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Buell 1125R Sports Motorbike Review

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MCN overall verdict rating is 3

The Buell 1125R is vastly improved in the six months since its launch in late 2007 but, make no mistake, it is not Japanese or Italian standard in any one area of the bike. The engine is a 131bhp Rotax V-twin that delivers solid punches. But vibration can be an issue, depending on what uprated ECU setting is installed – development is still ongoing. As a road bike it would be best to describe the 1125R as a powerful Honda VTR1000 Firestorm, circa 1997-2004.

 

Watch the track test of the significantly updated Buell 1125R

Watch the first ride of the Buell 1125R

 

Engine

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The Buell 1125R is a major move by Buell to step away from Harley-Davidson power in favour of a water-cooled Rotax-built lump. Gearbox and power delivery are peachy, but let down by Buell’s lack of experience in getting the injection electrics working spot on. But it is happening – constant development work has already seen a couple of ECU upgrades.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Buell 1125R’s Showa suspension specification has now been finalised and works fine, except Buell insists the suspension is set to determined settings according to rider weight. In most cases it’ll be too firm for customers. MCN’s UK road test found the bike still understeers and is too bloody hard over bumps. A sympathetic dealer will have the sense to set the bike up more in tune with the rider – weight, experience, riding style.

 

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

Buell’s famed belt drive is a plus point for being low maintenance. The single rim-mounted front disc is retained from previous models but now has a massive six-piston inverted caliper – it works, but if it’s supposed to save weight and reduce inertia why hasn’t the rest of the world cottoned on to this set up? The Buell 1125R’s top fairing does well at protecting the rider at all speeds, but the mirrors have more bounce issues than a drunk Zebedee! A plus point is the whopping 21.2lt fuel tank. Compare and buy parts for the Buell 1125R in the MCN Shop.

Buell 1125R (2007-current)

Detail Value
New price £8,495
Dealer used prices
£4,350 (2009) - £5,260 (2010)
Private used prices
£3,910 (2009) - £4,790 (2010)
  View full used price info
Engine size 1125 cc
Power 146 bhp
Top speed 170 mph
Insurance group 15 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 3 rating is 4
Engine rating is 3 rating is 4.5
Ride & Handling rating is 3 rating is 4
Equipment rating is 3 rating is 3.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 3 rating is 3
Value rating is 3 rating is 4

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3

Rotax engines have a decent reputation for reliability and there’s no reason to expect anything else on the Buell 1125R. Chassis-wise it looks to be OK but the detailing is suspect – the right side of the swingarm is open to boot heel scuffs, the pillion seat is held in place by a lump of steel plate that doubles up as a vegetable slicer, and the idiot warning lights are hard to see in bright sunshine.

Value

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

Priced at £8495 is a clever move because it drops the Buell 1125R bang underneath the Aprilia and Ducati competition. If you want a cheapish large capacity V-twin that can turn its wheels to do most things (road, track day, commute etc) the Buell 1125R will suffice but without any refinement of the competition. Find a Buell 1125R for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 15 of 17

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Model History

2007: Buell 1125R launched.
2008: Significantly updated version launched.

Other Versions

None.

Specifications

Top speed 170 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 10.45 secs
Max power 146 bhp
Max torque 82 ft-lb
Weight 170 kg
Seat height 775 mm
Fuel capacity 21.2 litres
Average fuel consumption 45 mpg
Tank range 190 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 15 of 17
Engine size 1125 cc
Engine specification Liquid-cooled 8v dohc four-stroke 72° V-twin. 6 gears. Fuel injected. Belt final drive
Frame Dual aluminium beam
Front suspension adjustment Pre-load, rebound and compression damping
Rear suspension adjustment Pre-load, rebound and compression damping
Front brakes 1 x 375mm inverted disc, 8-piston caliper
Rear brake 240mm disc, 2-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

See all Buell 1125R motorcycles for sale

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1125R

3500 miles

£3,795

Buell
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7702 miles

£4,499

Buell
1125R

1988 miles

£4,475

Buell
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£4,866

Buell
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miles

£3,999

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 3.5(5 reviews)

  • The last Buellegan... Or is it

    chrisk1972

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I've put 18,000 miles on one without commuting and it wont get sold until the engine goes bang. It stops, corners and below 140 it's quicker than all the latest 4s' though not a ducati. Ok, you do need to buy an ecu and a pipe, Buell never figured out how get the fueling smooth and past an emissions test. But with their factory race ecu, which comes pipe specific :)..... Ha ha you'll be listening to the music from East Troy and on my god is it loud, as I'll out gun you all over the passo. Come to think of it, do you even know where they made your Jap litre yogurt pot. But you're right it is wierd but then it's a Buell.

    16 March 2012

  • Buelliful

    sandmacker

    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    An enigma is the Buell . 1386mm wheel base (600 class), 111 nm torgue, 146 hp , 170kg , and that 21 degree rake . Nothing is like it . Some consider it a little weird , but get used to it and the Buell does deliver. Reliability issues have been the main concern with a stator and now the rear wheel bearing collapsing ( scary !). But in it's defence ,upon reading , the Aprilia RSV factory and the KTM RC8 seem to have similar niggles as the Buell . Stator , vibration , electrics, surging etc. To ride the beast though is in my opinion a real pleasure . It's nimble and sharp , allowing you to get the power on nice and early. Believe it or not , I am reluctant to part with it . There is nothing like it , and it does it well . From the sounds of it , if I get an Aprilia factory or a RC8 , I could well be going down a similar road .These bikes are not the reliable japanese bikes . But make no doubts about it , the bike is a great ride

    22 June 2011

  • Best V Twin on the Market

    Mr Intelligence

    Average rating rating is 5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Simply Superb!

    21 September 2009

  • Surprising and fun

    KimLondon

    UK

    Average rating rating is 3

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I spent an afternoon on a Buell fun day at Castle Combe - lovely bunch of people, thanks for that! I went out on the track on a 1125R and took it for a spin on the lovely country roads and I had a hoot. I've only ridden a VFR800 and a Thundercat in terms of sports bikes so all this is from the perspective of a novice. The controls are a bit clunky and it takes more getting used to than I had time to do, but the only real stand out problem was the disparity between the back and front brakes. Front was very sharp - great on the track, but a pain anywhere else. The rear brake did nothing meaning that slow speed stuff was a pain. However, it was great to ride. I loved the setup, it was comfortable and forgiving and gave me loads of confidence. The engine pulled like I was attached to a giant elastic band. I could happily spend more time getting used to that magic lump! It looked great and I found it comfortable and confidence inspiring, bearing in mind it was my first time on a big twin and first time on a track I was really impressed by how much fun I had and how impressed I was with the Buell. Try one if you get the chance.

    11 May 2009

  • What a motor

    fossil

    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Jeez, what a torquey motor this thing has, apparently a bespoke unit, very impressive. handling is a lot more predictable on the track than on the road, it seems to be heavy at speeds up to 60-70mph

    18 September 2008

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duc848

duc848says

doesnt cut it

having read the awesome power to weight ratio i almost bought one there and then BUT, having done the right thing and test rode on it just doesnt stack up - midrange power fantastic but there are too many buts after that, ie, but the controls...weird handling, weird weird...I ended up with an 848 and never regretted it for a minute. Good to see rotrax comin up - great motors - keep it up Buell!

26 August 2009 12:07

marty1035

User's Badge

marty1035says

PR Releases by Bush

Yet another sad Buell that pre-launch gets hyped to the max by the factory, only to be delayed because it's a wee bit of poo. Surely George Bush is writing their PR releases.

29 January 2008 03:02

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