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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, the demo rides at the San Mateo Motorcycle show were worth the price of admission and parking. I've been wanting to take a Buell for a ride ever since a friend started gushing about how cool the design was so I signed up to take out an XB12S. First impressions from the bike:

- The engine produces a *lot* of vibrations at idle and in the low revs. I kind of expected this from a Harley engine.
- The ignition key is placed horizontally on the left side of the instrument cluster. Very cool design, unlike the Monster's tank-scratching key position.
- I had to get the engine up to about 2000RPM before any horsepower or torque kicked in. The unbalanced engine just doesn't want to run below that. With the narrow powerband, that's a real handicap.
- Throttle response was sluggish. Don't know if that was just this bike or the entire line.
- Suspension was a bit soft. I've heard that about Buells before.
- With legs down at idle, the exhause hits your left ankle. It's not hot or painful, just disconcerting...I'm used to using my ankle to detect exhaust leaks on other bikes ;D
- Once on the freeway, the torque is nice. Catching up with the other bikes on the ride was pretty easy if I started lagging. But it's no Ducati...both my Ducs want to run all the way up to the redline...I can't say the same for the XB.
- Braking was a little wierd, but I got used to it. The inside-mount rotor has a wider radius than any other sportbike. I suppose they can get away with a smaller caliper and fewer pistons this way. But I think it also limits the aftermarket brake and rim options.
- Watching the throttle cable under the "tank" cover is pretty cool ;D

Bottom line: This particular XB is a nice naked cruiser. But it's no Monster [laugh]
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