New Additions – Buell 1125CR

So it all started with going with R-bert to fetch some one piece leathers from a chap in Scunthorpe (Hello Simon) While there we got talking and Simon showed us all his bikes and other stuff and apart from his GSXR Turbo he had a Buell 1125CR. We were talking and I liked the look of the bike and he was very enthusiastic about it so I started thinking about a 1125CR.

buell-1125cr-09-3I used to have a Buell X1 back in the day but while I really enjoyed it, it broke down about 6 times in the two months I owned it (I then handed it back in disgust) so have always wanted to try a Buell again. I have been watching Buell’s that come up for sale on and off  and noted that 1125’s do come up a bit cheaper.

I had heard that the 1125’s were a bit rubbish and have lot’s of problems, but from what I understood, the CR model had sorted lot’s of problems (There are still some in there though!) So after speaking to Simon I started half heartedly looking for a CR (They are rare so won’t come up very often) then one popped up fairly locally at a very good price.

I went up to see it and basically I bought it. As part of the deal the bike was delivered and I didn’t get chance to test ride it. Once the bike was delivered I sorted out some insurance and Road Tax and I was on my way. While overall the bike is brilliant there is some problems specific to this bike and generally to this model. THey are:

  • The indicators flashed at a terrific rate, they all worked but flashed madly
  • The rear brake does not work
  • The throttle did not return to closed
  • The front tyre was not matched to the rear, still the same make, Pirelli, but only H speed rated not Z
  • The indicator switch would look out of place on a scooter
  • The battery doesn’t seems to be holding a charge
  • The standard Clubman bars are not the best position

Other than that the bike is amazing, it’s like a very, very fit Bandit 1200 engine in a SV650 chassis. When you are riding there is nothing in front of you it’s like you are riding a BMX bike!!!

I have already started fixing some of the issues:

The indicators, Buell in their infinite wisdom do not do something as simple as using a relay like all the other bike manufacturers they use a module in their dashboard. This means you can’t just change the relay for a LED friendly one you have to somehow con the bike into thinking the indicators are the sort it wants to see. In the end I removed the LED indicators from the rear of the bike and replaced them with incandescent ones, this was just a stop gap repair, but it did work!

The rear brake – I still need to sort this

The throttle issue was something I raised with the seller but he just told me that Buell are weird while warming up, obviously the bloke is an arse as the bike wasn’t even running at the time. I managed to fix this by diligently adjusting the cables at both ends and trying the steering at both locks.

Front tyre not the correct rating. This isn’t a huge problem, though it shouldn’t have been sold like this, and I will change it at some point over the winter.

To get rid of the indicator switch I have been looking at replacing it with one from a SV650. This is the standard Suzuki style and has all the same controls as the Buell but better looking and easier to use.

The battery, I will keep an eye on this and see if it is a battery problem, charging problem or just a battery that needs a good charge.

Handlebars, Buell do an official high bar conversion with the necessary longer clutch and brake hose and the throttle cables, pretty sure I will be getting one of these kits at some point.

The down side of getting the Buell apart from people looking at you odd and the constant fear that it will breakdown (I told you before I had a very unreliable X1 before) is that it has really made my Bandit a bit superfluous….. so do I sell it? Does anyone want a really nice sorted Bandit 1200?

About The Author


Ambitious Amateur Mechanic, with a slight (OK not slight) Suzuki bias