BIMOTA SB8R PROJECT BIKE. PART EIGHTEEN: Have I finally been defeated?
I fear that the this project has thrown a knock out blow. Will the project die? What could the plan be at this point to keep moving forward?
Was really starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. New parts were going on the bike, and the issues that I had stumbled on along the way seemed to all have solutions. The excitement was very much building. My plans for this update were rosy and fun. It involved pictures of new OEM parts waiting to be installed.
Last couple of pieces to the puzzle. My dream was to have the next images of the bike out on the road in all of it's glory. That was not to be the case. After a short ride, it was clear the bike was in a bad state.
I had installed the new radiators, warmed the bike up on a stand and bleed off excess air in the system. Once on the road something strange happened, the temp readings started going DOWN. The coolant was escaping the system and ending up in the oil sump. Once there it overflowed out the breather vent into the air box. A royal mess.
I can not see any external leaks on the motor. There was no smoke from the exhaust either.
My experience tells me that when I learned that the original radiators were leaking, I also ended up overheating the motor. This heat more then likely damaged the head gaskets. That said I am very much opened to ignoring that idea and instead going down other rabbit holes that are easier to deal with.
There is one place where the coolant system and the oiling system nearly overlap, the water pump. Behind the impeller there is a water and oil seal. Normally on the TL1000R engine a failed seal causes a slight leak from a weep hole in the case. I do not ever remember seeing a leak here, but in theory the pressure on the coolant side could push water through the seal and into the oil sump. Long shot, but preferable to pulling the motor for head gaskets.
This is obviously the part in most projects that people bail. They write a dubious for sale add and talk about how the issue is an "easy fix". Many might even be tempted to take the project on. This would not be my first engine job, so I have the tools and knowledge to do the work. Riding season is all but over at this point, so have all winter to finish the task.
The bike come apart easily, although the engine is tightly packed into the frame. I can find zero images or information on the web about removing the engine. Logical when you think Bimota only made about 250 of these. Maybe I will be the first.
What would you do if you were me?