2006 Buell Lightning XB12Ss

Bigger, longer and uncut, Buell's Lightning Long expands on the possibilities of the original

Buell says the 2006 XB12Ss Lightning Long is aimed at above-average riders. Above average in size, that is.

We've said it before and we'll say it again: Previous Buell sportbikes were tailored more to ballerinas than linebackers. And some the S1 Lightning strikes a painful memory had one-cheek seats that might as well have been pilfered from a Schwinn Sting-Ray. There was one ray of hope the M2 Cyclone, and lo and behold that's the model whose dimensions Buell targeted for the Long.

Built on the same chassis as the Ulysses, the Long had its wheelbase stretched 2 inches over the standard Lightning's, although it retains that model's shorter-travel suspension and street tires. Rake went from 21 to 22 degrees, trail from 3.3 to 4.7 inches, fuel capacity from 3.7 to 4.4 gallons, weight from 395 to 400 pounds. Rounding out the upsizing program are a longer tailsection and a taller, wider seat with room for a passenger. MSRP is $10,495, color options are orange, blue or black.

The press spent a day riding the Lightning Long in the mountains west of Denver (the Rockies, we think they're called), and all agreed it's a much-improved motorcycle. The 6-footers on hand found it definitely fit them better, and even shorter riders said it handled better, much more stable and neutral steering, with less of a ten-dency to resist turning on the brakes.

Hopefully, the XB12Ss will be around for a Long time. MC

2006 BUELL XB12Ss Lightning Long
PRICE MSRP $10,495
Type a-c 45-degree V-twin
Valve arrangement OHV, 4v
Displacement 1203cc
Transmission 5-speed
Weight 399 lb. wet (181kg)
Fuel capacity 4.4 gal. (17L)
Wheelbase 54.0 in. (1372mm)
Seat height 31 in. (775mm)