2003 Buell Lightning XB9S: MD Ride Review …

5 Апр 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 2003 Buell Lightning XB9S: MD Ride Review … отключены
Buell Lightning XB9S
Buell Lightning XB9S

2003 Buell Lightning : MD Ride Review

I’d been the editor for a while about a ’03 Lightning from Buell. My was fulfilled, and for two weeks, I rode bike on the freeways, twisties, and streets of So Cal. The look of the had me eagerly anticipating excellent

In many ways, it delivers. In a critical areas, it doesn’t.

The has a street fighter style, no fairing of any sort (don’t let piece above the projector headlights fool you), and dirt bike-type handlebars place the rider in an upright and give the rider good for steering input. The bike a very aggressive stance, the new frame and swingarm giving it a got out of the gym” look that I very appealing.

It’s a compact motorcycle that, at least, walks around its chest puffed up out and arms out Of particular note concerning the and appearance of the bike is that the Museum of Architecture and Design upon the XB9S Lightning the Good Design Award. The “acknowledges the best and finest innovation for products and graphics.”

The frame of the Buell is pretty the center of attention for this A huge, twin-spar design not promises stiffness, but houses 3.7 of fuel in the steering head and frame spars, while 2.5 of oil for the dry-sump v-twin engine in the swingarm.

Chassis specs a 52 inch wheelbase, 21 degree head angle and 3.3 inches of Compare that to a typical middleweight sport bike with numbers of 54.5 degrees/3.8 inches, respectively, and on it would seem that have at the very least a unstable motorcycle ready to the rider into the nearest Riding the bike reveals exactly opposite this

The steering is laser accurate and cat yet supremely stable. Hanging off the of the bike, road race-style, has the steering almost as much by the weight shift as with inputs. Riding the bike a motocross, or supermotard style, the bike is forced below the in a turn, works as well, but so at slower speeds.

As was stated the bike remains very yet quick to react to rider

Suspension front and rear is by manufacturer Showa. The front is a 41mm upside-down unit, in all the usual sport bike One end of the rear shock bolts to the swingarm and the other to the frame behind the rear cylinder. rate is achieved through mount position, rather linkage geometry.

Simple, and effective. The suspension adjusters a noticeable difference when are tweaked, and it doesn’t take a turn of rebound or compression to make a difference. This the rider to tune in a ride to the twisty stuff on the weekend, or a ride to handle the rough streets and freeway expansion

On a motorcycle that has such a wheelbase, it is important that the work well, and it does.

feature of this bike catches the eye is the front brake. It to be rim- mounted, but the engineers are to correct this. While the resides at the outer reaches of the it is in fact fastened to mounting that are located on the inner of the wheel, rather than on the portion of the rim.

At 375mm, the rotor has no equal in size, and is by a six-piston Nissin caliper. calls it zero torsional (ZTL) braking. Braking are transferred to the outer rim, than into the hub and, the spokes of the wheel in a conventional

The resulting benefit is reduced weight. The other benefit is the power. Although, initial is not what you’d expect, is a great deal of fade-free and feel at the lever.

Stoppies are not a with this bike, but can be attributed as much to the ultra-short as to the brakes.

The engine. ahhhh, the A big, 984cc, 45 degree air cooled, two valve per cylinder, from Milwaukee. This architecture has been the single identifiable element of Harley’s since well before I was and continues to this day to power around the world.

In the earlier of Erik Buell’s manufacture of the and White Lightning, the motor 1200cc, and the White Lightning had re-worked cylinder heads allowed the motor to inhale making more power. torque, and midrange power revved out respectably, is what I of this motor. Carburetors the air and fuel back then, worked well enough.

came often, and as easily as opening the throttle. I told that this is how the motor of Buell would be, especially the fuel injection – before I in the smaller displacement. I still out hope, though, especially all the parking lot performance articles of bike I had read told of the type of wheelie antics I

The reduced capacity of the engine has neutered the engine, stripping its portfolio of a majority of its redeeming of low to midrange torque, making it a bad to the legacy set before it by the previous Buell engines. Although the smooths out at 3000 rpm, it make decent power 4500 rpm, and then out of breath around 6500 making the trip to the 7500 rpm largely wasted time.

The heavy crankshaft makes rpm a more leisurely affair with other sportbikes, or v-twins, even previous engines for that matter. braking with the heavy is rather minimal, so reducing speed by rolling off the throttle is not as as you’d expect. EPA noise and emissions have likely a hand in emasculating the Lightning’s performance.

Being an air-cooled, v-twin in today’s environmentally society does not make an life for the creator’s engineers.

is a “race kit” available Buell (for closed use only) of course, that mostly to the midrange power of the and increases both the horsepower and peaks slightly. The kit consists of a exit muffler, an air filter, and a new It costs $620 and would be that I’d have installed it left the dealer if I were to buy

Shifting through the gears on our unit was a dreaded task, than an enjoyable one. clutch pull, and exceedingly action at the shift lever selecting the next gear a of your determination. Since the cable was adjusted to spec, I that maybe the linkage lubrication, but shifting remained an task, despite the presence of stuff.

The relative low output of the would not be so much of an issue if the made accessing it easier.

injection, a new addition to this works very well and is highlight of this bike. the key and hit the starter button as the fuel pressurizes the injection system, and the comes to life, settling at 900 rpm. You can ride off immediately starting the engine with no response glitches.

Buell Lightning XB9S
Buell Lightning XB9S

After reaching operating the idle settles at 800 rpm. The injection works as well as the F.I. systems on the market, of origin of manufacture.

Heat is more of an issue on this especially for the rear cylinder, is mostly hidden by the frame. A controlled two-speed electric fan behind the rear cylinder unwanted heat and blows it onto the rear shock, the shock did not seem to suffer any ill from the heat gun treatment. through traffic had the fan running a of the time, and whenever the bike was you’d walk away to the of the fan keeping the rear cylinder meltdown.

Vibration is pretty controlled with Erik’s and effective uni-planar engine system that allows up and movement of the Milwaukee power but not fore/aft, or lateral movement. I’m it’s there. At idle, the shakes comically, kinda a “Polar Bear” club who stayed in the frozen lake’s a little too long.

Once but still below 3000 the motor has the bike buzzing vigorously at all contact points, the mirrors have a Mazda taking on the appearance of a full van, but once above mark it’s almost as if the has shut off and something else has over propulsion duties. a light thrumming in the footpegs be felt while above magic threshold, and the bike pretty smooth all the way to redline. At engine speeds, Mazda look like. well, Miatas.

Belt drive power to the rear wheel, and it well in this application. efficient, quiet and clean, it no maintenance, not even the occasional adjustment since there is now a idler pulley in place to constant, proper tension. method of tension adjustment the Buell to keep wheelbase static, and therefore the excellent characteristics remain consistent.

Buell claims a dry weight of 385 which feels a bit optimistic. if you keep in mind the weight of and oil stored in the various crevices of the it feels a good bit heavier advertised as you move it around the

The bike’s seat is improved the previous generation’s perch. The size and foam augmentation the vinyl cover are all much now. The rider is placed forward, almost up against the tank”, which is actually a plastic facade covering the

There is a step in the seat, rider and passenger portions, and step would dig into my whenever I wanted to slide in the seat for a different riding Mr. Buell, it seems, is very about how the rider will sit on bike.

Passenger accommodations, improved as well, really do much to make the prospective seat rider look to the experience. I didn’t bother to put back there; sometimes you can much anticipate what the will be. I’d vote for a seat allows the pilot more to move fore and aft and forget the arrangements. The rider’s footpegs a little further to the rear you might expect, but not uncomfortably so.

The is well placed, with a that places the hands in a position. Although the rider is in a upright position, leaning to counter the wind does not put you in an or awkward position.

Day to day living with the bike unpleasant, at least when the maintains a proper context of the bike isn’t about. the bike *is* about, I’m not Freeway riding is acceptable as as the distance doesn’t take you beyond getting to your backroad.

Fuel mileage is the 42 mpg mark, which is good you consider that my speeds not exactly commensurate with the limits. The 3.7 gallon capacity of the should take you 150 or so miles the pushing begins. The seat won’t let you get to the far end of that range,

The twisties and city surface is where this bike Long distance riding, or in cold/foul weather would be an in self-torture, so it is best to save bike for the nicer days and rides.

In the end, the engineering of the frame, and brakes point the in a sporting direction, then the and transmission spoil the party. all the financial and engineering clout a company like Harley can I don’t understand why Erik is with a 1950s (despite the era engine that does not pace with modern machinery past the 1/8 mile His chassis deserves better.

Buell Lightning XB9S
Buell Lightning XB9S
Buell Lightning XB9S
Buell Lightning XB9S
Buell Lightning XB9S


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