Caution: A lot of reading ahead, but worth the read if you ever plan a nude pulley project on the Roadstar.
When I first put the nude pulley on the bike, I thought I could shore up the left side of the transmission by bolting a steel bracket to the engine and transmission. In case you don’t know, the pulley housing on the Roadstar is actually a load-bearing structure that keeps the transfer case rigid with the engine.
Learn from my mistake. A small bracket like the one I made CANNOT sufficiently stabilize the transmission. There needs to be multiple contact points on the engine and transmission, not just a couple.
I rode the piss out of it like that for about 2 ½ years, until, one day while I was on the interstate, I downshifted and the pulley went into orbit. (Never did find it) My belt had come loose twice in the few months preceding that incident. More on that later
Still not realizing my mistake, (One of the bolts on the bracket had come out, and I figured that was the reason) I bought an offset pulley from S&S Custom Cycle, ($350) had it chromed, ($100)and bolted it on. Rode it about 5 miles before I felt a God-awful vibration as I rolled off the throttle. Pulled over and found that the output shaft had spun the lands and grooves out of the center of the new pulley!
Had to file the splines back into shape, and clean up the threads on the output shaft. Bought an aluminum 32 tooth pulley from Barons, ($180) went with a pulley spacer from BMS Choppers, ($240) and after a long bit of correspondence with Shane at S&S Custom Cycle, I then realized that I needed to sufficiently brace the transmission to the engine. I bought Baron’s “Torque Arm,” which has 3 contact points on the engine, 4 around the ouput shaft in the transmission, and 4 on the swing arm frame. ($250) BMS Choppers offers they’re solution, a plate which bolts to the engine with 3 bolts, and transmission with 4 bolts. Honestly, the BMS plate was a little cheaper, but I’m a chrome whore, so I went with the Baron’s unit because it was prettier and chrome-plated.
Rode it all day like that, when the pulley slung off again… to say I was in dismay and very pissed is an understatement.
The BMS pulley spacer adds about an inch of spline to the output shaft by threading directly on to the output shaft, then, a collar with matching lands and grooves slips over the splines of the output shaft and the spacer splines, so that it is locked solid. When I pulled over this time, I noticed that the collar was STILL on the bike but the spacer shaft was GONE! Had to file the splines back into shape, and clean up the threads on the output shaft.
I called Sam Nehme at BMS choppers and explained the situation to him. He pointed out that, with the collar still being on the output shaft after it threw the pulley meant the shaft could NOT have un-threaded itself… it had to pull straight out… which meant it sheared the threads right off the output shaft. He hypothesized that the transmission had suffered enough damage from torque-induced flex while improperly braced, that it was simply not going to hold under torque any longer… stress and damage to the bearings, damage to the threads and splines on the output shaft, etc.
I bought a use transmission from a wrecked Roadie with only 24,000 miles on it, ($250) another pulley from Barons, ($180) and had it chromed/polished($100) (BTW, on the steel 32 Tooth pulleys from Baron’s, the outer flange is NOT steel… the plater THOUGHT it was magnesium, and polished it and masked it while chroming it, but it has NOT oxidized gray the way that Magnesium is supposed to when polished, so it must be some other alloy)
So far, so good. Been riding the piss out of it for about a week now. Keep checking the pulley, and everything looks good.
So learn from my dumb, expensive mistakes if you’re ever to consider the nude pulley project on your Roadie. By the way, most guys doing the nude pulley attach a chrome pulley cover, but I’ve never seen one done with a truly “nude” pulley simply chromed… I always have to be different! LOL