MD Ride Review: 2007 Buell XB-12S Lightning …

22 Мар 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи MD Ride Review: 2007 Buell XB-12S Lightning … отключены
Buell Lightning

MD Ride Review: 2007 XB-12S Lightning

If you read my Ride’ of the 2007 Buell you already know that I enjoyed the bike. However, I felt that the Buell was a difficult bike to get accustomed to, and that it is such a radical from a typical supersport I felt a more in-depth was in order.

Buell’s innovative philosophy and design features covered in depth in my first article. so I’m not going to take the to rehash them here. if you haven’t read that or at least not recently, you might to click the link and give it a read-through before diving this review; understanding like the ‘Trilogy of Tech’ and its innovations (perimeter brake, muffler, rigid chassis doubles as a fuel tank) is to understanding the experience of living a Buell XB-12S.

Expanding the two days I spent on the Buell for the Ride feature (one day on the and one on the track), I spent several riding the XB-12S. Of course I it out to my favorite local canyons, but I spent time commuting town and on the freeway.

In my initial I praised the Buell’s quick, turn-in and the confidence and feedback it mid-corner. Once I had a test in my possession, I discovered a very fact – the Buell is quite to chassis setup.

When I took our test bike the canyons, it didn’t feel as stable and confidence-inspiring at big lean as the bikes at the press introduction had – in our tester had a tendency to ‘pogo’ – is, after hitting a mid-corner the bike would start back and forth, and continue to do so the rest of the corner.

Making changes to the suspension based on my previous suspension experience had little positive Well, more accurately, I was to eliminate the ‘pogo’, but I ended up a setup that was overly for my weight. In turn, this away much of the confidence I had in the end.

It was at this point I retreated to the last resort of men picking up the owner’s manual the intent of returning the bike to the settings, and then to make precise changes from baseline. Imagine my surprise I discovered the ‘little white had not just one recommended suspension but seven – organized by rider in 20 lb. increments! According to Buell’s setting for my weight, I had been WAY off the and was running far too much preload front and rear.

Luckily, the suspension on the Lightning is quite – the forks and shock adjust most other sportbikes easily accessed clickers compression and rebound damping. The rear shock preload is stepped, and it is located directly the seat (rather than somewhere down in the middle of the and subframe, like most I was able to complete all the suspension including rear preload, in than ten minutes, and with not a of sweat to be seen or a single word uttered.

During the first test with the new settings, the Lightning like a different bike. The reduced preload at both made for a much smoother, comfortable ride – one that even be described as ‘plush’. In so smooth was the ride that I was concerned that the new setup be too soft for aggressive cornering.

I have worried, because the suspension set up as recommended in the manual, all the handling characteristics of the Buell enhanced! The bike turned in more sharply, gave feedback and confidence mid-corner, and off mid-corner bumps and sharp I had a newfound appreciation for the quality of the suspension components, as well as the of the innovative chassis design Buell developed for these

The settings recommended in the owner’s are only a starting point, and for of us who prefer to fine-tune our suspension and bike handling even the manual offers suggestions for to enhance ride quality, and quickness. There is even a on adjustments to “provide more surface feedback on smoother conditions.” I didn’t have to test all Buell’s recommendations, but if work anywhere near as as the baseline settings, I’m sure accomplish their stated

It’s very clear the Buell team has spent an amount of time testing and tuning the XB-series bikes. I wish other modern came with detailed and instructions for adjusting suspension for different rider weights.

Once you have the chassis set up to liking, the Buell’s cornering are hard to fault. The XB-12S have a mild tendency to up under trail braking, so the strategy is to get most of your done in a straight line, peel into the turn lightly dragging the brakes to the front end loaded up. Once into the turn, you can get on the power early relative to other and the Buell will cling to your chosen line, at the exit.

When riding your confidence is enhanced further by the front brake That unusual brake is Zero Torsional Load perimeter design, which a single brake disc at the outer circumference of the wheel clamped by a single six-piston

Not only do the ZTL brakes scrub off with authority, they a delicate, progressive engagement, and of feedback at the lever, making easily the equal of the very “conventional” dual rotor and setups I have tried. to learn how to do stoppies? Buy an XB-12S.

The position on the XB-12S is dominated by the dirt-bike style top-mount which give tons of for throwing the bike side to The trade-off, however, is that require a deft touch and control inputs to keep the settled down – on a bike steering geometry this ham-fisted steering inputs have you wandering all over the and can even produce minor

The seat to peg relationship is good, but riding the XB-12S for a while, I to wish the bars were lower, which would put me in a more leaned-forward position. seems strange, since at the Buell press intro, I the XB-12R Firebolt, which is an bike save for a nose and lower, clip-on handlebars, and I like it as much as the Lightning.

those bars were TOO low – if I a Lightning, I might experiment slightly flatter (lower) of top-mount bars. Around the commanding view afforded by the upright seating position helps you stay in ‘defensive mode.

Buell Lightning

The Lightning’s lack of protection and upright seating is a handicap on the freeway, and like … bikes, anything over 80mph is NOT appreciated by neck, back and shoulders. The is plenty comfortable for all-day however, and the aforementioned dirt-bike seating position keeps spinal alignment much well, aligned than the modern sportbike.

Of course, you talk about the Buell discussing the engine. The 1203cc, V-Twin powerplant, plucked the steel tube chassis of venerable Sportster 1200, your attention from the you press the starter button.

to life with a muted the big twin thumps and thuds and its way up to operating temperature, its pronounced vibration at idle causing the bike to shudder like being imbued with Swing a leg over the XB-12S and the reaches inside you as soon as you contact with the seat, to re-time your body’s rhythm to its own cadence.

Pull away from a and the vibration lessens; it is never gone, but the faster you ride, the it blends into the background. is no high-frequency vibration (the that numbs extremities and riders), merely this thumping, throbbing mechanicalness . For a with such a high-tech it’s surprising to find the is a throwback to the early days of transportation. Unlike many liquid-cooled, balance-shaft equipped this is a bike that lets you forget the lump of and oil sitting and spinning and banging your knees.

Around the 1203cc V-Twin is tractable and delivering a broad, useable of torque that cuts urban traffic jams and back alleys with aplomb. The transmission is slightly and doesn’t appreciate clutchless but that’s ok, you won’t be using it

It takes a while to recalibrate a used to the frantic, tach-spinning, acceleration of a Japanese supersport to mesh with the lazy, lope of the big Buell. The five are tall and widely spaced, so of tearing through each in a hurry to get to the next, the Buell the tach forward smoothly but speed climbing much in relation to RPM than any four-cylinder

In the canyons, the Buell’s acceleration never match that of a supersport bike, but somehow doesn’t seem like an as the bike slices scalpel-like a tight switchback, that surge of torque grunting the out of this corner and towards the no gearshifts required. If, like me, enjoyment of a twisty-road is primarily on corner speed (rather velocity on the straightaways), the Buell a willing and capable partner for type of riding.

So, how to summarize such a unique and motorcycle? If we wanted to stay within our comfort zone, we relate the Lightning to bikes we well – a better handling, suspended SV650 comes to (and who would ever that a bad thing?). But a comparison that really doesn’t do to the Buell’s unique character and design.

Just take it for it is – a uniquely styled … with precise handling, a useable powerband, and a little bit of heritage thrown in for good Shake well.

The 2007 XB-12S Lightning carries a MSRP of $10,495, and is available in dealers now. For more check out Buell’s official web .

Buell Lightning
Buell Lightning
Buell Lightning
Buell Lightning
Buell Lightning

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