Buell XB12X Ulysses Review/Riding Impressions

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by Chuck_V, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. Chuck_V

    Chuck_V Been here awhile

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    Edited
    #1
  2. Bertotti

    Bertotti Been here awhile

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    Nice work.
    #2
  3. Snr Moment

    Snr Moment Unafarkler

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    Well said. I just traded my 03 Road King for an XT. If you want vibration and a loud clunk at shifting, get a King.
    I found the XT to be everything I want in a bike (I've owned 3 HD's in the past year and a half). The Sportster was not comfortable, my Low Rider was fantastic and the King was like driving a 72 Buick, which is great if you only want to go straight down the road.
    To me, the XT is essentially a crotch rocket with saddlebags that can go off road (dirt, gravel, mud - not single track).
    I test rode the XT for an hour and made the deal. Looking to do some serious miles when winter ends.
    #3
  4. 1LIFE2LIVE

    1LIFE2LIVE Long timer

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    EXCELLENT REVIEW = Sold American :freaky !!!

    Throw in a photo of a Off Road/Street Rally Car and I think you have a motorcycle that looks like a Subaru WRX :clap !!
    #4
  5. adkranger

    adkranger Been here awhile

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    Well done. What a ride it is.:clap
    #5
  6. 4_pete_sake

    4_pete_sake Adventurer

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    Smiles.... I have nothing but smiles.... great review.... LOVE MINE TOO...

    Cheers-pete
    #6
  7. phaneuf

    phaneuf Adventurer

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    My riding partner aka "the wife" would love to add to your write up. The Uly is a great 2 up handling bike. As you mentioned the suspention setup is key 2 up. I have found it to handle better 2 up than solo. long days can be had on the bike both solo and in the pillion seat. The most we have done together was a 800+ mile day with zore complaints from the back seater. With over 50,000 miles on mine I've had the time to make all the mods you mentioned. I love this bike and will keep it for a while longer.
    #7
  8. layabout

    layabout Tattoo free since 63

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    I test drove the 2008 XT a few months ago.
    I had not been on a bike in 20 years, but had no trouble at all as the Uly felt very comfortable and handled naturally. I was all set to take the plunge, but the better half had a meltdown over the price. Also, she thought it was "ugly".
    After the dust settled I bought a 2002 GS for about half the price. ( Poor me, eh? ) I had originally been fixated on the GS, but discovered the XT while fooling around on the net. One of these days when I'm not so whipped I might try one again.
    #8
  9. ZRJoe

    ZRJoe Adventurer

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    Let your wife ride the GS for a few hundred miles on the back and then borrow a XT or even a X. She will change her mind quick enough. My problem now is keeping her awake on the long rides.
    #9
  10. Hangetsu

    Hangetsu Adventurer

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    Going on my wife's opinion (not having ridden on the back myself), I would say that pillion comfort is pretty much equal between the GS and Uly. I rode her around on both and she found both very livable. I also test rode two-up with her the Multi, V-Strom, and 1050 Tiger and she found all but the V-Strom very unpleasant after a very short time.
    #10
  11. kadesean

    kadesean eyesuck

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    One difference in pillion comfort between the GS and Uly is that the Uly comes standard with a nice backrest should someone choose to use it. :D
    #11
  12. acav80

    acav80 Adventurer

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    Shhhhhh! Let the silly outsiders keep on thinking that Buells suck. The club has a certain exclusiveness that I enjoy.
    #12
  13. Hangetsu

    Hangetsu Adventurer

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    Exclusivity is nice, but R&D bucks come from bike sales. The more they sell, the more they can refine what they already do pretty well and the more new product they can develop. Growth in sales numbers would also help to remedy the agonizing dealer issues Buell owners seem to struggle with. If Buell became more of a "bread & butter" product for the dealers, they would most likely take the brand a little more seriously and treat Buell customers with a little more respect.
    #13
  14. acav80

    acav80 Adventurer

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    Good point. I do think they're on their way to the big time, especially now with all the buzz around the rotax bikes. Those of us on board now will just get to brag about how we used to ride a Buell way back in the 2000's before they were the big rage.

    My honest opinion having switched from a Kawasaki, is that anybody who comes with an open mind and tries a Buell is probably going to love it. These bikes have got character and soul like very few others, and "real world" performance that is easy to enjoy every time you hit the starter.
    #14
  15. kadesean

    kadesean eyesuck

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    "Growth in sales numbers would also help to remedy the agonizing dealer issues Buell owners seem to struggle with. If Buell became more of a "bread & butter" product for the dealers, they would most likely take the brand a little more seriously and treat Buell customers with a little more respect."

    Buell is growing, but ever so slowly, and moreso overseas than at home. It was late '06 or early '07 when they produced their 100,000th unit and just a month or so ago when they produced their 125,000th. 25 years to get to 100K and only two years to equal a quarter of that production. MCN recently published '07 and projected '08 sales numbers. HD is going to sell 220,000 units in the US to Buells <5,000. I think we'll be able to keep our exclusivity for the near future.
    #15
  16. Kawidad

    Kawidad Long timer

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    I glad you like your bike. :webers

    However, the biggest problem with Buell is Harley Davidson and their lack of respect toward their own brand. The dealer network is clearly inferior and how HD Inc treats Buells is nothing short of scandalous. Hopefully, things will improve.:gerg
    #16
  17. Snr Moment

    Snr Moment Unafarkler

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    It depends on where you live. The local HD dealer has a good selection of Buells on the floor and their philosophy is more that it's the fact that you ride, not so much what you ride. Their sales, service, support and over-all attitude that the customer is king sets them at the top of the heap.
    These guys even hosted a Winger rallye at the dealership this summer when the original sponsors dropped out at the last minute. In less than an hour, they had a catering service and music in the parking lot.

    No doubt that the Buells are still more of a rarity and I think I have the only XT in town at the moment, which is kind of neat.
    #17
  18. Ulyssessix

    Ulyssessix Been here awhile

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    Working on my fourth year of ownership I still would not trade the Uly for any bike in this class. After taking a close look at the KTM 990 I have to admit I like it, but not enough to change at this point. Why? If I would it would be for better off-road capability. After several DS outings on more capable equipment like a DR-Z400, I have come to the conclusion that weight is the biggest enemy, not tires. So now I want to keep the Uly which is great on fire roads and easy trails, and get a truer dual sport like the DR for more hardy excursions.

    On pavement, I find it hard to believe there is a better bike in this class. Though there are some bikes that may have a slight advantage straight line, no bike in this class is a crotch rocket. That is not the purpose of a bike in the class. An ability to travel off-pavement, touring and two up capability are all tops in this class. At that the Uly excels. The bike was designed for all those abilities but adds a fun factor due to the character of the bike that is hard to match. Add Buell's weight management and handling characteristics and the bike quickly challenges anything in this class and most purer sport machines in the curves.

    As far as for pillion accommodations, a lot of thought was put into two up riding when this bike was designed and as much into my purchase decision. The triple tail gives the rider a quick backrest. When not needed the triple tail can be flipped down for a clean look or flipped back as luggage rack. The '07 and later seats are one of the most comfortable pillion seats out there today. Add standard hand rails and the passenger is well cared for. My wife was a novice at riding when I purchased the Uly. My Honda had a backrest but the few times my wife rode with me were short. About 60 miles of riding was all she cared for. The M2 with the Corbin seat improved things. We took a ride in the mountains one day that lasted 180 miles. She loved the ride but had reached her limit. On the Uly, she has had several days past 300 miles and weekends that were over 500 miles. Riding with me has become on of her favorite getaways now. My daughter rides with me and friends and has been on several Harleys, including a Super Glide and Electra Glide. She finds the Uly more comfortable.

    After 37,000 mile the bike has never let me down. Though I have put it through its paces the bike still never fails to be a blast to ride. Buells are not for everyone and that is okay by me. The community of Buell riders is an exclusive group because of it allowing a little more personal interface with the company that other companies will never match. To have the factory call my house and next day air a latch at their expense to make sure I could make a multi-state road trip a couple days away is an experience that will never be topped by the likes of BMW, KTM, Ducati, Suzuki or the like.
    #18
  19. 1LIFE2LIVE

    1LIFE2LIVE Long timer

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    Check out the "Quebec" one hour episode on "Trippin on Two Wheels".

    Great real world review of the Uly = nice bike :freaky !
    #19
  20. phaneuf

    phaneuf Adventurer

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    1 life,
    Glad you got a chance to watch that. The show doesn't help keep an open mind when bike shopping. :evil
    #20