Buell S1 Lightning Reviews

1998 Buell S1 Lightning from United States of America

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2012
Most recent year of ownership2013
Acceleration marks 8 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 9 / 10
Handling marks 6 / 10
Braking marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.6 / 10
Distance when acquired10000 miles
Most recent distance11500 miles
Previous motorcycleSuzuki GS1150ES

Summary:

Obnoxiously loud and addictive fun!

Faults:

My gas cap stopped sealing properly.

General Comments:

This motorcycle is loud, treacherous, and wheelies like a demon.

The seat is ludicrously hard; you slide all over it accelerating or braking.

It scares squirrels and children, and will set off a car alarm.

Most curvy roads, third gear is all you will need.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd January, 2013

1998 Buell S1 Lightning from Australia

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2010
Distance when acquired0 kilometres
Most recent distance45000 kilometres
Previous motorcycleHarley-Davidson Sportster XL 1200R

Summary:

A classic

Faults:

I have not had ONE thing go wrong with my Buell, which may surprise some people, although I have modified heads, Nicosil barrels, Wiseco pistons, flatslide carb and race kit exhaust. The fork internals have also been modified, all to suit my riding style. With a dyno'd 100 hp at the rear wheel, I am pretty happy.

An earlier post mentioned he had trouble getting fork seals for the WP forks. That might be because they are a Japanese fork, not WP and are fitted to a number of Suzuki's, such as the 1200 Bandit. You can buy the seals anywhere, or the bushes from a Suzuki dealer. The same person mentioned problems with the Brembo brakes. Again not correct. They are Japanese Nissin.. Certainly helps if you or the dealer got the right info, I am sure.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th September, 2010

14th Mar 2013, 06:20

Depends whether they were a complete front end mod or not...

1997 Buell S1 Lightning from United Kingdom

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2008
Acceleration marks 8 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 9 / 10
Handling marks 9 / 10
Braking marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.6 / 10
Distance when acquired11000 miles
Most recent distance19000 miles
Previous motorcycleKawasaki KLR650

Summary:

Torquey and sexy

Faults:

Vibration caused rear number plate to break - made a new h/d one with 3mm alloy.

Various minor things - apart from rear cylinder marked and needed re-bore.

And oil leaks - get used to it - not a big deal. I ride it hard and it is an old design, so can't expect perfection.

General Comments:

More fun than a bag of ferrets.

Makes you grin. Great sound. Torquey motor means not much gear changing is needed. Surprises blades and such like - on a twisty road can keep up and even pass.

Handles really well. Back brake is crap even with w wavy disc. Servicing & parts are cheap and often DIY.

A real classic. Old school pushrod power and one carb - still does the business. Don't be fooled by the shaking about on tick-over; it soon smoothes out.

The seat is tiny. It is so hard - it's like sitting on a log - but looks good and really makes you feel the road. No way is this a 2-up bike. Not a serious commuters bike.

Needs TLC.

For weekend fun on twisty roads it is hard to beat.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st February, 2008

1996 Buell S1 Lightning from United States of America

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2006
Acceleration marks 10 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 10 / 10
Handling marks 10 / 10
Braking marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.8 / 10
Distance when acquired3000 miles
Most recent distance20000 miles
Previous motorcycleSuzuki VS700 Intruder

Summary:

I'll never get rid of this bike!

Faults:

Just had to have all the recalls done.

It's a great bike!

General Comments:

I love this bike! It's like riding a high powered dirt bike, or better yet, a Sportster on crack! Lots of quick speed. Tons of fun!

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th May, 2006

1998 Buell S1 Lightning from United Kingdom

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2005
Acceleration marks 9 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 6 / 10
Handling marks 9 / 10
Braking marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 1 / 10
Dealer Service marks 2 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.3 / 10
Distance when acquired2300 miles
Most recent distance12500 miles
Previous motorcycleYamaha FZ 750

Summary:

Absolute must have at some point in your life

Faults:

Exhaust fell off due to vibration.

Rear piston holed due to bad design of the inlet manifold gasket.

Swing arm isolation bushes distort.

Stopped charging due to an electrical system that is the same on old tractors.

Rear light carrier cracked badly due to vibration.

General Comments:

This S1 gets more looks than Jordan.

Handles like a supermoto.

Will not keep up with Japanese bikes at speed, but corners fantastic.

Wheelies are what it is best at.

The seat is designed by a masochist.

Arm wrenching torque.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th May, 2005

14th Feb 2006, 16:10

I could not agree with you more! I have a 1998 Buell S1 Lighting and everything you talked about except for the charging issue has happened to me, but I will never give it up.

The ride you get out of the S1 is just never ending fun. Roll back on the throttle and it still wants to give you more, and the 1200 motor just takes a beating and keeps coming back for more. I don’t think I could ever sell it.

Average review marks: 7.6 / 10, based on 5 reviews