If you’re looking for ways to keep your engine temperature down, we have some top tips to help you keep the engine running cooler in hot weather.
We all know that heat is a silent killer for any motorcycle engine, especially if you ride in a hot climate or if you do a lot of slower technical writing.
KEEPING YOUR ENGINE SAFE AND SOUND
Down below, we’ve gone into some of the things that can help to keep your engine temperature cooler, and prevent your motor from overheating.
Digital Radiator Fan Kit
The first one we want to share with you is a digital radiator fan kit. This is especially important for riders that do a lot of slow and technical writing. The reason we say that is because its going at a slower speed, so you have less air passing through your radiators and they're not going to dissipate heat as well.
Radiator fan kits combat this by mounting to the back of your radiator. These can be either machine specific kits, or a universal fan.
What's nice about these is that you can actually program them to turn on at different temperatures. So when you do reach that temperature that you set it to, the fan will kick on and it’s going to pull more air through your radiator. As a result, this is going to help promote better cooling.
The one feature that we love about these is that if you have a digital tent display, you can actually monitor your engine operating temperature. This is going to give you a good indicator of whether or not you’ll get engine overheating.
You’ll have a thermal center that goes between your cooling apparatus on the back. Then when you have a mounted up, you’re ready to go.
The second accessory we’re going to mention to stop your engine overheating, and a great one to have on your bike, is a recovery tent.
If you've ever seen a bike when it starts to overheat, you’ll see coolant spewing out the bottom.
This happens because your cooling is getting so hot, that it is starting to boil. Rather than blowing your radiator cap off, there's an overspill on your radiator to prevent that from happening.
The problem is, once your coolant starts to spill out, it is going to be wasted unless you happen to have some coolant nearby. But once you lose it, it's gone, and now your coolant levels could be low.
What's great about recovery tents is that they have a hose that connects the coolant recovery tank to your radiator. If your coolant starts to boil over, it will actually be caught by this recovery tank.
Then, as it cools off, it'll actually recycle it back into your radiator. This is going to prevent you from losing coolant if your bike does overheat.
High-Pressure Radiator Cap
The third tip, or third accessory we recommend is a really simple one, but very efficient – a high-pressure radiator cap.
These are really inexpensive, and simply replace the stock radiator cap that you have on your bike. What they do is increase the operating pressure of your cooling system, and have a higher pressure rating than your OEM cap.
With a higher pressure rating, the boiling point of your coolant increases, which is going to help prevent losing your coolant.
Another great thing about these is that on the front, it has a temp display. This way, you can actually see what your coolant temperatures are, and it's going to help you to monitor those.
You may have a 1.8 for most your Japanese bikes and a 2.0 from most of your European bikes. These don't necessarily make your engine run cooler, but it helps you keep an eye on your coolant temperatures. It’s also going to help prevent you from losing coolant if your bike does start to overheat.
Circulating Engine Coolant
Our next tip is going to be all about letting it flow – the faster and more efficient your engine can circulate coolant, the cooler it is going to run.
We've got a few tips and tricks that are going to help promote that.
The first of these is an aftermarket water pump and impeller. What these do to help is that the inside has a larger flow passage, with a smooth surface.
The impeller design is intuitive in that it has less cavitation (air bubbles that form when the impeller spins really fast). The less cavitation you have, the more efficient your water pump is going to be.
It’s a great accessory to have to help promote better coolant flow through your cooling system. To go along with that, aftermarket radiator hoses are a great update to have too.
What's nice about these is they have embedded fibers in them so they're very strong. They have a nice smooth surface on the inside and they're thicker than your OEM tubes. This is actually going to give it a higher pressure tolerance for your cooling system.
Another tip for preventing your engine overheating that we have is with your radiators.
You want to inspect your radiators periodically and make sure there's no damage to them.
If you've had a crash or tip over and you have a bent radiator, that could be restricting the amount of coolant flow that you're getting. If you have restricted coolant flow, it’s going to make your radiators less efficient.
Another thing you want to be doing is inspecting your cooling fans. These are very important, and are actually what absorb the heat from the coolant as they pass through the radiator and dissipate into the air. If you have any of these that are smashed or bent up, it's a good idea to straighten those out.
We’ve witnessed people using a flathead screwdriver, but it's not something that we would recommend.
A nice tool that can make it a little bit easier is a radiator fans straightening tool. On the outside of these, you can have different sizes and they almost look like combs.
You just have to find the correct size for your cooling fans, which is going to make it easier to get them straightened out.
MAINTAINING LIQUID LEVELS
Our final tip might seem like a no brainer, but it's just going to be pertaining to your liquid levels. Make sure you're looking at your radiators, checking your coolant and make sure they are topped off before you go out and ride can easily prevent engine overheating.
Out wit the Old, In with the New
Periodically, it is a good idea to flush out your old coolant and get some fresh coolant to replace it.
Check Your Oil Levels
Oil isn't thought of too often when it comes to keeping the engine temps down, but it plays a huge role. Your oil is going to lubricate your engine and help to reduce friction. We all know that it’s friction that creates heat, and it's going to transfer that heat through the engine and help it dissipate through the outer walls.
You want to make sure you have the correct amount of oil in your engine to keep it lubricated properly. But on the flip side, if you have too much oil, you can create too much pressure in the engine. You make it work harder, which creates more heat.
Make Sure to Check Your Owner’s Manual
You also want to make sure to look at your owner's manual and see just how much oil you have and that your levels are correct. It's especially important that you have an air-cooled motor.
If you have an air cooled engine, you have to make sure your engine levels and oil levels are right where they need to be.
This is absolutely crucial.
If you are riding in hotter temperatures, it's not a bad idea to go to a higher weight oil. If you're in hot temperatures, your engines will be hotter.
If you have a lower weight oil, it can actually get too thin. This is not going to lubricate your engine as well as it should be.
It's not a bad idea in those hot conditions to go to a higher weight oil. Again, consult your owners’ manual because they will give recommendations.