500 GP Racer
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Highland Park, IL
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First review on the Buell Blast
So I've now put 300 miles on it, in the three weeks I've owned it and I know some of you were curious as to how it is as a first bike/bike in general so here I go.
I'll start with the bad since I just rode it home from downtown Chicago and my tailbone is killing me! Wind protection sucks, the deflector almost forces the wind into your upper body and helmet at highway speeds. Around the city it's not so much a problem, but when keeping up with traffic at 65mph the last thing you need is wind harshly throwing your head back. Same thing goes for head checks with lane changes. They are very hard cause of the wind.
Next bad is the transmission. Its a very VERY clunky transmission when getting into first gear unless you are very VERY firm on the shifter. I suppose this isn't the worst thing in the world, but another downfall of the Buell's tranny is that its only a 5 speed. Once again, on the highway vibration is high because of the high RPMs needed for the highway. How high are the RPMs you ask?
Well I couldn't tell ya cause the bike has no tach. Someone makes a tach add on, but I don't feel like spending the money on it when I know stick shift well enough to just do it by feel/sound.
Engine vibration is a killer. You think a V-twin is bad, try cutting one in half and removing all the balancers. At low RPMs, the bike vibrates so much not even Jenna Jameson would be happy. Mid-range it seems to smooth out but then it gets awful again in the upper range.
Last week I rode to the city and was stuck in traffic for 90 min. Now the Blast has very comfortable seat, but it is a very hot bike since it is air-cooled the bike gets hot and you def feel it in the mid section of the body. And your body gets sore after all those damn vibrations!
The only other downfall I can think of off the top of my head is the exhaust. Why Buell designed it to dump out at the rear tire the way it does, is beyond my comprehension but I'm sure there is a reason. Now that I think about it, why is the belt and brake swapped on the rear wheel from all other bikes? while the pedals are the same?
Now for the good, which is a lot less than the bad even though it is a great bike.
It has a very comfy seat and around town, will provide hours of comfortable riding. It also has a very soft suspension so it absorbs all of the bumps and imperfections a city street will provide.
My first time on the highway last week I was having a hard time staying in my lane during large sweeping turns. Then I realized I was forcing to my head to look down because of the wind, and once I corrected my form riding was super easy. This bike is just easy to ride. You look at a line and you're on it(still working on getting over target fixation). In fact, after riding long stretches on the highway, I feel my riding over all has improved and I'm not sure why.
Cruising around is easy and the motor is plenty powerful for taking off from a stop light, but not too powerful that you get overwhelmed.
Did I happen to mention the gas mileage? I've filled the thing up twice since owning it, and using premium(I'm sure I don't need to but the bike didn't get driven much before me, so I wanna make sure the carbs and tank are clean) I've spent 8 dollars per fill up. So cheap!
Any questions? Just ask!
Bike: 2001 Honda RC-51(not so stock)
Car: 1999.5 Infiniti QX4