Buell Engine Specs

Buell Engine Specs

Buell Motorcycle Co. started producing motorcycles in 1983 when Erik Buell left Harley Davidson to build his own motorcycles. In 1993, Harley Davidson bought 49 percent of the company and became the minority owner. Finally, in 2003, Harley Davidson took over 100 percent of the company and kept Erik Buell employed as chief technical officer. While the Buell line is no longer being produced, there is still limited stock available at some dealerships in the U.S.

Helicon 1125

The Helicon 1125 cc V-Twin engine is used in two models of Buell Motorcycles, the 1125R and the 1125CR. The cylinder bore is 4.055 inches and the stroke is 2.658 inches, creating a total displacement of 68.7 cubic inches (1,126 cc). The Helicon produces 82 foot-lbs. of torque at 8,000 rpm and 146 horsepower at 9,800 rpm. This engine also allows the motorcycle to get 39 mpg in the city and 53 mpg on the highway.

Thunderstorm 1203

The Thunderstorm 1203 cc V-twin engine is used in six models of Buell motorcycles: Firebolt XB12R, Ulysses XB12X, Ulysses XB12XT, Lightning XB12Ss, Lightning XB12Scg and XB12XP. The cylinder bore is 3.5 inches and the stroke is 3.812 inches, producing a total displacement of 73.4 cubic inches (1,203 cc). This engine produces 103 horsepower at 6,800 rpm and 84 foot-lbs. of torque at 6,000 rpm. The Thunderstorm engine received fuel economy ratings of 48 mpg in the city and 65 mpg on the highway.

Thunderstorm 984

The Thunderstorm 984 cc V-twin engine is only used in one model in the Buell lineup, the Lightning XB9SX. This engine has a bore or 3.5 inches and a stroke of 3.125 inches; this created an overall displacement of 60 cubic inches (983 cc). The 984 cc engine produces 92 horsepower at 7,500 rpm and 70 foot-lbs. of torque at 5,500 rpm. This engine pushed the Lightning XB9SX to fuel economy ratings of 50 mpg in the city and 65 mpg on the highway.


In 1987 and 1988, Buell made use of the Harley Davidson XR1000 engine for the Buell RR1000. The XR1000 has a bore of 81 mm and a stroke of 96.8 mm, creating a total displacement of 998 cc. The engine produces 70 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 48 foot-lbs. of torque at 4,400 rpm. The fuel economy rating was 46 mpg.