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Old 08-18-2013, 06:51 AM   #1
greg1 OP
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Dumping in water?

Okay, I'm a little confused about exactly when hydrolock happens to a bike dumped in water.

It seems that there are many stories where bikes are dropped in very high water and survive unscathed.

I'm picturing most bikes just getting choked out by the water (shutting down the engine) before hydrolock occurs.

I imagine hydrolock occurs when the rider is WOT at the moment when water enters the cylinder. That the piston has loads of momentum at this point and doesn't "slow down" once the ignition sequence has been choked off due to lack of air. The piston, with loads of momentum, then tries to compress the water; which ain't happening.

Is this all basically correct? What are "the rules" when it comes to dropping a bike in water and living to tell the tale?
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Old 08-18-2013, 07:22 AM   #2
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Pull the spark plug
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Old 08-18-2013, 07:29 AM   #3
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Dumping in water?

I had something completely different in mind when I opened this thread.
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Old 08-18-2013, 07:49 AM   #4
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Laugh

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Originally Posted by fastdadio View Post
I had something completely different in mind when I opened this thread.
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Old 08-18-2013, 07:54 AM   #5
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I think wheel bearings are typically ignored.

Many bikes currently produced do NOT have what would be known as "sealed" wheel bearings.

Yet people think it's cool to water cross.

Bearings suck to change trail-side.
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:24 AM   #6
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The first thing you should do is study the difference between 2 and 4 stroke engines, unless only one or the other interests you. You will see that 2 strokes are much more susceptible to damage from hydraulic locking.
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unstable Rider View Post
I think wheel bearings are typically ignored.

Many bikes currently produced do NOT have what would be known as "sealed" wheel bearings.

Yet people think it's cool to water cross.

Bearings suck to change trail-side.
I have an XR400, is there a way to quickly grease the wheel bearings?
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lamotovita View Post
The first thing you should do is study the difference between 2 and 4 stroke engines, unless only one or the other interests you. You will see that 2 strokes are much more susceptible to damage from hydraulic locking.
I dont know why you would think that,both 2 and 4 stroke have a compression cycle,if there's water that wont compress the rod gets bent and the crank bearings can get squashed.
A friend tipped his 1150GS over in water and it did 2500 in damage in a heart beat.
The thing is on most 4 strokes,they will have water in the oil the rest of the day,cant drain all the oil out and oil goes through trans and engine both,enough water will foam the oil and so much for that engine.
A 2 stroke of course has separate trans oil. As does a Beemer and my 530KTM,but the oil keeps circulating whereas a 2 stroke gets new engine oil with the gas.

The trick is to realize when all is lost and hit the kill button,if its deep water and a good chance of going down with the ship have a finger poised over the kill button. Better to push it out then destroy the engine.

I recently put my 200KTM underwater briefly,pipe full,carb full,air filter/airbox full,engine sucked water. It was on it's side for maybe 2 seconds at most.

But in about 45 minutes the 3 of us had it up and running fine again,it was clean water,no harm done that I can tell.
Having a towel to blot the airfilter was priceless,rolling the bike upside down and rolling it sideways seemed to get the water out of the pipe and engine.
Pulling the plug and pumping the kicker with bike upside down,the usual.
Drain floatbowl,start bike with air filter out,once running re-install it and off you go into the wild blue yonder.

If these tricks arent used,and worse yet you try to start the bike when you know its full of water,then the day can go very bad.
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unstable Rider View Post
I think wheel bearings are typically ignored.

Many bikes currently produced do NOT have what would be known as "sealed" wheel bearings.

Yet people think it's cool to water cross.

Bearings suck to change trail-side.
The wheel bearings dont usually hydro-lock.........Yeah they get ruined if the seals are worn out but they dont die on the spot. Once you get home they can be replaced.

Its not that its "cool" to cross water,its a part of trail riding unless you want to turn around at every wet obstackle.
Doing water crossings for fun isnt bright.
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Old 08-18-2013, 01:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foot dragger View Post
I dont know why you would think that,both 2 and 4 stroke have a compression cycle,if there's water that wont compress the rod gets bent and the crank bearings can get squashed.
A friend tipped his 1150GS over in water and it did 2500 in damage in a heart beat.
The thing is on most 4 strokes,they will have water in the oil the rest of the day,cant drain all the oil out and oil goes through trans and engine both,enough water will foam the oil and so much for that engine.
A 2 stroke of course has separate trans oil. As does a Beemer and my 530KTM,but the oil keeps circulating whereas a 2 stroke gets new engine oil with the gas.

The trick is to realize when all is lost and hit the kill button,if its deep water and a good chance of going down with the ship have a finger poised over the kill button. Better to push it out then destroy the engine.

I recently put my 200KTM underwater briefly,pipe full,carb full,air filter/airbox full,engine sucked water. It was on it's side for maybe 2 seconds at most.

But in about 45 minutes the 3 of us had it up and running fine again,it was clean water,no harm done that I can tell.
Having a towel to blot the airfilter was priceless,rolling the bike upside down and rolling it sideways seemed to get the water out of the pipe and engine.
Pulling the plug and pumping the kicker with bike upside down,the usual.
Drain floatbowl,start bike with air filter out,once running re-install it and off you go into the wild blue yonder.

If these tricks arent used,and worse yet you try to start the bike when you know its full of water,then the day can go very bad.
+!
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Old 08-18-2013, 03:25 PM   #11
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Back when I was a kid I tipped over my XR500 while crossing a beaver dam. The bike and I both went in and completely underwater. After a few interesting seconds of sheer terror while I thought I might actually be trapped under that beast I managed to get to the surface and with the help of a friend pull the bike out. We flipped it over, pulled the plug and air filter, and then kicked it over a few times to get the water out. Put a spare plug I had in (it was the drier of the two), replaced the filter and it started with a few kicks. We rode the rest of the day. I never had an issue as long as I owed the bike.
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Old 08-18-2013, 03:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg1 View Post
I have an XR400, is there a way to quickly grease the wheel bearings?
Ride through a deep puddle of grease
It will wash the water out of the bearings
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Old 08-18-2013, 04:14 PM   #13
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[QUOTE=Foot dragger; Doing water crossings for fun isnt bright.[/QUOTE]



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Old 08-18-2013, 04:31 PM   #14
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Laugh

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Originally Posted by lamotovita View Post
The first thing you should do is study the difference between 2 and 4 stroke engines, unless only one or the other interests you. You will see that 2 strokes are much more susceptible to damage from hydraulic locking.
Well I guess if a person had a degree in probability and statistics and looked at it, it would be twice as likely
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Old 08-18-2013, 05:58 PM   #15
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When you get home and find a crawfish in your airbox you have done it right. That actually happened to me one of the many times I lost a bike in the water. That was 25 years ago and I have yet to live that one down. I think the old boy was under the seat and crawled in after we wrung out the filter trailside. But he was in there.

But as for the actual drowning I think they generally stall before they self destruct. I have never done anything special on any of my crash dives. Yet none of those U-boat adventures caused any long term harm. I finished every ride that I drowned a bike on. My XT350 was lost in 6' of water with the paper dealer tag on it and it ran for another 15 or so years.

To me, the bigger issue isn't what you do trailside that matters but what you do when you get home. Trail water crossings are generally pretty silty. So I always flushed the motor several times with kerosene and cheap oil afterward. There are pros and cons to the kerosene fkush. I did it to get a lot through the motor for flushing before doing several oil changes with cheap oil. Then you undo and blast every electrical connection on the bike with WD40.
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