Tanshanomi's Snap Judgments

Buell XB12STT

Wed, March 3rd, 2010

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2007–08 Buell XB12STT Lightning Super TT
Who knew you could coax 84 ft. lbs and 103 HP out of what is basically a Sportster mill, and still have it docile, durable and emissions-friendly?
Racer precise, but less twitchy than other Buells that have steeper rake. Zero chassis flex and awesome brakes.
It is what it is. Buells are made to work right, and looks are secondary. They work so well I can excuse the visual weirdness. The rear numberplates and plain white plastic on the Super TT made this the best looking of the spar-frame XBs.
This is one solid motorcycle. From the engine internals to the small chassis bits, everything is quality made. A cooling fan (rare on air-cooled bikes) keeps engine temps in check.
This 400-pound bike all that most people will ever need; on the highway, in town, down twisty back roads. The only downsides are the wide, upright bars, which work in the city but are probably not the best for high speeds, and the seat is not tourer-plush.
It is totally unlike any other motorcycle, but that means that it probably is nothing like the one you've always dreamt of. The question is, can you revise your expectations so completely? A lot of people can't, as evidenced by Buell's demise. I'm still not sure I can.
'Let us leave pretty women to men of no imagination.' —Marcel Proust