The X-Braced design is a patented system which uses reinforced corners claimed to be five times stronger than stock.
Today’s motocross and off-road motorcycles are built to withstand severe punishment, treacherous terrain and the inevitable crashes that come with our sport. Still, these race-tested and technological driven machines are only as strong as their weakest link, and as most riders will inevitably find out, the most fragile part of the motorcycle is often the radiator. I recently experienced this firsthand as a head full of confidence and an over-watered left-hander resulted in a simple washout of the front tire. This standard type of get-off resulted in a fractured left ankle and a left-side radiator that now resembles a pretzel. Even with hefty radiator braces, my stock radiator buckled and twisted into a heap of uselessness.
Searching for a replacement unit, I found Mishimoto. While I had never heard of Mishimoto previously, some quick research revealed that these guys build some seriously sick radiators. With a strong background building performance radiators for the automotive racing industry, they have now brought their aluminum cooling units into the motorcycle world.
The patented X-Braced radiator is visually a work of art and Mishimoto says that the cross brace system results in a radiator that is five times stronger than stock. The aluminum construction is much beefier than the stock unit. Each piece, including the bracing system, is TIG welded, providing both superior strength and a “works bike” look. Mishimoto
also claims that the TIG welding guarantees less heat transfer during welding to the surrounding areas, ensuring overall integrity of the radiator. The oversized core is made with 100% brazed aluminum and Mishimoto says this allows for a 25% greater cooling capacity. If the heavy duty design and fancy TIG welding aren’t enough to convince you of Mishimoto’s top notch quality, they also warrant all of their products under their “no questions asked” limited lifetime warranty policy. Regardless of the defect, they will replace the original product.
The installation of our Mishimoto replacement radiator was relatively painless with only one hiccup. The mounting flanges on our unit that connect the radiator to the frame had a bend in them where they should have been straight. The bend looks to be intentional, and not from damage, as there was a score mark in the aluminum where the curve started. Luckily, the bent flange was easily corrected by placing the flange in a vice and straightening it back out. Manipulating the bent flange was easy and had no effect on the rest of the radiator. Installation at that point was a breeze. The Mishimoto unit uses stock mounting hardware and lined up perfectly.
I have several rides on the new radiator, including a three-hour cross-country race where I encountered several tip overs, heavy mud and bottle-necked climbs that tax a bike’s cooling system. Although I have yet to have a major impact to the radiator, the Mishimoto has performed flawlessly and shows no signs of leakage or damage. The only drawback I see at this point is that it makes my stock right-side radiator look flimsy, and I’ll probably spring for a replacement to make it look as cool as the left side. Luckily the Mishimoto radiators are priced extremely reasonably. The radiators retail for $230 per side, as compared to $240-$250 for the stock Honda replacement, which is a bargain considering the lifetime warranty.
For more information, or to purchase a new radiator for yourself, check out www.Mishimoto.com.