Guilty By Association – Buell

We all love our Harleys with a passion, weather you are a green rider or a seasoned veteran, there is nothing like jumping on that solid V-Twin piece of Muscle bike and riding off into the sunset. I also like spending time at the dealer, dreaming or planning my next modification. I must say though I have found walking into Trivett and seeing a sports bike on the floor a bit ‘wrong’, but is it?
What am I talking about?

Well it is the Buell range of bikes.

Although they have different brand names Buell shares some important and lasting bloodlines with our treasured Harley Davidsons. Its namesake and founder is an engineer that had a hand in creating some iconic Harley models (including the superb FXR), Erick Buell, who in the mid ‘80s left Harley Davidson to continue his dream of creating a race bike. Eventually his fledgling company, which sourced Harley parts in their designs, was bought by HD and now operates as a ‘company within a company’

So is there any resemblance to Harley? The answer is definitely ‘yes’ on 2 of the models I tested, the Ulysees, and Lightning. Both these bikes run a similar engine design as the Sportster models. Both engines are modified producing a keen 100Hp. The CVR that I also test rode has less of an obvious HD pedigree with a Rotax engine producing 140Hp.

From the moment I donned my full face helmet (which I haven’t used since buying my Harley) I knew I wasn’t in Kansas anymore. I climbed aboard the Lightning first and gingerly pulled out of the driveway. The seating position on the lighting, although having my feet tucked under my armpits, was surprisingly comfortable in traffic, and you can’t mistake the vibration of the V-Twin (although it is slightly smoother than on my Sportster). I found a bit of road that was clear and wound on the throttle, and as the front wheel raised ever so slightly in defiance of the grandma driver I past my dreams were answered (if only my 1200 Sporster could go this quick!)

Next I climbed onto the Ulysees , which felt more like a motocross bike with the high guards and its upright seating position. It didn’t seem to have the same power as the Lighting, but still had enough grunt to bring a smile to your face, even the power came on like a motocross bike with a power band. The seat is more suited for a 6 ft man, not a 5 foot nothing midget, so I struggled a bit thanks to my Italian DNA.
I left the best to last, and from the moment I jumped on the CVR I knew I was in for a ride of my life, it twitched like a cantankerous teenager doped up on steroids, this is not a bike I would like to ride around in traffic, but its the one I would definitely put in my garage out of the three. The sound from the CVR when you rattle through the gears is an absolute oral delight, and the CVR sounded like it belonged on the track. Going down through the gears before a corner particularly sounded awesome. I was having so much fun I didn’t want to take it back, but unfortunately in life some good things do come to an end, so back to the dealership it went and I handed back the keys feeling like an idiot with a smile I couldn’t contain.

My conclusion is that the Buell deserves its place in a Harley Dealership, it is a rebel of a motorcycle, sounds fantastic and the CVR with its massive air intakes, looking like it belongs in the Transformer movie was just a delight to ride. If you ever want to add a sports bike this is the way to go, I know there are other motorbikes out there that could get the better of the Buell, but I haven’t had as much fun on a sports bike as I did on the lightning and CVR.

So Guilty By Association – Abso-bloody-lutley

P.S many thanks to Trivett HD for letting me test ride their bikes for this article

~ by danielromaine on September 1, 2009.

2 Responses to “Guilty By Association – Buell”

  1. I’m happy you enjoyed your foray into the dark side. Buell is a company definitely finding its footing after 25 years, and the lineup is certain to get even better.

    One minor point- Buell’s Rotax-engined cafe racer you liked so much is the 1125CR (not the “CVR”).

    See you on the road. I’ll be the guy with the full-face bucket riding the 1125R and grinning (though you won’t see that).

    • Wolf,
      Thanks for pointing that out, you are of course right it is the 1125CR , have no idea where the V came from. The 1125R is a cool machine, and although i mentioned in the article i would put the CR in the garage, the 1125R would probably be my first choice as i like bikes with fairings.
      But thanks for your comments, and i will keep an eye for you in my mirrors. Cheers

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