Buell Lightning Long XB12Ss — Motorbikes Reviews, News & Advice — bike…

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Buell Lightning Long XB12Ss

Buell Lightning Long (March 2006)

Think of and you start picturing ultra-short and flick-faster-than-you-can-think handling. Not for you? Rob from Motorcycle Trader tries out a longer variation on the

The people at the Buell Motorcycle have been busy together a fresh model for 2006. Included are new versions of its bikes, a new member for the Lightning and an all-new, dual-purpose tourer.

The family consists of the bikini-faired, Firebolts, the streetfighter-style Lightnings and the new tourer — the Ulysses.

The are available as the 900cc XB9R and the XB12R. The Lightnings start the 900cc XB9SX City-X. there’s the 1200cc XB12S and the the XB12Ss Long.

The out-of-left-field is the XB12X Ulysses — the steppin’ 1200cc duallie.

We to check out the Lightning Long


of the shock value of the Buell is the compactness of the package — the look of a big meaty V-twin into an ultra short, chassis. It’s a look come to like. With in mind I arrived to pick up the Long expecting that its new would have done damage to its style. You know I mean — no matter how a stretched limo has been it’s still an ugly of a car with the once-pleasing proportions lost.

Well, fear not, has stretched the wheelbase by 40mm and the length by 120mm and, to my eye at it doesn’t really show. The is still a stubby-looking Buell. To things in perspective, at 1360mm, the wheelbase is still 20mm than that of a Suzuki


Visually the of stretching the Lightning has been Ergonomically I found the effect to be a different story. Part of the experience with the standard is the very up-front, upright position — the streetfighter

With the extra room you get the posture. It’s still upright but a lot more relaxed. you’ve done enough on the streets and you want to knock out a few kays of country-roading at high speeds you’ve got the room to yourself into a bit of a crouch.

A crouch on the shortie feels unnatural. On the Longfellow it’s as as on quite a range of touring-style

Buell has made a number of adjustments to the ergonomics — as as the wheelbase change, the subframe has and the seat has come in for a workover. The result is a more comfortable and versatile riding position. still what I call an posture.

When you sit fairly grabbing a wide pair of bars and you’re gripping a responsive chassis between knees you feel as though on some sort of mission but not alarmed perhaps). It’s a supermotard position. Yes, you feel ready for action you mount the Buell.

Buelling is a new story too. The shortie lots of intimate contact rider and passenger.

No bad thing, I hear you say, in situations. But it still leaves the perched on the edge of the abyss. The passenger sits more and feels more secure. My gave it the big tick after a through the hills.

It’s not a you could hang a lot of luggage on for two-up touring but two people a backpack could knock some serious distance in a day regrets.


Along with the move more versatility and more in the package, Buell has blanded the once razor-sharp steering Rake has gone out 2.5° to and trail has gone out a significant to 119mm. On the road, however, it a highly-responsive chassis. I’d found stability to be lacking in the version so the long version is fine in that regard.

The performs well in the urban jungle. It’s an ideal swapper and lane splitter. It rewards hard charging in the A little counter-steering push on wide bars tips it into the corner.

It doesn’t keep you waiting.

If you the occasional mono, don’t the extra length of the bike and the swingarm has settled the front a little, but it still comes up ease.

The clutch action is and the gearbox is sweeter to use compared previous examples I’ve Buell tells us these were improved for ’06.

Buell Lightning Long XB12Ss

The annular-disc front-brake works It’s powerful but progressive. The one is a bit wooden — that’s by me.

Suspension performance is excellent. sports-bike firm and secure. the front is adorned with a of 43mm, Showa, fully-adjustable forks you know that handling is part of the deal.

The big is a delight to use. You just to forget about in-line-four-style rpm Most of your good on this thing will be in the 2500rpm to 5500rpm range. your classic riding the curve experience. Opening the delivers a very textured experience.

It’s a bit like munching on bread — you know all lumpiness is good for you.

consumption for me was around 16km/l a mixture of commuting and some visits to the countryside. Its larger litre tank should it a reliable 250km-plus range.

At a 80km/h in top there’s a vibration the bars that can become It’s long gone you’re above 90km/h.

At speeds, with very low openings (your steady 50, 60, city-street runs), the engine-management is a little uncomfortable doing its It produces a continuous series of surges. The engine becomes a un-smooth. It’s as if the engine is Come on.

Let’s go. It fits the riding position of the bike. this is very much a go and do something, machine. To be clear, the only occur when trying to hold steady low

It’s quite happy if accelerating up through those low or coasting down on a closed The light weight of the Buell to exaggerate any fluctuations in an engine a pair of 600cc pots.

The finish of the bike was excellent. to quality issues looked on the test machine.


This is a bike has become much more as a result of subtle changes to the Its shorter siblings perform narrow-focus role well. performs its more universal well.

If you’re comfortable the Buell’s radical looks and with the attention it attracts, try the performance for yourself. It’s a enjoyable bike.


Buell Lightning Long XB12Ss
Buell Lightning Long XB12Ss

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