2008 Buell XB12SS


Awesome looking, incredibly fun to ride, handles great, very reliable


Original wireform retainer for clutch cable failed from vibration - replaced by the dealer under warranty with a revised, beefier unit.

Rocker box leak - repaired under warranty, hasn't been a problem since.

Horn mounting bracket failed from vibration - replaced by the dealer under warranty, and hasn't been a problem since.

Starter motor related issue - repaired and replaced under warranty, no problems since.

Chafing of ECM harness under seat, causing O2 sensor readings to be erroneous - bad ground plane. Fixed it myself (electrical guy).

ECM calibration is not very smooth... engine runs rough from the factory. Multiple ECM reflashes from the dealership, and eventual tuning of calibration myself.

Oil drains back into sump quickly after turning engine off - I don't believe it's supposed to do that, but no issues aside from having to check the oil level with the engine running.

General Comments:

Incredible handling and braking. Suspension is very good once tuned and setup for rider. Belt drive is very low maintenance. Very good looking machine and very reliable and fun to ride. Stock seat is unexpectedly comfortable and durable.

Requires a ton of tuning the ECM to make the machine run properly. Later models came with dual oxygen sensors, improved ducting for cooling rear cylinder, and further improvements to brakes (ZTL2 8-piston caliper instead of stock ZTL 6-pot). I repinned the ECM for dual O2 and added a baro sensor, making the bike run much smoother, and with much improved fuel economy and cold start performance. Very fun to tune, with a lot of aftermarket and underground support.

Added the ZTL2 upgrade, along with improved ducting upgrade for better cooling (hot Arizona climate), and it runs much nicer.

Windforce at highway speeds can be a workout. A tankbag and using the rear pegs for foot support can alleviate fatigue on longer rides.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th March, 2012