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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

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Hack in a barn
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My recommendation would be to find a tube frame buell motor to make you life easier, basically the 96-02 motors. The 96-98 motors no matter which model are carb'd, the 99-02 M2 were all carb'd. In 98 they went to the "thunderstorm" heads, they are black wrinkle paint in color. These heads were, until the XB buells came around, they best heads for the sporty/buells. M2 motors featured the cams out of the sportster 1200 and the other models with the thunderstorm heads featured the higher lift cams, basically the "screaming eagle" bolt in cams from harley.

Converting the fuel injection tuber buells to carb is pretty straight forward, pick up the carb'd intake manifold and then pick up the timing rotor cup and ignition from a carb'd bike.

Another nice part of the tube frame era bikes are that the transmission is removable with the motor in the bike. Pull the primary and clutch off and 5 bolts (iirc) hold the trans in the bike. The newer Xb run the rubber mount sporty based engine where you'll have to split the cases to pull the trans.

You can pick up the intake manifold for the carb'd/xb here, scroll down the page to the manifolds and you'll see it. They are different because of the head spacing on the XB efi heads : http://www.1250kits.com/xlfuelsystems.shtml

I can't provide any info on the ignition system though. I have converted the sportster in my avitar to a 2000 buell M2 motor. But that swap ignition wise was fairly straight forward as my sportster is an 02. There were a few things that needed to be rewired as far as the harness goes but because it was a tube frame buell motor not an XB. I ended up using the buell's ignition wired into the sportster's harness.

SOOO.. Carb conversion on XB, is not the difficult part. Ignition is the tricky part. Now sportster didn't come standard with EFI until 2007 and the motor that buell XB's are based off of started in 2004 in sportsters when they went to the rubber mount era bikes. SOOOO possible ignition solution and carb and manifold solution for the XB buell motors are the 2004-2006 carb'd sportster models. If I were to attempt this swap I'd start by looking at that.

If you end up with a 96-02 motor and need help hit me up I know that motor well :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
the issue is that it is going in to a sporty frame and i imagine getting a tube frame motor in to a sportster frame is more difficult than swapping out an intake manifold and ignition.


are there any other components of the wiring harness that get signals from the engine anywhere that could cause me problems?

i plan on grabbing a used sportster harness from my local bike salvage yard and going from there
 

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Hack in a barn
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4,409 Posts
the issue is that it is going in to a sporty frame and i imagine getting a tube frame motor in to a sportster frame is more difficult than swapping out an intake manifold and ignition.


are there any other components of the wiring harness that get signals from the engine anywhere that could cause me problems?

i plan on grabbing a used sportster harness from my local bike salvage yard and going from there
What year is the sporty frame?
 

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sickboy
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What year sporty frame? Any of the tube framed buell motors will bolt into the PRE rubber mount sporty frames, 03 and earlier I believe it is.
 

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Hack in a barn
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i have no particular frame in mind yet. i was gonna pick up an engine and start from there.

so any 96-03 buell engine will bolt right in to any pre 03 sportster frame?

thats probobley somthing i should keep in mind when i start buying parts
The cut off for buell motor would be 2002 in that case. So look at it as 96-02 buell motors will "bolt in" to 99-03 sportster frames. The 99-03 would be my guess as the best fit, although the "evo" motor has been in the sportster since 1986 or so. There have been little changes here and there like belt drive replacing chain, electronics, and carb, but the lay out of the mounts "should" be the same. But I'd still look for 99-03 sportster frame for best compatibility.

I'm trying to recall what had to be done on my bike. IIRC there is on top motor mount that had to be drill out a little on the frame and then a stud placed into the head of the motor for it to replace a bolt that was there. Then there was a lower mount hole drilled into the motor that needed a plug threaded in because it's not used on the sportster frame. That might be all..
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The cut off for buell motor would be 2002 in that case. So look at it as 96-02 buell motors will "bolt in" to 99-03 sportster frames. The 99-03 would be my guess as the best fit, although the "evo" motor has been in the sportster since 1986 or so. There have been little changes here and there like belt drive replacing chain, electronics, and carb, but the lay out of the mounts "should" be the same. But I'd still look for 99-03 sportster frame for best compatibility.

I'm trying to recall what had to be done on my bike. IIRC there is on top motor mount that had to be drill out a little on the frame and then a stud placed into the head of the motor for it to replace a bolt that was there. Then there was a lower mount hole drilled into the motor that needed a plug threaded in because it's not used on the sportster frame. That might be all..
what engine and frame are did you use? after shopping around on ebay for a while the 96-02 motors are nonexistant while 03+ are a dime a dozen. im fine with some fabricating, i plan on doing some frame modifications anyways.

what exactley is the difference between the sportster and the buell engines? is the bottom end the same with different top ends and internals?
 

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sickboy
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The 02 and earlier motor uses a 4 bolt back plate and a 2 bolt front block to mount it just like the sportster.

like this...


The 03+ xb's and such use an angled mount in the back, I believe a bottom mount and a threw bolt mount in the front.

like this...

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The 02 and earlier motor uses a 4 bolt back plate and a 2 bolt front block to mount it just like the sportster.

like this...


The 03+ xb's and such use an angled mount in the back, I believe a bottom mount and a threw bolt mount in the front.

like this...

oh thats the only difference? im allready gonna hardtail the frame so slapping on an extra bracket is no problem at all
 

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Hack in a barn
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Yeah, I'm a one trick pony when it comes to the sportster. Solid mount evo I'll spew what I know, but the newer 04+ or 03+ buell, I've got real limited knowledge on. :D
 
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