Buell XB12X Ulysses (2005 - 2008) review

Not a bad first-time effort for Buell, but lacks composure in the face of its peers
Details
Manufacturer:
Buell
Category:
Adventure
Price:
£ 8195
Overall
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)
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
Seats2
Seat Height (mm)841
Suspension FrontInverted Showa forks
Suspension RearShowa monoshock
Adjustability FrontAdjustable compression damping, rebound and spring preload
Adjustability RearAdjustable compression damping, rebound and spring preload
Wheels Front17" six spoke cast
Wheels Rear17" six spoke cast
TyresDunlop
Tyres Front120/70 ZR17
Tyres Rear180/55 ZR17
Brakes FrontSingle 375mm rim-mounted disc, six piston caliper
Brakes RearSingle 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
ChassisAluminium with Uniplaner powertrain vibration isolation system
Length (mm)2180
Tank (litres)4
Dryweight (kg)193
Seats2
Seat Height (mm)841
Suspension FrontInverted Showa forks
Suspension RearShowa monoshock
Adjustability FrontAdjustable compression damping, rebound and spring preload
Adjustability RearAdjustable compression damping, rebound and spring preload
Wheels Front17" six spoke cast
Wheels Rear17" six spoke cast
TyresDunlop
Tyres Front120/70 ZR17
Tyres Rear180/55 ZR17
Brakes FrontSingle 375mm rim-mounted disc, six piston caliper
Brakes RearSingle 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
ChassisAluminium 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 GearOHV
Compression Ratio10
Valves Per Cylinder2
Exhaust LayoutFree breathing 2 into 1 Buell Interactive exhaust system
CoolingAir cooled
Fuel Delivery49mm downdraft DDFI fuel injection
Stroke TypeFour Stroke
DriveBelt
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 GearOHV
Compression Ratio10
Valves Per Cylinder2
Exhaust LayoutFree breathing 2 into 1 Buell Interactive exhaust system
CoolingAir cooled
Fuel Delivery49mm downdraft DDFI fuel injection
Stroke TypeFour Stroke
DriveBelt
Max Power84.8
Max Power Revs6600
Max Torque70.8
Max Torque Revs5900
Standing Quarter Mile - Terminal Speed MPH110.75
Standing Quarter Mile - Time12.49
Test Fuel Consumption - Average33
Test Fuel Consumption - Best36
Test Fuel Consumption - Worst31
Top Speed127.9
Touring Fuel Consumption - Average33
Touring Fuel Consumption - Best36
Touring Fuel Consumption - Worst31
Max Power84.8
Max Power Revs6600
Max Torque70.8
Max Torque Revs5900
Standing Quarter Mile - Terminal Speed MPH110.75
Standing Quarter Mile - Time12.49
Test Fuel Consumption - Average33
Test Fuel Consumption - Best36
Test Fuel Consumption - Worst31
Top Speed127.9
Touring Fuel Consumption - Average33
Touring Fuel Consumption - Best36
Touring Fuel Consumption - Worst31
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