Buell XB12X Ulysses (2005 - 2008) review

Not a bad first-time effort for Buell, but lacks composure in the face of its peers

Ben Cope's picture
By Visordown on Sat, 1 Jan 2005 - 12:01

Details
Manufacturer:
Buell
Category:
Adventure
Price:
£ 8195
Overall
4
Need Insurance?
Individual character, tall seat height, good fun on the right roads.
The engine is lumpy at low speeds and clutch is heavy. Front forks are too soft for a traillie, lacks weather protection

Take the rough with the smooth on the adventure sport Ulysses. Not to be outdone by parent company Harley-Davidson, Buell also launched a few new models for 2006.

Top of the bill is the all-new Ulysses XB12X, set to go head-to-head with BMW’s R1200GS and take advantage of the boom in UK sales of adventure sports machinery. Using the Thunderstorm 1203cc V-twin motor, the Ulysses sports a new wave of features never before seen on a Buell.

Buell prides itself on the ‘Trilogy of Technology’ ethos instilled by head man Erik Buell, following the theories of mass centralisation, chassis rigidity and low unsprung weight, all applied rigorously to the new Ulysses. Light, six-spoke cast aluminium wheels wear new Dunlop D16 rubber designed for ‘aggressive road and off-road use’, while long travel Showa forks are fully adjustable and the rear monoshock has a remote reservoir with tool-free preload adjustment.

Until now Buells have had a reputation for being on the small side. Not any more. The lanky Ulysses has an over-generous seat height of 841mm, the same as the BMW GS, allied to wide bars, and flat, wide footpegs for a roomy, long distance-friendly riding position.

A clever trick, on a par with the fuel in the frame, is the innovative three-position Triple Tail system. Simply put, it means the tail piece can be used in three different ways: as a pillion back-rest, a rear luggage rack and pillion grab rails, or folded over to act as a luggage carrier when riding solo.

As if this wasn’t enough, Buell is aiming the Ulysses at the tourer market by adding generous underseat storage, plus two 12-volt power outlets – one on the dash and one under the seat (should you wish to make a cup of tea or watch TV). A full set of panniers and a GPS system will be made available on its launch, but don’t expect them to be cheap!

Take the rough with the smooth on the adventure sport Ulysses. Not to be outdone by parent company Harley-Davidson, Buell also launched a few new models for 2006.

Top of the bill is the all-new Ulysses XB12X, set to go head-to-head with BMW’s R1200GS and take advantage of the boom in UK sales of adventure sports machinery. Using the Thunderstorm 1203cc V-twin motor, the Ulysses sports a new wave of features never before seen on a Buell.

Buell prides itself on the ‘Trilogy of Technology’ ethos instilled by head man Erik Buell, following the theories of mass centralisation, chassis rigidity and low unsprung weight, all applied rigorously to the new Ulysses. Light, six-spoke cast aluminium wheels wear new Dunlop D16 rubber designed for ‘aggressive road and off-road use’, while long travel Showa forks are fully adjustable and the rear monoshock has a remote reservoir with tool-free preload adjustment.

Until now Buells have had a reputation for being on the small side. Not any more. The lanky Ulysses has an over-generous seat height of 841mm, the same as the BMW GS, allied to wide bars, and flat, wide footpegs for a roomy, long distance-friendly riding position.

A clever trick, on a par with the fuel in the frame, is the innovative three-position Triple Tail system. Simply put, it means the tail piece can be used in three different ways: as a pillion back-rest, a rear luggage rack and pillion grab rails, or folded over to act as a luggage carrier when riding solo.

As if this wasn’t enough, Buell is aiming the Ulysses at the tourer market by adding generous underseat storage, plus two 12-volt power outlets – one on the dash and one under the seat (should you wish to make a cup of tea or watch TV). A full set of panniers and a GPS system will be made available on its launch, but don’t expect them to be cheap!

Take the rough with the smooth on the adventure sport Ulysses. Not to be outdone by parent company Harley-Davidson, Buell also launched a few new models for 2006.

Top of the bill is the all-new Ulysses XB12X, set to go head-to-head with BMW’s R1200GS and take advantage of the boom in UK sales of adventure sports machinery. Using the Thunderstorm 1203cc V-twin motor, the Ulysses sports a new wave of features never before seen on a Buell.

Buell prides itself on the ‘Trilogy of Technology’ ethos instilled by head man Erik Buell, following the theories of mass centralisation, chassis rigidity and low unsprung weight, all applied rigorously to the new Ulysses. Light, six-spoke cast aluminium wheels wear new Dunlop D16 rubber designed for ‘aggressive road and off-road use’, while long travel Showa forks are fully adjustable and the rear monoshock has a remote reservoir with tool-free preload adjustment.

Until now Buells have had a reputation for being on the small side. Not any more. The lanky Ulysses has an over-generous seat height of 841mm, the same as the BMW GS, allied to wide bars, and flat, wide footpegs for a roomy, long distance-friendly riding position.

A clever trick, on a par with the fuel in the frame, is the innovative three-position Triple Tail system. Simply put, it means the tail piece can be used in three different ways: as a pillion back-rest, a rear luggage rack and pillion grab rails, or folded over to act as a luggage carrier when riding solo.

As if this wasn’t enough, Buell is aiming the Ulysses at the tourer market by adding generous underseat storage, plus two 12-volt power outlets – one on the dash and one under the seat (should you wish to make a cup of tea or watch TV). A full set of panniers and a GPS system will be made available on its launch, but don’t expect them to be cheap!

Length (mm) 2180
Tank (litres) 4
Dryweight (kg) 193
Seats 2
Seat Height (mm) 841
Suspension Front Inverted Showa forks
Suspension Rear Showa monoshock
Adjustability Front Adjustable compression damping, rebound and spring preload
Adjustability Rear Adjustable compression damping, rebound and spring preload
Wheels Front 17" six spoke cast
Wheels Rear 17" six spoke cast
Tyres Dunlop
Tyres Front 120/70 ZR17
Tyres Rear 180/55 ZR17
Brakes Front Single 375mm rim-mounted disc, six piston caliper
Brakes Rear Single 240mm disc, single piston caliper
Tank Capacity (litres) 16.7
Tank Capacity (miles) 130
Wheelbase (mm) 1370
Ground Clearance (mm) 171
Rake (degrees) 23.5
Trail (mm) 122
Chassis Aluminium with Uniplaner powertrain vibration isolation system
Length (mm) 2180
Tank (litres) 4
Dryweight (kg) 193
Seats 2
Seat Height (mm) 841
Suspension Front Inverted Showa forks
Suspension Rear Showa monoshock
Adjustability Front Adjustable compression damping, rebound and spring preload
Adjustability Rear Adjustable compression damping, rebound and spring preload
Wheels Front 17" six spoke cast
Wheels Rear 17" six spoke cast
Tyres Dunlop
Tyres Front 120/70 ZR17
Tyres Rear 180/55 ZR17
Brakes Front Single 375mm rim-mounted disc, six piston caliper
Brakes Rear Single 240mm disc, single piston caliper
Tank Capacity (litres) 16.7
Tank Capacity (miles) 130
Wheelbase (mm) 1370
Ground Clearance (mm) 171
Rake (degrees) 23.5
Trail (mm) 122
Chassis Aluminium with Uniplaner powertrain vibration isolation system
Cubic Capacity (cc) 1203
Max Power (bhp) 100
Max Power Peak (rpm) 6600
Torque (ft/lb) 81
Torque Peak (rpm) 6000
Bore (mm) 88.9
Stroke (mm) 96.82
Valve Gear OHV
Compression Ratio 10
Valves Per Cylinder 2
Exhaust Layout Free breathing 2 into 1 Buell Interactive exhaust system
Cooling Air cooled
Fuel Delivery 49mm downdraft DDFI fuel injection
Stroke Type Four Stroke
Drive Belt
Cubic Capacity (cc) 1203
Max Power (bhp) 100
Max Power Peak (rpm) 6600
Torque (ft/lb) 81
Torque Peak (rpm) 6000
Bore (mm) 88.9
Stroke (mm) 96.82
Valve Gear OHV
Compression Ratio 10
Valves Per Cylinder 2
Exhaust Layout Free breathing 2 into 1 Buell Interactive exhaust system
Cooling Air cooled
Fuel Delivery 49mm downdraft DDFI fuel injection
Stroke Type Four Stroke
Drive Belt
Max Power 84.8
Max Power Revs 6600
Max Torque 70.8
Max Torque Revs 5900
Standing Quarter Mile - Terminal Speed MPH 110.75
Standing Quarter Mile - Time 12.49
Test Fuel Consumption - Average 33
Test Fuel Consumption - Best 36
Test Fuel Consumption - Worst 31
Top Speed 127.9
Touring Fuel Consumption - Average 33
Touring Fuel Consumption - Best 36
Touring Fuel Consumption - Worst 31
Max Power 84.8
Max Power Revs 6600
Max Torque 70.8
Max Torque Revs 5900
Standing Quarter Mile - Terminal Speed MPH 110.75
Standing Quarter Mile - Time 12.49
Test Fuel Consumption - Average 33
Test Fuel Consumption - Best 36
Test Fuel Consumption - Worst 31
Top Speed 127.9
Touring Fuel Consumption - Average 33
Touring Fuel Consumption - Best 36
Touring Fuel Consumption - Worst 31
Score Breakdown
Overall
4
Crash Media Group
Visordown is part of the CMG Full Throttle Network© : welcoming over 3 million consumers each month