Buell XB9S Lightning Is Bumblebee on Wheels, Custom Job Has Unlikely Origins


Ah, Buell. The name that has been dangling menacingly over the head of companies like Harley-Davidson ever since 1983 has had a rough time lately, but it now seems to be coming back with a vengeance.

The Hammerhead 1190 is just about ready to enter production, and a small army of about nine other motorcycles from the same brand are coming our way soon. What better time, then, to dig out incredible custom builds based on older models of the company.

Like the Bumblebee on two wheels we have here, originally an XB9S Lightning from 2003. Now, Buell was never one to shy away from using the color yellow, so that analogy could have been made for any of the bikes made by these guys. Yet, the moniker seems particularly fitting on this XB9S, as the custom modifications made to it really make it stand out.

The build is the work of an Estonia-based guy named Fredy Jaates. That’s right, a little European country few of us know anything about, but from where amazing things like this here bike come from.

Draped in only two colors, yellow and black, the Buell features quite the number of modifications. They start with the custom wheels, sized 18 inches front and rear and covered in custom fenders. Fredy himself contributed the body kit, wrapped in House of Kolor hues of yellow and black, but also the front fork and brake rotors, fitted with Brembo calipers front and rear.

You can find the full list of modifications made to the bike here, but be warned, what you’re also going to find is a steep price. Fredy is asking 24,000 euros for it, which is about $28,000, and almost ten times more expensive than what a used, unmodified Buell of this kind is worth on the open market.