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New Owner Looking to Make A Solid Track Bike

1288 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.
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Anyways a lot to learn looking forward to many fun days!

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That amount of head shake doesn't sound right, even with the bar mounted shield. Perhaps the front tire is out of balance or the fork settings aren't matched up?
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$5 says motor mounts fixes most of your wobble. If you鈥檝e ever seen how much you can move your rear wheel side to side by hand you鈥檇 get it. Any money and time spent on suspension is wasted until you replace the isolators with something other than sponges. Ytman鈥 s 2 pesos.
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Check the rear wheel alignment.
When I first got mine, it had a little shake at 50mph.
A little off make a big difference.
Also if you are used to low narrow handle bars. the change in leverage can make it feel a little unstable in the turns.
The nephew the same feeling when went from a GXR to a MT09
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I removed the front windshield this morning and it realllly helped with headshake. I definitely still feel it especially accelerating hard and leaning it through the turns where the front wheel feels"light," but it is manageable by fighting through it and holding a tight line.

It actually made the bike a lot more stable, responsive, and fun to ride by removing the windshield. Still need to make the other suspension changes but it's looking good!
As an update to myself about this bike, it absolutely cannot handle a full throttle 3-5 gr pull without losing the handlebars like an earthquake.

So this is how I have been handling the fight.

1.) At about 104 happy smiles per thump it loses it's sh**
2a.) Shut off gas to happy valve, bike returns stable
2b) If I'm turning I actually push AGAINST the turn to stabilize the front wheel (reverse of pushing left bar to go left)
3.) Bike will stabilize at high speed While pushing against turn (ie. right hand pressure in a left hand sweeper)
5.) Accelerate hard full throttle now that it's stable
6.) While pushing FORWARD on handlebars as if to stabilize them, the bike does indeed stabilize..


SO I suspect this bike needs the downtube looked at as well as the front/rear motor mounts., and swing arm bearings.


I also did a mockup of the go pro on a backpack strap... it's horrible. If you look at the view it's basically 45 degrees. The helmet strap could be the best option in the future so I will make do for now.

I will post a ride thread soon though and try and take some nice data points. If anyone has anything to look for I'm all ears.
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You said in an earlier post it sounded like the motor was hitting the frame. Have you checked all the links between the motor and the frame? There is 3. 2 on the down tubes and one under the swingarm. Is the rear wheel centered and in line with the front? Until you replace the California rolls HD uses for isolators you can expect just what you are getting though. Then you can start looking for a 鈥減roblem鈥. I think you are flogging a tired horse and she鈥檒l repay you in kind. Folks who ride hard have been complaining about instability since the bikes inception. It鈥檚 the nature of the design. It鈥檚 a compromise between comfort, ride-ability actually, and stiffness. If you watch videos of the V&H series you鈥檒l see those guys all over the place. With semi solid mounted engines and steering dampers. I hope you find harmony in your set up.
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I will need to give the links between the motor and frame a look over. It also did feel like my rear tire was a little loose today as I cruised through a long sweeper with little bumps. I felt the rear end slide or slip a little throwing my line off even though I was steady on the bars.


I need to find some of these V&H videos to see how they ride them. I've laid off pushing really hard on the bars to dip the bike down and instead try to place it down, if that makes any sense. Mostly by trying to match the tire line to the turn line to stabilize it.

I think replacing the mounts, rear bushings, and checking all the alignments will get it back to baseline.
After riding the daylights out of the xr at 5k all day every where, the front? motor mount feels like it's just shot. So I had to stop riding :rolleyes: but I did order the Drag Specialties motor mounts which will be here in a week or so. The down time has be thinking what next to do to the bike and after the mounts I will be swapping the bars.

I did find this amazing picture of what I would love to do to mine, this is honestly my ideal setup. I just need to figure out the forks, fairing, exhaust... o_O Does anyone have any info on this?
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The search function is your friend, just type in Shaw speed & custom in the search box and many threads will show up. Unfortunately many of the pictures have aged out, but some still survive.
Regards
Roy
I just went down a wild rabbit hole looking through it all and think I found a place to source a kit for the xr1200 using the search function 馃槂

Font Rectangle Parallel Number Electric blue
is a price I got for this fairing here\
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Now I'm stuck researching the front fork setup they used and seeing how to mount something like this to the frame.
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That looks like an XR750 kit. It would take a lot of modding to make it work on the XR1200.

If your front motor mounts are shot, then the rear certainly must be - and your engine stability and rear wheel control comes mostly from the rear mounts.
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There is so much fun to be had with the XR before that point. I would definitely start inside and work my way out to the fairing. That Shaw鈥檚 bike is a builder鈥檚 showcase that shows what can be done, not what needs to be done. Haha
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Slowmo, I had the same problem with wobble when I first got my XR. It was perfectly fine until about 50mph and then it would just wobble for no reason. Long story short it turned out to be the rear shocks. Not only were they not set for my weight they were also jacked up really high with the the sato rear ride height adjuster installed. It all came down to the load that was being placed on the front wheel. I had the suspension checked and removed the ride height adjusters and it went away. Now the XR is as solid as can be.
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That looks like an XR750 kit. It would take a lot of modding to make it work on the XR1200.

If your front motor mounts are shot, then the rear certainly must be - and your engine stability and rear wheel control comes mostly from the rear mounts.
Yeah I have the front and rear drag specialties coming in this week, hopefully. I have been researching a solid propylene one like they used in the Vance and Hines series, but it looks like I have to deal with sourcing one and I don't know exactly how hard on the chassis/frame/linkages all the vibration. I personally don't care about vibration as long as the bike doesn't rattle to pieces.

There is so much fun to be had with the XR before that point. I would definitely start inside and work my way out to the fairing. That Shaw鈥檚 bike is a builder鈥檚 showcase that shows what can be done, not what needs to be done. Haha
Fairing is definitely one of the last mods but it's nice to find a blueprint and source parts. The next "major" mod might be a Power Commander for an XR1200 that is for sale near me, $300.
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I will see if it's possible he's willing to go lower because I don't know the condition and it's almost 10 years old.

I still need to swap the handlebars to something narrower, contemplating clip-ons, but I enjoy the current riding stance. The stock bars are just too wide for traffic. The sportster drag bars look good, but they are still a little wide, although they're like 3" shorter than the stock bars.

These are P/N: 55800035A
Tip-to-Tip: 29.38
Pullback: 4.0
Base Width: 9.0

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Looking at some old threads the 48" bars looks kinda nice but I just want to make sure whatever bar I get makes splitting lanes much easier in traffic on the fwy or coming up to lights.

Maintenance wise there is a lot I want to do:
  • motor mounts
  • rear brake pad? / braided brake lines?
  • new (performance?) clutch
I have been researching if they need a valve lash check but what I've seen says these engines don't need that 0_o? I'm honestly in the boonies trying to get a handle on what maintenance to do besides oil change and now check for loose bolts like my shifter bolt 馃槃

I do plan to put the bike up for a little bit while I work on the motor mounts and wonder if I should do the clutch, bars, and brakes at the same time to avoid the hassle.

Slowmo, I had the same problem with wobble when I first got my XR. It was perfectly fine until about 50mph and then it would just wobble for no reason. Long story short it turned out to be the rear shocks. Not only were they not set for my weight they were also jacked up really high with the the sato rear ride height adjuster installed. It all came down to the load that was being placed on the front wheel. I had the suspension checked and removed the ride height adjusters and it went away. Now the XR is as solid as can be.

I also still need to go through the suspension on the front and rear to get those tuned up for my weight, I honestly have no idea what it's set to right now.
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I sent you a message. Did you get it?
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I think Drag Specialties make rear motor mounts in different hardness.
A lot here have used Biltwell "Tracker" bars.
They come in different heights and I believe they are narrower than the stock bars.
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