Slight mechanical and cosmetic updates distinguish the Buell Motorcycle Company's 2007 model line from last year's offerings. Pirelli tires have replaced Dunlops across the range, with the Ulysses XB12X rolling on Scorpion Sync radials and the remaining models on Diablo Ts. The Ulysses adventure-tourer received a lower, 31.8-inch-high seat and triple-rate fork springs. And two fresh color options on some Lightning models are the Cherry Bomb Red and Valencia Orange Translucid, new hues of the semi-see-through plastic that debuted on the CityX in '05.
The '07 model line-consisting of the Ulysses XB12X, Firebolt XB9R/XB12R, Lightning CityX XB9SX, Lightning XB12S/XB12Scg, XB12Ss Lightning Long and the long-awaited, XB-RR production racer-was revealed to the press in Bakersfield, California, on July 10-11. Members of the media spent the first day riding on the twisty mountain roads around Lake Isabella and the second at nearby Buttonwillow Raceway, which was as blistering hot as the XB-RR they had the rare treat of testing.
Prior to the track test, company founder Erik Buell briefed the media on what he feels makes Buell motorcycles superior to the predominantly Japanese competition. Greater mass centralization (due to the gas being contained in the frame, the oil in the swingarm and the under-engine muffler), lower unsprung weight (Buells have half the number of parts of a typical Japanese sportbike) and maintenance-free belt drive are all features which the Buell Motorcycle Company uses to shape its philosophy of delivering "superior performance for real riders on real roads, with a premium placed on responsive power delivery and precise handling."
For more information, specs and photos, click on the models below:
And don't miss Executive Editor Brian Catterson's riding impression of the Buell XB-RR in the November issue of Motorcyclist magazine. -MC