XR650L Oil Cooler

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Little Faus, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. Little Faus

    Little Faus Little Faus

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    Here is a picture of my BRP. I call him Brutus. Clever, huh. It has all the standard mods...bigger gas tank, smog junk removed, small taillight, header, a small windshield, and skid plate. You can't see Dave's mods on the carb, or the UNI air filter. The bike runs and handles great. Just one thing, it runs to hot here in Utah. On a 95° day, this engine runs between 250° and 270°. Way too hot. Engine destroying hot. So I bought a small oil cooler, made some brackets, and did a little welding. This is the result. HondaXR 008.jpg On a hot day it now runs between 190° and 200°. The oil cooler is from Setrab, a Swedish outfit, cost about $60. The headlight shield is from TCI, cost about $35. The hoses and fittings are from Earl’s, and cost about $75 for a total cost of about $170. Not cheap, but cheaper than blowing an engine. I bought some ½ inch plastic spacers, and longer bolts, to drop the fender slightly, and ran the hoses through there. Unfortunately, I can't figure out how to post more than 1 picture in my thread. If anyone is interested in seeing more pics, let me know how to do it.
    #1
  2. flatfender

    flatfender Been here awhile

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    Nice job, looks sturdy too. you can post each picture in seperate posts. More pics please!
    #2
  3. Little Faus

    Little Faus Little Faus

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    I cut the brackets out of 3/32" mild steel with tin snips after measuring things up and drawing it up in Autocad. So far it has been reliable. On a trip into southern Utah around Kanab, it just blasted the dirt roads. Here is a picture of the entire bike with the upgrades visible.
    HondaXR 016.jpg
    #3
  4. Little Faus

    Little Faus Little Faus

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    Another shot between the oil tank (in frame), and the oil cooler.
    HondaXR 010.jpg It's hard too see, but I cut down the existing oil cooler line and welded a bracket on one end to attach the oil lines to.
    #4
  5. Little Faus

    Little Faus Little Faus

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    HondaXR 013.jpg This is a better shot. I cut the oil line down to about 3" and welded the other end fitting on and attached the new oil hose. Everything is tied together with zip ties. It's held up good so far.
    #5
  6. Little Faus

    Little Faus Little Faus

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    One more shot. HondaXR 009.jpg
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  7. flatfender

    flatfender Been here awhile

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    :1drink
    #7
  8. Rman237

    Rman237 Ride Rural Texas

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    Good mod!! I'm about to tackle the oil cooler mod as well. Just picked up an extra XR4 cooler new off a local forum.:clap

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    My XR4 hovers around 200deg as opposed to the 650L at around 250deg+.
    I have to disagree with you about 250-270degs being engine destroying temps though, the Honda XRL(air cooled) can easily exceed those temps without any permanent damage!
    #8
  9. XRider

    XRider Almost Lifelike

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    Very nicely done! Totaly sano good job. About high oil temps, 270F is not by itself engine destroying territory but it is oil destroying territory. And having one will lead to the other. Most oils will experiance significant break down at around 300F. You were absolutely right to be concerned about a running temp of 270F and who ever said not to worry about 300+ should think again. Here's something you can try at home: Get a digital thermometer and put your favorite brand of oil in a pan and heat it up on a camp stove and see how well it does at 250 and 300 degrees. Do this outside and be prepared for the oil to flash over if you get it too hot but it's an interesting experiment.
    #9
  10. Rman237

    Rman237 Ride Rural Texas

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    I'm not in anyway trying to start yet another ADV pissing match here but if you put motor oil in a frying pan under an open flame in ambient air and start heating it up(oxygenated environment), sure your gonna see fireworks(especially at sea level)!
    Most quality engine oils start evaporating at or around 400degs.The only place a healthy engine will ever see oil temps exceeding 400deg will be on the walls of the cylinder. That's your typical oil consumption.
    Now considering that most air cooled engines have a rather wide temp margin(as opposed to water cooled engines of similar displacement like the R), it's not unusual to exceed temps beyond 300degs. So to say that Honda didn't take this into consideration concerning oil temps would be absurd.
    It's not like your oil(or your engine) is going to suffer some "significant" catastrophic failure the second it gets too hot, just change it regularly.
    #10
  11. McLeod

    McLeod Been here awhile

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    Adding a oil cooler will not keep you from achieving 300+ deg. It will increase the time it takes for you to achieve it. Adding a oil cooler will also increase how fast the oil cools down. The best way to think of a oil cooler is as a heat sink.
    I am much more concerned with the fact that my hottest recorded temperatures are after I have turned off my bike than the ones I have recorded when moving. If the oil isn't in motion it can't carry away the heat so it is going to degrade. I.e. when your oil is in the pan it isn't in motion. How much hotter can you take the pan of oil if you stir it?

    I am probably wrong, I thought I read inside of a (holy crap i can't believe that i am quoting useless info that is probably off the top of my head) Oil comparison between the different types of oil. I.e. Diesel vs motorcycle vs auto. That most oils don't degrade until 350 deg F.
    The difference between most oils are the additives (detergents) and how well the oil resists the shearing of the molecules.
    Motorcycle oil and Diesel oils are designed to resist shearing of the oil molecules better than auto.
    Out side of that its how much detergents that are in the oil. Pretty much the rest is the same. Again I am making the statement that I am not a expert (ex-pert = liquid under pressure in the past tense) in fact I am a smacktard. I have done enough research to make me feel good about the type of oil that i am using and why.
    #11
  12. McLeod

    McLeod Been here awhile

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    Awesome install and ingenuity.
    Do you have any problems with the hoses? I went with the XR400 oil cooler it was attached to the frame.
    #12
  13. vanpelt999

    vanpelt999 08 xr650l

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    Mcleod, Is dead on with his statement, I might add you need some heat to cook out impurities in the oil, in the perfect sence 210-235 would be good,You could design a cooler and over do it on cooling the oil, The cooler I made and have installed on a couple of local bikes with a temp gauge allows the rider to control his temps.
    The big killer I think in excessive heat is cylinder head temp, the harder you run it the hotter overall oil temp will get. with my cooler on a normal ride for me,(with stock gearing, as engine speed is a concern) on the slab getting somewhere running 70-75, 80 couple of times getting around someone, my oil temp will creep up and over 240+, All I have to do is back off on the speed and the temp will creep back down. Before the cooler it would not cool down, I had seen 295 before.
    Look at how this DRYSUMP ENGINE moves oil out of the engine to the frame tank. There is NOT a steady flow of oil out of the engine! We all know the routine of checking the oil level, Ever wonder why, out on the trails diving into corners, racing up a steep hill, lifting the front wheel to clear log or rock, etc. Are times there's not oil flowing to the tank. You can use these times to your advantage to cool oil, by traping it in the cooler for more terma tranfer. Coolers that are feed from the bottom run the chance of flowing oil back down the oil lines out of the cooler itself. Top feed coolers trap the oil and cool it even more than oil thats at a steady flow though it.
    I get better result out on the trail because of this. I have some trails here close to the house and know before cooler i would expect 255-260 deg. oil temps, Now with cooler 205-215. Same kind of outside Arkansas summer days 95-100 outside temps.
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    #13
  14. XRider

    XRider Almost Lifelike

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    I'm in no way trolling for a pissing contest ether and I'm sorry if I came off like Mr. know-it-all-about-oil. A looong time ago when I was in school one of the oil companie's add compaign was that thier oil was better than the other guy's at fighting thermal break down. The teacher (motorcycle technoligy and small engine mechanics) thought it would be cool to see if they were right. So we got a few pans and a camp stove and started heating up several brands of oil to 250, 300, 350, and 400F. We poured the oil through a Zan cup which is just a cup with a small hole in the bottom, timing how long it takes a measured amount of oil to run out of the cup gives you a good viscocity index. To be fair we did this with automotive oil which has a different package of additives from motorcycle oil. But the test showed that some brands of oil did much better than others. I think it was Mobile1 that did the best which was sort of ironic because they were the ones doing the add campaign. Some of the oils started to turn black when held at temps above 300F, a sure sign it was breaking down. It would be interesting to do the same test with different brands of motorcycle oil. BTW synthetic oil did way better than any mineral oil in the test.
    #14
  15. Little Faus

    Little Faus Little Faus

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    A great discussion on oil and it's properties. My intent was to show off my oil cooler, and let everyone know how smart I am. Seriously, the oil itself degrades much quicker with additives boiling off at the higher temps. This can't be healthy for the engine longevity. I would agree that if your bike gets too hot, stop, and let it cool down. IMO, the best temp for oil to run is at the boiling point of water (212 F). This will boil off most impurities. My goal with this bike is to make the best dual-sport I can for the best price. I have about $6000 total into it. Much cheaper than one of the European bikes. Another good thing...you can actually fix this bike in most cases, if something bad happens. How about another pic?
    Oil cooler01.jpg
    #15
  16. NCJ

    NCJ Long timer

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    Thanks for posting that up - I've been googling around for an
    appropriately (both thermally and physically) sized oil cooler for our
    KL250's rather hot running little engines and so far everything I've
    found have been sorta automotively clunky and large - Beet, Jeggs,
    various a/t coolers etc....
    That Setrag appears to be just about right. Pricing looks good, too.
    Looking in to it. :thumb :D
    #16
  17. XRider

    XRider Almost Lifelike

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    Sorry for the hijack. That really is a trick set up and I like the way you incorperated the rock guard for the headlight. When you turn the bars to the stops there's no problem with the hoses binding?
    #17
  18. screamin injin

    screamin injin FUBAR

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    Looks good, just did mine.
    [​IMG]
    #18
  19. FREDO RIDER

    FREDO RIDER I'm enjoying the route !

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    Cool ! Where... Where...
    Love to see a closer picture :D
    #19
  20. screamin injin

    screamin injin FUBAR

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    Yeah, wasn't visible, so I took a fresh one.
    [​IMG]

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    Got it from JC Whitney and used stainless sink connectors sprayed black.
    #20