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MORE newbie questions: Buell Blast?

Discussion in 'Moto Club' started by Wicked96SS, Jun 9, 2006.

  1. Wicked96SS

    Wicked96SS Typical Gun Nut Millennium Member

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    I wanted to thank you guys first for learning as much as I have lurking here...

    I am new to motorcycles (well, haven't ridden in 15 years, and then only a couple of times on a borrowed bike) and have been researching a good starter bike. Becuase I eventually believe that I want to get a Harley or Cruiser of some sort, I have been looking at some Standards that are affordable that I can learn on and get used to riding an inexpensive bike before I drop major coin on a big cruiser.

    So, Is the Buell Blast a good bike for a starter bike? I am going to have to go sit on a couple this weekend and see if they are comfortable, or too small for me (I have a Harley body type, if you know what I mean), but was curious how reliable they are, if they are well built, solid, etc. etc. etc.

    I have also been looking into the SV650 as well as a starting platform.

    Anyhow, any information on the Buell Blast (or Buell's in general), OR any general comments would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Wicked96SS

    Wicked96SS Typical Gun Nut Millennium Member

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    I *think* I might have just found my answer...

    My Buell website

    These aren't the only negative reviews I have found about the Blast.

    Although, I would still like to hear any opinions or comments... I am learning a lot from you guys!

    What about Buells in General? Same thing? Heck, House drives one!! ;)
     

  3. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    I've known several people (two women and one man) who ride the Buell Blast. The women got them because they have very low seats and to be different than the typical Ninja 250 starter bike. It's a single so it vibrates a bit. It's very low frill. With a good aftermarket pipe, it does make some hellacious noises. There's really not much to tell about the Blast. Oh, and the guy has one to compliment his bigger Buells.

    It offers just a few more horsepowers than the Ninja 250 but a lot more torque. So, off the line would be easier but overall speed isn't going to be that much more than the Ninja 250, if any. I think that it would make a great starter bike if you don't buy it new. It is rather expensive for what you're getting if you buy it new.

    The big Buells in general are pretty decent. People complain that they aren't comparable in performance to a Japanese sport bike. While that is true, what's also true is that Erik Buell didn't design these bikes to be hard core racers (yes, yes, I know, they race'em too) and he admitted it. He wanted to make an American flavored sporty street bike. And the bike is plenty capable if the rider is capable.

    Quality is still hohum. General fit and finish aren't exactly what I would consider to be aesthetically pleasing. Reliability is OK. The aircooled V-twins are pretty reliable, but the Buells still tend to suffer from electronics issue and the fan to cool the rear cylinder seem to fail a lot. The biggest gripe from the Buell owners that I know is the lack of dealer support. There are plenty of HD dealerships around but not all of them are Buell dealers and the ones that are tend to treat these poor things as redheaded stepchildren.
     
  4. norton

    norton

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    Just my 2 cents, I have not ridden a Blast-
    For a starter bike, I would recommend a 3 or 4 year old Japanese bike. Get something with minimal plastic-like the Blast-so expensive bodywork will not be broken if you drop it.
    There are a number of bikes on the market that are fine performers- and you will not suffer the first year depreciation.
    If you then decide to get a Harley, you can probably sell your first bike for about what you paid for it.
    If you decide biking is not for you, it will be easy to sell.
    Buying a bike off season, especially a used bike can save you big time cash. If you can wait, the fall is a good time to buy a bike, when owners are trying to dump them so they won't have to make payments in the cold weather months.
    And by all means
    Be sure to take an MSF or similar riding course.
    Buy a quality helmet. Wear it at all times, even when just cruising down to the local stop and rob for beef jerky and a soda pop.
    Bikes are great.
    They are fun.
    They are dangerous.
    Never forget this, and you should have a long and happy riding experience.
     
  5. Rinspeed

    Rinspeed JAFO

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    Unless you think you will like vibration I would stay away from the Buell. I pulled up to a stop light not too long ago next to a Buell and it was vibrating so much you couldn't see what was in the mirrors.
     
  6. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    The Buells vibrate quite a bit at idle, but when you get moving it will smooth out. The vibration at idle is quite disconcerting at first, but once you understand that's how the bike is then it's not that big of a deal. It's a characteristic just like the Ducati's rattling dry clutch or the BMW's flat twin twisting to the right when on throttle.
     
  7. Wicked96SS

    Wicked96SS Typical Gun Nut Millennium Member

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    Thanks guys... I appreciate the suggestions and the help! I hope you all don't mind if I ask lots more newbie questions between now and fall!!!

    Thanks again!!
     
  8. Lowrider 49

    Lowrider 49

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    I'm not a big fan myself, but I bought an 01 for my sons to learn on and as it turned out, also my wife. >5K miles and I've changed oil and tires and done nothing else. It does vibrate a bit, but not too bad. I use it to run to the store some time and to get the mail but usually ride my Harleys or 1200 Bandit.

    It's not a bad bike but either is a 250 Rebel....either way you'll want to up grade pretty quick to something bigger.
     
  9. 4eyes

    4eyes Provocateur

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    Many pluses for the mentioned SV 650. It's an excellent all-round bike. Not many good things to say for the Blast. I'd rather have a scooter than a Blast.
     
  10. Jtemple

    Jtemple Geek

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    Here's my vote for the SV650. I have one, it's my first bike, and I couldn't be happier. Here it is:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Buelligan

    Buelligan

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    The SV will be a great motorcycle for you as you become more experienced, but if you are really a newb now, a used dual-sport might be a better first bike to re-learn on.
     
  12. Lowrider 49

    Lowrider 49

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    I found dual sport types are a little tall for most beginners. I tried to start my kids on a 150 Honda dirt bike and while they did OK...they were a lot more comfortable on the Blast. My KDX 200 is way too tall and too powerful for a beginner. I found low CG is pretty friendly to new riders...I think that is why Harley uses the Blast for their training classes....just a thought.
     
  13. Cryptoboy

    Cryptoboy Sr. Sr. Member!

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    I liked my Buell Blast so much I went out and bought a second one! :shocked:

    Ok, I saw an ad for Blast's for $4k or something (new), so wife and I went to the dealer to check it out (as we were both starting out). Ended up buying a used (1 year old) Blast for $2800 instead, with a whopping 46 miles on it (older guy bought it, passed away, son put it on consignment at the store). Too the MSF with my wife, and we started practicing on it, neighborhood, nearby parking lots, etc. We didn't like sharing, so found another used one 3 months later for $2500 (had about 2k miles on it though). We both rode for another year, and traded them in (at the same dealer) for a Lowrider. The other nice thing was we actually made money on the 2nd; the dealership gave us $3k for each bike.

    The only problems I had was related to the CA charcoal canister that was on the first one. Made the bike so lean it would die on the freeway at 75mph! I finally took it out and rerouted the hoses (I live in AZ, didn't need the CA canister!), and didn't have another problem with either bike after that.

    That's just my thoughts and experiences on them. I personally loved them, and were a great platform to start on, especially if you might be leaning towards a Harley eventually. The SV650 is also a killer bike to get, but you might pay more for insurance as well (bigger motor, and the ins. companies are wising up some to the power and such of the SV.) Just something to keep in mind. Like several others have said, definately get the first bike used, regardless of which one you get! No point in spending that much money on something that is probably not going to be in your stable for long (well the SV might, it's a great bike!), not to mention it will probably get dropped (not a skill thing, just a fact of life. Almost everybody drops em!)

    Keep in mind that MyBuell.com site has been around for about 4 years (saw it when I first bought mine), and doesn't look like it's changed too much. There is a Yahoo group for Buell Blasts that is good, and www.badweatherbikers.com is a site with a TON of information on most of the Buells.
     
  14. kAr

    kAr Netware Rocks!

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    I've put 12,000 miles on my '00 Blast that I bought used off E-Bay. Currently I have the front end torn apart for the 20,000 mile maintenance stuff. I have not had any mechanical or electrical failures of any kind that were not directly caused by me. (Other than the ignition module cover popping off somewhere and having to be replaced.) I have been using it as a daily commuter for the last couple of years, in temperatures from 30 deg F to 110 deg F. Compared to my '96 Dodge truck, it is more reliable and the parts are a whole lot cheaper. The dealers suck. You will want your own service manual at a minimum so you can help educate the guys at the parts counter. My next bike is going to be the Buell DS Ulysses, as soon as I can locate a three year old used one in a few years. I am 6' 1" and 185# so I am a little larger than what the bike is designed for, size and horsepower wise. I would change the seat to an aftermarket one if I were going to do any extensive riding over 30 minutes. I have ridden it for five to six hours only stopping for gas, but the hairy forth point of contact is pretty sore before the end of the day.
     
  15. Wicked96SS

    Wicked96SS Typical Gun Nut Millennium Member

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    Thanks one and all for the input and suggestions...

    I went to a Harley dealer as well as a "all in one" type motorcycle "mall" this weekend to kick some tires. I sat on a Buell Blast, and looked rediculous... It is too small of a bike for me, I am a large person with a definate "harley" build (6'0" tall, and wide...). I didn't care so much about that, but it just didn't feel comfortable on my behind.

    I also sat and manhandled the SV650... must be my build 'cuase it pinched my man goodies, and wasn't very comfortable. It was better than the Blast comfort wise, but I couldn't see myself doing any serious commuting on it (1+ hour drive). For short trips and having fun driving around the block, it would be GREAT!! But, I am looking to eventually do some commuting.

    I moved onto the cruisers almost reluctantly, as I kinda really wanted something lighter and more nimble for a first bike. The first cruiser they had me sit on was a GORGEOUS Honda Shadow 750 Aero, and as soon as I swung my leg over it I was won over. WOW was that comfortable for me. Nice wide seat for my big fat tucas... wasn't leaning on my wrists and hands, more of a natural sitting position for me, and the foot controls felt better. I didn't feel all hunched over, and my wedding tackle was very comfortable (hey, it does most of my thinking, might as well be pampered a bit!). The price tag was right as well for a first bike.

    I sat on several Harleys with the same feeling... very very comfortable to me. Price tags seem to be WAY too high for what you get... but, could just be I don't know what I am talking about ('cause I really don't).

    I still have not counted out the smaller standard or sports bikes, but my butt and junk both are pushing me toward a cruiser... so don't be suprised if another thread pops up asking about different starter cruisers!!!

    Oh, and the sales guy let me sit on a Hayabusa for grins and giggles (nice guy!! He knew I had no intentions of buying it)... My wife was confused why I was looking at it, and the salesman told her the "stats" on the bike, and my wife glared at me a moment and then asked the salesman "does it come with divorce papers?" [;)]
     
  16. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    There's no substitution for riding. Sitting on a bike gives you somewhat of a feel of how a bike fits you, but riding the bike will definitely tells the tales.

    If you're looking for a daily commuter, I really think that you need to take a standard out for a ride. Or a dual sport as well. You're plenty tall for a dual sport. The sit-up position, the handlebar placement (not too high, not too low) and the footpegs (right underneath you instead of forward or backward) all make for easy maneuvering at low speed crawls or high speed runs.

    Speaking of size & fitting, interestingly enough I ran into a fellow biker at a gas station this weekend. He's 6-ft, 240-lbs and he rides a Ninja 250. It does look small for him, but apparently it has enough oomph to get him to where he needs to go. He would prefer a bigger and faster bike but his wife also said something about "divorce papers". Wives suck!:soap:
     
  17. Three-Five-Seven

    Three-Five-Seven Señor Mombo Millennium Member

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    The only reason to get a Blast is economic. If you think you'll end up on a Harley, and a dealer will give you a money-back trade agreement on a Blast, then that's your ticket.

    However, the only fatalities in MSF training history occured on Blasts. The consensus of the training community is that the Buell is geared too high for learning low speed manevers. Additionally, it has a heavy clutch. These things are not condusive to learning to ride. And, once you master the machine, you'll be bored to death with it.

    The Suzi, OTOH, will keep you entertained for as long as you choose to ride it, has good first gear ratio and has excellent clutch. I would go with the v-strom 650 if your inseam is long enough. That bike will keep you happy for a long, long time. Also, you can learn the "whole sport" with a dual purpose bike like that one.

    Again, if H_D will give you your bucks back on trade, go with the blast. Otherwise, there are a bazillion better choices for learning to ride.
     
  18. Jtemple

    Jtemple Geek

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    Oh, good call on the VStrom for a taller guy. Those are cool bikes.

    As far as insurance is concerned, I have full coverage on my SV, for $273 a year.