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2008 Buell 1125R Revealed

Monday, July 9, 2007
The Buell 1125R represents an all-new platform from the Buell Motorcycle Company that is changed in almost every respect from previous Buell models  but stays true to Buell s design and engineering philosophies.
Utilizing the Buell Trilogy of Tech principles and computer-modeled aerodynamics, the 1125R is designed to deliver the precise handling that has defined Buell for 25 years with a new level of engine performance.
The 25th Anniversary of the Buell Motorcycle Company coincides with a new chapter in the history of America's largest manufacturer of sporting motorcycles: A liquid cooled 72-degree 1125cc motor powering its all new 2008 Buell 1125R.

At the heart of the 1125R is the Helicon V-Twin powerplant, claimed to produce 146 horsepower at the crank, developed in conjunction with BRP-Rotax specifically for Buell and the 1125R. Buell fans can rest assured that the bike is true to the Buell heritage of being rider friendly and decidedly different than the competition. The fuel-in-the-frame technology is retained, although capacity has been raised to 5.6 gallons. It's still-stubby 54.5-inch wheelbase is 2.5-inches longer than the current Firebolt design and should still be plenty agile. The next generation of the Zero Torsion Load single-disc front braking system, ZTL2, features an 8-piston caliper derived from the XBRR racing platform and should provide plenty of power to haul this beast down from speed.

After years of riding and enjoying Buell motorcycles, the primary complaint from this company and the majority of the motorcycle media was a decided lack of power compared to the competition. Buell appears to have addressed this issue and with the track introduction of this new bike just weeks away, the answer to some of the questions on the minds of consumers everywhere will soon be answered.

Will the bike be as powerful as Buell claims? Will it still have that razor-sharp handling of its predecessors? Will the chassis be stable enough to handle the additional speed facilitated by the new motor? How will this version perform on the race track? How will it stack up to the other V-Twin liter bikes? We should have answers to all of these except the last question by the end of August.
Quiet Zone cockpit aerodynamics were developed using computational fluid dynamics  CFD  models and experience gained in development of the Buell XBRR production racing motorcycle.
Quiet Zone cockpit aerodynamics were developed using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models and experience gained in development of the Buell XBRR production racing motorcycle. The shape of the fairing and windshield optimize air flow over and around the rider for reduced drag and enhanced rider comfort.

For now, images and video will have to keep our palette whet while we await the opportunity to actually ride them. The bike resembles the XBRR race machine sans body panels, albeit's equipped with road-ready amenities like a tidy new dash board, clean tail section and pillion accommodations, slick looking underslung exhaust, and integrated blinkers. They didn't forget the slipper-type clutch either.

"We designed the 1125R from the rider down," said Erik Buell, chairman and chief technical officer at Buell Motorcycle Company. "The 1125R takes Buell to a new level of performance, while continuing to embrace the fundamental Buell principals of motorcycle design and offering a great motorcycle riding experience."



From Buell:

The Helicon Engine

The Buell 1125R Helicon engine is a high-performance, 72-degree DOHC liquid-cooled V-Twin specified by Buell and designed in collaboration with BRP-Rotax, one of the premier recreational-engine manufacturers in the world. Buell provided a detailed specifications list to BRP-Rotax, outlining powertrain requirements to meet the performance goals of the Buell 1125R. Buell also directly contributed technology and engineering on a number of key areas, including the compensating front sprocket, transmission layout, the shift mechanism, engine cases, pistons, intake, exhaust, and new DDFI 3 EFI system. All major components of the Helicon engine are unique to Buell and developed specifically for the Buell 1125R, although a few components, such as the stator and various fasteners, are used in other BRP-Rotax products. The new Helicon engine will remain exclusive to Buell. The Helicon engine will be assembled by BRP-Rotax in Austria. The Buell 1125R motorcycle will be assembled by Buell in East Troy, Wisconsin. Its V-Twin design perpetuates the look, sound and character that have always help to define the Buell riding experience.

The engine is cradled in a new Buell Intuitive Response Chassis  IRC  with massive  rigid aluminum spars that double as the fuel reservoir.
The motor's 72-degree V-angle provides a steep 18-degree valve angle and straight path for the down-draft intake system. This layout is a very compact case and cylinder head design which allows the engine to be located far forward in the chassis, distributing 54 percent of the vehicle weight on the front tire.
Rather than design the Helicon engine to fit a specific displacement category or racing classification, Buell developed this powertrain to meet a customer experience specification, both in terms of its power output and its contribution to the overall performance of the Buell 1125R. The engine produces 146 crankshaft horsepower at 9800 rpm and 82 ft. lbs. of peak torque at 8000 rpm. Redline is 10500 rpm. Its generous 1125cc displacement allows the Helicon engine to make abundant peak power with a broad powerband and flat torque curve free of dips and weak spots. The Helicon engine is designed to make useable power across the entire RPM range that will enhance any riding experience.

Helicon engine features:
72-degree cylinder angle and a very compact case and cylinder head design allow the engine to be located far forward in the chassis, distributing 54 percent of the vehicle weight on the front tire.

The 72-degree V-angle provides a steep 18-degree valve angle and straight path for the down-draft intake system.

A cylinder angle of 72 degrees reduces shaking forces. The engine is also fitted with three balance shafts: two balancers for canceling primary rotating imbalance and a third balancer for canceling the rocking couple.

The displacement of 1125cc was chosen to create an optimal 103.0 mm bore x 67.5 mm stroke configuration - generous bore for more valve area and better breathing and short stroke for reduced friction, increased rpm range and instant throttle response.

The engine has a low-inertia flywheel for a quick-revving performance and smooth shifting. The engine is a stressed member of the frame and contributes to overall chassis rigidity. The swing arm pivot is located in the engine cases providing optimal pivot location and adding to overall chassis rigidity.

A Helmholtz chamber within the muffler further reduces noise output. Twin brushed stainless exhaust outlets produce less exhaust noise than a single side-mounted outlet.
The muffler is tuned to produce a linear horsepower and torque curve without the added cost, weight and complexity of an active exhaust system. A Helmholtz chamber within the muffler further reduces noise output. Twin brushed stainless exhaust outlets produce less exhaust noise than a single side-mounted outlet.
Dual overhead cams with self-adjusting chain drive on each cylinder to the intake cam and gear drive from the intake to the exhaust cam. This design requires less space over the cylinder head than a two-sprocket design, allows the engine to be located further forward, and reduces engine weight.

Valves are actuated with finger followers and adjusted with shims, a design derived from Formula 1 engine technology.

Finger follower valve actuation reduces friction, permits a quicker valve opening, and eliminates valve float. This design also allows a steep valve angle of 18 degrees and a downdraft fuel injection system. The design of the follower retention system makes shim replacement quick and easy, reducing maintenance costs. Valve covers are magnesium to reduce weight.

Primary balancing with three internal shafts reduces chassis weight by minimizing vibration isolation requirements.

Dry sump oiling reduces internal windage losses. An integrated oil reservoir is located in the lower left side of the crankcase casting to lower the center of gravity and help keep the engine compact. 

Buell DDFI3 EFI is a closed-loop system for precise mixture control, resulting in smoother throttle operation and better fuel economy. Dual downdraft 61 mm throttle bodies provide superior intake air flow. A new ECU controls the TPS, IAC, and monitors engine performance while continually adjusting to the environment.

Ram-air system pressurizes the air box for a gain in peak performance. The air intake is located between the front fork legs and below the fairing. Air flow to this area and the size and shape of the intake were optimized using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models. The 12-liter airbox is designed to accommodate a large air filter and to be easy to service.

The new 1125R sticks to the three tenants of the Buell Trilogy of Technology - chassis rigidity  low unsprung weight and mass centralization - to deliver race-inspired agility and handling.
The Buell 1125R represents an all-new platform from the Buell Motorcycle Company that is changed in almost every respect from previous Buell models, but stays true to Buell's design and engineering philosophies.
Twin side-mounted free flowing radiators are mounted longitudinally within aerodynamic cowlings. The position of the radiator system lowers the center of gravity and centralizes mass, and allows the cowlings to direct free-flowing air to each radiator. The cowlings have an internal vane (splitter) to split airflow efficiently and were designed with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models to optimize air flow at all speeds and to create a pressure differential around the radiator to pull air through the core. Hot air is also exhausted away from the rider for enhanced comfort.

The exhaust system features a large-volume muffler mounted below the engine to optimize cg location and mass centralization. The muffler is tuned to produce a linear horsepower and torque curve without the added cost, weight and complexity of an active exhaust system. A Helmholtz chamber within the muffler further reduces noise output. Twin brushed stainless exhaust outlets produce less exhaust noise than a single side-mounted outlet. 

Buell Highlights for 2008
25 Years of American Sport Motorcycles: To note the 25th anniversary of Erik Buell's founding of the Buell Motorcycle Company in 1983, all 2008 Buell models except the Blast will carry a commemorative badge featuring Erik's signature.

A new-generation Intuitive Response Chassis  IRC  is optimized for torsional stiffness. The engine is solid-mounted to the frame and acts as a structural member. The swingarm pivot point is located in the engine case structure  creating a more-rigid connection between the front and rear wheels.
Utilizing patented Buell Fuel in the Frame technology, the aluminum frame spars double as a 5.6-gallon fuel reservoir.
Introducing the Buell 1125R
An all-new model set to break the convention of the superbike category, the Buell 1125R is powered by the Buell 1125R Helicon engine, an 1125cc DOHC liquid-cooled V-Twin cradled in a Buell Intuitive Response Chassis. The Helicon was specified by Buell and designed in partnership with BRP-Rotax, one of the premier recreational engine manufacturers in the world. Utilizing the Buell Trilogy of Tech principles and computer-modeled aerodynamics, the 1125R is designed to deliver the precise handling that has defined Buell for 25 years with a new level of engine performance. Buell developed this powertrain to meet a customer experience specification. It delivers the power of a superbike with the abundant torque characteristics of a V-Twin for outstanding overall performance and tractability. The Buell 1125R is expected to arrive in Buell dealerships in late 2007.

Helicon engine
The Buell 1125R Helicon engine is a new 1125cc DOHC V-Twin, the first liquid-cooled engine to power a street-legal Buell motorcycle. This compact, 72-degree engine is the result of a collaboration between Buell and BRP-Rotax, a leader in the development and manufacture of advanced engines for recreational products. The Helicon engine was designed to Buell specifications and is exclusive to Buell. It will be manufactured in Austria by BRP-Rotax. The most-powerful street-legal engine ever offered by Buell, the Helicon engine is rated at 146 crankshaft horsepower, and is designed to deliver optimized usable power, with a broad powerband across its 10500 rpm range. Its V-Twin design retains the styling and character that has always defined the Buell riding experience.

The engine is cradled in a new Buell Intuitive Response Chassis (IRC) with massive, rigid aluminum spars that double as the fuel reservoir. The new 1125R sticks to the three tenants of the Buell Trilogy of Technology - chassis rigidity, low unsprung weight and mass centralization - to deliver race-inspired agility and handling. The all-new front fairing and radiator cowling was developed using the latest computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models to provide superior aerodynamics, rider comfort, and efficient air flow to longitudinal radiators and a ram-air intake system.
The shape of the fairing and windshield optimize air flow over and around the rider for reduced drag and enhanced rider comfort.
The shape of the fairing and windshield optimize air flow over and around the rider for reduced drag and enhanced rider comfort.

The front wheel is supported by a 47mm inverted fork. A new Buell ZTL2 front brake features an eight-piston caliper based on the brake developed for the Buell XBRR racing motorcycle. A smooth-shifting six-speed transmission is mated to a new HVA (Hydraulic Vacuum Assist) Slipper Action clutch that uses engine vacuum to boost clutch-lever action and to provide a "slipper" effect when the engine is down-shifted at speed. A new underslung muffler has dual brushed stainless steel outlets.

The Buell 1125R offers an athletic riding position. Quiet Zone aerodynamics are achieved by managing air flow around the rider for enhanced performance and comfort. The toe levers on both the brake and shift foot controls are adjustable to match rider foot size. The instrument cluster features a large analog tachometer and a digital speedometer, plus an Onboard Diagnostic Information System (O.D.I.S.) screen and other interactive features. The fairing shape is inspired by the Buell XBRR and features six-bulb headlamps. LED turn signals are integrated into the mirror housings.

The Buell 1125R is available with Midnight Black bodywork, Diamond Blue wheels, Diamond Blue frame and swingarm, and Fusion Bronze engine trim.

Thunderstorm V-Twin Updates
Buell advances the performance of its air/oil/fan-cooled Thunderstorm V-Twin engine series with a larger crank pin, an improved oiling system, and a new electronic timing system and ECM that controls an all new DDFI 3 fuel injection system. Combined, these changes improve drivability and performance, and reduce service maintenance costs. The Thunderstorm V-Twin engine powers all models in the Buell XB platform.
The Buell 1125R is available with Midnight Black bodywork  Diamond Blue wheels  Diamond Blue frame and swingarm  and Fusion Bronze engine trim.
The Buell 1125R is available with Midnight Black bodywork, Diamond Blue wheels, Diamond Blue frame and swingarm, and Fusion Bronze engine trim.

New Front End on XB12X Ulysses
The XB12X Ulysses adventure sportbike has new off-set 47 mm inverted front forks and robust off-set triple clamps that reduce fork flex under hard braking. Steering sweep is increased from 54 to 74 degrees for improved low-speed off-road maneuverability, and the Ulysses now comes with standard heated hand grips.

The Buell 1125R represents an all-new platform from the Buell Motorcycle Company that is changed in almost every respect from previous Buell models, but stays true to Buell's design and engineering philosophies. Although some of these ideas go against the conventional wisdom of the category, their steadfast application results in a motorcycle that delivers outstanding power, handling, comfort and convenience; a motorcycle that will deliver an exceptional rider experience. The Buell 1125R joins the XB and Blast as a third and distinct Buell motorcycle platform. The Buell 1125R is expected to arrive in Buell dealerships in late 2007. 

Trilogy of Technology: The Gospel According to Erik
The three legs of the Trilogy of Technology underpin every aspect of design at Buell Motorcycle Company: Mass Centralization, Low Unsprung Weight and Chassis Rigidity. The goal is always to create a motorcycle that handles intuitively, and that predictably and accurately responds to input so that the bike behaves as an extension of the rider. Here are some examples of the Trilogy of Tech as applied to the new Buell 1125R: Mass Centralization and achieving the optimal center of gravity makes quick direction changes seem effortless.

The Buell 1125R offers an athletic riding position. Quiet Zone aerodynamics are achieved by managing air flow around the rider for enhanced performance and comfort.
The Buell 1125R offers an athletic riding position. Quiet Zone aerodynamics are achieved by managing air flow around the rider for enhanced performance and comfort.
Compact 72-degree DOHC V-Twin engine places more engine mass along the centerline of the motorcycle, and allows the engine to be located further forward in the frame.

Massive aluminum frame spars double as a 5.6-gallon fuel reservoir, to carry fuel lower on the chassis.

Radiators are mounted longitudinally between the front wheel and the frame. This radiator location also allows the engine to be positioned further forward in the frame.

The muffler is located below the engine, rather than high and behind the rider. Chassis Rigidity allows the motorcycle to hold a precise line when it is subjected to side-loads in corners.

A new-generation Intuitive Response Chassis (IRC) is optimized for torsional stiffness. The engine is solid-mounted to the frame and acts as a structural member. The swingarm pivot point is located in the engine case structure, creating a more-rigid connection between the front and rear wheels. First OEM spec 47 mm inverted front forks with reduced friction seals are secured in rigid triple clamps.

Low Unsprung Weight enhances traction, maneuverability and stability.

New Buell ZTL2 front brake system, utilizing a single disc and new cast caliper assembly with four pads, is approximately six pounds lighter than twin disc brakes.

The New Buell ZTL2 front brake transmits forces from the rotor directly to the rim, so torsional load acting on the rest of the wheel is virtually eliminated. This permits the use of a very lightweight front wheel hub and spoke configuration that reduces steering inertia. The rear brake caliper is mounted directly to the swing arm eliminating the typical brake carrier and an additional 1.5 pounds of unsprung weight.

New Buell ZTL2  Zero Torsional Load  front brake utilizes an eight-piston caliper based on a design developed for the Buell XBRR production racing motorcycle.
New Buell ZTL2 (Zero Torsional Load) front brake utilizes an eight-piston caliper based on a design developed for the Buell XBRR production racing motorcycle.
A reinforced Goodyear Hibrex final drive belt with Flexten Plus technology weighs just 1.06 pounds, compared to drive chains that weigh four to five pounds.

Chassis and Suspension Features
An all-new Buell IRC (Intuitive Response Chassis) is made in the USA and is the stiffest chassis ever offered by Buell. Its rigidity is aided by the engine, which is a rigid stressed member of the chassis. The inner frame incorporates air-flow channels that create a low-pressure area behind the engine to draw hot air out the rear of the motorcycle. Utilizing patented Buell Fuel in the Frame technology, the aluminum frame spars double as a 5.6-gallon fuel reservoir.

The stiffness of a new cast-aluminum swing arm has been tuned for the 1125R. The pivot point of the cast-aluminum swing arm is located in the engine cases to create a more rigid connection between the rear wheel, the frame, and the front wheel. By placing the swing arm pivot point forward in the engine cases, the anti-squat properties and suspension control of the 1125R were optimized. The rigid connection to the engine was used to optimize the stiffness of the swing arm in relation to the overall chassis.

A fully-adjustable Showa rear shock/spring unit features an external piggyback reservoir for good heat dissipation. To reduce weight, the shock is mounted directly between the frame and the swingarm without linkage, and its off-center placement optimizes airflow through the motorcycle. Fully-adjustable Showa 47mm inverted front forks and new triple clamps stiffen the torsional response of the front end and improve steering response. A new fixed bushing slides against the hard-chrome surface of the fork tube, reducing friction. Compression adjustment can be made with a simple hex-key tool.

Wheelbase is 54.5 inches, rake is 21 degrees and trail is 3.3 inches.

Brake System Features
New Buell ZTL2 (Zero Torsional Load) front brake utilizes an eight-piston caliper based on a design developed for the Buell XBRR production racing motorcycle. The eight-piston design offers a larger pad surface, optimizes heat-dissipation capability and allows even pressure distribution over each of the four pads in the caliper.

The caliper casting was optimized for clamping stiffness, yielding a more progressive and connected braking feel to the rider. A single 375 mm stainless steel rotor is mounted directly to the wheel rim. This design produces outstanding stopping power and weighs less than a dual-disc system. And because braking forces are transmitted directly from the rotor to the rim, torsional load acting on the rest of the wheel is virtually eliminated. This permits the use of a very lightweight front wheel that also helps reduce steering inertia.
Utilizing patented Buell Fuel in the Frame technology  the aluminum frame spars double as a 5.6-gallon fuel reservoir.
A new-generation Intuitive Response Chassis (IRC) is optimized for torsional stiffness. The engine is solid-mounted to the frame and acts as a structural member. The swingarm pivot point is located in the engine case structure, creating a more-rigid connection between the front and rear wheels.

The rear brake utilizes a 240 mm stainless steel rotor gripped by a two-piston caliper. The caliper is mounted directly to the inner surface of the swing arm, so it is hidden from view and also weighs 1.5 pound less than a typical rear-brake design.

Front and rear brakes are fitted with braided steel brake lines for optimal feel and braking performance.

The front brake hand control is adjustable for reach. The rear brake foot control is adjustable for reach, and the toe piece is adjustable to match rider foot size.

Clutch and Transmission Features
HVA (Hydraulic Vacuum Assist) Slipper Action clutch features hydraulic actuation from the hand control with assistance from engine vacuum for lighter clutch effort. The vacuum assist also produces the same effect as a "slipper" clutch for more controlled engine braking during high-speed downshifts.

A six-speed, close-ratio transmission is an oblique stacked configuration that is tilted to minimize overall powertrain length and allows the engine to be optimally placed within the chassis. Gear ratios were selected to allow the engine to remain within its optimal power band at typical operating speeds.

A Goodyear Hibrex final drive belt with Flexten Plus technology weighs just 1.06 pounds, compared to drive chains that weigh four to five pounds. The belt system is clean, quiet and extremely strong.

Aerodynamics
Quiet Zone cockpit aerodynamics were developed using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models and experience gained in development of the Buell XBRR production racing motorcycle. The shape of the fairing and windshield optimize air flow over and around the rider for reduced drag and enhanced rider comfort.

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models were also used to design the efficient, aerodynamic shapes of the radiator cowlings, which direct radiator heat away from the rider.

The fairing incorporates a six-bulb headlight system for brilliant road illumination at night. Two bulbs are illuminated in daylight running mode for enhanced visibility in traffic.

LED turn signals are incorporated in the aerodynamic mirror housings where their placement and brilliance are more visible to other drivers.
The dash is very informative with new technological goodies including an Onboard Diagnostic Information System  Ambient air temperature  average miles per gallon and instant gas mileage among the regular tach  speedo and trip-meters.
The dash is very informative with new technological goodies including an Onboard Diagnostic Information System, Ambient air temperature, average miles per gallon and instant gas mileage among the regular tach, speedo and trip-meters.

Rider Interface
The Buell 1125R offers an athletic rider position with a foot peg location that provides 50-degree lean clearance in cornering situations.

Quiet Zone cockpit aerodynamics optimizes air flow around the rider.

Brake and clutch hand controls are adjustable for reach.

Foot controls (brake and shifter) feature toe pegs that adjust to rider foot size. Wiring harness is pre-wired for accessory heated hand grips.

Instrument cluster features:
Large analog tachometer
Digital speedometer on an LED screen visible within a 50-degree angle of view
ODIS (Onboard Diagnostic Information System) displays service codes
Four-digit security code system immobilizes the ignition
Lap timer and splits
Ambient air temperature
Coolant temperature
Two trip odometers
Instantaneous miles per gallon
Average miles per gallon
Low fuel indication with trip count

Buell 1125R Colors
Bodywork: Midnight Black
Wheels: Diamond Blue
Frame and Swingarm: Diamond Blue
Engine Trim: Fusion Bronze 

Buell Motorcycle Company, a subsidiary of Harley-Davidson, Inc., produces premium sport performance motorcycles, motorcycle parts, accessories and apparel. To learn more about Buell motorcycles, visit your local Buell dealer and experience the aggressive attitude, style and performance only found on board a Buell. For the Buell dealer nearest you, pull into Buell.com.


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The Buell 1125R is expected to arrive in Buell dealerships in late 2007.

Check out a look back at the 25-year history of Buell Motorcycle Company with man behind it all, Erik Buell.
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Comments
J Powell -buell 1125r  August 20, 2009 04:15 PM
Steve, the bike you bought and the 1125r are two completely different machines. This bike was made for the circuit, it has been winning ama events now for quite awhile since it was released. Look up Shawn Higbee on youtube, he takes one from the showroom and finishes 5th with it.
steve wyatt -buell 1125R  April 8, 2009 08:47 AM
Sorry, I was fooled into buying an XB in 2003 when they claimed 92 HP or something, and mine dyno'd at 72hp. I would suspect that if they claim 147, it is probably around 100hp in reality, so they are keeping up with a 2002 Honda 600. This company is a joke, and I was a kool-aid drinker early on