2009 Buell 1125CR First Ride Review- Buell 1125CR Superbike Photos

18 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2009 Buell 1125CR First Ride Review- Buell 1125CR Superbike Photos
Buell 1125 CR

First Ride: 2009 Buell 1125CR The Buell 1125R V-Twin superbike loses its clothes and gains refinement.

Photography by Tom Riles and Frank Rateringt

Truth be told, the Buell 1125R superbike introduced last year left a few things to be desired. The basic package was strong, the fundamentals sorted, but a few of the unfinished details let the bike down. The new-for-2009 1125CR Café Racer naked-bike addresses those refinement issues and gave us our first taste of what this liquid-cooled V-Twin platform is truly capable of.

The international launch for the 1125CR was held in Berlin, with one day devoted exclusively to track riding and the other to the road. The very first positive impression of the CR comes just after you hit the starter button: The bike fires to life and settles into a smooth idle, hot or cold. Our 2008 R version was often hard-starting and inconsistent in its idle quality, a situation caused by mapping issues with the EFI and ignition system. That appears to be fixed now.

In addition, the fuel injectors have been re-aimed and the oxygen sensors moved to get a more precise reading from the exhaust system. Throttle accuracy and response are also much improved when the bike is in motion, and as we lapped the Spreewaldring track at a moderate pace to learn the layout, it was clear the bike simply ran better in lower-load situations than last year’s R. Buell claims that the changes also have improved fuel efficiency by 20 percent and reduced engine heat issues due to cooler running. The map updates for the engine ECU are available for the 2008 R and, of course, all the EFI updates will be applied to the ’09 R, too.

As our on-track pace increased, the 146-claimed-horsepower engine showed the same vigorous acceleration and torquey nature that we like so much about the R. But with more than 8-percent-lower gearing, the CR fires out of corners a lot more aggressively. Like on the R, quick steering geometry suggests that the chassis might be a bit flighty, yet even hammering out of tight corners with the front end light (or off the ground!), the CR never shook its head.

Steering is low effort with the clubman-style bars, and the CR was nothing but neutral trail-braking hard down to the apex. The Showa suspension managed to keep the bike composed with firm damping at the track, and it offered enough range of adjustment to the softer side that riding on the extremely bumpy street route in former East Germany wasn’t total punishment, either. There is still some drivetrain lash and more mechanical noise from the engine in town-type riding at low rpm than you would like, but because the engine is no longer hunting and surging in these types of part-throttle situations, it is much less obtrusive.

The ZTL2 inside-out front brake and its eight-piston caliper are unchanged from last year except for an alteration in pad compound to promote more linear response. The track bikes were fitted with racing pads (which worked great, as they should), but the stockers used for the street ride did show an improvement over the compound used on the ’08 R. Pressure required at the lever is minimal, and power is such that a two-finger squeeze can easily lift the rear wheel off the ground.

So the $11,695 CR retains the sporting qualities that we liked about the R, but it adds a more upright riding position (with a comfortable seat), snappy right-now short gearing, great brakes, with drastically improved running qualities thanks to the engine updates. Buell may finally have arrived with a true “no-excuses” sporting platform.

Buell 1125 CR
Buell 1125 CR
Buell 1125 CR


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