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The S3 Thunderbolt sport-touring model

was produced from 1997 through 2003,

along with a mechanically identical S3T

“Touring” model that ran through model

year 2000. The 1,203 cc air-cooled V-

Twin engine was mounted as a stressed

member in a tubular frame. The

powerplant output 91 hp (68 kW) in

1997 and jumped to 101 hp (75 kW) in

the following years due to revised cam

profiles and the new

Thunderstorm

cylinder heads. While

the bike’s overall look

was the same

throughout the model

run, there were

significant changes

made in 1999 that set

it, and later models,

apart from the 1997

and 1998 bikes. The

early bikes used a

rectangular section

steel rear swingarm,

WP Suspension front

forks and rear shock,

a Keihin 40 mm CV

carburetor, and a

Performance

Machine six-piston front brake caliper.

Beginning in 1999 a new cast aluminum

rear swingarm was utilized along with

Showa front suspension forks and rear

shock. The front brake caliper, while still

a six-piston unit, was now made by

Nissin. The most technological change

came in the new Dynamic Digital Fuel

Injection (DDFI) system, replacing the

old carburetor.

The S3 featured a half faring that

surrounded the headlight and gave

decent wind protection for the rider’s

torso. The S3T model then added lower

fairing extensions that gave better wind

protection to the rider’s legs. The S3T

also featured hard saddlebags that

could be color-matched to the bike color

and were available in either “wide” for

maximum storage, or “narrow” for a

lighter feel. In addition to the lower

fairings and the saddlebags, the S3T

also came with a taller handlebar for a

more upright, relaxed riding position.

Each of the parts that set the S3T apart

were available as accessories for the

standard S3 model.[better source

needed][23]

M2 Cyclone (1997–2002)

The M2 Cyclone was produced from

1997 to 2003. It was in the middle of the

Buell line up between the puristic S1

Lightning and the more comfortable but

heavier S3 Thunderbolt. The S1

Lightning being the fastest and lightest

of the bunch but offered a very narrow

seat due to its minimalist approach for

weight saving in this sport bike. The S3

Thunderbolt was a touring bike that

offered a bigger wider seat and more

comfortable riding position but was also

a heavier motorcycle. The M2 Cyclone

filled the gap between the sport and

touring models with a bigger seat than

the S1 Lightning and lighter and faster

than the S3 Thunderbolt. The M2 was

only available with the 1,203 cc engine

and five-speed transmission. The frame

was of the tubular CrMo steel type.

2000 Buell Blast

The Blast was Buell’s only model to use

a single-cylinder engine. With 492 cc

(30.0 cu in) displacement and 360 lb

(160 kg) dry weight, it was their smallest

model, often used in Harley-Davidson’s

“Rider’s Edge” new rider instruction/

riding schools. This filled Harley CEO

Jeff Bleustein’s idea of having a make-

specific training bike, since many

students end up buying a bike from the

dealer where they trained.

The Blast came from a quick proof-of-

concept at the Buell factory.[10] It

originally used half of a Sportster 883

engine. The engine

ended up 80

percent over budget

and very expensive

compared to the

higher-technology

Rotax engines

available from

outside the

company. Cycle

World wrote “Such

an overrun would

be unheard of from

an outside supplier,

but when your

supplier also owns

you, you grin and

bear it.” The Blast

was ultimately the

most expensive

development project Buell

undertook.[10] Because the engine was

overpriced, it ended up making money

for Harley while losing money for Buell.

It was regarded as a technical success.

In July 2009, Buell ran an ad campaign

stating that the Blast would no longer

appear in their line-up. The ad featured

a Buell Blast being destroyed in an

automobile crusher.

XB-series (2003–2010)

2003 Buell Lightning XB9S

2006 Buell Lightning CityX XB9SX

A club racing version of the Buell

Ulysses XB12X

The XB powertrain still had its roots with

the Harley Sportster powertrain, and was

designed for both projects.[10]

Unfortunately, it was designed by Harley

with minimum input from Buell. A

turbocharger was to be sourced from

Buehl