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Old 01-30-2014, 09:39 AM   #1
Detroit OP
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Am I crazy getting a Buell Ulysses for a first adventure bike?

Background: I rode motorcycles only a couple years between 20 and 22. I never took lessons, just bought a bike, jumped on and road about 10,000 miles before wrecking and never getting back on a replacement. I'm 33 now with a wife and two kiddos and I got distracted. It was a Suzuki Katana. Also, I backpack. A lot. Combining these two hobbies seems like a good idea.

What I really want is a 2014 BMW F800GSA. Alas, sinking $15k into just a bike when I'm not even sure I'm going to stick with the sport seems unwise. However, cheaper alternatives haven't appealed to me. I stumbled on the Ulysses this morning. I've always been a huge fan of Buell, and I've wanted one since I was 18. I figure I can get my feet wet adventure riding for $5,000 and if I love it like I think I will I can always buy my BMW in a couple years. I can switch the Buell to a street bike, or I can loan it to my broke ass friends who want to ride with me but can't afford a bike.

Yes, I know the two bikes don't really compare. Yes, I know the Ulysses isn't really an off road bike. I just want to get going and I'm hoping with some offroaderyer tires I can make a go of it with the Buell. I'm not going to be going nuts trying to hill climb and do crazy amounts of sand and mud. I want to tool around on trails and back country roads without having to trailer my shit to get there.

Tell me the truth guys - will this work as a starter for me?
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:44 AM   #2
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exactly what type of "adventure" riding do you have in mind?? There are a ton of different options that may suit you better. Need to know what you are planning on doing first.
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:07 AM   #3
TeepS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Detroit View Post
Am I crazy getting a Buell Ulysses for a first adventure bike?
Yes.
My opinion, after considering your limited moto experience, 10 year moto layoff, family with small kids, and the fact that the Ulysses has been out of production for nearly 4 years.
The Buell is probably not the bike you need.
Parts are available, if you can do the work yourself... can't count on a given H/D dealer to work on a Buell these days.

Additionally, the Ulysses is about as adventure bike as a Cadillac Escalade is a hard core off road vehicle.
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:09 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by craigincali View Post
exactly what type of "adventure" riding do you have in mind?? There are a ton of different options that may suit you better. Need to know what you are planning on doing first.
Well, I'm in the city. So I'd drive anywhere from 50-500 miles on the highway to hit a trail or some back country two tracks I want to ride. Be on those for as many miles as I would be on pavement. Sleeping in a tent, base camping and hiking around once I got into the back country, maybe doing a little fishing too. I would be, I guess, off road traveling, not so much trying to blaze new trails at high speeds or taking my wheels off the ground.

I've seen price comparable, newer Hondas, Triumphs, Kawasaki etc. - they just don't move me, even if they are more capable for what I'm trying to do. Like I said, I'm only riding this a short time to get my feet in the water and make sure I am going to keep with it long term. Once I upgrade to the F800GSA I might just keep my 1200cc Buell as a street bike to ride around town.
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:11 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by TeepS View Post
Yes.
My opinion, after considering your limited moto experience, 10 year moto layoff, family with small kids, and the fact that the Ulysses has been out of production for nearly 4 years.
The Buell is probably not the bike you need.
Parts are available, if you can do the work yourself... can't count on a given H/D dealer to work on a Buell these days.

Additionally, the Ulysses is about as adventure bike as a Cadillac Escalade is a hard core off road vehicle.
Any other suggestions? I need to be able to do both highway and dirt and I want it to have some kind of cool. :/
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:34 AM   #6
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Budget wise: find a used Versys. Add adventure rubber and a sump guard.
That would cover the slab there and mild 2 track. Tons of luggage options.
Check out some assembly required for mild to the ultimate rat bike builds.

My DR650 can do it but it's not my choice for freeway blasting...
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yella DR View Post
Budget wise: find a used Versys. Add adventure rubber and a sump guard.
That would cover the slab there and mild 2 track. Tons of luggage options.
Check out some assembly required for mild to the ultimate rat bike builds.

My DR650 can do it but it's not my choice for freeway blasting...
What is the advantage of the Versys over the Ulysses?
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:50 AM   #8
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Double post
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Detroit View Post
What is the advantage of the Versys over the Ulysses?
Parts availability for one.
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:04 AM   #10
Solarbronco
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Dirt bikes are the best true adventure bike, but nobody here will admit it. Can't beat long suspension and light weight on Single track. Period.

For a good dual sport, with you time off bikes, go get a used DRZ-400, get a seat concepts seat foam and cover, put some proper knobs on the front, an MT-43 on the back, have the springs changed out for your weight and you will be able to go where ever you want. I miss my DRZ, it was the very best Dual sport that I ever rode. Change the oil and filters often and you can go forever.

That is, if you really want to be able to go down any trail or road. If you just want to put around on graded dirt roads and regular streets, then get a big heavy BMW, KTM, or a Vstrom.

Buell's were great bikes, but parts and guys who can work on them are getting rare.
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:33 AM   #11
ronandkat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Detroit View Post
Background: I rode motorcycles only a couple years between 20 and 22. I never took lessons, just bought a bike, jumped on and road about 10,000 miles before wrecking and never getting back on a replacement. I'm 33 now with a wife and two kiddos and I got distracted. It was a Suzuki Katana. Also, I backpack. A lot. Combining these two hobbies seems like a good idea.

What I really want is a 2014 BMW F800GSA. Alas, sinking $15k into just a bike when I'm not even sure I'm going to stick with the sport seems unwise. However, cheaper alternatives haven't appealed to me. I stumbled on the Ulysses this morning. I've always been a huge fan of Buell, and I've wanted one since I was 18. I figure I can get my feet wet adventure riding for $5,000 and if I love it like I think I will I can always buy my BMW in a couple years. I can switch the Buell to a street bike, or I can loan it to my broke ass friends who want to ride with me but can't afford a bike.

Yes, I know the two bikes don't really compare. Yes, I know the Ulysses isn't really an off road bike. I just want to get going and I'm hoping with some offroaderyer tires I can make a go of it with the Buell. I'm not going to be going nuts trying to hill climb and do crazy amounts of sand and mud. I want to tool around on trails and back country roads without having to trailer my shit to get there.

Tell me the truth guys - will this work as a starter for me?
I have owned a Uly for several thousand miles over a 2 year period.
The Bike is an absolute blast to ride. Gravel roads prove no issue, even single track, but I have 30 years of hare scrambles under my belt and don't get stupid with it. In end, think V-strom, Versys, and like minded bikes. It's certainly as capable as those with a set of TKC's on it. But it sure sounds like your thinking more dirt oriented than what it was designed for.

There is no shortage of parts, and the antiquated engine is pretty simple to work on..BUT, just know that while there are still many Harley shops that service Buell, many do not, so service isn't always around the corner.
They are quirky, Noisy, etc...

I always say they are like a toddler.. sometimes you just wanna walk away from it, but you would shoot someone if they tried to take it..L
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:46 AM   #12
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Hmm

Maybe an older, like 2010, F800GS…

More money than I was hoping but it's probably the closest thing to what I'm actually trying to do.
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:53 AM   #13
larryboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Detroit View Post
Maybe an older, like 2010, F800GS…

More money than I was hoping but it's probably the closest thing to what I'm actually trying to do.

From your first post that seems to be the bike that's grabbing your attention and would be a better fit for what you want to do than a Uly. Go with what you really want.
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Old 01-30-2014, 01:23 PM   #14
craigincali
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I would avoid the Buell at all costs if I were you. Not saying its a bad bike but there are so many other bikes that are better suited to your needs. Versys, Triumph 800xc, drz, 650 KLR, Yamaha WRs, XR650r, etc, etc.
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Old 01-30-2014, 02:02 PM   #15
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The correct answer for any "What bike should I get ?" threads on this site is always 'DR650'.


Always.
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