Buell expanded its streetfighter bike lineup in 2006. The 2006 Buell Lightning comes in four variations: the Long XB12Ss, the XB12S, the XB12Scg, and the CITYX XB9 SX. With a wide selection, the 2006 Lightning is ready to use its muscle to firmly enforce its rightful place on the streets. No matter which Lightning model suits you, there is no mistaking any one of these bikes for being anything short of a road warrior.
The heart of the Buell Lightning streetfighters comes from the Thunderstorm engine. Two versions are offered: the 100-hp, 1203cc, four-stroke V-Twin, or the 83-hp, 984cc model. Both engines feature electronic fuel injection for precise throttle control. The 1203cc engine is highlighted by Buell’s InterActive Exhaust, which is a technical marvel. The engine uses a valve in the dual-chamber muffler, controlled by the electronic control module (ECM) to adjust exhaust flow according to riding conditions, and to optimize engine power. The solid low- and mid-range torque gives the rider power on demand and constant control in all road conditions. The Buell Uniplanar engine mounting system reduces vibration to the rider, and increases frame rigidity by using the engine as a stressed member of the frame.
In a new development for 2006, Buell introduces a new transmission design. The transmission offers improved shift quality, reduced noise, and extended service intervals. Normal gears have been replaced by thin steel ""dog rings"" that slide to affect gear changes, a system more commonly seen in automotive race transmissions. The light dog rings provide faster shifting, while the new helical-cut gears are smoother and quieter than straight-cut gears. Less clutch effort is needed for movement between gears. Service intervals between oil changes has been extended to 10,000 miles, and the Goodyear Hibrex drive belt, which requires no service or replacement, means the rider will be able to enjoy more time on the road, and less time doing maintenance or repairs.
Buell, as usual on its XB line, uses excellent suspension technology. Up front is a fully adjustable Showa inverted fork that is adjustable for pre-load, compression, and rebound damping. A fully adjustable Showa coil-over rear shock handles the tail end. The Buell Trilogy of Technology design principles -- frame rigidity, mass centralization, and low unsprung weight -- ensures the handling remains quick and responsive. Fuel is contained within the aluminum frame, while the swing arm doubles as the oil tank. The larger Long XB12Ss holds 16.7 liters of fuel in its stretched frame, while the CityX XB9SX, XB12Scg, and XB12S all have a 14.5-liter fuel capacity within the frame.
The 2006 Buell Lightning places the rider in the perfect position to tackle the urban environment, with the new Skyline seat and wide handlebar, featuring a Supermotard-style crossbar. The comfortable, upright position allows for excellent perspective when motoring around city streets, with the Long XB12Ss providing a longer tail section; a taller, wider seat; and offering more room for a passenger. The under-seat storage compartment is also larger on the Long XB12Ss.
The Buell Zero Torsional Load (ZTL) front brake features a single 375mm rotor mounted near the wheel rim, gripped by a six-piston caliper. This braking system is an industry innovation, sets a major benchmark for Buell, and graces the entire Lightning lineup. Braking forces are transmitted directly from the rim to the rotor. Torsional load at the front wheel is virtually eliminated, and brake feel and control is enhanced. Pirelli Scorpion Sync tires feature an aggressive tread pattern, suitable for all riding conditions.
No matter which Lightning suits your fancy, Buell has set its mark in the factory streetfighter arena with this line of motorbikes. Stylish riders will appreciate the CityX XB9SX with its rakish features, while larger riders will flock to the Long XB12Ss. More diminutive riders love the lower seat height (28.6 inches) of the XB12Scg. The Lightning comes in four colors: Valencia Orange, Midnight Black, Sunset Orange, or Thrust Blue, with choices of Sunset Orange or Translucent Amber wheels.