Start Up After Finishing the Top End

The last month or so has been pretty busy in the garage and today was the payday. Fired up the Buell after working on the top end for the first time and she started right up.

Before startup, there were still a couple of things that needed to be done, so this morning's project was to tackle them and prep for the startup.


The header was such a beast to remove, I have to admit I wasn't all that excited about the wrestling match that I anticipated for reinstalling it.


Before I installed the exhaust gaskets, I double-checked to make sure the surfaces on the heads were clean and ready.


The header went on a lot easier than it came off, but a second set of hands would have made the job a little easier. Since I was on my own, I used the scissor lift to help hold it up while I tightened the nuts onto the studs. The inside nut on the rear cylinder was the only real challenge because I couldn't get a socket on it—and it was a pretty tight fit for an open-end wrench as well. I tried to be careful not to round off the edges of the nut as I tightened her down. Hopefully I have them on tight enough that it won't leak exhaust at the rear head.


I hadn't yet re-installed the breather bolts, so that was next on the list. Not a big deal, but I'd forgotten to do that when I got the carburetor done.


I also needed the battery. I was surprised, since it had been so cold and it wasn't on the trickle charger that it still showed 100% when I tested it, but I got the battery installed and ready for the startup.


The plugs come from the factory pre-gapped, but I double-checked before I installed them and torqued them to 15 ft lbs. Now we're ready to fire her up for the first minute of break-in. To make sure the rings have a chance to break in, you start it and run for 1-minute, then 2-minutes, then 3-minutes, and finally 4-minutes before you take the bike out onto the street.

Before that though, because the engine oil had been drained for several weeks (with the exception of what little had been left in and had been leaking before I replaced the cam cover gasket), I ran the starter motor without the plugs to get a little oil pumped through the engine before trying to start it up.


She fired right up. I've already done the 1-minute and the 2-minute break-in runs, but the engine needs to cool completely down in between each cycle, so it will likely be some time tomorrow before I'm completely done.

Hearing her fire up was definitely the music I wanted to hear. The next project will be the clutch.