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Old Today, 07:16 AM   #1
Harry94025 OP
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Do stock motorcycles overheat in traffic?

There is a discussion in a local forum (SF Bay Area) about lane splitting. This is not a motorcycle forum, but several motorcyclists said it was necessary to lane split to keep their engines cool. I lane split myself when commuting, but follow the CHP recommendations.

This business of preventing overheating doesn't seem viable. I think a stock motorcycle is provided sufficient cooling by the design engineers. How about all the riders in states where lane splitting is illegal? Are they overheating their engines?

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Old Today, 07:33 AM   #2
curtis6870
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry94025 View Post
There is a discussion in a local forum (SF Bay Area) about lane splitting. This is not a motorcycle forum, but several motorcyclists said it was necessary to lane split to keep their engines cool. I lane split myself when commuting, but follow the CHP recommendations.

This business of preventing overheating doesn't seem viable. I think a stock motorcycle is provided sufficient cooling by the design engineers. How about all the riders in states where lane splitting is illegal? Are they overheating their engines?

Harry
Not sure about 'overheating'(maybe, probably), but they can sure as heck get super HOT, especially air cooled bikes. Particularly in summer months.
Talking with a Harley guy last week, his air cooled vtwin has a manual switch that disables the rear cyclinder when sitting in traffic. It can go into thumper mode.
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Old Today, 07:35 AM   #3
Stasher1
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No lane-splitting here in GA and Atlanta is well known for its horrific traffic, and our bikes (even the air cooled variety) handle it just fine.
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Old Today, 07:53 AM   #4
larryboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry94025 View Post
(SF Bay Area)

Harry

Bay Area? Probably not.

Sacramento? I thought my Buell was going to melt right into the pavement sitting at a stop light on a 113 degree day in Sacramento, went into skip spark(overheating), to get through town I started killing it coming up to red lights, coast it to the line for a little air flow.

Riverside on the 91? Back when I was a lane splitting newb(scared) my poor air/oil cooled Suzuki started pinging and lost power trying to get home in traffic on the 91, it was about 110 degrees. I had to pull over and let it cool for about twenty minutes, then suck it up and split lanes like a bat out of hell to get some air movement.

All of the hot California central valley cities are going to be the same way for an air/oil cooled bike.

I've split lanes in Vegas and Phoenix during the summer on air cooled bikes, I'm not going to kill my bike because their laws are dumb...I'm talking 115 degree in the gates of hell days, not Atlanta 90 degree high humidity nice and easy weather.


I'm talking air/oil cooled road warriors, I'd expect this thread in 'myths' in 3...2...1...
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Old Today, 09:12 AM   #5
MiniBike
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Lane splitting just isn't done here in Florida. Even the flip-flop wearing sport bike riders with the short shorts, tank top wearing girlfriend on the back don't do it. I shut my air-cooled Triumph down if traffic stops for very long (usually waiting for a train). With the humidity here, it's probably not necessary, but old habits are hard to break. I would feel better about it if I didn't have to rely on the electric leg each time traffic moves. Someday, that battery will fail on me and I'll be pissed.

I don't even give it a thought on the water cooled bikes.

MiniBike screwed with this post Today at 09:25 AM
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Old Today, 11:22 AM   #6
Ginger Beard
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Originally Posted by MiniBike View Post
Lane splitting just isn't done here in Florida. Even the flip-flop wearing sport bike riders with the short shorts, tank top wearing girlfriend on the back don't do it. I shut my air-cooled Triumph down if traffic stops for very long (usually waiting for a train). With the humidity here, it's probably not necessary, but old habits are hard to break. I would feel better about it if I didn't have to rely on the electric leg each time traffic moves. Someday, that battery will fail on me and I'll be pissed.

I don't even give it a thought on the water cooled bikes.

What area of FL? I have been all over this state and , save for a few small towns, splitting and filtering seem pretty common place.

To the OP, Overheat? Not most new bikes. Even my Sportsters do fine on really hot days in bumper to bumper traffic.
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Old Today, 11:31 AM   #7
YJake
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I've got a nekkid Bandit 1200 that while stuck in gridlock traffic will COOK your legs and create heat waves so strong that you can see them rolling over the sides of the tank as they rise into your view. And that was just 98 degree Orlando rush hour traffic on I-4.

I can't help but feel like that was really hard on the engine/oil so I did 3k change intervals with synthetic but never had the engine loose power or start pinging hard as a result like some have.

I had a Ninja 250 that I used for most of my summer commuting and the cooling fan kept the temp. needle right in the middle regardless of ambient temp.

-Jake
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Old Today, 12:48 PM   #8
eMKay
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LOL! Overheating. In California. That sounds like the same crap the "loud pipes save lives" people spew.

My bike is liquid cooled and has a fan, like a car. It ain't gonna overheat before I do. Pretty sure my old air cooled XS400 wouldn't have either. Although some old skool rides might, nothing "modern" will.
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Old Today, 01:07 PM   #9
Dooga
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When the fan on my K1100LT boots up, people them their heads. K bikes are way to quiet.
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Old Today, 01:36 PM   #10
MiniBike
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Originally Posted by Ginger Beard View Post
What area of FL? I have been all over this state and , save for a few small towns, splitting and filtering seem pretty common place.

North East big city. The land of rednecks in lifted pickup trucks and perpetually-pissed yuppies in Audis determined to save their place in line. If they even notice you outside their air conditioned, stereophonic cocoons, both have been known to squeeze you out and in some cases pop open a door. I can't remember the last time I saw someone splitting lanes here. Just not enough reward to justify the risk. I don't have a problem with the concept, it's just that most people outside of Cali don't have experience with the practice. AFAIK, that's the only place it's legal (or not prohibited).

Now; weaving in and out of traffic at speed? See that all the time.
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Old Today, 01:50 PM   #11
Madrox
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My bike doesn't overheat, but anything over 80F and I start feeling really nauseous and dizzy.
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Old Today, 01:58 PM   #12
curtis6870
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryboy View Post
Bay Area? Probably not.

Sacramento? I thought my Buell was going to melt right into the pavement sitting at a stop light on a 113 degree day in Sacramento, went into skip spark(overheating), to get through town I started killing it coming up to red lights, coast it to the line for a little air flow.

Riverside on the 91? Back when I was a lane splitting newb(scared) my poor air/oil cooled Suzuki started pinging and lost power trying to get home in traffic on the 91, it was about 110 degrees. I had to pull over and let it cool for about twenty minutes, then suck it up and split lanes like a bat out of hell to get some air movement.

All of the hot California central valley cities are going to be the same way for an air/oil cooled bike.

I've split lanes in Vegas and Phoenix during the summer on air cooled bikes, I'm not going to kill my bike because their laws are dumb...I'm talking 115 degree in the gates of hell days, not Atlanta 90 degree high humidity nice and easy weather.


I'm talking air/oil cooled road warriors, I'd expect this thread in 'myths' in 3...2...1...
Atlanta weather is 'easy'? Thats a new one. I will remember that in August when its 99F and so humid your hair is sweating.
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Old Today, 02:01 PM   #13
Ray R
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Overheat? I guess it depends on how you define it. I've never heard of anyone's motorcycle engine seizing while on the road stuck in traffic. But I have heard of many whose temperature gauge has pegged at the max mark in those conditions.
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