A Buell-powered 8V street tracker from Hot-Dock Custom Cycles…
The Buell XB12R Firebolt appeared in 2004, combining American V-twin muscle with track-inspired chassis geometry to make one monster of a production streetfighter. The 1203cc Thunderstorm V-twin was based on the standard Sportster Evo engine, but Buell engineers tuned the old-school pushrod V-twin to make 103 bhp and 83 ft-lbs of torque — complete with special high-flow heads, fuel injection, an ECM-controlled exhaust valve, and more.
“This 1203cc air cooled, narrow angle V-twin is an old-school charmer with plenty of brawny torque. The refinement’s not there or the manic top end power but it’s immensely satisfying to use and it digs in and drives out of corners superbly.” —MCN
Recently, we reached out to Keiji Kawakita of Tokyo’s Hot-Dock Custom Cycles, who has more than half a century of riding experience under his belt. Keiji has made a name for himself building high-powered, race-inspired V-twin customs like his Buell XBRR-powered “Gladiator” street tracker we featured last year.
Today, we’re thrilled to feature one of Gladiator’s ancestors, a Buell-powered machine that Kieji originally built nearly 20 years ago — and it’s still going strong! The engine is from a XB12R Firebolt, but Keiji developed the engine to run four-valve per cylinder heads like the mighty Honda RS750D.
What’s more, he developed and built the entire chassis in-house. His goal?
“Defeat a stock Buell…”
Keiji says the project ended with the introduction of the Buell XBRR in 2007, but this 1360cc “Hot Dock HR4V” was recently revived to street legal specification for the current owner. Though the build is now 20 years old, we couldn’t help showcasing it here on BikeBound. It just goes to show that some builds are timeless, and it’s great to see this custom street tracker still being enjoyed.
Hot-Dock HR4V: Builder Interview
• What’s the make, model, and year of the original donor bike?
Engine: Buell XB12R
Frame: Hot Dock Custom Cycles
• Why was this bike built?
To win races. Development of 4-valve engine.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
Defeat a stock Buell with a 4-valve engine. Also, the Honda RS750D.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
Engine development. Build frame and suspension with original system.
• Does the bike have a nickname?
• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride?
Hard and powerful acceleration.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
Running on the street with the XR pattern 4-valve engine. Finally, this project started in 2002 and ended with the advent of Buell XBRR in 2007. Currently sold out and not for sale.
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