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Dropin61
Posted on Sunday, February 12, 2017 - 01:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

The Buell Ulysses 883cc experiment

Itís hard to explain my craziness here and didnít find much online of anyone that had done this other than putting an XB9 motor into a Ulysses. So being a builder and having a strong love for Buell bikes, I took the challenge to build me a rare but useful bike for my BRD trip to Colorado and the Georgia overland route here by me.

Requirements:

1: Cost Ė must be under $5,000
2: Needs proper gearing so not to be lugged down at low speeds
3: Needs to be fuel-efficient (Around 50 MPG or better with new gearing setup)
4: Updated suspension (2009)
5: Rack mounted for side boxes.

Overview:

Being an owner already of a Buell Ulysses, I have tried a few things such as changing the primary for and XB9 ( 34 teeth ) and put some Continental TKC80 to try out. The issue I have found are that as powerful as the 12XB motor was, the gearing was all wrong still even with the primary gear change. Going up gravel or dirt hills was a challenge if you didnít have some speed. This wasnít going to work, and if I went to a chain drive to gear it correctly, I would lose MPG dearly as the 12 XB would be in the high RPMs most of the time. One day, just cleaning up all the used take off parts I stumbled over a set of 883 Jugs and heads from an upgrade I did on my 2010 883 Black Iron Harley Sportster. It clicked right then that hey. I bet this could work! Build an 883 Buell!!!

So there I was going through all my just to see what I had and didnít have to build this from Scratch, Those that know me. I have a lot of Buell parts I collect and work on. So .. I had five motors just sitting form builds I have planned later, I took one and broke it down to the bottom half and placed on my stand.


Build1



That was the easy part.. then next challenge was to now build the top half, Those that know the internals of an 883 .. well. Itís a 3in piston that sits below the decking, So itís a low compression motor. This is not what I want, so had to think here. I donít want to shave the heads down as that will be an issue for the valve clearance, so I got creative. I took .080 from the deck of the jugs. Thatís right. I cut the jugs down as you can see in the before and after pic.


jug1


jug2


jug3


jug4


Now, Keep in mind that Iím going to be using the stock E Cams on this build. They are a good torque cam and will help with the upper top end speed I will need for the gearing Iím looking for. So now for some clearance testing.! Using the stock 883 heads and .030 883 gaskets, I used adjustable pushrods to take all the slack out of the drained lifters and did some rotation test. The setup was perfect, with the piston .035 above the cylinder deck, and with a max lift from the intake and exhaust. I have still .040 clearance. Very happy with the result, so time to get things together.


So now time to start slapping the thing together, So cylinders, pistons, gaskets, and heads all on. Intake and coil. Ready to go. (Now.. can anyone see an issue Iím about to run into? )



build2


So got a frame for 400 bucks off eBay with a clean title and the swing arm I had as a spare for my other Ulysses. I repower coated the swing arm and the frame to a nice Buell textured black. Looks amazing in person. As I started to put the mounting brackets on the top of the motor I noticed something strange.. and then a bunch of 4 letter words started to come out of my lips .. Harley heads DONíT HAVE the second mounting hole for the rear mounting frame bracket!!! UGH!! So had to drill CAREFULLY into the head and tap it .. ugh .. talk about a risk!


head1


head2


head3


head4


head5


head6


head7



Ok, that Nightmare done, Time to put the frame on ! ☺ Sexy!!! Little by little the bike came together. Now for the key items of my build are coming up, Suspension and gearing.


build3


build4


build5


build6


builtfront



suspension :

This is a 2007 model Ulysses, but I decided to go with the triples from a 09 and also the forks. I rebuilt them myself, and I must say these were a great add-on. I feel more in control on this setup than I do on my setup on the 07. The rear shock is stock.

Chain Drive:

This was fun .. to meet my specs I would need to use the primary of a XB9, and for chain, I went with this setup
1: PBI 20-tooth front
2: Vortex 827-52 Silver 52-Tooth Rear Sprocket
3: 120 link 530 chains
4: Mod Idler

This was exactly what I needed to be aggressive and have that slow maneuvering speed in Gravel or over rocky terrain. Based on y number. 70 MPH sound be around 4,000 RPM

NOTE: The Idler you saw in the pic is not what Iím using.


chain1


Conclusion:

Over all and an awesome build, Took about 5 to 6 weeks to do it in spare time. I did all the powder coating and build and had a few helping hands when needed for the heavy parts. Iím happy to say that I have taken it for a good dirt ride here in the northwest corner of GA ( Rock Creek Trail ). The bike runs great, you do need to remap this build for sure, and itís amazing how much less fuel it needs but keep in mind that the bike now lives in the high RPM range now so what I save in fuel map is taken away in RPM. However.. because itís an 883, In theory, I should come out even.

So did It? YES .. so with the map I build on the dyno Roller (58 HP Max), and with some good help from old buddy Mike ( Xopti) I am getting 51 MPG with an average speed of 67 MPH. The RPM were mostly in the 4,000 range. More tuning is needed I see it still wants less fuel but for a first time run .. Iím impressed. Iím still amazed that 883 with 551 lift cams can perform so well. Now believe me this is not as strong as an XB12, but the power is perfect and controllable when on dirt and gravel.

I still have a few things to get done here on it. I need Bark-bakers, Touratech skid plate to be moded to work on the exhaust system, and some more tuning.

Over all .. VERY Happy. There was so much I could put in here, but it would be pages of pages of detail so if you have a question feel free to PM me. I will also post my parts listing soon.

Special thanks to

To my Family for putting up with me and reminding me to add that to the posting : ) (Robin, Jonathan, Chrissy, Chris, Mom, and Dad)
Kenny H. at Touratech for getting me some hard to find items and stickers ☺
Mike C. (X-opti) Long time friend and Buell Tuning Legion
Jonathan B (My Son) for having to put up with me asking for a hand
Shane M For his guidance and ideas along the build
Angie and Kevin K Ė Always there to give me a hand when needed.
All the Guys and Gals at Mountain Creek Harley
The Buell Community!

Nelson Bruno..


run


(Message edited by dropin61 on February 12, 2017)

(Message edited by dropin61 on February 12, 2017)

(Message edited by dropin61 on February 12, 2017)

(Message edited by dropin61 on February 12, 2017)
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Njloco
Posted on Sunday, February 12, 2017 - 04:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Great job, do you know what it weighs in at ?
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Dropin61
Posted on Sunday, February 12, 2017 - 04:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Good question... I will have to see if I can find a truck scale I can get on...
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Phelan
Posted on Sunday, February 12, 2017 - 05:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Very cool! Mike'so last name is actually with a C though : ).
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Dropin61
Posted on Sunday, February 12, 2017 - 06:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

When he finally returns my text i will change mr Co**'s name :-)
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Etennuly
Posted on Sunday, February 12, 2017 - 07:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Pretty cool, and nice execution. Looks great.

This is one of those unique ideas that if you had come to the board to ask what they think before you had done it, it would have been put down as a "what the hell would you do that for?" kind of things.

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Dropin61
Posted on Sunday, February 12, 2017 - 08:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

LOL.. Thanks and agreed .. !
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Reepicheep
Posted on Monday, February 13, 2017 - 08:18 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

So... any kind of cush drive for the chain conversion?

Does the speedo read correctly? It might be a fun little project to build an arduino based inline "speed corrector". I know you can buy them off the shelf also, but it would be a fun and easy little build.
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Phelan
Posted on Monday, February 13, 2017 - 09:26 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

That's what the XB clutch is for, Bill : ). The only XB with cush drive in the secondary is Eric Ziegler'so turbo XB, with his custom rear wheel. And he only added that because he replaced the XB clutch basket with a non-cush basket IIRC.
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Tootal
Posted on Monday, February 13, 2017 - 10:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I could have used such a machine when in Colorado on the Jeep trails. At the time mine was bone stock and I had to ride so fast that if I hit any traffic it became a PITA! I changed to 08 forks and XB9 gearing which made a huge difference but yours is even better. Well done! What is the current bore and stroke?
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Dropin61
Posted on Monday, February 13, 2017 - 10:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

@ Reepicheep = I just used the stock idler with a mod to allow adjustments when needed, just like Eric Z setup on his turbo Buell

@ Phelan = Oddly .. the buell ulysses normally off by 5 MPH.. but with this setup it's dead on .. but if I have to change the speedo.. do it in Tunerpro..

@ Tootal - Thanks : ) so the stroke was still stock to a XB12, with just a 3in piston now. did you take the same BRD on http://ridebdr.com/COBDR
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Tootal
Posted on Monday, February 13, 2017 - 11:07 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

did you take the same BRD on http://ridebdr.com/COBDR

No, I rode Phantom canyon from Victor to US 50 and then rode Old Monarch Pass which was a little tougher but got me used to the dirt. Then I made it to Ouray and rode from there to Lake City over Engineer Pass. The part near Ouray was the hardest with large rocks and slow Jeeps! Not a Uly's element! Once I passed them it was a hoot!
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Dropin61
Posted on Monday, February 13, 2017 - 11:13 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Awesome.. I will look that route up after work .. Thanks !
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Dr_greg
Posted on Monday, February 13, 2017 - 11:25 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Good question... I will have to see if I can find a truck scale I can get on...

Weigh the front and rear separately on a good bathroom scale...it'll be plenty accurate.

Oh, and nice project.

--Doc
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Dropin61
Posted on Monday, February 13, 2017 - 11:57 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

@ Dr_Greg - I have a source to a 500LB scale so I will try here soon with the idea you suggested, and thanks : )
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Reepicheep
Posted on Monday, February 13, 2017 - 12:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Sorry for the thread hijack...

But I was still under the impression that a chain without a cush drive on a big VTwin was, well, a decision with significant implications. And that part of the benefits of the choice of belt drive was that it was also effectively a cush drive.

So fine for racing applications where you need to re-gear often and easily, and where a new chain every couple of races and a new crank every season is par for the course with or without a cush drive. And where a broken chain knotting a hole through a crankcase is just another day at the track.

But that could all be old wives tales. Maybe the XB clutch does actually manage the shock loading. Or maybe the whole shock loading thing is a japanese bike invention to a problem that isn't actually that much of a problem... or maybe just aesthetics of the ride.

The tensioner would let the bike adjust for chain stretch, but wouldn't really reduce shock loading.
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Dropin61
Posted on Monday, February 13, 2017 - 01:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Compared to Sportsters clutch pack, the buell so have some ability to handle it but it's not the best out there. In the pic you will see the clutch pack of a stock XB12.. If this was a sportster , you wouldn't seen springs there. now I'm going based on what I have from a 2010 clutch pack from a sportster to compare. hope that helps.. If anyone can add or correct me.. please do ..



pic
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Ramman4x4
Posted on Friday, February 17, 2017 - 10:04 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Awesome build! Thanks for sharing. I too had great plans to use the Uly off-road and found that it does OK on gravel and dirt roads if you maintain speed, but does not do well in the tight/slow stuff.

I do have a couple questions about your build:
- You stated the geared idler in the picture is not what you are using. Any reason why? Is a modified stock belt idler better?
- Is that a 3D printed chain guide in the same picture?
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Electraglider_1997
Posted on Friday, February 17, 2017 - 12:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Well done and very nice.
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Mark_weiss
Posted on Friday, February 17, 2017 - 12:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

My BMWs have cush drives at both ends of the gearbox.
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Hugie03flhr
Posted on Saturday, February 18, 2017 - 06:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Maybe I missed it but how did you get the pushrods towers to fit after you milled down the cylinders? Great build!
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Mnrider
Posted on Sunday, February 19, 2017 - 09:38 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Great work.Pretty much a new bike.
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Ourdee
Posted on Sunday, February 19, 2017 - 03:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I like it.
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Dropin61
Posted on Monday, February 20, 2017 - 04:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Thank s everyone for the comments.. Have more to post shortly

@ Ramman4x4 = the one in the pic was blocking the rider peg/rear break assembly so I just used a modified stocked idler.

@Hugie03flhr : Good Question .. it was a bit tight so I just used a thiner o-ring to make up squish.. If I had cut any more I would have to cut the Towers for sure.
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Marc
Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - 11:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Nelson,
Thanks for sharing your XB883X story. I have some off pavement adventures planned in summer 2017 and am going to install the Continental TKC80's on my 2009 XB1203X.

I have heard of folks installing different TKC80 profiles on the rear for off pavement riding. TKC80 Rear options: Option A). 180/55/17 profile or Option B). 170/60/17 profile. I understand the taller and skinnier 170/60/17 will improve off pavement performance.

Question for you: What size TKC80 rear do you have on your XB883X? The 180/55/17 or the 170/60/17? Any preference?

Thanks, Marc
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Dropin61
Posted on Thursday, March 02, 2017 - 04:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Hi Mark,

I went with the 180, it's perfect with hard/soft dirt and gravel roads. cornering is really good on them but don't know if the 170 make any improvement over what I have now. The key to these tires the keeping 22PSI on the front and 23 to 25 on the rear ( Depends on the gear you may have on the bike). Even with that set PSI I was fine on the pavement roads even when it rains.

Nelson
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Hugie03flhr
Posted on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 - 08:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Thanks for the answer and I'm jealous ! I've had my Ulysses 7 months and haven't gotten around to installing the KarooIII tires back and front yet. So no dirt for me. Great Build!!!

(Message edited by Hugie03flhr on March 07, 2017)
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Sagehawk
Posted on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 - 03:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I appreciate your time and energy for this project. Sharing the process was a huge kudo to you with pix , how to, and explanation.
I had asked the question once before about dumbing down a 1203 for a bit less horsepower, possibly more torque, bUT really lenient on the ethanol fuels that most of us suffer with. I've never had other engine parts laying around to be able to imagine what if and then actually cut up to see if it's doable. That question was ignored on this board as you probably would have been if you broached this subject before your build. Anyway, enoy the beastie and let us know how it is working long term.
I wanted to ask, how is the head temp as compared to a stock 1203? I was curious as to the pistons up out of the bore .035" and how combustion chamber temp would affect the top of piston and the upper ring lands?
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Chazaag
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2017 - 12:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Why not use the Buell heads?
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Sergio
Posted on Saturday, March 11, 2017 - 03:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Did have any trouble with the insurance?
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Dropin61
Posted on Sunday, March 12, 2017 - 03:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

@ Sagehawk - Thanks for comments! No issue with heat.. if anything there is less heat for the motor as I've had to tune down the cold start tables because of it. This bike runs cooler than the values of a XB9 motor.

@ Chazaag : You can't use Buell heads because the valves are larger and would hit the smaller displacement jug of a 883

@ Sergio - Not at all as this is a clean title build and it's still classed at a 1200 but my ins is low here in GA. even if I told them it's now an 883cc.. I don't think it's going to change the price any.
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