MD First Ride: 2007 Buell XB12S Lightning …

12 Май 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи MD First Ride: 2007 Buell XB12S Lightning … отключены

Buell Lightning XB12S

MD First Ride: 2007 XB12S Lightning

In a market by inline four-cylinder, liquid-cooled, cam 600cc supersport bikes, XB models certainly stand out the crowd. The first time you see one (or a look at the specs), you might be a confused. A compact sportbike it’s ‘streetfighter’ variation) by an air-cooled V-Twin featuring valve actuation (and from the engines of Buell’s company, Harley-Davidson)?

How does work?

The short answer is, damn well. But before we get a more detailed riding it’s important to spend time outlining the features and of the XB model range.

According to Buell (company founder and a talented designer and engineer), he and his design team first put pen to with the XB series, their was to create a motorcycle that exactly what you expect it and responds to rider inputs predictably, and immediately’. To that they developed what call the ‘Buell Trilogy of – three underlying principles Buell’s designers feel are the to building a bike that their stated goals.

The part of the ‘Trilogy of Tech’ referred to as ‘ToT’) is mass According to Buell, proper of a motorcycle’s many components is to building a bike that effortless direction changes and rider confidence in turns. A examination of any of the XB models reveals almost every piece on the has been developed with centralization in mind, but there are a few examples.

The muffler is mounted at the most central point on the – running directly under the and ending near (but the rear swingarm pivot Rather than using a high-mounted fuel tank, the XBs this most precious expensive) of liquids inside the of the massive aluminum perimeter allowing a good portion of the load to be carried lower, at the same time leaving for a large-volume airbox where the tank would normally be (Buell says the larger volume helped them more power from the engine).

The engine’s oil reservoir is also conceived; the forward portion of the aluminum swingarm doubles as an oil allowing Buell to do away the separate oil tank that has a feature on every Harley-powered for many decades. Thus the of the oil is also carried extremely and don’t worry – being extremely close to the swingarm’s point means the oil has a negligible on unsprung weight.

Speaking of weight, it comprises the second of the ‘ToT’ – that is, low unsprung Decreasing unsprung weight it easier for the suspension to damp the of the wheels, which pays in the form of handling, stability over the unavoidable mid-corner and even straight-line ride

Again, Buell’s design thought outside the box when it to decreasing unsprung weight, and they came up with is now as the Zero Torsional Load braking system – one of Buell’s patented innovations. In a normal system, the discs are mounted to the hub, which means braking forces have to through the wheel’s spokes in path from the disc to the

Buell’s solution was to mount the directly to the outer rim of the wheel, a much more direct for braking forces, and allowing a lighter wheel to be used any compromise in strength. The larger rotor also provides greater leverage, allowing to use only a single rotor/caliper than the paired setup on most other sportbikes.

back into ancient Buell even claims to been the first manufacturer to a production street motorcycle inverted forks – way back in All this combines to keep the weight on the XB models to a bare During the tech presentation, we had a to make a direct comparison ‘we picked them up’) of the of an XB front wheel with versus that of a competitor’s sportbike, and trust me, the XB wheel was lighter.

The final part of the ‘ToT’ is rigidity. This may come as a given the volume of recent regarding ‘tuned flex’, but engineers still believe the best frame is the most frame. That led to the aforementioned spars of the XB’s aluminum frame, and the entire construction of the XB extreme structural rigidity.

claims that this contributes to the precision handling of chassis; we said prove it, and did. But you’ll have to til later to read about

The XB’s rigid chassis is to the wheels by means of Showa at both ends – 43mm forks up front, and a remote-reservoir at the rear. The rider who values adjustability will find of it here – both the forks and are adjustable for compression and rebound as well as preload.

The final we’d like to mention is that: final. Final that is. You see, rather using the more typical arrangement, Buell opted to what they call the Immediate Throttle Response – a belt final drive an idler pulley that constant tension in the drive which is supposed to eliminate the lash and hesitation that result from the changing of most belt- or chain-drive where the fact that one stays stationary and the other in an arc results in varying tension on the swingarm’s position in its …. benefit of the belt drive is that it requires (according to absolutely zero maintenance – the never needs adjusting, and the has been tested to last than 100,000 miles outside damage, which result from a rock through the drive, or some incident).

The final part of the XB equation is the powerplant. Both XB models faired ‘R’ model, known as the and the streetfighter-style ‘S’ model, called the are available with one of two engines – the ’9′ (actually displacing 984cc) and the (1203cc). The two powerplants are extremely with the 12 being little than a 9 with a longer-…

Both are air/oil-cooled 45 degree with the centrally-mounted camshaft the two valves per cylinder by means of a pushrod system. Both feature 10:1 compression, and are by means of a single large-diameter throttle body (45mm on the 9, on the 12). Buell claims the motor produces 92hp@7500rpm and 70 of torque at 5500rpm, while the 1203cc version as having an of 103hp@6800rpm and 84 ft-lbs of torque at rpm.

So how does Buell’s of innovative chassis design and a torquey Harley-Davidson based plant work in the real We got the chance to sample the 2007 lineup over 2 days of in the Bakersfield, California area – one day on the back roads near Isabella, and one day circulating nearby Raceway.

First, a few words the different Buell models. As I earlier, there are two primary of the XB – the street fighter style (designated XB9S or XB12S, on which motor you opt for), and the Firebolt (XB9R or XB12R), features clip-on handlebars and a as opposed to the miniscule fly screen of the Other than slight in riding position and appearance, the two are functionally identical.

So while I the majority of my time on the Lightning, of what I have to say here apply to the Firebolt as well.

With a wheelbase several shorter than that of current 600cc supersport combined with aggressive specs (21 degree rake, trail), I expected the Firebolt to be but nervous. The former is certainly while the latter characteristic is present to a certain extent, but less prominent than I

Buell Lightning XB12S

The Firebolt turns in sharply and and gives the rider confidence to move to extreme angles of Once set into a turn, the holds a line with and always gives the impression there is plenty of grip – even when you’re both your knee and toe as I found myself doing Turn 2 at Buttonwillow, a long, off-camber 180 degree right taken in second gear.

The never feels nervous on bumpy roads, but a minor of headshake can be felt when abrupt shifts under acceleration. However, a slight in riding style eliminated problem entirely – I simply dedicating a tiny bit more to making smooth shifts.

corners and sections requiring direction changes are the Firebolt’s point – the bike flicks full lean to full crisply and with minimal The XB12S is a fair bit heavier some of the competition (about pounds heavier than a 600, based on claimed dry but Buell’s emphasis on mass seems to have paid off – the feels as light or lighter most of the 600s I have lately.

The major change to 2007 line-up was a move to tires across the board; the and Firebolt are fitted with a new of Pirelli’s popular Diablo, the T. According to both Buell and engineers, the two companies worked closely to develop a tire characteristics that suited the XBs (including low unsprung weight), and claims were supported by the performance of the tires, and the presence at the of one of the leading test riders Pirelli’s European headquarters – he all the way to California to answer our questions the Diablo T (whose developement he was involved in).

As I said, the performance of the Diablo Ts up to Buell and Pirelli’s claims – the warmed up quickly, changed easily, and had plenty of ultimate (at least for a rider of my speed). they worked perfectly the XB’s chassis. The Diablo Ts provided tons of feedback, at the front end, which is important for rider confidence.

reason the XB12S excels in corners is the character of the 1203cc power plant. In sections a series of tight, slow are separated by extremely short the midrange torque is perfect for the XB from corner exit to entry. However, once the opens up, the big V-Twin starts to – in faster sections, I frequently myself with the throttle all the way to the stop.

I didn’t get a chance to the 984cc-powered XB models, but considering the torque of the bigger motor, I see why anyone would choose the 9 the 12 is available. The 1203cc motor isn’t ‘too powerful’ – the delivery is smooth, predictable, and easy to modulate. One of the things impressed me the most about the was the perfection of the fuel injection which primarily manifests in the seamless transition from to open throttle – one of the best I experienced on any fuel-injected motorcycle.

The big V-Twin also has surprisingly engine braking. There’s there that you can use it to your when slowing for turns, but not so that it makes the bike to ride smoothly. I say this is because many of the big-displacement I have ridden, and even of the little ones (umm, have a very noticeable of engine braking.

Some riders like some don’t – register me in the column. The engine braking of V-Twin, however, is ‘just at least in my opinion.

When braking just isn’t it’s time to test out …-looking ZTL front brake. At glance, you might wonder if the rotor/caliper setup can match the common dual disc for stopping power. Well, no more – from the rider’s the brakes on the Buell XB are awesome, excellent feel and modulation, and stopping power as well.

The are comfortable enough for a sport particularly on the Lightning, with its seating position and wide, bike style handlebars. The is excellent as well – I loved the that kept me from back too far! Buell claim to have designed the seats with some of advanced computer modeling/simulation and it seems to have worked.

One about the XB that stood out was the ride quality, which is a product of Buell’s quest to unsprung weight. Despite sprung and damped stiffly to handle aggressive riding, the XB extremely smoothly over potholes, and generally beat up Of which there seems to be a lot in the area – apparently the Governator’s repair team forgot the Central Valley!

Buell Lightning XB12S


Other articles of the category "Buell":

Our partners
Follow us
Contact us
Our contacts

Born in the USSR


About this site

For all questions about advertising, please contact listed on the site.

Motorcycles catalog with specifications, pictures, ratings, reviews and discusssions about Motorcycles.