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Buell Lightning XB12S

2008 Buell Lightening XB12S

Engine and EFI Enhancements Boost all 2008 Lightning® Models

The Buell® Lightning® series is a family of motorcycles with a strong strain of Streetfighter DNA. Packing a one-two combination of V-Twin muscle and innovative engineering, the Lightning is a motorcycle designed to excel in the real world, where torque trumps horsepower and credibility is earned on the streets and backroads.

Wide, flat handlebars and athletic ergonomics put the Lightning rider in control of any situation. A broad, V-Twin powerband means thrust is always just a twist of the throttle away. A short wheelbase and stiff chassis – the pure application of the Buell Trilogy of Technology philosophy – produce a motorcycle that is agile and intuitively responsive to rider input. There are five Buell Lightning models for 2008.

The Lightning family will also benefit from a newly developed Thunderstorm™ V-Twin powertrain in 2008, with significant enhancements to boost engine performance and reduce required maintenance. Two versions of the engine are offered, both featuring electronic fuel injection and dry-sump oiling.

For 2008, the Thunderstorm engine displaces 1203cc and produces 94 horsepower (70kW) at 6800 rpm and 77 ft. lbs. / 104 Nm of torque at 6500 rpm. With an increase in maximum revs to 7100 rpm this gives the engine an even broader powerband, and riders the ability to accelerate longer through the gears. The Thunderstorm 984 displaces 984cc and produces 80 horsepower (60kW) at 7500 rpm and 58 ft. lbs. / 79Nm of torque at 4500 rpm. Both powertrains are tuned to deliver a broad, flat torque curve that makes abundant power available to the rider at almost any speed. In turn this reduces the need for downshifting and provides strong acceleration throughout the rev range.

What’s New on Lightning® for 2008
Updates to both the 1203 Thunderstorm™ V-Twin and 984 Thunderstorm V-Twin engine both enhance performance and reduce maintenance cost.

Each Lightning model is pre-wired for the easy installation of accessory heated hand grips, with 18 peak watts per side and High and Low heat settings.

The instrument panel styling is refreshed and the tachometer reflects the new 7100-rpm redline on models equipped with the 1203 Thunderstorm engine.

To commemorate Buell Motorcycle Company’s 25th Anniversary, a graphic with Erik Buell’s signature is placed on the handlebar clamp.

Cosmetic frame protectors help reduce damage to the frame in case of a tip-over incident.

Lightning® Motorcycles in detail

Buell do not believe in a one size fits all policy, which is why the Company offers 3 size options of the XB12S Lightning model to suit riders of all heights.

A direct descendent of the notorious 1996 Buell S1 Lightning, the XB12S is ready to unleash any rider’s inner hooligan nature. The tyre-twisting torque of a Thunderstorm 1203 V-Twin is paired with the athletic reflexes of the Buell Intuitive Response Chassis™ (IRC), a combination of throttle response, handling and sexy naked styling that is simply irresistible.
Buell® Lightning® XB12S highlights

Buell Thunderstorm 1203 V-Twin engine
(per SAE J607)

            77 ft. lbs./104 Nm peak torque @ 6500 rpm (per SAE J607)
            Buell InterActive Exhaust
            New DDFI 3 Electronic Fuel Injection ECM
            New eight-row oil cooler with Jiffy-tite fittings
            Fully adjustable 43mm Showa® upside-down fork
            Fully adjustable Showa rear shock absorber
            Buell ZTL™ front brake
            Goodyear Hibrex® drive belt with Flexten® Plus technology
            Dry Weight: 179Kg
            Wheelbase: 1320mm
            Seat height: 765mm

            New Cosmetic Frame Protectors
            New Pre-Wiring for the easy installation of Accessory Heated Grips
            New Instrument Panel Graphics
            Pirelli® Diablo T tyres
            Available with Translucid bodywork
            Commemorative Buell 25th Anniversary badge

CG stands for ‘centre of gravity’, and the Lightning XB12Scg keeps it low with a  reshaped seat and lowered front and rear suspension, reducing the seat height to 726mm. It’s all accomplished with no compromise to handling or performance.

Buell® Lightning® XB12S Technical Specification:

Type Air/oil/fan cooled, 4 stroke, 45° V-Twin
Displacement 1203 cc
Bore and Stroke 88.9 mm x 96.8 mm
Compression ratio 10.0:1
Valves OHV, two valves per cylinder
Valve adjustment Self adjusting
Fuel system 49 mm down draft DDFI III fuel injection
Exhaust Tuned, tri-pass resonance chamber with InterActive valve
and mass-centralised mounting
Intake Zero resistance air box
Power* 94 hp / 95 PS / 70 kW @ 6800 rpm (EU Standard EC95/1)
Torque* 77 ft. lb / 104 Nm @ 6500 rpm (EU Standard EC95/1)
Lubrication Dry sump, / 2.4 litres capacity
Oil filtration Screw-on disposable element

Frame Aluminium frame with Uniplanar™ powertrain vibration
isolation system, fuel in frame
Wheelbase 1320 mm
Rake 21°
Trail 83.8 mm
Front fork 43 mm Showa® inverted fork with adjustable compression
damping, rebound damping and spring preload
Rear shock Showa® coil-over monoshock with remote, under-seat
reservoir and adjustable compression damping, rebound
damping and spring preload

Suspension Travel
Front wheel 120 mm
Rear wheel 129 mm
Front brake -type brake, 6-piston, fixed caliper, 375 mm single sided,
inside out, stainless steel, floating rotor
Rear brake 240 mm stainless steel, single piston, floating caliper, fixed
Front wheel 6-spoke ZTL™ cast aluminium, 3.5 in x 17 in
Rear wheel 6-spoke ZTL™ cast aluminium, 5.5 in x 17 in
Front tyre Pirelli® Diablo T 120/70 ZR-17
Rear tyre Pirelli® Diablo T 180/55 ZR-17
Soft Contact: Right 42°
Soft Contact: Left 42°
Hard Contact: Right 50°
Hard Contact: Left 48°
Fuel capacity 14.5 litres
Gross vehicle weight rating 385 kg
Dry weight 179 kg
Load capacity 180 kg
Seat height 765 mm
Ground clearance 110 mm
Overall length 1950 mm
Overall width 753 mm

Type Five-speed, helical gear
Ratio (1) 2.65, (2) 1.89, (3) 1.41, (4) 1.17, (5) 1.00
Primary drive Triplex chain 1.500:1 ratio
Clutch Wet, multiplate, compensated, reduced lever effort
Final drive Constant path, 14 mm pitch aramid reinforced Goodyear®
Hibrex® belt with Flexten® Plus technology**, 2.407:1 ratio


Electronic speedometer, tachometer, odometer; dual
resettable tripmeter; high beam, neutral, oil, low fuel (plus,
odometer shows miles traveled on reserve), turn signal and
engine diagnostic indicator lamps; clock

Charging system 405W peak, 30-amp, permanent magnet, single-phase
alternator with solid-state regulator
Battery 12 volt, 12 amp-hour
Headlight Twin Quartz Halogen [H7] , 55-watt low beam, 55-watt high
Taillight 5/21 Watts
Turn signals 10W manual canceling

24 months (unlimited mileage)

* Europe only - Australian specifications to be confirmed
**Hibrex and Flexten are registered trademarks of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.