It’s not too easy to overheat a motorcycle – at least, not as easy as overheating a car. But when it does happen, it’s usually from neglect. An overheated motorcycle engine will usually require a rebuild, including a radiator replacement. You’ll have to shell out a lot of money and take some time off to get the bike back on the road. It’s best to ensure it never happens in the first place.
Check out these tips to help prevent your cycle from overheating on the open road.
1. Check the Coolant
Old coolant or lack of coolant – this is probably the #1 reason bikes overheat. Keep up with all general maintenance and follow the manufacturer’s intervals for service. Top off the coolant when necessary, and check for leaks.
The telltale sign of a coolant leak is a puddle of coolant right under your motorcycle. Radiator hoses tend to leak due to old age, punctures or loose fasteners. However, not all leaks are that obvious. You could have a small leak somewhere in the radiator system, which will burn off during your ride fairly quickly and stay hidden once the motor shuts down and cools off.
Keep an eye on your coolant level. It you are continuously having to fill it, bring it to a mechanic.
2. Park in the Shade
On high heat days, be sure to park your bike in the shade whenever you have to stop off somewhere. This is one small way you can keep it cool.
3. Warm it up Properly
Let your bike warm up slowly. Over-revving the engine upon start-up can set events in motion for the day, leading to an overheated engine. Always let the engine idle for a few minutes before hopping on and taking off.
4. Keep Your Engine Idle Setting in Mind
When your engine’s idle setting on your motorcycle is too high, this is similar to when you roll the throttle on start-up, preventing proper warm-up and preventing adequate dispersement of oil into critical engine parts before they are ready to handle higher RPMs. Keep your engine idle at 1000 RPMs when you initially start it up.
5. Check Engine Oil
Old engine oil, or not enough of it, makes the engine work harder, causing unnecessary friction that will produce heat. Change the oil according to the manufacturer recommendations and properly address frequent low oil issues.
6. Make Sure the Radiator and Fan are Working Properly
No amount of fresh coolant or oil will help things if your radiator doesn’t do its job in keeping the engine cool. A bad radiator is a result of clogs in the system or dirty fins that prevent properly cooling off the engine. If the radiator fan doesn’t keep the coolant cool (which in turn keeps the engine cool), you essentially have high-priced water that will boil over.
7. Avoid Stop-n-Go Traffic in High Temps
The weather doesn’t always cooperate, but if you can plan ahead, try to take the highway or other open road instead of getting caught in bumper to bumper traffic on a very hot day. All that stop and go traffic can do a number on your engine.
Contact AA Motorcycle
Heed these tips so you don’t overheat on your ride and ruin a good trip. Don’t want to risk overheating on your journey to your destination? Ship your bike there instead. Get an instant quote now to start planning your motorcycle shipment. We make it as affordable as possible!