Just picked up my Buell S1!!

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by Randy, May 12, 2012.

  1. Randy

    Randy Long timer

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    Yeah, ya know, one of the things that turned me off to these bikes back in the 90's was that seat. They just looked unbearable to me. Never rode one though. When I first started considering an S1 a few weeks ago one of the first things I did was make sure that Corbin still offered a seat for them.

    Now, granted, my first and only ride so for was a short 10 minute test ride yesterday before purchase (raining by the time I got home) but when I got off I had to admit that it wasn't as bad as I had expected. Now, it'll not be what I would call long distance comfortable, but so far I think it's better than the original seat on my KTM LC4 (one hour seat at best). I plan to ride it more before buying anything so I can make sure what if anything is really needed, but the Corbin was already in the "budget" and reports are that it is a big improvement over stock.
    #21
  2. azsnow

    azsnow n00b

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    I have had several Buels, one was a 2002 Lightning Low, and I rode it all the time, with the longest trip being from San Diego, CA to Tucson, AZ. The seat isnt that bad, the part I had issue with was my knees being ent for so long, but I soon got over that. At the time, I was 6'1" and 230lbs. you will love this bike!
    #22
  3. nskitts

    nskitts Long timer

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    Just picked up an XB9SX the other day...love it. Then wondered why the Harley riders didn't wave back, thought oh geez really? If I would have been on my Road Glide they would have waved so the inner hooligan in me gave them a large dose of a sound they are familiar with. The look on their faces was hilarious, "Me recognize noise and like, but me hate crotch rockets."
    #23
  4. Randy

    Randy Long timer

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    Ok, so I couldn't stand it and took some pics in the garage over the rainy weekend...

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    Then, I finally got to roll this beast out of the garage yesterday afternoon! :clap



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    And a crappy phone pic from when I took the bike out to eat...

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    Didn't have a lot of time yesterday so I only managed to ride 77 miles.

    It was EVERYTHING I've been looking for in a bike! The sound is intoxicating. The engine power and torque, and yes, even the vibration, just the whole the visceral experience was just AWESOME! :super

    After riding so many other bikes over the years, and learning to love my GS, I must say that THIS is what I've been dreaming of for a while now. So many modern bikes just leave me feeling, "blah".

    I knew I wanted something that sounded "right". Something like another Ducati, or perhaps a Moto Guzzi, or maybe even a Triumph Scrambler with its 270 degree crank. Just couldn't get thrilled about the sound of a inline 4, and while I do love the GS, its sound just never stirred my soul.

    Then there was the sensation that I always had on my 900SS. When you rolled on the throttle, it felt as though Thor himself was down there hammering away at the underside of your seat. The engine felt ALIVE :D

    Then, again, the GS is great and I had gotten so used to it that I forgot how big, heavy and cumbersome it really was. It handles good and I can ride it relatively swiftly. But, it is big and I'm not, so in and around town it wasn't the easiest to navigate around at slow speeds. The S1 is minuscule and very light by comparison. Hell, just pushing it around the garage is a huge change from the GS.

    Then there is the seat height. I have a 30 inch inseam, stand about 5'7" and weigh around 140-145lb. for the last few years the bike I ride are my 1150GS and my KTM 640. :eek1 I had forgotten what it felt like to come to a stop at a red light and actually be able to put both feet flat on terra firma. :D

    Ok, so the vibe thing... Yeah, at an idle it shakes like the proverbial paint shaker. When I first experienced it I was like, "Jesus!" But honestly, after a bit, it didn't bother me at all and began to feel quite natural. The frequency of the vibration is nothing like the 640 :eek1 and after getting accustomed to it, it wasn't objectionable at all. But, off idle it does begin to smooth out, and by 3500 rpm the vibes are mostly gone, and by 4000rpm it becomes eerily, velvety smooth.

    And then there is that "crunch box" Harley calls a transmission. I've heard that for years, so imagine my surprise when I took my little test ride before buying the bike. :huh Where was this bad shifting, clunky, agricultural gearbox that everyone talks about? It's certainly not in this machine. :clap I don't know if this is box stock or if maybe the original owner did some things in the tranny. All I know is that this bikes shift smoothly and positively. The effort isn't that great and I had no missed shifts, crunches, or other issues. The clutch effort is a little higher than some other bikes, but it isn't all that bad to me, and the clutch engagement was very smooth and progressive and easily modulated.

    If you forget about shaving tenths of a second off your lap times and concentrate on the fact that this is a street bike, then it has plenty of power. And the power delivery to absolutely wonderful to boot. It starts early and pulls smoothly and strongly all the way to redline. Well, I guess it does anyway. Reline is 6800 I believe and I never took it over 6000. It sorta scary too, because as you rev it under acceleration, it just feels as though it will continue to pull strongly and smoothly until it explodes! :huh It just feels very linear and as though the redline is just a limit to prevent the engine from tearing itself apart, but that the engine could continue producing really good power well after that limit, or at least until it exploded. Regardless, with its very flexible power delivery, good power and torque it was a VERY satisfying engine to use on a street bike.

    Handling is very subjective and in such a short time aboard the bike I'm not comfortable making too much out of that at the moment. It has almost new Michelin Pilot Powers on it now and I'm not familiar with the handling characteristics of these tires since I've never used them. Then, I've also only ridden it on some local roads and haven't had much opportunity to really check out its handling prowess just yet. I need a weekend up in N GA for that. I also need to look into suspension settings and play with tire pressures a bit. BUT, I can say that I was very pleased with the handling so far! :clap It felt agile and light on its feet, while still feeling stable and secure. But, I will admit that I haven't pushed it too far yet so if it has any bad handling traits I just haven't exposed them. But, again, as a street bike and not on the Streets of Willow, I think it'll be great for my needs and desires. :thumb

    On the looks.... Well, that is probably the MOST subjective thing about bikes. I always like them, since way back in the 90's. But after sitting in my garage all weekend ogling this thing from all angles, I've come to the conclusion that for me this is the sexiest motorcycle ever built. Again, very subjective and bikes are like women in many ways I guess, but for me, this thing just blows my skirt up.... I've always appreciated elemental, basic motorcycles. Just a big chunk of engine, two wheels and the bare essentials to make it a functional motorcycle. This bike fits that description perfectly for me. There are lots of two wheeled Ferraris out there, and a bunch of other more refined exotics too. Then there are the SUVs like my GS, and the '57 Chevy cruisers. So, I guess if I had to compare the Buell S1 to a car I'd say an AC Cobra. Just bare bones, and elemental, raw and raucous, sexy and strong, and a WHOLE LOT OF FUN!

    I smiled a LOT yesterday! :D

    So, what didn't I like? Well, the little after market mirror the PO installed on the left side was excellent at showing me that the zipper on my jacket sleeve pocket was closed. Considering a set of CRG Lane Splitters to solve that problem. And yeah, anyone can tell that the seat sucks. So, after and hour and a half my ass was hurting a bit, but it wasn't as bad as the original seat on the 640. Considering a Corbin but they are $$$ so not sure yet. The front brake... not sure. Maybe I'm just used to the servo assist ABS brakes on my GS and need to re-calibrate my right fingers, maybe the new pads the owner installed recently aren't fully bedded in yet, maybe I just need to bleed them. Don't know just yet, but will probably bleed them soon. They weren't the worst I've experienced, but they weren't terribly impressive either, so we'll see. Not crazy about that air filter either. Probably going to go with a Forcewinder and separate catch can for engine venting. That's about it really.

    I do have a few inspections, checks and upgrades to do for reliability purposes too. I've been reading over on the BadWeB forum and learning what to do and watch out for. Good people over there.

    Reliability? Who knows? I know it's not a Honda, then again, if it were.... well, did I go shopping for a Honda? :huh And hell, I'm a Honda fan! :D I tend to be a mechanically involved motorcyclist and I expect to do some wrenching to keep things going smoothly. So, I suppose time will tell.

    To me it's all about satisfaction and smile quotient. I'm not out to win races or prove anything to anyone. I don't ride for transportation. I ride for enjoyment only. It is my one passion and love in life and I enjoy all flavors of it. This is but one, but so far it is looking to be one of the most satisfying so far.

    :1drink
    #24
  5. DynaSport

    DynaSport Been here awhile

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    Beautiful S1!
    #25
  6. Randy

    Randy Long timer

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    Thanks, I love it! And, yeah, I think it's a pretty nice example. For a bike of its age, it actually looks pretty damn good if I do say so myself. I got pretty lucky to find it I suppose. :D
    #26
  7. Tom S

    Tom S Can I ride it?

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    Screw Corbin. At least temporally you should try my ~$20 cruiser bicycle gel seat cover that I told you about. Solved that problem for me. I can ride it all day long, no sore-ass. You can spend the big bucks for a Corbin or maybe another brand seat later. You should definitely investigate some other brands. I ain’t to sure about Corbin & have read that their customer service sucks.

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    With the attachment strings underneath it’s still loose on the seat but stays in place when you’re on the bike & it can’t be seen then.

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    Now where is that dyno sheet? :ddog
    Or did you, can you, contact the first owner for more info on that?

    My Buells shift just fine too. I think the S1 is even smother than the Uly. Only BMW I remember riding had the klunkiest gear box I ever met.
    My brakes work very good too. Well, the rear brakes have very little power.
    #27
  8. Assfault

    Assfault Exposed Member

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    Your bike brings back alot of memories, some good some bad.
    I had that exact model and color, with the PM wheels as well.
    The good, after I rebuilt it for the 3rd time, it is the only bike I have ever had that from a 1st gear idle, would actually leap both wheels off the ground when the throttle was wacked open. The front brake would raise the rear off the ground till you can kiss the pavement over the fly swatter WS. The bike will handle corners till the very high pegs grind, and then lean even more.
    The bad, 4 exhaust, 3 motors, 3 drive belts, and a habit of puking oil over the rear tire.
    Have fun while it runs, nothing quite like it anymore.
    And whatever you do, DONT put than seat cusion on it EVER!
    #28
  9. Tom S

    Tom S Can I ride it?

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    Why not? Been workin’ good for my skinny ass for over 10 years & you can’t beat the price. Nobody ever dissed it. Worth a try.

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    #29
  10. Randy

    Randy Long timer

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    Well hell, THAT'S encouraging! :huh

    Seriously, from all my reading and research, and while I do understand that they do have "things" that need attention on occasion, it sounds as though you had extraordinarily bad luck with yours.

    I certainly hope my luck is a little better at least... Wish me luck! :1drink
    #30
  11. Mr. Canoehead

    Mr. Canoehead Taste Gunnels!

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Calgary, Too far to the mountains and too cold
    So, I thought this patch was hilarious so I went looking for it...turns out the guy who made it was selling them on Fleabay and HD went after him for trademark infringement! I guess they want to protect the "Willy G's Bastard Stepchildren" trademark! Just when I thought I couldn't hate HD more.....:rofl
    #31
  12. AstroZon

    AstroZon Been here awhile

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    Very cool bike. Congrats!
    #32
  13. cascadetiger

    cascadetiger Adventurer

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    May 24, 2007
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    SE Wisconsin
    I have a high mileage (62,000) S3. The engine has been bullet proof. I have had normal maintenance, had it about 10,000 miles. Wheelies are easy, but I broke a belt and the fork seals started leaking. Best not to do those too often. I don't ever plan on selling my Buell, we will grow old together.
    #33
  14. Randy

    Randy Long timer

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    :thumb
    #34
  15. Buellrunner

    Buellrunner Been here awhile

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    Congrats on a wicked bike! I loved my xb12 and all the fat torque that and with it. Your Buell looks awesome.
    #35
  16. Donkey Hotey

    Donkey Hotey De Jo Momma

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    I freakin' hate you. I already have a '98 S1W but, there's a local S1 that is begging to be rescued. If I don't, it's chopper bait.

    The problem is: I have everything (I mean EVERYTHING) to turn it into a White Lightning. I keep shying away from it and everywhere I look, I see S1 this and S1 that.

    It's going to get repainted Reactor Yellow, I just know it. :cry

    Congrats on the bike and welcome to the family. :thumb
    #36
  17. Randy

    Randy Long timer

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    Sounds like a sign from the motorcycle gods to me.

    So what's the problem?



    Do their bidding and rescue the S1 or risk suffering their wrath...

    :evil

    :1drink
    #37
  18. Half-Fast

    Half-Fast Been here awhile

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    Houston
    If you are interested, I have a brand new carbon fiber tail section for the S1 for sale on ebay. PM for the link.
    #38
  19. Randy

    Randy Long timer

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    Thanks for the heads up. Not sure if I'd really be interested since my bodywork is in very good shape, but I'm watching the auction. :thumb
    #39
  20. scrannel

    scrannel Scrannel

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    Oct 29, 2006
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    Beautiful machine. What year? (sorry if I missed it).
    #40