I’ve been following Buell since they appeared on the scene. Initially people were having all sorts of maintenance issues, similar to old Harley Davidsons (their parent co.), but they seem to have come a long way in that dept, although I hear tale that the Japanese bikes are still better in that dept.. Something that wouldn’t surprise me in the least.
Poking around the Buell site today I ended up watching the videos Eric Buell made a couple years ago about Buell’s “Radical Principles”, and that’s where I discovered what I think really sets Buell apart from many manufacturers. They’re making bikes for real world road riding not track racing. Given, what’s good for one is frequently good for the other. But, I think this approach has a much better chance of resulting in a bike that’s suited to the riding you’re really going to do on it, as opposed to the riding you wish you’d do on it.
Later on I came across this quote where he was talking about Buell owners:
We tend to be more individualistic than other motorcyclists and less likely to follow the crowd. We tend to be nice people and - this will sound corny - but I’ve also seen that we’re extremely appreciative of other people. What I also like is that we seem to have an extraordinary level of tolerance - you just don’t see any rude attitudes, which is really cool. We have a lot of really successful people riding Buell Motorcycles who could be arrogant and stuffy, but they’re not. And that’s because we’re true to who we are. We’re not riding a Buell to prove to other people that we’re cool. We know who we are. Let me give you a perfect example of what I mean by this. Buell tends to not attract the kind of people who want to pretend they’re someone they’re not. Buell owners think, “I know I can buy a bike that will go 200 mph, but c’mon, when am I ever going to do that?” We just have a different mindset. Maybe we’re purists, rather than poseurs. We just want to have fun, and we want a great motorcycle to help do that. Maybe we’re born that way, huh?
Those are the kind of people that I want to associate with. I don’t ride to look cool. I ride because I love riding. I’ve never gone over 80mph on a bike because I don’t need to, and I want to stay safe. This combination of design philosophy and attitude have made me seriously reconsider Buell as an option.
We’re not interested in a spec war with other bike makers and our customers aren’t either. We’re trying to build the best sport bike, not the best race bike, so our riders can have more fun in their lives.
I like that…