BUELL 1125R (2007 - 2010) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 3.4 out of 5 (3.4/5)
Annual servicing cost: £380
Power: 146 bhp
Seat height: Low (30.5 in / 775 mm)
Weight: Low (375 lbs / 170 kg)

Overall rating

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

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

 

Ride quality & brakes

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

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.

 

Engine

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

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.

Reliability & build quality

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

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 rivals

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

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.

Equipment

3 out of 5 (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.

Specs

Engine size 1125cc
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
Seat height 775mm
Bike weight 170kg
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
New price -
Used price -
Insurance group 15 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term -

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

Model history

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

Other versions

None.

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.

Review your BUELL 1125R (2007 - 2010)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 3.9 out of 5 (3.9/5)
Engine: 4.7 out of 5 (4.7/5)
Reliability & build quality: 3.4 out of 5 (3.4/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.1 out of 5 (4.1/5)
Equipment: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Annual servicing cost: £380
3 out of 5 Buell 1125 r American Superbike option
17 April 2020 by Davy boy 46

Year: 2009

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.

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5

Brakes good if different from normal bikes with the rotor brake disc

Engine 5 out of 5

Really strong pulling power from lowdown in the rev range but has hiccups when accelerating hard

Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5

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.

Value vs rivals 3 out of 5

Same as other super bikes but don't have to worry about a chain

Equipment 5 out of 5

Don't need anything else on a sports bike

5 out of 5 Buells the Icon Bike
16 September 2019 by Aussie M

Year: 2008

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.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

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.

Engine 5 out of 5

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.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

After 30,000kms and regular service with usual maintenance it never fails.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

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.

Equipment 5 out of 5

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

4 out of 5 The last Buellegan... Or is it
16 March 2012 by chrisk1972

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.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
4 out of 5 Buelliful
22 June 2011 by sandmacker

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

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 2 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5 Best V Twin on the Market
21 September 2009 by Mr Intelligence

Simply Superb!

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
3 out of 5 Surprising and fun
11 May 2009 by KimLondon

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.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 2 out of 5
4 out of 5 What a motor
18 September 2008 by fossil

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

Ride quality & brakes 2 out of 5
Engine 5 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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