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Old 03-17-2013, 03:09 PM   #1
S/W OP
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Water cooled problems.

What problems have you had with your "water cooled " bike. Have you; had a blown hose , replaced the thermostat or cap due to failure, etc., and at what milage and bikes age.
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Old 03-17-2013, 03:15 PM   #2
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My '84 RZ350 ate an impeller shaft,bearing and seal about 10 years ago @ 20K miles. Other than that nothing on 3 liquid cooled bikes.
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Old 03-17-2013, 03:28 PM   #3
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Thr biggest problem is owners not using the correct coolant.The old school green coolant you get a your local discount auto parts store had silcate in it.Basically sand to scour the water jackets on old iron block engines.The silicate is hard on water pump shaft seals.Best bet is to usa a premixed ready to use coolant that contains no silica.
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Old 03-17-2013, 03:36 PM   #4
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On the older K model BMWs it was the water pump shaft that corroded. Aftermarket replacements were stainless steel. The other thing that goes are the electric fans - bearings seize then the brushes overheat the plastic holders ... smoke. Keep teh bearings lubricated and you don't have problems there.
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Old 03-17-2013, 04:47 PM   #5
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I had a water-pump seal "go bad". This was in 2006? for a 1980 engine with unknown mileage.

It's a known minor problem for CX500 and GL500 bikes that have been parked for a while.

Replace it and it's fine. My other water-cooled bike has had zero problems.
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:21 PM   #6
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Fan thermo switches on many bikes are full load contacts, no relay. They fail. Had 3 go bad.
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S/W View Post
What problems have you had with your "water cooled " bike.
Go ask the same question over in Orange Crush. The 950ADV guys will talk your ear off over multiple water pump seal and radiator cap failures, presumably from casting sand still in the block from the factory.
Me, I still don't know where my coolant is going.....
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:22 PM   #8
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Have lots of miles on various water cooled bikes, never had a cooling system problem.
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldxr View Post
Thr biggest problem is owners not using the correct coolant.The old school green coolant you get a your local discount auto parts store had silcate in it.Basically sand to scour the water jackets on old iron block engines.The silicate is hard on water pump shaft seals.Best bet is to usa a premixed ready to use coolant that contains no silica.
Most new Japanese "manufacturer branded" coolants are silica free. If you go to your local Toyota/Nissan/Honda dealer and ask for a gallon of coolant, you'll get the regular bottle that says "Toyota/Nissan/Honda on it but it will be silica free. There are also some brands of auto parts store coolant that are silica free, but you'll have to do some research on which ones.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:36 AM   #10
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My Husky had a coolant temp sensor go bad.

But in all the years and miles I've operated water-cooled bikes, that's about the only problem I can recall that ties to the cooling system of any of the machines.

I've had air-cooled bikes seize when run too hard.

My preference is for water cooling.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:26 AM   #11
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just the usual KTM water pump seal failures.
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:21 PM   #12
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If you are after fuel on why to do air cooling over water, I have 49,000 miles on a KLR and never had the head off and it is running fine. the water cooling has never caused me to walk away from the bike. But I have had a few issues.

Waterpump seal started to leak (not a show stopper, just needs maintance)

Waterpump shaft broke as a result of repairing the seal. still held water just was limited to about a mile at a time between cool downs. One stretch I coasted far enough with the engine off that I could restart and go another mile without actually stopping. Thermal siphon action was probably working very well. No long term damage and I made it home 11 miles later.

Cooling fan fuse cracked once. Intermittent cooling fan. Only an issue when stopped for extended times.

Overall I have had better luck with water cooled then air cooled. Lost a good lawnmower once because a mud dobber made a next between 2 cooling fins inside the fan cover. that one spot overheated the cylinder wall and galled the piston and took out the rings. I can plug half the radiator of a water cooled engine and it will overheat evenly and give signs of it's doom allowing a fix before its demise.
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:59 PM   #13
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I have had, in over 40 yeaers of car/truck owenership, 1 radiator cap go south . . . . .

in 5 years of water cooled bike ownershiip, I've had 3 caps go pear shaped.

My 07 Triumph Tiger had to be flushed 5 por 6 time, from new, before what looked like casting sand stopped coming out to the engine . . . . but,m other than a cap, no problems.
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:04 PM   #14
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My 94 K1100RS blew a radiator hose in Carmel at about 60k last spring. I was within 25 miles of several BMW dealers but of course it was Monday so they were all closed.
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duck View Post
it was Monday so they were all closed.
One of the great irritations of society.

Oh, and no problems so far, 35,000 miles into my first water cooled bike.
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