HD XR1200 performance question

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by supahman, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. supahman

    supahman Adventurer

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    Couple of months ago or so I was asking about commuting on Sportster 883 but decided to put the idea on hold and consider other bikes. Recently I tested GSXF650 and FZ6 and im on the verge of taking the plunge with the FZ6. But suddenly I chance upon a 2009 HD XR1200 with less than 10k on the clock at a good price. Based from what Ive read in the internet - the stock performance of XR1200 seems lack luster - 70mph in 5th @ 4000RPM seems not up for the task I wanted (something that can do 100mph easily and but no more than that - Im an expat in the middle east where freeway has higher speed limits). So why do I still consider HD if Im looking for a "performance" bike? I really like the simplicity of the HD evo engine, the belt drive, the character of HD vtwin, not so bad resale value and for the XR - the oil cooler, modern USD fork and swing-arm.

    So hows the XR1200? the 70mph 5th @ 4000RPM - how true is this?
    #1
  2. bobw

    bobw Harden the phuck up

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    Check the xr1200 forum, there is a couple great threads on doing a pulley swap that may be what you are looking for in addressing rpm for extended "high" speed runs.
    #2
  3. Photog

    Photog Charismatic Megafauna Administrator

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    Go here:
    http://www.xr1200ownersgroup.com/site/forum.php :thumb

    The Scotty Mod is well documented there, and there are people who can tell you about the other mods they've made to go with it.

    You may also find people local to you that can help out, since the site is mostly UK/Europe/Places-Other-Than-NA.
    #3
  4. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    The XR1200X is the best Harley ever made and my personal favorite motorcycle. It is fine at 100mph. :D
    #4
  5. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    The Buells weren't that great and this thing is what 100 pounds heavier?

    Harley and performance don't belong in the same sentence. They will put a big ole smile on your face when you ride one. :thumb
    #5
  6. madeouttaglass

    madeouttaglass The AntiHarley

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    My brother had one and I have a Ulysses. They are both a blast.
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  7. nachtflug

    nachtflug infidel

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    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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  9. Carter Pewterschmidt

    Carter Pewterschmidt Long timer

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    I've rode one and it certainly is a bag of character. Nice ride, cool feel, and great sounds. Not comfortable for longs trips though. After about 60 miles my ass was ready for the couch. People change seats with no luck either. I put the blame on the 6" rise handlebars. Too upright of a riding position puts all your weight on your ass. I'd like to try a 2" rise or superbike type bar so you lean forward a bit and take a bit of pressure off your bottom. Kinda feels weird to ride anyway sitting bolt upright and having the somewhat rear set foot pegs.

    As far as power goes I'd say it's much more fun using the motors low end rather than top end. Do not expect the top end punch of the lightweight 4 cylinder bike's you tried. No doubt you'll love ripping through the first few gears, but once you're above 60 or so you feel it getting weak. So for riding around town and shooting off of stoplights it was tons of fun, but in the country when passing traffic on 55 mph roads, not so great. That being said if you're interested in keeping a hot pace down the freeway and do a fair bit of passing you might be disappointed.

    Although the kids say an exhaust, air filter, and tune do wonders up top, but I cannot attest. I still wouldn't mind owning one and modding it to find out. :evil
    #9
  10. Photog

    Photog Charismatic Megafauna Administrator

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    Weak above 60? Are we talking about the same bike or are you talking about a stock 883/1200 sportster versus the XR?

    I have no problem ripping around at 85-95mph on my stock '11 XR1200X during the 5 o'clock chaos of my commute where speeds go from 10mph to 90mph and back in the same 3 mile stretch....

    :thumb One hand on the tank/fork leg...butt slid back on the seat...love this thing.
    #10
  11. cybrdyke

    cybrdyke In the Dark

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    Yes, you can tour on it. I did 16 days in Europe (3500 miles) on an XR1200X with throw over saddlebags and a duffel bag. No problems. Long days, rain, shine, all kinds of roads. This bike rips up the backroads and gives you miles of smiles. Redline is 7000-ish and I bounce off that from time to time. Pulls hard up thru 5500 or so. A stock XR is at 70 mph at 4000 rpm, so yes, that's accurate. An easy pulley change will improve this. PLENTY of power to pass, run at consistent 80mph or more. No worries passing. Rolls on strong from 55 to 75.
    I bought mine in 2009 and have loved owning it.
    #11
  12. Randy

    Randy Long timer

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    The 883, yeah, I might agree, but the 1200?? Really? You must have ridden a sick one or sumthin'....

    I've never ridden an XR1200, but my XL1200X 48 is no slouch at all above 60 either.. It just lopes along nicely at 70-80 and will gladly punch on to 90 and beyond pretty quickly. It's no superbike, granted, but it is plenty entertaining and has TONS more character (and much more enjoyable to ride as a result) than any inline 4. The most bland, boring and unsatisfying bike I've ever ridden was an inline 4. Sure they have acceleration that threatens your license, but after the new wore off that, it was B-O-R-I-N-G!

    Don't know how the stock XR compares to my Buell S1, but that bikes is one of the most FUN bikes I've ever owned. :D

    And this is from a guy that was very anti-H-D up until just last spring when I bought my S1. That experience changed my thought process and lead me to getting the 48 earlier this month... Loving that H-D engine now! :clap

    :1drink
    #12
  13. blk-betty

    blk-betty bam-a-lam

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    Love mine. I say it starts to run out of steam at about 80 mph but still has enough go go power to easily hit 105+, just the rate of acceleration slows down once you hit 80.

    Uncomfortable, for any length of time, compared to what? I put over 10 hours in the saddle on back to back days last fall and while it wasn't as comfortable as my Road Glide I didn't think it was particulary bad.

    Was on a recent semi-organized ride on some of the few curvey roads (long sweepers) we have down here in the flatlands of the Lowcounty. Lead rider is an ex-marine fighter pilot riding a KTM Duke. His other bike is an R1 and lets just say he likes to ride really fast. There were about 10-12 bikes ....several GSs, a Buell 1125R, Triumph Speed Triple, K1600GT, Tiger 800 XC, Sprint GT, and a couple of cruisers.

    Now I know it's the rider and the not the bike but I had problem on the XR1200 with the non-X suspendsion upgrade keeping a 50-70 foot distance between myself and the lead Duke rider. We were averaging 75-80 on a two lane blacktop with a 45-55 mph limit and several times hit the century mark. The other riders were typcially 200-400 yards behind and we stopped every few miles to the let the slower riders catch up.

    The XR is certainly no sport bike and hits it performance window around 100 mph but sure is fun to ride moderately fast, especially in the twistys. The low rpm grunt makes the power delivery incredibly smooth with no peakines and no need for constant gear changing.

    If I was going to be constantly on sustained rides above 75 mph I might consider the Scotty Mod to reduce high speed engine rpms but as it stands now it doesn't get vibey and without looking at the tach once can't really tell the difference between 4000 and 5000 rpm.

    I recenlty upgraded to the "X" suspension and can't wait to get back up to the NC/TN mountains this spring.
    #13
  14. Carter Pewterschmidt

    Carter Pewterschmidt Long timer

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    I should have stated that the bike I ride on the fast roads is my Suzuki TL1000S. That thing just walked into the party at 60. You click the TL down a few gears to make a pass is an affair that's over quick, whereas on the XR it noticeably takes a bit more time. Not knocking it, but it's certainly not the freeway screamer I'm used to.

    Still would have one though. Love the feel and sound of that engine, plus you get top notch suspension on the X and good looks to boot! Harley hit it out of the park with that bike. A shame us Yanks don't get it anymore.
    #14
  15. Carter Pewterschmidt

    Carter Pewterschmidt Long timer

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    Compared to any bike I've ridden for more than 100 miles. My TL1000S never gives me grief cept for my neck after a long day. My tiny cramped ZR550 riding two up get's bad after a while but it's at least twice as tolerable as the XR. I've ridden a Hypermotard 1100S for hours across bumpy city roads and wasn't nearly as wrecked. Even my XL600R can take me around all day and only on the ride home does the seat start to wear on me. But that XR seat was positively terrible. I went out for a day ride and half way to the start my ass was starting to hurt. I did about 250 miles and I was standing on the pegs to get home. I think it's the sitting straight up riding position and the not so soft suspension maybe. I'm betting a set of low bars would be the ticket for that bike. I'm long armed so I prefer low bars anyway.
    #15
  16. Photog

    Photog Charismatic Megafauna Administrator

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    Love the TL1000S. :thumb

    The good thing about the peg position on the XR is that it allows you to stand up. :D. I think I did a 10 mile stretch that way a couple months ago...

    I'm buying an aftermarket seat this spring/summer when I've got some money to throw at the bike, or may try one of Barb's Butt Pads as an interim solution (it worked well with the equally awful BMW "low" seat on my GS)

    Other than that I've been really happy with the bike.

    I'm fine touring on it, but for 2-up, I'm gonna need another bike since the back seat isn't suitable for anyone you care about for anything more than local joyriding.
    #16
  17. argentcorvid

    argentcorvid Some Guy

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    you take that back :rofl
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  18. kraven

    kraven Hegelian Scum

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    #18
  19. kraven

    kraven Hegelian Scum

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    Power isn't a big deal on the XR.
    There are truckloads of parts you can buy for it to get more power just about anywhere in the rev range you want.

    The basic platform is great. Any bike needs to be fit to a rider, so I wouldn't sweat the griping about tripworthiness so much.

    It does take some grit to tour with it, but that's why they make Goldwings and 883's, and touring accessories for both.

    I love the XR12. I haven't yet met anyone who has a legitimate gripe other than mechanical failure that couldn't be addressed with $ and smarts.
    #19
  20. mikeysduck

    mikeysduck Slow Ride to Nowhere

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    My XR1200 is a "fun" bike. Not the lightest on its feet. I think it's made to roll around the back roads. It just feels good. Freeway no problem. It's not my first choice to chase around canyon roads, at speed. It's more of a mellow 8/10's pace thing. It will go faster but you have to work it.

    My biggest gripe is the small fuel tank. You'll get around 120 mi. per fill up. I keep gas cans in the garage for emergency generator needs. Like the earthquakes that pop up every 10 or 20 years. I use this (premium) fuel to top off the XR every time I leave the garage. It helps keep my emergency fuel supply fresh.

    Keep the primary chain adjusted (simple) and the shifting is fine. Let the primary chain get out adjustment and shifting gets clunky.

    The XR is a modern (?) bike that looks good sitting still, and better in motion. It's my first choice when the weather is nice, and I don't want to carry anything.
    #20