Buell S1 Lightning 1200: review, history, specs

The Buell S1 Lightning was a v2, four-stroke Naked motorcycle produced by Buell between 1996 and 1998. It could reach a top speed of 124 mph (200 km/h). Max torque was 78.92 ft/lbs (107.0 Nm) @ 5400 RPM. Claimed horsepower was 84.22 HP (62.8 KW) @ 6000 RPM.

Buell S1 Lightning
Also called Lightning
Production 1996 - 1998
Class Naked
Successor Buell S2
v2, four-stroke
Bore / Stroke 88.9mm x 88.9mm
Compression ratio 10.0:1
Top Speed 124 mph (200 km/h)
Horsepower 84.22 HP (62.8 KW) @ 6000RPM
Torque 78.92 ft/lbs (107.0 Nm) @ 5400RPM
Spark Plug NGK DCPR7E '98
Battery YUASA YTX20L-BS '98
Transmission Gear box: 5-speed

Final Drive: belt

Clutch: wet multi-disc, manual
Final Drive Belt `98[1]
Suspension Front: 40mm adjustable telescopic fork
Rear: adjustable mono-shock
Brakes Front: single disc
Rear: single disc
Front Tire 120/70 ZR17
Rear Tire 170/60 ZR17
Seat Height 29.49 inches (749 mm)
Weight 425.49 pounds (193.0 Kg) (dry), 200.0 kg (wet)
Oil Filter K&N KN-171[2]
Fuel Capacity 1.06 Gallon (4.00 Liters)
Manuals Service Manual

The S1 Lightning was a more fundamental sportbike than the S3 Thunderbolt and M2 Cyclone that it was marketed alongside. Variants of this version of the Lightning include the S1W White Lightning (1998) and the X1 Lightning, with new "Thunderstorm" heads and cams (1999–2002).


The engine was a air cooled v2, four-stroke. A 88.9mm bore x 88.9mm stroke result in a displacement of just 1203.0 cubic centimeters.


The bike has a 5-speed transmission. Power was moderated via the wet multi-disc, manual. Final drive was via belt.


It came with a 120/70 ZR17 front tire and a 170/60 ZR17 rear tire. Stopping was achieved via single disc in the front and a single disc in the rear. The front suspension was a 40mm adjustable telescopic fork while the rear was equipped with a adjustable mono-shock. The S1 Lightning was fitted with a 1.06 Gallon (4.00 Liters) fuel tank. The bike weighed just 425.49 pounds (193.0 Kg).

1996 Buell S1 LightningEdit

The 1996 MY Buell S1 Lightning has, at its heart, an air-cooled, four-stroke, 1203cc, 45-degree V-Twin powerplant paired to a five-speed manual transmission that can reach a maximum power output of 101 horsepower and 129 Nm of torque.

This naked machine shares it's chassis with the Thunderbolt, but has been redesigned to be as light and maneuverable as possible. It comes standard with features such as a 40mm telescopic front fork coupled to a rear adjustable mono-shock, front and rear disc brakes, an under-belly exhaust system, for a lower center of gravity, a small, dual seat, a small windscreen, cast-aluminum wheels and a low-maintenance, Kevlar-reinforced belt final drive.

In MediaEdit


  1. 2019 Western Power Sports Catalog. Western Power Sports. 2019. 
  2. 2019 K&L Supply Co Catalog. K&L Supply Co. 2019.