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Thread: Frankenstein Buell XB12R Firebolt 2004

  1. #1
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    Frankenstein Buell XB12R Firebolt 2004

    My 2004 XB12R had the transmission get stuck in between going from 2nd to third. Would not go up or down to make a gear change and this is what I found out and what I did to fix the problem. For All 2003 2004 and 2005 XB's all had an ALL Aluminum Shift Cam or Drum and there lies the problem because 2nd to 3rd gear track in the Shift Cam mushrooms over on the High Point in that Cam grove and makes the Shift Fork roller bind badly. The High Point rounds over into the shift fork track which is now to narrow for the shift fork roller to pass freely. In 2006 Buell trans was completely changed except shift fork guides and 1 primary side Main Shaft bearing. The Ugly part of all of that is the Engine Cases were Redesigned to fit the other 3 Bearings that are a different size than on 03-05. I knew I could get a brand new shift cam from HD but why use something that eventually will do the same thing an not from abuse or improper lubrication plus it was $315.00. When I first posted about my trouble I received info from 34nineteen and Cooter and they put me on the right path. Was able to find and get 2006 Engine Case for $75.00 and a 2007 transmission for $150.00 on E BAY-YEA.

    Several things I did which will help things go good are

    1. Made a wood support frame to hold the rear up to make the tire and rear sawing arm and rear shock removal a breeze.

    2.Only pulled pistons out of the cylinders from the bottom enough to remove wrist pin clip so rings and pistons stay in the bottom of the cylinder.

    3.Double check Oil Pump Drive Gear on the Crank or just replace it with the 2006 and newer up grade gear. Mine was paper thin on 3 of the teeth.

    4.OEM all torque spec's on all engine bolts or if you get Cometic gaskets use there spec's for head bolt sequence and torque range.

    I did have to buy a new Main Output shaft bearing that did not come with the used cases and that bearing was $53.00 from HD. I have about 2,600 miles on it in a little over a month and is 100% no leaks and shifts good. I will say the Newer style Helical cut gears over the straight cut like higher RPM's when shifting. I know I would do it again but I think I will just Upgrade to the THUNDERSTORM ENGINE in the future.
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    Last edited by MOTORCYCLES247; 08-31-2020 at 05:36 AM.

  2. #2
    Is not all XB engines Thunderstorm?

  3. #3
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    I'm pretty sure that what he is referring to would be the 08 and up.

    How many miles were on the bike when this started to happen ?

    Good write up.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Barrett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrikrosen View Post
    Is not all XB engines Thunderstorm?

    Dear Captain Tedious:
    ALL 2003-2005 XB engines are designated ThunderDome models
    ALL 2006-2007 XB engines are designated ThunderStruck models
    ALL 2008-2010 XB engines are designated ThunderGod models

    To upgrade your XB engine to true ThunderStorm configuration, you must install a set of our HellFire ThunderKing platinum coated headers. In stock and ready for immediate delivery via our 2020 Fall retail sales catalog.

    FabioDriven-CEO
    HellFire Corp
    AmishLand, USA


  5. #5
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    04 XB 12R with 2007 Trans upgrade

    It had 21,671 when it had did it the first time but I thought getting a used Shift Cam that wasn't worn would work the first time. That is why I went through all the trouble for what I did the second time when It did the exact same thing at 25,506. I showed multiple Cams with the highlighted problem area-one was my original another was the what looked almost perfect when I got it that I used the second time and the third was a bad buy on my part. For the money of under $400.00 dollars was well worth having a bike I can ride every day and feel good for a new owner if I ever sell it. Just think of what Harley Davidson Dealer would have charged. I have always been able to work on all my motorcycles I've owned and I just turned 67 but because I live in California I ride almost every day and thank you for your comments.

  6. #6
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    Some of the attachments I selected did not get in my original post so here goes something20190502_205228.jpg20190502_205228.jpg20190502_205228.jpg20190502_205228.jpg

  7. #7
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrett View Post
    Dear Captain Tedious:
    ALL 2003-2005 XB engines are designated ThunderDome models
    ALL 2006-2007 XB engines are designated ThunderStruck models
    ALL 2008-2010 XB engines are designated ThunderGod models
    Aaron? Anyone see Aaron? Let him know he just got punked by the master
    Lol, I'm cryin'! haha

    OP: Thanks for the good info post!

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    So I'm guessing here that Buell knew they had a problem and changed it out in the 2006 and up models ? What I don't understand is other Buell owners have come on here and other forums with no mention of this and with even higher milage on their bikes, I don't mention this to minimize your situation. Perhaps one of the Guru's will shed some light on this.

  9. #9
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    04 XB 12R with 2007 Trans upgrade

    No problem asking or head scratching over this for me anymore when I thought the exact same thing but when I looked into the exact same SHIFT CAM PART that any other motorcycle ever made from day one I was unable to find ANY motorcycle manufacture that EVER used or made a ALL ALUMINUM SHIFT CAM-DRUM. Looked up so many year, make and models of motorcycle transmission parts to see if I could find even one manufacture for regular Production made motorcycle with an aluminum shift cam and could not. So I would guess I spent 25 to 30 hours looking to find said part of the same material. Just to cover my using the 100% made on the Shift Cam I am excluding the Steel Detent for engaging the Neutral Switch. Also all of my Lubrication Products are top quality-Motul-Bel Ray-AMES-LUCAS-Red Line plus Full Synthetic mostly. I only know of one thing that "might" have made this happen was the Clutch Release Bearing had lots of side play. Replaced it but I had to adjust the play on the clutch lever several times in a short period of time. Not enough release to much clutch drag ? Anyone can shake a leg on this I'm all game. Love this Forum because of its members.

  10. #10
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    Are you sure thats aluminum? Not saying you dont know what aluminum is like, but I also find it weird that they use one made from al-you-minium as well. Maybe a Honda could pull it off, as those shift like buttah anyways.



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