BUELL 1125R (2007 - 2010) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£380|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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 vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
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.
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.
|Engine type||Liquid-cooled 8v dohc four-stroke 72° V-twin. 6 gears. Fuel injected. Belt final drive|
|Frame type||Dual aluminium beam|
|Fuel capacity||21.2 litres|
|Front suspension||Pre-load, rebound and compression damping|
|Rear suspension||Pre-load, rebound and compression damping|
|Front brake||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|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||45 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£93|
|Annual service cost||£380|
15 of 17
How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||146 bhp|
|Max torque||82 ft-lb|
|Top speed||170 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||10.45 secs|
|Tank range||190 miles|
Model history & versions
2007: Buell 1125R launched.
2008: Significantly updated version launched.
Owners' reviews for the BUELL 1125R (2007 - 2010)
7 owners have reviewed their BUELL 1125R (2007 - 2010) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£380|
Annual servicing cost: £250
Could be so much better. The engine is a peach and the bodywork quality is excellent. Unfortunately the centre of gravity is too high to make it handle really well but once you learn its abilities it can take it to the best of them.
Brakes good if different from normal bikes with the rotor brake disc
Really strong pulling power from lowdown in the rev range but has hiccups when accelerating hard
It works but I don't trust it like a Japanese bike. The battery has to be fully charged for the bike to start. The quality of the bodywork is excellent and my 11 year old bike looks like a 4 year old one.
Same as other super bikes but don't have to worry about a chain
Don't need anything else on a sports bike
Annual servicing cost: £500
Buells/EBRs have no peers, they stand on their own. Most misunderstood bike that offer the experienced ride something unique. It is shrouded in mystery as few ever get to ride the 1125R long enough. My bike has full race ECU & suspension and 1190rx brakes with touring pillion seat and panniers for long distance 2-Up riding. This bike with 2-Up hauls easily, hard cruise at any speed, hook a corner at 45 deg and stop exactly where you want, it has brilliant lights. Personally I consider it a very safe sports touring bike.
Solo is firm with race suspension, 2-Up supple, brakes are fine, never felt fade and has good progressive grip feel. Personally I would like a larger rear brake coz I like to lock the rear when desired.
Anything that can pull like a Loco to 10,000 plus is good. Great lopping engine for cruising and pacing. All twins are bit tappety.
After 30,000kms and regular service with usual maintenance it never fails.
The bikes are rugged, use standard industry parts, plugs, filter, brake pads, pump, O2 sensor, with a few special Buell parts. Easy to service BUT good mechanical knowledge is required.
Instruments and self diagnostics is the main feature, front fairing is good, rear seat need modify for pillions, riders seat ok. There is not really anything to complain about, it is an overall good design. I am a mechanic/engineer and ride Triumph & MVs plus race EBRs.
Buying experience: Used from Dealer
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.
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
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.
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