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Thread: New to forum, new to buell with a '99 cyclone

  1. #1
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    New to forum, new to buell with a '99 cyclone

    Hello all, my name is Gary and I have a problem. I keep buying bikes and the latest is a '99 cyclone (m2? I'm learning buell since last night). Bought the bike cheap the owner got it as a project said it needed a top end. I was hoping it was rusty rings seized figuring at worst I could part the bike to get my money back. Well I should part it but not yet.

    I pulled the spark plugs and one was mashed and welded onto itself like a nuclkear blast happened in there. Sticking a thin rod down the spark plug hole it went to the bottom end so seems a rod let go.

    I was thinking I could swap in a 1200 motor and maybe swap the heads and cams but then I learned the buell has lighter wheels and higher compression, probably forged pistons.. And being a hot rod Harley motor, I want that.. I'm thinking I should get a complete donor motor but buell motors are stupid money.. even used sportster motors are expensive (I have 9 bikes now and can't be dumping a ton on this ratty bike).

    Can someone tell me what year/model sportster would suit me best and high level the work to attach it to my frame?? And are there any easy links to say how best to pull the motor? I don't even see how the connecting rods come out (I had two shovels and this is different). And a link for a manual else recommendation as to which manual is best for me.

    Thanks very much in advance

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum I loved the time I spent on an M-2. Sweet bike!


    Link for a dyno tested engine for less that $2k:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/97-02-Buell...VbqooK&vxp=mtr

    Link to the M2 service manual:
    http://buellmods.com/#TabbedContent

    Link to a $10 borescope:
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Waterproo...SABEgLJDfD_BwE

    I have built/ rescued plenty of bikes, and a ton of V-twins. Maybe it's my age but... IMO spending the money on a whole replacement engine (I'm sure it's more than you paid for the bike) will save you more money than spending a month gathering parts to fix catastrophic failure.

    If a rod let go, I wouldn't even bother with splitting the cases.

  3. #3
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    Thanks much Cooter!

    I looked at some ebay motors regular 1200's as well as the buells but your ebay buell ad I just looked at had video with a buell on the dyno and it sounded really cool. Nah I can afford a $2K buell motor or even a $1200 regular xl1200 motor. so I'm gonna keep my eyes peeled for a crashed xl1200 maybe get it on the cheap. Do you know which motors will physically fit (year/model) I was thinking if my head only needs valves, I might be able to swap the heads and cams and then with the carb, intake, and exhaust have a pretty good running motor.. think so? I haven't done any research but have learned the buells have lighter wheels and higher compression (I bet forged pistons). same stroke? forged rods? any other hot rod goodies I should swap over? what about an 883, might any of them bolt in? I was figuring if I find an 883 with a 1200 kit (just jugs and pistons?) that might be same and otherwise if an 883 motor is inexpensive maybe that would still be fun (is that sacralige to stick a girls 883 motor in a Cyclone?,, I would never buy an 883 harley to ride..

  4. #4
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    oh, another thing. I had found that M2 service manual last night but it is for a 2002. With my bike a 1997 is it just cosmetic differences??

  5. #5
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    Was that a dumb question? I mean are engine swaps covered here somewhere as a reference guide? I tried to search the forum with my phone, I'll try with my laptop.. is there another forum that is big on the technical stuff? I know I can figure it out if I muddle through it and take measurements but I'm guessing Harley didn't change cases for a series of years, .. maybe '86 to 04 sportster 1200??).
    Thanks in advance. I know nobody owed me here and I haven't contributed but eventually I will be able to help others

  6. #6
    Senior Member lunaticfringe's Avatar
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    i find your rambling and endless string of questions quite exhausting so didn't read this in its entirety. but here's your "short & sweet" answers:
    1-a 2004 and later XL and/or XR motor will NOT fit into your M2 frame without major and i mean major fiddling. bottom mounts about spot-on but other than that be prepared for extensive fabrication/wiring/plumbing mods.
    2-2004 and up XL/XR motors rubber mounted and completely different mounting points and fasteners than all previous years.
    3-fitting an XL883 motor into a Buell M2 is just plain dumb.
    4- pre-2004 XL motor frame mounting points match your M2 frame both at the rear and top. but still requires some light-to-medium fab work to complete the installation.
    5-this really is NOT the forum for a potential project like you are considering. XLFORUM.NET is along with a few others. google is your friend.....and this.........

    https://www.hdforums.com/forum/sport...ter-frame.html

  7. #7
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    Great help thanks lunaticfringe

    Thanks lunatic fringe and sorry for rambling..

    I was wondering if an 883 was no different than a 1200 except for the pistons, jugs (or bore on them), and heads (& probably cams & just read trans gearing). If so, an inexpensive 883 motor swapping in parts might work (idk how they get around flywheel balancing..). That link you provided thanks on that and the recommended forum. Believe it or not I did do some googling.
    Lastly same I just found a reasonable 2005 motor so thanks much on the 2004 and lower (what is the lower year?) I think I read somewhere about heads that the late 90's maybe 97-2004 xl1200 had a good head and that should be my target, got to find that article...

    QUOTE=lunaticfringe;606279]i find your rambling and endless string of questions quite exhausting so didn't read this in its entirety. but here's your "short & sweet" answers:
    1-a 2004 and later XL and/or XR motor will NOT fit into your M2 frame without major and i mean major fiddling. bottom mounts about spot-on but other than that be prepared for extensive fabrication/wiring/plumbing mods.
    2-2004 and up XL/XR motors rubber mounted and completely different mounting points and fasteners than all previous years.
    3-fitting an XL883 motor into a Buell M2 is just plain dumb.
    4- pre-2004 XL motor frame mounting points match your M2 frame both at the rear and top. but still requires some light-to-medium fab work to complete the installation.
    5-this really is NOT the forum for a potential project like you are considering. XLFORUM.NET is along with a few others. google is your friend.....and this.........

    https://www.hdforums.com/forum/sport...ter-frame.html[/QUOTE]



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