BIMOTA SB8R PROJECT BIKE. PART SEVENTEEN: What does it take to cool this bike?
After weeks of trouble shooting, many new parts, and an education on international tax laws, we have our best chance of wrapping up this project yet!
For anyone that has been following along, this bike has been fighting me with what seems like endless cooling system problems. There have been passages filled with gunk, leaking seals, failed hoses and rotten components. At this point I struggle to think of any part that has not been either cleaned or replaced.
Every project has one thing that feels to be a major stumbling block. With this bike it is the cooling system, with my last Bimota project it was carburetor tuning. I had hopped that this bike would be smooth sailing. Bought it from the original owner, had always been stored inside, but alas there are always issues. I am neither upset nor turned off of the project. This comes with the territory.
The bike has been sitting in the back of the garage for what feels like forever now. I am thrilled that now this sad hunk of a bike will once again be headed back to the road.
Last time I was working on the bike I had found a couple of small pin holes in one of the radiators. Smeared some JB Weld on the hole and crossed my fingers. While those specific areas no longer leaked the system was not working as designed.
I finally decided to call the play and revaluate what I was doing. I had to be honest that I was only putting Band-Aids on the issue. Went to a local old school radiator shop to see if they could help mend my radiators. Also there was some erosion on coolant cross over tubes that needed to be corrected.
Normally when you run out of options to fix and issue, it is time to find the oldest shop in town. It will be run by one of the saltiest guys you will ever met. He will mock you a bit, but in the he will work his magic and solve your issues. When I dropped off the radiators I had high hopes I was going to be out of the woods. Unfortunately this was not to be the case. Initially I was frustrated that this option failed, but after looking closer at the returned radiators I can not say I was surprised they could not be repaired.
It was time to solve this problem with money. Luckily Bimota Classic Parts in Italy was able to supply me three new radiators and the two cross over pipes. They were not what most people would call cheap. I have bikes in the garage that I bought for less, but when viewed under the ultra rare and exotic lens the price really was worth it.
Funny part of the story was when my package was held up in customs. The USA government wanted to impose an import duty. The issue was that it was being categorized as a whole new bicycle. Apparently the USA government taxes the Italian bike rather heavily, who knew? Still debating with the custom department on getting the fees removed, but at least my new parts are here.
Exited to have so many brand new parts to put on this bike. I am confident that we finally have everything to wrap up this project. Winter is getting closer every day, so will spend some time this weekend getting everything installed and road testing.
As always I will be sure share the progress.