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  #1  
Old 12th January 2016
69xlch5213 69xlch5213 is offline
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Default Buell 1125 Rotax into XL Frame

I have been looking around here and had an idea. I think I can get a really good swing arm project done if I could find an approved powerplant shorter in length than an XL based unit.
It looks like the Buell 1125 is 72 degrees with the front cyl only 14 degrees further inclined forward but looks massively shorter in the aft trans section.
Question is will the 1125 mill fit in either the 1191-2003 XL frames of the 2004 and up frame?
Seems like it would have to but has anyone passed an 1125 through that window in approximately the right position?
There are plenty of 1125s on Ebay but rarely seen parked anywhere.
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Gotta be an OK swap but would like to skip at least some of the initial work.
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Old 13th January 2016
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It might go in but it would be one ugly SOB, plus it's a non Harley engine and water-cooled, seems like a lot of heartache just cos you can, I don't want to seem negative but the two just seen like chalk and cheese, the Helicon motor puts out over 150bhp more than double an evolving, better to use a thunderstorm motor but that may involve parting out a proper buell which is never cool, just my opinion. Sorry if I've offended
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Old 13th January 2016
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I have not seen anyone do it. Be careful, the Buell Rotax motor was made for only a few years and the first year or two had bearing lubrication problems of some sort, I can't remember exactly what. Even if it could fit, I would wonder if a Sportster frame would be strong enough.

In my opinion, if Harley had let Eric Buell make the Rotax powered 1125 10 years earlier, Buell would still be around. It was a fun bike to ride.
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Old 13th January 2016
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Thanks to gusm2 and XLXR.
If you look at the 91-03 frame at engine mount plate and swing arm area you note a number of problems that stopped me years ago. The engine is mounted about .5 inches to the left relative to the crankcase split to deal with the area of the primary case where the clutch is housed. HD was trying to strengthen the swing arm and move the pivot closer to the trans sprocket so the rear suspension would work better and to control belt slack. On the right side you have a double taper set up on the SA pivot bolt while on the left you just have a cheezy bushing. Also the tube the pivot bolt passes through gets immediately loaded with corrosion due to moisture, grit, and the cad plating. While working on various bikes with the shocks removed I noticed that the SA was always some what frozen even on near new bikes so that you could lift the shockless swing arm as far up as possible and though very heavy it would stay right there. The bearings on the right were good but the bushing on the left was binding.
Now the frame could have been stretched longer which was done on the rubber frames and on the tuber Buells but this moved the pivot bolt even further from the trans sprocket.
I could solve one problem by making the other problem worse. I could move the engine to the right, run a 170 or 180 tire by increasing the swing arm to trans sprocket distance by a couple of inches making the cornering clearance on the left better and the rear susp worse.
What was really needed was a much shorter engine specifically between where the front cyl contacted the frame by the steering neck and where the swing arm pivot went through. Imagine two vertical lines one touching the front rocker box and the other vertically through the swing arm pivot bolt mount. Buell solved this by casting on swing arm pivot location on the back of the XB case on the right side and creating a strengthened boss on the inside surface of the Sportster crankcase but on the XB there was no connection to the frame as Buell also cast his own swing arm and motor mounts.
Then looking at some images of bikes here and at Bottpower It suddenly occurred to me that I could have any swing arm anyone could want If I ground off that ugly 5 speed rear engine mount and welded a serious swing arm pivot tube on the front, engine bay side.
Please fell free to dismantle any pre 2004, post 2004, XB Buells, or Rotax Buells to examine the key areas. So as I was looking on Ebay for a 2008 XB9 crankcase and lower end I kept seeing these Rotax engines.
Was the Rotax shorter than the XB9 mill in the critical dimensions relative to the 5 speed XL frame? Remember Buells have no front frame down tubes, OK? Was there an added margin of space if a Helicon engine were attempted purely to get an extra 2 or three inches?
This I what I am wondering. If I had a spare Helicon mill it would just be a matter of laying it on its left side a foot off the floor and seeing if the XL main frame loop could be passed over it with room to spare?
It might be way too tall or whatever due to the cylinder head design and the idea might be too impractical so it would be good if anyone had scoped it out even if they did not proceed. For sure we know the Rotax can be solidly mounted to the frame stiffening that frame and with a REAL swing arm we can keep the back wheel in the right location.
So the Rotax is being considered for that reason alone-space. What I am trying to do is build a Sportster with HDs genetic problems fixed as I have owned Buells including an X1 Lightning but they are just too weird though fun to ride being more like a Unicycle than anything.
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Old 23rd January 2016
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I would enjoy watching such a project. I never thought about the Buell powerplant though. I thought a V-Rod engine in a Sporty frame might be fun.
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Old 23rd January 2016
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Juste buy a KTM aventure, swap the wheels for a 16 inches anchor rim back tire, a 19 inches x 100 front tire and be done with it.
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Old 23rd January 2016
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Rico: The V-Rod mill looks too wide to possibly fit the XL frame. Somehow this mill got out of control in development I think. The Rotax mills are cheap when you find them and we already know that they are about the same size as the 1200 Buell engine as they fit a very similar or same frame. Solid mount XL frames are pretty cheap too.
Rejean: I will have to look at one of these KTM closely though this is another rotax mill. Thinking about the XR1200X as the model with a 17 on the front and all that Buell stuff is usually straight bolt to HD parts. Got to locate a unmounted Rotax locally or an 1125 Buell,
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Old 23rd January 2016
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Rotax engine: Austrian and 75º. KTM: Austrian and 75º
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