All Tests – When a Buell takes turns … – Used BUELL

When a Buell takes turns…

All Tests - When a Buell takes turns ... - Used BUELL

He had dreamed of it for a long time and he did it: this year Erik Buell offers a sports car with an engine capable of roaring! However, does the 1125R remain a real Buell, faithful to the trilogy of the same name? Test !

"I wanted to create the 1125R for a long time !", confided to us Erik Buell himself during the last World of two-wheeler in Paris (read).

From the end of the 80s – already! -, the "pilot – engineer – builder – visionary" wanted to place, in a sharp cycle part of which he has the secret, an engine which would push harder and even longer than the last Thunderstorms installed on his XB12.

But Erik Buell had to wait more than twenty years to announce, in July 2007, the arrival of the 1125R … Its beauty was even made to wait a few more weeks before landing in its final version (see box below )…

"By air" water 1125Rs !

For its French presentation, Buell France was even obliged to bring its test models by plane! "The rest of the first 150 orders follow by boat and will arrive in dealerships in early May", specifies Jean-Charles Geneste, one of the brand’s managers in France.

For the test of this novelty 2008 therefore, Buell France had invited journalists to Beuvardes, in the Aisne: the opportunity to test the original version of the 1125 R – which develops 146 hp! – on the brand new Circuit des Écuyers, and the restricted version on the surrounding roads…

Meticulously described by the manufacturer last summer (read), this presentation led us to ask ourselves an existential question: is the 1125R the logical continuation of the "Trilogy" ?

Six months late…

Originally, the arrival of the 1125R on the old continent was scheduled for November (read). But the first "press" tests – too inconclusive – carried out at Laguna Seca in October decided Erik Buell and his teams to review their copy…

Three main points have been reworked: "the suspensions have been softened. The springs at the front and at the rear are softer and the hydraulics are modified to eliminate the phenomenon of swaying at very high speed", specifies Xavier Chachuat, technical manager at Buell France..

"The engine mapping has been corrected to eliminate jerkiness, and the heat that emanated from the V-Twin on the pilot’s right leg is deflected by a new deflector. Likewise, to lower the engine temperature, the volume of the oil cooler has been increased by 30%", further details Xavier Chachuat.

But as if that were not enough, the landing in France was still postponed by a few weeks compared to other countries, because of the restraint! "Dell’orto was wrong in the manufacture of a part: the throttle opened at 51 ° instead of the 47 ° which limit the power to 106 hp", Jean-Charles Geneste tells us in turn. Finally, the 1125R will land in France at the beginning of May. Phew, old biker than ever…

In appearance, we had already noted that this new 2008 American had many points in common with these predecessors. Logical since the 1125R responds to the sacrosanct "buellesque" trilogy: mass centralization, chassis rigidity and reduction of unsprung weights.

In use, does the 1125R prove to be the worthy representative of Erik Buell’s philosophy? We could doubt it since some of its characteristics assimilate it more to a Superbike than to a "conventional" Buell: 146 horsepower for 170 kg, a liquid-cooled V-Twin whose bore is much larger than the race ( 103 x 67.5 mm) … So when flying, what about ?

Already by taking the orders of the beast, we cannot miss Erik’s signature and the mention "25th anniversary": yes, already a quarter of a century! Similarly, by switching on the ignition, the digital panel proudly displays the origin of the motorcycle:"Wisconsin, USA"… We have been warned !

The needle quietly loops its initial turn of the counter – we discover that it lights up when arriving near the red zone! – and the starter is activated. As on all Buells, the commodos are a bit dated but we appreciate on the other hand that the controls (levers, selector and pedal) are all adjustable..

Buell family ?

But by starting the engine, the family bond is weakened: unlike the XB12 which provide their share of vibrations even when stopped (read and), the 1125R is much wiser. Fixed directly to the frame, the engine called "Helicon" has three balancing shafts which perfectly filter the jolts of the two large bowls..

Still stationary, the sharp bursts of gas result in more vigorous revs than on other Buells but remain less swift than on Japanese 4-cylinders. Sound level, the American defends itself very well and retains a certain "Buell" tone.

Finally we pass the first: "clonk". The box is a bit loud but easy to handle. We thank in passing the hydraulic clutch control assisted by the engine depression, which effectively facilitates the work of the left hand. We gradually release the clutch … and let’s go !

The first one is relatively long, so much so that in town one hesitates to engage the second report. At very low speed, you have to play with the clutch: it is indeed a sports car! The handlebars – very straight – offer a lower lever arm than those of its XB12 sisters. The "unsuspected agility" of big Americans is no longer so striking.

Sporty "road"

Unlike the first Ulysses model tested by Site (the defect of the XB12X has since been corrected), the steering angle of the 1125R allows trouble-free maneuvering in city centers or parking lots. Similarly, the new twin accepts to resume from 2000 rpm smoothly and allows the pilot to focus on the traffic rather than on his gear.

But it is naturally on the road that the real test takes place! First observation: the pleasant driving position allows you to drive without ever getting tired. The saddle, the handlebars, the footrests form a welcoming trio and on the highway and the "Quiet Zone"allows you to completely isolate yourself from the eddies of air.

"The 1125R should be seen as a road sports car rather than an exclusive tracker", rightly underlines Jean-Charles Geneste. It would be a shame not to take advantage of the 20 liters of gasoline capacity offered by the beams of its chassis. !

The work of the suspensions further accentuates the road vocation of the 1125R: they very well erase the imperfections of the roads around Château-Thierry and elsewhere. However, those who would like to "radicalize" its behavior a little – and bang your ass to "re-clean", which is quite commendable – can review the settings in preload, compression and rebound of the fork and the shock absorber. back.

One of the inconveniences observed on the road concerns visibility in the mirrors, very strongly disturbed by the vibrations of the bubble. Fortunately, these vibrations remain confined to these two ends and whatever the engine speed adopted, the pilot does not feel any discomfort in the hands, buttocks or feet..

The range of use of the V-Twin is also relatively wide: between 3000 and 8000 revolutions, the Rotax engine – which will remain exclusive to the American brand – offers a vigorous and immediate response to the slightest rotation of the handle, in the greater Buell tradition. Except with this Buell, we can climb more in the towers !

It is on the circuit, at the controls of the original version – with the butterflies which open at 90 ° -, that we take full advantage of this "novelty". "What appeals to Buell are handling, precision and power."," summarized Erik Buell during our interview in early October at the World Cup. "Unfortunately for some, this power stopped too soon (he then mimics a nice full curve that falls steeply relatively early, Editor’s note). With the 1125R we have more, but we keep this side "without bad surprises", exploitable and fun !".

We can take turns !

Admittedly, the 146 horsepower announced at the crankshaft outlet does not impress as much as the 170 horsepower (and a few …) of certain competitors. Still, the 1125R has the merit of prolonging the adrenaline rush far beyond what the XB12 can do, and at the same time increases the number of motorcyclists likely to join the Buell family..

To be part of this American gang, the pilot will however have to go through a test specific to East Troy motorcycles: that of the fan … Irritating on the XB series because it partly masks the bewitching "potato-potATO-POTATO" of the Thunderstorm , the Helicon fan is almost as much on the 1125R, especially during the "post-arsouille-entre-mates" breaks.

The switch to liquid cooling and the decentering of the rear shock absorber – to facilitate the flow of air on the rear cylinder – were not enough to definitively silence this damn fan … It will therefore be necessary to wait a minute or two afterwards stopping the engine to start a discussion !

A discussion between fellow travelers which is likely to be lively, given the level of performance reached by the new rican. Certainly, on viroleuse departmental roads, a good pilot on "XB" is formidable: ask Denis Bouan or Manu Siaux, doctors of STT (read our and our). But on a more rolling course, the Japanese usually had the last word … Well now, the "Japanese" pilots will have a hard time outrunning an owner of 1125R !

In addition, to the "sensational" engine of the 1125R is grafted a belt transmission which does not cause any problem – on the contrary, especially in terms of maintenance! – and a gearbox still a bit slow but precise and well staged.

"Buell approved" cycle part

As for the cycle part, it is devilishly effective! Incisive, the front axle is even to watch when changing sharp angles during acceleration. However, only pilots of the caliber of Bruno Destoop (who chases the 1098 and RSV in the Top Twin championship) will feel the real need to equip their Buell with a steering damper..

Using the front brake also requires some attention, or rather a short adjustment period. Inspired by the system that equips the XBRR (read), the 8 piston caliper of the 1125R bites – fiercely – the perimeter disc and its action is not always transparent to the handlebars.

Indeed, to keep its trajectory while fine-tuning its speed in the entries in curves – or in full in it, thank you for the channels of floats on the circuit! – using the right lever requires some practice. Braking at the end of the straight line is much easier: hands and knees respectively wedged on the handlebars and the projecting sides of the frame, the pilot takes as much pleasure in decelerating as in accelerating. !

On the road, however, we will be careful not to force the front brake too sharply (we quickly forget the rear brake, probably because the caliper is invisible, subtly housed under the swingarm …). The front wheel is quick to slip away on a greasy-wet surface and, on a clean road, the ball joints may quickly tire against the protuberances of the frame: comfort is less with jeans – even reinforced – than with a leather suit….

On the other hand, there is a drawback to wearing "track gear" on the road at the controls of the 1125R: the knees store a large amount of heat in contact with the sides of the frame, these adjoining the "boiler" as closely as possible. which bears its name well.

Sustainable at the beginning – timid – of spring, the temperature of the engine will undoubtedly require the pilot to move aside the knees of the motorcycle to cool off: not super elegant … "But it was worse before !", noted the journalists invited to the preview of Laguna Seca, which also bears its name well…

In the end, the 1125R is indeed the Buell that sports fans have been waiting for! Coupler and powerful, it retains the incisive side of the Buell, both in terms of dynamic behavior and aesthetics … and price! Because at 12,695 euros, the new Buell can claim to be one of the cheapest Superbikes on the market. It just goes to show that driving different doesn’t necessarily cost more…

For that price, "a customer can request this motorcycle in any color as long as it is black"… Pending a replica of Bruno Destoop’s white, black and blue" racing "livery? !

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