Thread: Buell S3T?
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:33 PM   #34
Tim McKittrick
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Dec 2003
Location: Wasilla Alaska
Oddometer: 1,773


Hey! That's my bike!

I thought I had the only other black and orange S3t..... The most awful color combo Buell ever came up with, I think. I love the bike for its handling, lightish weight, and ease of maintenance. It's worst feature is the box of rocks transmission- if you buy the S3 just plan on installing the Baker shift drum kit. It'll make the bike shift almost like a real motorcycle and it eliminates the failure prone circlip that holds the indexing cam to the shift drum.

This circlip is a known failure waiting to happen and when it fails you will be left with a box full of neutrals. It's not hard to repair but if you are on the road it's going to be more than a little inconvenient.

As for the rest of the bike, it has been as or more reliable than any other machine I've owned. Like any bike it has its weaknesses (just plan on sending the shock to Race Tech for rebuilding- it's cheaper than an aftermarket shock and if you have then install their gold valve it works just as well) but with the exception of the stupid circlip in the transmission mine has been very reliable. I have used an aftermarket exhaust on mine that did yield a little more power, but I went back to stock for the quiet. And note that only the stock air box will be clear of your right knee. I average 50-55 mpg and am not kind to it. It isn't hugely fast but is comparable to a Ducati ST2. I have one of those as well, and the Buell is more comfortable and roomy, and with the race tech shock will match it for handling. The Ducati is a little more stable and the fit and finish is far superior, but it's a lot more work to service. Acceleration is probably best on the Buell, as is top speed, but the Ducati is easier to ride fast- but the Ducati will consume a LOT more gas. And timing belts. And clutch parts. And chains and sprockets. The Buell has a way of not telegraphing ones true speed, though, and you will find yourself going a lot faster than you would have planned.

These are great bikes and are extremely underrated. If it breaks its easy to fix, it has a terrific seating position for us over 40 guys, and it can eat up highway like few other machines. Don't pass it up.
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