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Buell Blast Maintenance and Mechanical Issues

12451 Views 13 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  teddyhardiman9
Hi Everyrone.

I hear there are a lot of Buell enthusiasts on here and while searching for my first bike, the Blast keeps coming up (along with some really great suggestions which I am also researching). I have searched through other threads on this site but haven't really found what I was looking for.

Many of the Buell Blast criticisms I've read involve

1. rocket gasket going
2. fork seals leaking
3. using lots of oil (which really isn't a big deal if you keep an eye on it)
4. random stalling/ losing power/sputtering, which is the most troublesome of the lot.

Do those of you who ride/rode Buell Blasts do your own maintenance and did these or other problems come up?


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I road a Blast when they first came out because I considering getting on as my first bike, but some of the questions you had is what kept me away. But from what I understand alot of the issues have been rectified later by Buell as there quality control got better. Sorry this isn't really much help but it is all I know about the Blast. Maybe you could post what other bikes you are interested in as well...
What's a rocket mean head gasket?

The problem with the Buell Blast is that it can barely do 80mph, being a single cylinder. ones have a 2yr unlimited mileage warranty.
Rocker gasket is like a valve cover gasket.
Welcome to CF and congrats on making the decision to ride.

IME,the Kawasaki Ninja 250 is so much easier to ride and more fun that I'd have a hard time recommending the Blast.The clutch and gearbox,unless they have changed them drastically,are pretty horrible.It's a good concept,but a flawed execution.

I've never personally owned either,just taken other's for spins.

If you're open to used bikes,and as a first bike I think you should be, I'd suggest taking a look at any Honda CB-1 or Hawk GT's that come up for sale locally.They're 16-17 years older than a new Buell obviously,but they're still better built-not to mention just flat better machines all around.Suzuki GS500 and Bandit 400's are worth a look,not as well made as the Hondas but considerably cheaper,likewise the Kawi EX/Ninja 500.You've probably heard this before but I'll repeat it: get a solid bike that's in good mechanical shape cheap to learn on and splurge on your gear.
Joel speaketh the truth!

The Buell is a neat little bike, but it's more of a niche bike than it is a great beginner bike. I think 90% of them are purchased by Harley riders who want to get a bike for their wife to learn on and refuse to buy Japanese.

An older (early 90s) GS500 can be had for around $1000 or less, a monkey could work on the engine, no expensive plastics to replace when you drop it, and tons of advice and help available online (, among others).

Predictable power for a beginner, still plenty fast when you're ready for it.

Best advice in this thread? Buy a cheap bike and lots of expensive gear!
I think the Blast is a great first bike, and the fact that it's a thumper makes the power band lower and more user friendly than the Ninja 250. Plus, the plastics and turn signals are cheaper on the Blast (look it up), when you eventually do drop it. IMO, the biggest downside of the Blast is the self-choking carburetor that is prone to foul spark plugs if you don't let it warm up.

To address your specific concerns:

1) There was an issue on Rocker Box gaskets on older Blasts ('00-'03ish), especially with significant miles on them. It's not a tough fix and they make a better gasket and headbolt now.

2) Fork seals? That's one I haven't heard about -- but it's definitely an area you should check out on any used bike.

3) Using a lot of Oil. This is usually an issue with the rings, and since the bike is in a price range where it becomes a disposable product I have seen this more than the others. PLEASE let the bike warm up before riding it.

4) Random sputtering is again usually caused by the carburetor - which is admittedly a pretty crappy, low rent unit. I have seen the auto choke go on the fritz, the vacuum tube reverse flow, and even a cracked intake manifold as the culprit here. I have also seen a lot of people NOT warm the bike up properly - but I already said that, didn't I?
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What happened to that guy that had a bored out Blast?

He quit posting a while back, but he said there was a lot of stuff a person could do to soup up a Blast.
mph said:
What happened to that guy that had a bored out Blast?

He quit posting a while back, but he said there was a lot of stuff a person could do to soup up a Blast.
I can't remember his name, but he had two really awesome bikes that he'd nicknamed something like Blast Vader or Blast Maul, I think.
There was a time a couple of years ago that the statement "Every Buell on teh road has been recalled for one thing or another" I don't know if that's still a true statement....
I don't think the Blast is long for this world. Buell announced at the dealer meeting last night that they were coming out with a full line-up of motocrossers, enduros, and supermotos. As they will almost have to have lighter and smaller water-cooled engines, it seems likely that a Blast replacement will soon receive the benefits of that technology.
Thanks guys.

After reading these posts and also doing a boatload of other research, I decided I can't be bothered with a lot of maintenance on a beginner bike. Instead I wound up buying a 2006 Ninja 500R. It's used and I got a deal on it. Going to title it tomorrow....

Not a bad decision - you found one w/ warrantee left on it?
I just bought a 2002 Buell Blast 500 and it kept kicking the boot off and sputtering and backfiring and I come to find out that the air mixture screw on the carburetor was turned all the way in seated with a cap on it from Factory
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