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Thread: XB 09+ transmission in 03 XB cases?

  1. #1
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    XB 09+ transmission in 03 XB cases?

    I couldn't find a definitive answer by searching. I have an 03 XB9 motor completely torn down due to a burr in the shift drum. While researching I noticed that the 03-08 transmissions have aluminum shift drums (wtf) with straight cut gears and the later ones have steel lined drums with helical gears. Can a later transmission be swapped in to an earlier model case?

    I don't want to be in the same place again in 5k miles with another aluminum shift drum burr.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Chicknstripn's Avatar
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    Did you only, or are you only going to replace the shift drum?
    Sounds like a thurough inspection needs to be done on the entire transmission. With the “straight” cut gears and brass shift forks it doesn’t take much to throw things out of whack.
    Clutchless up shifts, a miss-aligned or incorrected adjusted shift linkage and clutch can reek havoak on the transmission.
    Having a shift drum fail at 5k seems totally abnormal.
    I had to replace my third gear and shirt forks about 15k ago. My bike have almost 50k and is still running the original shifter drum.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    I can only imagine that worn dogs put pressure on the shift fork and in turn wore a spot in the shift drum. How are the shift forks? Signs of heat on the tips of the fork? How are the dogs?
    I would never go to all the trouble of splitting the cases to only replace the drum. Never.
    I would find a good complete transmission and swap all the bits.

    These guys absolutely know their stuff. They have custom machined a couple transmissions for me. Its worth a call just for the education.
    R & D Motor Sports Inc
    Address: 1632 N Hercules Ave, Clearwater, FL 33765
    Phone: (727) 447-4552

  4. #4
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    The goal is not to replace just the shift drum. I want to replace the entire transmission as mentioned in my original post. Will look into R&D Motorsports, thank you!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Chicknstripn's Avatar
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    I’m pretty sure parts are not interchangeable from the tuber style Buells and XB models.
    If memory serves me right, there are some internal transmission parts from 03 to 09 that are not interchangeable with XB models.
    From 03-09 there were many changes to the Buell motors, transmissions and electronics.
    I can’t remember exactly, but I do recall that when I rebuilt my transmission I had to order parts that were specific to the 05 to 07 bikes. I have no idea why. I just recall reading that the parts I ordered were for those years. But it’s been a long time since I rebuilt the transmission and when I did I wasn’t looking at the interchangeability of parts. I just wanted the right parts.
    I would highly suggest just replacing what’s worn out, and using parts that are specifically made for your model year.

    What Cooter mentioned, a total custom route, might be the way you’ll have to go. With the right tools and knowledge anything is possible.

    I’m sure there will be comments about cost. The truth is any modification done to a motorcycle isn’t about the worth of the bike but what the bike is worth to you. You know what I mean?

    Let us know what you wind up doing and updates on the progress.
    It’s exciting to me to hear of someone so passionate about their bike that they repair a transmission, as opposed to simply replacing the bike.

    Good luck



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