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Thread: Picked-up an '06 XB12S - Help me fix it.

  1. #1
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    Picked-up an '06 XB12S - Help me fix it.

    I've always liked the XB-S series since they came out. Despite disgusted looks and shaking heads from the anti-Buell snobs at the powersports dealer I work for (Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Polaris Can-Am), I picked up a clean 2006 Buell XB12S last weekend. While I've ridden just about everything under the sun, my personal bike is an SV650 with around 85,000 miles on clock and a lot of money dumped into proper suspension. The Buell is a great fit next to the SV in my garage.

    Now I've got some work to do.

    After seceding to the fact that the Buell transmission will never be great (actually, it's probably the worst I've ever shifted), I'm working on improving the following:

    1. New tires and new fluids - got this one handled.

    2. Throttle Cables

    I have no idea how the previous owner kept riding the bike like this. At full lock, the throttle doesn't return. Just going straight, I nearly have cruise control at any speed. I've got new throttle cables on the way.

    Are there any potential pinch points to look for where the throttle cables would bind?

    3. Clutch

    This clutch sucks - I know, "man-up" or "learn to use man's clutch" is thrown around, but if Honda can make a buttery smooth and ultra light clutch for a 1.8 liter motor, then Buell/Harley and their engineering excellence should be able to do the same.

    I've got a new clutch cable on the way, but I'm sure that won't remedy my complaint. The Pazzo short levers aren't helping either.

    It looks like there are two paths here - hydraulic clutch from Magura or Muller/Clutchlite modified clutch ramps. I have yet to find conclusive preference to the clutchlite over the Muller setup and it seems that there is no general consensus that the Magura Hymec clutch reduces clutch effort. Can someone point me in the right direction here?

    4. Power - Someone's ruined a perfectly good motorcycle.

    When I first drove an XB12S in 2004, I remember it having great midrange and good pull through redline. The one I bought has no bottom end, crap for midrange, and goes like a raped ape above 4,000 RPM. Then it pegs the rev limiter because just 2,000 rpm of power in one gear isn't enough time before shifting. Worse, it's too freakin' loud. It's sht.

    I suspect this is due to the previous owner's futzin' with stuff they didn't understand and had no business messin' with. The bike has a Jardine carbon fiber exhaust that doesn't look all that great and sounds worse. The airbox cover has holes drilled in it near the fuel filler cap (which I doubt affects airflow that much), and the bike came with a data cable, ECMSpy software (which the previous owner kept referring to as "Spyware"), and printouts of fuel maps. I haven't pulled the airbox cover to see what I'm dealing with under there yet, hopefully it's not all cut up.

    My plan is to put the bike back to stock and get the interactive exhaust valve going again. That should bring back the midrange and quiet the bike down. Am I opening up a can of worms here? Is there that much power to be gained by messing with the fuel curves on a stock bike?

    It looks like all XB-S/R exhausts are compatible with all years, is that correct?

    Anyone have a good condition stock exhaust available? Any interest in a used Jardine carbon slip-on?

    5. I've got a California model ...

    It looks like (one of) the previous owners removed the charcoal canister and routed rub fuel line to dump excess fuel/vapor outboard. Was there any other emissions equipment (like a catalytic converter, etc.) that is unique to the California model?

    6. Stock rear fender/License Plate Holder

    I'm probably in a very small minority that actually likes the look of the piece. My bike doesn't have it. I'm willing to buy it (with XB12S labeling) if anyone has one for sale.


    I think that's about all for complaints. After 80k+ of cleaning a chain, the belt drive makes it all worth it ...
    Last edited by Buells-Eye; 09-18-2015 at 01:26 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member lunaticfringe's Avatar
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    a day never goes by on here without some ensuing discussion of the primary/clutch/trans combo. assuming that your clutch pack is in good order....clutch cable routed correctly....and no damage to shifter shaft and components from tip-over...the following will give you buttery-smooth shifting and light lever feel and pull:
    proper primary drive chain adjustment
    lube clutch cable and be absolutely certain both front support brackets installed.
    lube clutch perch and lever pivot point.
    install 1 quart fresh primary fluid in correct viscosity and brand.
    simultaneously adjust both the cable and clutch pack screw.
    learn proper shifting technique for a sportster/buell. makes all the difference in the world.

  3. #3
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    Can you explain that last one Lunatic?

  4. #4
    Senior Member lunaticfringe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjanderson_90 View Post
    Can you explain that last one Lunatic?
    when the bike is cold i paddle from a stand-still to get moving then engage first. minimal clunk.
    i never sit at stop signs and red lights with clutch disengaged waiting to proceed. it is hell on the cable and the primary cover lips that the ramp presses upon. this assembly fragile enough without the added strain of constant pressure.
    when shifting down try and match engine speed to next lowest gear speed then shift down.
    when up-shifting i apply pressure to the shift lever just as i'm pulling in clutch lever then rapidly engage next gear up. makes for some really smooth shifting action.

  5. #5
    Senior Member DSHUMAKER's Avatar
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    lunatic is right. After I learned how to adjust everything I noticed a huge difference. I've also learned that it all needs tweaked from time to time to keep things shifting smoothly. I've noticed with my bike it really wakes up around 4k too. She has plenty of power up to 4k but it's almost like a power band on a 2 stroke after 4k. I call that the oh $h!t range. I kinda dig it though it keeps you on your toes. On the other hand the boost in power at 4k does give you tons of power in the taller gears.

  6. #6
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    My bike had the carbon fiber Jardine on it when I bought it and it sounded like crap too. After taking it apart I found the packing was completely burned out! It was cracked too from impact. My bike has the EBR race ECM for the Jardine so I bought a new aluminum one and repacked and sealed it. Power improved. I was also not pleased with how the transmission shifted but after a crash that required replacement of the shift linkage I am very pleased with it.

  7. #7
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    Ya after seeing the damage the the lips can get i always leave it in neutral at a light. But otherwise i just ride it like any other bike haha

  8. #8
    Senior Member mrlogix's Avatar
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    Hey Bullseye, just curious what you gave for the bike? Sounds like your going to have a busy time this winter.

  9. #9
    Senior Member GregoXB's Avatar
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    Repack muffler like so:


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrlogix View Post
    Hey Bullseye, just curious what you gave for the bike? Sounds like your going to have a busy time this winter.
    The bike isn't wreck - quite the contrary; it's in great shape. However, some people easily confuse loudness for performance and up making a bike perform worse, though they think it feels faster because it's obnoxiously loud. That same placebo effect holds true for messing around with fuel injection maps - downloading maps (which I'm thinking is what the previous owner did) is not the right way to tune an engine. Tuning on a dyno for the proper A/F is.

    New cables, proper (stock) exhaust, and some maintenance should make this new bike good as new.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregoXB View Post
    Repack muffler like so:
    Thanks for the tip and the video makes it look easy, however; it's a lot of effort for an end result that still isn't ideal for me. I'm not really keen on the looks of the Jardine and even when packed properly and fitted with the quiet insert, it'll still be too loud for my tastes.



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