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Thread: Taking Buell Ulysses xb12x out of long term storage - What to do to get running?

  1. #1
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    Taking Buell Ulysses xb12x out of long term storage - What to do to get running?

    I would like some advice on what I would need to do to remove a 2006 Buell Ulysses from storage and get running again?
    The bike in question belonged to my father, who due to health reasons didn't ride the bike and it sat in storage for 5 years.
    When my dad had some heart issues, he stopped riding the Buell. Family members meant well and would occasionally start
    the bike and take short rides to get the bike warmed up, etc.
    But the last five years the bike was stored indoors but unridden. (bike has about 600 miles in it)
    I would like to get the bike running again, but after looking at a service manual, I don't know what to expect. A bit overwhelmed.
    I am making a list of things I need to get before starting the bike. ( new battery, spark plugs, air filter, maybe new tires)
    Would start by draining the old stale gas.
    Looking for any advice/suggestions on what I would need to do next.
    More concerned about what problems might pop up when working on this bike.
    I am trying to do the work myself, as a last resort, taking the bike to a shop.
    I thought that you forum members would be a good source of information.
    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
    Sorry for the long winded post
    Last edited by moto120; 08-11-2019 at 06:13 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Glad to hear another Buell is about to hit the road! An '06 with only 600 miles!?! Oh wow. She's gonna need some love.
    The well-meaning family members probably did more harm than good by treating it that way, but it's not the end of the world. Buell's are super strong and stupid simple.

    If you are feeling "overwhelmed after reading the service manual" I would suggest finding a good V-twin shop in your area. But, if you want to attack it yourself anyway:

    The manual spells out every procedure step-by-step. Don't dwell on everything all at once. Pick one, like an oil change, and read through it until you're familiar with the procedure and do it. Next, pick another one and repeat.
    So:
    Change the oil. Use the correct weight of the lowest temp you will ride in found in the chat in the manual. Typically 20w-50 for most of the US. Use a synthetic V-twin specific oil.

    Change the Primary Fluid. IMO Buell stock clutches like Harley "Formula +" or the Amsoil Primary fluid. You can use 20w-50 in there as well put I think it gets grabby.

    * Most important: Drain the gas. 1/8"MPT plug in the fuel pump flange. I would also remove the pump completely to check it's condition and flush the tank. There's an easy cheat to have it out much faster than the manual procedure. Once the pump is all together, you can flush the system yourself by screwing a fitting onto the schraeder valve on the fuel rail (pics in the manual) and (key-on) using the pump to purge it into a bottle. Hopefully you don't need the injectors removed to be cleaned, but this should be enough to get it running reliably.

    If the tires are 7 years or older (4 years for sport tires) I would change them as well. Removing the wheels off the bike will save some labor cost and get new wheel bearings too. While it's on stands, polish the fork tubes, and as much of the rear shock shaft that you can. Leave a thin coat of oil on them all.

    Flush the brake fluid front and rear. A vacuum pump is a simple way to do it without having to bleed the system.

    You'll probably want a nice, new, battery. Buells are hard on them. 220CCA minimum. They don't like cheap batteries. Make sure the terminals are tight and while you are under the seat, make sure all the other wires are tight where they screw into the seat rails and there wasn't any critter-issues under there.

    All that should be enough to simply and cheaply get it running and see how she is. Theres many more things you could do (like fork seals) but 5 years isn't a decade so get it running first and see what pops up.

    Good luck!!

  3. #3
    Senior Member lunaticfringe's Avatar
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    Sir: i typically resurrect 3-5 of these "squatters" a year. if you're not comfortable doing the 3 simple steps below then seek out a local buell or sportster guru who would be willing to perhaps assist you at your place an evening or 2....to at least breathe life into the motor. all the other items such as perishables and fluids can wait till you've confirmed the motor is sound. here's the precise steps in exacting order to follow:

    1-vermin LOVE buell air-boxes and under-seat cavities. remove seat and air box cover, then inner airbox lid...and closely check for same. using flashlight look down the throat of the throttle body to confirm it's perfectly clear.
    2-check that the primary assembly and oil tank are up to proper level and filled with reasonably clean oils. you'll be dumping them and the filter once the motor has run for 10 minutes or so anyway.
    3-ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY DO NOT ATTEMPT to turn-over or start the motor prior to flooding it with either kano-kroil or marvel mystery oil. this can only be achieved by removing both spark plugs and force-feeding several ounces of the penetrant of your choice into each cylinder. then leave each plug OUT and let soak for at least 24 hours. WHY? because i can with certainty, guarantee you that 1 or more piston rings have welded themselves to the cylinder walls. attempting to spin the motor and circumvent this step will result in either 1 or more broken rings or chipped piston ring lands...resulting in a junk motor.

    after the above is completed then, with fresh battery installed and plugs out AND some sort of covering over each spark plug wire to prevent a random spark from burning your garage to the ground.....AND AFTER DISCONNECTING THE FUEL PUMP WIRING PLUG FROM ITS HARNESS....spin over the motor with the starter button for approx. 10 seconds and confirm the red "oil light" has extinguished. this confirms you have oil pressure.

    if and when you work thru the above then address the fuel system as shaughn stated above. if the bike was stored with ethanol blended fuel in the tank...it will have to be drained and the pump ABSOLUTELY removed for servicing. skip this step and you run the risk of destroying the entire fuel delivery system. i will either rebuild your stock pump for you or send you a complete do-it-yourself pump rebuild kit.

    good luck
    Last edited by lunaticfringe; 08-11-2019 at 10:05 PM.

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    Thanks guys. Lots of good advice. I totally forgot about the Marvel Mystery Oil. I used that tip a long time ago in an old Ford Mustang engine. Yes a good quality battery is on my list.
    Sorry to say, but my local H-D dealer sold Buell's back in the day, but now wants nothing to do with them.
    I was overwhelmed when looking at the service manual and the amount of electronics on the bike and what could possibly go bad with them.
    Will post a progress report when I get into the bike.
    Thanks Again

  5. #5
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    There really isn't many electronics on these compared to any similar year motorcycle and honestly they are very reliable as long as they aren't messed with by uneducated hands. Get it running first, THEN worry about what doesn't work

    If you end up putting a "few ounces" of penetrating oil in the cylinders, make SURE to crank the engine with the plugs OUT to purge any non-compressable liquid out of the cylinders.

  6. #6
    Senior Member pdksh's Avatar
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    Great startup tips!

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    Forgot to ask about the drive belt. Bike was stored indoors (garaged) Guess it should be replaced?

  8. #8
    Senior Member lunaticfringe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moto120 View Post
    Forgot to ask about the drive belt. Bike was stored indoors (garaged) Guess it should be replaced?
    NO.

    follow my steps....get it running...address fuel pump and fuel system...then put a few miles on it and see what you have. it should for all intent and purposes be a new bike. then you can address the perishables like brake pads....all fluids...tires.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lunaticfringe View Post
    NO.

    follow my steps....get it running...address fuel pump and fuel system...then put a few miles on it and see what you have. it should for all intent and purposes be a new bike. then you can address the perishables like brake pads....all fluids...tires.
    ^^^^ This ^^^^

    It would be silly to spend a bunch of money on the perishables, only to get it running later and find out it has a knock or wont shift into 2nd gear.



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