Kawasaki VN750 Forum banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
905 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So give them a wind block to help them warm up!

Tire Wheel Motor vehicle Vehicle Grille


On my commute, I'm barely getting to operating temperature, so I thought I'd try this. The cardboard is positioned so that the cooling fan can still pull air through if needed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,801 Posts
If it helps get to normal operating temp without getting hot, I don't see a problem with it.

Mine always stayed on the cool side in 50° weather.

It's not kosher to run below operating temp, despite what the young hot rodders say. They strive to run 140°.

Winter fronts have been used forever. Some trucks have flaps in front of the radiator that can be closed with the flip of a switch..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
905 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's a rude reply for a moderator.
I'm not worried. I think full fairings are silly, but different strokes for different folks.

I'll ride down to 35F (small buffer to avoid black ice).
My main concern was making sure the engine gets warm enough to get rid of any moisture that might accumulate in the oil.
I know oil temp and water temp aren't the same.
But if I can get the water temp up higher, that should help the oil temp get warmer as well.
My ignition mods have also caused the engine to produce marginally less heat so my cooling needs are less than on a stock bike.

The cardboard seems to help. Using a picture of a tach I found online....
My temperature at the end of my commute was the leftmost green line.
Now it's the rightmost green line at the end of my commute.

Speedometer Odometer Gauge Tachometer Motor vehicle
 
  • Like
Reactions: Spockster

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,801 Posts
I'm not worried. I think full fairings are silly, but different strokes for different folks.

I'll ride down to 35F (small buffer to avoid black ice).
My main concern was making sure the engine gets warm enough to get rid of any moisture that might accumulate in the oil.
I know oil temp and water temp aren't the same.
But if I can get the water temp up higher, that should help the oil temp get warmer as well.
My ignition mods have also caused the engine to produce marginally less heat so my cooling needs are less than on a stock bike.

The cardboard seems to help. Using a picture of a tach I found online....
My temperature at the end of my commute was the leftmost green line.
Now it's the rightmost green line at the end of my commute.

View attachment 55370
There's a lot of good reasons to run at operating temp.

Ring and cylinder wall wear. Burning off moisture from the oil as you said. Combustion efficiency. Preventing carbon buildup.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,428 Posts
Sorry, was not meant to be rude, just honest, as I do think covering the radiator up when it’s cold is silly. The thermostat opens up when the engine gets hot, if it doesn’t open but you’re still burning fuel the motor is getting hot.
I know they do this on diesel trucks, but Vulcans don’t have Diesel engines. Folks do it on cars so the heat inside the car comes quicker.
I’m not sure you are damaging anything by not using cardboard. Even in warm weather my thermostat didn’t open on short trips.
Again, just my opinion. 😉
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,801 Posts
Reducing the coolant temp just 20-40° can seriously affect the items I listed previously. Diesel or gas, the temperature affects both the same.

Short trips can have the same effect as not reaching normal temp. The moisture stays in the oil. So just burning fuel won't do. The thermostat is there to make sure the coolant reaches temp.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
412 Posts
Since you should have at least 50/50 antifreeze as long as you stay below 70 miles an hour at zero degrees the bike should be fine. One problem we used to have with cardboard in front of a radiator on the farm was it getting wet. Something plastic might work better if there is a "cold" problem.

If you are riding a long ways at below freezing temps, blocking the wind flow through the radiator may be a good idea as would be running a hotter thermostat for the season. Taking off too soon and not being fully warmed up, especially without enough antifreeze, could result in the coolant freezing up in the radiator and not circulating. A real temp gauge would be good also.

The coldest I ever rode was in 1975. I rode my (air cooled) 74 H2-750 to town on New Years eve. The next morning it was a little below zero when I went out to try and start her. It took close to 30 minutes, and a borrowed shot of starting fluid, before I could get her started. (The time and temp sign on the bank in Sterling said +2 when I finally rode out.) That was the only time I wished it had an electric starter. Riding home, about 20 miles out in the country of northeast Colorado, I kept my speed below 70 because even with the batwing fairing I had, it was cold. Back then I rode wearing a snowmobile suit and open face helmet with a large flip up shield. Back then I rode my bike year round in all weather conditions. Honestly I did not need to waive at many (any) other riders.

I am much older now than I was in 1975 and riding when it is considered cold here in California does not compare. (Not much need to worry about freezing temps at 100 feet about sea level here.) I worry more about getting wet than cold.

Fairings may seem silly but having one for long rides across country really makes the ride easier. Especially if you ride through the western half of the country. I remember starting out without a shirt, then suiting up to ride through rain, snow, 60+ mile an hour winds and then back down into 80 degrees on the interstate riding from Denver through Cheyenne and on to North Platte, Nebraska. Many times I wished I had bought a 900 instead of the 750. Mostly because of the Windjammer and its accassories.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,428 Posts
My coldest ride was also in the mid 70’s, on the H2’s little brother, the S2 350 triple. However reported temperature was -15. We had two days of snow and then the temp drop. Roads were at least clear.

I lived in an old farm house with no heat other than a fireplace and a pot belly stove, 10 miles west of Columbia MO. Had no more wood to burn, my then girl friend said her apartment was nice and warm, so made the choice to ride to her place.

Bike had a nice big National Cycle windscreen. I put on long Johns, wool socks, wool pants, my Bates leather pants, five layers of long sleeve tops which included a wool sweater, under a down coat, with a heavy rain jacket over it. A ski mask, my Simpson full face helmet, a wool scarf wrapped around my neck and Bates winter gloves with GI issue wool liners. Knee high leather boots.

Oddly I had no trouble starting the bike, turned over on the second kick. (Which was hard to do as my layers of clothing made the task a bit of effort)

I had to keep the visor on the helmet open a crack to prevent it from fogging up. It was dark out, and luckily no traffic. My eyes kept tearing up because of the air coming in the visor.

Didn’t “feel” cold the first 5 miles, but it went downhill from there. By the time I got to my girlfriends place, I could barely move my hands, and my teeth were chattering. I almost dropped the bike when I got there, as her driveway was still covered with a few inches of snow, and my legs could just barely move. Got the kickstand down, and turned off the ignition.

Took about 4 hours before I felt warm again, even after a bath. The phrase “chilled to the bone” suddenly made sense to me.
After that, riding in just regular freezing temperatures (30-32) seemed like nothing 😉
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
119 Posts
Reducing the coolant temp just 20-40° can seriously affect the items I listed previously. Diesel or gas, the temperature affects both the same.

Short trips can have the same effect as not reaching normal temp. The moisture stays in the oil. So just burning fuel won't do. The thermostat is there to make sure the coolant reaches temp.
Hi I started to use engine ice in both of my Vulcans about 6 years ago I won my first half gallon at Americade in lake George for my second place win in bike contest. So I bough5 another half gallon and did both bikes on a flush and coolant change. Thbe temp gauge never goes above half way in summer and in winter when I used to ride would go up a quarter way.
Have you ever used engine ice ? I never had coolant issues before but. I am very vigilant with maintenance.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dirtrack650

·
Registered
Joined
·
905 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Today it's going to be in the low 70s before falling to the 30s later this week. I'm curious if I'll need to remove my cardboard. It was fine for my commute this morning, but I'm going to take it out over lunch for an extended ride.

EDIT: Back from my lunchtime ride at 72F. The temp needle got up to the center right side of the temp icon, but never into the hot section. The fan never kicked on at stops. My cooling system is functioning well to maintain that with half the radiator blocked off!
END EDIT.

I'm not too worried about it getting wet. There's not enough tread on my front tire for me to feel safe riding in the rain. I'm holding out for Jan/Feb to replace the tires.

You all are a lot more hardcore than me! It's not the cold itself that bothers me, I'm too scared of black ice to attempt anything below freezing on a motorcycle. I grew up riding ATVs in all temperatures. A 4WD quad on a frozen solid lake is hours of entertainment! The same quad on a lake that's not so solid is enough to leave a stain in your underwear!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,744 Posts
I agree you’re all more hardcore than I am as well. I’ll ride all year round but it’s got to be at least 35 or more out. Between the idiots driving, and the terrible streets and roads, I’d rather not worry about icy spots.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,428 Posts
Well that was then…like 45 years ago. Today I’m too much a possy to take a ride like that. I will ride above freezing (34-35) if it’s sunny and the roads are dry. I still have some good cold weather gear, but it’s an effort to get all suited up when I got a nice truck with a good heater, so even those rides are fewer.
On the other end, I don’t like to ride when the temperatures are in the high 90’s and humid. I think my favorite temp to ride in is like 60. Cool enough to wear a jacket but not enough where I actually get cold. 👍
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,744 Posts
Well that was then…like 45 years ago. Today I’m too much a possy to take a ride like that. I will ride above freezing (34-35) if it’s sunny and the roads are dry. I still have some good cold weather gear, but it’s an effort to get all suited up when I got a nice truck with a good heater, so even those rides are fewer.
On the other end, I don’t like to ride when the temperatures are in the high 90’s and humid. I think my favorite temp to ride in is like 60. Cool enough to wear a jacket but not enough where I actually get cold. 👍
Riding in the heat is ok until you stop lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,801 Posts
Riding in the heat is ok until you stop lol
Exactly! My friends always want to stop every ten miles and more often in town, I started getting them away from town, so maybe thirty miles between stops. I stop for two minutes and I feel like I'm walking on the sun and look like I went swimming.

We wait for a decent snow and take the ATVs out, don't normally get cold unless we stop too long. But we're sliding around, tossing our body weight, shifting a lot, etc. I plan on being slower now, so I've got my Hippo Hands and a heater to wrap around under my outer wear. Thought about a windshield for winter, but not sure about that.

Just got my hand shifter for the ATV, two bolts and it's ready.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top