2008 Buell 1125R Versus 2008 Aprilia RSV1000R - Step-Brothers In Arms

It's New Rotax Twin Versus Old When The Buell 1125r And Aprilia RSV1000R Face Off

By Aaron Frank, Photography by Kevin Wing

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.

Tech Spec

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

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