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Thread: XB12Ss: new owner looking for remedies to some quirks

  1. #1
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    After spending 2 decades on BMWs and Japanese sport bikes & dual sports, I recently purchased an XB12Ss.

    I have always been interested in the XB series ever since it was introduced but when I test rode an early XB9, I found the front end too nervous when pushed under hard cornering, and the power & fuel capacity inadequate. When the XB12Ss came out it addressed these issues for me but it wasn’t until 6 months ago that I actually purchased one.

    I have spent ~5000km in the saddle since I bought it. I have used it for a variety of duties including urban communting, highway touring, and back-road carving. The only modifications I have made are a Drummer SS exhaust and EBR ‘race only’ ECM.

    Overall I am impressed with the bike but there are a couple of quirks I am having trouble getting used to and I am wondering if any of you have found remedies:

    • I find the front end dives into corners. I have tried to tune this out with various suspension settings but I have been unable to eliminate it. Any suggestions?
    • The turning radius is by far the largest of any bike I have ever owned. Is there a simple proven trick to tighten this up (ie cutting/grinding the stops)?
    • An unusual & intermittent engine vibration that emerges at 4000rpm, regardless of road speed. I have double checked all engine mounts & exhaust brackets. I have also loosend & tightened the primary drive chain. The vibration still intermittently occurs.

    Any thoughts or advice appreciated…

  2. #2
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    I run heavier oil in my front forks And it seemed to help me with the excessive dive. The other issues never bothered me.

  3. #3
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    What about tires and balance... Also... Check your Wheel bearings... Another not is the steering head bearings... Also... Check /Sand your front rotor... There are couple of post about also...

  4. #4
    Senior Member 06xbss's Avatar
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    In appox. 15 months of ridding I've put almost 18,000 miles on my XB12Ss and...

    -The only time I've had any problem with the front end diving is when my left fork was getting low on fluid. (Leaking seal when I bought the bike) Other then that, no complaints. I am a lighter rider and my ridding style doesn't really include a lot of heavy breaking.

    -I only notice the huge turning radius when parking the bike, just gotten used to it.

    -My bike sometimes has an odd vibration around 2800-2900rpm. From the research I've done, it has to do with the ECM tune. (When I had the bike dynoed I had a slight dip in my power band at that rpm)

    Factory race pipe/ECM
    K&N air filter
    Breather re-route
    Lucas 20w-50 in both holes

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys. I will try a heavier fork oil, something I have had good results with on previous bikes I have owned.

    Wheel bearings check out fine but I did just tighten up the steering head bearings. I have yet to road test so perhaps I will find that makes a difference.

    I probably should have used the term "fall" rather than "dive" to describe the bike's tendency in corners. It's not a braking issue so much as the bike wants to lean further into corners than it should for the amount of input I am giving it (ie the steering is not as neutral as I am accustomed to).

    Sanding the disc also sounds like it might be useful in reducing another quirk I have noticed which is a 'pulsing' feeling coming through the front end under hard high-speed braking.

  6. #6
    Senior Member 06xbss's Avatar
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    I probably should have used the term "fall" rather than "dive" to describe the bike's tendency in corners. It's not a braking issue so much as the bike wants to lean further into corners than it should for the amount of input I am giving it (ie the steering is not as neutral as I am accustomed to).
    Sounds like a tire choice problem, I'm currently running Pirelli Super Corsa take-offs and my steering is neutral. (Just the way I like it) I also really like how my bike feels with Michelin tires.

    My front-end had the 'pulsing' feeling when I bought the bike, sanding the rotor and changing the pads helped but did not remove the problem. I removed front rotor re-sanded it and cleaned up all the mounting hardware. Then I used a little high-temp anti-seize on the sliders (floating disc) when I put everything back together. I have not had any noticeable pulsing since.

  7. #7
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    @06: "Sounds like a tire choice problem, I'm currently running Pirelli Super Corsa take-offs and my steering is neutral."

    I am running the identical Pirellis. I just bumped up the pre-load on the front end to 5 lines showing end that seems to be moving me in the right direction. Perhaps I will try 4 lines next and see what happens...

  8. #8
    Senior Member 06xbss's Avatar
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    I just bumped up the pre-load on the front end to 5 lines showing end that seems to be moving me in the right direction. Perhaps I will try 4 lines next and see what happens...
    Suspension settings can be rather tricky, been playing with mine most of the summer.

    Have to be careful about running to much preload. When I tried 5 lines, per a recomendation I found online, I ended up with the front tire 'pushing' while going into corners with any speed. The tire was taking all the force from the change in direction, instead of the forks asorbing their share of it. Feels kinda like hitting a tiny bit of sand. Killed the upper left side of my front tire in less then 500 miles.

    With gear I only weigh about 160lbs so my preload is currently at 7 lines showing.

  9. #9
    Senior Member 06xbss's Avatar
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    Just thought of something else you might look into. Might want to play around with your tire pressure, lower psi in the front will get rid of the “falling in” feeling.

    The Michelin race tires I used for the last 15,000 miles did not like the factory recommended tire pressures. I found that 32psi front and 34psi rear worked best with those tires.

    Kept the same pressure when I switched to the Pirelli race tires and it seems a little low, just going to bump it up 1psi at a time until I find what works best.



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