Buell Motorcycle Company

The Buell Motorcycle Company (pronounced bju: l ) was a motorcycle manufacturer with headquarters in East Troy, Wisconsin (USA). On 15 October 2009 the owner of Harley- Davidson was surprising the attitude of motorcycle production known. In September 2013 from 2014 Erik Buell announced again to build sport bikes in series, but under the label of EWC.

  • 2.1 The tube frame models
  • 2.2 The XB models 2.2.1 variants


Buell 1993 went out from under the participation of the Harley -Davidson Motor Company was founded in 1983 from the micro- operation by Erik Buell, a former racing driver, who had previously worked for some time at Harley -Davidson as a development engineer. Since February 1998 held Harley -Davidson with 98 percent of the majority of the company's shares before 2003, the remaining with Erik Buell two percent were purchased. Erik Buell was until recently as Chairman and Chief Technical Officer ( Head of Development ) is responsible for design, testing, and quality; the President ( CEO) and Chief Operating Officer, Jon Flickinger was responsible for production, sales and marketing. On 15 October 2009 Erik Buell announced on the company's website, the end of the series production of motorcycles of the brand Buell known. Production ended in December 2009. Erik Buell then left Harley-Davidson and founded the company Erik Buell Racing. This produced under license from Harley -Davidson pure racing motorcycles based on the 1125R and sells racing Accessories for XB and 1125 models. In October 2013 EWC presented the 1190RX ago as street -performance sports bike and announced to distribute these and other models from 2014.


Buell sport bikes and naked bikes produced, usually with uprated engines from Harley -Davidson. The three basic design principles of the company founder Erik Buell are:


Most Buell models feature a two- cylinder V-type four-stroke engine as a drive. Exceptions are on the one hand the Buell RW 750, a produced in extremely small numbers in the early days of pure race bike with square four two-stroke engine, as well as the presented in 2000 to 2009 available in the U.S. beginner model Buell Blast 492 cc single-cylinder four -stroke engine.

The in the early days of the company Buell created or produced only in small numbers of models are:

  • RW 750
  • RR 1000 Battle Twin
  • RR 1200 Battle Twin
  • RS 1200 West Wind
  • RS 1200/5 Westwind
  • RSS 1200 Westwind

Up to and including model year 2002, the so-called tube frame models were built. In the same model year, the first model of the XB series was (also called tank frame models ) introduced on the market.

The tube frame models

All models of this series have in common is the open bottom grid frame made ​​of chrome molybdenum steel tubing, which is connected to the unit from vibration from the engine, transmission and rear swing arm. During the mounting of the rear swing arm is carried out in the motor and gear housing and thus not influenced by the drive forces, the entire assembly is screwed on three rubber elastic elements to the frame. One of the elements located below the steering head, the other two left and right side at the height of the swing arm bearing. The directional stability of the suspension is ensured by three hinged columns, of which the motor and gear unit is connected to the frame. However, this "tie bars " of the so-called " Isoplanar " suspension does not allow for engine movement in the vertical plane of the motorcycle, transverse thereto. A similar design principle has been applied since 1967 at the Norton Commando and designated as " Isolastic " suspension. In all tube frame models, an uprated version of the engine of the Harley -Davidson Sportster series was used with 1,200 cm ³, a two-cylinder V-engine with 45 ° cylinder angle and dry sump lubrication. The primary drive to the five-speed transmission is via a triple roller chain, the secondary drive via a toothed belt. The individual models differ mainly by the type of mounted fairing and carburation, also different front forks were used:

  • S2/S2T Thunderbolt ( carburetor )
  • S1 Lightning ( unclad carburetor Upside down forks )
  • S1 White Lightning ( unclad carburetor Upside down forks )
  • S3/S3T Thunderbolt ( half cup trim, carburetor Upside down forks )
  • M2 Cyclone ( undisguised, carburetor, standard telescopic fork)
  • X1 Lightning ( undisguised, injection, upside- down forks )

All models of this series together is quite prone engine - especially a abscherendes pinion on the oil pump, which has an immediate total engine damage.

The XB models

In 2002, Buell rang with the XB series in a new era in the company history. As in the previous Buell motorcycles here the three basic design principles have been implemented - but in a much more consistent measurements. In addition, should take more than one task as many components as possible. The result is used in the XB's the frame, now made ​​of light metal profiles, the same as the petrol tank and the rear swing arm as a reservoir for the oil supply of the dry sump lubrication. Buell used the first time in the history of motorcycle construction standard one - fastened to the outside of the rim - ZeroTorsionalLoad called toughened front brake. In this design, the braking forces act directly on the rim, put pressure on the wheel spokes without torsion. This allows the use of extremely light alloy wheels, which greatly reduces the unsprung masses. Also for Buell motorcycles typical, mounted under the engine muffler is found again here.

The proven at Harley- Davidson and Buell belt drive has been provided with an additional, arranged at the height of the swing axle pulley, which ensures independent of the spring deflection of the rear swing arm for a constant tension of the belt. The advantages of the belt over the drive chains - quiet running, low maintenance, light weight, elimination of backlash in the drive train - thus further increased. A tensioning is not necessary, therefore, eliminates the adjustment for the rear axle.

Main component of the XB- chassis is a light-metal bridge frame bulky hollow profiles whose hollow spaces are used as a gasoline tank. The fuel is so much deeper and more central than in a motorcycle with a conventional tank, which shifts the center of gravity down and reduces the moment of inertia about the longitudinal and transverse axis. In addition, the XB models feature the patented Buell Uniplanar - engine mount, on the one hand uses the engine as a stressed member to increase the frame stiffness, the other, on rubber elements which almost completely keeps away due to the concept strong engine vibration when driving by the driver.

The rear swingarm is made of light metal. The left, hollow design swing arm and the area around the swing axis serving as the oil tank dry sump lubrication. This one not only reduced the number of components and the weight of the motorcycle, but also managed space to accommodate the starter battery at a particularly difficult point favorable position under the driver's seat.

Suspension and damping take forward a fully adjustable upside -down fork, rear one also fully adjustable monoshock mounted without deflection directly between the frame and swingarm and makes the unusually short wheelbase made ​​possible by its diagonal position.

When driving the XB series, a slight, luft-/ölgekühlter 45 ° V2 engine with 985 cc at the XB9 or 1203 cc capacity is in the XB12 and electronic fuel injection. Again, this is based largely on the design or " Evo Sportster " engine of Harley -Davidson, but was revised in many components. The displacement increase of the 12er variant resulted exclusively from a 17.44 mm longer stroke. Throttle and diameter headers were the higher gas flow rate bearing in mind increased. Both engine variants come with an additional cooling of the flask by engine oil is injected under the piston crowns. In addition, the external oil cooler provide in connection with an attached behind the second cylinder cooling fan and the controller that the engine does not overheat.

About the durability of the engines, a big problem with the old tube frame models, you can currently make no final statement. However, the XB- motors are thermally healthy, relatively few engine failures are almost exclusively due to broken drive gear of the oil pump and damage to the crankshaft bearings. Former problem encountered Buell for the 2006 model year with a drive pinion of a copper- beryllium alloy, from model year 2008, a completely revised oil pump unit was introduced to the series, and the crankshaft bearing has been strengthened.

Your despite high motor mass, agile handling thanks to the XB models for extreme production motorcycles suspension geometry with a steep steering head angle of 69 °, short follow-up of 84 mm and a compact wheelbase of just 1320 mm. 52 percent of the comparatively low vehicle weight ( ready to ride 205 kg ) rests on the front wheel. However, the unusual suspension geometry also ensures that the XB models are very sensitive to suspension settings and tires. When braking in an inclined position, for example, showed up with the built- up to the 2006 model year, Dunlop - series tires a clear righting, which was significantly lower fails with most shared tires from other manufacturers. Buell responded to the 2007 model year to the criticism and equipped its motorcycles now with Pirelli tires.

The overall quality was compared with the tube frame models, improved considerably on the level of most competitors. However, weaknesses are visible in ( messy cable routing, muffler and various corrosive screws).


Type XB1

  • Firebolt XB9R
  • Lightning XB9S
  • Lightning CityX XB9SX ( from MY 2010: Lightning XB9SX )
  • Lightning XB12SX
  • Firebolt XB12R
  • Lightning XB12S
  • Lightning Low XB12Scg

Type XB2 compared to type XB1 other, longer frame, longer swingarm, 66.2 ° and 66.5 ° steering head angle flatter and larger trailing

  • Lightning Long XB12Ss
  • Lightning Super TT XB12STT
  • Ulysses XB12X
  • Ulysses XB12XT

The 1125 models

With the presented in July 2007 Buell 1125R Superbike trod after the introduction of the XB series again a new path. For the first time a liquid-cooled V-2 engine with overhead camshafts and four-valve cylinder heads will be used. The engine was developed according to Buell specifications together with BRP -Rotax from scratch and was produced there exclusively for Buell. The Helicon called motor has the following basic data:

  • Liquid-cooled 72 ° V2, four-stroke engine with dry sump lubrication
  • DOHC, camshaft drive through self-adjusting timing chain and gear at the inlet to the outlet
  • Four by rocker arms actuated by hollow valves per cylinder
  • Bore × stroke: 103.0 x 67.5 mm
  • Displacement: 1124.9 cc
  • Compression ratio: 12,3:1
  • Maximum power: 109 kW ( 148 hp) at 9.800/min
  • Maximum torque: 111 Nm at 8,000 rpm
  • Electronic fuel injection DDFI III with two 61 mm throttle bodies and the two 6- hole injectors per cylinder
  • Ignition by the spark plug connector integrated separate ignition coils
  • 6 -speed transmission
  • Hydraulically actuated multi- disc wet clutch with anti- hopping function

The driveline is done on the left side via a Buell typical timing belt, and as with the XB a pulley for a constant voltage provides.

The newly designed chassis is similar in conception to the XB series. So here, the aluminum bridge frame also serves as a fuel tank, the rear suspension is based, almost lying horizontally, directly to cantilever swingarm and frame. Front assumes a new torsion upside-down telescopic fork manufacturer Showa 47 mm thick dip tubes the suspension / damping. The spring elements are in spring base, train and rebound damping adjustable. While steering head angle ( 69 ° ) and trailing (84 mm) in accordance with the XB series, the wheelbase falls a bit longer with 1387 mm.

The well-known of the XB 375 -millimeter single-plate perimeter front brake is fitted to the 1125R with an 8- piston caliper, the light, directly attached to the inside of the swingarm rear brake consists of a 240 mm disc and a twin-piston caliper.

Introduced for the 2009 model year 1125CR ( the CR stands for Cafe Racer ) differs from the 1125R in some detail; it has instead of the front panel via a lamp mask and instead of the handlebars either a M or a Superbike handlebar. In addition, the swing arm and thus the wheelbase is 14 mm longer, the final drive ratio is selected to be shorter.

Special models

  • XBRR (Production Race Bike on XB- base with luft-/ölgekühltem 1340 cc V2 engine, 110 kW rated power)
  • 1125RR ( available on Buell Racing race version of the 1125R according to AMA Superbike Rules)