking to scare the crap out of himself once a year or so".

Don't think of the firebolt as an open class supersport bike (and as I said before, don't think of your GSXR1000 or R1 that way either, all three bikes would be eaten for lunch by any number of 2 strokes or formula one bikes). And even these formula one bikes could be eaten for lunch by a formula one race car. And the Formula one race car could be eaten for lunch by a YF22 Raptor figther jet, which in turn would be smoked by the space shuttle. At some point, you set rules, cost constraints and track boundries to define the paramaters you are competing within (like Pro Thunder races for air cooled V-twins).

Whats amazing about the firebolt is that it gives you the same basic steering geometry and handling of a 250cc two stroke racer with a nice fat power band in a bike that is street legal and reasonably comfortable and practical for day to day use. Look at the wheelbase and steering geometry of the thing... it really is revolutionary and deserves the credit as such... and you would NEVER have seen something like it come out of Japan (though you might from Italy).

This is why Buell is trying to make a point of describing their bikes as something different... a sportfighter. Not a track bike, but rather a very aggressive street bike. I would put SV-650's, Cagiva Raptors, most Ducattis (that any of us can afford anyway), the Bandit 1200, the Katana, the ZR7, the Interceptor, and similiar bikes all in this same catagory. They all have different collections of pros and cons, but all work exceptionally well on a consistent basis in the real world of street riding as a package. They will all bring a huge grin in a different way, and if that ain't sport, I don't know what is.

*Shrug* Ultimately, I guess you are all correct, and the Buells are NOT a sportbike, they are a streetbike. That begs the question however, of why the hell are all you people riding your sportbikes on the street ;)

Bill "sucker for Buell trollers... take the bait every time" Kilgallon...
 

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reepicheep,

That's the magic of a v-twin, idn't it? :D

I was looking at dyno curves the other day, and deciding just what it was that makes the TL such a scary fun beast to ride.

It may have something to do with the 50-hp spike between 5,000 and 7,000 rpm. At 5,000, it's putting out about 50 rwhp, about 8 less than a stock R1 and 5 less than a Super Hawk. At 7k, it's putting out a shade over 100 rwhp, the same as an R1 and 15-20 more than a Super Hawk.

Life ain't spent at redline, and that kick in the midrange will get your attention every single time. :cool:
 
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