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RACE TRACKS

Buell Lightning offers streetfighter attitude



July 8, 2007

The Buell Lightning series is a family of motorcycles with a strong strain of American Streetfighter DNA. Packing a one-two combination of V-Twin muscle and innovative engineering, the Lightning is a motorcycle designed to excel in the real world, where torque trumps horsepower and credibility is earned on the streets and backroads.

Wide, flat handlebars and athletic ergonomics put the Lightning rider in control of any situation. A broad, V-Twin powerband means thrust is always just a twist of the throttle away. The Thunderstorm 1203 features electronic fuel injection and dry-sump oiling, and is equipped with the Buell InterActive Exhaust system, which utilizes a valve in the dual-chamber muffler that is controlled by the ECM and adjusts exhaust flow according to riding conditions to smooth torque delivery and optimize engine power.

A short wheelbase and stiff chassis - the pure application of the Buell Trilogy of Technology philosophy - produce a motorcycle that is agile and intuitively responsive to rider input. There are five Buell Lightning models for 2008.

What's New on Lightning for 2008
Updates to both the 1203 Thunderstorm V-Twin and 984 Thunderstorm V-Twin engine enhance performance and reduce maintenance cost (see separate Thunderstorm release for details). Each Lightning model is pre-wired for installation of accessory heated hand grips, with 18 peak watts per side and High and Low heat settings. The instrument panel styling is refreshed and the tachometer reflects the new 7100-rpm redline on models equipped with the 1203 Thunderstorm engine. A commemorative Buell 25th Anniversary graphic with Erik Buell's signature is placed on the handlebar clamp. Cosmetic frame protectors help reduce damage to the frame in case of a tip-over incident.

Buell Lightning XB12S
A direct descendent of the notorious 1996 Buell S1 Lightning, the XB12S is ready to unleash any rider's inner hooligan nature. The tire-twisting torque of a Thunderstorm 1203 V-Twin is paired with the athletic reflexes of the Buell Intuitive Response Chassis (IRC), a combination of throttle response, handling and sexy naked styling that is simply irresistible.

Buell Lightning Super TT XB12STT
The Lightning Super TT brings Supermoto-inspired styling and performance to the street. A narrow-and-flat solo seat makes it easy to move and set up for the next turn. Wide, flat handlebars provide outstanding leverage and centered foot peg placement puts the rider in an athletic position. The clipped, black cast-aluminum tail section shows off the 180 mm rear tire. White number plate side panels and flyscreen add a competition look, and are designed to be personalized and are easy to change. Fork slider protectors, handlebar deflectors, cosmetic frame protectors, a high front fender and headlight grille protect the Super TT from the abuse of the street. The 54-inch wheelbase gives the rider room to work, but retains that trademark Buell agility, while 6.25 inches of suspension travel keeps the Super TT well-planted on rough pavement.

Buell Lightning XB12Scg
CG stands for center of gravity, and the Lightning XB12Scg keeps it low with a reshaped seat and lowered front and rear suspension that reduces the seat height to 28.6 inches. It's all accomplished with no compromise to handling or performance.

Buell Lightning Long XB12Ss
A Lightning for the long haul, the XB12Ss rolls on a 54-inch wheelbase that provides a more relaxed riding position and more room for a passenger. The seat is taller and wider than that of the XB12S, and covers an expanded storage compartment. Larger frame side panels give the Lightning Long a fuel-in-frame capacity of 4.4 gallons and extended range. Responsive propulsion is provided by the Buell Thunderstorm 1203 V-Twin with Buell InterActive Exhaust. The handling remains quick and responsive.

Buell Lightning CityX XB9SX
This urban assault specialist was designed to excel in the metro-madness of crazy cabbies, knee-deep potholes and back-alley shortcuts. The middleweight Thunderstorm 984 V-Twin revs quicker and higher then the Thunderstorm 1203, but still delivers all the torque required to pull away from traffic. For 2008, the Thunderstorm 984 has the new eight-row oil cooler and all of the engine updates applied to the Thunderstorm 1203. Aggressive Pirelli Scorpion Sync tires offer good bite on all road surfaces, and a tall Skyline seat with a grippy cover enhances visibility and control. For added style and function, the CityX features wide, Supermoto-style handlebars with deflectors, dual headlight grilles, and frame pucks to fend off minor cosmetic damage.