Coolant Temps on first ride

Discussion in '5th Generation 1998-2001' started by GaryN, Jul 23, 2021.

  1. GaryN

    GaryN New Member

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    There is some details on old threads on this topic, but I wanted to ask anyway.

    Today was the first day on the bike after all of the work I've done. Kind of a shakedown day, though, since I had some recent minor surgery, I had to limit myself to like 30 miles. Note: I installed the Delkevic Full Exhaust and popped out the DB Killer. Bike sounds great but I can't hear much except that beautiful sound! End result: if the fans came on, I never will hear them.

    But in that regard, from what I've read, the fan temp trigger is like 220? Anyway, it was 75 degrees today. Bike ran around 172-177 most of the time on back country roads. I thought that was rather good.

    In town, as soon as I stopped the temp rise was quick. Quicker than my other bikes (I think). A few seconds at a light and it went right up to 200. Probably still ok, but, I popped on the highway to get back home just in case and ran about 75 MPH. Bike ran in the 180's which, again, I thought was really good.

    Since this is my first VFR, I wasn't expecting so much heat. I did add some heat mat behind the heat shield since I had to pull that to get the headers on. I think made a diff since my boots or lower leg was not cooked. I had an Indian for awhile that fried the hell out of you. Don't how Harley guys handle that!

    Anyway, how hot do these bikes get when it's like in the 90's outside. Will I see temps above 230?

    I was think of adding a fan switch but getting to the correct wires does not look that easy.

    Thanks!

    Gary
     
  2. Sp00ks

    Sp00ks New Member

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    Your ride sounds 100% normal. I think the fans come on at about 215. Over heating is in the 240+ range but I have not experienced that.

    Yes my right calf/ankle bake pretty good in traffic.

    I added a switch to mine, there is info on that around here somewhere but you put it in-line with the ground side of the temp sensor at the radiator. There is no power to the switch at all, it's a ground interrupt. Honestly, I use it but I'm nowhere near concerned with it as I used to be. Since I have it, I'll turn it on if I get in stop and go traffic or some little town with two dozen unsync'd traffic lights.

    You need to witness the thermostat actually opening up. Today that did not happen from what you have told us. I don't recall seeing mine get over about 220 in 90+ weather stuck in traffic.

    Once it gets hot, low revs over about 35-40 mph and it will start cooling down. I'd estimate keeping the rpms near or below 4k and it should start cooling down rather quickly. If your trying to get it to cool down.

    Everyone says these bikes run hot. However; I'm investigating another bike purchase, trying to decide which one I want and from what I am reading, they are all about the same. Maybe its just the felt heat, like on your leg that gives that perception.
     
  3. GaryN

    GaryN New Member

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    I really think the heat mat I put behind the heat shield on the right side made a big difference for heat protection.

    I assume to check the thermostat I need to pop the radiator cap cold and watch for the coolant to start to flow? I noticed also that the bike warms up quickly on first start. Not sure if that means anything.

    One thing though: if the therm was bad, wouldn’t the bike just not cool down very well? Maybe that’s a dumb question.

    I just got this thing back together. I should have thought more about the fans and thermostat, etc. I do want to change the hoses. But I’m hoping that can be a winter gig.

    Guess I better read the manual to see how to test the fan switch while I’m messing about.

    One thing for sure I love this bike. The suspension work really makes this thing rock! The Corbin seat that was on there though is nothing to write home about. Freaking hard as a board!

    Thanks for the reply.


    Gary
     
  4. Shadow

    Shadow New Member

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    I am concerned in a similar way. I live in the San Fernando Valley were temperatures usually are in the 80s and 90s and at times in the 100s; bike runs based on the gauge of the bike, within a short time of riding, at 3/4 of the temperature gauge. It has never gone hire than that, usually fan goes on and riding of bike keeps temperature from going hire.

    Does this sound similar to any 4th generation bike owners that ride in usual warm, hot weather?
    Or anything I need to consider?

    Thanks!
     
  5. raYzerman

    raYzerman Insider

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    Sounds normal to me. Thermostat spec start to open is ~180F, fully open ~203F.
    No spec listed for fan engagement, but if it comes on at 215-ish, sounds OK. Basically, the temp is going to rise if you're sitting in hot weather, keep it moving....
     
  6. Sp00ks

    Sp00ks New Member

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    I wouldn't put too much thought behind it personally. I think I wasted too many brain cells worrying about heat when I got mine. If your seeing heat in the 230-240 range there may be some concern. I haven't seen anything in your posts to make me believe there is even a slight problem. All sounds normal to me.

    Ride it, enjoy it, stop worrying until there is something to worry about.

    I tell you what, I am planning on riding this afternoon to a town/city about 45 mins away and I can't leave until about noon. It will be over 90 degrees today and 110 % humidity. I'll try and remember to look at the temps when sitting in traffic to give you a gauge of "normal". If I can remember to do so.
     
  7. Diving Pete

    Diving Pete Member

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    Mine normally runs at 78 - 84c (172-184f) in open running - kicking it a bit.
    Fan comes on at about 98c (215f!) and have never seen over 108c (226f) at any time.
    It go's from 80 - 100c (176-220f) pretty quickly...

    These are perfectly normal temps for this bike - mines a 6th gen.
     
  8. squirrelman

    squirrelman Member

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    the fan switch has a stamping that indicates the temp set to turn on, often 100C. in this case it may be needed to fully top up the system under the rad cap when cold as drained cooling systems generally need an additional top up after water circulates during the first ride.
     
  9. vfrgiving

    vfrgiving New Member

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    Those temps for a 1999 are normal. My 2000 heats up quicker than my 1999, but I believe that's due to the stock 2000 exhaust. Fan trigger is somewhere around 220. Overheat is 250 indicated by a blinking LCD bar under the temp display numbers.

    You can check fan operation in traffic without getting off the bike. If sitting still, just take your left glove off and place your hand close to the large opening on the left fairing. Around 220 you should feel air getting sucked past your hand. You can also tell by the digital thermometer, a gradual constant rise should stall as soon as the fan kicks, and then a slow drop. Fan air direction is counter to air once you start moving, so creeping along at 15mph is probably the worst for the left radiator.

    A rough idea of thermostat operation can be checked by removing the left fairing and grabbing the big lower return hose off the radiator to the pump. At first start and warm up it should be relatively cool. Around 180 the thermostat should start opening and allow hot water to start really flowing through the radiators. The hose should then rapidly heat up.
     
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