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Dallara
17th December 2008, 07:30
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As most here know I picked my XR1200 from the dealer this past Saturday, Dec. 13th. I had to go and get it with the trailer and by the time I got home it was pretty late so I didn't get anything but a short ride.

Weather was supposed to be grand on Sunday so I had said I would get some ridin' in on my XR and post a ride review, etc. and include some pictures. Then things began to unravel...

First I barked my bare left big toe and torn most of the nail off. Then friends from out-of-town stop to visit unexpectedly and ate up most of the day. It was great to see 'em but I still wanted to ride...

Late in the day I got free for another short ride out to my shop, but shifting was a real pain - literally - with that toe, even in my boots, so my time on the bike was cut short. I did manage to get the fugly reflectors removed and some equally fugly stickers banished. I also removed the passenger grab strap that mounts on the rider seat.

Now the weather has turned blustery, damp, and cold, with temps in the 40's, so the XR1200 is keeping clean and warm in the garage for now. At least it gives the toe time to heal, eh? :D

So here are the only three pictures I have of the XR1200 so far, done right after the sticker- and reflector-ectomy...


http://timetunnel.smugmug.com/photos/437884303_h3ETH-XL.jpg

http://timetunnel.smugmug.com/photos/437885114_JT58B-XL.jpg

http://timetunnel.smugmug.com/photos/437884706_NG3K4-XL.jpg



The weather is supposed to warm back up into the 70's and clear up by this Saturday, and hopefully that will hold true and I will squeeze some ridin' in and get some better pics. Weather then is to turn crappy again Sunday unfortunately, damn it!

Oh, well... Hopefully some will enjoy these pics.

Thanks!

Dallara



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xrystl
17th December 2008, 08:51
I think they are a smart looking bike - my dealer lent me one for a morning a couple of weeks ago , I did about 150k km on it just riding thru the city and suburbs and found it quite a bit of fun , I found that the intake roar was quite dominating and I was going nowhere near as fast as I sounded - ride comfort was better (suspension wise) than my 1200N with Progressive's front and rear , Found that the front was overbraked or the mastercylinder is poorly matched to the callipers as the brakes weren't progressive at all and front brake application moved me to much in the seat - handling was real good (very similar to a Buel S3T that I had) and was fun to throw about : I would be happy to own one , however Arthritis in the knees would reduce my riding time - In Australia they are priced the same as the 1200N yet come with good suspension , tyres , wheels , instruments , brakes and a well made swing arm - I would have imagined that they would have been about 30% more , pretty good buying in my opinion .

hrg
17th December 2008, 09:04
great bike, congratulations:clap

Hopper
17th December 2008, 09:59
great bike, congratulations:clap

+1.

I want one. :clap
I want one. :clap
I want one. :clap

Gary7
17th December 2008, 11:06
That is a really nice looking bike. Congrats.

One thing I've noticed in pics of all these early US models is that the finish on the engine cover and sprocket cover don't match. Wonder what's up with that?

What did you use to remove the reflectors?

Moved On / My Own Choice
17th December 2008, 14:27
Keep those reports coming!

Kev

Dallara
17th December 2008, 21:21
That is a really nice looking bike. Congrats.

One thing I've noticed in pics of all these early US models is that the finish on the engine cover and sprocket cover don't match. Wonder what's up with that?

What did you use to remove the reflectors?



I'm with you on the engine finishes that don't match. Funny thing is that there are differences in several areas of the matte finishing on the engine, not just those two covers. To be honest, it seems to be more apparent in photographs than it does in person, and in shady or artificial light. It is not nearly so bad in bright sunlight.

To pull the rear reflectors you just unbolt the rear turnsignals and pull the reflectors and their mounting plates out. The plates are even notched/slotted so you don't even have to unplug the turnsignal wires, which makes it super-easy. You'll see what I mean if you ever do it.

To remove the front ones on the forks I used a small plastic scrapper you can find at any "Home Depot" or "Lowe's" store. They come in different widths and cost next to nothing. I keep a bunch in my tool box for scrapping off anything where you don't want to mar or damage the surface underneath.

However, in this case I didn't even really need it...

I used the scrapper to lift the lower edge of the first fork reflector and then as I lifted it the reflector just popped off, leaving its adhesive. Then I just peeled the adhesive off...

With the second reflector on the other fork I just lifted the end with my hand and the whole thing peeled right off, adhesive and all.

The adhesive on both sides came off so clean and easy that I swear they must almost intend for you to remove them... I did use some denatured alcohol to clean the area where the reflectors had been just to make sure it was all gone, but the area was pretty well clean as is.

Just please don't tell Kev M. that the reflectors have been removed. No doubt it is illegal somewhere to remove these DOT-marked reflectors and I don't want to be reported to the dreaded and feared reflector police, or heaven forbid, an even higher power! ;) :roflblack ;)


:sofa



Dallara



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Moved On / My Own Choice
17th December 2008, 21:26
Just please don't tell Kev M. that the reflectors have been removed. No doubt it is illegal somewhere to remove these DOT-marked reflectors and I don't want to be reported to the dreaded and feared reflector police, or heaven forbid, an even higher power! ;) :roflblack ;)



I NEVER suggested such a thing. I MERELY took place in an intellectual discussion regarding the technicality of legality.

No need to be all bitter about it.

XR1200Sportster
17th December 2008, 21:28
Kev, it doesnt seem like he is bitter...

Moved On / My Own Choice
17th December 2008, 21:33
Kev, it doesnt seem like he is bitter...

Unsubstantiated sarcasm referring tangentially to a debate he lost sure as shyte sounds bitter to me... ;)

XR1200Sportster
17th December 2008, 21:39
Then maybe its just me...

bassboy311
17th December 2008, 21:43
Reflectors make it easier for the Police to see you running from them at night. Boo!!!!!!

Dallara
17th December 2008, 22:03
~


Unsubstantiated sarcasm referring tangentially to a debate he lost sure as shyte sounds bitter to me... ;)



Wow, Kev...

You sure can dish a lot out here on this board, but you seem to have a bit of a tough time taking it.

BTW, nobody "lost" anything to you... I just got tired of arguing with you about 1.) how many angels could dance on the head of a pin, and 2.) about a subject you know so little about on a first hand basis.

I was a dealer - who dealt directly with the EPA - for decades, BTW

If it makes you feel better to think you "won", then so be it. You "won". :rolleyes:

But there's really only one person in this entire world that cares even one nano-whit about that, and he's sitting in your chair, Kev.

Lighten up. :smoke

Dallara



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Moved On / My Own Choice
17th December 2008, 22:11
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Wow, Kev...

You sure can dish a lot out here on this board, but you seem to have a bit of a tough time taking it.



I dish out a lot in good natured ribbing - and almost always accompany it with a ;) so as to say, "no offense is meant"

When someone posts they are laughing at or rolling their eyes at what I have to say, then yes, I take some offense to it and will respond in kind.

EDIT <SNIPPED ALL THE STUFF ABOUT THE STUPID ARGUMENT>

However, kindly don't feel you can take liberties as to ascribe to me an attitude or position that is not consistent with what I have said, and expect me not to respond or take some offense.

If we be friends, jibe me as you will about matters of taste.

But do not insult me and expect me to simply ignore it.

Your last actions were the later.

XR1200Sportster
17th December 2008, 22:24
...sucking the fun out of this forum...

Hondo Cat
17th December 2008, 22:26
Merits of the ongoing discussion aside, it's important that one understands that Kev has had a hankering for the XR 1200 for the past TWO YEARS! So, when Dallara starts a thread, "My XR1200".............well, let's just say that Kev may not be in any mood to concede anything until he has HIS XR1200 in his garage. Ok, I may be completely off base here. Kev's probably not jealous others have their XR and he doesn't. That probably has nothing to do with his perceived caustic rebuttals.............;)

I, for one, understand that Kev was addressing the law on the books (legality) and Dallara was addressing the lack of enforcement or an agency's ability and stomach to enforce them.

XR1200Sportster
17th December 2008, 22:32
Well, I got an XR and I can go rip a wheelie if I want too...:tour

Dallara
17th December 2008, 23:16
Well, I got an XR and I can go rip a wheelie if I want too...:tour


Yeah! What XR1200Sportster said... :banana

I wanted an XR1200 ever since I saw the first pics of one at the Intermot show in 2006. Hell, I've actually wanted one ever since H-D came out with the XR750 back in the '70's!!!

So I bought one. :D

And Hondo Cat... You, most definitely, *get* it. Thanks!

Dallara


p.s. Is calling someone on this forum a "dumbass" an insult?

~

XR1200Sportster
17th December 2008, 23:38
When I found out that HD was releasing the bike and I placed my order, I went back and dug up all the magazine articles on the XR. I even wrote in to Cycleworld and they printed my letter that they needed to bring the bike here. I even called up Customer Service and threatened to burn my, then current, sportster to the ground, up at HD HQ, in protest if they didnt bring the bike stateside. Im very passionate about this bike and waited very impatiently for two years for it...

OBJMS33
18th December 2008, 08:11
Kev, I too took it as a good natured rib at your shared discussion in the other thread. You mistook his use of the emoticon and your offended? He was just poking.:)
John

And enough of this "minutia" word I don"t want to use a thesauraus in a HD forum or any forum. And yes that is spelled wrong.:)

Moved On / My Own Choice
18th December 2008, 14:20
Merits of the ongoing discussion aside, it's important that one understands that Kev has had a hankering for the XR 1200 for the past TWO YEARS! So, when Dallara starts a thread, "My XR1200".............well, let's just say that Kev may not be in any mood to concede anything until he has HIS XR1200 in his garage. Ok, I may be completely off base here. Kev's probably not jealous others have their XR and he doesn't. That probably has nothing to do with his perceived caustic rebuttals.............;)

I, for one, understand that Kev was addressing the law on the books (legality) and Dallara was addressing the lack of enforcement or an agency's ability and stomach to enforce them.

SPOT ON - and uhh, I AM EXTREMELY JEALOUS :frownone :o :o


I wanted an XR1200 ever since I saw the first pics of one at the Intermot show in 2006. Hell, I've actually wanted one ever since H-D came out with the XR750 back in the '70's!!!


You win on that one, I never cared about the XR until Intermot



And Hondo Cat... You, most definitely, *get* it. Thanks!


Yes he does


p.s. Is calling someone on this forum a "dumbass" an insult?


Only if they're not being one :p ;) <--- rib poke

Kev, I too took it as a good natured rib at your shared discussion in the other thread. You mistook his use of the emoticon and your offended? He was just poking.:)
John

And enough of this "minutia" word I don"t want to use a thesauraus in a HD forum or any forum. And yes that is spelled wrong.:)

Then Mea Cupla to Dallara if I mistook his intention - not sure why I was so grumpy yesterday afternoon.

Kev

cybrdyke
19th December 2008, 03:33
Dall, thanks for the pics and especially for sharing how to remove the fugly reflectors. But, ...dude.... Man up! Tape up the friggiin' toe and put on a warm coat and ride the thing so we can hear what you think. Mine is 'sposed to be in tomorrow and I cant ride til spring. Ice & throttle dont mix well.

Dallara
19th December 2008, 05:40
Dall, thanks for the pics and especially for sharing how to remove the fugly reflectors. But, ...dude.... Man up! Tape up the friggiin' toe and put on a warm coat and ride the thing so we can hear what you think. Mine is 'sposed to be in tomorrow and I cant ride til spring. Ice & throttle dont mix well.


You read my mind, Cybrdyke...

I DID tape and pad up the toe today since the friggin' weather finally cleared some. We had a couple of days there where it was cold (in the 40's - that's cold for us), and then it was rainy and foggy the next.

Today it was still foggy and rainy this morning, but it tried to clear so I hustled home and did the prep work on the foot and rolled the XR1200 out. Ran errands around town on it this afternoon despite the wind blowing stiff and steady 15 to 20 MPH with gusts up near 30. Where I live on the Texas Gulf Coast is renowned as one of the windiest places in North America - one reason we have so many major windsurfing and sailing events here. Wind makes it nice for those folks, but blows bikes all over the roadway, unfortunately.

You get used to it, though... :D

Anyway, never really got to ride more than about 5 miles at a crack while I was running around. That is until later...

During those little, short jaunts in heavy traffic you do notice a few things, however. Let's do some pros and cons in that kind of riding...

Pros: Torquey, with nice power delivery. Nice sound, though muted. Easy to thread in an out of gaps in traffic. Brakes are stunning, and not just for a Harley. Stunning, period. These brakes are as good as most anything on the market short of Brembo monobloc's with radial calipers (like on my Ducati Hypermotard and D16RR). Well, not as good as the Brembo's on my Aprilia, either... But better than the Tokico's on my Kawasaki, to be sure. Brakes are strong, progressive, easy to modulate. You never notice any vibes in traffic once your moving. Handling around surface street corners is great, though it does tend to "fall in" to certain slow-speed street intersection corners where there is a lot of street crown.

Cons: The thing SHAKES like the Incredible Hulk with Parkinson's disease at idle at any stop. Funny, if you hold the front brake at stop it feels like it shakes twice as bad. Let the front brake loose and the vibes quell a bit, and it's fun to watch the front wheel jostle back and forth... :laugh It doesn't have a LOT of power - at least not compared to what I'm used to, like my modded Hypermotard. Sorry if this offends some, but it just isn't that strong. It's torquey, and it pulls nice and clean through the rev range, but it just never really pulls HARD... It certainly never threatens to jerk the front wheel off the ground!!! ;) It never even gets it light. I'm sure I could clutch the front wheel up, but it feels like to me you would be making it do something it really doesn't want to do. The bike is heavy, too. Say what you will, it's no lightweight.

Still, it's a lot of fun.

Jury's still out on the suspension at the rear... Front is terrific for a non-adjustable Showa. Really good, in fact. So good you pretty much forget all about it. Not a lot of dive, good compliance, smooth over bumps... Like I said, you really just forget all about the fork.

Rear shocks are not so easy. They're fine in certain areas, but harsh on others. I have played with preload (which require removing the right rear shock to adjust without some H-D special tool) and I though that makes it better in some places it makes it worse in others. More preload helps the ride, believe it or not, but it hurts the steering. It quickens the steering, but gives it a "tip-in" feel like I mention above, where it steers in great at first then the front end sort "tips in" all at once... Not where it feels like it will tuck, but just kind of weird feeling. With less preload the steering is linear, precise, smooth, and consistent at all speeds. More experimentattion to follow, to be sure...

Honestly, I think the shocks have too much damping both ways - compression and rebound, but perhaps they'll break in a bit.

Later in the day I took a cruise out to the island to visit a friend... A ride of about 15 miles each way, all pretty much on freeway and over the intercoastal waterway on the causeway. Windy, with a big, tall, narrow bridge to check stability.

Well, stability in a straight line isn't a problem, even in high winds. The XR1200 tracks straight and true.

Yes, Virginia... The big XR turns 3,900-4,000 RPM at 70 MPH, and no, it doesn't vibrate bad there. Minor high-frequency buzz through the pegs - more like a four-cylinder than any twin - but nothing unlivable. That's the good news... The bad news is that if you are doing only 70 on our freeways you will become the hood ornament on a Dodge Ram Cummins Diesel within about four flyovers... 78-80 is about the norm once you clear the more congested areas. At least that's the speed if you want to stay alive and keep dumping the traffic behind you like logs off a truck. then the equation gets simple, it seems. The faster you go the more some vibes sneak through, and the more intrusive they become. The grips on mine never SEEM to get too bad, though the pegs can get pretty lively. Problem with the grips is that when you stop, or slow down, say, to head into a residential area, you suddenly realize your hands are a bit numb.

All that said, something tells me that no two XR1200's are going to be alike in this regard. You will either get a smooth one or a shaker. I also think they will get better with time. Mine has already felt like it has settled down a bit and it has only 160 miles on it... But then again, maybe I am just getting used to its dance tempo.

Finally had to head home as the damn fog started rolling in again right after dark leaving it not only hard to see but also wetting down the surface in the worst way... Where the moisture just sits on top and forms a slime slick as oil on ice. The XR did get me home safe and sound, though I did manage to light the tire up a couple of times on the greasy surface just to pop my eyes open a bit more.

I do have to mention one thing... Nobody seems to notice it. Stopped for gas and nobody even looked up. When I fuel up the Ducati's people always ask about 'em. Riding down the street all the other bikes wave, but no real recognition seems to take place. Even pulling up next to another guy on a Road King and he just looked me in the eye, smiled, and nodded. Not even a glance at the bike itself. Even when I stopped out at my buddies, who rides a H-D Dyna of some kind, there was no big snap of recognition. It took him a while to even notice even though we were standing on his driveway with the XR1200 thirty feet away in the street. When he finally did notice he said "What's that? You get a new bike?" He had to walk right up on top of it before he said "Damn, that's a Harley!"

It was strange, but actually I liked it. I liked the idea that it really kind of blends in and doesn't draw that "There goes a biker" look.

All in all, a really nice bike I think I will grow to like more and more, especially if it breaks in the way I think it will.

More on the XR1200 later...

Dallara



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XLXR
19th December 2008, 05:55
Good report. Your perceptions seem to be very close to mine. The only real difference was I felt the rear brake pedal was too stiff and difficult to modulate. Now that I am thinking about it, the stiff rear brake I felt could have been caused by a rider before me overheating the rear brakes. I think you may be correct about the variation between different bikes. I would guess that would be related to how the bike is set up.

Here are some things I would try, which I should admit is based on experience with other bikes, not the XR 1200:

Pack the handle bars with lead buck shot to try and reduce vibration.

Jack the bike up and take the shocks off. If you can feel any binding as you move the wheel up and down through the point where the rear axle is in line with the swing arm pivot bolts and center of front pulley, loosen the drive belt until the binding goes away.

Drop rear tire pressure to 30 lbs and see what happens.

How much do you weigh?

merc16
19th December 2008, 10:16
Would it be difficult to remove the air filter on the XR ?

RUNHD
19th December 2008, 12:03
Not really, but a little more difficult than on a XL. because you have to pick up the fuel tank before.

Moved On / My Own Choice
19th December 2008, 12:10
Great report - Thanks

Kev

Towjam
20th December 2008, 07:29
Yes, Virginia... The big XR turns 3,900-4,000 RPM at 70 MPH, and no, it doesn't vibrate bad there. Minor high-frequency buzz through the pegs - more like a four-cylinder than any twin - but nothing unlivable. That's the good news... The bad news is that if you are doing only 70 on our freeways you will become the hood ornament on a Dodge Ram Cummins Diesel within about four flyovers... 78-80 is about the norm once you clear the more congested areas. At least that's the speed if you want to stay alive and keep dumping the traffic behind you like logs off a truck. then the equation gets simple, it seems. The faster you go the more some vibes sneak through, and the more intrusive they become. The grips on mine never SEEM to get too bad, though the pegs can get pretty lively. Problem with the grips is that when you stop, or slow down, say, to head into a residential area, you suddenly realize your hands are a bit numb.

Yep. Guess I wasn't crazy after all.

Beltfed
20th December 2008, 07:33
Damn look how stout that swingarm looks.

Midas
20th December 2008, 20:14
Would it be difficult to remove the air filter on the XR ?

About 10 mins.

Gonna try and find a way of replacing it with something else when i get some time to myself.

hamfist
9th January 2009, 23:03
with regards vibrations on the xr with only 160 miles on the clock ,thease should settle at about 1500 miles although will still have some presence.i found the engine very rough initially as i think all sportsters are and i dont feel mine ran in untill 2200 miles.now done 3000 and sweet.Front suspension not too bad solo ,but way way too soft with far too much dive affecting the steering when pushing on 2 up.I wonder if different fork oil would make an improvment as the forks dont cope too will with any spirited riding with a pillion.

Midas
10th January 2009, 00:41
I wonder if different fork oil would make an improvment as the forks dont cope too will with any spirited riding with a pillion.
Why dont ya just get a blanking piece for the pillion seat...Problem solved :D

hamfist
10th January 2009, 01:41
i had a nightster prior to the xr and missed the ability to take a pillion.just saying the forks dont cope with the extra weight too well.i do like adrenalin motos single seats though.

hamfist
10th January 2009, 01:43
and why didnt HD make it a solo bike if it dont handle a pillion too well

hamfist
10th January 2009, 01:46
by the way is anyone losing the black engine paint because mine is turning white on one side,used all year round but well cared for and this started happening within a month of getting the bike

XLXR
10th January 2009, 02:47
Hamfist - the easiest way to reduce fork dive is adding a bit of oil to each fork. Put a plastic tie on the fork tube so you can see how far it compresses when you hit the brakes hard or hit a big bump. Add 1/2 fluid oz at a time, test ride, and stop adding fluid when the forks stop bottoming out. I don't have any idea how much additional fluid you will need in those forks. Just be sure to put the springs back in the same way if they are progressively wound so the same number of coils are under the oil.

You should take the springs out and measure the oil height in each fork, because it may not be the same from the factory.

Midas
10th January 2009, 10:03
by the way is anyone losing the black engine paint because mine is turning white on one side,used all year round but well cared for and this started happening within a month of getting the bike
Thats the salt on the roads mate, you need to get yourself some ACF50 they sell it on e-bay it around 13.
If it has actually started to come off i would go and kick up a fuss with Harley and get them to do something about it on your warranty!

hamfist
10th January 2009, 18:28
XLXR thanks for the advice on forks but my skills are limited and this would be too challenging 4 me.i just have to adjust my riding with a pillion.Midas thanks but the bike is covered in scottoiler protection.have used s100 in the past which is excellent but not used this on the xr.I was gonna complain at next service,but figure they will just spray it with engine paint and figure i may as well do this myself.

Midas
10th January 2009, 18:59
XLXR thanks for the advice on forks but my skills are limited and this would be too challenging 4 me.i just have to adjust my riding with a pillion.Midas thanks but the bike is covered in scottoiler protection.have used s100 in the past which is excellent but not used this on the xr.I was gonna complain at next service,but figure they will just spray it with engine paint and figure i may as well do this myself.
Dont do it yourself, wait and see what they say.
They have to fix it properly and you do have a warranty.

And ACF50 exceeds what you have been using by far

hamfist
10th January 2009, 19:41
Thanks I Will Order The Acf50 And Give The Dealer A Phone.unfortunatly My Dealer Is Over An Hours Drive Away Which Would Be A Good Excuse For A Run Out As On Holiday Next Week But The Roads Are So Icy Up Here At The Moment

Hondo Cat
11th January 2009, 00:44
and why didnt HD make it a solo bike if it dont handle a pillion too well

Good question! I don't understand why the MoCo bothered with passenger pegs and passenger pillion on THIS bike...........However, the baggage, rack, and wind screen are useful. To me, the XR 1200 is a one-up bike.

XR1200Sportster
11th January 2009, 01:14
Good question! I don't understand why the MoCo bothered with passenger pegs and passenger pillion on THIS bike...........However, the baggage, rack, and wind screen are useful. To me, the XR 1200 is a one-up bike.

I agree. I have equipped my XR as such, a solo ride. I guess they provided the pillion pad just to keep with up with the Jones as far as that other sporting bikes that are produced.

Midas
11th January 2009, 12:29
Thanks I Will Order The Acf50 And Give The Dealer A Phone.unfortunatly My Dealer Is Over An Hours Drive Away Which Would Be A Good Excuse For A Run Out As On Holiday Next Week But The Roads Are So Icy Up Here At The Moment

Just a thought, it might be best if you dont tell the dealer you have been putting anything on the bike to protect it, as they might just say that is what has caused the problem.