Buell XB Tech: Clutch dragging

Buell Ulysses XB12X

Assessing the Situation

 You came across this homogenization of american iron and sport bike, and you quickly learn it has faults just like every other motorcycle. If you have tried adjusting the clutch cable already, but your XB Buell is experiencing clutch drag, It is strongly advised to check the primary case lip.

Tools: T27 torx, flathead screwdriver

Remove the three T27 torx screws holding the clutch inspection cover on, remove the cover and gasket (carefully if you plan to re-use). This reveals where the clutch cable attaches to the ball-ramp mechanism that separates the clutch plates when the lever is pulled.

Next we remove  the magnetic nut and spring from the ball-ramp. The spring is held onto a lip of the nut and provides tension from pressing on the inspection cover. The threaded screw in the middle rotates freely, and adjusts the clutch plate tension – this must be set correctly for proper clutch function on XB Buells.

(proper clutch tension is lightly-bottomed, then backed off 1/8th to 1/4 turn)

The magnetic nut holds the clutch screw’s setting, and can be removed easily.  Loosen the clutch adjustment screw so the ball-ramp retainer nut starts to loosen – this will release tension on the clutch cable.

 Now you can remove the ball-ramp mechanism – it should easily pull straight out with the notch aligned at 11 o-clock. You can let it hang if you are just checking, or remove if you have to swap cases.

This will reveal the problem area – the tabs that the ball-ramp presses on. My front tab has developed a crack at the seam, allowing the clutch to drag with the lever pulled in.

From here, there are several solutions. You can replace the entire primary side cover, which cost me about $250+gaskets for brand new. There are also several levels of DIY repair, seen here:

Next up, how to swap the primary case.