2005 Buell Lightning CityX XB9SX
An Urban Brawler built to tame the city
The new Buell Lightning CityX XB9SX was bred to rule the streets. The Lightning CityX
gives the innovative Buell Lightning platform a tough new profile and offers
performance that's especially suited to urban riding - a combination of agile handling
and muscular mid-range power.
"The Lightning CityX is our urban streetfighter, a bike that's especially suited for
aggressive city riding," said Erik Buell, chairman and chief technical officer at Buell
Motorcycle Company. "This is a bike for the rider who loves to dodge traffic, power
away from lights and utilize the incredible agility of a sport motorcycle to charge
through the asphalt jungle."
The exclusive black-and-blue styling of the Lightning CityX establishes an attitude for
the motorcycle and its rider: rugged, no-nonsense, ready for streetfighting. The Hero
Blue airbox cover and flyscreen are made of a new Translucent plastic that gives the
bike colour but also allows some mechanical elements to be visible through the
material. This first use of a "see-through" styling element on a Buell motorcycle
makes the Lightning CityX the ultimate naked bike. The gauge faces and perforated
tail insert are also blue, and at night the instruments have a subtle blue glow. To
better camouflage urban grime, the Lightning CityX features Villain Black cast
aluminium wheels and a Midnight Black chin fairing and front fender. Pirelli Scorpion
Sync tyres feature an aggressive tread pattern for outstanding grip over the everchanging
To handle the urban elements, the Lightning CityX is equipped with handlebar
deflectors and a headlight grille. A new Skyline seat and a wide Villain Black handlebar
with a Supermotard-style crossbar, promote a comfortable, upright riding style
perfect for viewing the traffic ahead. The soft-rubber Buell X Guard protects the
airbox cover when the rider's tank bag is mounted on the motorcycle.
The heart of the Lightning CityX is its Buell Thunderstorm 984 engine, an air/oil/fancooled, 984cc 45-degree fuel-injected V-Twin that's lightweight, narrow in profile and tuned to deliver the kind of mid-range power an urban rider can use to dart through traffic, merge with authority and out-muscle the masses from stoplight to stoplight.
Peak output is 83 hp (62kW)* and a thumping 64 ft. lbs (85.6Nm)* of torque,
delivered through a smooth, durable drivebelt.
The engine is mounted in a Buell Lightning chassis that's especially well-suited to the
cut-and-thrust action of urban riding. An ultra-short 52-inch (1320mm) wheelbase, 21-
degree fork angle and 85mm of trail gives the Lightning CityX razor-sharp reflexes.
14 litre (3.7-gallon) fuel reservoir is located in the massive aluminium frame, and the
muffler is located below the engine - design elements that significantly lower the
center of gravity and reduce the moment of inertia, which helps enhance the
motorcycle's response to rider input. The swingarm doubles as the engine oil
reservoir and is supported by an adjustable Showa shock absorber. The front wheel
features the powerful Buell Zero Torsional Load brake system, with a 375mm insideout
rotor and a six-piston caliper, suspended by a fully adjustable 43mm Showa
The Lightning CityX is ready to take the hole-shot at every green light, dart around
potholes, split lanes of strangled traffic and drift through the tightest lines the urban
jungle has to offer.
The Trilogy of Technology
The Lightning CityX XB9SX is the latest expression of the Buell Trilogy of Tech design
philosophy, focused on three elements: frame rigidity, mass centralization and low
The rigid aluminium frame is a lightweight, multi-functional structure that serves as
both a solid backbone for the motorcycle and as a 14 litre (3.7-gallon) fuel reservoir.
Using the frame to carry fuel significantly lowers the centre of gravity and reduces
the moment of inertia, both of which improve the bike's reaction to rider input.
Locating the muffler below the engine further enhances mass centralization and a
lower centre of gravity. The massive aluminium swingarm doubles as the engine oil
reservoir, and is supported by an adjustable Showa shock absorber.
The Buell Zero Torsional Load (ZTL) front brake system feeds braking forces from a
six-piston caliper through a 375mm inside-out rotor mounted near the wheel rim to
virtually eliminate torsional loads to the front wheel. This permits the use of a
lightweight, six-spoke cast aluminium wheel that significantly reduces unsprung weight
and steering inertia. The front end is suspended by a fully adjustable 43mm Showa
The final key to the uncanny agility of both Lightning models is a chassis geometry
that combines a 21-degree fork angle and 83mm of trail with a compact, 52-inch
(1320mm) wheelbase. Fifty-two percent of the bike's mass is carried on the front
wheel. The result is a sport motorcycle with the quick reflexes of a GP racer, a bike
that will flick into a corner instantly and hold a line that other sportbikes can't touch.
Key Systems in Detail:
3.1 Belt Drive
The Buell belt drive features an additional idler pulley that ensures a constant path
length of the belt. All the well-known advantages of a belt drive, such as smoothness,
durability and maintenance ease, are enhanced with this new configuration. However,
the most significant advantage of this new technology is the total absence of any lash
in the transmission thus optimising power control. Furthermore, the constant belt
geometry limits the influence of the secondary transmission to the rear suspension.
No adjustment is required, which simplifies maintenance and reduces the number of
parts and the weight of the rear axle assembly.
As also fitted to the 1203cc XB12S and XB12R, the CityX uses the 14mm pitch
aramid reinforced Hibrex® belt with Flexten® Plus technology (Hibrex and Flexten are
registered trademarks of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company)
The Buell chassis includes a multifunctional aluminium frame. This masterpiece blends
the functions of a traditional frame with a fuel tank. Its massive construction delivers
an exceptional level of rigidity. The fuel is located in the bottom-end of the frame and
therefore located much lower and more centred than on a traditionally configured
bike. This lowers the centre of gravity and reduces the moment of inertia in pitch and
roll. The overall weight of the frame is significantly lower than the weight of the
traditional components that it replaces.
The Lightning CityX also features the Buell patented Uniplanar system which allows
the engine to participate in the frame rigidity AND filters most of the engine
As per the frame, the swingarm is made of aluminium. A massive piece further
enhancing the rigidity of the chassis. It forms, with the frame, this one line shape.
When looked at from the left-hand side of the bike, it constitutes a line from the
steering head to the rear wheel axle. And again, form meets functionality as the
swingarm holds the oil reservoir around the arm pivot. This not only reduces the
number of parts and the weight of the motorcycle, it also helps reduce the overall
size of the bike by allowing for an easier packaging of elements such as the battery
or the DDFI II electronic module. This perpetuates Buell's strength in delivering bikes
with mass centralisation and a low centre of gravity.
ZTL Front disc brake/Rear brake
The Lightning CityX XB9SX features an innovative front brake composed of a 375 mm
inside-out brake rotor combined with a six piston caliper. This configuration provides
exceptional braking power and an excellent "feel" and "feedback" to the rider, while
dramatically reducing the front un-sprung weight. The new Zero Torsional Load (ZTL)
brake transfers the braking forces optimally from the rotor to the end of the spokes
rim, without applying any significant torsion load to the spoke of the front wheel,
allowing for the lightweight wheel design.
The rear brake has also been optimised to ensure the proper balance between power
The fully adjustable Showa inverted forks ensure maximum rigidity and feedback.
When combined with the optimised triple clamp and front wheel axle design, the result
is an outstanding front-end rigidity. The forks' set-up delivers fantastic steering
accuracy, while maintaining an excellent level of comfort and feedback to the rider. It
is like having the front wheel mounted between the rider's thumbs!
The rear suspension is made of a fully adjustable Showa rear shock absorber, directly
installed between the frame and the swingarm in a semi-vertical position, allowing
such a short wheelbase.
Thanks to the new front brake configuration and wheel design optimisation, the
weight of the front wheel assembly has been reduced to an incredible value. In fact,
the engineering team simplified all components in the front wheel area as a result of
its constant pursuit of weight reduction. An example of this minimalist approach is the
front wheel axle configuration, which includes a minimum number of parts (no spacer,
nut, nor washer) while assuring the highest level of rigidity.
And benefits are evident: The low un-sprung weight ensures that the tire has contact
with the road surface in any circumstances, while the low steering inertia is a key
element for the bike's impressive agility.
The rear wheel also benefited from the engineering initiative of weight reduction
among the un-sprung elements of the motorcycle. The rear tyre size (180mm) has
been carefully chosen to optimise the combination of traction and agility.
The combination of front and rear wheel assemblies delivers optimal agility, traction,
comfort, weight reduction, serviceability and .style!
Front module/Tail section
The Lightning CityX features an asymmetrical and minimal front flyscreen resembling
a number plate mounted over small, efficient dual headlights stuffed tight into the
front end and held by a beautiful casting integrating all the components together. The
key is located to the left side of the casting and new high contrast and visibility gauge
graphics with superior night visibility include an accentuated tachometer.
The ultra short cast aluminium tail section with it's signature Buell upswept line is
aggressive, extremely light and minimal, leading the eye to the signature tailpiece.
The ergonomics of the Lightning CityX are radically different from those of the
Firebolt. The new handlebar, new seat and footpegs location redefine the riding
position, to achieve a true Streetfighter feel combined with a perfect sense of control.
The front end of the motorcycle is so short, that the bike totally disappears when
riding, giving a feeling of flight. These unique characteristics further reinforce the
sensation of being directly connected with the road.
The bike is very narrow and extraordinarily agile, thanks to its low overall weight,
incredible level of mass centralization, short wheelbase and the increased lever
provided by the wide handlebar.
The rigidity of the chassis ensures perfect stability and an immediate, unfiltered
response to rider inputs. The relaxed riding position and the comfortable seat allow
hours and hours of unlimited fun.
The black-and-blue styling of the Lightning CityX establishes an attitude for the
motorcycle and its rider: rugged, no-nonsense, ready for streetfighting. The Hero
Blue Traslucent airbox cover and flyscreen are made of a new translucent plastic that
gives the bike colour but also allows some mechanical elements to be visible through
the material. This first use of a "see-through" styling element on a Buell motorcycle
makes the Lightning CityX the ultimate naked bike. The gauge faces and perforated
tail insert are also blue, and at night the instruments have a subtle blue glow.
The XB engine features a three-phase high output alternator. The forced-air cooling
system involves an ECM (Electronic Control module) controlled fan.
The Lightning dash board, inspired by classic American hot-rod components features
the speedometer, tachometer, indicator lights, low fuel warning indicator, two trip
odometers, one fuel odometer which starts to count mileage when the low fuel light
goes on, and a clock.
Quality / Development Process
In 2000, Buell put in place a whole new Development Process. The Lightning CityX
XB9SX model has been developed following this process that consists of 4 phases:
The marketing, f styling and service departments meet to discuss the first concepts.
At this stage, a first experimental motorcycle is built.
Proof of Concept
The main goals and quality targets are defined and approved. Every single
department implied in the project defines its own targets and deadlines. Several R&D
motorcycles are built and tested. A council made of Buell and Harley-Davidson
engineers decides if the project moves to the next phase.
Then several generations of bikes go through the Euro Duty Cycle. It is a
comprehensive battery of tests comprising high mileage, high and low speed, traffic
jam simulation, high and low temperatures, low and high altitudes, soft and rough
surfaces. These tests are done on racetracks, motorways or city-like streets.
The bikes are still tested. The production line is set up and tested. The reliability of
the bike but also of the assembly line is tested. Again, the council signs before the
project moves to the final stage.
The final test. All parts are thoroughly inspected, the supplying line is tested. Part by
part, process by process, everything has to be agreed. All the tests' reports are
checked and signed off. Then and only then are the bikes ready to go into production.
*EU standard EC95/1
Engine Type - Air/oil/fan cooled, Four Stroke, 45 degree V-Twin
Displacement - 984 cc
Bore and Stroke - 3.5 x 3.125 in/88.9 x 79.38 mm
Compression ratio - 10:1
Valve train - OHV, Two valves per cylinder
Valve adjustment - Self adjusting
Fuel delivery - 45 mm down draft DDFI II fuel injection
Exhaust - Free-Breathing 2 into 1 collector
Intake - 0 resistance Air Box, Ram Air Intake
Power - 83 hp / 84PS / 62 kW @ 6600 rpm (EU standard EC95/1)
Torque - 63.14 ft-lb / 85.6Nm @ 5600 (EU standard EC95/1)
Lubrication - Dry Sump, 2.5 Quarts / 2.4 litres Capacity
Oil filtration - Screw-on disposable element
Frame - Aluminium Frame with Uniplanar Powertrain Vibration Isolation system
Wheelbase - 1320 mm/52 in
Rake - 21 degree
Trail - 83 mm / 3.3 in
Front Suspension - Showa® shock absorber with adjustable compression
damping, rebound damping and spring preload
Rear Suspension - Showa® shock absorber with adjustable compression
damping, rebound damping and spring preload
Front wheel travel - 120 mm, 4.7 in
Rear wheel travel - 127 mm, 5 in
Front brake - ZTL type brake, 375 mm stainless steel floating rotor, 6
Rear brake - 240 mm stainless steel rotor, single piston floating caliper
Front wheel - 6 spoke cast aluminium, 3.5 x 17 in / 88.9 x 431.8 mm
Rear wheel - 6 spoke cast aluminium, 5.5 x 17 in / 139.7 x 431.8 mm
Front tyre - Pirelli Scorpion Sync 120/70 ZR-17
Rear tyre - Pirelli Scorpion Sync 180/55 ZR-17
Fuel - capacity 14 litres / 3.7 Gal
Fuel - Consumption N/A
weight - 850 lb/385 kg
Dry weight - 385 lb/175 kg
Load capacity - 400 lb/181 kg
Seat height - 30.6 in/777 mm
Ground clearance - 4.35 in/110 mm
Overall length - 76.8 in/1950 mm
Overall width - 32.3 in/820 mm
Overall height - 42.3 in/1075 mm
Transmission Type - Five-speed, constant mesh
Ratio - 1) 2.69, (2) 1.85, (3) 1.43, (4) 1.18, (5) 1.00
Primary drive - Chain 1.68:1 ratio
Clutch - Wet, Multiplate
Final drive - Constant path, 14 mm pitch aramid reinforced Hibrex®
belt with Flexten® Plus technology**, 2.41:1 ratio
Instruments - Electronic speedometer, tachometer, odometer, 2
tripmeter, reserve tripmeter, clock, low fuel light, engine
check light, oil pressure warning light, indicator for high
beam, turn signals and neutral
Electrical Charging system 494 watts peak, 38-amp permanent magnet 3-phase
alternator w/solid state-regulator
Battery - 12 Volts, 12 Amp-hour
Headlight - 55/55 Watt, projector beam
Taillight - 5/21 Watts
Turn signals - Manual cancelling
Colours - Translucent Hero Blue flyscreen and airbox cover, Midnight Black front fender and chin spoiler, Villain Black wheels
Warranty - 2 Year, unlimited mileage warranty (Europe), 1 Year Buell Assistance roadside assistance (Europe)