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Thread: The liquid-cooled XB12R

  1. #1

    The liquid-cooled XB12R

    What's up people, I thought I'd share this project bike I owned between 2008 and 2018. I lived in Maine at the time I bought it (eBay $6000), had it shipped to Maine from a bike dealer in Jacksonville, FL. The bike had 495 miles on it, had been repoed I am guessing. Cost me $500 to have it delivered. First mods were relocated handlebars, I bought a second triple tree, cut off the bar cups and had them welded on top, moving the bars roughly 1" up and 1" rearward. I also painted the bike flat black, added a Ducati hugger, GP style shifter and minor other stuff. I moved to Florida in 09 and brought the bike with me.

  2. #2
    I didn't ride it much in Florida and ended up selling it back on eBay in January 2010 to some kid that came on the bus to pick it up, could barely reach the ground while sitting on the bike. He put some waaaaay expired plate on my bike and rode away. I had 2 boxes of vital spares to go with the bike, had to ship them to him (brake pads, shifter boots, starter, LED lights etc, extra windscreens). Well about 6 months later I got a registered letter note in the mail, so I had to drive to the post office to pick it up. Letter from some Sheriff's department in Texas (never been to Texas). I tear it open and have a bill for $400 and some change, because my (MY ) Buell has been sitting in their impound yard. WTF. I called them and explained that I sold the bike 6 months earlier. The lady on the phone was kind enough to explain that the new owner was pulled over in Texas for excessive noise, on an expired plate, without a MC license, without insurance and while still on my title. I still didn't quite grasp what she was saying so she had to dumb it down for me: "Pay the storage fees and get YOUR bike out of our impound lot". I'll be damned! I posted a freight on uship dot com, had someone pick it up and deliver it to me in Florida for around $500, I gave him $100 tip. Couldn't believe it, the damn thing came back to me, with the original key, alarm key fob (which I added) and the title folded 16 way. Had a few more miles on it, a newer rear tire, the muffler had cracked and separated right after the header clamp, easy fix. The bike ran poorly, sputtered and backfired. Time for a rebuild, which turned into a bit more than that. I decided to convert it to liquid cooling, a project that I actually finished 8 years later, while I bought and sold a home, moved twice, got married etc. It sat around in boxes for a long time. I initially tried to weld water jackets around both the cylinders and heads, but the heads kept cracking the the porosity of the casting was so terrible, I threw them away, got another set of heads, lapped the valves and left them alone. Radiator from a 1200cc Kawasaki, electric pump from some VW turbo aftercooler, Aprilia radiator cap. Had to cut up the tail to fit the radiator so the bike was permanently converted to a single seater. More pictures to come soon, stay tuned.

  3. #3
    When I was ready to finish the project I sent a bunch of stuff to a powdercoater in central Florida and had the frame, swingarm, upper/lower triple trees, muffler hangers, subframe and front stay coated in semi floss black, wheels, heel guards, belt idler rear belt pulley coated in intense purple/blue mix, forks in gold. Muffler and header in ceramic black (except the muffler tip, chrome ceramic). All the wrinkle black i baked at home.


  4. #4
    Here is a video link of the finished bike. An old acid battery leaked down on the muffler, I replaced it with a Shorai. The button on the right switchgear opens/closes the exhaust actuator momentarily (barely heard in the video unless you have quality sound). I sold the bike in April of 2018.


  5. #5
    I don't know whether to Love or Hate this. Lots of ingenuity and craftiness...nice job and is very well integrated. I think maybe you improved the design!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by dolomoto View Post
    I don't know whether to Love or Hate this. Lots of ingenuity and craftiness...nice job and is very well integrated. I think maybe you improved the design!
    Thank you, the idea was to make the bike feel cooler during summer riding- disperse the heat behind me. It didn't work 100% because the heads remained air-cooled.
    I did achieve that goal with my current 1125CR, because the engine is liquid-cooled to begin with.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    congratulations, really brilliant, superb execution

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