View Thread: North Star...


Felix Leiter
A little while back Polaris gave us a scare, they had a teaser on their website which looked as though they were adding a sport-bike to their Victory line of cruisers... unfortunately it wasn't to be and the visuals from the teaser were quick panning shots of Polaris' new quad and personal water craft...

Now that Buell has been absorbed by HD and their "revolutionary" new designs aren't doing them huge favors in terms of performance, is it time for another American manufacturer to step up to the plate and take a stab at producing a competitive performance bike? Don't get me wrong, the Buell XB9R seems to be a badass bike, and I really think that the XB9S (naked version of the "R" ) is horny as hell and I'd love to own one, but the friggen price is what kills it for me.

Up here in Canuck-land the XB9R costs $6000 bucks more than a 600cc Jap or Brit Super Sport. Even thought the Buell is a 1000cc bike it still falls short of the little foreign inline 4s in terms of specific and overall power output. For a little comparison's sake the Japanese and Italian 1000cc V-Twin sportbikes (TL-R, RC-51, Duc 999, Aprilla Mille) are on par with the 750cc inline 4 Jap bikes and in fact race one another (super bike). The 1000cc Buell V-Twin isn't even up to snuff with the 600cc inline 4s. I wouldn't mind all this, as I don't race on a track and don't measure my worth strictly by 1/4 mile times, but the Japanese bikes offer such good value...

Anyway, is it possible for an American manufacturer to offer a competitively priced high performance machine? Chev did it for years with the Camaro, Ford still does it with the 'Stang. How about an American Super Sport bike that is cheaper than the foreign bikes, faster in a straight line and can be made to handle as well for a little extra $$, might have a little crappier fit and finish but is backed with a 7/115 warranty? Could it be done?

Here is a rendition of what someone thought the Victory sportbike would look like...

Felix Leiter
Here is the Buell XB9S naked version of their XB9R sportbike...

The gas is kept in the thick frame coming off of the steering head, the "gas tank" is actually just the air-box, the "oilpan" on the bottom of the bike is a catalyc converter and the oil is kept in one side of the fat swingarm (dunno what this does for unsprung weight but I suppose that varies with the center of mass along the swingarm in relation to the pivot). The front brake is found along the rim and not the hub, which is supposed to enable the use of a lighter/weaker wheel because braking forces don't need to be transfered down the spokes from the hub to the rim/tire. From what I understand they have done such a good job of lowering the center of gravity on the bike that it no longer wants to lean in a corner (think of a weeble-- wobbles but won't fall down). Anyway, I digress as it is home time.