2004 Buell Lightning XB9S

Motorcyclist Online helps you research the used 2004 Buell Lightning XB9S before buying this Sport bike. The 2004 Lightning XB 9S is made in USA. With front Disc brakes that will securely stop this Lightning XB9S motorcycle on demand. It comes ...     read more
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2004 Buell Lightning XB 9S

Model Overview:

2004 Lightning XB9S

Bodystyle Sport
Warranty 24 months
Manufacturer Country USA
Introduction Year N/A
Displacement (cc) 984
Engine Type V Twin
Nextstep Bg

2004 Buell Lightning XB9S


The XB-series production era of the Buell Lightning sport bike, which lasted from model years 2003 to 2009, never stood a chance. Although it had the advantage of manufacture by the iconic Harley-Davidson company via its Buell subsidiary, the XB-series Lightning was never as popular as its Harley counterparts due to its price inflated to compensate for a high production cost. For the 2004 model year, with only less than two years in production, Buell offered two models instead of one, in the attempt to bring more attention to the better-than-decent bike.

The 2004 Buell Lightning is split into two models: the XB9S and the XB9S. A variant of the XB9S called “Low XB9S” has a lower seat height and front suspension travel. Each model runs on a four-stroke V-twin (two-cylinder) engine: with two intake valves on each cylinder, a 10-to-1 compression ratio and a bore of 3.5 inches. The stroke is measured at 3.13 inches for the XB9S and 3.81 inches for the XB12S.

The engine on the XB9S version of the 2004 Buell Lightning produces 92 horsepower at 7,500 revolutions per minute (RPM) and 70 pound-feet (lb-ft) of torque at 5,500RPM. The one on the XB12 generates 103 horsepower at 6,800 RPM and 84 lb-ft of torque at 6,000 RPM. Each engine is paired with a five-speed manual transmission. For superior braking, Harley-Davidson includes disc brakes at the bike's pair of 17-inch aluminum wheels.

The models of the 2004 Buell Lightning are mainly named after respective engine displacements. The ""9"" in XB9S represents the model’s engine displacement of 984 cubic centimeters (cc). The XB12S has a larger engine displacement, at 1,203 cc.

Harley-Davison designed and promoted the 2004 Buell Lightning as a ""streetfighter"" sport bike, which would explain why it lacks a frame-covering shell (fairing). However, the vehicle has a spoiler and fenders. The frame itself is made of aluminum, which reduces the bike’s weight while still retaining a sturdy construction. Also included are guards for the drive shaft, engine, rear-wheel chain and the 3.7-gallon gas tank, among other components.

The seat on the 2004 Buell Lightning is designed as a one-piece vinyl seat, which is big enough to accommodate up to two people: the rider and a passenger. The seat is set at a height of 30.1 inches on all models apart from the Low XB9S, which has a seat height of 28.6 inches.

At the front of the 2004 Buell Lightning is a digital dashboard that consists of a clock, tachometer, trip odometer and speedometer. For increased visibility, the bike has halogen headlights and side mirrors.

Each 2004 Buell Lighting is around 76 inches long, 30 inches wide and up to 42 inches high, with a wheelbase of 52 inches. Dry weight is 385 lbs. for the XB9S model; the XB12S is 10 lbs. heavier. However, the XB9S, in turn, surpasses the XB12S in payload capacity: at 400 lbs. to 390 lbs. The gross vehicle weight rating, or GVWR, for each ‘04 Lightning is 850 lbs. The manufacturer's suggested retail price, or MSRP, for the bike is $9,195 for the XB9S and $10,995 for the XB12S.

When it was released, many people deemed the ‘04 Buell Lightning--like the entries before and after it--overpriced for its category. Still, looking beyond the comparatively hefty price tag, the ‘04 Lightning contains enough power and standard features to warrant a look or two. Plus, its stripped-down, aggressive look is a sizable bonus.

New For 2004
  • This was the second model year for the XB-series Lightning; the higher-displacement XB12R made its debut

2004 Buell Lightning Specs

  • Model: Sport bike (XB9S, Low XB9S and XB12S)
  • Engine Type: 984cc (XB9S) / 1,203cc (XB12S) air/oil-cooled V-twin
  • Bore and Stroke (millimeters/inches): 89 / 3.5 x 79 / 3.13 (XB9S); 89 / 3.5 x 97 / 3.81 (XB12S)
  • Compression ratio: 10:1
  • Valve Train: OHV, four valves per cylinder
  • Induction: Fuel injection
  • Ignition: Electric
  • Transmission: Five-speed manual
  • Final Drive: Chain
  • Fuel Capacity (gallons/liters): 3.7 / 14
  • Estimated Fuel Economy (miles per gallon): N/A
  • Brakes (Front): Hydraulic 375-millimeter disc
  • Brakes (Rear): Hydraulic 240-millimeter disc
  • Suspension (Front): Inverted fork
  • Suspension (Rear): Twin-sided swing arm
  • Wheelbase (inches/millimeters): 52 / 1320
  • Rake: N/A
  • Trail: N/A
  • Seat Height (inches/millimeters): 30.1 / 765
  • Curb Weight (lbs./kg): 385 / 175 (XB9S); 395 / 179 (XB12S)
  • Tires (Front): Dunlop 120/70 ZR17
  • Tires (Rear): Dunlop 180/55 ZR17


  • Carbon fiber front fender
  • Carbon fiber front spoiler
  • Tank bag
  • Heel protector kit
  • Traction rider/passenger footpegs
  • Carbon fiber rear fender

Key Competitors For The 2004 Buell Lightning

2004 Suzuki Hayabusa 1300R
  • 2004 Honda RC51 Base
  • 2004 BMW R 1100
  • 2004 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-12R
  • Available Lightning Sub Models

    2004 Buell Lightning XB12S Buyer's Guide 2004 Buell Lightning XB12S
    103 / 84
    2004 Buell Lightning Low XB9S Buyer's Guide 2004 Buell Lightning Low XB9S
    92 / 70
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