BUELL 1125CR (2008 - on) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 3.4 out of 5 (3.4/5)
Power: 146 bhp
Seat height: Low (30.5 in / 775 mm)
Weight: Low (375 lbs / 170 kg)


New £7,830
Used N/A

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.


Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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 vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.


2 out of 5 (2/5)

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.


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

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 36 mpg
Annual road tax £111
Annual service cost -
New price £7,830
Used price -
Insurance group 16 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 146 bhp
Max torque 82 ft-lb
Top speed 155 mph
1/4 mile acceleration 11.28 secs
Tank range 160 miles

Model 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

Owners' reviews for the BUELL 1125CR (2008 - on)

8 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.

Review your BUELL 1125CR (2008 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Engine: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 3.4 out of 5 (3.4/5)
Value vs rivals: 3.6 out of 5 (3.6/5)
Equipment: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
1 out of 5
05 July 2018 by Mario

Year: 2008

Bike is so easy and joy to ride. Engine power delivery is great. You can cruse or you can drive fast easy. I am big rider and it is comfortable. BUT when engine shut down and blocked wheel, all the good staf fail in water.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Bike is very easy and fun to ride. While is riding ;)

Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 1 out of 5

Engine shut down and blocked rear wheel. It was very dangerous.

Value vs rivals 3 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5 Excellent engineer's street machine
23 January 2018 by Shaker666

Year: 2009

Very well balanced overpowered street machine, but not for the turn key rider who wants to spend more time riding than wrenching. This is an engineer/mechanic enthusiasts bike - and will require some modifications and work to ensure reliability and durability.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

The suspension, once tuned, is very nimble and supple. The brakes are good, but pad selection needs to be carefully researched as the perimeter brake is more sensitive to pad material selection.

Engine 5 out of 5

Excellent performance and sound. Overpowered and once tuned, straight dangerous with the torque output being very high in the low RPM range with no fall off at redline.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Since only about 3000 of these machines were ever built, most of them have their niggles. The Helicon engine requires some work to ensure reliability, but once addressed should provide legendary Rotax long term performance.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

I don't count service costs since I mainly perform them myself and it's totally for fun.

Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 It's a well behaved, enthusiastic brute
21 March 2017 by Joe Stewart

Year: 2008

The motor! What a motor! I've owned quite a few R1's, and had the opportunity to pick one of these up recently for a song. From the get-go, the motor impressed me. It has impressive torque, and Rotax have managed to give it oodles of power from anywhere you want. The handling initially didn't impress me, but once I got used to the geometry, wow, this thing is chuckable. It is a proper streetfighter. It will change direction and punch through gaps and rip out of corners like an ape on meth. The suspension required some adjustment (back off the compression a little on both the shock and forks, dial in a little rebound on the forks) but once that was done, the grip level was fantastic.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Ride Quality: ADJUST THE SUSPENSION CLICKERS. Stock settings were a little hard for road riding - track, they're a good place to start - but road, you need to back off the compression a little and add in a bit of rebound. Luckily the prior owner and I weigh the same, so his sag setting works for me. As with all bikes, you need to set the sag correctly. Once that has been done, this thing is so grippy and confidence inspiring, you chuck it about all day. I found myself throwing it into corners at speeds I really shouldn't be, and it willingly and enthusiastically changing direction on a dime. I've had to put a lot more effort and planning into punting my 2012 R1 around than this bike, and if I want to do a wild road ride with mates, I find myself throwing a leg over this instead of either of my R1's.

Engine 5 out of 5

It's beautiful. It pulls like a giant elastic band, it has oodles of torque anywhere, and it is willing at all RPM. It isn't wheelie happy if you don't want it to be, but if you nudge it to go up, it'll throw the front in the air like it just don't care. No clutching needed, just off-on throttle and there she goes. It does vibe a little right at the upper end of it's rev range, but it's certainly no worse than my planker 2012 R1.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

I know the previous owner, and he is a wild, wild rider. He rode this bike like he stole it, doing more than a few track days on it. I bought it off him 23,000 k's in, and was surprised at how everything still feels tight. The gearbox is still slick and tight, shifting is smooth, and 2,000 k's in, the oil is still a honey colour. All the rest of the bike feels great, and I really haven't had to do much except oil & filter when I bought it. He hasn't had to do a thing except oil & filters either.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

The oil filters run at about $40 AUD for the pair, but given they don't need to be changed every service, the cost of filters is the same as my R1's over time. So far it's been really cheap to service, reliable, and given no trouble at all.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Love the LED indicator brightness, drivers have no doubt about whether they're on or not. This bike's equipment is quality, and it's finish and fitting leaves nothing to be desired from me, anyway. It's well made, all switches and levers have a nice action and feel, and the stock adjustable levers are a nice touch. On all my R1's I've installed adjustable levers, but the levers on this are good enough stock that I haven't needed to.

Buying experience: Privately.

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

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 3 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5 Did they even ride this bike?
19 December 2012 by

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 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.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 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 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.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5
Value vs rivals 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.

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 2 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 1 out of 5
Value vs rivals 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 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.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5
Value vs rivals 3 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
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