I often ask myself, which motorcycle that I have owned was the best one? Would it be the very first Yamaha dirt bike that I talked my parents into getting for me, or perhaps my very first Kawasaki road bike that gave me unbelievable freedom at a time in my life when I needed it? It could be my friend’s 750 Ninja that I rode for the better part of summer and never got around to buying from him. Maybe my favorite is my old BSA Lightning that got all the looks and a ton of questions when stopped to fuel it up. Then again it could be the biggest two-wheeled machine I have ever owned, my Suzuki cruiser that I bought last spring.
My problem is I don’t think I have ever been on a motorcycle that I really did not like. To answer this question I have to figure out simple criteria by which I can rate the different bikes I have owned. After much thought I got it, which bike do I always find myself looking up on Craigslist or eBay, just to see if any are for sale and how much the seller wants? That would be the 2005 Buell City Cross motorcycle I traded in on the Big Suzuki.
Erik Buell was a motorcycle racer and engineer that had a dream to make the best American sportbike, one that would compete with the big four. Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, and Suzuki have dominated the market and the races with there well-designed machines. Buell started making bikes, on a shoestring, along with accessories like Motorcycle gloves back in the late ‘80s and in 1999 he joined into a parent company agreement with Harley Davidson. Buell had about a ten year run with Harley and made some amazing bikes, and I was lucky enough to have owned an XB984 model. What Harley giveth, Harley eventually taketh away and shut down the Buell plant in 2009, I traded my Buell off shortly after that. I guess you could say I switched brands, although getting a new Buell at that point was not likely.
I do miss that bike, it handled great, just loved twisty roads. My Buell did not have the horsepower of a liquid-cooled four-cylinder made by the other manufactures, but the handling and the feeling kind of made up for its shortcomings in power. The motorcycle always started nice and ran good and I don’t remember ever doing anything to the bike except standard maintenance. The Buell and I out riding got a lot of attention and I like showing off with it, stunting with it was a dream and like I said it was fast enough.
Being the lucky person I am, I have owned a lot of nice vehicles and a pretty good number of them were motorcycles. The one that I remember with the most fondness has to be Erik Buell’s creation. I will not only miss the bike that I owned and rode for four summers, but I will also miss the motorcycles the Buell was going to create but never got a chance.