Buell's Zero Torsional Load front brake conversely leaves something to be desired. Even with eight pistons pressing down on a 375mm, rim-mounted rotor, the single front brake proved insufficient at the track, where heat-induced fade became an issue. By the end of our track day the rotor was burned blue and the pads howled in protest with each heavy stop. The ZTL brake is difficult to apply consistently, too: Initial bite is limp, causing you to squeeze the lever harder only to find yourself reducing brake pressure an instant later when the braking effect catches up.
Lapping Buttonwillow, the Buell was consistently quicker by a solid second, mostly by virtue of its stronger motor and ability to change direction quicker in the tight stuff. You can definitely turn a fast lap on the 1125R, but it takes decidedly more concentration and constant input than the more predictable, less demanding RSV. Both of these torquey, tractable twins are more at home on the street-especially the 1125R.
If you're willing to adapt your riding style to accommodate the Buell's quirks, you'll be rewarded with a fast, flexible and supremely comfortable streetbike. Aprilia's RSV1000R is an acceptable performer but a bit past its prime in terms of power output and handling prowess. Factor in the fact that the new bike costs $1000 less than the old one, and the 1125R is the clear winner. Rotax-and Buell-have learned a lot in the 10 years separating these two engine designs. It's time now for Aprilia to catch up.
|2008 Buell 1125R |
|Engine type ||l-c 72-deg. V-twin |
|Valve train ||DOHC, 8v |
|Displacement ||1125cc |
|Bore x stroke ||103.0 x 67.5mm |
|Compression ||12.3:1 |
|Fuel system ||EFI |
|Clutch ||Wet, multi-plate slipper |
|Transmission ||6-speed |
|Frame ||Aluminum twin-spar |
|Front suspension ||47mm Showa inverted cartridge fork, adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound damping |
|Rear suspension ||Single Showa shock, adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound damping |
|Front brake ||Single ZTL eight-piston caliper, 375mm disc |
|Rear brake ||Two-piston caliper, 240mm disc |
|Front tire ||120/70ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Corsa III |
|Rear tire ||180/55ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Corsa III |
|Rake/trail ||21.0/3.3 in. |
|Seat height ||30.5 in. |
|Wheelbase ||54.6 in. |
|Fuel capacity ||5.6 gal. |
|Measured weight (tank full/empty) ||474/440 lbs. |
|Measured horsepower ||129.1 bhp @ 9750 rpm |
|Measured torque ||73.9 lb.-ft. @ 8000 rpm |
|Corrected 1/4-mile ||10.61 sec. @ 135.91 mph |
|Colors ||Black |
|Available: ||Now |
|Warranty ||24 mo., unlimited mi. |
Buell Motorcycle Co.
2815 Buell Dr.
East Troy, WI 53120