Buell XB12S - 2004

phot22o-1.jpgKnut had been trying to convince me to build a Redneck for my wife who had shared interest in one of Knut's built. I always thought of Redneck too avant-garde for my taste but my chopper project was coming to an end and I need to move on to something else.  I had observed Knut on his redneck bobber and I thought I could pull it thru.

Few weeks later, knut found an XB12S engine for sales in Norway at an very advantageous price. It was the trigger to the project.  The engine originated fm Canada and had been brought into Norway few months before and all taxes and duties had been paid.  The guy selling it was being thrown out of his garage and the idea of having a buell engine sitting idle in the living room was not appealing to his miss.  Anyway, I had not made up my mind when he called me few days later telling me that if I picked up the engine with the next hour he would lower the price by 30%.  It was no longer a good price, it became a bargain.  So, I went to pick it up, and that's how I ordered a frame from the guy that don't care owh they do it on the west coast.   I then surfed to get some ideas to start. 

In essence, the difficulty when you work with a steady made rolling chassis should be non existant.  From the outside, all parts seemt to be made for each other.  Normally within 30 minutes, one can get a pretty good idea of what the final project should or will look like.  For any beginner or useless mekanik like me, one can hv fun and give the impression he knows what is doing.

 That's without the help of Redneck.  Firstly the engine block were not align with the engin.  So, I had to mount the engine, grind the block and re-weld them to align the engin in the frame.  Secondly, Redneck had not sent the forward engine mounting kit, so I had to build one myself.  Then I had Align the bike and make the spacers.  Luckilly, Knut had a brand new lathe and he was keen on trying it out, so he made the spacers within no time.  The most challenging things was actually how to set the seat on to the frame.  I had purchased some 'choppersox" suspension which I couldn't figure out how to put them on the bike.  Knut found a solution and made some bungs which I welded on the frame.  The last hurdle was the handle bar.  I had purchased an expensive bar but it couldn't find its place on the frame.  Once again, Knut came to the rescue and found the solution in suggesting to cut the bar in two and reweld it after we had properly mounted on the Ultima extended fork.  At the end I got the look I was looking for. 

The bike was then sent to our favorite painters and it was decided that we would used House of Color's paint with a slight touch of purple.  According to Christian it gives the bike a different colour depending where one is sitting.  Mario suggested to use real silver leaf to do my wife's logo and the birthdate of the kids. 

Everything was back in the shop within no time but shit hit the fan. 

I had to relocate to France and Knut changed job.  The workshop became too big and too expensive for him and he relocated to a  smaller location.  The problem was that he was working on offshore plateform and I was only commuting to Oslo once per month which made it difficult to continue working on the project. 

8 months after the bike had come back fm painting, I managed to stay over one week end and work on cleaning the engine and putting the parts together.  Then more shit happen and one year later I took the decision to move the bikes to my friends Arne and Lars at Custom Service.  Knut had done some works but lots remained to be done. 

So, Knut left the bike in front of his workshop and I managed to score a truck from my company and drove the bike to Arne.  Saddly, it was the last time I spoke to Knut and we unfortunatly parted from each other over some stupid claim. 

So the bike was handed over to Customer service with the basic instructions to make it works and ensure the change from injection to carburation and do the electric on the bikes.  It was gonna cost me few bucks but I don't know how to move fm Injection to Carburation and don't understand, and don't like, doing electrical work. 

Now it was time to find a doner bike.  I had a old Buell Cyclone I was keeping but by chance I found a cheap XB12S in Corsica.  The bike had been stolen and run down by the thieves.  The bike was not insured and the repair was more expensive than the value of the bike.  My inlaws were living in Corsica so I took the ferry over the weekend, picked up the bike, took it apart, and put the part on the local ebay.  Before I returned to mainland, I had sold all the parts and reimbursed my trip and had a license. 


So almost 3 years after the beginning of the project, the bike was again on a bench ready to be put on the road. 


But then again, my life is not easy walk in the park, so within 2 weeks Arne called me to inform me there was a problem with the oil filter.  The filter could not be inserted on the engine and the only way to do so was to cut the frame.   I told him to wait until I was next in Oslo but ultimately I had no choice but to agree to slightly chop the frame near the forward control.  Had missed that one in the mock up phase.   And to make the matter worst, it wasn't working even after the frame had been chopped.  Luckilly, Arne found a Honda VT600C oil filter that did the trick.  Same with the oil for the gear box.  The bolt was on the frame and to do the service we would have to take aspire with a syringe.  Anyway, when all the electrical work, the break, the oil, etc... was more or less completed it was time to pass from ignition to carburation.  I had purchased a Mikuni HSR 42 and ultima single fire.  Again, life is not easy with me, so as I was more or less dealing to professional mover to ship the bike from Oslo to South of France, Arne called me telling me the move from Ignition to Carb was not working and that the engine was not starting.   I was on my way to Oslo the following week and just depressed to think about it.  When I arrived in Norway, I drove directly to Arne's shop and as I was stepping in, I heard the bike thundered.  Just click

I thought Arne had played some sort of April's foul trick on me, but as it turned out, it was the first time the bike was fired up.  What a coincidence...  Apparently the problem was the ignition timings needed to be shifted by 90°-100° to make it start. 

So 3 years and a bit after the project started.  The bike was finally alive.  Thanks to Knut, Arne, and Lars.

I got the bike shipped to France few days later and offered it to the true receipient of the gift.  She was happy....img-0313.jpgHowever, when I drove it for more than just a round the block ride, there was massive black smoke coming out of the exhaust, it was very very loud and a weird sound was originating from the engine.  This was not good news.   At first I built some baffles to keep the noise down but that did not work because the straight pipes were too short.

So I fabricated another exhaust and put a stock sporter silencer which reduced the sound quite a bit but still was very loud.  Smoke and noise were still coming out of the engine. img-0461.jpgAfter taking the carb apart, and change the various jets, it was still not working properly and there was a strange noise coming out of the engine.  So decision was taken to bring the bike to a professional "Motorfreaker Kustom" for checking.   


As strange as this may sound, Rickey the boss of Motorfreaker Kustom called me few days later telling me he had spoken to the person that had built the engine in Canada.  But how the hell could he know the engine had been built in Canada ???  Well, J Precision Racing had left their name inside and Rickey managed to get all the history of the engine and rebuilt it accordingly.  The engine had run in Canadian Grand Prix before been sold on the market.  All parts inside were racing part.  A pure atomic bomb....

pastille.jpgFew months later the bike was in my garage and except some electrical issue it rides like a breeze...img-0688-1.jpg

Now the engine was in order, I went back to the original exhaust, and installed a mooneyes saftety tank, because with the mikuni and the big engine, the tank capacity is very limited, so just be safe than sorry.  And now, just need to avoid the police and I shld be ok. photo21-1.jpg


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