BUELL 1125CR (2008-on) Review

Published: 12 December 2008

"Essentially a naked version of the 1125R but despite its unusual looks, the whole shebang works"

Buell 1125CR - rapid steering

"Essentially a naked version of the 1125R but despite its unusual looks, the whole shebang works"

  • At a glance
  • 1125cc  -  146 bhp
  • 36 mpg  -  160 miles range
  • Medium seat height (775mm)
  • £7,830

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

Based on the sports Buell 1125R, the 1125CR is essentially a naked version of the same bike. As it comes it has one-piece handlebars to mimic clip-ons, but the pay-extra upright bars make more sense to ride with – far more comfortable, fits  the naked bill. It has the Buell 1125R’s full-fat 146bhp engine and, despite its unusual looks, the whole shebang works.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

The suspension set-up is still a thorny issue: as standard the bike is dealer set according to rider weight, not style or road conditions. Careful use of tools will deliver a half decent set up. Once done the Buell 1125CR handles like the sports bike it’s based on – rapid steering, tracks true and is fun.

Engine 4 out of 5

Rotax built to Buell’s spec, there’s no denying the engine packs some muscle that likes to be used. Despite three balancer mechanisms inside its engine cases, the Buell 1125CR does vibrate in the upper rev stratosphere. Overheating and poor fuel economy of the original Buell 1125R are claimed to be sorted on the 1125CR with a completely revised electronics package.

Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5

Issues with electronics, engine heat removal and other niggles have been resolved on the sports 1125R and Buell claims the 1125CR is now the finished item it wanted in the first place. The initial launch test showed no problems as such, although hard boot heels can scuff the swingarm if ridden with balls of feet on the pegs.

Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5

Bear in mind the Buell 1125CR has a modern and very competent V-twin engine, the £7830 asking price is quite competitive when compared to KTM’s 990 Super Duke. The golden rule is if the bike appeals to you then it is good value. But there are other bikes in this sector: Kawasaki Z1000, KTM Super Duke, Triumph Speed triple etc. Find a Buell 1125CR for sale.

Insurance group: 16 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 2 out of 5

Nothing much to write about here. No big name equipment involved but the bike retains Buell’s single-sided rim-mounted front disc with an 8-piston, inverted front caliper and it has belt final drive. Compare and buy products for the Buell 1125CR in the MCN Shop.

Owners' Reviews

5 owners have reviewed their BUELL 1125CR (2008-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.2 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.2 out of 5
Engine 4.2 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3.4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3.2 out of 5
Equipment 3.6 out of 5
5 out of 5

Crazy Pony

24 May 2014 by bulgi

This Crazy Pony!!!! It become better with time :-) Got 12000km on my now and it runns strng Read more

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Did they even ride this bike?

19 December 2012 by Anonymous

How did they get 11.28 quarter mile? This bike will easily do in the 10's stock. This is a really fun bike. The motor is great. Winds up fast and has good power and torque everywhere. The transmission is liquid smooth. It doesn't have the top end... Read more of a Ducati or I4, but it has plenty of power. The engine response is very linear. Handling is razor edged. There's a good amount of motor feedback, but it's not enough to be offensive. This bike has way more character than your run of the mill sport bike. The finish of the bike is top shelf. The prices, especially used, are bargain basement compared to other v-twin sport bikes. Mine has been rock solid dependable so far. The biggest drawback is parts availability. I had very high expectations purchasing this bike and it has exceeded all of them.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A bike for real riders

27 November 2012 by fmaxwell

People like "treetrunk," who have an axe to grind and probably very little actual motorcycle experience or riding skill love to bad-mouth the Buell 1125CR. But experienced, skilled motorcycle journalists have raved about it with quotes... Read more like: "...the 1125CR is a complete package whose faults are few and far between. The 1125CR is finally an example of a well-made American motorcycle that can finally compete with the best coming out of England, Italy, or even Japan." "...I was amazed at how well the 1125CR performed. Solid power starts just off idle and continues all the way to the 10,500rpm redline. The fuel injection is very well sorted. The brakes are outstanding. The suspension settings worked well for me in all conditions, and with the optional handlebars the 1125CR is one of the top do-it-all bikes available right now. When asked by a friend about any negative comments, I thought for a few moments and came up empty handed. This bike is that good." Of course, treetrunk probably "reviewed" it without ever actually riding it.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
2 out of 5

what a pile of crap

18 February 2010 by treetrunk

Don't be fooled by the low prices, or the haven't got a clue about sportsbike fatties on UKBEG, this is a seriously underpowered and extremely ugly bike, that has the durability of a prawn sandwich. Will be worth nothing in 2 weeks. Read more

Overall Rating 2 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 2 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 1 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 1 out of 5
Equipment 2 out of 5
4 out of 5

Bonkers machine - what a hoot!

11 May 2009 by KimLondon

I spent an afternoon on a Buell fun day at Castle Combe and tried this back-to-back with the 1125R. I went out on the track on a 1125CR after the 1125R and found it actually more of a hooligan bike than anything I've ever ridden in my LIFE! This... Read more thing is crazy fun. As with the R 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. Despite it's being eminently chuckable I would not feel happy with one in town as it just doesn't like low speed stuff. I don't think this is a twin thing as the SV650, the naked one especially, is a dream in traffic going slowly. 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! If I was in the market for a bruising street fighter bike I'd definitely put this on my list of potentials. It's only the rear brake, HORRIFIC depreciation and iffy feedback on build quality that really hold this back. I was very smitten, I have to say, and I hope they do well.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
Read all 5 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2008
Year discontinued -
New price £7,830
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 16 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 146 bhp
Max torque 82 ft-lb
Top speed 155 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.28 secs
Average fuel consumption 36 mpg
Tank range 160 miles
Specification
Engine size 1125cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 8v, 72° V-twin four-stroke. Six gears
Frame type Aluminium dual beam
Fuel capacity 20.1 litres
Seat height 775mm
Bike weight 170kg
Front suspension Rebound and compression damping, spring preload
Rear suspension Rebound and compression damping, spring preload
Front brake 1 x 375 disc with 8-piston caliper
Rear brake 240mm disc with two-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

Model history
Based on the sports Buell 1125R, the 1125CR evolves.
2008: 1125CR launched as a 2009 model

Other versions

At present the Buell 1125CR is a stand alone model

Photo Gallery

  • Buell 1125CR - rapid steering
  • Buell 1125CR - looks are controversial
  • Buell 1125CR - essentially a naked 1125R
  • Buell 1125CR - standard clubman bars are a little uncomfortable for a naked
  • Buell 1125CR - unusual looks
  • Buell 1125CR - as standard the bike is dealer set according to rider weight
  • Buell 1125CR - careful use of tools will deliver a decent set-up
  • Buell 1125CR - hard boots cna scuff the swingarm...
  • Buell 1125CR - looks funky from some angles
  • Buell 1125CR - standard bars are quite aggressive
  • Buell 1125CR - optional higher barsd are much more comfortable
  • Buell 1125CR - on track
  • Buell 1125CR - side view
  • Buell 1125CR - headlight has a touch of B-King about it
  • Buell 1125CR - single disc with 8-piston caliper
  • Buell 1125CR - optional higher bars
  • Buell 1125CR - standard bars
  • Buell 1125CR - typical Buell rim-mounted disc
  • Buell 1125CR - 'CR' stands for 'Cafe Racer'
  • Buell 1125CR - the view from the saddle
  • Buell 1125CR - logo detailing
  • Buell 1125CR - engine
  • Buell 1125CR - rapid steering
  • Buell 1125CR - looks are controversial
  • Buell 1125CR - essentially a naked 1125R
  • Buell 1125CR - standard clubman bars are a little uncomfortable for a naked
  • Buell 1125CR - unusual looks
  • Buell 1125CR - as standard the bike is dealer set according to rider weight
  • Buell 1125CR - careful use of tools will deliver a decent set-up
  • Buell 1125CR - hard boots cna scuff the swingarm...
  • Buell 1125CR - looks funky from some angles
  • Buell 1125CR - standard bars are quite aggressive
  • Buell 1125CR - optional higher barsd are much more comfortable
  • Buell 1125CR - on track
  • Buell 1125CR - side view
  • Buell 1125CR - headlight has a touch of B-King about it
  • Buell 1125CR - single disc with 8-piston caliper
  • Buell 1125CR - optional higher bars
  • Buell 1125CR - standard bars
  • Buell 1125CR - typical Buell rim-mounted disc
  • Buell 1125CR - 'CR' stands for 'Cafe Racer'
  • Buell 1125CR - the view from the saddle
  • Buell 1125CR - logo detailing
  • Buell 1125CR - engine