Water cooled bike in cold weather. Huh... That's different. - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-31-2015, 08:04 AM Thread Starter
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Water cooled bike in cold weather. Huh... That's different.

Well, there's something that I hadn't thought too deeply about.

Living in West Texas, I hadn't really considered the effects of cold(ish) weather when riding a water cooled motorcycle.

Not a really a big problem out here since we have so few truly cold days, but I've found over the last few days that if the temperature is below 40 degrees it's hard to keep the bike at operating temperatures.

Something new to think about I reckon.

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-31-2015, 09:41 AM
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are you running 50/50 mix of antifreezze and water? Sticking Thermostat maybe? or maybe your cooling system isn't circulating properly.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-31-2015, 10:58 AM
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Mine ran fine all the way down to 13.sounds like sticking thermostat

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-31-2015, 11:58 AM
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The concept of "operating tempature" is a bit of a hoax.

Is the bike not running properly?

Once the bike has been running for 10-15 minutes, the engine is at "operating tempature" regardless if the temp gauge says it's not. Heat is a bad thing, so the bike running cooler is in fact a good thing.
If you don't think the bikes "hot enough" reach down and grab a header, or drain the oil and stick your hand in it.

Cooling systems are there to keep the motor from OVER heating, anything less is a good thing. You see folks block the radiator on cars when it's cold...the only reason to do this is so the heater in the car can keep them warm, it's not making the motor work any better.

Not until you reach tempatures well below zero are you possibly causing problems.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-31-2015, 12:01 PM
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thermostat stuck open will definately cause that sorta problem..

I suspect mine is stuck open, but I live in SW floriduh, so it dont really get cold here. I do notice it takes a while longer to reach operating temp near mid gauge (if it ever does) during the colder weather.

but I am not concerned about it here. even in them conditions, I am off the choke in only a min or less, and I dont work/rev the engine hard until its got a bit of warm in it.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-31-2015, 01:45 PM
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Yup about 28 here this morning

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lowered with progessive 412 10" shocks
rejetted for K/N Pods part#rc 2340
sportster seat

'I didn't lose my mind.i gave it away

BRING BACK WOLFIE."Peace and Carrots"RIP
"And I'm free...as a bird"John Lennon Free as a Bird
"I only carry when I have my pants on"Joe Robinson RIP aka Old Dog
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-31-2015, 03:29 PM
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I think the answer depends on exactly how low the gauge is reading.

My bike doesn't quite get up to normal temp in cooler weather, unless I happen to be in stop and go traffic in town, on the highway it will cool down some. Never has any trouble staying at normal temp in the hottest summer weather, even idling in traffic.

I would say running a bit cooler is normal, to an extent.

Running too cool though, can increase engine wear and reduce combustion efficiency.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-31-2015, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Could be thermostat stuck open, makes sense the way it's acting. It IS thirty years old. One of the things still on the to do list.

This thing will cool all the way back down to below the first mark on the temp gauge after warming up to mid range, being cold does appear to effect combustion efficiency. It doesn't sputter or miss, but there is a noticeable (to me anyway) difference between dead cold and warmed up.

Yes, flushed and reflushed with distilled water. I couldn't really tell what color the original coolant was supposed to be, it was pretty much a darkish black/brown mess. Probably tap water with a little bit of coolant residue.

It was refilled with the proscribed 50/50 mix of silicate free/aluminium safe antifreeze. I was just glad that it didn't leak like a sieve after flushing it.

But since I have to return to work, the new thermostat will have to wait just like the other things that need to be replaced due to age.

Thanks for the insight though, it's appreciated.

(Still, nothing like learning something new to make you realize how much you don't know. l never really considered radiators and such on motorcycles before getting the VN.)

1986 VN750
New front tire & rear tire
Brass fuel inlets
Spline Lubed
Swing arm cleaned and lubed
Final Drive oil
Cooling system flushed and filled
Earshaved
Coastered
Mosfet R/R and relocated
AGM Battery
Stock pipes
Stock seat
Trying to achieve Anodized Red Chrome paint... from a rattle can...
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-01-2016, 12:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryS View Post

This thing will cool all the way back down to below the first mark on the temp gauge after warming up to mid range, .....)
That's really cooling down, may not have a thermostat in it at all.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 04:07 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spockster View Post
That's really cooling down, may not have a thermostat in it at all.
You are probably correct. Makes sense with the temperatures out here during the summer.

1986 VN750
New front tire & rear tire
Brass fuel inlets
Spline Lubed
Swing arm cleaned and lubed
Final Drive oil
Cooling system flushed and filled
Earshaved
Coastered
Mosfet R/R and relocated
AGM Battery
Stock pipes
Stock seat
Trying to achieve Anodized Red Chrome paint... from a rattle can...
HarryS is offline  
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