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Thread: Race Buell Improvement Thread

  1. #1
    Senior Member Kurlon's Avatar
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    Race Buell Improvement Thread

    Ok, my XB12XT is now a fully christened race bike, and I don't want to park it under a tarp any time soon. Based on this weekend, I think it's actually in a pretty good state considering how little I actually did to it. But that doesn't mean it's 'done', right?

    Suspension - I need to get it refreshed at a minimum, and resprung as I think it's likely too stiff right now. Until I decide what's happening to the brakes, no heroics here. Showa forks, no idea if anyone still offers cartridge kits for them? Shock I'd love to replace, will have to see if Penske has a build for the XT or not.

    Brakes - Never did touch the rear lever, I know there is a suggested rear master upgrade, and I also see there is an alternate rear caliper and mount out there, is that 'upgrade' caliper setup lighter, or is it supposed to provide more rear brake which for me would be wasted? On the front, EBC rotor, latest mount hardware, stock master/line/caliper with EBC EPFA pads, worked, no fade, wanted more. Part of the issue was not knowing how much front brake I could get away with straight up and down, tires weren't giving me feedback to react to, similar when trailing it, don't have a feel for the limits but felt like there should have been 'more' there. Lever wasn't to the bar, habits kicked in and I was two fingering it. Actually found myself using engine braking to do a lot, which I haven't done since I raced a TT-R 125. I need a shorter brake line at a minimum just for cleaner routing, I know the 'easy' upgrade is a ZTL2 conversion and I've already got a finned rotor, but will that increase braking, or just improve brake cooling/longevity, and is there a weight savings/gain?

    Motor - Honestly, leaning towards leaving her stock for now, primary limiting factor is the pilot right now. Drummer SS muffler, K&N filter, matched IDS ECM, STM slipper clutch, I think I've hit all the 'easy' and low risk power gains already.

    Weight - I'm not sure what's left for easy weight savings, I need to remove the helmet lock... I want to replace the ignition with a switch, and will put a keyless gas cap on, wheels are already pretty light stock... how much is there to save in the subframe/seat area?

    Other wants - Quickshifter?
    Last edited by Kurlon; 09-15-2023 at 04:00 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Really interested with this thread and the upgrades and personal choices.

    Suspension: I've found the suspension to be pretty dang good (at my pace), once the spring and oil are right. Theres lots of adjustment range in the stock set up. I wonder if the BPF fork legs from the 1125/1190 could be made to fit? But if you go that far, theres brake options from using other brands of front end.

    Brakes: You mean the Brembo P32? I have them both here, maybe I could weigh them? I doubt it would be enough to matter. I'm not much of a rear brake guy either, as in only in the dirt These do engine brake quite a bit so thats nice. If you aren't fading the front with the ZTL I am surprised! Maybe its the track? If you do get to fade, the easy upgrade should solve it. It's more pad area and Brembo has 2 different types of pads to pick from. I was still fading with the EPFA, and all that stopped (PUUUNNNN!) with the Brembos. The ZTL-2 is bigger, but I don't know if its heavier, the rest would be a wash.

    Motor: There isn't much to do here either, IMO. Erik obsessed about them for many years so either stock with the muffler/ECM like you have or go full boat with a 1275 kit. Easy to do if you're comfortable splitting cases (I'd do the trans too). Not sure what HP there is to gain but I think theres dyno charts out there to look for.

    Weight: This was Erik's whole thing. I don't think theres an extra ounce to be found, lol.

    I LOVE the quick shifter on these. For your '08 it is as simple as adding a sensor on the linkage. I run a Dynojet 3-113 pull sensor. You can use a push sensor and swap the linkage for GP if you want. Either way, wire to the kickstand plug thats there, and simply turn on the shifter feature in the ECM with ECMDroid, ECMSpy, TunnerPro, etc. The timing is unadjustable, works well near redline, but it's not a modern-algorithm driven one, just a timer. Rev-Mo.com has interesting options I have tried that I really like as well. I have no idea how they'd do with race stress but I know they use one on their race bike.
    Last edited by Cooter; 09-15-2023 at 06:01 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Kurlon's Avatar
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    I've heard from one engine guy that he doesn't like the 1275 kits, feels they have ring sealing issues. He also doesn't recommend building much past 110hp on these motors. That feels like a target that should be doable stock bore, just dialing in compression/squish, cams and head work? Didn't Erik at one time recommend putting XB9 pistons in as a comp bump?

    On the quick shifter, I'm curious how much timing they need, to not get serious flywheel snap on a shift I REALLY need to be deliberate closing and opening the throttle. I had one short shift going down the hill out of T1 that lofted the front as I was trying to flick from left to right. Felt like a hero and had a brief worry about loosing the front all in the same moment. I'm sure on camera you could barely see the forks lengthen but I'm telling ya, felt HUGE in my head. In the past I've used Healtech, they've got a setup that looks like it does coil interruption on the XB series. Strain gauge instead of a push/pull switch, can be used for up and down shifts, fully adjustable, but not by gear 'cause no way to deduce that detail.

    Annitori's does a fuel cut, not sure if they're using a switch or strain gauge, cordona has a generic strain gauge kit too...

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    I would believe an actual engine builder way before I'd listen to some a-hole on a forum named Cooter, LOL. My personal opinion is to leave race bike engine internals as stock as possible. They live a hard enough life and I don't think 7HP is worth the expense either.

    IIRC the OE setting is 90mS. You can change it with a more detailed program like ECMSpy or TunerPro, but not the simple ECMDroid. It affects all gears and all RPM's. Honestly 90mS sounds like a LONG time but it takes awhile for that heavy crank to slow down and ends up being pretty perfect as-is for smooth upshifts at near redline. All the ECM needs is a ground signal on that pin, so I've seen strain gauges, switches, and even a magnetic target system that worked really well. The OE system will do spark cut or fuel and spark cut, your choice. I didn't notice a difference.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Kurlon's Avatar
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    Going to a track day Tues to just get some seat time in a no stress situation. This means I'll be dialing back a ton and not really pushing the bike likely, but should get a better overall feel for where things stand. Really hoping to start to learn how to read Dunlops on track.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Kurlon's Avatar
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    To follow up on this, never did make it to that track day... the org announced, THAT WEEKEND that "Oh, BTW, we're now doing sound tests..." that my XB would never pass. So... no TD, no refund... meh.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Kurlon's Avatar
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    How much lighter are non-Uly rear wheels vs my Uly unit?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Barrett's Avatar
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    XBRR magnesium rear----approx 40% lighter
    PVM Mannheim, Germany rear---approx 35% lighter
    XB stock wheel stripped finish raw casting approx 8% lighter

  9. #9
    Senior Member Kurlon's Avatar
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    I'll just have to keep my eyes open for an XBRR or PVM wheelset, not that I expect either to pop up any time soon.

  10. #10
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurlon View Post
    To follow up on this, never did make it to that track day... the org announced, THAT WEEKEND that "Oh, BTW, we're now doing sound tests..." that my XB would never pass. So... no TD, no refund... meh.
    Bummer! I was concerned about that when I was considering running an XB track bike as my usual track has sound regulations.



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