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inertia of having the weight further out

on the rim, and the heat generation near

the tire, were not negative factors,

based on testing. Askenazi concluded

that testing and race track experience

had proven the ZTL to be “state of the


Other industry innovations introduced by

Buell in the XB

lineup were the “fuel

in frame”

technology, and the

dual use of the

swingarm as an oil

tank. Also, all Buell

models feature a

muffler mounted

below the engine

which helps keep

mass centralized

with some models

featuring a


valve to switch

between two

exhaust paths as

necessary to

maximize torque.

Buell designs focus on providing good

handling, comfortable riding, easy

maintenance, and street-friendly real-

world performance. Buell motorcycles

were engineered with an emphasis on

what they called the “Trilogy of Tech”:

mass centralization, low unsprung

weight, and frame rigidity.

Buell engines were designed to be

street-friendly both in fuel efficiency (up

to 70 mpg-US or 3.4 L/100 km or 84

mpg-imp with the Blast), and in torque

(the 1,203 cc version produces 110 N·m

or 81 lbf·ft). They are also simple and

easy to maintain. Most Buell two-

cylinder engines utilize computer

controlled ducted forced air cooling

(variable speed fan that only activates

as required), two valves per cylinder, a

single throttle body, zero maintenance

hydraulic valve actuation, and zero

maintenance gear-driven cams.

Buell Models

RW 750 Road Warrior (1984)

The RW 750 was a development of the

Barton Formula One racing

motorcycle.[18] Buell bought the parts

and tooling from the failed Barton

concern and developed the RW 750 for

his own use and for sale to private

entrants.[19] The engine was a liquid-

cooled two-stroke square four. Buell’s

development resulted in a more

competitive racer, but production ceased

when the AMA discontinued the Formula

One class.

RR 1000 Battletwin (1987–1988)

The RR 1000 Battletwin was a street

sportbike using a modified Road Warrior

chassis and a Harley-Davidson XR1000

engine. Buell invented the Isoplanar

engine mounting system to allow the

heavy, vibration-prone engine to be

used as a structural member of the

frame without transmitting the engine

vibrations to the frame. Lack of space

caused Buell to put the suspension

components under the engine. The

linkage caused the spring and the shock

absorber to extend when the wheel went


Variations on the RR 1000 Battletwin

include the RR 1200 Battletwin (1988–

1990), the RS 1200 Westwind (1989),

the RS 1200/5 Westwind (1990–1992)

and the RSS 1200 Westwind (1991).

S2 Thunderbolt (1994–1995)

Two-seater with Road Warrior based

chassis and Sportster engine. The S2T

Thunderbolt (1995–1996) was a touring

version, with saddlebags. The S2 was

very expensive to

develop (around

$100,000), and 1,399

units were sold in the

first year—well over the

300 units Buell had


Buell S1 White


The S1 Lightning was a

more fundamental

sportbike than the S3

Thunderbolt and M2

Cyclone that it was

marketed alongside

and the production on

this model was stopped

at 5000 after only 3

years. Variants of this

version of the Lightning were the S1

Lightning (1996/1997/1998) and the

S1W White Lightning (1998). The S1W

came with a larger tank and

Thunderstorm cylinder heads which

gave an extra 10 hp (7.5 kW).

X1 Lightning (1999–2002)

The X1 Lightning was the successor to

the S1 Lightning line. They all used the

Thunderstorm heads, fuel injection

(Dynamic Digital Fuel Injection) and

incorporated larger fuel tanks as well as

completely different body designs. The

most recognizable frame piece was the

brushed aluminum tail section that

swept upward and back underneath the

two-up seat. The 1999 X1 Lightning was

awarded motorcycle of the year in


S3 Thunderbolt (1997–2002)

S3T Thunderbolt (1997–2000)

1999 Buell S3 Thunderbolt