Uly Quest

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by Erikh425, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. Erikh425

    Erikh425 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2013
    Oddometer:
    24
    I have been reading here for a while and finally have a reason to post. I am looking to add another bike to the stable and have always been enamored by the Ulysses. So I am now at the point where I have narrowed it down to two of them and I am looking for advice. I have read the threads here and at Badweatherbikers, and rode Uly's when I could find them. I know there are a million threads like this, but bear with me please. Here are the two bikes:

    1-2008 Uly X with 17,000 miles on it. Only accessories are Piaa driving lights and the stock handwarmers. The bike is 2.5 hrs from my house.

    2- 2006 Uly X with 9,000 miles. The bike has two wind screens, side cases, top case, dual headlight conversion, lower seat, 2007 Airbox conversiton, and misc other farkles. This bike is 6hrs from my house.

    The guy with bike #2 wants about $700 more than the guy with #1. I know that the 2008 has alot of factory upgrades that may make the bike more reliable and maybe smoother. Both of the bikes are one owner and the guys seem to be very knowledgeable about the Buell, and have maintenance history. A big part of me figures the 08 is the way to go. Seems like the upgrades Buell did between 06 and 08 were needed, and I could save some money and then buy the accessories that I want. The 08 has twice the miles on it, but really 17K isn't that much for a 6 year old bike. I have a bike I bought new last June with 8K on it now, and the 08 is also half the distance for me to drive.

    My plan is to go look at the 08 first. If I fall in love I will buy it. I have extra soft saddlebags and a tailbag that will get me by for a while. If I don't love it I will make the 6 hour trek to look at the 06 that has all the accessories.

    So I am hoping that you guys and gals can steer me in one direction or the other. Are the upgrades on the 08 worth having over the accessories? I figure there is a pretty good knowledge base here. I talked to my wife about it and she said, "Do whatever the Hell you want". I want a Uly, so I guess that is what she is telling me to do right :)

    Thanks.

    As a side note, I love working on bikes. I have torn apart and built old Hondas, a couple Ironheads, and when I bought a new bike last year I took the sawzall to it with less than 400 miles on the odometer. Tinkering with the Uly will be one of the perks. (Maybe I am crazy)
    #1
  2. Mr Mark

    Mr Mark Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    38
    Location:
    Coastal Maine
    Hey, I am a new Uly owner, but an old biker, and wrench....mine is an 06 but only 1400 miles on it....i read all the posts as well and having built and rebuilt and modified a bunch of bikes, i wasn't concerned with doing upgrades myself. I have already done the regular maintenance, the 77 plug, the clutch cable sealing, gonna order the comfort kit and the right side heat shield next week. The breather mod I will do when it gets a bit warmer in the shed...if you like working on stuff, i can't see a problem with the 06 vs the 08. Rear wheel didn't get updated til '10 so no benefit there....I love a lot of storage, mainly because it can be 30 at 8 a.m. and 65 at noon around here and I always carry tools and parts so the bags are definitely a plus for me....
    Gotta tell ya though, today was the first real ride on it and man is it a blast to ride, doesn't feel at all like a touring bike, more like a cross between a sport bike and an enduro.....I'm gonna have fun on this bike......good luck with you choice.
    #2
  3. Mr Mark

    Mr Mark Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    38
    Location:
    Coastal Maine
    Oh and yea, you're crazy....but we all are.......right?
    #3
  4. hdxbones

    hdxbones Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
    45
    Location:
    CT
    I found myself in the same spot last fall. As an aircraft mechanic by trade, and a 30 year HD rider, I enjoy turning wrenches on my bikes. But I found the upgrades on the 08-up bikes to be significant enough for me to focus my search on. Stronger engine internals, better oiling, updated fuel control, improved steering geometry, etc. I was lucky to find a low milage 09 with luggage for a very fair price that I purchased last November. I wouldn't let the lack of luggage turn me from the right bike though, you can find it listed for sale here, or on the other forum all the time. There are plenty of aftermarket options also. That said, there's nothing wrong with a clean 06 or 07 for the right price, I've read plenty of posts from guys that have 50 to 100k miles on them.

    Good luck with your search, I can tell you that I haven't had this much fun riding motorcycles in a long time..........
    #4
  5. goodburbon

    goodburbon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2013
    Oddometer:
    415
    Location:
    Kalirado
    What's your location?
    #5
  6. Erikh425

    Erikh425 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2013
    Oddometer:
    24
    I am in northern MN.

    Thanks for all of the info. A fully loaded 07 just popped up on CL about 2.5 hours from my house, so I am looking at that too now. There was a drought of Ulys for sale around here all winter, now there are two within 3 hours of my house. So I guess it is nice to have choices. The 07 has 17K miles, but is the same price as the naked 08. Anyway, I am going to have to go ride the closest ones and see what I fall in love with.

    Keep the suggestions coming. I appreciate it.

    Erik
    #6
  7. Erikh425

    Erikh425 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2013
    Oddometer:
    24
    Oh yeah, I haven't even seen an 09 or newer up here
    for sale or otherwise.
    #7
  8. esalentine

    esalentine Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    58
    Location:
    Warroad, MN
    Where in Northern MN? Warroad here.

    I purchased a used '07 X three and a half years ago with 4K miles on it. It'll be turning 50K this spring. I too debated between this bike and an '08 or newer. For the sake of not repeating what you have already read, I'll just state that it's not an easy decision - they both sound like great bikes. My '07 has had it's faults, but I've never regretted buying it.

    Feel free to send me a PM if you have any other questions. I've made nearly every update possible to my '07 and would be happy to help.

    Eric.
    #8
  9. Erikh425

    Erikh425 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2013
    Oddometer:
    24
    I'm in Duluth, so not as far North as you are. Thanks for the offer. I am sure there a bunch of MN people here with Ulys. I will let you know if I become one of them :-)
    #9
  10. thesurvivalist

    thesurvivalist Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Oddometer:
    601
    Location:
    Alabama
    I have an 08 and I love it, its a pleasure to ride.
    #10
  11. Hughlysses

    Hughlysses Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,060
    Location:
    Salters, SC
    The improved oiling system, stouter crank, and tighter turning radius on the 08 more than makes up for the mileage difference in the 06. Some 07 models had catastrophic crank problems (DAMHIK). I'd recommend you get the 08.
    #11
  12. Erikh425

    Erikh425 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2013
    Oddometer:
    24
    Hugh,

    I know you have been around for a while. In your opinion is there a point that you don't have to worry about the crank? I mean if the crank made it 20K then it is probably fine? Does it seem bikes built before a certain day were worse?

    I guess I am just curious. It seems like all bikes have their issues, and potential problems. I suppose I could get a V-Strom if I wanted bulletproof. I want decently reliable with a soul :-)
    #12
  13. Erikh425

    Erikh425 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2013
    Oddometer:
    24
    You can disregard the last question. I found your other posts on BWB. I saw that you (Hugh) had a video of your crankshaft problem, but I can't find a link to it yet. Any chance you have the link? I guess I am just curious.

    E
    #13
  14. Lornce

    Lornce Lost In Place

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Oddometer:
    20,792
    Location:
    Way Out There.
    You should do what you like and buy the bike you want.

    But the improvements to the '08 and newer bikes are significant. Let's be real: The Uly is a modern high-mile capable chassis saddled with an ancient motor sourced from a bike that nobody ever really rode very far (with very few exceptions). I wanted the latest, most improved version of that motor I could find. The improved turning radius is just a bonus.

    imho, fwiw, ymmv.

    :D
    #14
  15. Hughlysses

    Hughlysses Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,060
    Location:
    Salters, SC
    Here you go:

    <IFRAME height=315 src="<a href=" width=420 www.youtube.com http: target="_blank" y6bNhxUHQXA? embed>http://www.youtube.com/embed/y6bNhxUHQXA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></IFRAME>

    (not sure this video code is correct; here's the link if it's not: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=y6bNhxUHQXA

    Noise started at about 29,000 miles. IIRC, mileage seems to be in the 20k to 30k range for the failures. My guess if it's past 35k miles and not knocking, it's probably a good one.
    #15
  16. Erikh425

    Erikh425 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2013
    Oddometer:
    24
    Wow. That thing sounds horrible.

    Thanks for all of the information. It really does help.

    E
    #16
  17. Hughlysses

    Hughlysses Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,060
    Location:
    Salters, SC
    Yea, it was not pretty. It just about made me physically ill to hear it.

    The good news is that ~2 years and ~10,000 miles later, my "new" 09 engine is still chuffing right along and pulling like a bear!
    #17
  18. unlucky1

    unlucky1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    431
    Location:
    Perched above the Salish Sea
    - I don't think 8000 miles is going to make an appreciable difference; these things go and go and go. Mine has 48,000 miles now and runs like a top.

    - As has been said, the improvements to the '08 are worth-while.

    - $700 gets you a Happy-Trail rack and Caribou pannier setup.
    #18
  19. vtwin

    vtwin Air cooled runnin' mon

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    8,601
    Location:
    NorCal
    Like Hugh, my '07 developed a rod knock at around 30K. I went a different route and installed the 08 crank, 5K more on it since and it seems ok.
    #19
  20. discochris

    discochris Stayin' Alive

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,435
    Location:
    Sometimes the Twin Cities, Sometimes NW Wisconsin
    I'm one of the MN people with a Uly. Mine is a 2008 XT, and in fact, I bought it used at HD Sports Center in Duluth in 2009.

    I would go for the 2008 or newer, just because of the improved motor. You can always add accessories, but it's a lot bigger deal to swap an engine if you end up with the bad rod issue.

    I have a love-hate relationship with mine. I love the way it rides - I can't imagine a more fun motorcycle - it's just a joy to ride (I came off a Kawasaki Concours 1000). I have had some minor issues I've had to fix here and there (pay attention when people tell you that the torque values in the manual for the oil drain plug are WAY too tight), and I've had to hang some parts, and it often takes a while to get said parts these days.

    I bought it with about 4500 miles on it, and I'm at 21,000 miles now. I expect to have it for at least 4-5 more years, barring some kind of disaster or wreck. The only thing that makes me regret buying it is that HD shut down Buell. I always feel like I'm stuck with an orphan, and that makes me nervous to take on long trips, whereas the Connie took me all over North America with almost no issues at all.
    #20