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Thread: Another newbie with issues XB9SX

  1. #1
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    Another newbie with issues XB9SX

    After lusting for over a decade I finally found a Buell and decided to pick it up despite a lot of issues. They're pretty hard to find in Canada and due to crazy insurance on the 12s I was stuck looking for a 9 which is even more rare. The ad said that it didn't start, but I researched a lot and figured it was 90% chance of a bad ground. I was late to pick it up and the PO had actually fixed the ground issue and it started up so I could see it run. Here it is when I picked it up:

    XB9 RED.jpg

    First thing, I ****ing love this bike. More character than I thought it would have. I love the design/engineering and the quirks even though I know it makes some maintenance a pain. Super fun to ride. But now I have a lot of issues to work on to get it closer to stock and not dripping oil and gas everywhere. It came with some stock parts so I took off the clip-ons and made it more comfortable:

    XB9 BLUE.jpg

    Big Issues:
    • Front brake pulses like the rotor is warped. Probably just dirty or deposits. Going to disassemble everything, clean (sand), new fluid, pads, maybe hardware. And new bearings.
    • Aftermarket brake lever pushes the piston in the master cylinder about 1/8in. The lever is the right part number and it doesn't look like the pad is dragging, but I have to look into this. I've read about the front brake locking up due to this.
    • Sputters once in a while. Getting better with a stock tune and some more miles to clean everything out.
    • Drips gas out of the breather.
    • The oil tank/swingarm has a dime sized hole in it. I have a replacement swingarm, but I will have to clean/paint it.
    • Leaks oil out the clutch cable connection.
    • The clutch feels like it's slipping. Haven't ridden it hard enough to test this more than once.
    • Something sounds rattly above 4000rpm with a lot of throttle. May be the primary chain or tensioner (my guess).


    Small Issues:
    • Big dent in right tank hidden under CF panel it came with.
    • Clock resets every time I turn it on.
    • Tires are garbage. I'm looking at Pirelli Angel GTs, but TBH don't like the look of the tread.
    • Too loud - pretty much straight pipes. I was able to find a stock muffler for it, and replacement headers. I think my stock muffler has been modified though, as it's still too loud.
    • Front signals short out when I brake. I have some stockers that I'm going to put back on and check the wiring.
    • Seat is all torn up. I found a non-SX seat that works better, and has the scoop in it which the SX seat doesn't have. More comfortable, but it bends the knees more because the seat is an inch or two lower.
    • All the plastics are scratched up.
    • Holes put in the airbox were hacked.
    • The back brake feels like wood.
    • The back light is painted black inside. Real safe...
    • Finding parts in Canada is a pain.
    • Overall finish - paint chips /scrapes/dents galore.


    What I've done so far:
    • Cleaned it up
    • Put on the stock bars/hand guards/mirrors/plastics
    • Changed the seat
    • Changed the muffler
    • Ridden ~200km
    • TPS reset
    • Stock tune for now
    • Come to the conclusion I've bought a total POS, but in a good way I hope.


    My goal is to get it back to being reliable. I know it's a bit of a rat, but if I can ride it a lot then I'm happy. The price was really good and I like working on bikes so it's my winter project. I also don't want to feel bad about putting lots of miles on a good example. This thread will be my log of updates. It's cold in Canada now so a good time to go over the whole thing.

    The next step is to build a good stand so I can lift or suspend it to work on all the parts. Thanks for reading!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leakyrat View Post
    the PO had actually fixed the ground issue and it started up so I could see it run.

    Did he say what ground it was? Coil? Steering neck? With the rest of the bike in the shape, I'd be wary of the PO's 'repairs'

    First thing, I ****ing love this bike. More character than I thought it would have.

    welcome to the Buell addiction

    I love the design/engineering and the quirks even though I know it makes some maintenance a pain.

    Totally not true. These bikes need the least amount of maintenance of any late model bike I know of. No valve adjust, no chain adjust/replace, no carb jets... Plugs (the rear one) are a pain every 50k. haha.

    and not dripping oil and gas everywhere.

    Even considering their close relationship to Harley Davidson... Buells have proven to be pretty clean. Oil is a distant maybe, but GAS!?! I sure hope not!


    Big Issues:
    • Front brake pulses like the rotor is warped. Probably just dirty or deposits. Going to disassemble everything, clean (sand), new fluid, pads, maybe hardware. And new bearings.

      You're right. Very possibly dirty hardware or improperly bedded pads. A good disassemble/clean, re-assemble will tell you. I highly recommend the EBR brake rotor mounting kit (if you can find it). It mounts the rotor solidly to the front wheel and makes a big difference
    • Aftermarket brake lever pushes the piston in the master cylinder about 1/8in. The lever is the right part number and it doesn't look like the pad is dragging, but I have to look into this. I've read about the front brake locking up due to this.

      The thing to note is: Look inside your master cylinder as you install the lever. Does the piston try to cover the hole partially when installed? A little depression is ok, but you should't be able to see the end of the M/C piston. You can always bring the lever stop a little or even the piston plunger part of the lever if you are worried
    • Sputters once in a while. Getting better with a stock tune and some more miles to clean everything out.
    • Drips gas out of the breather.

      *Yikes
    • The oil tank/swingarm has a dime sized hole in it. I have a replacement swingarm, but I will have to clean/paint it.

      *Yikes!!
    • Leaks oil out the clutch cable connection.

      Easy O-ring swap should cover it. Clutch cable replacement procedure in the manual (Buellmods.com or Buelltooth.com has a free .pdf download
    • The clutch feels like it's slipping. Haven't ridden it hard enough to test this more than once.

      Get the adjustment right when you replace the o-ring, heck pull the primary off, clutch frictions out and look. It's easy.
    • Something sounds rattly above 4000rpm with a lot of throttle. May be the primary chain or tensioner (my guess).

      Also in the service manual. Check the tensioner foot with the primary off. If it's good, I actually adjust mine the OG way, Loosen 'till noise, tighten 'till noise, then back off between the two. Too tight is WAY worse than too loose.


    Small Issues:
    [*]Big dent in right tank hidden under CF panel it came with.[*]Clock resets every time I turn it on.

    Typically a weak or cheap battery. These need a minimum of 220CCA. Deka Big Crank Batteries are a great deal for them.
    [*]Tires are garbage. I'm looking at Pirelli Angel GTs, but TBH don't like the look of the tread.[*]Too loud - pretty much straight pipes. I was able to find a stock muffler for it, and replacement headers. I think my stock muffler has been modified though, as it's still too loud.

    Stock mufflers are actually very quiet. Look into Kevin Drum (Drummer). His modified stock muller with packing is really, really, quiet.
    [*]Front signals short out when I brake. I have some stockers that I'm going to put back on and check the wiring.[*]Seat is all torn up. I found a non-SX seat that works better, and has the scoop in it which the SX seat doesn't have. More comfortable, but it bends the knees more because the seat is an inch or two lower.

    https://www.buellxb.com/forum/showth...ght=upholstery
    [*]All the plastics are scratched up.

    https://www.buellxb.com/forum/showth...light=plastics
    [*]Holes put in the airbox were hacked.

    Your choice, leave it, remove it completely, or go stock. But get the tune to match what you do with the intake and exhaust. Buelltooth.com
    [*]The back brake feels like wood.

    Yes. lame.
    [*]The back light is painted black inside. Real safe...

    You can find the OEM stock LED taillight cheap from Lance at SPHDonline.com
    [*]Finding parts in Canada is a pain.

    But your bacon and your whisky are worth it! (But Molson still sucks...)


    What I've done so far:
    • Cleaned it up
    • Put on the stock bars/hand guards/mirrors/plastics
    • Changed the seat
    • Changed the muffler
    • Ridden ~200km
    • TPS reset
    • Stock tune for now
    • Come to the conclusion I've bought a total POS, but in a good way I hope.


    You have a GREAT attitude! You'll enjoy her in no time and she'll reward you with good vibrations


    The next step is to build a good stand so I can lift or suspend it to work on all the parts.

    The rear paddock stand needs to be pretty wide to accommodate the wide swingarm. I believe the T-rex stands work. The jack points on the stock muffler are a good argument to keep it.. For me, a sturdy A-frame ladder and tie downs are a good substitute
    this was fun too
    https://www.buellxb.com/forum/showth...light=swingarm
    .
    Congrats on the new ride, and it seems like you have everything in order! Send pics and have fun.


    What are you doing with the Firebolt upper triple you took off? Someone (Ahem, me!) might want one
    Last edited by Cooter; 02-06-2018 at 02:48 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Endopotential's Avatar
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    Hi there! Where in Canada are you? My dad is in Montreal, and I'm sure they're all iced in.

    I just got an XB9 as well, but thankfully mine is in somewhat better shape.

    Spent some quality time on it today as well. Wanted to change out the wheel bearings.

    Just figuring out a way to lift the fat rear end with my PitBull stands was a pain. Ended up using pieces of thin plywood to protect the undersurface of the swingarm, and using those as lift points with the PitBull.

    Then trying to find some tool to take off the axles, not having the OEM tool. Finding a 22mm or 7/8" nut was not easy. Serendipitously found a spark plug socket that fit.

    Looking forward to your updates! Sounds like you know what you're up to, if you're capable of replacing a swingarm.

  4. #4
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    Tagging into this thread as a noob someone with a nowhere-near-as-bad but still sorta-butchered XB9SX (recently discovered what sure looks like jbweld in my primary cover, probably from a parking lot fallover, but still... i know the feel of "oh that's another thing that needs fixed/the hits keep coming")

    Welcome!

  5. #5
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    Welcome! Definitely have some work cut out for you...but sounds like you're well on your way. Keep us posted!

  6. #6
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    Then trying to find some tool to take off the axles, not having the OEM tool. Finding a 22mm or 7/8" nut was not easy. Serendipitously found a spark plug socket that fit.

    THIS should be a "sticky" on here. paul????
    1-find or purchase a 1/2" drive spark plug socket. modern plugs typically have a 5/8th inch shell.....most old vehicle applications were 13/16th inch shell. it does NOT matter.
    2-remove the inner foam sleeve.
    3-insert your extension into the socket where it would normally engage the spark plug. the other end fits all buell axles and works beautifully. half inch works best as the ratchet will generate alot more torque which you'll need.

    axle.jpg

  7. #7
    Senior Member Endopotential's Avatar
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    Thanks John for the tip.

    Though a lot of spark plug sockets out there have a round hole underneath that foam cushion. I had to use a grinding bit to broach out that round collar, until I could nearly see 3/8" square from spark plug side. Then jammed in a socket extension just as in your picture above. Works like a charm!

    I'm turning into a pretty good Homo habilis tool maker...

  8. #8
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    Thanks John for the tip.
    always my pleasure.


    I'm turning into a pretty good Homo habilis
    you'll want to use due caution throwing that word around on here. some board members get "aroused" when they see it. i will not name names.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Your pleasure for just the tip, Lunatic??....



    *snicker.

    Yes, I'm a child

  10. #10
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    Hey everyone, Thanks for all the replies and tips so far! Especially on how to take the the axles off.

    Cooter, thanks for all the advice. The PO said that he fiddled with the bolts holding the tail on and the ground wire. I've gone through and cleaned all the connections up to be sure. And I guess for maintenance issues I mainly meant the spark plugs, and getting the engine out to do anything major. Everything else does seem pretty easy and maintenance free. I'm glad I don't have to adjust valves anymore like on my older bikes. I'm looking for replacement brake caliper hardware but it's so expensive that its scary. Thanks especially for the notes on looking in the front MC to make sure the hole isn't blocked. That could save me a lot of headache trying to solve a non-problem another way.

    And sorry, already sold the clipons. They were Crossroads clipons that just bolted to the stock upper triple.

    Here's a pic of the hole in the swingarm. It's covered with two layers of tape, so its a pretty solid fix haha. Hasn't been an issue in the 200km I've ridden the bike but I'm going to replace the swingarm this winter.

    IMG_20180207_095850.jpg

    And a pic of the right side. Big dent in the gas tank. The bike came with carbon fiber covers that hide it all and as long as the dent doesn't leak I don't really care. Also the headers are totally corroded. Looks like it was wrapped. I have another better condition one that I'll put on. I can paint this one black or do something with it in the future. Also shows the weird paint job that came on the bike - on the bottom plastics and front fender. The paint job is also on the (fake) carbon fiber airbox and windscreen cover that I removed when I put on the original blue. I'm going to sand and paint the carbon fiber pieces white to look a bit like the STT.

    IMG_20180207_095943.jpg

    Endopotential - I'm in Toronto so not as cold, but still icy and salty. We had a few nice days last month that I wish I could have gotten out but it didn't work out.

    Work is finally getting quieter so I can find some time to work on it!

    Cheers,



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