Reader test: Buell XB9SX
I have been privileged to be riding a Buell XB9SX for the past three years.
Needless to say, by this time I know all of the best that this bike has to offer and conveniently have forgot the three or four problems I encountered - being minor as they were.
Let me mention the few issues to just to get them out of the way.
The first fault was a dead spark plug , covered by warranty and off I went for a further year and a half of practicing wheelies and just riding at every opportunity until the drive belt snapped at about 20 000km.
Lifetime warranty on the belt sorted that one out and off I went again.
Then, at 29 700km, the engine check light came on for the first time. Diagnosis showed that the engine cooling fan had an open circuit and the fan had to be replaced. At the same time I replaced the front wheel bearings…
Beyond these issues it has been an awesome bike - tough, maneuverable and very comfortable. We took a trip to Durban, touring down the coast from Ballito to Port Edward with two Buells and we only had to stop for toll gates, fuel and rain suites.
At the odd occasion we had to duck behind the visors to dodge the KZN headwinds, other than that, just the humming of two V-twins rolling down the highway. My Buell exhibited superb handling on the open road and was a comfortable cruiser at 160km/h.
This bike is a real city slicker and because of the short wheelbase, slipping through traffic on the N1 and taking tight city corners is a breeze. The naked appearance would put the XB models in the street fighter class of bikes and it looks and sounds very aggressive.
The fuel is stored in the frame and the XB9 takes 12l on which you can do about 220km. The instruments display when the bike goes into reserve and there is even a reserve fuel trip meter. You can do a comfortable 35km in reserve, but I put it to the test and the results varied, running dry from about 38-40km and only once achieving the 45km mark.
Servicing at every 8000km is easy if you have a bit of technical acumen, with service parts, including replacement air filter and synthetic oil, setting one back about R1 700.
I would recommend getting the primary chain tension checked by a Buell dealer every second service, for the simple reason of, ‘moet nie krap waar dit nie jeuk nie’
If you are looking for a bike that will draw curiosity from the crowd by just standing there, this is it. If you want a bike that can almost topple a bus full of school laaities just by popping a small wheelie next to it, this is it.
If you want to feel a sense of pride in what you are riding, this is definitely the new kid on the block!!