Buell RS1200 "Westwind"

  • My 2 Westwinds are featured in the 2010 calendar of Toledo Harley-Davidson/Buell in Toledo, OH. Check out my link section for their website. Here's one of the pics....
  • classicbuell


    1991 Buell RS1200

    This bike currently represents the senior in my collection. Originally curacao blue it was repainted by one of its previous owners to match the red which was offered by Buell at that time. The decals must be custom made as I have never seen them anywhere else. Upon close examination you will notice the belt drive on this bike. I was told that this was retrofitted by Buell for a previous owner who preferred it over the original chain. A 55 tooth pulley was installed which barely clears the swingarm. The sprocket had to be custom-made by Buell to fit. I rode the bike about 2000 miles with no issue. Nice.

    rs1200Recently I was contacted by a Buell owner who is in the process of restoring a curacao blue RS1200. Once he gets to the bodywork, he will order enough paint so I can repaint this bike as well. I still need to find the correct decals as well as a rear brake cylinder. So far no luck...











    1992 Buell RSS1200

    rss1200 8rss7

    I found this beautiful 1992 RSS in February of  2007. It was sold by the original owner in Baltimore, Maryland. At Buell Homecoming in July 07 Erik Buell signed one of the knee rest fairing pieces.  Cool!

    Here are the original specs and some...

    more history.....

    Harley-Davidson's traditional concentration on cruisers and tourers has, over the years, led many smaller firms to produce sports bikes powered by the Milwaukee company's trademark V-twin engine. Most successful has been Erik Buell, a former road-racer and Harley engineer, whose series of innovative bikes have justified Buell's slogan: 'America's Faaast Motorcycle'. Buell's first model, the RR1000, combined a tuned V-twin power plant and lightweight chassis with aerodynamic, all-enveloping bodywork that boosted straight-line speed. The RR was successful in twin-cylinder racing, and made a swift and single-minded road bike too. Trouble was, nobody could tell its engine was a Harley unit - so in 1989 Buell produced a new model called the RS1200.
    The RS featured broadly similar engineering to the RR, but the fully-enclosed bodywork was gone. Instead there was a sleekly integrated half-fairing, which put on display not only the all-important 1200 Sportster power plant, but also the ingenious chassis that had also previously been buried behind fiberglass.
    Buell's 'Uniplanar' frame design combined a Ducati-style ladder of slender steel tubes with a unique anti-vibration system. Four adjustable rods, each joining engine and frame, restricted the 45-degree V-twin motor's shaking to the vertical plane only. The design added engine stiffness to the chassis without passing vibration to the rider.
    Other chassis details were equally clever, notably the RS1200's Marzocchi forks, which were fitted with Buell's own anti-dive system. The Works Performance rear shock unit was placed horizontally beneath the engine, and was adapted to extend over bumps - the opposite of a normal shock action.
    Brakes and wheels were also of Buell's own design. The 17-inch wheels were made from polished aluminum, and held broad, sticky Dunlop Elite tires. Big twin front discs were gripped by four-piston calipers, designed by Buell and built by specialists Performance Machine.
    All bodywork was also shaped and created by Buell and his small team from Mukwonago, near Milwaukee in Wisconsin. The new fairing blended neatly into the tank/seat unit, while the seat featured a hump that hinged to become a pillion back-rest.
    The Harley motor was left internally standard, and was boosted by a SuperTrapp exhaust system that raised its maximum output to about 60bhp at 5000rpm. Typically generous levels of low- and mid-range torque gave effortless acceleration with a twist of the throttle - and the Uniplanar system did a great job of controlling the V-twin's normal vibration. Even when revved hard, the Buell remained pleasantly smooth to a top speed of 120mph.
    Equally importantly, the Buells compact and well-appointed chassis meant that this was one Harley-engine bike that positively encouraged hard riding on twisty roads. The RS1200's racy steering geometry, excellent frame design and taut forks gave quick steering and flawless high-speed stability, though cornering was compromised slightly by the rather imprecise rear suspension set-up.
    Buell's low production levels and labor-intensive assembly kept the RS1200's price high, but for riders who wanted a sporty Harley it was hard to beat. And that position changed in January 1993, when Harley-Davidson, keen to enter the sports bike market officially, bought a 49 percent stake in Buell's company and raised the levels of investment, production and marketing.
    In 1994 the renamed Buell Motorcycle Company launched its first bike, the S2 Thunderbolt - heavily based on the RS1200 but with numerous refinements in styling, power delivery and suspension.

    The Thunderbolt was a fast, fine-handling and handsome sports bike that was priced more competitively than ever. Boosted by Harley's backing, Buell looked set for an exciting future.

    Source of overview: Super Bikes by Mac McDiarmid

    Make Model

    Buell RSS 1200 Westwind




    Air cooled, 45┬░ V-Twin, four stroke, pushrod actuated overhead valve. hydraulic self-adjusting lifters, 2 valve per cylinder.



    Bore x Stroke

    88.9 x 98.8 mm

    Compression Ratio



    40mm Keihin carb

    Ignition  /  Starting

    -  /  electric

    Max Power


    Max Torque


    Transmission  /  Drive

    5 Speed  /  chain

    Front Suspension

    Telescopic forks/up side down (1992,93)

    Rear Suspension

    Single shock

    Front Brakes

    2x disc (1991), 1x disc (1992,93)

    Rear Brakes

    Single disc

    Front Tyre

    120/60 VB17

    Rear Tyre

    170/70 VB17


    215 kg

    Fuel Capacity 

    13.5 Litres

    Consumption  average

    39 mpg

    Braking 60 - 0 / 100 - 0

    -/ 33.8m

    Standing ┬╝ Mile  

    12.42 sec / 174.8 km/h

    Top Speed

    199.6 km/h


































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