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Old 04-13-2015, 04:08 AM   #1
Truckedup OP
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Tube frame Buell

I see older Harley Sportster powered Buells at very attractive prices. I like the tube frame models...
Can some one give me a rundown power and features of the tube frame Buells?

Otherwords, best bang for the buck, thanks
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Old 04-13-2015, 05:08 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Truckedup View Post
I see older Harley Sportster powered Buells at very attractive prices. I like the tube frame models...
Can some one give me a rundown power and features of the tube frame Buells?

Otherwords, best bang for the buck, thanks
Wiser and more knowledgable folks will be along shortly, but i've got a 98 S3T. And I'd sell a kidney for an S1W.

The Good: relatively light (at least compared to my ZX-14), great handling, excellent power (more on this later), and a hoot to ride,

The bad: tubers can be a pain till you get them sorted. If it hasn't been done yet, replace the silly stock gaskets with a quality set from James (insert favorite name here).

The desireable: Thunderstorm heads.

The "don't do that": fill the oil bag over halfway. DAMHIK.

When i got mine, my first thought was "when does the fun start?". It handled great, but the power was underwhelming. Verv underwhelming. But it really woke up with a Mikuni 42 and a Supertrapp. Now it's fabulous to ride and ticks a lot of boxes for me even after owning it for 15 years.
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Old 04-13-2015, 05:09 AM   #3
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Lots of info here

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=783276
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Old 04-13-2015, 06:08 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Truckedup View Post
I see older Harley Sportster powered Buells at very attractive prices. I like the tube frame models...
Can some one give me a rundown power and features of the tube frame Buells?

Otherwords, best bang for the buck, thanks
I owned a '99 cyclone for 11 years. One of the easiest bikes to own that I have ever owned.

S1 lightning- narrow and light. How some people lived with that seat I will never know.

M2 Cyclone- entry model, carbed until '00?, larger 5 gal tank and livable seat around '99... I would say the M2 is the best bang for the buck. I would be looking for something with an adjustable front fork.

S2T- touring version with lower farings and bags. Didn't sell well. Decent sport touring rig

X1- The last before the XB series...

Parts for the tubers are harder to find, but you shouldn't need much. They are solid bikes. Carbed units are fun to play with, Fuelie versions made more power. LOTS of HD cross over parts. Some of the sportster guys are on the hunt for Buell parts (heads, mostly)
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Old 04-13-2015, 06:59 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by kirb View Post
I owned a '99 cyclone for 11 years. One of the easiest bikes to own that I have ever owned.

S1 lightning- narrow and light. How some people lived with that seat I will never know.

M2 Cyclone- entry model, carbed until '00?, larger 5 gal tank and livable seat around '99... I would say the M2 is the best bang for the buck. I would be looking for something with an adjustable front fork.

S2T- touring version with lower farings and bags. Didn't sell well. Decent sport touring rig

X1- The last before the XB series...

Parts for the tubers are harder to find, but you shouldn't need much. They are solid bikes. Carbed units are fun to play with, Fuelie versions made more power. LOTS of HD cross over parts. Some of the sportster guys are on the hunt for Buell parts (heads, mostly)
M2 Cyclone would be the best bang for the buck, '98 and up (till 2002) have the Thunderstorm heads, these bikes don't have the upside down forks but they are adjustable three ways. The Cyclone is carbureted and that makes it my first choice, the buell Fuel injection works very well, don't get me wrong but I'm not sure you'll find support say 10 years down the road. Nearly everything else on the Buell Tubers comes from the Harley parts catalog or is available from other sources. S3T is my second choice, it shares many parts with the M2 but is better for two up touring, has bags and with a few modifications to the brackets you could mount Hepco Becker 40 liter bags to it Long term I would look for an aftermarket rear shock Penske or Works make shocks for the tubers.

I love my Ulysses but I'm constantly on the hunt for the right S3T. I know I can keep that bike running for the rest of my life and man they are just such a nice compromise between sport and cruising motorcycles. Erik Buell is a genius.
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Old 04-13-2015, 09:58 AM   #6
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Thanks for the info.Any carbureted model will suit me.
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Old 04-13-2015, 10:21 AM   #7
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Here's my take, fwiw, just my guess:
By 1999-2000, Erik Buell REALLY felt that marketing-wise the Sportster-based Buells needed to be able to advertise 100bhp.
They developed some really nice heads (Thunderstorms), a really big, ugly but low restriction and quiet airbox.
Then they put in enough cam to get their 100bhp (at the crank).
These went in to the X1 and the S3.
These lost some torque in the lower end of the rpm range in exchange for the 100hp on top.
The M2 Cyclone got the same stuff except for a milder cam. It has a little less hp on top, but a very nice torque curve from way down low on up.

If you don't mind the torque dip down low and some missing until you get on the cam, go for the X1/S3 - they are like hot rods.
For me the M2 is a nice, fun motor.

Is the "low" horsepower underwhelming? Only if you regularly ride something with a lot more.
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Old 04-13-2015, 10:42 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Truckedup View Post
Thanks for the info.Any carbureted model will suit me.
If you want only carb you'll be looking at pre '99 in the S3/T, S1 and X1 models. All M2's are carbed. Most of the other models can be converted if need be at a later date. If the bike you find has FI you might just run it for a while. They did it right in my experience. (2000 S3T)
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Old 04-13-2015, 06:55 PM   #9
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Buell Yeah!!

I am a Buell fan, I started with a 99 EFI S3T sport tourer with race exhaust, intake, and race ECU. Rode it all over Europe and the East Coast of the U.S. It was dyno rated at 104 RWHP. Best sport tourer I ever had, not bad on maintenance either. She would pull 100 mph all day on Autobahn and then carve it up in the mountains just fine. Good fairing design. I then picked up a 99 X-1 with some nice mods, again, awsome bike and great value.

I sold the X-1 to fund a Buell XB12X Ulysses, again, couldn't be happier with the bike itself. I didn't like being treated like an orphan at HD dealerships. Hard parts were never an issue but lesser bits started to get thin on the ground. I had a very bad experience broke down on the road with a simple issue, the huge HD dealer said they only worked on Harley's and could not do anything for me, it degraded from there and I became disgusted with the support network, not the bikes. Still love them but ride a Triumph and BMW now.

Could I see another Tuber in the garage? Hell yes, I'm already having withdrawals, in short, get one while you can.
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Old 04-13-2015, 08:42 PM   #10
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All X1s were fuel injected. If you want a carb, it'll be an early S3, any M2, any S1, any S2.

I would not shy away from the FI bikes - I had a 2002 and while it gave me headaches, the FI was never an issue. You've got to keep an eye on front isolators on these. They can have a habit of going through them, and some will keep breaking the front mount/bolt unless you change it for a billet unit. Rear isos on later bikes are generally good to go, earlier bikes went through them a little more.

If you get an S3T with bags, go ahead and reinforce them with fiberglass right away. If they're not cracked already, they will be any day.

They're a hoot to ride - I owned a tuber, an XB and an 1125, and the tuber was easily my favorite. I just got sick of chasing gremlins in mine so I sold it.

As far as value for money, I think selling prices are low enough on all these that I wouldn't go search out an M2 for a cheapest option. Not much more can get you an S1 if you really want one.

Check the link in my signature for a ride report, cost to cost with a 2002 Buell S3T.
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Old 04-13-2015, 11:35 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by vecchio Lupo View Post
Hard parts were never an issue but lesser bits started to get thin on the ground. I had a very bad experience broke down on the road with a simple issue, the huge HD dealer said they only worked on Harley's and could not do anything for me, it degraded from there and I became disgusted with the support network, not the bikes.
Same here, but I too would love to add a tuber to the garage someday. I think they're so cool, and I too think that there's enough crossover with HD parts that you can keep a tuber running long after an XB becomes a boat anchor.
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Old 04-14-2015, 02:38 AM   #12
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This site is an excellent source of info on tube framed Buells:

http://thex1files.com
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Old 04-14-2015, 07:17 AM   #13
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What sportster crossover do people think there is? On a tuber you get the same cases and maybe the crank and nothing else that I can think of. On an XB you get the same heads (kind of) and nothing else. A sportster is not going to keep a Buell alive.
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Old 04-14-2015, 08:46 AM   #14
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What sportster crossover do people think there is? On a tuber you get the same cases and maybe the crank and nothing else that I can think of. On an XB you get the same heads (kind of) and nothing else. A sportster is not going to keep a Buell alive.
Any engine/trans parts are going to be sourced from HD. My M2 could use anything sportster but the heads (and maybe flywheel). Not much else was different.
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Old 04-14-2015, 06:00 PM   #15
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I have just shy of 1.5 to throw in. IF you want it, get the one that you like the best. Don't fret much about parts availibility later on. So long as people want to ride them there will be parts available from someone. If you're really worried, just buy two and keep one as a spare.
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