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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-11-2011, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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Buyers Guide

I am looking to get out of my Buell XB this year and into an SP2. I have been doing a bunch of reading on here but have not found a concise buyers guide for specific things I should be looking for when I actually go to look at some bikes. I know to check for the normal maintenance stuff on the bike as well as look out for hack-job modifications. Are there any major concerns to look out for on these bikes? I'm hoping to find a Hayden edition with lower miles but am not stuck on one, I just don't want a black one. Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-11-2011, 11:23 AM
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Not to get off topic, but for my second bike, I kinda want a Buell, not a new one, though, an older one, when they still ran the harley motor. The XB1200RR, what can you tell me about it?
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-11-2011, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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I have a 03 XB9s. The motor starts as a Harley 883 which has it's displacement increased to 985cc's. It has better heads than the Harley as well. They handle and stop great. Powerband is very user friendly, lots of torque. The clutch and gearbox are somewhat crude and require a bit of effort. It doesn't break any speed records either, tops out at about ~135, would be much nicer with a 6th gear. I bought the Buell over a Ducati Monster, does the same if not better in performance for significantly less money. Overall they make great street fighters, you can really ride it to it's limit which sometimes is more fun than riding a high powered bike at partial power. The aftermarket for them is a bit shallow too, there is pretty much everything you want to do to them available except very few manufacturers in the game. They exploit some other cool designs as well, fuel tank in the frame, and oil storage in the swing arm. A pic of mine.


2011 Ingot Silver Blown 5.0
2001 RC51
1998 Yamaha SRX 700
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-11-2011, 12:00 PM
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To me, they look cool and sound amazing, yours looks awesome. Have you ever had any issues with the belt drive? And does that single front brake work as well as the dual calipers on jap bikes?
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-11-2011, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I've never had any issues with belt, it is one of the greatest things on the bike, they are good for like 40000 miles. I have never had any problems with the brakes, I have consistently out-braked many Jap bikes and Ducatis with Brembos. I know a lot comes down to rider and confidence but the machine really shines in the corners; entering, through, and exiting with all the torque on hand.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-11-2011, 12:31 PM
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Nice. I definitely wanna try one.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-11-2011, 04:46 PM
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I had an '03 XB9R.

The early models had issues with wheel bearings and the idler pulley bearings.
Some had their bearings self-destruct with as little as 8K miles.
I managed to make it to 24K miles on mine. The right rear bearing was starting to leak grease and make rumbling noises, so I consider myself fortunate it lasted that long.

You can identify those defective bearings by the black grease seals.
The factory upgraded replacement bearings (warranty replacement) have orange grease seals.

Also the early models had a different design belt/pulley design than later models.
The early belts needed replacement around 24K miles on average.
The upgraded belt/pulley have a longer life and are less resistant to debris damage than the earlier design.
You can't mix the two different design belts/pulleys.

The oil pump drive on models up to (I believe) 2008 had a premature wear rate due to the design material.
They redesigned the gear using bronze vs steel which lasted much longer.
On later models, they totally redesigned the oil pump drive based on the design of the XB12RR race bike. These are much more reliable.

One annoying but non-critical problem is the three-piece valve cover design.
They often will develop a little seepage which will accumulate dust/dirt.
This problem (and most Harley seepage issues) were corrected by using Cometic gaskets.

These bikes have a 21 deg rake and 52" wheelbase and are pretty fun in tight corners.
The OEM Dunlop D207 tires were junk and induced a front end shake when they started wearing (due to the tread pattern). Plus they wore out really quick.
Also the profile made the bike stand up under braking.

Just changing the tire over to a different brand (I went to Pirelli) eliminated this.
This bike is best enjoyed around areas with many tight turns.

The XB9 series has a short stroke (for a Harley) and redlines at 7500 RPM.
Compared to the XB12 series, you'll need to row the gearbox more often, but it does sound pretty good at 7000.
The XB12 series has a longer stroke and lower redline (6800 RPM), but has much more torque.
They do get really good mileage considering the tank capacity (3.5 gal on early models).
I used to get around 48 MPG.
About the only problems I had with mine were and 02 sensor and fan died, requiring replacement.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-11-2011, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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Now that the Buells are covered does anyone have some input on what I should be looking for when I go and check out a couple SP2s in the next week or so?

2011 Ingot Silver Blown 5.0
2001 RC51
1998 Yamaha SRX 700
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-11-2011, 06:12 PM
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No major issues with SP2 units. After several miles the stators will need replaced...

My main items I check are oil color and smell. Look at the brake fluid color. If it is okay, usually the owner knows how to take care of the bike. If the brake fluid is nasty, the fork fluid will be screwed too. (In which case, I would chnage the fork seals too.) Sit on the bike and see if you can "rock" the steering head. If there is excess movement, the bearings may need changed.


Pull the side covers to make sure there is no visible damage or leaks in the cooling system. (Run the bike with the side covers off.) If the bike is filthy the owner did nto take very good care of it, unless they didn't clean it after riding in the rain.

As SubSailor will attest, some owner know shit about wiring and have butchered the harnesses to put in a cool light or whatever.



The very first schoolbook that was written had God all over it. --Dave Mustaine
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-11-2011, 06:23 PM
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Madbuyer covered everything i could think of.....If for some reason you look at an SP1, the only other issue would be fuel tank leak. Which is easy to notice, grime (mix of petrol and dirt/dust from riding)on the crease where the tank touches the frame, usually on the left side. Even if the owner cleans it, stick your fingers in by the hinge on the inside of the frame and you will feel a bunch of wet grime.

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1996 Honda CBR 900RR
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