ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Bikes > Road warriors
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 02-06-2013, 01:06 AM   #1
EmptiMind OP
Stoopid Youngin'
 
EmptiMind's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: PNW
Oddometer: 459
Buell S3T?

Hey folks, I'm thinking of snagging a 1999 1/2 Buell S3T for my touring needs. Found one for $3k with only 13k miles.

I love its look, I love its fit, I'm uncertain about its reliability. I've been scouring the internet, and I've found so many mixed reviews, some saying it'll fall apart under me as I ride, and others saying they've clocked 200k easy miles. I know about the bad weather bikers, but I trust you guys to give me a less biased opinion.

50+ MPG, already has touring bags setup. Going to be 2-up riding with my girl. Several hundred mile days. I just want something that's going to be comfortable, and won't leave me stranded.

Please throw your knowledge at me.
EmptiMind is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2013, 05:29 AM   #2
kirb
should be out riding
 
kirb's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2010
Location: Musky, MI
Oddometer: 1,584
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmptiMind View Post
Hey folks, I'm thinking of snagging a 1999 1/2 Buell S3T for my touring needs. Found one for $3k with only 13k miles.

I love its look, I love its fit, I'm uncertain about its reliability. I've been scouring the internet, and I've found so many mixed reviews, some saying it'll fall apart under me as I ride, and others saying they've clocked 200k easy miles. I know about the bad weather bikers, but I trust you guys to give me a less biased opinion.

50+ MPG, already has touring bags setup. Going to be 2-up riding with my girl. Several hundred mile days. I just want something that's going to be comfortable, and won't leave me stranded.

Please throw your knowledge at me.
I have owned a 99 Buell M2 for 11 years. The bike required the least work of any bike I have owned...ever. You have to be smart obout things...it shakes at idle, so go over bolts and such on a regular basis. Change oil, add fuel, ride. The bikes are dead simple with great parts support as most of the items giving you issue on the road can be had at any HD dealer (engine is sportster based). Badweb is also an excellent resource.

Tubers rule. I don't think you can go wrong.
__________________
A Ducati, some Guzzi, a KTM, and a Excelsior...Indian in resto.
kirb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2013, 05:48 AM   #3
HR Puffinstuff
aka hotrod
 
HR Puffinstuff's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Land of Cow Pies and Beer Farts
Oddometer: 149
Do it.
__________________
riderideriderideriderideriderideriderideride
HR Puffinstuff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2013, 07:10 AM   #4
pancho
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Sep 2005
Location: McAllen, TX
Oddometer: 120
I enjoyed owning a 97 and 98 S3T. It was a terrific touring bike. 5.5 gal tank with 67 mpg at 70 mph. These were carb versions. The 99 is FI . There were some issues with the varying temps between cylinders causing problems with mapping. Another issue is payload. The S3T gets its performance from the light weight platform along with intake and exhaust mods. On the 99 consider carefully your weight limits and tuning of the FI. Just my opinion. These are great bikes. They just do not hold their value well. If you are a true enthusiast...enjoy!

PS The M2 is a carb version and one of the most dependable Buells made! Dito on check your nuts and bolts and belt tension...once you get it down 'life is good." Buells are different by design!
pancho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2013, 07:40 AM   #5
EmptiMind OP
Stoopid Youngin'
 
EmptiMind's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: PNW
Oddometer: 459
So, sounds like I just need to do a nice pre-ride check, make sure everything is tightened and this Buell will be awesome.

67MPG!? Were you running lean, or should I expect that? I hear the FI is usually easily remedied with a race ECM. I also hear you need to leave the belts a little loose.

I plan on keeping this bike until it becomes more expensive to maintain than to enjoy, been riding a CB750 for 10 years. I've ridden the Buell, since the seller wasn't in a hurry to sell I made sure to do some research before committing, but I love the way it feels.

What are the weight limits on it? I figured with 101 HP and as much torque as it has it'd be able to handle a bit. Was thinking about making it into a hack later in life, would it have issue pulling one?
EmptiMind is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2013, 07:46 AM   #6
Donkey Hotey
De Jo Momma
 
Donkey Hotey's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2005
Location: 20 Mule Team Trail (Palmdale, Ca)
Oddometer: 10,318
The saddlebags are not super-sturdy. They tried to keep weight down everywhere and that included the thickness of the bags which was a mistake. They are known to crack and break on the mounting areas. Take a good look at the inside of the bags. They may have already been repaired.

I just installed a set on my 2000 last summer and I'm not confident in the latches either. Maybe I'm paranoid. I haven't had one come open but, I also haven't spent much time with them on the bike. I sure wouldn't load them up with heavy gear. Bulky? Yes. Heavy? No.

I specifically bought my Buells (four of them now) BECAUSE they were lower on maintenance than my other bikes. As already stated, air cooled, pushrods and belt drive = simple, minimal maintenance. That's a plus for me. I've never owned a truly trouble-free motorcycle. I can't think of anything that suggests Buells are worse than any other.

__________________
Greg
Donkey Hotey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2013, 07:51 AM   #7
Donkey Hotey
De Jo Momma
 
Donkey Hotey's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2005
Location: 20 Mule Team Trail (Palmdale, Ca)
Oddometer: 10,318
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmptiMind View Post
What are the weight limits on it? I figured with 101 HP and as much torque as it has it'd be able to handle a bit. Was thinking about making it into a hack later in life, would it have issue pulling one?
I get low 50s on mine, whether carbureted or fuel injected (I have four of them). Low speed touring would get higher but, I don't do much of that.

Sidecar? I wouldn't. The engine and swingarm are rubber mounted. It's been done but, I can't imagine it's very good for the engine mounts or the vibration transmitted to the rider. A sidecar would put all kinds of weird loads into the engine mounting system, in directions it's not designed to carry them. Bad ju-ju.
__________________
Greg
Donkey Hotey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2013, 09:27 AM   #8
motomike14
Thumper Crusader
 
motomike14's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Florida
Oddometer: 1,622
I had a 2000 S3. Couple things to check:

1) Shock mount recall. Three options; skinny mount (the "bad" ones), the weird looking cone, or the thicker mount.
2) Voltage regulator. Bring a volt meter reader and check at idle, then rev it up. If the volts go way up, regulator could be bad.
3) Last time it had the fuel injection "zeroed."
4) Oil overflow tube into the airbox. If it doesn't have a bottle or something like that on the end, I'd address that. Buell in their infinite wisdom (and the "$1 million airbox"), decided the air filter was a great place to dump oil overflow into.
5) Rocker box seals. Harley went a metal based rocker box seal in like 2001 or 2002, much superior to the older types.

The bikes are reliable as anvils. I put almost 18,000 miles on mine in about 18 months with no problems, sans a voltage regulator that went out. Engine parts are easy to get since it's just a Sportster engine. Any local Harley dealer would be able to help you find parts. I got 55mpg consistently (stock exhaust, K&N filter, just normal riding) and it never let me down. My dad had 3 other Buells and my uncle had an M2 for a number of years. Never had any major problems.

S3 is a great bike. Ample wind protection and an okay seat. I still have an RKA tankbag for an S3 (though, faded).
__________________
"The bold adventurer succeeds the best. - Ovid

I drink the koolaid too...just not the orange kind.
motomike14 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2013, 12:49 PM   #9
BigIron
Tenured Prof - Leghump U.
 
Joined: Feb 2006
Oddometer: 766
I've had my 98 for over a decade, it's just too much fun to ride.

To echo a few comments already made:

I'd do a fresh set of rocker box gaskets just to be sure,
The bags and latches do indeed suck. At least 2x check that they're closed and latched properly.

And don't overfill with oil. The injection point on the oil bag may fail. Don't ask how I know.

BigIron screwed with this post 02-06-2013 at 12:50 PM Reason: clarification
BigIron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2013, 01:28 PM   #10
Badge320
Wild Hog No. 3
 
Badge320's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: Beaumont, Texas
Oddometer: 3,482
There has been some great information in this thread. I owned a 2002 S3T which I rode to the Harley Homecoming in 2003 and throughout a large part of the U.S. I never had an issue and the bike was dead on reliable. Donkey Hotey is right on with the bag weakness. I overloaded the bags coming back from Milwaukee and cracked mine at the mount.

If you decide to buy the bike I may have a brand new tank mask in the box I'll sell you cheap.
Badge320 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2013, 05:35 PM   #11
EmptiMind OP
Stoopid Youngin'
 
EmptiMind's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: PNW
Oddometer: 459
Awesome, I appreciate your input guys. I'm pretty much set on buying it. Called Buell to verify, all recall work has been done on the bike. The seller is a 53 year old Navy guy who is about to be sent over to Italy. He's babied this bike, I haven't seen a crack anywhere, but I didn't check within the bags at the mounts, he used it as a daily commuter, and only stored his riding gear in the bags while at work, so I doubt they'll be too bad. He replaced the VR in 2008 or so, hopefully that means it's got a problem free one in it.

Anyone else thinks of anything else feel free to input.
EmptiMind is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2013, 06:36 PM   #12
EmptiMind OP
Stoopid Youngin'
 
EmptiMind's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: PNW
Oddometer: 459
Another question for you guys about the bags. It wouldn't be hard for me to take off the stock bags and throw on some aluminum panniers, right? The failure of the mount is within the bag itself, not on the bike side, if I'm understanding you guys. Also, does anyone know of a workable top rack, or will I have to fabricate one?
EmptiMind is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2013, 06:49 PM   #13
Shooter1
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Shooter1's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2004
Oddometer: 441
S3t

I owned a '97 and a '00 S3T, both Amazon green. I've owned over 30 bikes in the last 32 years and can honestly say they were probably the most absolute fun street bikes I ever owned. I don;'t know how I ever kept my DL riding them. My old body finally started protesting the stiff suspension, seat and rigid mounted bars and I sold them. If I won the lottery and could justify a bike to just ride for a couple hours on the weekends, I'd find another. You can pick them up reasonable and they put a non-stop grin on your face. Mine were very reliable. The Sporty motors are solid. I agree, Tubers rule. Buy it.
__________________
-Harvey
#1017
'00 FXDX SG Sport, '06 300XCW,
'07 EXC450, '01 640 Lc4E
Shooter1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2013, 07:28 PM   #14
woodnbow
Beastly Adventurer
 
woodnbow's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2011
Location: Western Slope (By God!) of Colorado
Oddometer: 1,174
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmptiMind View Post
Another question for you guys about the bags. It wouldn't be hard for me to take off the stock bags and throw on some aluminum panniers, right? The failure of the mount is within the bag itself, not on the bike side, if I'm understanding you guys. Also, does anyone know of a workable top rack, or will I have to fabricate one?
I had a Ventura top rack and backrest on mine. It was solid and the stock bags held up fine for me over 25,000 miles or so. I had the front motor mount break, replaced it with a billet version from American Sport Bike (they have a website) and also replaced the rear shock once. Stone reliable, fast enough for me, decent handling and that motor/trans is just one of the best smile generators ever devised...
woodnbow is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 06:11 AM   #15
anonny
What could go wrong?
 
anonny's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: Beautiful Revelstoke BC
Oddometer: 5,396
Buy it
__________________
Kawasaki H1 build thread

71- 450 Honda CL re & re

Just another pathetic sheep following the herd

anonny is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 07:52 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014