1997 Buell S3 Thunderbolt
Rear brake pads worn at 1000 miles! I adjusted my braking technique to only use the rear brake in parking lot maneuvers.
Rear brake hose chafing on the fender at 1000 miles and replaced under warranty.
Side stand switch failed at 5000 miles. It was replaced again under a subsequent recall.
The buttons holding the front brake rotor started falling off at 5500 miles. Later upgraded under a recall.
Front faring stress cracked at 7000 miles and replaced under warranty.
Rear shock and swing arm replaced under a recall.
Shifter arm broken during fluid replacement at 15000 miles.
Intake manifold gaskets failed at 20000 miles.
Swing arm bushings failed at 20000 miles.
Throttle cables failed at 20000 miles.
Front rotor warped and replaced at 28000 miles.
Rocker box gaskets failed at 30000 miles. Cylinder base gaskets weeping, but not replaced.
Shifter arm broken again during fluid replacement. Changed to an upgraded item from the 2001 model.
Fork seals leaking at 50000 miles. Internal fork bushings found to be worn and were not available from Buell. The dealer would not source replacement parts from fork manufacturer WP. I was forced to replace both fork legs.
Clutch failed at and replaced 53000 miles.
Rear wheel bearings failed at 58000 miles.
Rear brake caliper mounting bracket stripped at 63500 miles. Bracket not available from Buell. Dealer would not source a replacement part from Brembo. Entire caliper replaced.
Rear brake rotor under thickness specification and replaced at 63500 miles.
Fork seals on the replacement forks leaking at 64000 miles.
Handles great and is fun to ride.
It is very, very expensive to maintain.
This bike spends three to seven weeks each season at the dealer for repairs.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 12th June, 2005
I bought my '01 S3 new, put 27,000 miles on it in 4 years from 01 to 05, and never needed anything other than oil changes and rear bulbs.
The tail piece needs to be beefed up from vibration, and shakes the bulbs and blows them out.
This thing is a tank, I ride very hard, but am conservative at the same time.