Buell XB9/12s/r/x

By Enthusiasts for Enthusiasts

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Known Problems

The XB range of Buells, have a few known problems, Fortunately these are relatively low and all are easily monitored or fixed, as long as you are aware of them.

I would strongly recommend that when you book the Buell in for a service, you ask the dealer to check the frame number against the Buell recall list and to complete any required mods at the service. Alternatively, you can follow the link below and take a printout of relevant safety recalls with you.

Checking for safety recalls

If you want to see for yourself if your bike has any outstanding safety recalls on it, you can imput your VIN number on

Put in any mileage amount you like and it will come up with any outstanding safety recalls at the top like this:-

VIN: 4MZKS11J4W3315239
YEAR: 1998


There are one or more open safety recalls on your vehicle. The following list contains the recall number and a brief recall description:

0808: 0808 Turn Signal Flasher Unit
0813: 0813 96-99 BUELL SIDESTAND SWT
0814: 0814 95-99 BUELL FUEL TANK RET
0815: 0815 95-99 BUELL FUEL TNK VENT
0816: 0816 95-98 BUELL SWINGARM
0817: 0817 95-98 BUELL SHOCK EYE

We strongly urge you to take your motorcycle to your dealer to have the appropriate service performed as soon as possible. Should you choose to ride your motorcycle prior to this service, we urge you to be aware of this condition. Please see your local Harley-Davidson dealer for further details.

This data comes via the main vehicle computer and will only show the recalls specific for your motocycle and the market that it was designed for. I.E. not all safety recalls for US spec bikes were relevant for the UK market and vice versa.

When the safety recall is done and the cost is reclaimed by the Dealer, the Warranty payment is made and at that point the system is updated to show the correct information.

It is possible that the recall work could have been done without the Dealer reclaiming the payment (as a customer goodwill gesture) so it doesn't necessarily follow that the recalls haven't been done. To be absolutely certain, let your Buell dealer make sure.


Wiring near horn

Early XB's had an issue with the wiring to the horn as it could short on the horn bracket mounting bolt. This should not be an issue now, but was apparent on 2003 and earlier bikes. The fix is to replace the bolt with a shorter one, or tape the bolt to prevent possible shorting.



There have been a number of XB models, which have suffered from the sidestand bolt shearing, causing the bike to fall over in the car park. This is the subject of a factory recall and your dealer should check for this at the next service.


Front engine mounts

These have a tendency to wear and should be checked periodically. Visible inspection is enough, but replace them as soon as something is noted.

Crank Nut flywheel Torque

Buell changed the spec for the torque on the flywheel sprocket. Some earlier bikes have been known to have the sprocket come loose, causing internal damage. It is wise to mention this service update when you are in for a service and check the new torque settings have been applied. If you choose to do this yourself, make sure you use the threadlock as stated, do not simply tighten the nut.


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