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Thread: Looking at my first Buell

  1. #1
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    Looking at my first Buell

    Hi all,

    I'm about to pull the trigger on a low mileage 2009 XB1200SGC (less than 2000 km's) and thought I'd ask an obvious question before I do - What should I be looking for??

    The bike has been imported from Japan and looks immaculate!!!

    The dealer will give it a service but as I'll be flying down and riding it back 1145km I'll need to give it a good looking over to make sure I make it home.

    I nearly bought a Buell new in 2005 but went Japanese instead, I loved them but the price was a bit over the top, so this is a good opportunity.

    Any heads up will be appreciated.

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Since the dealer is giving it a going over, you should be fine. Congrats on a cool bike, welcome to the forum, and enjoy the ride home.

    Post pics!

  3. #3
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    Yeah, they're checking it out so you should be good to go, the only things I might double check are the grounds, ask the dealer if they removed them and cleaned them off, no matter what they look like and then reinstalled them with a anti- corrosive. This also applies to the battery terminals.

    Good luck and welcome to the forum.

  4. #4
    Senior Member lunaticfringe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi60 View Post
    Hi all,

    I'm about to pull the trigger on a low mileage 2009 XB1200SGC (less than 2000 km's) and thought I'd ask an obvious question before I do - What should I be looking for??

    The bike has been imported from Japan and looks immaculate!!!

    The dealer will give it a service but as I'll be flying down and riding it back 1145km I'll need to give it a good looking over to make sure I make it home.

    I nearly bought a Buell new in 2005 but went Japanese instead, I loved them but the price was a bit over the top, so this is a good opportunity.

    Any heads up will be appreciated.

    Cheers
    QUALIFIER: i just accessed the factory listings and the only H-D dealer i found in NZ was road and track in hamilton. they never handled the Buell line. so this dealer you are buying it from? do NOT rely on them to know anything about buells nor to have serviced it properly. not to impune their reputation but never ever rely on a dealer to be completely truthful about a bikes' condition. perform the below before you leave their premises.

    considering that you'll be riding approx. 730 miles print out the below simple check-list and take it along. should only take 1/2 hour to perform and the peace-of-mind alone is worth the trouble.

    1-ask them if they checked the level of the primary/transmission fluid.
    2-check engine oil level. i know it will be cold to the touch but at least check if there's good clean oil showing on the dipstick.
    the dipstick is the black plastic gizmo perched atop the left side of swingarm. check with bike on side-stand ONLY.
    3-check the 14mm nut that secures each turn signal stalk to its mounting position. notorious for coming loose and falling off.
    4-check tire pressures. 35F/37R will get you home.
    5-apply both brake levers. should be firm and hold pressure.
    6-remove seat and take cursory peak at all wiring, inside fuse box lid....and battery cables. you do NOT want to see any corrosion anywhere. if you do address it before you leave to ride home. CHECK TIGHTNESS of 10MM battery terminal bolts. notorious for coming loose.
    7-confirm that ALL LIGHTS....HORN.....TURN SIGNALS work perfectly.
    8-IMPORTANT: when checking under seat with fuse box lid removed look at 1 of the fuses....any fuse. they are common "mini-blade" fuse. stop at an auto parts store and pick up a 10-pack for a few dollars and carry with you. they do occasionally pop and you'll be dead in the water without a spare.

    LASTLY.....AND MOST IMPORTANTLY....check for any signs of tsunami flood damage anywhere on the bike. ALSO VERY IMPORTANT: check that the TITLE to it matches the VIN on the frame/steering neck sticker on right side of neck. if NOT simply walk away. i have access to weekly dealer and trade journal publications and there was an estimated 1.4 MILLION assorted bikes lost in Jap mainland tsunamis this decade. many were rehabbed and hung on unsuspecting buyers....and also had questionable documentation regarding ownership/titles. be damn sure this isn't one of them.
    Last edited by lunaticfringe; 03-09-2019 at 12:09 PM.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the above all.

    lunaticfringe, I hear what your saying about dealers in NZ, they were sold by our Harley dealers until Buell went down for the last time and I even test road a couple of new ones back in 2005 from Auckland Motorcycles.

    R&S are only an hour away so getting spare won't be a problem plus there's always the web.

    Your flood damage idea is something I never would have thought of and definatley worth a look!!

    If I pull the trigger on this low km one then I treat it as a running in ride for the first 1000km and do a full service after that which will be the following day after I get back up north.

    Am heading into town now to check if the seating position suits me on the SCG and then it's just a bit of paper work..

    Cheers

  6. #6
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    Hi Kiwi60,

    I'm also in New Zealand and likely buying a very low 1,400 km 2009 XB12SCG recently imported from Japan. The dealer in Christchurch is holding it for me until next week having paid a small holding deposit until I can get down there.

    From what you've written I'm guessing you were also looking at a bike from Motorcycle Imports Direct in Christchurch (given it's 1,145 km from your location one hour from the R&S HD dealership).

    I'm wondering, did you end up buying the bike you were looking at? This may even be the same bike?? - it's Hero blue translucent and has the optioned yellow gold wheels with optioned genuine Buell wavy rotor front and rear. If it was this bike, and you didn't buy it, why not??

    I too will be checking the bike over very carefully including covers off to check for any silt and other residual signs of flood damage. After a long line of Triumphs and HDs including one 'suspicious' HD I know what to look for. From the pictures received from and discussions with the dealer though, only points to note are sun faded switch gear and light scratches on the black anodizing on the forks from rough reflector removal.

    Or perhaps you bought another Buell?? If it was from the same dealer any feedback would be much appreciated. I see they have also recently sold a mint very low km XB12SS (red).

    Either way, great to see another Buell on NZ roads - let's keep it alive, cheers.

  7. #7
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    Since that was only his second post and he has not come back with any news on the bike, I would be wary !

    One of my friends owned and still does own a Liberty edition sportster which was in a salt water flood, totally under water. His Harley was the only bike that made it, out of all of his nearby friends that owned Harley's. The Harley dealer actually credited his use of Amsoil that saved the bike. This was well before Harley dealerships started using and recommending Amsoil, he was using it thanks to me !

    Good luck with the purchase.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the reply njloco,

    I wonder if after he said "Am heading into town now to check if the seating position suits me on the SCG and then it's just a bit of paper work.." he decided a Buell or SCG model was not for him. The bike he would have checked the seating position on would have been the one at a bike shop local for him (I know the one) before travelling 1,145 km to buy the bike he was looking at.

    Also, if he's like me, if not happy with the super low km blue one he would have looked at the other four reasonably low km SCGs currently for sale in NZ and picked one of those up (all Cherry Bomb red). New Zealand is a small country and if you're into bikes like Buells you pretty quickly know most that are about. I'm hoping he either changed his mind, decided Buell / SGC was not for him, or was just dreaming to start with. I pm'd him quite some days ago and no reply.

    Either way, next Friday when I'm in Christchurch I'll be checking the bike out thoroughly, including invasive inspection, and report back with either bad news (so others can be wary) or good news as a happy new owner.

    BTW, great forum this, have lurked about on HD and Triumph forums for years and each has it's own flavor.

    Cheers

  9. #9
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    A sure sign it was in salt water would be the electrical plugs and connections especially if they are made of copper, plus any fresh paint that doesn't match up well.

    Good luck.

  10. #10
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    So, those who have been reading this thread - what do you make of the following. Today I received an email from the dealer of the Buell I've been looking at and paid a holding deposit on. Two days from now I was going to head about 600 km south to check it out and maybe bring it home on my truck. The dealer that imported it from Japan emailed me and said "today the bike went in for its pre sale service, several problems were found, including a failed fuel pump. Accordingly we are withdrawing the bike for sale for a period until resolved and will refund your deposit".

    What should I make of this - it's a 2009 SCG with 'apparently' 1,400 km on it? Should this sort of issue be expected from a low km bike just sitting? How fragile are the fuel pumps on the 2009 bikes? I know on my HD the mileage is held in the ECM, is this the same for Buells, meaning - if the ECM had been replaced from say... water damage, would the odometer be reset and therefore the 1,400 km current mileage bogus?

    I haven't yet asked the dealer what else the service shop found wrong with it, they guy is pretty useless at communicating any detail anyway. Nice looking bike, but fearing the old story that if it looks too good to be true, then probably isn't, shame really. Might have a look at it when it's back on the market, might not.



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