The Buell Firebolt is a model which with refinement, versatility and innovation has managed to attract the motorcycle press on its side and still carries on big time. The 2009 model year is even greater, like the superbike that every single rider could jump one and feel well at home. At least that was the idea when creating it and we reckon that the bike doesn’t come as a disappointment for anyone. Or does it?
Buell Sportbikes take control of the road in 2009, ready to fuel the passion of the most demanding sportbike riders on the road or track.
Buell sportbikes feature an athletic motorcycle riding position, which allows the rider to fully enjoy the handling advantages of the Buell Trilogy of Technology: chassis rigidity, mass centralization, and low unsprung weight. Designed to respond intuitively to rider commands, Buell sportbikes combine real-world street performance with race-proven design.
The 2009 XB12R Firebolt is a muscular sportfighter providing award-winning handling and raw torque from a 45-degree air-cooled V-Twin engine. Designed from the rider down, each Buell sportbike combines V-Twin power with unmatched precision and agility.
The original Buell sportfighter, the Buell Firebolt XB12R has evolved into one of the most versatile sportbikes on any road or track today. The Firebolt is known for the precise handling provided by a 52-inch wheelbase, 21-degree rake and 3.3-inch trail. Combining agility with the performance of an American-made Thunderstorm 45-degree, air-cooled 1203 cc V-Twin engine, the Firebolt delivers both character and performance.
The blacked-out Thunderstorm engine produces 103 peak horsepower at 6800 rpm, and 84 ft. lbs. of peak torque at 6000 rpm, with 85 percent of peak torque available over 2500 rpm. The Buell InterActive Exhaust system utilizes a valve in the dual-chamber muffler that is controlled by the ECM and adjusts exhaust flow according to riding conditions to smooth torque delivery and optimize engine power.
The 2009 Firebolt has enhanced braking performance from the Buell ZTL2 front brake, a four-pad, eight-piston system also used on the 1125R and originally developed for the Buell XBRR race motorcycle. Three-zone Pirelli Diablo Corsa III tires are also now standard equipment on the Firebolt.
Up front, the Firebolt features a fully adjustable Showa inverted fork, while the rear is equipped with an adjustable Showa shock.
The Veyance Hibrex drive belt with Flexten Plus technology, based on the belt developed for the Buell 1125R, is strong and durable while weighing about four pounds less than a chain drive.
Buell calls the Firebolt XB12R a superbike, but we can’t help noticing that it is a more docile one compared to the 1125R and even the 1125CR models. This basically excludes it from the battle with the Japanese liter class models such as the Honda CBR1000RR , Yamaha R1 , Suzuki GSX-R1000 and Kawasaki ZX-10R , but also from that with the Italian alternatives to the same just mentioned models. These are the BMW S1000RR , Aprilia RSV4 , Ducati1198 , 1098R and 848 .
Given this fact, the 2009 Buell Firebolt XB12R is a rather user-friendly alternative for those who have still plenty to learn and need to take it step by step.
With incomparable styling, the Firebolt XB12R blends innovative technology with premium components to create an extraordinary riding experience.
The Firebolt comes with clip-on-style handlebars for optimal control, an aerodynamic quarter-fairing with dual projector-beam headlamps, and a covered trim passenger pillion.
New colors include Midnight Black with Cherry Bomb translucent wheels and Arctic White with Hero Blue translucent wheels, with color-match translucid windscreen. For 2009 the Firebolt has blacked-out frame, powertrain and other components.
High performing and visually attractive, the 2009 Buell Firebolt XB12R turns out to be a fairly affordable piece of American engineering, given the $9,995 MSRP.
Those who are attracted by the best of the best in superbike riding can look away because this motorcycle doesn’t fit in that category. Instead, it is a model worthy of appreciation for contributing at changing the preconceived idea about liter bikes. It is more like a combination between an actual superbike model (the 1125R) and a veritable streetfighter (the 1125CR).
Engine: Thunderstorm® air/oil/fan-cooled, 4-stroke, 45° V-Twin
Valves: OHV, two valves per cylinder, self-adjusting
Bore x Stroke: 3.500 in. x 3.812 in. (88.90 mm x 96.82 mm)
Displacement: 73.4 cu. in. (1203 cc)
Compression Ratio: 10.0:1
Fuel Delivery: 49 mm down draft DDFI III
Intake: Zero-resistance airbox
Exhaust: Tuned, tri-pass resonance chamber with InterActive valve and mass-centralized mounting
Torque: 84 ft. lbs. @ 6000 rpm (113.9 nm @ 6000 rpm)
Horsepower: 103 hp @ 6800 rpm
Oil Capacity: 2.5 qts. (2.4 L)
Oil Filtration: Screw-on disposable element
Primary Drive: Chain, 1.500:1 (57/38) ratio
Final Drive: Constant path, 14 mm pitch aramid-reinforced Veyance Hibrex® belt with Flexten® Plus technology, 2.407:1 (65/27) ratio
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate, compensated
Transmission: 5-speed, helical gear
• 1st 2.648
• 2nd 1.892
• 3rd 1.407
• 4th 1.166
• 5th 1.000
Frame: Aluminum frame with Uniplanar™ powertrain vibration isolation system, fuel in frame
Front Forks: 43 mm Showa® inverted forks with adjustable compression damping, rebound damping and spring preload
Rear Shock: Showa® coil-over monoshock with remote, under-seat reservoir and adjustable compression damping, rebound damping and spring preload
Wheels: Cherry Bomb Translucent or Hero Blue Translucent
6-spoke, ZTL™ cast aluminum, 3.5 in. x 17 in. (88.9 mm x 431.8 mm)
6-spoke, cast aluminum, 5.5 in. x 17 in. (139.7 mm x 431.8 mm)
ZTL2™ brake, 8-piston, fixed caliper, 375 mm single-sided, inside-out, stainless steel, floating rotor
Single-piston, floating caliper; 240 mm stainless steel, fixed rotor
• Front Wheel 4.72 in. (120 mm)
• Rear Wheel 5.06 in. (129 mm)
Overall Length: 76.2 in. (1935 mm)
Overall Width: 28.1 in. (715 mm)
Seat Height: 30.5 in. (775 mm)
Ground Clearance: 4.35 in. (110 mm)
Rake (steering head): 21.0°
Fork Angle: 21.0°
• Soft Contact, Right 47°
• Soft Contact, Left 47°
• Hard Contact, Right 50°
• Hard Contact, Left 48°
Trail: 3.3 in. (83 mm)
Wheelbase: 52.0 in. (1320 mm)
Tires (Pirelli® Diablo® Corsa III):
• Front 120/70 ZR-17
• Rear 180/55 ZR-17
Fuel Capacity: 3.82 gal. (14.5 L)
Reserve Fuel Capacity: 0.75 gal. (2.8 L)
Fuel Economy (EPA urban/highway test): 48/65 mpg (4.9/3.6 L/100 km)
• Dry Weight: 395 lbs. (179 kg)
• Gross Vehicle: 850 lbs. (386 kg)
Weight Rating Load Capacity: 379 lbs. (172 kg)
Battery (per Battery Council International Rating): Sealed lead acid, maintenance-free, 12V, 12-amp/hour, 200 cca
Charging: 30-amp, permanent magnet, singlephase alternator with solid-state regulator (405W @3000 rpm, 405W peak)
Starting: 1.2 kW electric with solenoid shift starter motor engagement
Lights (as per country regulation):
• Headlamps (twin projector beam [H3]): 55-watt low beam, 55-watt high beam
• Tail/Stop Lights: 5W/21W
• Turn Signal Lights: 10W manual canceling
Electronic speedometer, tachometer, odometer; dual tripmeter; high beam, neutral, oil, low fuel (plus, odometer shows miles traveled on reserve), turn signal and engine diagnostic indicator lamps; clock
Midnight Black, Arctic White
Warranty 24 months (unlimited mileage)
1 Specifications for non-U.S. markets might differ. Buell reserves the right to discontinue models or change specifications at any time without incurring any obligations. Vehicle specifications may vary from country to country depending on local laws. Some models are not available in certain countries.
2 Based on tests conducted under lab conditions per U.S. E.P.A. test procedures. Mileage will vary depending on personal riding habits, weather conditions, trip length and vehicle condition.
3 Hibrex® and Flexten® are registered trademarks of Veyance Technologies, Inc.
4 Showa®, Dunlop® and Pirelli® are registered trademarks of their respective owners.
5 Availability may vary from dealer to dealer, and is subject to change without notice.
6 Unladen, wet configuration (no rider, all fluids).
7 Laden, wet configuration (design rider, all fluids).
8 Without mirrors.
9 Bottomed-out configuration (100% suspension compression).
10 Oil capacity at oil change with filter.