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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello everyone
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I'm thinking about buying a 2018 XSR900 with the expectation to keep it for the next 20 years, (point being i don't trade bikes often, and I'm looking for a bike I can plan to keep for a long time) and I could not find a good general buyer's guide, so I'm looking to owners to answer, comment or give tips. Thanks!
1.) common issues / problems to look out for?
2.) any unusual / commonly overlooked maintenance items
3.) general maintenance, reliability compared to others in the class
4.) parts availability
5.) best years to look for, if there are any differences
6.) commonly suggested mods to do.
7.) Is there anything YOU wish you knew about the bike before purchasing it?

and on a last note, I've ridden fast bikes before, but they were all older and technology free.
the ABS, electronic throttle, traction control, power modes, and slipper clutch are all new things to me how do these feel compared to bikes without the features? do they help or hurt the riding experience? is it possible to completely dissable the ABS, and traction control? are these just electronics that will break and require extra maintenance?

there's 1 more question that comes to mind... does anyone think they are just going to come out with a better XSR1000 in a year or 2?

Thanks again for any help !
 

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welcome to the forum Travis...
the XSR900 is rather bullet proof, there are no reliability issues that I am aware of.
your choice of model years should be based on price, availability and tank color preference (silver is the fastest)

2016's have a kink in the clutch cable that can cause premature wear. I am still running the original.

I am typically against ABS and TCS, but I think they just work to dang good on this bike. Some folks think they are too intrusive, but that's what the different modes are for.

the only things that suck about this bike are the gage (tach, fuel gage suck, too bright at nite time), and a bit of a crappy suspension

I would not expect a XSR1000 soon.....anyhow 900 is the sweet spot for the street IMO.
 

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I agree with what Cujo said.
1. Not really
2. Not that I know of - just the basic items chain/oil/filters
3. Reliability is Good - there are quite a few high mileage FZ, MT and XSR's out there with only the normal items done.
4. Parts (both factory and aftermarket) are out there.
All model years are the same, only difference is color if you can make yourself wait for a color you like.
5. All years are the same except for color.
6. Suspension, exhaust, ecu flash, blinkers, wind screen, tank/tail bags and tail tidy are all common mods or additions. None are 'required' just personal taste. Depending on your weight proper rate springs might be recommended to improve ride/handling.

ABS & TCS can be disabled, although they'll cause a warning light on your gauges and throw codes in the ECU, but you can ride without them. IMHO the only thing i dislike is the TCS in aggressive mode, it is too agressive. I generally set TCS mode 1 and Throttle mode A and forget about it, they have minimal impact on the riding experience day-to-day. Clearly these are additional systems that will require 'fixing' at some point in the future over a bike that doesn't have them at all. I haven't heard of anyone who has worn out or broken anything other than the ABS sensor at the wheel - if it is installed wrong it will rub and need to be replaced.

When looking at used bikes a 'very' loud/rattly clutch (with engine running clutch lever pulled in) could indicate that the rubbers in the clutch basket are getting worn out. Some suspect this could be caused by lots of 'clutch up' wheelies. You can replace the whole basket, or just the rubbers. There are some posts here on the forum about how to remove the old rubbers and put in new ones. A little rattle/noise is normal.

Another bike you might consider is kawasaki Z900RS - similar modern/reto style slightly more expensive.

Things to know:
you can change both TCS and Throttle mode 'on the fly' as long as the throttle is closed all the way (coasting).
Fuel Gauge is biased towards full - the first 'quarter' of the gauge takes a long time, then the remaining 3/4th's go really fast.
Once the gauge starts flashing you've only got about 25 miles to find gas. Trip "f" will show up on the guage and count up the miles since the gauge started flashing low.
If you do your own maintenance get some sort of stand - no center stand on the bike.
 

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...on the issue of the over-bright instrument cluster, I find that to be true, but only on dark roads at night. Under those conditions it is bright enough to actually be a safety issue, IMHO. I bought a box of Leggs black (not Suntan like in the picture) ankle high women鈥檚 hose. I simply stretch a double layer over the cluster at night. They are cheap, easy to put on and pop off, take up zero room, and they work perfectly.
ACBC52BC-6299-43C9-A82B-4DF7F055766B.jpeg
 

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2016 XSR900 60th Anniv. Edition
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I鈥檒l have to try that! I happen to have a pair will have to go out and find some...
 

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yeah, I actually put two layers of headlight tint on my cluster to reduce the brightness. Makes it tolerable now. It is also dimmer during the daytime, but still legible.

A motorcycle gauge should have back lit LED gauge and a proper needle for the tach. End of story.
 

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I have heard of others using tint, and even theater light gel, but I wanted something that I could just pop on at night and pop off by day, and put (for zero space) in a jacket pocket . The only other thing about the cluster I have any gripe about is the rough estimate gas gauge, especially on a bike hindered by limited range. Then again, virtually every XSR owner bitches about both of those things. I am however, totally cool with the "tach around the clock" rpm indicator.
 

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Hey guys, new member here. Perfect thread for me to find. I'm probably going to be purchasing an XSR myself after 2 bad experiences with KTM to get me to say never again. The only mods I'll probably be making myself early on is the motodemic head light, the NRC fender eliminator l, bar end turn signals and some under bar mounted rear view mirrors. I may eventually also paint the XSR to match my cafe styled XS 650 project bike.
161503
 

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Hey guys, new member here. Perfect thread for me to find. I'm probably going to be purchasing an XSR myself after 2 bad experiences with KTM to get me to say never again. The only mods I'll probably be making myself early on is the motodemic head light, the NRC fender eliminator l, bar end turn signals and some under bar mounted rear view mirrors. I may eventually also paint the XSR to match my cafe styled XS 650 project bike. View attachment 161503
Takes me back. First new 'big' bike was an XS650 Custom from Coburn & Hughes in Luton. They had them on some massive discount (<拢1k). Looked at getting another recently - anything descent is silly money!
 

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Takes me back. First new 'big' bike was an XS650 Custom from Coburn & Hughes in Luton. They had them on some massive discount (<拢1k). Looked at getting another recently - anything descent is silly money!
Yeah, beater bikes can be found dime a dozen but something with a still useable frame is starting to go for a bit more. I picked this one up for $2k and the motor let go on me. I'll be rebuilding it from the bottom up as a 750. After that I'll clean it up and upgrade the suspension. Most likely use an R6 pair of forks, brakes and wheels with an ohlins rear end.
 
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