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"The Truth is out there"...
Best of BadWeb and ATC

Since buying my 99 X1, I've spent a lot of time hanging out at the American Thunderbike Club Forum and the Bad Weather Biker's BBS.

After awhile, I started to save interesting tidbits for possible future use. As my list grew, I decided to create a web page with this info so others like myself may find infomation.

So, here it is... the "Readers Digest" of X1 discussions from both forums. I don't claim it's absolutely complete... I just saved what was of interest to me. And I've editted out the chatty stuff (95% less "sassmouth"!). Plus, please beware these are personal opinions, not proven facts.

But, in all my years of biking, I find these "campfire bull sessions" to be very enlightening.

So, like me, hope you find something of interest. AND, if you have something to add or change, please Contact Me!

NOTE!!! Any references to "I", "me", etc. are from the original poster of the information and does not refer to the editor of this page, unless the poster was in fact me. Got that?

This site was originally developed 2000-2001, so many of the external links are no longer functional due to web-rot. Fortunately, that does not affect the integrity of the information presented here. Many products featured are obviously no longer in production. Try eBay.


100 Cubic Inch Long Block
Website | Comments?

Click to enlargeS&S Cycle manufactures several engine components for Buells. This includes everything from cases to heads and flywheels. The most interesting product for Buells is a 100 cubic inch long block. This engine is simply awesome in a Buell chassis... it won the open class dyno shootout at Hal's HD during the Buell Homecoming in Milwaukee summer 2000.

Available through Zipper's Performance, or visit S&S Cycle here...

Headwork (Cycle-rama)
Website| Comments?

Contact Wes at Cycle-rama. He has done a lot of high performance head work and lists the dyno charts on his web site.

Headwork (Nallin)
Website| Comments?

Nallin Racing Head Service has a good rep. with the Buell community. Their heads put out excellent HP and prices are reasonable.

Headwork (Zipper's)
Website | Comments?

Click to enlargeProper headwork is far from cheap. Figure on paying $1000-$1500 for a great job. I would highly suggest you consider a kit from Zipper's Performance, the Super Hammer 1200 Kit. @ $2699, it includes the boring of your stock cylinders, domed pistons, Stage II Thunderstorm heads with Stage II porting & competition valve job, step lock valve guides & teflon seals. Oversize stainless valves are used as well as a performance spring kit and moly collars. Redshift 567 cams are provided as well as PowerGlide lifters, telescoping pushrods & telescoping pushrod covers and all required gaskets. Zippers is claiming over 100 hp, and a spread of torque, which is over 70 ft-lbs from 3K-6500. and over 80 ft-lbs from 4200-6000. I have installed one of their Hammer kits, and I can say that it's worth every penny.

Max "T" Engines Four Valve Heads
Website | Comments?

The Buell kit come complete with all gaskets and mounting harware. The front cylinder head mount, and top breather kit, along with the exhaust are sold seperately. Pistons require fly-cuts for 4 valve pockets and the pushrods and covers are sold seperatley.

Billet Front Mount
Website | Comments?

Broken front mount? This mount from Max "T" Engines is machine billet and comes with case harded bolts Stronger than stock.

Leaky Starter Motor Gasket

Oil on the top of the motor, right behind the rear cylinder, under the starter. Likely to be the starter motor gasket (PN 31488-81) that is weeping primary fluid. Overfilling the primary leads to the gasket weeping due to excessive pressure that the vent cannot handle due to foaming. Once the gasket starts to leak, it wicks primary fluid out. To replace the gasket, you have to remove the exhaust system and primary cover. Disconnect the battery and using a ball-end allen wrench, remove the two allen bolts next to the starter ring gear. You will have enough room to jockey the starter out far enough to replace the gasket without disconnecting any of the electrical leads. The factory installs these gaskets dry so just a wetting of "Hylomar" on both sides of the gasket surfaces is recommended.

Front engine mount bolt replacement procedure

Read it here, from the California Cafe Racers Homesite

Suspicious valve-train noise

First, did you just remove your stock bread-box? You'll get a lot more intake noise... showing you part of the reason for the design.

Second, check your primary chain. When loose, it makes noises that can be confused for "valve trouble".

Website | Comments?

This device fits Evo Big Twin and Sportster. It simply threads into the bottom of the cylinder oil return and fits tight into the cases giving you a true oil passage that in no way can leak like the Evos are notorious for. It simply provides a direct tract from the cylinder return oil drains to the crankcase not allowing any chance of the oil to escape by seeping over and under the base gaskets during warmups.

Cut Down Cam Cover

See how here...

Combustion Chamber Cleaner

Recently used a fine product from Mopar (yes, Dodge/Chrysler) called combustion chamber cleaner.My 30,000 mile 883/1200 XL recently developed a piston knock when the motor was cold that disappeared after the bike warmed up. The piston maker told me I probably had an egg shaped cylinder and I had collapsed the piston skirt and I was hearing piston slap that went away because everything tightened up when the motor warmed up. The shop that sold me the pistons said I probably had a worn piston/cylinder also. The bike only used 1/2 qt of oil in the last 3,000 miles though, so I did not have much faith in their diagnosis. My local dealer and I stuck a small light down the plug hole and saw a fair amount of carbon on the piston, so I checked out a bore scope from work (1/8" diameter fiberoptic camera with light and TV/VCR!!) and did a little probing. The cylinder walls looked great, but there was a fair amount of carbon on the rear piston on the side opposite the spark plug. The old trick is to spray water in the motor with it running at high idle. Well, I did one better and went to the local Dodge dealer and picked up a spray can of the previously mentioned product. I sprayed some in the plug hole and let it soak overnight. In the morning I cranked the bike with the plugs out. Needless so say, all kinds of black soot and crap came out the plug holes! Keep a rag over the plug holes, this stuff makes a mess! After a few minutes of cranking on the starter and cleaning up the mess, in went the plugs. The bike smoked for a bit, but my piston knock was completly gone!! The idle also had a much better quality and the bike ran amoother. Mopar says to spray it in the motor when it is running (tried that before the soak and made a lot of noise in the process), but the soaking procedure worked much better. A fine $7 product for those out there with higher mileage machines.

XB Rocker Covers on an XL Buell Engine

The benefit of doing this is greatly improving the engine’s breathing ability and therefore reducing the amount of oil puking out of the heads, a subject near and dear to every Sportster/Buell owner. A side benefit is the “cool factor” of having new XB parts on your old tube frame Buell.

Here are the parts that you will need:

  • 17605-00YB Rocker cover, front head $39
  • 17642-02A Rocker cover, rear head $39
  • 17606-00YA Grommet, Viton, Black $2.95 each (need 2)
  • 17607-00Y PCV Valve, $6.90 each (need 2)
  • 868A Hex Socket Button Head Screw, $4.75 each (need 2)

Read the replacement procedure...

Cooling Fan

Fan Kit 91367-99Y. The installation instructions in PDF format is available here...

(To view , you may first have to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Total Seal Gapless Piston Rings
Website | Comments?

Time for new rings? Consider these... recommended by Hoban Brothers Racing 2002 National Thunderbike Champions...

We have used Total Seal rings in our bikes for a while now. Ed at Total Seal is a good guy and I know they have held up well as we have done leak downs after races continually and they are always right on! Whether that also has to do with Millenium cylinders, I do not know, but the combination sure does work. The only issue that you should be aware of is they create such a good seal that it will pull oil through valve guide seals. If that does not concern you I would do as we have seen longevity and excellent performance. Now, please don't tell everyone as I believe they were a key to us winning the National Championship!

and Nallin Racing Head Service...

We sell and recommend Total Seal rings. We've sold several hundred pair and can testify to their high quality. We've had tremendous success with them in both Nik-a-sil and conventional cast iron bores. Most of what we sell is conventional (gapped) rings but we offer the gapless variety as well. Many times we see leakdowns of under 2% with gapless rings (at those low levels it's hard to measure it!). Even after accumulating a lot of miles, the gapless rings show very little leakdown. By the way, we bore and hone cylinders every day, using state of the art tools and torque plates. We also offer high quality Millennium cylinders, which are heftier and much more dimensionally stable than the stock pieces. Mic a stock cylinder with and without a torque plate sometime, then do the same with a Millenium, it's really an eye-opener. Then think about the stresses being placed on the front cylinder by the Buell chassis design.

Oil Pump Drive Gear

Click to enlargeThe oil pump drive gear has been known to frag suddenly, with predictable results.

My drive gear looked similar to the one shown above only with at least 5 broken teeth. Because of the teeth falling into the scavenging side the oilpump locked, retaining ring came of, pumpgear was pushed up(by the teeth left over) against the camgear. The moment the pumpgear was lifted the oilpressure fell off and the oillight came on.

Click to enlarge Read an examination procedure here.

Refer to a BadWeb thread for further information...

Torque Specifications

Get the manual, but you can see them here.

(To view , you may first have to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Totally Stainless
Website| Comments?

A fellow Bueller has researched replacing all the bike hardware with stainless fasteners, from a company called Totally Stainless. See them here, along with catalog numbers.

(To view , you may first have to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader)

S1 Factory Manual

The factory manual for the 96,97 S1 in PDF format. Obviously, parts of it are out of date now for later models, but it still remains a valuable free resource for general and engine information, since, generally, the motor has not changed drastically since then.

Download it here (zipped file, 18.1meg)

Rocker Box Gasket Replacement Procedure

See a little pool of oil sitting below rear cylinder and oil slowly dripping off the rear cylinder? Solution... a leaky rocker-box gasket.This is a VERY common problem with Evo Sportster engines in general. It is a relatively easy fix.

Get the manual, but you can read the basic steps here.

Better Gaskets

Click to enlargeNew Harley lower 1 piece METAL rocker box gasket. It's metal with a anodized type coating on both sides. The part number is 16800-84, Parts and Accessories Bulletin #709. Installation... the numbers go "up", the torque specs. are the same and install the steel gaskets dry.

The James stamped steel rocker box gaskets or Cometic paper are superior to the originals. The originals and other paper gaskets will also last a long time if you use just enough Hylomar on them to discolor the material. It keeps them from becoming brittle and splitting. Cometic makes a steel embossed gasket that I have had no problems with. They sell them in two thicknesses in case you have deep scratches that won't seal. I have used James and S&S but Cometic has the best design I've seen so far. The other two work well and all three work better than the stock paper gaskets by far.

There is only ONE gasket company and that is Copper Gaskets Unlimited 623-780-0222 out of Phoenix Az. They make gaskets for ANYTHING, and supply gaskets for not only bikes, but Indy cars, Winston Cup, and NHRA. Incredible people, hard to come by in the industry... very conscientous, and caring, you won't be dissatisfied. Do yourself a favor, get ahold of them, any thickness in .001 increments, aluminum, copper VERY reasonable they are NOT stamped out gaskets...all their gaskets are CNC machined.

Bad Valve Seal

Oil consumption & motor smoking? The oil drips along your valve stems and causes slight smoke at starting. The partly burned oil makes a mess in the combustion chambers. The compression is becoming somewhat higher with all that residue filling the combustion chambers. So the horses are there and your engine hunts the needle past the last numbers on your speedo. The engine starts knocking or pinging, then a neat circular hole is blown into the head of a piston.

Bad Valve Seal 2

Using a quart ever 500 miles or so. I thought it was just blowing out the breather. I kept noticing some blue smoke in my headlight at night while waiting for a stoplight. I pulled a rocker cover and probed the seals with a long thin screwdriver. Lo and behold, the valve guide seal on the rear exhaust was not in place. I wound up removing both heads, replacing the exhaust valves (pitted badly), reground the seats and installed KibbleWhite All Viton seals. The Harley units are really not up to date. The ones that were on the guide allowed oil to pass. Since then, I have added about 1/2 quart in 2,000 miles. Also, there is no blue smoke in the headlight. If you see any smoke, you may want to check your seals.

American Air-Cooled Cylinders
Website | Comments?

Positives: Turn-Key Installation... no honing or other prep required; Power/Throttle Response... less distortion/friction; Customer Service... George exchanged sets for me with minimal charge; Weight/High Tech... 2-3 lbs less than Stock, 12 lbs less than Axtell; Fast Break-In/Ring Seating... generally less than 100 miles; Ruggedness... they have held up very well, and they seal well.

Negatives: Oil Leaks... there is usually leakage from the oil return passage directly to the outside fin area. Suggest painting the cylinders immediately before installing for the first time; Poor Fit... I had to ream out, file, break off areas where the cylinders did not fit. Be careful when installing these.


Here's my take on X1 mods. Buell Race kit: Performance, sound, reliability. Now if you don't want to spend all those $'s go with: Race ECM $160 Venturi $0.95 Gutted airbox $0.00 K&N Air filter $45 White Brothers E-series $260 Total: $466 Buell Race kit $965 Savings $500. This combination will give you 95% of the performance of the race kit at 60% of the cost with 100% of the reliability. Will you be able to tell the difference with the "Butt" dyno? I can't and I've ridden identical X1's set up this way back to back. Just my $0.02.

Surging and stalling problems
Fuel Injection
Oil & Filters
Wheels & Brakes
Contact Me

Drivetrain (Primary, Secondary, Trans)

Trouble finding neutral

Juice the throttle a bit with the clutch in, applying pressure up on the shifter. It should smoothly engage as the engine vibes jiggle the transmission cogs into place.

New Shifter

Click to enlargeNew unit 49092-01Y (or #49074-01Y for M2 and S3/T) is available as a replacement kit for $99.95

The 2001 model year shift linkage/lever provides an apparent improved leverage ratio (based on fish scale type tension measurements of shifting force required), but is being redesigned to improve geometry/leverage efficiency of foot and lever interaction (I'm guessing that the 2002 setup will be closer to Banke's geometry where the lever pivot is moved down via a bracket; it makes sense when you compare side by side picturess of each setup).

Click to enlargeIt works very well. The shifter has almost zero play...quite a change from the original setup. There is a clever nylon pivot built into the arm which keeps the arm tight, while still allowing movement where necessary. Shifts feel a lot shorter than before....neutral is easy to find now. Anybody who has driven a sports car with a "short shift kit" will be reminded of it when they use this new shifter. Quality is good, though it is not the show piece that the Banke is. At $99.95, doesn't have to be! In contrast to the odd original design or the gleaming aluminum Banke, the new arm doesn't attract any attention (and when was the last time you noticed a shift arm on any other bike?).

Read the installation instructions here...

Improve New Shifter

The 2001 shift is a vast improvement but some might find it harder to up shift than down shift. The problem is the length of the shift linkage requires the linkage coming out of the transmission to be pointing almost straight down when properly adjusted causing a reduction in leverage. This problem can be greatly reduced with addition of a slightly modified threaded extension for less then a dollar. Any hardware store sells threaded extensions used to connect thread rod. The smallest size is the correct length need to extend the shift linkage however you’ll have to increase the thread size to a 10/32. You’ll also need to cut the head off a 5/8” 10/32 screw to secure the extension. Use the screw to double nut lock the extension into the linkage and screw the universal into the other end, with the lock nut. Next move the shift linkage to one spline tool down from a 90-degree angle and reassemble the shifter. A little trial and error will get you the best angle and you’ll probably find very little exposed 10/32 threads unlike before. The throw will be a tiny bit longer but much easier and the linkage will be much stronger overall.

Baker 6 Speed
Website | Comments?

Six-Speed Overdrive, named the XL6 Conversion Kit, features full width gears for uncompromised torque capacity and strength. Baker also developed a new shift drum and detent plate with improved geometries for smoother and more precise shifting.

I have one in my 99 X1. It does shift better, but it isn't perfect. I have problems with false neutrals if I don't concentrate on shifting. It is very quiet unlike other Big Twin Six Speeds that I have ridden. The sixth gear is perfect for freeway cruzing. 80 mph is about 3200 rpm. I think that a speed much below that is too far out of the power band to pull very well. Also, I had my bike at a track day at Road America and had good luck with the Six. My only complaint about that was the gear ratio difference between 5th and 6th was too large. I would shift at 6300-6500 from 5th to 6th and the rpm would drop to 5400-5500 and not pull back up to red line (max speed of about 143). I have about 1800 miles on it in an 91 cid 4" bore S&S engine that makes 110 RWHP. There haven't been any problems with it mechanically other than some false neutrals. It also has about 25 11 second drag passes on it. It is nice, but if I had a transmission that was working fine, I might not think it was worth the money.

Belt to Chain Conversion

Texas Iron 800.701.2925
Sprocket Specialists 800.782.8202
DKF Performance 866.DKF.PERF

You need 5 items. First the chain. A 530 110 link works with a 22 front and 48 rear. Texas Iron 04-583 $95 o-ring chain. Next the front sprocket. 22 tooth Texas Iron 04-484 $34.99 Next the rear sprocket. Sprocket Specialists Buell 48 teeth 530 chain. about $50. I used a steel Texas Iron 04-504 and enlarged the center hole to fit Buell. Next you need a 0.150" spacer for the front sprocket. I had Yankee Enginuity do this for me. Finally a rub block is needed. I just let the swingarm carrier wear down and then installed a piece of 1-1/2" angle iron bolted down just in front of the isolator. I change this about every 20k miles.

Banke Drainplug in Primary

If you're tired of dropping the muffler to drain the primary, send $25US and the primary to: Banke Performance 1670 McLellan Rd. Felton, CA, 95018 The job looks excellent… actually have look around to see where the plug has been inserted.

Primary Drain Hose

Click to enlargeShorten the head of a grade 8 bolt, and tap it for a very short 1/8npt 90 degree fitting. The hose runs rearward then upward along the rear of the primary cover to a tidy little billet plug/holder . The setup works great, and allows for an oil change in minutes.

Update 99 2nd Gear

Click to enlargeThis excellent article compliments of Battle2Win magazine.

Unfortunately, this fine magazine is no longer in print.

(To view article, you may first have to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Primary Work

Get the manual, but you can read the basic steps here.

New Shift Detent Plate

Click to enlargeAlso known as the pawl. Recontoured to make shifting easier. Stock on 2000-up. Part# 33656-90A

Improved Chain Tensioner

Click to enlargeAnyone with a Buell produced before June of 2000 may want to check their adjuster if you have the primary cover removed. The metal plate which the adjuster bolt goes through was .115 of an inch thick. The replacement is improved with the metal beefed-up to .250". The part number for the new one is 39975-90A.

Click to enlargeWhen the tensioner breaks, it may lodge in the primary chain and pull bolts out of the tranny case. The whole motor may have to be replaced. Have the chain checked for tension every 2,500 miles, check the tensioner for wear every 10,000 miles. Mine broke at 7,800 miles on a 2000 X-1.

For replacement, you can read the basic steps here.

Primary Chain Adjustment

Start by lifting the rear wheel off the ground, you will need to rotate the motor over to do this, so pull your spark plugs. Put the bike in 5th gear, THEN remove the shift arm to get it out of the way of the inspection window. Remove inspection window, *don't lose the gaskets*, rotate the motor over by the rear tire until you GET TO THE TIGHT SPOT IN THE CHAIN! Once you are there, check by moving the chain up and down in the window. Perfect will be 5/8th to 7/8th inch or one width of chain (5/8th inch) with a COLD bike. The adjustment is the 7/8th inch nut and allen screw directly below the adjuster window on the bottom side of the primary case. Loosen the nut and adjust with an allen screw until you get your adjustment.

Nut and Retention Plate Problems

There are two problems with the Sportster drivetrain... the nut and retention plate that locks down the belt sprocket. It may come loose and back off the mainshaft and still be in the retention plate. The sprocket will wear on the splines because the 5th-mainshaft is harder than the sprocket metal. So now the 5th-mainshaft is banging against the inside of the sprocket and wearing it down and causing the bearing to make noise. If this been going on for along time you may lose the 5th-mainshaft and bearing and belt sprocket.

To check this, take off the belt sprocket cover and take off the two allen bolts from retention plate. Look at the nut and see if it is damaged, the back part of the nut will look like a wrench slip off, all six sides of the nut will have a mark the same thickness has the retention plate. This tells you the 5th-mainshaft is wearing the sprocket.

Click to enlarge BUY the Jims Mega Nut (Part#1708... cost $50.) DON'T use the H-D/Buell one (cost about $6.) because it will happen again. If you do, loc-tight and torque correctly!

Belt Considerations

The hardest part of driving something by chain is not the load in tension, rather it is the rpm the chain must turn and the repeated impact with the sprocket. The centrifugal forces and Gs of impact are far worse on a chain than the power input.

For any given operation a belt will provide superior life. Problem is, belts must be made quite wide to handle equivalent power transmission. This makes them not well suited for use on motorcycles where we must fit an appropriate belt inside the frame and swingarm/wheel combo. Chains work better here. Unfortunately many people hot rod their engines and strengthen con rods and run forged pistons etc., but seldom do you see folks putting effort into beefing up their drive chain. It's like adding power to an engine. Twice the power puts twice the load on internal parts, twice the rpm squares the load on the parts.

If you still doubt the capability of a belt, go to a national level dragrace and check out the connection between engine and transmission on a Top Fuel Bike. 1000hp and no chain...Belt! Low inertia, relatively immune to impact on pulley teeth, and strong. Rear wheel drive is via chain for reasons mentioned above.

Ever seen a top fuel dragster with a blower run by a chain? Nope, you don't. The drive doesn't have to be narrow, just strong and efficient. My day job I work with machines that need to run 24/7 365 days a year. We avoid designing them with chains in any rotary power transmission at all cost. In summary: If you can fit a belt in there do it, if space is a concern, use chain.

Surging and stalling problems

Bad Bank Angle Sensor

Starts and runs fine for several minutes and then dies. (About the time it gets warm.) Will restart immediately and run fine for twenty seconds, and die again. Wait five minutes and try again and it will start and run fine for a couple minutes and then die. Does not smoke, miss, backfire or run rough. It just dies like the switch was turned off. Solution... bad BAS.

This may also cause your bike to not start at all. Try unplugging the BAS... it should cause an error 44 but allow your bike to start.

Loose Intake Temperature Sensor

Problem turned out to be a loose intake temp sensor. The two best solutions for attaching the temp sensor: 1) Drill two small holes about 1/2" apart inside the airbox, then zip-tie it in place (discard the mounting tab). Put a dab of silicone sealant on the openings that are left around the zip-tie. 2) Drill a small hole in the mounting tab and a small hole in the airbox, then use a pop rivet to hold the assembly in place. The mechanics at Brian's HD/B don't even bother with the two sided tape that comes with the race kit - they ditch it and use one of these two methods.

Loose Wire to Cylinder Head Temperature Sensor

The wire lead had pulled free from the Cylinder Head Temperature Sensor. You can pinch the wire where it exits from the sensor and GENTLY pull up on it and if it's broken you will feel the movement. If the wire is pulled free from the sensor, just cut the braid away from the wire and poke the wire back into the sensor. This will get you by until you can get a new sensor.

Bad Cylinder Head Temperature Sensor

Had a surge for a long time, never showed up on the scanalizer. Changed the head temp sensor and it started running good, no surge. $26.00 out the door...

Bad O2 Sensor

Bike won't idle, runs like it's on 1 cylinder, every now and then kicking in on second. Make it idle at 3grand for awhile... engine light comes on. Bad O2 sensor. Bike still ran bad after replacement. Fouled plugs caused by bike running too rich because of bad O2 sensor. New plugs completed the job.

Click to enlargeI just tested my old O2 sensor, and compared it to the new one. Although I never got any engine codes, it appears it is almost dead. The old one never gets above 0.027 volts (27.6 millivolt)when heated with a propane torch, and drops slowly. The new one goes to >0.8 volts and drops very rapidly back down. The O2 sensor is like a battery, it generates a voltage on its own: <0.5 volts for a lean condition, >0.5 volts for a rich condition. Just connect one voltmeter lead to the O2 wire and the other meter lead to the O2 metal housing. Heat with a propane torch, and read the voltage - which should be >0.8 volts. The sensor has to be heated to >600 degs F before it will read, and the oxygen in propane makes it read very rich (>0.8 volts). Put the positive lead of your meter on the O2 lead, and the negative lead to the body (ground) of the sensor. As they age they get slower to react, so a new one will drop the voltage down rapidly once the flame is removed. The sensor is difficult to test on the bike, as you have to be above 2500 RPM (the rear cylinder doesn't fire often enough to keep the sensor above 600 degs at idle), and the ECM sends a bias voltage (0.45-0.50 volts) until it senses the O2 sensor varying the voltage.

See next section for O2 sensor replacements.

Stalling when cold

They're grouchy first thing in the morning. It takes a few minutes of keeping the revs up before they will idle on their own. It's normal for a high performance hotrod, or a Harley... get used to it. Or get a throttle lock.

Check your seals

If your idle hovers around 2000 rpm and it comes down if you let out the clutch slightly, you have an intake leak. Check the seal around the airbox, the intake manifold seals and the injector o-rings. An easy way to check is to spray carb cleaner at the seals while it is running. If it coughs, dies, or idles differently when you spray, you've got a leak.

Gasket Sealer

The bike ran fine for an hour or so, but when nailed it a bit, it demonstrated that old familiar sputter again. Finally fixed it with gasket sealer. Yamaha makes a great gasket sealer called Yamabond.


Always reset the TPS when replacing the ECM. When they re-flash your TPS make sure they set your idle after it gets to running temp. (about 274 degrees).

Idle Adjustment

I had dealer install race ECM. Upon retrieving bike, cold engine idle seemed a bit high, but I anticipated normal idle after engine warm-up. Several miles down the road it became apparent that engine idle was becoming VERY high, almost as if throttle cables were binding. I stopped bike, checked cables and noticed idle adjustment knob under gas tank. I used it to adjust proper idle level, and have not had any further problems in 10,000 miles.

Clogged Injector

Fighting a low speed surge. Ran a can of BG 44K fuel injector cleaner through the bike along with a full tank of gas. My problem was reduced by about 85%. Replaced the O2 sensor with Bosch 12014, and now my bike is all better. I would recommend the BG fuel injector cleaner for all fuel injected vehicles.

I used to own V.W.s and they were prone to injector clogging. The clubs and even the reps recommended the Chevron F.I. Cleaner on a semi regular basis because of its ability to clean and yet not destroy or degrade rubber or seals in the fuel system. I was surprised to find it at Walmart. It helped me then with my VW and perhaps now with my S3T.

At the worst stage, the rear cylinder overheated strongly (pipe glowing orange) due to the lean condition on the clogged injector. I think this then caused the second temp sensor to go south. Long and the short of it was that the tech at Kegals removed the injectors then somehow "manually cleaned" them by blowing compressed air through them backwards (I still never figured this one out). He also replaced the engine temp sensor at the same time. Problem has now been cured for 3000 plus miles.

See next section for more information on bad injectors


Never run out of gas

Ride the motorcycle in closed loop operation (2500-3500 rpm, approximately 40-60 m.p.h. in 4th or 5th gear with engine under load) consistently for 2-3 minutes. This allows the ECM to learn a new Adaptive Fuel Value (AFV).

Bad Fuel Pump

Bike suddenly died while sitting at a light. After a few minutes I got it going again, but every time I tried to get it to idle it would idle for several seconds, then die. It doesn't matter if the bike is in gear or out, clutch in or out, sidestand up or down. To get moving I have to rev a little higher than normal and slip the clutch a bit. After riding steady without idling for a few minutes the bike seems to run ok until you try to let it idle. Then it will die in about 30 seconds.

All components (sensors, injectors, etc) checked out, fuel pump suspect. Before I replaced it I jumpered it so the fuel pump would run continuously without the engine running. It would sound fine for a minute or so, then I could hear it continuously speeding up and slowing down for another minute until it ran very slowly and stopped. I think the fuel pump motor was heating up and then it wouldn't maintain steady output.

Replaced fuel pump, problem solved.

Bad Speedo Sensor

Had a Buell come in the shop that would loose power when customer retracted the sidestand. Was not the switch,clutch switch or neutral switch! Found in the wiring diagram the speedo sensor gets its power from the safety system. Found the speedo sensor wire rubbing against the cases, located right before the wire goes under the starter. I noticed the new speedo sensor comes with a plastic guide to prevent this! Check it out! A speedo sensor grounding out will shut down the safety system which will shut down the ignition....!

Bad Voltage Regulator

Started to misfire and wouldn't rev past 1500 rpm. After checking all the obvious battery and electricals and mechanicals the battery refused to turn over the starter. A diode in the charging system failed, causing the bike to run off the battery. The battery didn't last long after. It turned out to be a faulty voltage regulator (that finned black box in front of the motor).

Do you have a volt meter? If you do, Set it to DC volts, start the bike, put the voltmeter leads to the battery terminals. rev motor... does the voltage move? If it does not then the regulator is the common culprit.

Exhaust Header

If the bike surges, especially under 3000 rpm, check the exhaust header for leaks.

There's an easy way to test if you have a significant leak between the headers and the overheads. When the engine is cold, apply a viscous mixture of cleaning soap and water all around that link and start the engine. Immediately, you should see bubbles forming if there is any significant leak. After - say - 10 seconds, the bubbles will form because the mixture evaporates, but right after start, the place will still be cold and bubbles will mean leak.

Teflon Tape Fix

Wrap teflon tape around the manifold and o-ring, then put on the mounting clamp. Do it one side at a time to make it easier, as in put one clamp on temporarily, wrap one then put the clamp on snug. Then do the other one. Then do a final tightening to torque spec. To make it easier to wrap the tape around cut the "guide rings" on the tape roll down flush with the tape dia. Teflon tape is about $ 1 a roll, so it's cheap to boot.


Be aware that the Buell pro series plugs use an 11/16 hex instead of the standard 5/8 of the H-D plugs. I made the mistake of just buying them and heading out on a trip, only to find out the difference while trying to change fouled plugs on the road.

If you're fowling out your rear plug in the cooler weather you might want to switch to a hotter plug, but then how can you tell you need to do this? If the plug shows you're running the right fuel mixture but the porcelain is black your plug is too cold. When the fuel mixture is close to right you'll see a very thin line around the porcelain about 1/16" from the top. If the tip is white you're too lean no matter what the plug temp. Ideally the porcelain should be white with just a splotch of brown where the fuel hits the plug and the tip a very light shade of tan.

Install 10R12 plugs (the Blast! plug) as soon as possible, it eliminates 90% of the detonation. The 10R12 is the rebadged H-D version of the Champion Plug #809 (or RA6HC... old nbr) and costs 3X more. Champion Plug #810 ( or RA8HC) is the old OEM plug.

The correct 10R12 replacement is NGK DCPR8E - its reach is a little longer but there is no interference. This plug has the correct terminal stud and uses the same 5/8" socket to install. Colder plugs use a higher number, e.g., DCPR9E. The DPR8EA-9 is the same heat range but it uses an 18mm vs. the 5/8" socket and has a terminal stud rather than a nut. Other NGK plugs...

  • NGK DPR8EA-9 (#4929) 18mm / pre-gapped More $$$.
  • NGK DPR9EA-9 (#5329) COOLER
  • NGK DCPR7E HOTTER NGK DCPR8E (#4179) 16mm / large pushon top connector
  • DPR8EIX-9 (#2202) IRIDIUM 16mm / screw Terminal Nut
  • 145 degree difference between each heat range...

I have over 15,000 miles on my Torque Masters. I am running a 00' X-1, Race ECM, K&N and White Bros. E-Series. Never a pinging problem, never a fouling problem. Mine are equal to the 6R12PP H-D plugs not the 10R12. I know a number of FI Buelligans that have had fouling problems with the 10R12 or their equal. Once you go to the Race ECM and good gas you should not have pinging problems with the 6R12 equals. When ever I put my T-M's back in, I can always feel a smoothness difference between them and any new plug. That is even with 15,000+ miles on these T-M's. Give a shout to Maury (the Inventor and Owner) and he can make any heat range or hex size you need.

I've been running Torque Master Plugs for about 10,000 miles and all I can say is... save your money. The torque master plugs do last longer than any other conventional plug, but they are about $15! 5 times more than a conventional plug. In addition there is no performance increase. I reviewed both gas mileage and dynamometer testing and there is no difference. I personally like NGK since their tips don't seem to round off as quickly.

If you need a good plug use Auto-Lite # 4163 They are like the 10R12 plugs of stock Buell. They are both copper electros end plugs but Auto-lite is cheaper (#4163 $2.ea.) I don't believe in the Split-Fire plugs on Buells. I'd rather have one big spark than two little ones. From what I'm told the Torque Masters are like the Split-Fire ones but with more than one end. Buell ECM is set-up like a car... they'd rather have one spark than a lot of little ones. And don't use Bosch Plugs, they foul even quicker. If you want more power out of your plugs index them towards the intake valve w/copper washers from Jacobs. Also make your spark plug gap a little bigger and use the wire type feeler gauge. Don't use the slide ramp type gauge better yet use the s/p gapping pliers (cost $50.) Plug gap is usually .002 more (example .042 change to .044) Buell specs. calls for .038 to .043 go to .045 and index the plugs and get give it a run. The only time that I would go wider in gap is when you get a hotter coil like a Jacobs coil. (my gap is .055)

For cross reference for other brands of plugs see

Valve Guide Seals

Fouled plug would be the first thing to look for... if so, could be valve guide seal. Overreved lately? Missed a shift? This could float the valves and the spring retainer could cut the valve guide seal causing excessive oil consumption. Two choices-- pull the top end and replace the seals or contact for more information with lower cost to repair

Fuel Injection

99-05 Vehicle Diagnostic Scan Tool
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Click to show software viewFor Windows, for all FI Buells, includes SW and cable adapters. Access the diagnostic codes stored inside your ECM, perform active tests of functions such as the fuel pump, injectors, coil, etc. Perform TPS and AFV resets. Monitor and log engine performance, temperatures, throttle settings, etc. Hooks to PC using the DB9 RS 232 port. Simple installation, easy to use. With this tool, you are no longer a slave to the dealer if you have an FI bike. Now also works with a PDA, you just need an interface cable.

Available through American Sportbike.

EcmSpy is a free diagnostic package available for download here...

Bad Injector?

With the F.I and ignition system powered, give the injector a 12v feed and see if it squirts. If it does, you don't have a faulty injector.

Bad Injector Lead?

A common problem is a wiring break in a fuel injector lead. You can easily tell if you have a broken wire, and which cyl. is affected by removing the plugs and spinning the engine over with the starter. Keep the throttle open, there should be gas coming out of the plug holes if the injectors are working, if one of the cyls. is dry, trace the wire out, you will most likely find the break where it crimps into the terminal end.

O2 Sensor Replacement

Bosch 12014 has the correct Weatherpack connector. It is just unplug, unscrew, screw in and plug in. The O2 sensor from a 1993 Chevy pickup will work... it also plugs right in, the wire is about 2 inches longer but doesn't seem to be a problem on an S-3.

The O2 sensor that K&N puts out for the Power Commander is actually from a 90/91 3.8 liter Ford Thunderbird part# F1SZ-9F472-A.

NOTE!!! If you do not use the exact part#, there are 3 different sensors for a 90/91 3.8 liter Ford Thunderbird... two will work, one will not. You want the sensor with FOUR wires and a WHITE plug and this comes in both a long and short lead version. The one that you do NOT want is the one with 3 wires and a black plug. The black plug has the same configuration as the white one except that one of the engaging prongs is approx. 30 degrees off from where it needs to be.

Zero the TPS

How to zero the TPS in two minutes or less. (not counting warm up time)

  1. Connect scan tool
  2. Select #3 Data Monitor
  3. Scroll down to TP degrees
  4. Back off idle adjuster until TP degrees reading stops decreasing
  5. Turn idle adjuster one more full turn out
  6. Snap throttle closed to seat the throttle plate
  7. Press mode on the scan tool and select option #7 Calibrations
  8. Select #2 TPS zero function
  9. Press enter, then option #3 on the scan tool
  10. Scoll down to TP degrees, adjust idle speed screw until TP degrees read 5.8 degrees
  11. Press start button and start bike. Warm up to 280 degrees engine temp.
  12. Adjust idle speed to 1050 RPM. NO MORE and NO LESS.

For DDFI Buells with poor engine performance problems, 80% of the problems can be resolved in less than twenty minutes simply by properly zeroing the TPS and verifying/setting the cam position sensor timing. How do you verify/set cam position sensor timing?

  1. Remove sensor cover (drill out two rivets).
  2. Attach voltmeter to sensor leads
  3. Remove spark plugs
  4. Support rear of bike to allow rear wheel to turn freely.
  5. Put transmission into 5th gear
  6. Turn Ignition on.
  7. While closely observing the voltmeter, slowly/manually rotate the rear wheel in the forward direction so as to turn the engine in its normal sense.
  8. Stop when the voltmeter initially shows a change from zero to 5 volts.
  9. Check the cam position sensor. It should be dead centered with the timing mark. If not, adjust so that it is and recheck.
  10. Any sensor timing deviation from dead center will adversely effect performance. Even as little as a single degree off of center will hurt DDFI performance.
Running Lean

In city traffic after about 20 min the pipes got REALLY hot (burned your leg from a foot away). About 5 min later the RPMs would increase from 950 to 1500 and about 2 minutes later the red engine trouble light would go on, and the engine began to run very poorly. Solution... bike was running lean.

Running Lean 2

Bike was "running lean," causing misfire and overheating. The techs looked several times but found nothing. It turned out that the bike was "running lean" and the techs were reading the manual wrong because the scannalizer said the mixture was acceptable. When the problem persisted had the dealer call Buell and there they found that the reading has to be EXACT and not just within tolerences.

Running Lean 3

Symptoms: gas mileage went from 200miles a tank to 160-170; plugs are wet fouling, especially on cold start; slooow return to idle when hot (up to 15 seconds); runs great between 3000rpm-redline. Was resolved after replacement of the O2 sensor and a TPS reset. The AAV value was also reset. The TPS adjustment must be done 100% per the factory procedure. Plugs are a good indication of the symptom; i.e. running rich / lean etc.

Throttle Cable Clamp

Click to enlargeIt bonds the throttle cables to the cable bracket (bucket), preventing a very dangerous situation. These are stock items on the Y2K X1's... 56491-99Y

Air/Fuel Ratio Meter
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Here's a funky accessory from AutoMeter.

Read more about its operation here...

Click to enlargeAttached to the tach via the AutoMeter cup. Their cups are designed so that the "flat" can be mounted on a steering column or roll bar with a hose clamp, which is what I used. Since it's on the tach any way, I used the tach's lamp to power the gauge. I ran the negative lead to an engine ground and spliced the sense lead to the purple O2 lead wire at the ECM -soldered and heat shrinked. No real need for a separate fuse- just replace the lamp fuse if it ever blows, It hasn't yet. It is balls on accurate. I have a friend that dynos bikes here locally. He used his pipe sensor to check my gauge. No discrepancy. Only problem is that it takes about five minutes of riding to heat the sensor enough to start sending info to the gauge.

Force Intake
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Click to enlargeLots of clearance, three allen head bolts (the upper fwd will require a ball-style driver or a seriously shortened standard driver) for mounting. In the rain, the supplied "dry-charger" cover works pretty good. It will not stop 100% of water ingestion though... mild rain with causes no ill effects.

Mounting the temp.sensor causes extra work in the XR1. The XR2 is set up for FI.

Options for the breather lines...

  • Catchcan... see Breathers Section
  • The new XR2 incorporates billet fittings, and plumbed with polished hardline and AN fittings, it now loops into the back of the filter for a clean, professional look.
  • Kuryakyn sells a spacer (for the Hypercharger) that has plumbing fittings for the vent lines. This way you can preserve the so called re-injestion of the blow-by. These spacers will work on the Buell. Just need to make sure you get one for the 40mm CV carb.

Concerned about performance in the rain? Regular rain does not affect it to any visible degree. I rode over 400 miles in torrential rain once. I had the "wet suit" cover on at the time. With judicious throttle control, one would hardly notice the difference. Hard acceleration was a no - no. I think the increased demand for air pulled in a lot more moisture from the filter. With attention to the right wrist you should be fine.

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Click to enlargeFrom France....
Click to enlarge

Buell FI Doesn't Have To Suck

Click to enlargeThis excellent article compliments of Battle2Win magazine.

Unfortunately, this fine magazine is no longer in print.

(To view article, you may first have to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Procedures for reading your DDFI Trouble Codes

Broken Throttle Shaft

Click to enlargeIt started as what I thought was fuel starvation, possibly running out of fuel. I took off the air box to try to look at the throttle body, sure enough, the butterfly was jammed shut, and the pulley that the cables ride on was against the front head. I freed the stuck butterfly, and I thought I might try to limp the bike somewhere. I got it started and the vacuum in the throttle body pulled the broken shaft against the other piece, this resulted in a crude functioning throttle. It did not work too bad, I managed to get it up to highway speeds to ride to my dealer. I ordered a new throttle body and it has a larger diameter throttle shaft than the one that came on my 99 X1. The new one has a butterfly that is captured on both sides and the old one only has throttle shaft material on one side.

BC Gerolamy 50mm Throttle Body
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23% increase in butterfly area 21 CFM increase in airflow. Throttle Body Upgrade: • Bore to 50mm • Install throttle linkage gusset • Install new butterfly

Carb Conversion

In short here's what you'll need to convert to a carb: 1. Carb: 44mm SE CV $279 -or- 40mm CV Keihin (90+, late model XL and BT) about $50 used - or could use a Mikuni or whatever floats your boat, but I kinda like the CV's, they're good for driveability. 2. Intake Manifold: for above $69 for 44mm or about free for 40mm - of which the CV44 will fit. A little epoxy is needed with the 44 and the manifold. The o'rings roll sometimes and leak, epoxy doesn't. 3. Ignition: Crane HI-4 (nosecone - model 8-2100, $250) -or- HI-4E (model 8-3101, $272) - I'm leaning towards the 4E and fairly sure that the stock cam position sensor will work, but am checking the P/N. 4. VOES Switch - free or cheap 5. Petcock: $100 or so - I think I'll be able to seperate the pump from the rest of stuff in the tank and easily adapt a regular petcock - and I'll get to keep the low fuel light, to boot...time will tell, as I haven't taken the tank apart yet. 6. Various electrical connectors, if you're like me and don't want to butcher the wiring harness. I'm going to make a special subharness that'll just plug into the various looks like I'll have to pull the tach feed from one of the connectors, but other than that... Just time and willingness to do it.

Power Commander
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You will need the Hi-Perf O2 sensor if you want to control the mix below 3400 rpm otherwise it will just use the factory settings. Also, the 5 minute installation time quoted in the ads and on the box are not true. You have to remove the gas tank to install it... make sure you have a fuel line clamp because they are not reusable and you have to remove it. The dealer took about 45 minutes and they had done it before. You could probably double that time for a home installation. The PC3, O2 sensor and labor were a shade over $500.00 :-( but I think it was worth it. The bike runs like a raped ape!

Read more about it here...

Another opinion... PC3 is an add on unit, it requires an ECM to function, be it stock or race. The Race ECM raises rev limiter 500 RPM and has different ignition mapping and fuel mapping than a stock ECM. PC3 affects only fuel mapping. Race ECM is set up for Buell Race Header/Muffler/Air Cleaner. PC3 is used to fine tune other combinations of intake and exhaust modifications. PC3 with optional O2 sensor allows closed loop (real time feedback) control of fuel flow below 3400 RPM and 33% throttle. Dynojet says "typical aftermarket modifications will not require the additional sensor". FI cam set up is not designed to make power below 3400 RPM and crankshafts are balanced for higher RPMs. Always keep your revs above that "below 3200 RPM vibration" and on the cams, and you shouldn't need to worry about having closed loop control below 3400 RPM. Get the Race ECM first, then if you feel the need, add the PC3.

Temperature Sensor Removal

Would like to remove your temperature sensor without cutting and soldering or removing your harness ? If you follow these easy steps it will take less than two minutes to remove and reinstall your plug housing.

Gutted Airbox

Click to enlargeHere may be the hottest set up for a Buell air filter. Take the stock bread box and remove the snorkel tube. Replace it with a stock Harley venturi ring #29179-88, @ $.95. Drop in a K&N; filter and you now have the perfect still air box. One member also ground out the intake hole of the bread box to max size but still hold the filter and claims +6hp increase over stock.

Click to enlargeHere's a modified M2 box. Read more about it here...

I decided to get rid of the bread box. I didn't want to go to an aftermarket piece (I like factory stuff when available), so I used a race air cleaner kit for the S3. Bolted right on and had the hole in place for the IAT sensor. Looks great and works. The bike feels noticeably stronger than with the bread box gutted.

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It looks cool and the butterflies open and close. The thing that I didn't know before I bought it was that there is about a 1"x6" slot cut out of the bottom... needed for the bike to idle. If you notice when the bike is idling, the butterflies are mostly shut. It kinda defeats the purpose of the ram charge effect that I assumed I would get.
Click to enlargeAlso if you have long legs you might want to consider something else. I'm 5'10" and my knee just skims it when in a natural sitting position.

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Click to enlargeRoadracing Airbox ...the air box is made from Carbon Fiber. The steel plate ( comes in black or silver anadized) lets you acess the K & N filter.. the whole unit does NOT include the filter and costs over 300 British pounds.

Odyssey Kolors
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Click to enlarge Eurocomponents is the official dealer for Odyssey Kolors products in the USA. Aircleaner and left side covers for X1s are made out of carbon fiber and come in a clear-coated finish, so you do not need to paint them, and they are ready for installation. Kit includes a smaller aircleaner cover (made by Screamin' Eagle) and a special air intake on the left side cover, which provides more air to the rear cylinder for better cooling. Both covers follow the lines of the tank for a super-smooth look. Both sides feature built-in turn signals for a sharper look. Complete kit is $ 664.20

Yodude Intake
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Click to enlargeCompany name is Yodude, designer and producer of intake and exhaust systems for cars and motorcycles. It has a smooth bore without any casting flash or bumps that would impede the air flow. It is all aluminum and includes a K&N Filter (number RC-3680), chromed breather bolts and crossover as well as a catch can that attaches to the frame under the intake. The intake is available powdercoated or polished. All pieces are available separately if you already have one component or another.

Other Intakes

Click to enlargeBuell CF Oval Air Cleaner is pricey, but works well.

I'm running a modified Screamin' Eagle round EVO air cleaner (approx. $70) with a round cover ($39). This turned out to be a little more work than getting a Buell-specific kit but at least I don't feel like I paid too much. The pricing for these things is ridiculous.

The S1 race kit filter fits the X1 with no problems. Just drill a hole in the back plate for the oxygen sensor. Just Harleys in Newcastle (England) convert most of their X1's like this.

Click to enlargeFrom Japan, manufacturer unknown. See website here.


Miniature Voltmeter

Dash mounted LED Voltmeter displays 8-16VDC in 1 volt increments. Has a warning LED for when voltage is less than 10VDC or higher than 16VDC. Black, Adhesive Mounted, approximate dimensions are 1.75"W x 1"H x .5" thick. Easily installed with minimal fuss, just crimp two terminals to the wires and attach to the dash where the lighting wires connect. FI bikes will die with little warning when the voltage drops if the charging system has died, better to have an indication in advance.

Available through American Sportbike.

You're the problem!

Have you worked on your bike lately? Anything at all? Retrace your steps... you have have pulled something loose. Results may not be immediate either... see below.

Pulled Wires

I wrote a message on the forum a few days ago about my bike not starting and that I was frustrated...needed to vent. Come to find out the problem was ME! I pulled some wires while installing the tach or they moved possibly when turning. The wires fed power to my starter. I guess the bike is more reliable then the owner.

Common Rub Points

Down under the battery where the speedo-sensor wire and an oil line run up over the rear corner of the inside of the primary/clutch housing, that inside upper edge gets enough vibration and movement to almost wear thru the oil line and any adjacent wires. There are also some very tight wire bundles routed around/along the frame under the gas tank and heading up to the front of the bike. Also, check very closely around the electronic controller as there are also a bunch of wild tight bends around there.

Broken Ground

Click to enlargeRiding along, bike starts cutting out... engine light going off & on. Bike finally died altogether. With ignition on Run, engine light no longer coming on, fuel pump not coming on, no odometer display, no oil pressure light. Plenty of power... horn blasts. With ignition on Park, odometer display flashes. Scanalizer not getting any input. Solution! Broken ground wire, back of gas tank next to the 30A circuit breaker. See photo.

Loose Connection at Circuit Breaker

While the bike is running, ie cruising down the road, the odometer will flicker or turn off, the speedo will drop to zero and the engine will stumble then die. The check engine light does not come on. I pull in the clutch, coast to a stop, turn the ignition off then back on. The ECM does its diagnostic check, the check engine light goes out, and if the odometer is lit up the motor will start and I'm on my way again. If the odometer isn't lit up the starter motor just clatters (the headlight is also dim), that usually gets the odometer back on, then the starter will fire the motor. Solution... Found it at the 30A circuit breaker under the seat/tank (see above photo).The black wire from the starter and the red wires from the voltage regulator and key switch/fuse box were slightly loose. Man, that circuit breaker post gets hot when there is a little resistance there!

Loose Wires to Fuse Box

Bike won't start... no power to fuel pump. It turns out that the wires going into the bottom of the fuse box were loose. Gave it a shake and the fuel pump kicked in. Engine started right up.

Broken Ignition Wire

The dash won't light up at all when I turn the ignition key to any of the positions, and not even the horn will sound. The battery still has a normal charge. The ignition fuse is not blown. I checked the ground cable and it is secured. So I figured it was a broken wire somewhere... after combing thru the wiring harness, battery ground wires, fuse box, ecm, I looked up more thoroughly under the battery tray and saw the ignition wire that comes up from the starter blown clean through and self-welded to the underside of the battery tray. I had initially missed it because it still appeared like both ends were together & felt secure when tugging on it, but this was only because it fused itself securely to the metal tray and even burned a divit into it! The wire had been routed very close to the tray and had apparently worn through after 6700 miles of vibrations and shorted out. My solution was simply to peel the wire off the tray, strip down, re-join with a butt-connecter and re-route out off to the side out of the reach of tray, frame, etc. I plan to go back and solder the wires when I have time, but the possible slight possible voltage (12 volts still here) drop hasn't seemed to affect the ECM. After that she fired right up and is running strong.

TPS Wire

Beware of the routing of the TPS wire. Problem with the ignition cutting out (fun ride to the shop) and mechanic discovered that the throttle cable was rubbing on the tps wire.

Bad Neutral Switch

About 1/3 of the time with the tranny in neutral, the neutral light won't come on. Have to pull in the clutch for the fuel-pump to work. Starting the bike with the clutch in, the neutral light will often come on, and the clutch can be let out. Possible solution... try cleaning the Neutral Switch connector where it attaches to the tranny fitting. It's probably intermittently making contact which would explain why the light comes on after the engine starts.

Speedo Sensor Problems

The speedo died and the trip odometer still registers but does not change. It is not a fuse … it turned out to be the pick-up unit that is mounted on top of the transmission box. As you are sitting on the bike it is right-of-center. It has a large black wire, 1/2" x 1/2" black plastic piece and one allen bolt holding it in place just back of the starter.

Make sure your plug wires are not chaffed at all. Also make sure that they are routed away from the wiring harness of the bike... the wires can cause stray voltage in the engine and destroy your speedo sensor. As a matter of fact, Buell recommends replacing your plug wires with your speedo sensor just to make sure.

Get the updated sensor p/n 74431-01Y (the old number was 74402-95).

Our friends across the pond at Trojan Horse have come up with a nifty little product. Speedometer sensor failures are fairly common with these bikes and at about $55 a pop not including installation it’s a pricey nuisance. If you’re lucky a speedo failure only results in a dead speedometer but as has happened to me, it can also blow your ignition systems thereby killing your bike. Trojan Horse has made a fail-safe device that sells for about $36 , installs in about 5 minutes and is small enough to mount on the strap holding your battery. OK, so what does it do? Something in the bikes electrical system causes a spike that in turn shorts out the speedo sensor. Generally you’ll get a warning when your sensor is about to go bad because the speedometer will start acting erratic. At the first sign of this pull over and disconnect the speedo sensor before you blow an ignition fuse. The Trojan Horse device is spliced into the wire delivering power to the speedo sensor thereby acting as a surge protector. The device will not fix a failing/failed sensor but it should protect a good one from going bad. The Trojan Horse unit is weatherproof and it has a power LED to let you know the device is working. The only importer I’m aware of for this device is Dave Stueve at 1-800-342-7539 Ext 14 or

Buell has released a Speedo Sensor Rewire Kit to reroute the power feed to a regulated supply. (Part# Y0199.K)

Refer to a BadWeb thread for further information on "homebrew fixes"...

Blowing 20amp Ignition Fuses

Problem with speedo sensor... it shorted out and would blow the 20 Amp Ignition Fuse when you would turn the key switch on.... did this 4 times. As soon as you would turn the switch on it would blow the fuse... had lights but no start circuit or power to the ECM. When you power up this puts 12volts to the speed sensor (and a lot of other things) and it was shorted to ground, thus taking out the fuse.

Blowing 20A ignition fuses at various and frequent times. Turned out to be a bad Ignition Relay.

Would blow the ignition fuse with a passenger on it. It turns out the wiring harness, as it comes out of the ECM and down the left frame tube, was routed under the rear Heim joint, which would pinch the bundle on top of the swing arm mount with the additional weight of a passenger. This wore the insulation off of one wire which would only short out with any additional weight. To fix the problem the dealer rerouted the wiring bundle on top of the Heim joint. The rear brake line had to be disconnected to do this, and rerouted under the wiring. I also pulled the bundle up higher, at the bend, and zip-tied it to the battery tray.

Blowing 20A ignition fuses... found the wire loom under the steering head rubbing on the mounting boss in front of steering neck. It is nice and square (sharp) and has cut some wires open, leaving them exposed so when I turn they must go to ground.

Chafed Plug Wire

Noticed several chafing cuts on the rear cylinder wire. One cut exposed the inner insulation.

Magnecor Plug Wires
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(Black only)
(Blue only)
KV85 8.5mm
(Red only)
Carbureted engines, 1995-2000 (except Blast) 2743 2043 2543
Fuel injected engines, 1999-2000. 2748 2048 2548
NOTE: This set is supplied with a straight boot at the spark plug which improves on the factory 90º configuration; particularly if you have had the modifications of the Buell factory recall 0819 done to your engine (which adds a new fuel filter mounting bracket that interferes with the rear spark plug wire).

More Light

PIAA sells a Super White 80W/80W bulb Part # PA15080 (PA15680 for a pair) which has the equivalent lighting of 100+ watts. You can get these from ASB, some bike dealers or any decent speed shop for $35-$40. Expect trouble if you really use a bulb with 130+ watts of draw...meltdown time.

Our stock alternators should handle extra lights and heated vests as it is the same capacity alternator as those used on older HD touring bikes, which were often outfitted with the same type accessories running off stock alternator.

Taillight... find a parts house handling Wagner bulbs. Use #98, it is a heavy duty replacement for the #1157 style bulb. It has been used in the trucking industry for sometime. Other manufacturers make the #98, Wagner is probably one of the better ones available.

Bad Ignition Switch

Check engine light would come on intermittantly on my X-1. Always one of three codes, front or rear injector and IAT sensor. Also occasional fart or pop, seemingly from intake area, setting no code or C.E. lamp. A careful check of injectors, sensors and wiring revealed nothing and since the bike ran fine I dismissed the C.E. light as an annoyance. Then my ignition switch failed, as in will not turn to ignition position or supply ignition power. So I replaced it and that seems to have solved my C.E. light problem as well.

Apparently there was an intermittant low power supply to the ignition system which resulted in the check engine light problem.

Here is a tip someone may need in the future. When my ignition switch went bad, there wasen't a Buell switch this side of the Mississippi river, and to order one could take up to two weeks. Harley part #71441-94 is a ringer for the original Buell switch, all you must do is splice your Buells ignition switch harness connector to the Harley switch, there are even butt connectors supplied with the switch, and the wires are color coded the same.

Starter Solenoid

Click to enlargeAfter installing braided oil lines, turned key, bike goes "click". Solution... inadvertantly dislodged the starter solenoid plug during oil line installation.

Pinched Wire

The wiring from the fuel pump had been pinched between the tank and the rocker box. The wiring was bare! The hot wire, the ground wire and the brain wire was shinier than a polished gold nugget. Also found that the fuel hose was loose. These two things coupled together could have spelled disaster. It might be a good idea to check to see if your wiring is not sitting between your tank and your rocker box!!!!

Starter Problems

Most starter problems are actually battery problems. First check the tightness of your battery cables then check the connections at the starter. Be careful not to arc the battery by touching a wrench between the positive and a grounded part of the engine or frame. Try the starter again. If the problem still exists, test the battery with a volt meter, anything under 12 volts is definitely bad, change the battery. If the voltage is over 12 volts a load test should be performed on the battery because it may still be bad when under a load. You can buy a load tester at Sears or an auto parts store for about $20. Sportster starters are pretty reliable, Buell batteries are not so.

Battery Tender
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You'll save a lot of money by purchasing the trickle charger that MCN has once again rated as the "Best Buy". It is the charger Tat offers at ASB. I've been using it this winter and have had no problems at all. Everyone should have one for each bike they own that has to sit un-ridden for a few weeks at a time.


Hawker 545… the nicest thing about this battery is the three-year full replacement warranty. The battery also has 545 CCA(cold cranking amps) and is a fully sealed special type of gel battery that resists vibration damage.

Odyssey batteries

Red Top batteries

Short in Battery

The bike started to bog down like it does when it's time to switch to reserve. When I looked down I had no lights. Everything was off. I coasted to a stop and looked for anything obvious. Couldn't see anything. When I turned the key back on the power came back, but low. The lights and speedo were real dim. Then it seemed to come back to a "normal" level. When I tried to start it there was a click, but nothing happened and the power went dead again. This was repeated several times with the same results. Solution... Got it to the shop & they couldn't find anything at first. It started & ran perfectly. They kept it a couple of days & finally the battery shorted out. It was an intermittent short. New battery.

If the battery is low, the ECM goes into fits, and if you have a wiring harness short, the ECM goes haywire also. The 2001 X-1's have a new wiring harness.

At 4500rpm's the Tach started fluttering up and down... it only lasted a second or two but long enough to catch my eye. Checked all connections, etc. About 2 days later, battery went dead - while I was riding the bike! After sitting in the parking lot for about 90 minutes, started OK, but then began running rough as the Tach (and Speedo) started convulsing. Also noticed headlight dimming. Managed to get home by keeping the bike in 3rd and revs up above 4 grand. Replaced the battery, hasn't been a problem since. I think there's a threshold voltage at which the Tach or Speedo will/will not work, and if you fall below that, your ECM starts to go nuts as well.

Testing your Stator

You should have your multi-meter in AC mode with Voltage/Ohm lead connected to one stator output wire and Multi-meter common lead connected to other stator output. You should have between 32-58 volts @ 2000 rpm and above. If you fail this test (AC out put too low) your stator is bad, or your rotor has lost magnets and/or left the shaft to pursue other interests. If you pass this test, the fault lies up stream in the wiring/regulatator/bat dept.

Bad Voltage Regulator

On a recent ride the engine light came on, then minutes later the speedometer died, followed a minute later by the tachometer dying. Shut the bike down... it would not re-start and the electrical was completely dead. Once it cooled all the electrical components came back, but the engine would not start. The cause of the failure was a defective voltage regulator. The bike was less that a year old and has a littled over 4000 miles on it.

If you're eating a lot of taillight bulbs, I'd suggest a quick check of voltage with the engine running at >3000rpm. One known failure mode of Harley's voltage regulators is to go over-voltage (running >15v rather than 14.4). The bulbs seem to be the most sensitive to this and usually fail first. Still, over time, an overvoltage will cook your battery, burn out those halogen headlight bulbs, and most expensive, possibly fry the ignition or FI controller.

Make sure your Voltage Reg is Grounded

Click to enlargeIf you get either an upgrade shock installation or an exhaust bracket retrofit kit installation, make sure that your bike can charge its battery when you pick it up. Both jobs involve removing and installing the voltage regulator to a new mount where the VR must be properly grounded, otherwise charging system failures afterwards are likely. Click to enlargeChris, the BUELL mechanic at Ft. Washington HD, installed this SECOND GROUNDING WIRE between the back of the voltage regulator and the engine case. It goes between the back of the voltage regulator and the new mounting plate and ends at the case there on the right with the star washer. The first ground wire is part of the group of wires that exits the votage regulator. It is very important to remove the paint from the muffler mount and the case where they connect to provide a good electrical contact. Also make sure your mechanic checks for continuity through the ground to make sure it is working.

Crane Voltage Regulator
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Unique "Series Design" regulator provides proven HP increase by eliminating alternator "drag"! At high RPM or when battery is fully charged, "disconnects" alternator operation, applying formerly wasted HP to rear wheel! Plug-in 110v AC outlet "Smart" charger keeps battery "Topped Off"! Prevents damaging overcharges and dangerous "boil-over"! Extends battery life! Compact, convenient, "take it anywhere" size!

Clean Connectors

When you disconnect your electrical connectors clean the contacts with the electrical contact cleaner. I have had problems in the past with crud building up on the connectors. After cleaning the connectors, if you can find any (aircraft parts store) pack the connector with electrical potting compound. This will prevent further crud problems.

Basic Troubleshooting

If the ignition fuse blew without warning while you were riding disconnect the speed sensor and try the spare fuse. If the fuse blows again and you don't see an obvious short in the wiring harness better have someone come get your bike. The first thing you need to do to find a short is identify where you should be looking. This can be a quick process with a few basic tools and a simple methodical process. Some have suggested unplugging everything and then plugging them back in one by to see what blows the fuse. Unless you get lucky THIS DOES NOT WORK! This requires removing the gas tank, bodywork, and fairing much of which may not be necessary. Because many of the circuits are interrelated this process could easily lead you in the wrong direction not to mention the many combinations you'd have to try. You could get lucky which is probably why those who've stumbled on the short doing this method recommend it. It's much easier, and quicker, to focus on first identifying where the short will be and then finding it. To find a short you'll need a wiring diagram (service manual), plenty of extra fuses (at least 5) and an ohmmeter. Once you think you've found the short verify it by consulting your wiring diagram.

STEP 1, (ignition fuse) - If the short didn't melt your wiring harness the short is on the load side of the ignition fuse. If the wiring harness melted then the short is probably between the fuse and the ignition key switch. The load side of a fuse is what you might consider the negative side of the fuse, the side that goes to the relay unit, not the side that comes from the ignition key. First test for continuity on the load side of the fuse, it shouldn't but it will have continuity. Next remove the ignition relay unit and repeat the test. If there is continuity then the short is between the load side of the fuse and the relay unit. If there isn't continuity then go to step 2.

STEP 2 (Relay unit) - Switch the two relay units (they're identical), put in a good 20 amp fuse and turn the ignition key to see if the fuse blows. If the fuse dose not blow then you have a fault relay unit and you'll probably blow accessory fuse. If the fuse blows then your short is on the load side of the relay unit, go to step 3. Remember the relay unit completes the circuit that provides electricity to the ignition and related parts so if a fuse blows when doing this, the short is past the relay unit.

STEP 3 (Load side relay unit test) - Remove the ignition relay unit and test each of the four wires on the load side for continuity. Your wiring diagram will identify which color wire you should be testing. Once you've identified the wire(s) that have continuity with ground you now know where to look for the short. Using your wiring diagram identify which devices could be effected and unplug them. Put in a good 20 amp fuse and turn on the ignition. If the fuse doesn't blow then one of the devices you unplugged is at fault. Plug each one in and out to see what blows the fuse and if this doesn't identify the culprit plug them all in one at a time. If the fuse blew when you had everything unplugged you have two wires rubbing together, go to step 4.

STEP 4 (Testing the wiring harness) - Since you know where to look for the short this is the part where you start jiggling the wiring harness to see where the ohmmeter reacts. If you get a reaction then consult your wiring diagram to see which wires should NOT be grounded and test them one at a time. Remember to have the related components (Speed sensor, oil pressure gage..) unplugged. At this point you've narrowed it down to about six wires so this shouldn't take that long. At least you'll know the short is somewhere between point A and point B.

There are a couple of very remote possibilities not covered here but if this doesn't identify what's blowing your ignition fuse it's time to consult an expert. At this point you'd probably do better talking to an auto mechanic that's ASE certified for ignition systems because they will probably be better equipped to help you then the average H-D mechanic. The issue is vehicle electronics, not motorcycles. This is what I did and by just looking at the wiring diagram he was able to identify where the short would most likely be and how to test for it. Oddly enough what he told me to do identified the problem as being the speed sensor, something I did not detect when I tried the unplug everything recommendation (interrelated circuits?). He also pointed out that bridging the fuse to see where the wiring harness starts to would only melt your wiring harness if the short was caused by a component like a speed sensor. Either way you need a new harness because at the very least you've weakened it by over heating it. Anyway, following these steps I was able to identify the problem in about 15 minutes.

Oil & Filters

Correct Oil Level

Check your oil at the end of every ride. Steaming hot, fill it 75% up the stick. Don't bother looking at it cold... it'll scare you! Results of overfilling? Well, you're sitting on top the oil tank. Think about it.

Problems with GL-5 Oils?

I had an interesting problem come up on my Buell. The wiring to my stator completely corroded and the only culprit that comes to mind is, in my testing of different transmission oils, I had neglected to take into account the copper wiring of the stator. GL-5 oils use Sulphur as an EP component but it is corrosive to copper and its compounds, e.g., brass. You typically only see GL-5 oils recommended for rear differentials and not for transmissions (except in race applications were you drain the oil every weekend) because of the brass parts in the transmission, e.g., synchronizers. So, if you are using GL-5 oils in your Buell and have problems keeping a good charge on your battery then I'd anticipate you are looking at a stator rebuild soon. Check the AC output to the Voltage Regulator and see. Otherwise stick to HD's oil...

Best Oil?

A discussion which will never be resolved! Basically...

  • HD=OK+
  • Any SJ=OK
  • Any CG4 diesel-rated=OK+
  • Any synthetic=OK++ after break-in... Mobile1 15w50 car or 20w50 motorcycle specific oil is highly recommended.

Primary Oil? Popular choices...

  • Mobil 1 Synth Gear Lube
  • HD Sport Trans fluid
  • Redline Shockproof Heavy

Redline now recommends their 75W90 Gear Lube or 75W90NS in place of the Heavy Shockproof. The additive in Shockproof leaves a waxy residue on clutches and bearings. It will actually collect under the needle bearings that support the gears - I don't think it causes any damage but it does displace where gear oil should be. Don't use a gear oil that's above 90 weight as it is too thick and will result in reduced mileage (5% reduction) and horsepower. Compare the viscosity of the Harley Sportster gear oil vs. 90 weight and you'll see the difference.

I've been using different transmission oils to try to see which oils behave best for shifting and engine performance. My results indicated that the HD Sport Trans Gear Oil had consistently 5% better mileage with similar shifting ability than any gear oil I used. The oils I used were Red Line's Light Shockproof, Heavy Shockproof and GL-5 Transmission oils, GL-5 Hypoid Gear Oil 75w-80, GL-5 Synthetic Gear Oil, 80w-140.

I had the HD Sport Trans Gear Oil analyzed for what type of oil it is and I got some surprising results. It is not a GL-4 or GL-5 gear oil! It is actually a Hydraulic Fluid, as used in tractors, with extra additives: EP (Extreme Pressure) and Friction Modifiers for the wet clutch.

So in summary, the HD oil is indeed a special oil that gives good performance and I'd recommend its use for both shifting performance and horsepower. The other gear oils are simply too viscous to perform as well as the Sport Trans oil.

I've heard many people like to use Redline, AMSOIL and Royal Purple for better shifting, and indeed these oils are more tolerant for out of adjustment clutches. I, too, used to use Redline, but on a properly adjusted clutch there is no difference in shifting performance. I would advise that at a minimum the clutch adjustment at the primary be performed every other oil change. It also helps if you have the clutch lever freeplay set to the minimum so you have a faster clutch engagement. So if you're not going to be consistent in keeping the clutch properly adjusted then these oils may work better for you.

Oil Filters

63805-80A Harley-Davidson XL motor Black, 64793-77A Harley-Davidson XL motor Chrome. You can use any filter that crosses to a Motorcraft FL1A as well. It's large (holds a quart more). Wix 51515 of Napa 1515...or Wix 51516 or Napa 1516, Fram 2870. The Fram HP10 Racing filter will fit also. Same size as the 2870A, with the added benefit of steel filter end caps vs. card board of the PH8 and 2870A, increased flow, as well as a anti drain back valve. Two draw backs… expensive (around ten dollars), and smooth end vs. small flat areas for cup type oil filter wrench to grab on to (But looks much cleaner with the smooth).

MOBIL 1 filters: - PN M1-301 is equivalent to FL1A - PN M1-204 is equivalent to F300 - Both are $11.99 at Auto Zone - Single Pass Efficiency: 98% - Multiple Pass Efficienty: 95% - Synthetic filter medium - Medium grey in color - This thing is a hoss! It is very noticeably heavier than other equivalent filters - Baseplate has 8 holes around central mounting hole.

BOSCH filters: - PN 3500 is equivalent to FL1A - PN 3402 is equivalent to F300 - Both are $5.49 at Auto Zone - Single Pass efficiency: 98% - Multiple Pass Efficiency: 93% - Filter medium is a combination of paper and synthetic fibers - Gloss black in color - Base plate has 6 holes around central mounting hole .

Click to enlargeScotts Performance Reusable Oil Filter... Made from laser cut, medical grade, 304 stainless steel micronic filter cloth, this filter provides 200% more filter area in many cases. Most good paper filters will pass particles in the 90 to 95 micron range, some will pass particles in the 300 micron range! A human hair is about 40 microns, a white blood cell is approximately 25 microns. Our stainless filter catches items down to 35 microns "absolute", which is about 3 times better than most paper or brass filters. The pleat seam is welded, able to withstand up to 600 degrees in our filter, not glued, like paper filters.

One point of caution however, included in the package is a different adapter nipple with instruction to remove the stock HD piece and replace with their's, the problem is that the new one is shorter on the end installed to the engine's filter mount, this does not allow the ball and spring device to work properly. The bottom line is the stock one on the Buell is fine allowing for the filter to get 2.5 to 3 turns prior to gasket contact.

Check out Engine Oil Filters Overview...

K & N Oil Filter
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Click to enlargeK&N just released the new motorcycle oil filters. They have a nut on the end for easier removal with pre drilled holes for safety wire.

Available from Custom Chrome...

  • 29-263 Black (KN-171B)
  • 29-262 Chrome (KN-171C)
  • 29-261 Short Chrome (KN-172C)
  • 29-264 Long Chrome (KN-173C)
Secure Oil Filter

Click to enlargeHere's a preventive maintenance type accessory, for anyone who has ever had an oil filter come loose or needs to secure a filter to pass tech inspection at the track. These clamps are used as radiator hose clamps on trucks and buses or as turbo ducting clamps, in other words, common in the heavy duty trade.

My oil filter backed out, dumping a quart of oil before I could shut the engine down. Turns out it wasn't the filter's problem, the double ended "oil filter adapter" that screws into the engine AND the filter backed out. The filter was still securely tightened onto the adapter. I cleaned and reinstalled the adapter with Locktite on the engine side of the adapter. I have since found a sufficiently large hose clamp (any NAPA auto parts store) and safety wired the damn thing on. Even if you don't have high miles on your bike, it certainly couldn't hurt to put a $1 hose clamp on your oil filter, but be sure and check the tightness on that adapter next time you change your oil. After this happened, I estimated that I had removed and reinstalled an oil filter fifteen times or more without ever checking the adapter (never even thought about it). Pick up a hose clamp next time you're out.

Oil Coolers

Most Harley mechanics say that oil coolers are not needed and that the oil in the bike has to reach something like 250 degrees to be at its optimal operating temperature. With the oil cooler it never reaches that temperature and this can result in more wear on the internal engine parts. As long as the bike is not overheating leave it alone. Buells run best hot anyway.

" I've been tracking bulk oil temperature over the summer to determine if I need an oil cooler or not. Here are my results: for commute type driving -- 5 miles, between 25 and 55 mph, ambient temperature of 100 degrees F., bulk oil temperature is 170 to 180 degrees F. During spirited, redline riding in the mountains, 100 miles, 2,000 ft elevation change, between 40 and 90 mph, ambient temperatures between 90 and 105 degrees F., bulk oil temperature is 205 to 215 degrees F.

So should I get an oil cooler? Considering that a recommend bulk oil temperature range is between 180 and 205 degrees F., I'd say that it would make more sense to just change my oil more frequently during the summer. With oil coolers running around $150, and an extra oil change for the summer costing me $25, it would take over 6 years to pay for the cost of the oil cooler. If you're lazy and don't change your oil during the recommend intervals then an oil cooler would help if your ride hard in hot weather. Here's a note I copied from Mobil 1's website about synthetic oils... "Mobil 1 with SuperSynTM products protect engines up to 204°C (400°F). " With the temperatures I encountered I would recommend the use of synthetic oil without the need of an oil cooler. "

Oil Cooler (Billet Cool)
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American Sport Bike has a billet aluminum spin on oil cooler that fits between your existing oil filter and the engine casing... bike runs 25 to 30 degrees cooler.

For the second time my spin on oil cooler has backed out and dumped oil all over. This time I was again lucky that my ridding buddy was behind me to see the oil coming off. Yes, he did get a little oiled down but he saved my ass. My back tire was soaked!! I lost most of the oil but the bike is OK because this all happened so fast that I got her shut off before any damage was done. The first time this happened was in Daytona this year but it didn't happen until the bike was parked for the night and we found a puddle under it the next morning. This never happened when the cooler was on my old 97 S3. Different vibrations maybe? I will remove the cooler until I can safety wire the thing. If you have a spin on oil cooler and you really ring the bikes neck like I do check the thing regularly and safety wire it.

Oil Cooler (Spurgin)
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Read an article originally published at Sport Twin.

The Spurgin does not properly fit the 99,00 X1. The cooler will either hit the air scoop, the primary cover, the shifter or the battery. I tried several diferent mounting spots and got many second opinions. It seems that when Buell repositioned the battery (laid it flat) on the X1 they blocked the spot where Spurgins are usually mounted on S1s. Move the cooler forward and it will hit the air scoop and the primary.

It will fit X1s with the 2001 shift linkage since on older models it was coming in contact with the top linkage rod which has been eliminated on the 2001 linkage. The Spurgin is simply tilted downward, in this position it clears the battery and the primary cover.

The Bosch and Fram XG8A filters will not fit on your Buell if you're running a Spurgin oil cooler, at least not with the fittings exiting the thermostat in the suggested position (they foul the filter housing, preventing it from threading onto the mount . . . move the filter down about 1/8", relative to the mount). Rotating the fittings 90 degrees will create the needed clearance too.

Oil Cooler (Slip On)

Click to enlargeJust slip it on when needed. Special price for ATC members... $25 for the 3" & $30 for the 5" including S&H for the spun aluminum ones. Also chrome for $5 more. Contact here...

Click to enlargeSimilar product, from J.C.Whitney.

Oil Cooler (Jagg)
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Sportster Oil Cooler part number 62874-99 and an optional thermostat kit part number 62878-99 which keeps the temperature over 180 degrees. FYI It's a Jagg! Jagg now makes a kit for X1 that mounts BEHIND the air scoop. The place where the canister is on Cali bikes.


Puking 1

Think your cam cover gasket is leaking along the top edge near the front lifter blocks? Did you check inside your airbox? The oil is probably just coming out of the breathers, leaking from the airbox to the top of the cam cover.

Understanding the whole breather story...

Puking 3

HD/Buell sent a tech tip to dealers explaining the reason for excessive oil coming out of the breather tube. It seems the breather hose on late model primaries exits the primary, goes UNDER the brake line, then travels up to the seat and bends over...the part under the brake hose acts as a catch can with oil as it tries to return to the primary..eventually it plugs the hose and the pressure finally blows it out all over your fender. Reroute the hose over the brake line and keep it going up so there is no dip and don't bend it at the end to the right side of the bike..continue on the left side and tie wrap it to the frame.

Puking 5

Click to enlargeFor those who have oil puking problems through the head breathers, you can try two modifications to the middle rocker box cover to cure this problem, or when the rocker box gaskets are replaced: (1) drill out the oil drain hole to 1/8" so that oil can drain more easily, and (2) chamfer 60 degrees the hole in which the umbrella valve sits. The new umbrella valves will not sit down fully (and seal off) because of their new design/material -- chamfering the hole allows more of the stem of the umbrella valve to pull down into the hole and seal off better.

The counter sinking of the hole where the umbrella valve mounts into the rocker spacer "can" help the valve seal. It may or may not help with a carry over issue. There are no absolutes on engine breathing. Enlarging the drain back hole "can" help evacuate the oil from the area in some cases. What really has a better chance of helping with carry over is NOT using the 10 micron filter. There have been cases where simply changing the oil filter ONLY has reduced carry over by more than half. What works on one motor, may not on another. Each motor has its own "personality".

Catch Can (Jaz)
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Catch that oil with a Jaz catchcan part# 605-375-01. (3/8 inch fittings). The dimensions are 2 3/8" round and 7 3/8" long from tip to tip. Approx. cost $45... available from speed shops or Behrent's Speed Center Inc.

Click to enlargeFits perfectly on the frame member under the Air Scoop... rubber hose to protect the frame & stainless hose clamps don't make for the prettiest installation, but it's all hidden by the Scoop anyway. Other Buells may want to invest more time in installation. The angle of the can allows you to drain fluid off before it overfills... if you're pumping out a full pint, you've got other problems anyway.

Click to enlargeAnother mounting idea...

Catch Can (RVB)
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Click to enlargeHere's another can being produced by a Bueller.

Catch Can (EBOC)
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Click to enlargeAvailable from Tat at ASB

Catch Can (YoDUDE)
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Click to enlargeThis pipe holds 4oz. is about 11" long and has a 1" dia. It comes powder coated black , but any color is available. The hose barb is 3/8 " but again any size the customer wants is available. Also available is a complete setup that includes the breather bolts, crosstube and a stainless braided hose that runs to the pipe.

Click to enlargeCompany name is YoDUDE, designer and producer of intake and exhaust systems for cars and motorcycles.

Click to enlargeAlso available is a Twin Catch Can.

Catch Can (Pingel)
Website | Comments?

Click to enlargePingel @ 608-339-7999 will sell it direct. Part #62084 $45.00. It's about 2.5 inches around and 4 to 5 inches long. It has a brass drain cock.
Click to enlarge

Catch Can (Trojan Horse)
Website | Comments?

Click to enlargeThis differs from other offerings as it is manufactured from heat treated acrylic tube, highly resistant to oil,fuel and scratching. The ends are billet aluminium. The photo shows a pre-production prototype, but later versions will have an anodised drain plug at the bottom, along with the chromed 3/8" entry pipe and vent. This kit comes complete with frame clamps etc. Cost is £75 (UK) or approximately US$105.

Puking 2

Oil coming from the little hose hanging under the motor (all over your muffler, back wheel, etc.)? What you're looking at is a breather hose. It will blow oil mist if the dealer over-filled the primary... the manual mistakenly states a full quart, when it really only takes 28 ozs. The bike needs to be upright when you check the oil level, and it's believed that everything will be ok as long as the primary chain is bathed in oil. At most fill until the oil touches the bottom of the clutch compression spring.

Puking 4

If your motor oil consumption has gone up, you may have a bad seal on the crank shaft behind the front pulley... lets motor oil into the primary and you eventually get an overfill situation. The only special tools required to replace it are a torque wrench which can do 190-200 ft lbs, as this is the spec on the front pulley nut, and the seal installation tool, which , unless you're a shop, you're not allowed to buy. You might be able to borrow one from a friendly shop or be able to find someone who does have one. You can make your own tool, using a piece of 1/8" flat-stock aluminum, through which you drill a hole just big enough to allow the crank shaft through, and a PVC coupling. The aluminum goes up against the seal, the PVC goes up against the aluminum, the original washer fits perfectly inside the PVC, and the original nut drives it all in, installing the seal. (New Crank Seal Number 35151-74)

Plugged Breather

Trans fluid leak?... check your vent hose first... had a MUD WASP nest in it. Unplugged it, washed the engine, rode it, and NO LEAKS!!! Make sure the motor can breath before doing anything else...

Crankcase Breather Kits
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This setup from R & R Customizing, Germany

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Routing Head Breathers

Drag Specialties Breather kit (banjo style): DS-289059 $30. +/- These will allow you to route the head breathers in any direction you desire, with no interference.

Click to enlargeMikuni makes a breather vent kit also. Custom Chrome part # 23-862

Other Breather Bolts...

  • Click to enlargeA. Force
  • B. Aeroquip, Russel
  • C. D. Stock

Click to enlargeYodude has a breather bolt setup that uses chromed banjo bolts and a manifold connected thru stainless hoses that attach to a catch can. Cost is $65.

From Crossroads... this thing is designed to replace the existing breather setup. The piece is billet aluminum, and actually spans the gap between the two breather bolts. It apparently allows a pooling of the oil mist in the top, which then is able to slowly return to the crankcase, rather than exiting through the breather hose. The breather hose on this thing comes out from the back of the unit, so it remains hidden. The benefits are supposed to be a better working breather setup, no clutter from hoses, and no catch can necessary.

Read about an actual installation here...

Click to enlargeWimmer Machine Top Breather Cross Over Assembly Kit... other kits also available.. see website.

Routing Head Breathers 2

Click to enlarge Kind of a clean and cheap method. No Banjo bolts, just some cheap plastic elbows. They should hold up to the heat and such. I used 2 hose menders to pass through the back of the airbox instead of direct plumbing to the Jaz can. Just a little easier if someone needs to R&R the back plate, for some TPS work or FI work. The clamp for the IAT is an electrical clamp with a piece of 3/8" hose on the IAT for fit and protection. A lot cleaner in reality and better looking than stock.

XB Rocker Covers

I went one step more in controlling the breathing and oil mist. I have put XB rocker covers on both heads!

Read the replacement procedure...


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