Buell styling is an acquired taste. I’m prepared to wager that sales would have doubled if they’d got the aesthetics right.
To my eyes, this customized 1996 S1 Lightning is the bike that Buell should have built in the first place. And ironically, the tank and the headlight come from a raid on the Milwaukee parts bin: the tank is from a 1998 White Lightning, and the headlight is from a V-Rod. With a Ducati 999 rear subframe and tail section grafted on, this Lightning is positively good lookin’.
It’s the work of Paul Shore, who runs the Canadian workshop Motorrad Performance. Shore bought the bike new and immediately started customizing it, but the incarnation we’re looking at here is a recent one—with fresh styling and a major performance boost.
With 50,000 miles on the clock, Shore decided it was time to tear down the motor. It’s now blueprinted and balanced and running CP forged pistons, Nikasil coated cylinders, and heavily reworked heads with oversize valves.
The adjustable pushrods are from Crane and the exhaust system is a Buell race setup. Fuelling comes from giant Mikuni HSR48 Flat Slides. Power output has been dyno’d at 105 bhp and 105 lb ft of torque—nice and square.
Images © Amee Reehal Photo. With thanks.