Everyone keeps talking about Harley Davidson making the move to water cooling, but there's nothing like a patent to show us what they're up to. Charles from Strasbourg sent me a note about this patent they just turned up, and sure enough, it's Harley Davidson's plans to water cool the heads on their touring models by hiding the cooling system within the leg shield portions of the fairing.
The cooling system, consists of 2 radiators, fans and hoses hidden within the fairing. A water pump is centrally located at the bottom front center of the frame. The water passages within the heads are rather basic, a simple loop that carries the coolant more or less along the exhaust passages and wraps back around the valves before returning to the radiator.
Although the patent shows and describes the cooling system installed on a Harley touring bike, the patent states:
Before any embodiments of the invention are explained in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and the arrangement of components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the following drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or of being carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology used herein is for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.
... which basically means it can show up arranged to work on any of the bikes in their lineup.
The entire cooling system seems pretty well worked out and ready for production which may mean it will show up very soon, maybe as soon as 2012. It's only a matter of time.
Link: US Patent Office
Charles from Moto Infos sent us this tip. Thanks!