Archive for July, 2006

Not so great engineering

Monday, July 3rd, 2006

footpegIn an unfortunate event yesterday both the bike and I ended up on the ground in the parking lot. It happens. We’re both fine and don’t show any wear except for one thing; the left rider foot peg snapped off. Apparently Buell foot pegs are cast from an alloy of aluminum and rich creamery butter or at least something just as soft. A cursory glance around the web found several stories of people losing footpegs to minimal side loading: backing the bike up and snagging the peg on a wheel, on a bumper, or even just coming off in people’s hands. I had already placed an order with American Sport Bike for some front and rear axle sliders so I just had them add some new billet pegs.

Since the bike was out of commission today Frosty and I decided to go through the suspension setup. The owners manual covers all the adjustments. It was all pretty easy. The wrench for the rear shock preload is included and the the valves for rebound and compression are really easy to turn. We weren’t able to do the front fork preload because of a lack of tools. It looks like the bike comes from the factory set up for someone closer to 200lbs. We ran to Frontier HD to pick up the service manual I had ordered. The parts guy said he had snapped pegs off of his Buell before.

Annotated Buell

Sunday, July 2nd, 2006

buellI’ve been interested in Buell motorcycles ever since they introduced the new XB line. The XB has some very interesting engineering; which I’ve noted on this Flickr photo. The muffler is mounted at the lowest point on the bike for a lower center of gravity. The gas is contained within the aluminum bike frame. The airbox is located where the tank normally would be. The bike has a belt drive intended to last the lifetime of the bike. The belt tensioner is a fixed unit. The front brake is inverted so the braking force is applied directly to the hub instead of through the spokes. The engine is an 984cc air/oil cooled 92hp v-twin. The bike weighs 390lbs. dry. The steep steering head and short wheelbase make for an extremely compact package.

Erik Buell, an ex-Harley-Davidson engineer, founded the company in 1983 and built sportbikes based on HD engines. In 1998 the company was acquired by HD and now most HD engines are developed by Buell’s engineering.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention that I’ve put 175 miles on the bike in the last week. The first 500 miles are engine break-in.