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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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Old 8 Jan 2007
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Attempted RTW on Buell Ulysses?

Is anyone aware of any attempted RTW journeys on a Buell Ulysses?

RTW from Calgary to Calgary in 2008 www.heretohere.com
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Old 5 Feb 2007
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I haven't heard of any. People do it on a harley, so read those stories regarding belt drive issues etc.
I think the biggest thing with the Beull is teh oil in swingarm and fuel in frame. Have a good stack, ding that and you're bugggered.

Some insurance companies wont insure Buells without frame guards no in Aust as a fall in the drive way can potentially write them.

Motorcycle Trader magazine in Aust took them on a massive outback trip and largely disliked teh agressive riding position - a little bit gorilla they said - bum up, arms down. But they loved the power

I love them as an Angry street bike though......maybe not my choice for remote areas though.
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Old 14 Feb 2007
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Yes, there are a few. Go to

Enlazando America - Una aventura en moto


The Bad Weather Bikers' Buell Motorcycle Enthusiasts' Discussion Forum: Around the world on a uly?
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Old 24 May 2009
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probably wont matter

but there is a guy doing it on a yamaha r1 even went through kongo and stuff like that so you be ok
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Old 19 Jul 2009
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I think the Buell Ulysses XB12X would be perfect motor
cycle to go around the world on. Fuel size on the in frame fuel tank I think would be biggest problem so you would have to carry fuel in fuel cans off the panniers at some points. I use to think BMW GS Adventures were the only way to go until I rode a Uly. Comfortable very light feeling great handling great brakes solid torque motor simple maintance make it a perfect bike more than equal with a BMW. I am looking to buy a big adventure motorcycle to camping out with as I ride along traveling down all kinds of road. The Buell is at the top of my list.
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Old 15 Sep 2009
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i met a guy in Colombia on a Uly. is now in Bolivia or Chili, drove down from NY. he's traveling with a friend on a GS1200.

will try to ask him to comment on this thread.

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Old 16 Sep 2009
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Exclamation Buell not the best choice

Hi, thanks for bringing me into the HUBB and the discussion, Sanderd! I am riding my 2006 XB12X Ulysses from NYC to (so far) Lima, Peru and intending to go to Buenos Aires and back up to Ecuador. I bought the bike used with 3,900 miles on it in November 2008 and started my trip in December 08. You are catching me at a good time for honest comments on this post - I have been stuck for 2 weeks here in Lima Peru, waiting to get a new cooling fan and new rear wheel bearings, - a week stuck in customs which is apparently completely normal here. There are not many Buell dealers in Latin America, none in Peru (no BMW dealer either to be fair) and when I do find them they have no parts in stock, not even oil filters, so you have to bring everything. Last month, I was stuck in the middle of Ecuador for 2 weeks waiting for a rear drive belt, mine snapped after only 15,000 miles even though Buell will tell you it lasts 30K miles minimum. Early on in the trip, all of the bolts holding the exhaust system loosened up and I had to spend a week in San Antonio waiting for parts. Buell has been very unhelpful - they do not respond to email when asking technical questions or even to help find local dealers. I have been through a lot with the bike - I can tell you that the concerns about the gas and oil tank are not valid - I dropped the bike going about 60 mph after being pushed into the mud by a corriente bus in Colombia, broke my leg but did very little damage to the bike - less than $200, but 12 million pesos to repair the leg! No explosions, no leaks! The bike, when it runs, is great though. If you like the bike and want to ride it - make sure you bring a few extra parts with you. Im riding with my partner on a BMW R1200GS, and the score for breakdowns so far is: Buell: 5 BMW: 0. Total time lost because of Buell breakdowns: 6 weeks and counting...
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Old 17 Sep 2009
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hi Court,

i was a bit optimistic about the progress you guys would've made. thanks for sharing your experience.

.. i sort of hoped the breakdown score would be more equal. hope your buddy doesn't rub it in too much :-)

by the way, AFAIK wheel bearings, seals and such are usually common sizes, so not vehicle/brand/type specific. With a bit of luck you can get them at the ferreteria around the corner. Not that it helps in your case, you're waiting for a belt anyway.

(emailing this from a paris style café in cochabamba, Bol. : brillliant!!)
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Old 6 Jan 2011
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Exclamation My experience on a XB12X

I purchased mine to use as a daily commute bike - 7 miles of dirt, 20 miles of tarmac each way. It was a brand new 2009 model. At 1200 miles, the drive belt snapped. At 5200 miles, the engine control computer fried itself. At 8000 miles the belt snapped again.

Heres the deal - taking any belt drive motorcycle offroad is a big risk for
a rock getting into the teeth and holing the belt. Also, the tire size is non-standard, finding suitable tires for a Uly in say Pakistan might be problematic.

They have plenty of power and the suspension is quite effective in damping potholes, but finding proper offroad tires is a problem. That, plus the belt
and vulnerability of the ECC make this an unsuitable ride for RTW in my opinion.
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Old 7 Jan 2011
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Originally Posted by Transmaniacon MC View Post
I use to think BMW GS Adventures were the only way to go until I rode a Uly.....The Buell is at the top of my list.
WOW, I thought I was misguided with my Cagiva affliction but you have it bad, from a GSA to Buell.... In about 50 bikes you might have decided upon a sensible Jap single as 'the only way to go'!

The top requirements for atravel bike IMO have got to be reliability, spares availability and 'bodgability' (if you can't get the spares can you fix it with some glue, a bit of wire and a hammer?)

The belt drive would be enough to put me off on it's own, before you even get to the ropey electrics, 'unusual' fuel and oil storage and spares availability that is poor in the UK, let alone the third world
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Old 9 Jan 2011
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Yeah but it's pretty.
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Old 18 Jan 2011
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Hi All,
Not a great first post here, but I've been lurking for a few years...

Funny that with my Uly I owned for 18 months had almost all the same troubles as Emancipatedbehindbars. Especially the wheel bearings and the belt breaking - which happened several times in the 18,000 miles of use I got out of that bike. Nothing off road either.

I did like the bike - lots of fun to ride when it goes, but the wear and tear was horrific, and the amount of stuff breaking was just unbelievable.

- frequent fouled plugs (especially on poor fuel) - expensive power commander to try to fix it
- 3 x various broken exhaust mounts
- 2 x rear wheel bearings (no off road at all)
- 3 x belts at approx 5k, 14k, and 17k
- stalling issues and TPS reset issues
- computer fried
- 2 x headlight bulbs - all those vibrations
- fried air fan

I'm sure hundreds of Uly's could make it around the world with no problem, but I would not wish it on my worst enemy. Great bikes, but IMHO one of the poorest choices possible for RTW.

And they are no real relation to Harley's in terms of reliability. I think the same stock Harley engine was about 55 bhp, where the Buell tuned engine is something like 105 bhp - that high state of tune is not great for reliability.

But good luck - whatever floats your boat is the best choice, and the rest is just an adventure!
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Old 30 Jan 2011
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The XB12X is a great bike, the grin factor is great. I have almost 50k miles on mine, 23,000 south of the border to TDF and 8,000 in Australia. Things to worry about if you want to make a run around the world: Wheel bearings, carry a spare set, change every other tire and don't drive water into them with a pressure washer. Carry a spare belt: the new ones are better but I have still broke two (17k & 46K), only takes an hour to change but be careful of how you store it, no back bends. Kick stand: upgrade to three bolt mount, biggest problem I had in South America, broke twice. You can also always find a Harley dealer and even if the did not handle the Buell they can order parts (take parts book), everyone I stopped at was very helpful.

Would I do it again on a Buell? no. It did everything I thought I wanted to do but when I got down there I found there were some really neat places up gravel/dirt roads and you can not get a knobby on the Buell. Now planning on a trip to Africa and will most likely switch to a GS as time away is my limiting factor so it is time to get something more dependable (new) that will be better on poor roads.

If anyone decides to make a RTW on a Buell send me an email and I will provide more on spare parts ect. If you have lots of time you can travel on anything and make it work.

Road Hog
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