Used And Abused: Revival Cycles’ Buell Ulysses scrambler

A fast and raw Buell Ulysses scrambler by Revival Cycles.
The thought of a liquor brand commissioning a bike conjures up images of gaudy, logo-slathered choppers from the West Coast. But Revival Cycles had other ideas when Rebel Yell knocked on their door.

They took a stock Buell Ulysses XB12X, and transformed it into the dirt-shredding monster you see here. It’s the sort of thing that happens when you give Revival Cycles an open brief.

A fast and raw Buell Ulysses scrambler by Revival Cycles.
“We have always loved the Ulysses,” says the Texan shop’s Alan Stulberg. “It’s an inexpensive, capable machine with plenty of reliable horsepower and torque on tap at any time.

“Sure…Ulysses S. Grant helped squash the ‘Rebel Yell’ of the Confederates, but we found the irony played out well with our bike of choice.”

A fast and raw Buell Ulysses scrambler by Revival Cycles.
The Ulysses is the closest thing to a dual-sport bike that’s ever come out of Milwaukee. But it’s no hard off-roader. Revival’s version—dubbed ‘The Bueller‘—is an entirely different animal.

“Our goal for this build was to keep the budget in line, as we didn’t have much room for error,” says Alan, “and to prove that you can properly jump, air and land a bike of this heft.”

A fast and raw Buell Ulysses scrambler by Revival Cycles.
“All too often, we see other builders simply putting knobby off-road tires on every street bike out there, from a vintage inline-four Japanese bike to a modern 160 horsepower Ducati superbike,” says Alan.

“While entertaining and fun to look at, this does not make an off-road bike—or even an ‘adventure’ bike.”

A fast and raw Buell Ulysses scrambler by Revival Cycles.
Step one was to strip the Buell right down, ditching all non-critical items and finding places to shave weight. Swapping out the battery helped: The new lithium-ion unit is seven pounds lighter than stock.

The factory subframe is pretty porky too. So Revival designed a new one in CAD, then cut out the sections from heavy gauge aluminum before welding it all up. It’s capped off with an upright, narrow seat that Alan says is still pretty comfortable.

A fast and raw Buell Ulysses scrambler by Revival Cycles.
Revival saw no need to mess with the Buell’s effective fuel-in-frame design. So they simply ditched the dinky plastic faux tank, and fabricated a better-looking one from aluminum. The airbox (usually located underneath) was replace by a K&N filter.

The ‘tank’ space now houses the battery, a Motogadget m-Unit and all the important electrical bits. It’s a shame it’s all hidden: Revival have become known for their electrical prowess, and we’d love to see one of their rewires up close.

A fast and raw Buell Ulysses scrambler by Revival Cycles.
“We sell and install more high-end gadgetry from Motogadget than anyone else in the world,” says Alan. “The tidy nature of the Buell frame, and our reworking of the design, has resulted in a subtle and almost invisible installation of the modern technology.”

There’s even a Buell Racing ECU at work, making for snappy, 115 horsepower acceleration. Pure madness for a dirt bike.