New for 2003: Buell and Harley-Davidson


New for 2003: Buell and Harley-Davidson

The one and only

The audience had expected a blast from Harley and initially saw nothing more than a bright yellow Buell. Until there Willie G. Davidsons .

Milwaukee, Wisconsin (July 16, 2002). Thousands of kilowatts drive the temperatures in the huge Midwest Express Center to freezing point. The heat was scorching outside and the day was brilliant. Downstairs dim ceiling light. Underneath, barely recognizable, a handful of new Harley models. “I hate these lights,” grumbles Willie G. Davidson, Vice President Styling of the Motor Company. Knowing full well that his latest creations do not come into their own under such puffy fuss.
More light! Already said Goethe. He turned 82, Harley-Davidson turns 100. Everyone invited to present the 2003 anniversary year. True jewels in Sterling Silver and Vivid Black. And what does the assembled journalle do? Urges for a screaming yellow street fighter named Lightning XB9S. A daring piece of mechanical engineering from the Harley subsidiary Buell. Shrill, weird, hyper and clearly recognizable as a novelty even for the colleagues from the boulevard.
Thunderstorms of lightning over the Lightning: the skin-tight double headlights photographed, the ultra-short rear in the picture, the high handlebars, the footrests, the cockpit. The rest of the Lightning is pure Firebolt, i.e. XB9R and extreme: 1320 millimeters wheelbase, 69 degrees steering head angle, 83 millimeters caster ?? Any questions? Fuel in the frame, oil in the swingarm, abnormal exhaust under the engine. A six-piston brake encompassing the inside on the front wheel, a toothed belt with automatic tensioner on the rear wheel, and in the center of the action a huge 984 cubic centimeter V2 event.
92 jagged horsepower promise rousing entertainment while sweeping the streets. Especially in the upper speed range. Under 4000 tours, the Harley bumper motor is more of a blues brother out? we have known since the top test of the Firebolt in MOTORRAD 13/2002. More derivations? Possibly leading to the devil’s kitchen. First drive a few meters.
“It feels like a dirt-tracker built for the street ??, predicts Erik Buell, Chairman and Technical Chief of the inventors from East Troy. With shining eyes, he delivers a cinematic story about his first turn on the XB9R. Wisconsin then had to be realigned? had twisted somehow. Oh yes, the Lightning ruled the triple Rittberger, jumped in and backwards if necessary. You have to experience it. »Definitely! ?? So then: Bring the thing on!
No way. The new Harley models are driven here, namely to Atlanta. For the opening of the Harley-Davidson Open Road Tour ?? the longest, biggest, guaranteed most expensive birthday party of all time. More about it in MOTORRAD 19/2002, more about the Buell in February at the latest, when the Lightning hits in Good old Germany.
With that back to Willie G. and out of the Midwest Center.
Atlanta / Georgia ?? three days, nine burgers and 17 Budweiser pods later: Truly, the master was not exaggerating when he spoke of lively, explosive colors, of “diamonds and timeless beauty”. 1100 miles in the saddle of a Two Tone Fat Boy were just enough to understand the new colors, to decipher the long text on the tank trim and to count the hodgepodge of anniversary badges. They are emblazoned on the handlebars, on the tank on the seat and on all lids. However, you should pay close attention to the embossing on the crankcase, because only this guarantees absolute certainty that it is actually an original 100TH Anniversary Bike.
In addition to the Fat Boy in black and silver, the smart Americans have another 117 anniversary versions up their sleeves. That means: from the Sportster 883 in conventional blue to the Screamin ?? eagle R.oad King in Centennial Gold, every 2003 Harely is a collector’s item. Pretty smart ?? What? And Harley-Davidson wouldn‘t be one of the most successful American companies if the marketing team in Milwaukee hadn’t taken the precautions. “In order to meet the expected demand, we extended the production period for the model range to 14 months.” This is how history is written.

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