2008 Buell Ulysses Review


The 2008 Buell Ulysses can be thought of as a multi-purpose motorcycle. It’s a dirt/adventure bike, a touring motorcycle, and a super moto all in one. Named after the Greek mythology hero Ulysses, the king of Ithaca and a Greek leader in the Trojan War, it was introduced to American motorcycle enthusiasts in 2006. It was manufactured by Buell Motorcycles, then a subsidiary of Harley-Davidson but which Harley closed down in 2009. The 2008 Ulysses comes in two models, both aimed at experienced riders: an XB, which is targeted at dirt bike riders, and an XT, which is targeted at sports riders who like to tour. Another difference between the two models is tires. The XT has Pirelli Diablo Stradas that are better for cruising down the freeway while the XB has Pirelli Scorpion Sync tires that are better for off-road riding.

The Ulysses is classified as a naked bike because the engine is visible, but the XT comes with a lot of goodies that belie this designation. The Ulysses XT comes standard with two hard side cases as well as a rear rack with a storage case made of hard vinyl; XB riders will need to buy this extra storage as an accessory. The Ulysses has underseat storage, a power outlet, and heated hand grips for the driver. If this isn’t enough storage for the rider and passenger, optional storage bags, such as a tank bag, a triple trail backpack, and a Stow N Go bag, are available. Other original equipment manufacturer (OEM) accessories include different seats, air box covers with Buell decals, and carbon fiber chin fairing. The instrument panel includes a clock, fuel level warning light, speedometer, tachometer, and odometer. Completing the sports bike look are 17-inch aluminum wheels and dirt-bike-style handlebars.

New For 2008

  • Different fully adjustable inverted fork
  • New urethane bumper on the shock to make for a smoother ride on bad roads
  • Wheels that are one pound lighter
  • Weighs 40 pounds more because of the luggage cases and rack

2008 Buell Ulysses Specs

  • Model: Ulysses XB12XT
  • Engine Type: Thunderstorm V-twin, four-stroke
  • Bore and Stroke: 88.9 mm x 96.8 mm
  • Compression ratio: 10.0:1
  • Valve Train: Overhead valve, Pushrod
  • Induction: 49mm down draft DDFI III fuel injection
  • Ignition: Electronic
  • Transmission: Five-speed manual
  • Final Drive: Belt
  • Fuel Capacity: 4.4 gallons
  • Estimated Fuel Economy: 47/59 mpg city/highway
  • Brakes (Front): ZTL single hydraulic disc
  • Brakes (Rear): ZTL single hydraulic disc
  • Suspension (Front): 43mm Showa
  • Suspension (Rear): Showa twin-sided swing arm, aluminum
  • Wheelbase: 53.9 inches
  • Rake: 23.8°
  • Trail: N/A
  • Seat Height: 30.7 inches
  • Curb Weight: 465 pounds
  • Tires (Front): Pirelli Diablo Strada 120/70-ZR17 tubeless
  • Tires (Rear): Pirelli Diablo Strada 180/55-ZR17 tubeless


  • Airbox cover mask
  • Black tank bag
  • Buell Quest portable navigation system
  • Carbon fiber oil cooler cover
  • Stow N Go Bag
  • Tall windscreen
  • XB black brake and clutch lever kit
  • Buell tool kit

Key Competitors For The 2008 Buell Ulysses

  • Yamaha FZ1
  • Ducati Monster 1100
  • Triumph Speed Triple
  • Yamaha XJR 1300
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport