The Buell Firebolt XB9R, the American motorcycle that redefined the
middle-weight Sportfighter category, receives a number of refinements for
2004 that hone its razor-keen edge.
The innovative Firebolt XB9R is designed to deliver a new level of
performance in the real world-the twisty backroads and sweeping mountain byways
that challenge serious, sophisticated sportriders every day. To meet that
mission, the XB9R offers a chassis that responds instantly to rider input and
the XB984 V-Twin engine that delivers a smooth, torquey powerband you can really
use on the road.
Improved for 2004
The following refinements have been made to the 2004 Firebolt XB9R:
- Mirrors are mounted on longer, more robust stalks for enhanced
- Redesigned brackets lower passenger footpegs two inches
- New drive belt system increases belt pitch from 11mm to 14mm for
- A new upper and lower belt guard make it easier to remove the rear wheel
- A redesigned shift pedal has a longer metal toe shaft under rubber cover
for a more positive feel (Each of these items is also a feature on the
Technology You Can Use
The Firebolt XB9R was developed around the key concepts of frame rigidity,
mass centralization and minimal unsprung weight-the three legs of the Buell
Trilogy of Tech design philosophy. The literal backbone of this design is a very
rigid aluminum frame that also serves as the bike's fuel tank. Carrying fuel
within the frame offers a significant reduction in overall center of gravity
over a traditional fuel tank mounted on top of the frame. The muffler is located
below the engine to further lower the center of gravity (CG) and centralize
component mass. The patented Buell Uniplanar engine mounting system reduces
vibration to the rider and incorporates the engine as a stressed member of the
chassis, further enhancing overall stiffness. The massive aluminum swingarm also
serves as the reservoir for engine oil, another innovative idea that helps lower
Minimizing unsprung weight helps keep the wheels in contact with choppy
pavement and reduces steering effort. With this goal in mind, Buell developed
the Zero Torsional Load front braking system, which mounts a single 375mm brake
rotor close to the wheel rim. Squeezed by a six-piston caliper, the ZTL brake
transmits braking forces almost directly to the rim and virtually eliminates
torsional load to the front wheel. This permits the use of a very light-weight,
six-spoke cast aluminum wheel. The front fork is a fully-adjustable 41mm
inverted Showa unit.
Flick It In, Power It Out
Handling that's so quick and precise it almost seems intuitive. The Firebolt
XB9R inspires the kind of confidence that carries a good rider deeper and faster
into the turns. It starts with a chassis geometry that looks extreme on paper
but really works in the real world-an ultra-short 52-inch wheelbase and a
21-degree fork with 83mm of trail. The rigid frame and swingarm, the chassis
geometry, and the low center of gravity combine to give the Firebolt the ability
to deliver dominating performance in the corners.
Twist the throttle, and the Firebolt XB984 engine revs high and hard. This
984cc, 45-degree V-Twin has Dynamic Digital Fuel Injection (DDFI) for crisp
throttle response and is air/fan and oil-cooled to keep weight and complexity to
a minimum. A short stroke, lightweight valvetrain and high-flow heads help this
engine snap right to its 7500 rpm redline, but its broad torque band means
there's always power on tap when you need it. The engine is rated at 92 peak
horsepower and 70 ft. lbs. of torque and delivers the highest torque-to-weight
ratio in its class. A five-speed gearbox feeds a smooth, clean belt drive.
All 2004 Buell motorcycles will be covered by a two-year, unlimited mileage
warranty replacing the previous one-year warranty.
The 2004 Firebolt XB9R is offered in with durable Surlyn bodywork in Battle
Blue with white graphics and new white wheels with a smooth, machined edge.