XR1200 Owners Group banner

New Owner Looking to Make A Solid Track Bike

1289 Views 35 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  raven
Hey everyone I bought a 2009 XR1200 2 weeks ago from Orange County Harley in CA and I've been going over a lot of information on this website trying to understand all the information out there on these things. Harley is very new to me coming from Japanese bikes so I'm trying to figure out what it's capable of and what it's not.

The bike as it sits right now has a Termignoni slip on, Corbin seat (very nice), and adjustable suspension on the front and rear. It's set up pretty good right now but I definitely want to try and get some reliable power and suspension mods. Ultimate goal is some carbon fiber wheels and a track tune 馃槺.

I have been riding pretty spiritedly, trying to lean over as much as I can in the turns to get a feel for it and I've done a lot of WOT on some nice sweeping freeway curves on my daily commute. I suspect I need to replace the front and rear motor mounts and possibly the swingarm bearings. I just downloaded the manual for the bike so digging through that tonight.



I attached some pictures from riding near the beaches in SoCal after the rain finally subsided after weeks and it was clear, roads were nice and clean.
Tire Wheel Fuel tank Automotive fuel system Vehicle


Anyways a lot to learn looking forward to many fun days!

Attachments

See less See more
2
  • Like
Reactions: 5
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Hey everyone I bought a 2009 XR1200 2 weeks ago from Orange County Harley in CA and I've been going over a lot of information on this website trying to understand all the information out there on these things. Harley is very new to me coming from Japanese bikes so I'm trying to figure out what it's capable of and what it's not.

The bike as it sits right now has a Termignoni slip on, Corbin seat (very nice), and adjustable suspension on the front and rear. It's set up pretty good right now but I definitely want to try and get some reliable power and suspension mods. Ultimate goal is some carbon fiber wheels and a track tune 馃槺.

I have been riding pretty spiritedly, trying to lean over as much as I can in the turns to get a feel for it and I've done a lot of WOT on some nice sweeping freeway curves on my daily commute. I suspect I need to replace the front and rear motor mounts and possibly the swingarm bearings. I just downloaded the manual for the bike so digging through that tonight.



I attached some pictures from riding near the beaches in SoCal after the rain finally subsided after weeks and it was clear, roads were nice and clean.
View attachment 254878

Anyways a lot to learn looking forward to many fun days!
Well, you just bought the starter kit that already has some nice mods. You can ratchet it up as high as you want. Storz Performance, Twinmotorcycles are great places to look at for ideas not to mention this forum. Nice bike and welcome to the club. Just make sure your oil cap is screwed down properly. Enjoy! :)
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Welcome from San Francisco Bay Area. Looks like yours has the X-Model Suspension. Loads you can upgrade and many choices, so make it yours. We only ask you do not install T-Bars. 馃槣
  • Like
  • Haha
Reactions: 3
Welcome from Canada.
As Derek said the XR is just a starting point.
Lots of help here, just ask.
Sato also has a lot of good stuff for the XR.
Look at Corey's build for good ideas on forks and shocks.
If you want to change the seat. Many would be interested in that Corbin Gunfighter for two up riding.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Welcome Slowmo! You came to the right place. Everything you need is in the archives. You picked up a clean beauty! I鈥檓 in Palmdale. Not too far from you. If I can help you let me know. The good thing is, without rules, you can make a bike that鈥檚 even better than what was raced in the V&H series.
  • Like
Reactions: 4
From Oregon, Welcome to the fray. I see you bought the faster Orange model. Have fun!!!!馃檶馃檶
  • Like
Reactions: 2
Suggestion from experience. If you really want a dedicated track bike, and if you like it after your first or second track day, then buy another XR that you can afford to toss around, because someday IT might happen.
  • Like
Reactions: 3
Welcome to The Forum from Idaho! Nice XR! You got the floating rotors upgrade too.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Thanks everyone! I've prob put 350 miles on it now and it's just such a fun bike to ride. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the enormous amount of knowledge here, the amount of parts/options available for these bikes, and then the maintenance it will need for being a hard ridden daily.


Also, how much vibration should I expect to feel? It kind of feels like the motor hits the frame when its idling or low rpms, then when I'm around 5k RPMs it smooths out. I really think I have some bad motor mounts so that will be the first thing I do.
Just took my XR out of winter storage and for a spin. It does shake (a lot) at idle, worse with the brake on but smoothing out at 5000 rpm does not sound normal.

If it is a motor mount issue, I've read here that solid (urethane) replacements help with handling but that might affect the amount of felt vibration. For a dedicated track bike the trade-off may be OK.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
The stock isolators are poo poo. My fronts were gone at 10,000 Miles. The Drag Specialties units are stiffer without being harsh. Since you鈥檝e put a few miles on the bike you鈥檒l notice a big difference in handling. It鈥檚 a tough job. If you have a friend at the dealership that would be the ultimate but since you鈥檙e going to be going to the track I would imagine you want to get intimate with your XR.
  • Like
Reactions: 2
Search: How-do-you-replace-front-motor-mounts.Be sure to read this before you begin.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Good to have you & know there's another one saved from neglect and being parted out. She looks cared for and I especially like the x suspension, Corbin dual seat & Termi slip ons. The LED headlight is a major plus, and the HD bags could be handy too. That dangly clutch cable can be persuaded to tuck in to the frame tube better with a couple of sturdy cable ties, I did that on day #1 back in 2010. I can recommend a cf front wheel in the 17" size as I went that route in a fit of red mist spending a few years ago. Not cheap but a superb mod with a host of benefits, if you can justify the cost to your finance committee. The matching cf rear rim is well out of reach for me, although YMMV. Anyhow, welcome in from Melbourne, Australia.

J.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Best of luck. You will love the XR on the track. If anything, it is a conversation piece! There won't be many Harleys at a track day.

When you go, make sure to buy some pictures from the track photographer so you can post them here!

If you take the bike out on the track in stock form, you may have some clearance issues. To get around that, you can either pony up the big money for longer rear shocks, or you can get a set of shock risers for relatively cheap. You may also want to remove the lower exhaust shrouds for your track days as they can get scratched.
  • Like
Reactions: 3
Ah man thank you so much, everyone has answered a couple of my research questions! 馃榿

@Seamus I was looking into the shock risers and saw they can make it a little more responsive by adjusting the rake/trail too? Definitely something I'm considering.

@Shackman I was thinking I'd only be able to afford a 17" front CF wheel, did you notice some more stability? I think the stock wheel is 16"? The HD bags also have a towel, boardshorts, and dive goggle to sneak off to some ocean diving when I can 馃ソ.

@Chipmaker thanks for the thread ,digging through right now to check out all the details.

I'm also switching to a sportster drag bar because the stockers are a little wide and I barely clipped a mirror splitting the other day :(


I'm going to check out Harley today and see if they can get the drag specialties.
See less See more
PVM also makes a really nice 17" front wheel (Aluminum) for our bikes. And YES, it makes a big difference in handling. You can also raise your forks up into the triple clamps (lowering the front) about 1/8" to improve handling. The original wheel is 18".
Biltwell is another place you can get Drag bars unless you just want Harley ones.
  • Like
Reactions: 2
Be prepared to answer a lot of questions because there鈥檚 gonna be people coming over to your pit looking at your bike. It happens to all of us, so just be prepared. It鈥檚 a good thing.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Ah man thank you so much, everyone has answered a couple of my research questions! 馃榿

@Seamus I was looking into the shock risers and saw they can make it a little more responsive by adjusting the rake/trail too? Definitely something I'm considering.

@Shackman I was thinking I'd only be able to afford a 17" front CF wheel, did you notice some more stability? I think the stock wheel is 16"? The HD bags also have a towel, boardshorts, and dive goggle to sneak off to some ocean diving when I can 馃ソ.

@Chipmaker thanks for the thread ,digging through right now to check out all the details.

I'm also switching to a sportster drag bar because the stockers are a little wide and I barely clipped a mirror splitting the other day :(


I'm going to check out Harley today and see if they can get the drag specialties.
Just a quick response in answer to your Q's.

1. In fact I expect a cf 17" option to be the most expensive compared to the alloy 17's from PVM/Dymag/Marchesini. I got mine a few years ago in the classifieds here at a knock down price of $1,000 USD. It was NOS, manufactured by BST (South Africa) in about 2011 and never installed on a bike by the PO. Still in the original box actually. When new back then it was about $1500 USD. Not sure about new price for these now, but more for sure. Check the manufacturer's websites.

2. End result of going 17" in front is actually less stability not more. However, that's a plus. The standard chassis geometry of an XR is still somewhat slow steering, although improved over an XL. As Chipmaker point out you can drop the front end through the forks to sharpen and improve the final steering head angle. I think his figure of 1/8th of an inch might be a typo- that's only 3 mm whereas I dropped my triple clamps 20mm through the forks with pleasing results well before getting my BST rim.

3. Yes, you'll have less ground clearance. Not that I ever found ground clearance to be a major issue in daily riding of my XR. Bear in mind that a simple fix is to install aftermarket rider's pegs, if you can still get them. My alloy Sato pegs are at least an inch shorter on each side than than the stockers and I expect other aftermarket pegs to be similar. If ever ground clearance is likely to be a problem that should fix it. And if it doesn't, you're a much, much braver man than me.

3. Roger on the wide stock bars. I lane split every day and absolutely needed narrower bars. I ended up with a pair of Biltwell moustache bars which have a litttle 2" step up welded into them off the upper triple clamp mount and are about 3" shorter each side. Works for me in traffic and allows me to go through my standard width back gate easily without gymnastics. But rear vision then becomes an issue with the stock mirrors, which I solved by going with HD Long Stem mirrors.

OK, hope that helps. Good luck with it, everyone refashions their XR to their own preference.

J.
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Here is something for you to drool over. All remaining items were purchased by Suburban H-D in WI.


Belly pans with hardware are available from them now. No cut-outs for jiffy stand, but not difficult to modify.

  • Like
Reactions: 2
Wobble seemed exceptional today, I'm going to take the windscreen off and see if that is catching in the turns and kinda waggles the bars into a wicked head shake. I got into the 11*s today on a nice curvy straight and sure enough the front wheel was all over the place.

I pushed forward on the bars a little and it almost seemed to help stability while cruising in the 9*s, but it could just be in my head. So I'm thinking I need to get out of the newly wed phase and start looking at numbers :cry:

I'm going to check the preload position on the rear tomorrow. Two options seem good; "Position 2" - 165-195lbs or "Position 3" - 195-225lbs. I'm about 170.

I'm also going to check the rebound dampening on the rear and may increase it a little as I feel some sharp bottoming out in deep bumps at speed.

I talked to the dealer and the Drag Specialty motor mounts were $300 in total vs $150 for Harley's own. That's going to take a while to accrue after this purchase so I'm stuck for now.

Also if I kind of fought to hold the right line with the handlebars in the turns, for example instead of just push super hard on a long fast right turn, I used my left to push into the turn to balance the front wheel it started to become sane. But it was a lot of work. I guess that's the extra hundred pounds and the rake 馃弸锔忊嶁檪锔

Superb to cruise and flick into turns though 馃挩馃挩馃挩 I have a pretty long ride planned in 2 weeks hopefully to Idyllwild which has really fun turns and beautiful views, then maybe Ortega, and off to Santiago canyon.
See less See more
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top