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deBolex go to town on a Buell XB9

Published: 04 May 2017

Updated: 04 May 2017

deBolex Engineering have done something particularly different with this Buell XB9 City X.

The Buell XB9 isn’t the first bike that would spring to mind when you think of a customised machine, but for the chaps over at deBolex Engineering, it presented the opportunity to do something a little out of the ordinary.

With an open brief and a unique bike the pair behind deBolex, Calum Pryce-Tid and Des Francis, set to work to create something that would carry their signature with pride.


First thing’s first, they started by getting the stance right for the bike.

Calum said, “After some time measuring various components we started with the front-end swap to a set of Showa forks and set of custom yokes machined up by Fastec Custom Racing. We then got on the phone to our friends at Maxton suspension who put together one of their RT10 monoshocks units with remote reservoir.” 

With a set of Dymag carbon 5 spoke wheels finally helping the bike sit perfectly, they set to work on fabricating the other elements that would give the Buell its definition.

“The XB9 is a challenging bike to customize given its unusual frame design,” said Calum.

“The frame is also the fuel tank, so what looks like the tank is just a skin covering to the top half of the engine, air filter and battery.”

The aluminium bodywork was fabricated using traditional techniques and the styling is more Mad Max than the 50’s and 60’s inspired designs that the British pair are more commonly known for.

“The Buell’s frame/tank design pulled us away from a traditional classic design to something more modern and futuristic, so in keeping with this theme we relocated the oil cooler to between the yokes before fabricating the front fairing, finishing with a vented housing to sit alongside the tunnel housing for the dip and main headlights.”

The subframe has a line that disappears into the tail section of the bike thanks to the lower mounting position and the tail unit houses the electrical components, with the ECU, fuse-box and Motogadget M unit that can easily be accessed by removing the seat unit via a quick-release catch. 

The bike has been finished in a Harley-Davidson dark metallic red, with the frame getting a subtle satin black crackle. The tank also features a deBolex logo that’s set in a silver stripe down the middle of the tank. 

“The 1/1 on the tail represents our One of One series of each build being unique” adds Calum, and he’s not at all wrong. Everything about the Buell screams individuality, power and poise in a beautifully finished bike that dares to be different. 

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