Although no longer in production the Buell brand has long been associated with superior handling, outstanding real world on-road performance and cutting edge innovations such as fuel in the frame, oil in the swingarm and under chassis mufflers all aimed at mass centralization. Utilizing a 52” wheelbase the XB9 series of motorcycles had the handling potential of a 250cc Moto GP bike. All these attributes made the City Cross a great motorcycle for some focused customization. We typically start with helping the engine breathe better to increase throttle response, extend the powerband and allow the engine to achieve more of it’s power potential. The first modification was replacement of the stock airbox with a Full Air Supply Technology (F.A.S.T.) velocity stack with a high flow K&N airfilter. The F.A.S.T. system has been proven to provide up to a six horsepower increase over the stock airbox. That’s an amazing gain that everyone can feel! We coupled that with a Drummer SS muffler and the Buell factory race ECM. The end result was an engine that pulled from 1500 RPM all the way to redline in any gear as smooth as silk. Power delivery was amazing. We next turned our attention to the suspension system. Although the Buell was fitted with a very good Showa suspension as original equipment there are always compromises made at the factory for all kinds of reasons with cost usually being the biggest. The rear shock was replaced with a Penske Racing, fully adjustable, remote reservoir unit fitted with an Eibach spring. The internals in the USD front forks were completely replaced with Öhlins cartridges and low stiction seals. The tighter the turns the better this suspension performed. The last and most striking area of customization was cosmetic. The XB9SX came from the factory with translucent bodywork. It really looked great but the plastic was prone to hairline scratches and swirls over time. In some cases the plastic looked fogged over it was so scratched! Looking for something that was truly unique and robust we settled on Line-X truck bed liner with their satin UV protective coating. The great thing about Line-X is it dries instantly so we had our bodywork back the next day. Once assembled the bike really looked fantastic. The plastic was now extremely tough, virtually scratchproof and cleaned up beautifully with trim and tire protectant. All in all, our “Buell Dark” project turned out amazing. A light, great sounding, powerful bike that handles like its on rails and looks like the hooligan it is!
September 24, 2015