The White Lightning, also known as the Buell S1W, was the one-year-only, cream of the crop edition of the S1 Lightning. Made only in 1998, the White Lightning took Erik Buell’s concept of what you could build around a Harley engine to an extreme. It may also end up being one of the most collectible bikes from Buell’s run.
The 1200cc heart is the same engine found in the Sportster, but Buell adds high-flow heads, bigger headers, and a lightened flywheel. All this plus the custom exhaust system yields a bump to nearly 80/80 hp/lb-ft to the rear wheel – a fantastic amount of torque. The short wheelbase helps maneuverability, and the sparse bodywork draws your eyes to the trick features, including Buell’s interesting brake setup, the inverted forks, and the shock that expands over bumps, contrary to the norm. Unfortunately, the 90’s Buells suffer from some pretty poor reliability issues. If you have good luck and can get around that, you can enjoy a rare bike that’s surprisingly comfortable over long distances. This is partly due to the Buell-developed isolation system (that they called “Uniplanar”), which helps soak up much of the standard Harley V-Twin vibration.
This specific Buell S1W is one of the nicest I’ve seen, and it is stock with the exception of bar end mirrors and a Vance & Hines exhaust with intake.
Find this Buell S1W for sale here on BadWeather Bikers for $5,000 in Freeport, Illinois.