2008 Buell 1125R – Liquid Cooled Rotax V-Twin

2008 Buell 1125R

2008 Buell 1125R

Buell has now officially introduced the 1125R and their website has the specs, some of which I've displayed below. MSRP is $11,995. Dry weight is 375 pounds. Belt drive, too. Nice. Continue down for more photos and specs.

What were they saying about dirt bikes?

Big Thanks to Adam for the original tip!

Be sure to read our interview with Erik Buell!

More photos and specs below

2008 Buell 1125R engine

Further thoughts: Let's see, didn't WSB just decide to up their displacement limit for V-Twins to 1200cc? So Ducati could race, right?

2008 Buell 1125R

MSRP $11,995
Dimensions U.S. Units
Overall Length 78.6 in.
Overall Width 28.2 in.
Seat Height:  
Standard 30.5 in.
Wheelbase 54.6 in.
Type Pirelli®
Front Diablo Corsa III (model)
  120/70 ZR-17 (specifications)
Rear Diablo Corsa III (model)
  180/55 ZR-17 (specifications)
Fuel Capacity 5.6 gal.
Reserve Fuel Capacity 0.8 gal.
Dry Weight 375 lbs.
Gross Rating 850 lbs.
Load Capacity 395 lbs.
Engine U.S. Units
Engine Liquid-cooled 1125cc Helicon® V-Twin
Valve Train DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, finger follower design & shimming
Bore x Stroke:  
Bore 4.055 in.
Stroke 2.658 in.
Displacement 68.7 cu. in.
Compression Ratio 12.3:1
Fuel Delivery Dual 61 mm down draft throttle bodies, DDFI III fuel injection
Exhaust Tuned, tri-pass resonance chamber with integral helmholtz tuning and mass-centralized mounting
Torque 82 ft. lbs. @ 8000 RPM
Horsepower 146 HP @ 9800 RPM
Primary Drive Helical Gear, 0.554:1 (36/65) ratio
Final Drive Constant path, 14 mm pitch aramid-reinforced Goodyear® Hibrex® belt with Flexten® Plus technology, 2.593:1 (70/27) ratio
Clutch Wet, multi-plate, Hydraulic Vacuum Assist (HVA) Slipper Action Clutch, hydraulic clutch lever effort
Transmission 6-speed, straight cut gears
Chassis U.S. Units
Frame Aluminum frame, fuel in frame
Front Fork 47 mm Showa® inverted forks with adjustable compression damping, rebound damping and spring preload
Rear Shock Showa® coil over monoshock with adjustable compression damping, rebound damping and spring preload
Color Diamond Blue
Front 6-spoke, ZTL™ cast aluminum (type)
  3.5 in. (diameter)
  17 in. (width)
Rear 6-spoke, cast aluminum (type)
  5.5 in. (diameter)
  17 in. (width)
Front ZTL™-type brake, 8-piston, fixed caliper, 375 mm single sided, inside out, stainless steel, floating rotor
Rear Two-piston, direct mount caliper, 240 mm stainless steel, fixed rotor

Photos and full specs: Buell Motorcycles 1125r website


  1. Tom says

    Sign me up!! For the first time in my life-time, a world-class American sportbike!

    I’ve been waiting for this for a loooooong time.

  2. Sean says

    It’s gorgeous… Stick the orange rims, decals and fairing bubble on it, and you’ve got one hell of a winner.

  3. Bryce says

    Awesome. I’ve loved the look and clever ideas of recent Buells, and it’s nice to see them getting engines to match.

  4. guitargeek says

    Could this be the beginning of the end of their relationship with Hardley?

  5. Richard says

    What? No air-cooled, pushrod, single pin crank V-twin? How will their clients know it’s a mary can? :)

    Thanks to liquid cooling, this bike will probably race better than that multiple DNF joke, the XB-RR, but I’m sure I prefer my stock ’06 CBR1000RR with 169.50 HP, 84.5 ft.lbs torque, and redline at 12,200 rpm– and it’s not even considered a “fast” liter bike! And in 2008, the new RR will have a complete upgrade to something smaller, lighter, faster, more powerful, better handling, etc.

  6. says

    If this is all true, my next step is to quit my job at harley selling bikes so I can afford a real American sportbike…I’ve owned Buells in the past and have become very tough for doing so…

  7. says

    If this is for real…I will finally be proud to own a real…fast…sportbike.. built in America…I’ve owned Buells in the past but have always been outrun by Jap Crap

  8. Richard says

    Ronnie, if it’s just “Jap Crap”, why do they always outrun you? Either they must all be better riders, or their bikes are all better than yours.

    BTW, the point of my post above was just to say, “nice try Buell, but the 1125R still won’t be competitive with bikes that have 127 fewer cc’s.” Maybe they can try running with the 600’s again.

  9. RH says

    …….CBR(number)letterletter……………brochure figures………….yawn…….

  10. Sean says

    Japanese bikes have no soul, I’m afraid. Sorry Richard, but a Buell has more soul and better looks than your screamer.

  11. Hugo says

    Nice bike and knowing how well the Firebolt concept works this is the bike Buell wanted to make from the start. It is very compact so should be flickable like a 600 but with gobs of torque. Now isn’t that nice :)
    I hope the weight figure isn’t too bad though…we have to be patient some more hours

  12. Phantom says

    I swear I’ve never met a bigger bunch of bleating whingers than motorcycle riders.

    Why compare it to a Japanese bike? It’s a totally different kettle of fish, whether it is faster than a Fireblade or not is of no consequence whatsoever unless it is being raced against one, and I see no Fireblade in the pics above…

    Why rubbish Japanese bikes for lacking some esoteric quality called ‘soul’? Does it make you sleep better at night? Does your soulful bike give you a special look after you’ve climbed off following a long day in the canyons?

    How about we simply enjoy the fact that there will soon be another special bike out there in the market?

    Great to see Buell continuing their development, and 146hp is nothing to sneeze at, especially if the weight is comparable to other open class sportsbikes. Great if it’s up to SBK racing too.

    Are Aprilia going to build the RSV alongside the new V4? If not, perhaps Rotax are in a position to offer the motor to other manufacturers – Fischer for one tried to get hold of it.

    Ok, back to your regularly scheduled bleating.

  13. says

    Apparantly the state of tune of the engine is very mild (due to emission regulations) so for sure they can squeeze out a lot more in race-trim.

  14. Richard says

    I hesitate to add this because I’m really not interested in arguing Japanese vs. “American” bikes, but it’s just too damn funny to pass up:

    …….Buell(number)letterletter……………brochure figures………….yawn…….

    (You do see the point, don’t you, RH? Other than a couple of pictures, that’s almost all this article contains. I only quoted stats to give perspective to the stats in the article. And Hugo, the fact that the numbers could be bumped in race-trim is nice, but no less true for any other bike.)

    To those people who think Japanese bikes have no soul, whereas some other bikes supposedly do have soul, I would like to point out that you simply do not understand the meaning of the word.

  15. kneeslider says

    Phantom, I’m with you on this. Just enjoy the fact that there is another bike coming out that looks like it could be a serious performance and handling machine, that’s good for everyone. If they decide to put it on the track, which I suspect is in their plans, we’ll see what happens compared to the best of Japan or Italy or anywhere else when run in a racing environment.

    Supposedly, this is going to be unveiled today (Sunday, July 8th) at the Buell Homecoming or tomorrow at the dealer meeting, so we should have more info soon.

  16. Jeff says

    Go Buell . I don’t care how they do it in Japan , Italy or anywhere else . I’m not ashamed to root for my Home country .

  17. RH says

    Richard, use your cranium.

    If the Buell is of no interest to you, then you have nothing to post. You use an awful lot of words to say as much.

    And, no, you don’t have a point. While there is, indeed, very little to go by from the pictures, the figures do indicate big (and long overdue) changes for Buell. That’s news. It says an awful lot about where Buell is headed with very few words – a point which everyone else gets.

    An expert opinion (and news) from a respectable technical writer should be coming out soon: http://www.cycleworld.com/article.asp?section_id=3&article_id=398

  18. Bryce says

    I’m more curious about how much fun this thing will be on the street than who it beats on the track.

    I doubt I’d ever be much of a racer out on the track, and since I think street racing is stupid, it doesn’t matter to me whether another bike is faster. Most 600cc sport bikes are powerful enough these days that you really can’t make use of the bulk of their performance on the street.

    When it comes time to write a check for a street bike, the stats and brochure figures don’t mean a whole lot more having than bragging rights unless you’re really having fun.

  19. Zorm says

    I agree w/ Phantom let’s just enjoy this new treat. Erik Buell has a way of looking at his motorcycles as total packages that work right. Add a high performance twin to his trilogy of tech and it just adds up to something FUN!!! Can’t wait to ride it!!!

  20. birdman says

    Lets reserve the term V-Twin for 45º engines; 90º or 72º Twin cylinder engines should be called “90-degree Twin” or 75-degree Twin” as they are not actual Vees.

    Now that Aprilia is using PiaggioCorp engines (750/1200 & 850) rather than Rotax engines it appears that Rotax is looking for new markets. My question: how exactly is this an American motorcycle if the engine is built in Austria? Chances are, all the other parts of the bike are made in Asia. More than anything, this shows that Harley/Buell simply isn’t able to make a competitive engine and needs to buy from a second party. Me, I’m waiting for Victory to build something interesting with the Polaris 800 ATV engine/pvt.

  21. Zorm says


    Liquid-Cooled V-Twin Wraps 146-hp in Patented Buell Technology

    EAST TROY, Wis. (July 8, 2007) – The Buell Motorcycle Company is set to break the convention of the superbike category with the Buell 1125R, an all-new, liter-class motorcycle that delivers an artful balance of street and track performance. Rooted in the core design principles and character that have defined Buell motorcycles for 25 years, the 1125R offers power, handling and agility that will take its owner to a new level of riding experience. The Buell 1125R joins the XB and Blast as a third and distinct Buell motorcycle platform. The Buell 1125R is expected to arrive in Buell dealerships in late 2007.
    “We designed the 1125R from the rider down,” said Erik Buell, chairman and chief technical officer at Buell Motorcycle Company. “The 1125R takes Buell to a new level of performance, while continuing to embrace the fundamental Buell principals of motorcycle design and offering a great motorcycle riding experience.”

    The Buell 1125R riding experience derives not just from its power, but from a carefully considered combination of engine performance, precise-and-agile handling, advanced aerodynamics, and superior rider environment and control, all packaged with distinctive styling that leaves many of the motorcycle’s mechanical components exposed.

    New V-Twin Muscle
    The Buell 1125R Helicon engine is a new 1125cc DOHC V-Twin, the first liquid-cooled engine to power a street-legal Buell motorcycle. This compact, 72-degree engine is the result of a collaboration between Buell and BRP-Rotax, a leader in the development and manufacture of advanced engines for recreational products. The Helicon engine was designed to Buell specifications and is exclusive to Buell. It will be manufactured in Austria by BRP-Rotax. The most-powerful street-legal engine ever offered by Buell, the Helicon engine is rated at 146 crankshaft horsepower, and is designed to deliver optimized usable power, with a broad powerband across its 10500 rpm range. Its V-Twin design retains the styling and character that has always defined the Buell riding experience.

    The engine is cradled in a new Buell Intuitive Response Chassis (IRC) with massive, rigid aluminum spars that double as the fuel reservoir. The new 1125R sticks to the three tenants of the Buell Trilogy of Technology – chassis rigidity, low unsprung weight and mass centralization – to deliver race-inspired agility and handling. The all-new front fairing and radiator cowling was developed using the latest computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models to provide superior aerodynamics, rider comfort, and efficient air flow to longitudinal radiators and a ram-air intake system.

    The front wheel is supported by 47 mm inverted forks. A new Buell ZTL2 front brake features an eight-piston caliper based on the brake developed for the Buell XBRR racing motorcycle. A smooth-shifting six-speed transmission is mated to a new HVA (Hydraulic Vacuum Assist) Slipper Action clutch that uses engine vacuum to boost clutch-lever action and to provide a “slipper” effect when the engine is down-shifted at speed. A new underslung muffler has dual brushed stainless steel outlets.

    The Buell 1125R offers an athletic riding position. Quiet Zone aerodynamics are achieved by managing air flow around the rider for enhanced performance and comfort. The toe levers on both the brake and shift foot controls are adjustable to match rider foot size. The instrument cluster features a large analog tachometer and a digital speedometer, plus an Onboard Diagnostic Information System (O.D.I.S.) screen and other interactive features. The fairing shape is inspired by the Buell XBRR and features six-bulb headlamps. LED turn signals are integrated into the mirror housings.

    The Buell 1125R is available with Midnight Black bodywork, Diamond Blue wheels, Diamond Blue frame and swingarm, and Fusion Bronze engine trim.

  22. Richard says

    RH, I see that I have completely failed to make my points in a way you can understand. I doubt it’s worth trying to clarify, but since I’m just sitting here waiting for my lunch to heat up, I’ll try:

    1. I _am_ interested in what Buell is doing, just as I am interested in what all the manufacturer’s are up to. I am particularly pleased to see that Buell has switched to liquid cooling. Their previous attachment to air-cooled engines created a big problem for them with the XB-RR.

    2. While the performance stats do show a big improvement for Buell, and that is a good thing, it still doesn’t appear to be competitive with other manufacturers’ bikes. I cited my ’06 RR as an example. My RR is not the fastest, or the most powerful, or the best corner-carving, litre bike. Yet it has better specs than this new Buell, which several people seem to be getting quite lathered up about.

    3. What’s all this rambling about “American”, “home team”, etc.? In order to finally get a decent engine for a sport bike, Buell is using a Rotax engine. ROTAX-WERK AG was founded in Dresden, Germany, and is now part of Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP), which is a huge multi-national corporation.

    I read stories by the Kneeslider because he covers a very wide range of interesting motorcycle information that is not usually collected together elsewhere. I occasionally post a comment when I feel like saying something. I don’t remember reading anything that says I have to join in the love-fest for Buell. Oil in the frame is not my idea of a brilliant innovation, and air cooled engines are generally not suited for high performance riding, so previous Buells have not been much more than curiosity items to me. Maybe they’ll develop the 1125R into something I’d like, but their track record to date is not so good in that regard, and I am perfectly happy with the bikes I currently own, so I’m in no hurry.

    Thanks, RH, for the link to the Cycle World article.

  23. says

    Why does this person,Richard, write in comments on the Buell?Who cares what he thinks and why doesn’t he concentrate on his beloved Jap bikes and stay away from commenting on products he claims don’t interest him.

  24. RH says


    You’re welcome – hope you enjoyed the (not very revealing, but still there) video link as well.

    Since we both like the same site:

    I agree completely with #1.

    I agree completely with #2 – except for the relevency of it all. Lots of twins are sold for more money and less specs than the fours. Some twins were built for less money and even better specs than other twins – from Honda and Suzuki. I know a lot of people who were very enthused when rumors of the Superhawk and TL1000S were materializing back in 1996 – only to be disgusted with what came out. Both bikes were sales bombs, but had good specs (for twins). They were potentially good configurations let down by details that were supposed to be clever but were simply bad design flaws. I still think the TL1000S is a neat bike and wouldn’t mind having one- they are getting to be a rare sight. Oh yes – I don’t see a lot of people claiming that the new Buell specs are world beating. But they are good for their class. They are also better than the ones for my old GSXR1100. That was not a slow bike and I seldom had the opportunity to hit the throttle stops very often or for very long.

    Can’t argue with #3, either – nor do I want to. Buell also serves an international market. I think it was a great move on their part. If Buell ever gets spun off, it has a fighting chance to succeed. I hope they do. It’ll be interesting to see what race results materialize – and appreciate the fact that, when that happens, a lot of attention will be drawn to the sport that otherwise might not have occured. I’ve read that the XB-RR was Buell’s way of forcing the issue with Mother H-D – if that’s the case, I’m glad it worked, even if that path was paved with oily parts. I’m also curious to see what derivitives are produced from this new engine.

    I also hope they take a good hard look at the B last and come out with a killer street big single as well.

    Just finished my lunch – hope you enjoyed yours as well.

  25. says

    re “Soul” how much of that really comes from being air-cooled?
    A lot of it I’d bet. So a liquid -cooled Buell may have a lot less “soul’
    than previous Buells.

    That said, it’s cool that Eric Buell is finally getting a modern motor, even if he’s
    not building it himself.

  26. aaron says

    funny, I just got my first ride on a RSV 1000R yesterday. the “old” rotax motor was more than enough for me. It was the last of 3 Italian motorcycles I got to ride for 45min apiece that day. but strangely I had more fun on the aprilia 450 supermoto I rode before that, and the guzzi griso was a better real world riding bike than both of them (although it does need less flywheel and a bit more top end – nothing a quick tune wouldn’t deliver!)

    the lesson? quality over quantity – and spec sheets mean nothing. triumph’s new street triple should reinforce that opinion, if I can ever get my hands on one..

    bombardier is canadian based – I wonder when the can-am version comes out? and speaking of (bombardier-owned) rotax engines, bmw’s old 650 would go nicely in a blast replacement.

  27. kneeslider says

    g hitsman …

    “I’m really impressed the kneeslider works weekends. thanks!”

    Just like Chuck Norris, The Kneeslider never sleeps, … he waits. :-)

  28. says

    This guy Richard tried to sound reasonable and explaine why he is commenting.Ok ,yea you have the right to say what you want but who cares?I don’t care if you don’t think it’s up to your standardsor not.For a lot of people it is exactly what they want.I would feel like a tweeker riding your favorite bike.

  29. aaron says

    as someone who can come off as an extremely biased person, I’ll say this about the Italian/Japanese/American thing. the Japanese build the best motorcycles -for some purposes, and for some people. so do the Americans and Italians. (as well as the British, the French, the Swedes, Austrians, Germans, Spaniards, Koreans, Chinese, etc…) hang your hat on one (or a few) and be happy. remove the last bit of my statement and claim simply that someone builds the best motorcycles – and I’ll have problems taking anything you say seriously.

    you can’t truthfully claim a ducati 1098 is too slow, and no one in their right mind would claim that honda’s 250 six had no soul. not much is as good at cruising all day on a barren interstate at 55 MPH as a softtail springer, unless you want to feel isolated from your bike and listen to wagner – then a K1200LT is for you. want to go from paris to dakar? KTM. trials riding? montessa.

    let’s see – I’ve outlined 6 marques from 6 countries. go nuts….

  30. Jeff says

    I can afford ANY bike I want . I chose a Buell Firebolt . Why ? Because it’s fun to ride and it’s different from the rest . I’m looking forward to seeing the 1125R in show room . Go Buell !

  31. aaron says

    I gotta say – when I hear 72 degree v-twin, I think “the french one or the korean one?” I suppose there’s also the tiny italian one…

  32. aaron says

    shhhh – listen…did you hear that? I think that was the sound of the AMA rewriting the rulebooks….

  33. says

    Buell & Company – thanks & congratulations.

    Aaron, classic — worth an encore….

    “as someone who can come off as an extremely biased person, I’ll say this about the Italian/Japanese/American thing. the Japanese build the best motorcycles -for some purposes, and for some people. so do the Americans and Italians. (as well as the British, the French, the Swedes, Austrians, Germans, Spaniards, Koreans, Chinese, etc…) hang your hat on one (or a few) and be happy. remove the last bit of my statement and claim simply that someone builds the best motorcycles – and I’ll have problems taking anything you say seriously.

    you can’t truthfully claim a ducati 1098 is too slow, and no one in their right mind would claim that honda’s 250 six had no soul. not much is as good at cruising all day on a barren interstate at 55 MPH as a softtail springer, unless you want to feel isolated from your bike and listen to wagner – then a K1200LT is for you. want to go from paris to dakar? KTM. trials riding? montessa.

    let’s see – I’ve outlined 6 marques from 6 countries. go nuts…. “

  34. says

    Thank the motorcycle gods that it’s still belt drive.

    In other news, that undertail exhaust, though technically cool, is absolutely hideous. Hopefully the aftermarket will provide something a bit nicer, but it looks like it’s gonna be a bit more difficult to do that.

    Looking at the dynamometer graph on Buell’s website, it looks like there is plenty more grunt left to be uncorked in this engine!

  35. todd says

    Cool beans. I just hope this means there will be a Buell Blast 550 with 73HP and 41 ft/lbs, that would be a very usable combination. I don’t know where I could use all the power and ability the 1125 would have, I still can’t out perform on an SV650 or a Ninja 500 for that matter.

    Here’s to one more option at motorcycle dealerships (will this be sold in a HD dealership? I doubt it). I’m just still looking for more bikes in my ability and price range not a monster like this.


  36. says

    And to Richard,

    Your point has been made many times over on forums throughout the domain of the internet. However, it’s your mentality that fails to recognize the true form and fun of the sport. It’s wonderful that you have a 170 hp track weapon, but the bike is handful in any situation you come across on the street – it’s uncomfortably overkill. The true fun is in a well-balanced, fun-to-ride, soul-massaging street-eating machine – something that Buell has tried to embody in it’s street bikes from the beginning. Honestly, Aaron said it best in his comments, and I’ll give the double encore:

    “as someone who can come off as an extremely biased person, I’ll say this about the Italian/Japanese/American thing. the Japanese build the best motorcycles -for some purposes, and for some people. so do the Americans and Italians. (as well as the British, the French, the Swedes, Austrians, Germans, Spaniards, Koreans, Chinese, etc…) hang your hat on one (or a few) and be happy. remove the last bit of my statement and claim simply that someone builds the best motorcycles – and I’ll have problems taking anything you say seriously.

    you can’t truthfully claim a ducati 1098 is too slow, and no one in their right mind would claim that honda’s 250 six had no soul. not much is as good at cruising all day on a barren interstate at 55 MPH as a softtail springer, unless you want to feel isolated from your bike and listen to wagner – then a K1200LT is for you. want to go from paris to dakar? KTM. trials riding? montessa.

    let’s see – I’ve outlined 6 marques from 6 countries. go nuts…. “

    Here’s to Buell’s future success in racing. Today it’s (hopefully) AMA and WSB, tomorrow we’ll be seeing him at the top of a MotoGP podium!

    (Ok, maybe that last part is a bit too wishful, but one can fantasize…)

  37. Richard says

    To those who say “who cares?” about my opinions: who cares about yours? You can like Buell if you want to, and I should be able to not like it. Why does any hint of failing to drool at the feet of master erik make you so defensive?

    Re: the suggestion that the RR is “only” a track bike: mine is primarily for street use. It’s a great street bike, and it is very comfortable (though for cross country rides, I’d rather be on my Goldwing!)

    Re: “my mentality that fails to recognize the true form and fun of the sport”: you are just totally off base with that. You don’t seem to be able to understand “my mentality” at all. Buell is trying to make a sportbike. I said I don’t think this one’s quite up to snuff, and gave reasons for my opinion. People seem to have taken offense because, somehow, they think I have impugned their religion. Well, to those people I say, get over it! Others criticized all “Jap crap”. To them I say, stop being racists.

    Phantom and aaron and kneeslider all seem to have a good perspective. Some of the other people here, not so much.

  38. RY says

    I myself love all motorcycles for what they are. While Honda etc. has always manufactured a excellent motorcycle , I will always find myself drawn to the exotic . I believe Buell has a winner here and will attract many new customers.

  39. TommyO says

    I’m not sure what the value of comparing inline 4’s and v-twins is. If sheer horsepower is the main criteria for judging bikes we only have to flip to the back of the book and check this months dyno runs.

    I’ll say this about the new Buell, it appears to make a bunch more power than either my YL or RC-51 did straight from the factory.

  40. chappy says

    Cool and about time all that can really be said

    It is pretty ugly though (need to see it in person though to make final decision), especially the exhaust but I suppose that could be changed and I hate hate hate the radiator covers. Though I seem to be prone to buying ugly bikes anyway so maybe it won’t matter.

    Personally I think it should have had some nice, slippery full body work, but that is typical Harley marketing crap as they will make a nice full fairing but it will be expensive and bought seperately.

    I will more interested in this motor in the Ulyesses (or however you spell it)

  41. Andy says

    Thumbs up to:
    -New engine; welcome to the 21st century.
    -Keeping the belt drive w/ tensioner pulley; love the fixed axle position.

    Thumbs down to:
    -Radiator covers/air intake shrouds; UGLY!
    -Offering only one model with the new engine.

    I’m very dissappointed they’re not offering this engine in the other models.

  42. Jeff says

    I wonder if the air cooled V-Twin is on the way out ? Didn’t see a XB9R for 2008 . I hope to see a Sport Tour version with hard bags and all .

  43. says

    Richard – re-read your 1st post. You can’t be surprised people are ready to fire back at you. On a fairly historic & exciting announcement, your stance is ripe for rebuttal. (regardless if this was the 1st real American-esque effort in decades or some other nation’s debut*)

    *As RH mentioned, this IS interesting motorcycle news; but you had an urgency to interject stuff about previous Buell failures & attributes of another dissimilar bike BEFORE any Moto Journalist even through a leg over the damn thing, much less yourself. Although a calmness is sorely missing in today’s mega-hyped product launches** a comment like that runs wide.

    **e.g. Ecosse Spirit didn’t even demonstrate a full size clay model before their “big news” & we’ve all been waiting for Moto Czsyz to hit the track since their “big news” over 2 years ago. Timing seems to be most everything with hype & criticism.

  44. Richard says

    Hoyt, you’re right, I was a bit sarcastic. But I was in a snarky mood, and so that’s what came out. (And, don’t you think Buell deserves a certain amount of disdain after all the hype and undeserved accolades for the XB-RR?) I stand 100% behind the points I was trying to make, not that very many people appear to understand what they were. (And I’m not going to try to clarify again because lots of people apparently don’t want to hear it.) From now on, I think I’ll just wait until a consensus is reached, then I’ll agree wholeheartedly with the consensus opinion. That should make everyone happy!)

    Maybe the 1125R will turn out to be just the kind of bike the kneeslider has been pushing for, the kind that has enough power to be useful and fun, without the power that encourages the kiddies to kill themselves. (I think he had a catchy name for such bikes, but apparently it wasn’t catchy enough to stick with me.) If so, then good luck to Buell.

  45. RH says

    The term is “zoomsplat”.

    Focusing on past failures is for hecklers and others who have nothing insightful to say.

    Consensus is for peer pressured kiddies.

    The 1125R doesn’t have kiddie friendly graphics.

    The kiddies will continue to kill themselves on CBRs.

  46. says

    Richard –

    I don’t recall “accolades” for the XBRR. There seemed to have been skepticism from the beginning with that bike.

    “From now on, I think I’ll just wait until a consensus is reached, then I’ll agree wholeheartedly with the consensus opinion. That should make everyone happy!)”

    No, you shouldn’t hold back, but consider the content with your timing….it might get a better discussion and exchange of ideas.

    Speak your mind (there weren’t enough people speaking their mind & enough people allowing other people to speak their mind leading up to March 20th, 2003.)

  47. Richard says

    “The kiddies will continue to kill themselves on CBRs.”

    FYI: I know this is a bit off-topic for this thread, but since you brought it up…

    You can get killed riding _any_ bike. Where I live, most bike deaths are caused by drunks/idiots on Harleys who can’t seem to figure out how to follow the turns in the road.

    Most kiddies prefer Zuks and the other “fast” bikes, presumably so they can brag about “how fast they can go”.

    Hoyt, I like that term, “accessible performance”. Maybe I’ll remember it now, because that’s exactly what my CBR has. (It also has “extra performance”, but that only gets used at the track or in emergencies. And I’m very happy it’s there when I need it.)

  48. RH says

    Which riders die on what bikes certainly isn’t news – it just proves that bikes of all sizes and performance are intolerant of unwise behavior. Kids die on Go Peds.

    About the CBR/et al. and 1125R – again. Just look at the paint. That is a good clue right there as to which demographic is sought. If that matters…….it does to many.

    But who cares. Talk is cheap – here’s my $.02:

    Will WSB go 1200 twins across the board in a few years with the (800) fours staying in GP? Which factories will jump in? Which ones will leave?

    The 1125R appears to use no H-D parts – will Buell get spun off? If not, where else will Rotax end up?

    Where’s the KTM 1200 RC8?

  49. aaron says

    zoomsplat…classic! I think I know what I’ll call my supermono (if it ever hits the road)

    the “ZOOMSPLAT SRXTT-540RR-SP Superleggera Heritage Evolutione Stradale Uno”

    catchy, huh? It still couldn’t keep up with all the buzzwords and acronyms I see buell throwing around in the marketing stuff though…

  50. Sid says

    Todd – you say this bike is terribly ugly and then ask the moto web community if it looks like a woman’s bust. aah, what?

    I see no resemblance to the 916…more of the Britten’s overall wide shape up top and thin lower section….and I am making no further parallels to the Britten than that.

  51. P_Squared says

    A “few” things:
    1) I have three (3) Buells parked in my garage (’02 X1, ’02 M2, ’06 XB9SX) so for the “loyal” don’t even THINK of bashing me.
    2) For each their own

    I’m EXCITED about this bike, but I realize it won’t be THE bike for EVERYONE. For those who are serious about racing/have their own opinions/whatever, they might not “like” this bike. I see that as a GOOD thing, because it means not everyone will be riding one.

    I get routinely “blown away” by my friends on their UJM every weekend, UNTIL we get to the turns. If Erik can keep that in this bike, I’ll be looking to trade up. If not, I’ll keep what I have because “it’s different” and because “I like being different.”

    For the Buell “fanatics,” please review what I have in my garage, which I’ve posted above. Having said that, don’t expect everyone to like/jump onboard w/ this bike. Some people will be opposed to it, NO MATTER what we tell them. They are free to their opinions, so DON’T BASH them for that. If you want to “convert” them, do like I. My friend, who is a Honda VFR “nut” is going to a Buell Inside Pass track day later this year on my M2. He’ll either like it or not, I’m betting he will btw, but it’s still HIS opinion on bikes that suit HIM. Be nice. Be gentle. Be coercive. There’s no need for name calling.

  52. JasonK says

    Having had the opportunity to see/touch the 1125r, I would like to tell you all it is a fantastic looking machine, and does truly stay the course when looking at it from Erik’s objectives. I agree wholeheartedly, this bike will not contend head-to-head with an in-line four, in a straight line. It was not designed to, period. It was designed to give the rider (most riders?) a total overall enjoyable riding experience. If all you want to do is go fast, in a straight line, this is not necessarily the bike for you, although the numbers on HP and gear ratio place it at close to 175 MPH top end. I am on my second Buell, and am looking forward to having an 1125 (or one of its derivatives / descendants) in my garage in the future. As for competition, the RC51 , 1098, and Mille are in the same ‘class’ as the 1125r. The ‘numbers’ can be argued different directions, but the 1125 is coming from the same guy that built the #1 best handling bike ever made (per that British bike rag rating). I’ll take it, if for nothing else, than to continue to support the company that has already brought me 6+ years of some of the funnest motorcycling I have been able to enjoy.

  53. says

    I am on my second Buell and see this bike as an evolution of things to come. Eric will always test the boundaries with HD and seems to winning. Americans will always rise to the top if international companies let us, so lets just celebrate our forward thinking ideas. My $0.02

  54. jeff in ohio says

    Gotta say the new motor appeals to me. I rode a CityX and really wanted to like the bike, but really did not like the motor at all and thoyught it to be overpriced. My last two rides have been a HD and a Guzzi I really tricked out with upgraded suspension, brakes, rearsets etc. I eventually got tired of the whole ‘soul’ thing and wanted to go back to a little Japanese perfection for awile. Having not owned a 4 cylinder since 1995, I picked up an FZ6 and I love it. If you wanna cruise, it will do that, if you wanna fave fun, just keep it above 7,500 and it’s a hoot. Fit my price range too. At this point, being in my late 30’s having an 8 year old to have to save for college on and such, I really can’t see spending a lot of cash on a motorcycle anymore. Anything over about $8k is more than I really wanna spend. Yep Buell, nice machine, but I’m not spending $12k on it….

    enough about the Buell, did anybody see the new HD Rocker Custom. To quote Ricky Bobby….

    ‘The room is spinning…..from all the gayness….’

    Looks like they consulted OCC on that thing and the ‘Trick Seat’ Pure CHEESE

  55. Daniel says

    I think the adoption of the Rotax motor is a great move and Buell have produced some wonderful handling bikes, but it is just soooooooooooo ugly.

  56. Phantom says

    170kg dry! Woo hoo. This thing will be a lot of fun.

    Can’t say I’m all that enamoured of the styling but there’s sure to be a nekkid version.

    It would have been interesting to have been a fly on the wall (in the beard?) in the Harley boardroom when the Rotax engine option was tabled…

  57. aaron says

    rory – “Americans will always rise to the top if international companies let us”?

    is that nationalism, defeatism, or a conspiracy theory? I’m not sure that came out the way that you intended it to… but it sounds like general motors recent motto!

  58. Gary says

    nice. moved the saddlebags from the back to the front. left the dirtbag in the same place. Erik has still got it.

  59. Oldschool says

    Three cheers for Buell! This bike certainly at least looks like an engineering and design parity. Until official test of performance and durability are available, we can’t know for sure. As is true for ANY motorcycle made. In the end, and after all the cheers and critisizims, it all comes down to what appeals to you, unles you obtain motorcycles just to make everyone else happy. I’ve been on motorcycles from most companies, since I first crossed a leg on one in 1963 on a Triumph Bonneville. Honda, Yamaha, Harley etc. and I liked every one of em because I bought em for me. I am currently riding a 1997 Suzuki TL1000S and it’s been a blast. Nowhere near the performance of a lot of present models, but since speed kills, I kinda put that on the backburner. The adreniline level is sufficient. From the specs I’ve seen for the 1125R…..it aint no stone !!! Think I’ll stop by my Buell dealer and give it a good lookover. If I decide to buy it, It’ll be cause I want to. In the meantime, if I see ya’ll no matter what you ride, I’ll still wave to ya. After all, were all one big family.

  60. Kenn says

    it does not matter the Name, Type or the Country a bike is from
    it is what the Rider Gets from it and put in it, and for the a bike to have “SOUL”
    the owner has to put a piece of himself in it

    but i do think this is a great step for Buell,
    even thier parent company use an Engine Designed by Porche

  61. Marcelo Grako says

    Hi there,

    Why does have to be like this, compare different bikes, styles, public, etc…

    I see a bike with nice features, that can be really driven into a downtown, corners, nice engine, breaks…

    I think the most concern thing about a bike, it has to serve, you have to like it, nice ride, low maint, good look, in this order.

    If high speed is your target, got to move to EUROPE, you can´t ride fast in this country (USA), nut cops, drivers that not use to have this kind of traffic “goes to crash”.

    kind regards,


  62. paulei boy says

    hi all i got news for all you bickers out there. here is the secret. the man that spends the most money wins! dah!!! you should ride what pleases you. if you think you are riding the fastest bike you are wrong. some other gut spent more money and is giong to beat you. i have my buell and a new 600 gsxr. the gsxr is a great bike but you cant even start to compair the two. you jap riders have know idea what power feels like. how about 105 ft tq. in a small wheel base. as good as the gsxr is my buell is flat out more fun to ride. part of the fun to me is shifting through the gears. how can you do that in the city when first gear is lasting 100mph. where is the fun? enjoy what makes you smile.

  63. doug says

    Somebody said 90º motors aren’t Vs. A chevy small block (90º V8) is a V, right?

    Regardless, Ducati calls theirs an “L-twin” because, well, 90º makes an L…

    and from what paulei says, you can’t beat cubic dollars :).

    Anyway, the point of a narrow, light twin as a sportbike isn’t necessarily top speed, it’s all about handling. Nice to see Buells getting something more than a sportster motor. Put that motor in a Ulyses and it’s be more fun than humans should be allowed.

  64. John P. Johnson says

    I own a Buell XB9R AND a BMW K1200LT.
    I enjoy both. The Buell got me back into bikes some 20 years after I sold my last Triumph. It’s a blast to ride, faster than sanity should allow on the streets. The beemer will handle the wife and get 53+ mpg in my commute. I ride every day unless it’s snowing.
    As to prio posts:
    #! There is no such thing as UGL and FAST, be it a bike, car or plane. Yes some are more gracefull, but I will go for fun riding before I get in a big sweat about how it looks.
    #2 Eric Buell is a genius! You may not like his bikes, but you can’t argue he’s doing the same thing as everybody else. Remember, he is a rocket scientist ( engineer actually ), so convention is not a word in his vocabulary.
    #3 If moma would let me, I’d be plunking down a deposit on the 1125R. So it does’t race well on paper, I’d bet my retiremnet it will fun to ride.

    As to perspective, I’m 63 years old, bought my first bike when I was 18. Raced, crashed em, broke bones and still love it.
    Tried out the Bomadier Spyder the other day to check out what I can ride when I get too old to hold up 2 wheelers. Tried trikes, no fun.
    No point in dying w/ a perfect body, nobody can see you 6 feet under.
    Ride on!

  65. Jeff says

    I didn’t get to reading all of the comments so some of this may have already been said. No, the new Buell is not totally American, is no much as the engine is outsourced. However, at least the company providing that engine has some credible history in high performance. This bike will be just as American as the V-rod is. More importantly, with a proper engine is will be a true sportbike, at least in my definition. A sportbike is not a crusier engine, hopped up and dressed to look the part. You know what the difference is between a prostitute on the corner and one at a formal ball. The clothes, nothing else. Dress up a cruiser and it may scoot but deep down it’s still a cruiser. Now maybe buell could get enough momentum to build their own motor in the next 10 years and then maybe 5 years later be able to buy themselves away from Harley. This is really the first time I’ve been excited by Buell. So unless motocyzcs (spelling?) gets to selling bikes soon I could see a buell in the future. That is right after I get my Speed Triple 1055.

  66. Rab says

    Doug the reason a ducati is an L is because the front cylinder faces forward.like a v thats fell over,thats all.
    they’re all Vs and I think the buell looks great.
    the V rod has a german engine and everyone accepts that.
    birdman says “Aprilia is using PiaggioCorp engines ” I wonder if thats because aprilla and piaggio are now the same company and have been for about 4 years hmmmmmm.
    but hey a bike is a bike,I have an r6,a road king just sold a bmw r80 rt and a honda interceptor.
    Love them all.

  67. Dylan says

    Bottom line, this is a bike all its own. If the reliability is acceptable and the specs are correct, this bike could be just what buell needs to make there name more well-known in the motorcycle world. I still disagree with the above agruement about the 1125R vs. CBR 1000. Why not compare a 1990 Geo Prism to a 2008 F450 twin-turbo diesel? These two bikes cannot be compared. One is a smooth I-4 repli-racer. The other is a loud, rancid sounding streetbike built with comfort yet power in mind. Sure, your 1000 has a little more power, torque and speed, but do you need it? How much of that matters on the street, and how much power can you throw to the rear wheel before it spins out anyway? I say, they are two different bikes, each hold there own in a different market, we can’t rip on Buell for this because it is such a leap for them, about 40 more horse and surely better reliability…its a big step for them if not the V-twin market as a whole.

  68. airbox says

    I have an XB12s which I think is brilliant. My last bike was a ’98 R1 which although awesome and very fast didn’t rock my boat as much as the Buell. The Buell is a fantastic handling street machine and I cant wait to see what the naked ( s ) version of the 1125 will be like. Personally I feel that the character of the watercooled bike may be less than the aircooled bike but the extra performance and less shakingness might make up for it. I am not into faired bikes, ( an attempt to keep my top speed down !! ) I think the fairing looks the same as a 916, ( or cbrr which is a copy of that ), the exhaust looks awful and if it is mild steel like the aircooled jobbies then it will rust in no time. The elephants ears intakes look awful too but will offer some crash protection for the frame. I just hope the naked version will lose them. I don’t know why the oil isn’t stored in the swinging arm like the Xb range instead of in a tank( probably ugly too ) on the other side of the bike ( left side ).
    I think it is a good step for Buell but they will never compete in equal numbers to the the hondkwakyamuki fzrcbrgsxr things that are all the same, (chasing big hp at a million rpm at the expense of torque low down ( which is what the aircooled Xb range have which is exactly what is needed on the street) and I am glad that they will still remain a minority for those of us that appreciate good machines and not just the latest, fastest offering from the Orient.

  69. jock says

    Wait ’till Triumph builds a ‘V’ or ‘L’ or ‘S’ or ‘U’ Who cares what the designation is. Two cylinders hit with an axe, heaps of bottom end and mid-range, reasonable top end. What else is really needed ? Are you listening Mr Bloor ? Excuse me? Sorry, I forgot, you’ve been doing that for a few years now. Just with a three cylinder ‘E’ or ‘M’ engine type instead ! But why not a ‘V’ anyway ?

  70. todd says

    Jock let me bring you up to date. For some time now, Triumph has been building the Bonneville twins. I would imagine that Bloor would not want to build a copy-cat V motor. Besides, their triples can potentially have (and do have) more torque than twins anyway.


  71. Bob Campbell says

    Looks good, will it hold up mechanically? Will there be ABS in the future? The price looks to be in line with just about everything else on the market, that’s a plus. A real American made Sport Bike, if this thing had ABS my FJR may be gone! But I don’t want to buy the first year of anything that is completely new, so we’ll see. It’s a great start though.

  72. Richard Redpath says

    Hi ladies and gentlemen.

    Love the look of the new 1125R. Great to see a different engine in the frame. Nothing against the HD mill, but hope the Rotax engine is reliable and does’nt knock the fillings out of my teeth. I have owned multitudes of Japanese bikes and American machines, and they ALL have something good and bad. I guess as long as the new Buell is reliable then it WILL win over all of the doubters.

    Nice one Eric and the team. Put me down for one this spring.

    Cheers every one. Keep on blasting down the twisty bits.


  73. Venlpux says

    What strikes me as strange is that very few “real world” people have even been on the bike but we are already up to our ears in articles and opinions that claim to have some sort of insight. I think I will wait on my opinions till the bike hits my local market and I can get a leg over it. .

  74. Joe Lambert says

    Pretty exciting– I predict the AMA will change the rules and or create a class for this bike to compete in.

  75. SwaggeringPagan says

    Coke!!! No…Pepsi!!!

    Jesus guys (a couple of you anyway)…..who F-ing cares!? Really…..act like a tool then get defensive when you’re called on it. Yeah…..special.

    One really cool thing about riding is that there’s a bike for everyone. I have way too many and am adding to the collection and you know what….the 1098 AND Buell’s 1125 are going to be added.

    Trying to compare a twin to an inline is ridiculous at best, as is arguing V-angle.
    Let’s try and keep some perspective shall we? What we have been offered is yet another really cool bike to satisfy what is probably a pretty sizable segment of the riding populous. I’m thrilled at the thought of a technically up to date V-TWIN American bike. I’ll be free to do some heavy mods to my XB now. I can anticipate a smooth reving, powerful bike with the handling and braking that I’ve enjoyed on my other Buells. I also ride an 06 Sprint ST which I highly recommend to anyone who doesn’t have a boner for stats racing at the local Seven Eleven parking lot.

    Quitchebitchin’ and ride hard on what you love and have fun.

  76. says

    I own a 98 S1 Lightning, an 01 Blast, an 01 Sportster, an 07 Streetbob, and an 05 Yamaha R1. I love them all in there own riding style. I am also in the military so understandable love an American made bike, that said, Japan has been doing this for a long time and has a lot of the bugs figured out. I ride my R1 for speed and am looking forward to being able to do that on an American motorcycle. I for one can’t wait to ride it!

  77. D R1 Rider says

    I am glad Buell finally received a motor that is an equal to the chasis. I am proud that America has a mordern sportbike that I can include in my choices for a new bike. It seems that some of the people posting have no interest in Twins, so why post. Those of you who claim your Japanese bike has more hp, so it’s better sound rediculous. The only people who say stuff like that are generally squids. This bike isn’t set up for drag racing or top end. It provides the type of power that is useful on curvy mountain roads. Go to a track day and see how many riders on Super Motards pass the average sportbike rider constantly in the curves. I ride in the North Georgia mountains every weekend and see squids blasting by on the straights, just to be passed in the curves by guys riding old air cooled Ducatis, Triumphs and etc. Horsepower is a great thing, but the quality, not the quantity gets you through the curvy roads. If there are any questions, you can meet us up at TWO any Sunday morning.

  78. stephen says

    Great bike!! except the head lights styling. Those ugly bubbles (is it air intake or is it for, perhaps to direct the air flow to radiator)? Styling concept seems to elude Buell. I can bet the personal styling taste of Buell decision makers have no clue and their every day apparel is most likely picked by their significant other. Bit pricey too

  79. Brant says

    I have an XB9sl, and love it…..except for the lack of power. Now if they would just make a lightning version I will buy one. I also hate the fairing. It looks like an afterthought, and the rad shrouds look like they should be on the back of the bike…..as saddlebags! Surely the smart guys at Buell who came up with that great frame and front brake could come up with something more intigrated and attractive that these….

  80. Frank says

    Right after I buy a new bike to replace my Buell M2 they announce this. Hey Erik, don’t you know an advance info leak keeps loyal customers waiting just a little bit longer?

  81. Dave L. says

    Jap bikes have no soul. Soul must be that undefinable quality that leaves you stranded on the side of the road.

  82. RH says

    The October issue of Roadracing World has a very good article with both on and off track reviews. The article is not entirely complimetary.

    It is very insightful and devoid of retarded comments.

  83. Dave Global says

    I’ve ridden the 1125R and it has to be considered by anybody thinking about a Ducati, Triumph, Aprilia, or other Euro sportbike–or if they want something different from the Japanese offerings. Erik’s pioneer personality is all over these bikes, which gives them a cool factor that’s unique…and who else offers you a handbuilt worldclass sportbike with the living maker’s name on the tank for real world money? It won’t touch my ZX-14 for pure performance, but the new Buell is a LOT of fun to ride, and quickly–and it won’t scare the bejesus out of you. Bravo Buell!

  84. Rickvtwingy says

    I have a question for the people wishing buell frees himself from HD.

    Why should he bite the hand that feeds?

    Do you guys have any idea how much money is involved on bringing a brand like Buell to where it is today?

    Talent and inventions alone won’t cut it.

    BTW, I like what Buell has done with the Thunderstorm engine and I think it is a very important part of the lineup together with the Helicon.
    I’m looking to get me a Buell for ’08 and I think is going to be the XB12R or the XB12S or maybe even the XB9S.

    Buell please don’t drop the Thunderstorm engine off your line up, keep making improvements on it, there are a huge group of street riders all over the world that like it just the way it is.

    That way whenever I need more power(if I ever), I’ll go and purchase an 1125r.

  85. rob says

    i love my country this is my home i fought for it in the military i buy as much american as poss.this is the best country in the world make it better and stronger buy american

  86. Troy says

    After saving money for over a year, I can finally afford anything I want. A year in Iraq and I have over $20,000 in the bank. So I go back to the states on leave (R&R) and ride a GSX-R 600 and a CBR 1000RR and come to my conclusion. That neither bike suits my tastes. The 600 has to be rev’d to 8000 all the time and the 1000 has spots that make it feel like you are getting ready to launch. The only thing that fits the bill IMO is the Buell. I could actually ride it without so much work and it halls ass. More power then I can ever legally use. Oh, and I only rode an XB12R. So it was easy for my to call the dealership and buy the 1125R. More then I will ever need. And a great track bike without sacrificing comfort for speed. Better then 90% of the people who ride have more bike then they can ever use. I know the 1125R is going to be more then I can ever use on the street. I doubt that I will ever get it up to its track potential. But I am sure I will be happy. I have never heard a Buell owner complain. And although there are a lot less Buell owners, I have heard many of the Big Four owners complaining about comfort and insurence. SO I just want to enjoy my bike. I hope everone finds the bike they like. And has many happy and safe miles on it. For me it is going to be the 1125R. It arrives in late Nov. I will give you all an update then. Peace

  87. Billy whompyerass says

    I don’t care where my bike is made or if it is the fastest or coolest, I buy a bike because I like it, and I want it,and it Turns My crank, The new Buell is a bike that does just that !!!! So while all of you other cry babies are having a pissing contest over Retarded crap,,,Ill be riding my new Buell !!!!

  88. Edric says

    Alot sure is made about where an engine is manufactured rather than who the engine was designed and built by in this topic. As some have pointed out here the last two engines that Harley Davidson designed and builds both had major Porsche input, not that thats anything new. Porsche and Harley have been partnered since the 70’s Nova Project era. Rotax built the new Buell engine to Buell’s design specs. They were chosen from several companies that were given the oppotunity to bid the project because they were capable of doing exactly what Buell wanted cohesivley and Buell liked their plants modern, rapid ability to adjust to new input and changes during the process.
    For the record Porsche does NOT build the Vrod engine, it just took the Harley VR1000 Race engine and made into a reliable, streetable power plant. Its built here in the good ol U S of A as are the TC Harley Engines, which technically recieved FAR more German design input than the Vrod. A bike is “built” by whomever designed the bike and brought it to market, not by all the individuals or companies that participated. American, Italian, British, Japanese and German bikes alike ALL outsource. Its just the way of the global industrial world.


  89. says

    My God you guys! Look, this is the first chance at Erik seeing his dream! [IMHO] “Dare I say I’m not a knee slider” I road this bike at Road America. I’m a Schmuch, Yet it handles great, has enormous power and I see nothng but great things for this bike. I’m and engine builder and state that I have dealt with Rotax for many years and many levels. Yet I feel all “American” In this bike. Lets just see what happens next year when the bikes hit the track in ernist!!
    Thanks: Steve

  90. Al says

    For all you “push-rod” bashers out there….if you knew anything about engines, you’d know that push-rod driven valve trains DO NOT have a significant impact on the horsepower potential of an engine. What ultimately limits the horsepower of the push-rod style Harley-Davidson engine is its bore and stroke configuration. Both the XB9 and XB12 Buells have 3.5″ bores, while the XB9 has a 3.125″ stroke and the XB12 has a 3.812″ stroke. The new Buell 1125R has a 4.055″ bore with a 2.658″ stroke. Longer stroke engines develop their maximum torque at lower rpm’s, but are limited in their rpm potential due to piston speed, not because they have push-rods. Shorter stroke engines reach their maximum torque at higher rpm’s and have slower piston speeds relative to rpm. That’s why high reving engines can produce big horsepower numbers. (Horsepower = RPM x Torque/5252) That is also why it would be pointless to put 4 valve heads on a long stroke Harley engine, such as the Sportster based Buell XB9 and XB12 since both engines can reach their maximum RPM limit without them. That limit is around 7500 for the XB9 and 7000 for the XB12. Above their respective limits, excessive piston speeds begin to cause destructive internal friction which destroys cylinder walls, piston rings, along with may other things. The same thing occurs in shorter-stroke engines, but at a much higher rpm. The 45 degree air-cooled push-rod Harley-Davidson Sportster engine is an engine capable of reliably producing about 100 HP and 80 ft/lbs of torque with its tach needle never passing 7000 rpm. It will outlast most of its higher-horsepower competition if treated properly. Since this engine produces good low rpm power, it is ideally suited for street riding where quick bursts of acceleration are more the norm than 175 mph top end races. It is nice to see that this venerable engine is still around after all these years. I hope Buell continues to use them for a few more years as they are a blast to ride.

  91. Big John says

    This new Rotax motor is the gateway to success for the boys at buell, because now they have my attention. I did own a 98′ buell 1200, and sold it after a 1000 miles because the air cooled farm motor vibrated like a evil jack-hammer and had no power!!! The new 1125R can truley be called a sport bike with this type motor. Harley can save the 50’s air cooled crap for the tatoo’d long hairs.

  92. Oldschool says

    Here’s an update on the 1125R dated 3/26/2008
    from Hoackenheim, Germany. “Buell on Podium at
    Hoakenheim 1000 as New 1125R Debuts!”
    Two Buells were entered and finished 2nd and 5th!
    So, is the new Buell a capable platform? Well,
    judging by 1000km of roadracing on a demanding
    Grand Prix circuit, I’d have to say no question.
    This occured with only 3 days of preparation and
    had scorching lap times! Somehow I don’t think
    this will be the end of it either. Smile Erik!
    you’ve eared it!
    PS: I’m now the proud owner of an 1125R, right
    beside my TL. Love em both!

  93. Jay says

    I took one for a ride today, its an awesome bike, fantastic engine, Id love to have one in my garage in the spring, make is a white one.

  94. steve says

    some people say that this is not an american sport bike because the engine is not manufactured in america if aprilia used rotax and these engines are manufactured in austria does that make aprilia any less italian doesnt ford share some engines with mazda does that make them un american??

  95. 1125RGuy says

    Going back to something Richard said a while ago, just wanted to clear this up for him. You’re CBR has 169hp at the crank, but not at the wheel. The power loss is generally 10%-15% when measured at the crank vs. wheel. I pulled this from a website and included the link for you as well.


    Doing the math on the 145.5 rear-wheel horsepower our 2005 Honda CBR1000RR test bike we had on the dyno last year, Honda’s claim of a 3% power increase would net a 4.4 hp increase to a final number of 149.9 hp, right in the 150-151 hp range of the ZX and GSX-R.

    Yet according to Richard:
    “Thanks to liquid cooling, this bike will probably race better than that multiple DNF joke, the XB-RR, but I’m sure I prefer my stock ‘06 CBR1000RR with 169.50 HP, 84.5 ft.lbs torque, and redline at 12,200 rpm– and it’s not even considered a “fast” liter bike! And in 2008, the new RR will have a complete upgrade to something smaller, lighter, faster, more powerful, better handling, etc.”

    I love hearing all of these idiots say “oh, my bike has 180hp and your new buell only has 146.” HP isn’t what wins a race, it’s the handling of the bike and how good the driver is. The only races that go in straight lines are generally 1/8 and 1/4 mile drags and I still beat these jap bikes. Bottom line, unless you’re racing around highways at 2am, it’s not very often that you need a lot of horse. The 1125r handles better and comes out of corners a lot more powerful than most of the rest. I’m not claiming it is by far the best, but it is very capable of competing with the R1’s and such.

  96. buellmasterdoc says

    I got my 08 on sale in dallas last month iv been waiting all year for this bike now i have a 1125r and love it. traded a 07 lighting but im not one bit upset the 1125r is fast fun and makes me happy . this is my 3rd buell, i cant see my self riding any thing else!! I try my best to buy american when i can, this bike is really great! if you like buells your gona love this bike.

  97. Eric S says

    OK, I’ll comment on a 2 year old post.

    First, I own 3 Buells, #1 = 2003 XB9S, #2 = 2004 XB12S, #3 = 2009 1125CR.

    Now, with that said, I have been riding for 22 years. Started with a 1987 Honda Rebel, yep a 250cc Rebel, Great bike with TONS of soul, and taught me alot about street riding. Next bike was a 1987 CBR600 Hurricane, bought it quite used and rebuilt it, another bike with alot of soul. From there I owned a whole bunch of various bikes like a 1976 Honda CB750SS, Honda CBR900RR, Kawi ZX11 Turbo(mod of course), and many others. What I learned is that no matter what I rode, I was RIDING. The pure joy of riding. Some were ego machines, some were just machines, but I was RIDING. I also learned how to FLAT OUT RIDE. Knee scrape a ’76 Honda and hold on, push a CBR900RR until to plastic rubbed, feeling it had more.

    Now back to the Buells. The best bike in my stable is the XB9S. The 12S and 1125CR are great bikes, the 1125CR on a different level really. But, my little air cooled XB9S is the favorite simply because I can flat out school a liter bike in the real world, not on the track, in traffic. The little air cooled bike is like a Pit Bull, not the biggest, but the most aggressive, nimble to a fault(scary sometimes). From light to light the torque is just right, the 90 degree turns at intersections are easy, sweet in fact. And, I must add, that most riders sit next to me at a light and have second thoughts as they watch this tiny little bike growl and vibrate(race ecm and exhaust so it’s kinda loud), all thanks to a simple air cooled HD(more Buell then HD)lump.

    To finish, I have owned an ridden a whole slew of motorcycles. The best I’ve ever ridden? Buell!! The design is for pure riders. The attention to detail is flawless. The best part is that Erik Buell is a real rider building bikes for real world riders. I still test ride other bikes, and still only own Buells.

    Just my .02

    Eric S

  98. Ssteve says

    I think it’s ridiculous how everyone is trying to compare completely different bikes to each other. Why not try and compare the V-rod to the hayabusa? The V-rod should be faster cause it has a bigger engine/displacement, right? retards….