2008 Buell Firebolt Review


With headlights set in sockets and a slanted front end with curved windscreen, the 2008 Buell Firebolt looks like a sinister cartoon character; in other words, it has a look only a mother could love. Reviewers call the Firebolt XB12R’s looks ""quirky."" The Firebolt XB12R comes in black with cherry red trim or white with blue trim, which gives it an eerie look, especially since the wheels are in the accent color. But there’s more to this odd-looking motorcycle than meets the eye. For one thing, it’s a sports bike that provides high performance whether the rider is racing around a track or down the highway. The Firebolt is high performance, make no mistake about that. It’s won numerous amateur and professional road-racing championships in the U.S. and around the world. Britain’s Bike magazine named it the ""Best Cornering Motorcycle of All Time.""

The Firebolt’s name fits in well with other Buell motorcycles, namely the Blast and the Lightning, giving that hint of excitement to riders. This sportfighter is agile and responds well to the rider’s handling. The Firebolt has a 1203cc, V-Twin motor that is a good balance of horsepower and torque. The engine reaches peak performance with 103 hp at 6800 rpm. Peak torque is 84 lb-ft at 6000 rpm. This bike has clip-on handlebars for better control and comes with pillion seating for the passenger. Underseat storage is available, with storage bags being an optional accessory. The Firebolt can carry a rider, passenger, and luggage weighing more than 450 pounds; the motorcycle itself weighs 395 pounds.

New For 2008

  • Pre-wired for optional heated hand grips
  • White as a color choice with Blue Translucid wheels and windscreen
  • New instrument panel graphics
  • Cosmetic frame protectors to protect the frame in case of an accident
  • Commemorative Buell 25th anniversary graphics
  • Tachometer that reflects the new 7100 rpm redline
  • Enhanced engine performance

2008 Buell Firebolt Specs

  • Model: Firebolt XB12R
  • Engine Type: V-Twin, four-stroke
  • Bore and Stroke: 88.9 mm x 96.8 mm
  • Compression ratio: 10.0:1
  • Valve Train: Overhead valve—Pushrod; two valves per cylinder, self-adjusting
  • Induction: Fuel injected
  • Ignition: Electronic
  • Transmission: Five-speed manual
  • Final Drive: Goodyear Hibrex belt
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.82 gallons
  • Estimated Fuel Economy: 48/65 mpg city/highway
  • Brakes (Front): ZTL hydraulic disc
  • Brakes (Rear): ZTL hydraulic disc
  • Suspension (Front): Showa inverted fork with adjustable preload and rebound damping
  • Suspension (Rear): Showa twin-sided swing arm with adjustable rebound damping and shock
  • Wheelbase: 52 inches
  • Rake: 21.0°
  • Trail: 3.30 inches
  • Seat Height: 30.5 inches
  • Curb Weight: 395 pounds
  • Tires (Front): Pirelli Diablo T 120/70-ZR17
  • Tires (Rear): Pirelli Diablo T 180/55-ZR17


  • Carbon fiber heel protection kits for rider and passenger
  • Clear windscreen
  • Dunlop blackwall tires, front and rear
  • Firebolt tail bag
  • Heated hand grip kit
  • Touring pillion
  • Traction foot pegs for rider and passenger
  • Buell tool kit

Key Competitors For The 2008 Buell Firebolt

  • BMW HP2 Sport
  • Ducati Superbike 1098R
  • KTM 1190 RC8
  • Moto Guzzi MGS-01 Corsa
  • Suzuki GSX1300R Havabusa