19th May 2006, 22:29
I grew up riding dirt bikes, and my 1996 S1 Lightning is like riding a high powered dirt bike with a mean edge! I've owned it now for 7 years and plan on keeping it forever! I'm a 41 year old FEMALE. Started riding when I was 7 years old. I love my Buell. It's not meant for riding long distances. But for red light to red light, it's smoken! If you don't know how to wheelie, it'll teach you real fast!
1st Feb 2008, 17:14
I have had a S1 now for a couple of years, and agree with all the previous points. Best looking bike about - and handles really well (I have a AST shock now as original died at 15k). Sounds great, keeps with with sportsbikes everywhere except on long straights. Faster than 600 sportsbikes on the road due to the torque. Low cost to service, but needs money spending to keep going. Also plenty of room for personalisation.
Massive grin factor - can't imagine selling it.
22nd Feb 2008, 16:35
Bought a 96 S1. Former bikes included everything from Ducati superbikes/ super sports, Honda CBRs to VFRs, and had a Buell XBR. Just got the S1; the meanest, bad-ass looking bike I have owned.
I'm in Chicago, so it's kinda of cold now in February, but plan on doing some riding in the coming months... not a touring bike by any means, but a nice 100 mile urban/ rural bike that keeps you grinning.
24th Jan 2009, 06:58
G'day from South Africa! I'm a Harley-rider and have been since 1968. Have had a '98 Buell S1 since 2000... ridden her from Johannesburg to Cape Town (1,740 km / 1,200 miles) in a day, and back a few times among some other trips. Must admit to numb-nut syndrome caused by saddle/rear-sets/clip-on combination. But Graci (her name) has an unrivaled grin-factor; sadly her motor has been a tad prone to self-destruct.
Had a 2002 Buell X1 that I sold to my son last week... best motorcycle that I have ever owned!
Had 19 Harleys...several Pans, tons of Flatties, two Shovels and my prized '36 Knuck; and then 2 Buells
8th May 2009, 12:13
I bought a 96 Buell S1 through eBay. The bike just caught my fancy after seeing an Internet photo of a red S1 with a hot model, also in red, standing by.
I let the local Harley dealer go through it (new tires, new front brake disk & some minor recall stuff) and it has been nearly trouble free.
The only problem was the battery discharging - turned out to be a bad ground on the battery mount. It was a quick fix, but I only found it by accident.
I had to personalize it some, so managed to find a rare Pro-Series exhaust pipe & muffler and also added the Pro-Series carbon air cleaner. It already had a Mickey-Mouse looking aftermarket muffler and ram-air intake that had to go. Also added was a shimmy dampener and a set of stock round mirrors. The color was black & I intended to make it red; buying up all the necessary parts in red. However the black grows on you and I have not yet made the change.
I really don't ride a lot, but when I do, it's a great ride! It's a supreme boulevard bike! Nice authoritative roar (not obnoxious noise) and has great 'presence' that holds its own next to any other sport bike, tourer, or Harley. Even my BMW-sportbike-racing brother liked it (and that says it all!).
11th Jun 2009, 07:35
I had a 97 S1 in 98. I just watched an old vid of me on it. I want it back. That same one. Now. Best fun factor ever. At the time I wasn't a particularly leary rider, but nevertheless I was airborne over the 3rd speed ramp (deliberately) 20 minutes after I bought it! I miss you, silver S1 lightning with the butterfly intake and the V&H pipe. Should've kept you!
Anyone got one for sale? firstname.lastname@example.org
8th Nov 2009, 14:43
I've had my 98 S1 Lightning for 4 years now and will never let it go. I've had CBRs, GSXs, R1s and an R6. They were fast and fun, but could not touch the torque or quick snap of the throttle of a Buell.
It's had the swing arm rubber distorting issue and the intake gasket issue. It has been the easiest wheelie popper in every gear I've ever ridden. It was sad to hear Harley closing the Buell division - ERIC you did one hell of a great job after 4 years of riding it. It TAKES ME FOR A RIDE EVERY TIME. THANKS.
18th May 2011, 17:54
I had a 97 S1 Lightning for six years. Sold it in 2004. I missed it so much I bought a 98 a month ago. Whoo Hoo. So much fun. To all who own one, never give it up!
21st Nov 2012, 14:53
I have had a S1 Lightning for a year now. The bike is really fantastic to ride. I've had many extras done to it, including Vance and Hines performance exhaust, Mikuni carb, KCN air filter, upgraded twin lights, and a superb paint job in cherry red with black carbon mudguards and blue rimmed wheels. Wow, it's explosive accelerating away, and the stares I get, people love it!!!
5th Apr 2013, 17:07
I bought my S1 in red, brand new in 96. Still have it.
Vance and Hines pipe, Mikuni carb and ultra sticky track day rubber.
My history was Moto X CCM 580. I have never been a serious road rider, but 30 minutes on this torquey wheelie master still makes me grin. I will never sell it.
Steve, Jersey UK.