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Buell Ulysses ....your thoughts ?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by martych, Oct 14, 2007.

  1. Saw one recently at the bike expo (and then at PS Melb). Like the look of the bike. I currently ride a 650 V-Strom (yes, I like different looking bikes).
    Was looking to upgrade to a 1000 V-Strom sometime early next year but then saw this.
    Not as expensive as I thought either , at $14500. ( the pukey orange colour is not the most attractive colour IMHO but i could live with it)
    Thing is tho' I don't know anything about the Ulysses and there's some really conflicting reviews out there.
    My needs: Commuting 40kms and the occasional weekend away. Any thoughts ?

  2. Not a bad choice

    I test rode one and the only negatives were the tallish gearing (that can't be easily changed) and a bit disappointed in the engine braking but I like belt drive and the Vtwin engine was very nice

    So for a smooth dirt roads tourer, I think it's better than a big Strom, and not that much dearer.

    Also check out the Multistrada and TDM? I used to have a Caponord that I really enjoyed, but too big for the trails I now end up on :p
  3. I had a test ride of one. Not long enough to really get to know it but anyway...
    You need to be tall (average height, reasonably long in the legs at least) . although the seat height is no more than many others in the category, it is nonetheless quite hard to paddle around. This despite having a fairly narrow front of the seat.
    On the subject of the seat, it's probably the best ever designed for a bike IMHO. Superbly comfortable yet supportive for hard riding. And you can ride it fairly hard. The forks dive - a lot - but once you get used to the style you can trust it in a corner. I reckon it's capable of track day work if you can trust yourself to be sensible.
    The huge torque of the HD motor makes it fun to exit corners, almost making up for the very limited rev range. You need to be changing gears quite a bit simply because you're always approaching redline. It would take a sportsbike rider a while to get used to pottering along at the stupidly low revs this bike will pull at (and they may never get to like it).
    The Ulysses would make a really excellent tourer, adapting to all kinds of roads surfaces. If you could trust it to get there and back. I still haven't made up my mind on that. Buell claim to be getting on top of reliability problems and their willingness to accept responsibility (so far) seems to have been good.
    Fuel consumption and servicing costs should be very good, as long as problems do not arise.
    As a commuter, it's certainly easy to ride. The clutch and gearbox are far better than earlier Buells, although the extremely loud and intrusive cooling fan might drive you crazy. Heat from the motor and exhaust could well be a problem on a hot day in traffic.
    Is $14.5K really the asking price now? They were $18-19K when I rode one.
  4. They did a test on the drive tv show and took this bike to broadford road race track then had some fun on the dirt. It looked amazing these guys riding it so fast on the dirt getting the back end out.

    Just wondering though what is it that you like about this bike that the 650 Vstrom can't do? Do you want more power? Are you going to be riding on gravel/dirt roads or mainly sealed roads?
  5. The ticket price is $16k but the one on the floor is $14.5. I thought it may be because of the crappy colour. (?)

    My V-Strom ticks all the boxes for what I need / want BUT I don't want to replace it with another bike exactly the same. I don't really need a 'bigger' bike re engine capacity, just something new that does what I'm used to either as good or better.
  6. I wouldn't like the idea of those big perimeter discs on dirt roads...
  7. I test rode one at a Harley/BMW rideday here,a few months back...
    I FKN LOVED IT! :twisted: WHAT A BLAST! :grin:
    I just loved that quirky 'old world' motor...
    But we're building a new house...so will have to wait a while... :(

    Btw,$14.5k you say...just wait untill Feb 2008 when the 1125 arrives...
    ...I reckon prices'll drop outa sight then...no?
  8. Underslung muffler would cop it big time if you did much offroad.
  9. Hmmm,Have you considered Aprilia Pegaso factory 650...
    ...or Kwaka Versys?
  10. i havent ridden one, but i have chased one through the twisties, and i can tell you these fly in the right hands. the owner of it said he took it down trails all the time (since he was more of dirt rider) and found it excellent. one thing he did comment on were the stock tyres, remarking that the off road ability was ok, and the loss of traction was alot more gradual, obviously not anywhere near as good on a set nobbies, but still found em adequate. i never gave one a second look till i saw it go, always thought buells to be purely road bikes, and a duals sports would be silly under the brand, boy was i proved wrong!
  11. That's what I thought but Buell state it's strong enough to be used as a lifting point for a jack. (Wouldn't be doing it on a bike I owned but would love to see Buell do it on theirs)

    Have to agree though about those massive discs copping a hammering on a dirt road.

    Not in the market right now so wil wait 6 months to see if there's a price drop or at least an '08 model to compare etc,.(even if it's just a change in colour)
  12. I love all the Buells, but I dunno how long the belt drive would last when exposed to stones either.....
  13. There was quite a serious long-distance dirt ride review in MT trader a few months back through the NT, and it performed quite well. I still think if you're after a chook chaser there are far better bikes out there.

    But they have something about them Suzuki will never be able to compete with, IMHO.
  14. If it goes as well as it looks go for it. It is a great looking bike... :cool:
  15. Depends what you want it for.

    Weekend rides on tar: OK
    Ride to work a couple of time a week: OK
    Any dirt riding: Nope
    Long distance touring: Nope
    Only form of transport: Nope
  16. Theres a guy on www.twincam.info that posted what he's done on his Buell Uly.

    Track days, road, dirt, the lot. He's posted a fair bit on what he has learned of the bikes capabilities. maybe have a search there for a real world review.

    Theres a few pics too.

    Mention of Parts availability in post #24.
  17. Out of interest, why not only form of transport?

    I work with a truckie who's had his Cyclone (one of the older, more unreliable buells) as his only transport for the past three months, and seems to be doing okay. Obviously not as good as a cheap chook chaser or a VTR.

    Long distance touring can easily be done. Christ, I've ridden my 500cc Cafe Racer down to Melbourne in a day - the Ulysses would be a dream compared to that. It's about the will, not the bike. http://www.pashnit.com/bikes/BuellUlysses.htm Also, check out advrider for some more touring that's been done on it.

    As for dirt, I did nae believe it till I read a review in a Aussie rag a few months back. I'm going to have to dig it up now...
  18. Mate of mine has a Buell as his "only" form of transport. The truth is he get public transport occasionally and uses the missus car a bit to, when it's being fixed. It's not just reliability, Frasers don't stock the parts, and bits have to be flown in, which takes time.

    As to long distance, it wasn't comfort I was thinking. It was more reliability and heat.

    Dirt, limiting factors include weight and heat, but mainly the belt drive.
  19. +1

    I've ridden a couple of Buells with these and love them but on the Ulysess my first thought wa front end lockup on dirt.

    As a freeway commuter I thought it would be pretty good, tallish in the seat if you're vertically challenged.

    I found the fan for the rear cylinder vented hot air right on my leg, really pissed me off on the hot day I rode it. On the highway no issue but around town when the fan kicked on yeeeow.