Motorcyclist Comparo: Sumo Supermoto

Large, Powerful And Not Exactly What They Seem

By Tim Carrithers, Photography by Kevin Wing

2008 Buell XB12STT Super TT
Price: $10,295

The 'TT's twin aluminum frame spars also provide a home for 4.4 gallons of super unleaded. The dry-sump twin's 2.5 quarts of oil live inside the stubby swingarm. Buell's Uniplanar engine-mounting system keeps engine vibration from getting to you.

The 43mm inverted-slider fork and single rear shock offer all the customary adjustments. There's slightly more travel at both ends than on a Lightning XB12S, and less than you'll find under the more adventurous Ulysses.

Buell's 1203cc Thunderstorm V-twin has evolved well beyond Harley's Sportster. The '08 version gets a bigger crankpin, more efficient lubrication and fresh DDFI-III fuel injection. Changes allow a 7100-rpm redline, 300 revs higher than last year.

Taking the place of two conventional rotors and calipers, Buell's single 375mm ZTL front disc bolts up just inside the rim. Paired with one six-piston caliper, this arrangement adds up to about 7 lbs. less unsprung weight than the typical dual-disc arrangement.

Tech Spec
Engine type: a/o-c 45? V-twin
Valve train: OHV, 4v
Displacement: 1203cc
Bore x stroke: 88.9 x 96.8mm
Compression: 10.0:1
Fuel system: DDFI-III EFI
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate
Transmission: 5-speed
Frame: Aluminum twin-spar
Front suspension: 43mm Showa inverted fork, adjustable for compression and rebound damping
Rear suspension: Single Showa shock, adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound damping
Front brake: Single six-piston caliper, 375mm perimeter disc
Rear brake: Single-piston caliper, 240mm disc
Front tire: 120/70-ZR17 Pirelli Scorpion Sync
Rear tire: 180/55-ZR17 Pirelli Scorpion Sync
Rake/trail: 23.1?/4.7 in.
Seat height: 30.5 in.
Wheelbase: 54.0 in.
Fuel capacity: 4.4 gal.
Weight (tank full/empty): 478/453 lbs.
Measured horsepower: 85.6 bhp @ 6750 rpm
Measured torque: 72.3 lb.-ft. @ 5750 rpm
Corrected 1/4-mile: 12.06 sec. @ 113.12 mph
Fuel mileage (high/low/avg): 45/29/39 mpg
Colors: White, orange
Available: Now
Warranty: 24 mo., unlimited mi.

Buell Motorcycle Co.
2815 Buell Dr.East Troy, WI 53120

With its odd combination of low bars, high pegs and relatively little real estate in between, the 'TT is something short of roomy. It's an unorthodox combination by supermoto standards that should feel more familiar to sportbike pilots.

Torque towers over horsepower for more of the Thunderstorm twin's rev range until the party ends altogether at 7000 rpm. Though it makes 65 lb.-ft. of torque at 2500 rpm, maximum thrust lives in a slot between 5500 and 6750 rpm.

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