part 2: taking her a part

Owning the bike for a few months now I have made myself familiar with the do's and don'ts. It takes a small effort finding useful information on the internet since Buell riders and technicians are within reach through various forums and websites. Unfortunately Erik himself is not eager to keep up support for his earlier products. I mean an XB sub-page on his EBR site would suffice.* It's time to start with the make-over. Having Typeone's bike as the major example for the transformation, a to-buy list is at hand. Now the content of my wallet got vaporized by the main repairs already. First the bike needs a plain transformation to the S-type. This means ripping the shell apart and replacing it by another. Even with such a modular design, drastic measures need to be taken to get it all done. For starters, a bunch of nuts & bolts are essential to the job. So I bought me a box of fresh salvaged parts which will save me lots of euros on shipping costs as well as searching for part numbers and facepalms for every time I have to order something I missed out on, only a minute after confirming yet another invoice for various parts.



While roaming the I-nets for parts I found that German eBay sellers can deliver all the parts needed but they always refer to Buell's cataloged pricing which sometimes results in an outragious Buy Now value. But I have to deal with it to keep the project on schedule. The longer I wait gathering parts the longer it takes to finish this project.

Via Buellforum.nl I found out about Twin Motor-cycles or TM for short. Lucky me. During many occasions they sell new parts for less than the gold bars lots of German eBay sellers demand for used parts. And no this is not a fairytale or semi subliminal commercial buth the plain truth.

But hey, lets start the demolition!



As you know by now I didn't arrive unprepared. It all starts very simple by taking a part the body work, subframe, front fairing and bracket. They weren't ment for the keeps anyway and now the damaged front fork can be replaced by a new one.
At this time, the bike can be called a very naked one, with all of the electronics stuffed in a plastic shopping bag, like a hobo taking a nap on the front fender. Now the most tricky part is about to take place: replacing the original R-type cable harness (wiring loom) for the S-type.



Although the Buell development team designed a fool-proof system in which no plug or connector fits into the wrong socket, the layout of a R-version differs a big deal in comparison with the S-type clothes line. While the R-version leaves the building through the front, the S-type penetrates the frame from the rear. Meaning that all internal cables are routed differently and fuse boxes are placed at random. But as mentioned before, a dummy can do the job as soon as one plug has found its socket. Now the new rear subframe was installed before swapping the wiring harnesses. By looking at the picture below any Lightning rider can tell you a lot is missing out.



The hardest part of the conversion is the sometimes impossible location of the wiring. Now one knows that during the production process, the wiring harness was attached to the frame ahead of anything else. Now you know why so.
If you ever plan to do a conversion like this, make sure you have those tiny one way cable holding plugs at hand. Many cables are located near very hot areas so the tolerance in distance to a heat source is minimum. Therefore new plugs are essential, never use old and dented ones as shown on the left. As you can see on the picture below only three notches have kept the wiring in place so it wouldn't be a good idea to do a reinstall with these old ones as the slack may become fatal to precious electrical lines or breather hoses.


It seems that the routing of the electrical wiring differs per production date, regardless of the model. From all reviewed images not one depicts the actual situation in the back of the bike. Although the harness was sent to me in a forced folding because of a too small box it sculped itself onto the frame quite well, assumpting its original shape in an almost natural way. Lucky me. Again. Sort of.