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Old 01-23-2014, 07:21 AM   #1
mrbreeze OP
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Too Cold to tow a liquid cooled bike?

High temp today is 20F, and that has already come and gone. Temps dropping all day. Wind chill factor is supposed to get down to single digits, possibly even below 0.

I need to pick up my liquid cooled VTX1300 from the shop and tow it on a trailer about 50 miles. I don't know what the anti freeze is good for (how low will it go?) I just bought the bike used, and apparently the tank has to be removed to get to the radiator cap, so I have not tested it.

Is it safe to tow the bike? Is it even safe to leave it in an unheated garage?
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:31 AM   #2
Bbasso
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20 degree?
50 miles?
Ride it.
Or wait for 32+ degrees.
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:35 AM   #3
Yossarian™
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If you won't be starting the engine at all, you could just drain the coolant from it before you set out; that way, it
can't freeze in the block. Then you can put new coolant in when you get home and know that it's new.
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:39 AM   #4
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Bikes (and cars) typically come from the factory with a 50-50 mix of water/AF that is good to about -30F. If your bike still has the factor fill, then you're fine. If not, you need to know what was put in the last time it was changed and change it if you're uncertain.

Wind chill is inconsequential to a motorcycle. Your tow is long enough that the bike will certainly reach ambient though.

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Old 01-23-2014, 07:40 AM   #5
Garp
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Wind Chill

Wind Chill has Zero impact on inanimate objects, your engine will see whatever the actual air temperature is and no less. With decent antifreeze it shouldn't be an issue
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:59 AM   #6
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This might be really dumb, but if it's really that cold, why not put it on the trailer, start it and let it idle home. Or are you using an enclosed trailer? 60 mph on an open trailer should give enough air flow to the rad. But maybe don't listen to me cause as Sargent Schultz says, "I know nothing!" Seems that if a bike will sit and idle in 100 degree weather for some time, it should love idling in cold weather.
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:13 AM   #7
Switchblade315
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If you are turlly worryed take a good blanket and wrap it around the front of the bike and take a rope it some thing nand fix it to the bike so it won't flap around. This takes care of your worries.
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:24 AM   #8
troidus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garp View Post
Wind Chill has Zero impact on inanimate objects, your engine will see whatever the actual air temperature is and no less. With decent antifreeze it shouldn't be an issue
If the object is wet, then its temperature can drop below ambient by means of evaporative cooling.

Remember, the OP doesn't know what's in the cooling system. It could be straight water.
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:28 AM   #9
nevermind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbreeze View Post
I need to pick up my liquid cooled VTX1300 from the shop
Have the shop test the antifreeze before ya pick it up...

or

If this is the shop where you had your guardian bell installed, forget what I said and carry on...
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:48 AM   #10
Garp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troidus View Post
If the object is wet, then its temperature can drop below ambient by means of evaporative cooling.
Not trying to be a dick, (honestly ), just trying to think this through. I get the principle of Evaporative cooling, but if ambient is well below freezing, surely any liquid will freeze up before any cooling effect could get it below ambient?
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garp View Post
Wind Chill has Zero impact on inanimate objects, your engine will see whatever the actual air temperature is and no less. With decent antifreeze it shouldn't be an issue
x2
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:10 AM   #12
concours
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usgser View Post
x2
X3... wind will ONLY make it cool from operating temp to ambient FASTER, and evap cooling would apply ONLY until A) it all evaporates off the surface, or B) it's below freezing, so, the moisture would be frozen.

If it's unknown antifreeze... drain it, ALL of it, cylinder drain plugs, etc... there are a FEW of them, RTFM
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:22 AM   #13
troidus
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Look up wet bulb temp. Evaporative cooling continues even with ice.
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:33 AM   #14
sailah
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Id be more concerned about getting salt all over my bike than antifreeze. I would not even give it a thought other than to keep salt off
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:33 AM   #15
acejones
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If concerned, wait until it warms up.
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