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OT - Buell 1125R Ride report!

...just got back from Wilow Springs where I had a chance to ride the 1125R a few times today...

...on the way there, I talked to my friend about the looks and the consensus was that the bike better be darn good, to compensate for its uglyness... which, as it turned out, was the general consensus.

Now, my luck being what it is, I ruined both of my rims (on the donkey) the very first session on the track (hey, its only money...) and as such, I was "forced" (more like I forced the Buell folks, tee hee) to ride the 1125 for the remainder of the day...

The bike is INCREDIBLE... just simply awesome... I don't think I have ever been faster on any knee (to me) bike, than I was today... I am not a knee dragger by heart and the knee was on the deck the second session... the third session it was knee down and wheel spin... the fourth session was just three of us and our lead rider and it was balls out!

I abused this bike... brutal up and down shifting, trail braking, braking in turns, hard braking, anything you could throw at a bike like this and it took it in stride!
The motor is nice, very powerful, but does not like revs below 3K RPM... above that, it's wonderful and flexible... the chassis is very stable and takes mistakes lightly and with confidence instilling stability... likes slow tight turns as much as it likes turns that are in the 100+ mph range (turn 2 at the streets).

The ergos are great but the bike is just fugly... and everyone said that, pretty much... great bike, ugly bike... would I buy it? YES... but not new and not now... though the price point is interesting (11.5K, as it is word on the streets) but there are to many question marks... mainly about servicing... HD dealers can't even fix their own markee bikes (and you can fix most everyone of those with a hammer and a wrench) and they have no clue about Buells and don't want to deal with them anyway... so, that will have to be addressed... time will tell.

Bottom line, I had a blast (no pun intended)...it was exhillarating and - in combination with the well organized track day and the goodies - an almost all around great day! (well, 'xept dem bend rims)

Ingmar was there with his Husky and (triple crown special) friend MORT! He was - as usual, it seems - explaining to everyone who wanted (or did not want to) hear it, how fast he is... there were a few Rocksters (taking over, I tell ya!) and one R12S....\ good crowd, good day... pics to follow... hopefully video as well...
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Old 10-17-2007, 09:11 PM
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Ralf,

In person, is the main source of ugliness those side radiator thingies? Also, it looks like a comfy bike that you could take on a trip? What happened to your wheels?
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Old 10-17-2007, 09:20 PM
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John... the combination of the humongous fairing and the tupperware on the sides makes it butt ugly... if the pods (which hide a variety of things, including but not limited to: the water expansion tank for the radiator, airfilter, different gidgets and gadgets) could be a little smaller, it would be nice, if the fairing would follow suit, it would be good... it is my belief that it cost as much to make an ugly bike as it does to make a good looking bike!

The ergos are very comfortable, but I only did about 80 miles on the bike and my focus was not exactly on the possible long range abilities of the bike... but, if it helps, the 80 miles where very swift miles and I do not feel bad, nor did I have any indication that I would after a longer trip... I am not sure though, whether that is what they are shooting for to begin with...

My wheels are bent... where I remembered a curb to be, there was (to my utter amazement) a pott hole... hit it at about 50mph and the bike did a nice jump (it seems to be getting used to that)... luckily, the tires did not explode and I managed to control the bike... there was a cone, to warn people... but there was also a 35 - 45 mph wind that took care of said warning device...

I'll be pissed tomorrow... right now I am still to thrilled about the day I had!
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Old 10-17-2007, 09:31 PM
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Saw one at the expo at Phillip Island last weekend and I was impressed with the build and the features, and the price.
But, who on earth designed the ergonomics? OK, I am not small, but I was wearing shoes not boots. But there was no way I could use the shifter and the rear brake and, when I asked a guy on the stand about adjustments, he shrugged and wandered off.
Glad to hear it is a nice ride but not for me. Maybe Mk II will be better.
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Old 10-17-2007, 09:52 PM
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Thats awesome! Sorry to hear about your rims, but now you can buy some nice aftermarket ones.
Old 10-17-2007, 10:07 PM
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Ralf, hopefully you still have that BCR to steal from and they are the right ones to mate up. Thanks for the report on the bike. Looking forward to seeing the transition for Buell. A whole new class of fans. On a related note, I've traded my running S with a '08 Busa for a few days. And goddamn is the thing fast. And fun. I'll be glad to return to the S's ergos. But the mild discomfort isn't much of the focus when you're managing the throttle.
Old 10-17-2007, 10:17 PM
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ah, mort. we remember him well.

i see he's still on the quest for an audience of faithful, impressed, head-nodders who absolutely agree that he's the fastest thing they've ever encountered.

i hear he's soon to start hawking a new line of "You're kinda fast, but you ain't no Mort!" t-shirts this fall.
fellow professional egotist martha stewart is rumored to be involved. donald trump is the underwriter. the gabor family is handing PR. and OJ has been hired to make the deliveries, driving a white bronco.

sorry to hear about your hoops. i have a really big hammer. my friend has a trueing stand. bring the wheels (and your earplugs) over here. we'll pound 'em round again.
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Old 10-18-2007, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sideshow_S View Post
Ralf, hopefully you still have that BCR to steal from and they are the right ones to mate up. Thanks for the report on the bike. Looking forward to seeing the transition for Buell. A whole new class of fans. On a related note, I've traded my running S with a '08 Busa for a few days. And goddamn is the thing fast. And fun. I'll be glad to return to the S's ergos. But the mild discomfort isn't much of the focus when you're managing the throttle.
...I do, but I'd have to change the front end completely... tubes, brakes and all... no biggie but a lot of work... I'll have the blue ones powder coated first... I still have the Duc and the Sporty to ride...

You know, Chris... the "new class of fans" is exactly what I think the HD group is NOT READY for... at least not the dealerships I know! It's not your typical group of lawyers, yuppies, wannabees (seemingly the most prominent group of harley buyers the last 10 years) that are flooding into the motorcyle market for the 1125... this thing is a serious contender in the sportbike arena... with the customers to boot, I think... knowleadgable people, for the most part... the won't eat every bit of BS the typical HD sales guy/girl is going to dish out...

Brad... don't laugh... when I came off my session I went straight to the Buell trailer and asked for a big hammer... "A Hammer?" - "Yes, I need to make some mild adjustments"... "no, a BIGGER Hammer"...
I walked straight over to my bike and started pounding the front rim (the one I am most worried about going out) back to a point where I could at least ride it at a reasonable pace...
When I brought the hammer back, the guy looked at me... "Are you nuts?" "Nope, but I only brought one bike and I only brought a spare wheel for the back!"
..."just ride the darn 1125, that's what its here for and you are apparently doing well on it"... "Thank you, I'll gladly oblige" ... and so I did!

So, if you really think that we can get those wheels into shape again, I'll take you up on that offer... if not, no biggie... there are "professionals" out there who do this kinda stuff for a living!

As for Mort and his quickness... I did not see him in front of me, not a single time... and was either directly or the second behind the lead rider everytime... so I can not be the judge of that!

When he started telling me how good he is on every track with his donkey, I told him that his riding skills are legendary and that I have heard of him before... he was surprised and asked "where"... I told him that my friend from the triple crown ride of the Pelican BB have told me... for whatever reason he did not talk to me anymore after that!?!?

Must have said something wrong, I guess...
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Old 10-18-2007, 08:58 AM
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...Must have said something wrong, I guess...

he didn't talk to you after that?

nah, i'm pretty sure you said everything right.
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Old 10-18-2007, 09:36 AM
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As of today (10/18), there has been no 1125 technical service training made available to any of the Harley/Buell dealers.

I think the bike will stand on its own merits. But the dealership network is liable to torpedo it.
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Old 10-18-2007, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
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As of today (10/18), there has been no 1125 technical service training made available to any of the Harley/Buell dealers.

I think the bike will stand on its own merits. But the dealership network is liable to torpedo it.

Not surprising...

...as for the bike standing on it's own merits... I think it will do well... the bikes that were at the track have been abused for quite some tie now and - according to a journalist who followed the caravan for a while - have been largely untouched and without problems (well, some people threw their bikes away, but that comes with the territory). Rotax knows how to build reliable engines, they have been at that for a while now!

You are funny though, that dealership remark had me laughing - as sad as it is!
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Old 10-18-2007, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
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Not surprising...

...as for the bike standing on it's own merits... I think it will do well... the bikes that were at the track have been abused for quite some tie now and - according to a journalist who followed the caravan for a while - have been largely untouched and without problems (well, some people threw their bikes away, but that comes with the territory). Rotax knows how to build reliable engines, they have been at that for a while now!
Production for the first round of retail 1125s was scheduled to begin this past Monday (10/15). However, it has been delayed - and I've not seen any new dates mentioned yet. I'm wondering if Erik and his team are working out some issues that were uncovered during the track days and journalists events...? (They know they've got to get it right from the get-go because God help 'em if they have to depend on the dealers to fix anything.)

There was a posting on Badweb from a Buell rep that as part of Harley's "Initial Care Program", during the first year, engines would likely be R&R'ed as opposed to repaired so that the factory could closely examine the problems identified in the field. (This was done for the first year of the VROD as well.) My grassy knoll theory is that Buell realizes it'll take the techs at least a year to get up to speed to the point where they can really troubleshoot these bikes. Replacing the engine is a win/win for Buell and the customer.

It'll be interesting, that's for sure.
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Old 10-18-2007, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
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It'll be interesting, that's for sure.
Yes, both the bike as well as to see what the dealers are going to do with it... Pat Lamb told me yesterday that the bikes are supposed to go into production by the end of the month because they WANT to hit the showroom floor before x-mas... we'll see!

...I am tempted... very tempted!
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Old 10-18-2007, 09:40 PM
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...I am tempted... very tempted!
Me too - especially after reading all the positive reviews and ride reports. But the little angel on my left shoulder is telling me to wait a year - to let the first round of buyers shake the bugs out and to give dealers a chance to get their ***** together.

But the little devil on my right shoulder is saying "It's cool - and probably less than 1/2 the price of the HP2. Oh, and that little angel on your other shoulder is a pussy."
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Old 10-18-2007, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
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Me too - especially after reading all the positive reviews and ride reports. But the little angel on my left shoulder is telling me to wait a year - to let the first round of buyers shake the bugs out and to give dealers a chance to get their ***** together.

But the little devil on my right shoulder is saying "It's cool - and probably less than 1/2 the price of the HP2. Oh, and that little angel on your other shoulder is a pussy."
...must be the same two who are fighting on my back... we'll see... once the duc is sold, I might know better... I am looking at an SV650 right now... as a track-only bike (has to be 2 cylinders...) if I buy that thing, I might be bale to hold out for a year... time will tell!
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Old 10-18-2007, 09:59 PM
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...must be the same two who are fighting on my back... we'll see... once the duc is sold, I might know better... I am looking at an SV650 right now... as a track-only bike (has to be 2 cylinders...) if I buy that thing, I might be bale to hold out for a year... time will tell!
The Duc has 2 cylinders....and is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrify, clean, brave and ... that's it.
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Old 10-18-2007, 10:09 PM
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...John, part of why I was really going all out on the track yesterday, was the fact that there was no emotional attachment to the bike I was sitting on... I was wringing the neck of a bike that had no other purpose than to be wrung! If I would have folded it, it would have been on Buells penny....

I would not be able to ride the Duc that way, to much to it!... fast, yes... leaving it ALL on the track... NO! If I buy a track only bike... like the SV... I would not care to push it to the limits and maybe beyond... or maybe just close to it and stay there... no worries, you know?

I am sure that - if I'd buy the Buell - the same issues would arise again... SIGH!
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Old 10-18-2007, 10:30 PM
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Maybe you can put those skid pads thingies on the sides so you can't hurt it? I'd worry about bad karma if I was racing a bike I really didn't care about. They can tell. Plus, it was your Beemer that came away hurt!
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Old 10-18-2007, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
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Maybe you can put those skid pads thingies on the sides so you can't hurt it? I'd worry about bad karma if I was racing a bike I really didn't care about. They can tell. Plus, it was your Beemer that came away hurt!
Yes, and that kinda just proves my point! I was miffed all day... yesterday I was to thrilled to really care... but today it sunk in!

It's between the ears, John... ah, I'll see what happens... maybe I'll be over it in a few days!

And then, maybe not...
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Old 10-18-2007, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
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The Duc has 2 cylinders....and is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrify, clean, brave and ... that's it.
And redrent?
Old 10-19-2007, 12:25 PM
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