Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Thoughts after 4000 miles

So, last Halloween I picked up my new bike, a Buell Ulysses XB12X - after 1 year of riding a 125cc on L plates and 2 years on a Suzuki Savage LS650 on a restricted licence, this is my first proper bike. Bottom line: it's a blast. It's big, fast and fun, but after 4000 miles in 4 months I've had some more coherent thoughts about the bike, which I originally posted on a UK Buell forum and I thought I'd copy and paste here for an easy blog entry.

Good points:

  • Engine: It's my first V-Twin, and I love it. It sounds as rough as hell, which I like, and it goes like stink too, which I also like.
  • Economy: I'm averaging 50mpg commuting into London, which I'm impressed with
  • Good for pillions: The few people I've taken on the back say it's incredibly comfortable
  • Handling: Took me a while to get used to the height, but it's actually very nimble and maneuverable, unless you're trying to use full lock to get inbetween stationary traffic, and then you may as well be in a van.
  • Good brakes: And I've needed them a few times.....
  • It's generally quite cool
Bad points:

  • This is the only *bad* point - the rest are minor niggles really: the bloody exhaust is already rotting away after a fairly mild winter with not that much salt about. I've cleaned it, used the HD anti-rust spray and generally done all that I could, but the rearmost part of the exhaust near the rear tyre is suffering quite badly - that's really crap.

  • Every other Buell I meet sounds better than mine...how come? Smile
  • Rubbish steering lock means it's tricky to turn at low speeds - e.g. getting in and out of my drive and in and out of the car park near work.
  • Ridiculous noisy fan: Completely undoes the general coolness of the bike by it sounding like a hair dryer as soon as you turn it off.
  • The engine and exhaust run very hot, which could be a plus in winter, and is likely to be bloody hard work in summer, so I've put it in the "niggles" section to balance it out.
  • Ongoing "trip counter reset" problem. Other people have this too - apparently it's caused by the cable cluster getting squashed when you turn the bars, but it's intermittent and very hard to convince my dealer of.

Overall I'm very happy with the Uly - still makes me grin when I ride it, and I make excuses to ride it when I don't have to. Apart from the exhaust issue it's a great bike for me, with plenty of "character".

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