Overheating? Help? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

 
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-16-2008, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
 
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Overheating? Help?

I just came back from a 2 day ride to eastern Oregon. Coming home, the bike was severly limping - allowing about 30 miles before needing to shut down and cool off.

Temps were officially 106 degrees...and in some of the canyons and close to the rocks, I'm sure localized temps were upwards of 110-120. The bike started misfiring when the air seemed hottest and when climbing (engine under load). None of the other bikes I was riding with had any trouble... they were all air cooled.

On a scale of 1 to 10, at the hottest point, the Temp. indicator showed about 6 toward the HOT side of the gauge. Normally, the bike only gets to about 5 (halfway between) at it's worst.

I couldn't hear the fan running while riding, but heard the fan run when I shut the bike down. There seemed adequate water in the reserve tank. Also, I have no aftermarket skid plates or other engine guards that could reduce air flow to the radiator or engine. ...but maybe a few bugs.

I haven't yet done anything about removing and checking the thermostat or checking the rest of the cooling system.

Any immediate thoughts? Should I be worried?

Last edited by gottagetagoat; 08-16-2008 at 03:06 PM.
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-16-2008, 09:14 PM
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Running Hot

You will probably get many resposes telling you this is normal. I rode today and my bike did exactly what you desribed. It happens during stop and go traffic the most. There is one mod out there that funnels more air into your radiator by blocking the gap between it and the plastic.

2007 KLR
2008 Concours 14

corbin seat, doohickey, agm battery, subframe bolts, progressive springs, stainless brake lines, anti vibration mirrors, wolfman expedition tank bag, panniers, electric outlet for gps, clock, moved license plate, magnetic drain plug, mefo explorer 99 tires, 320 mm Rotor with Galfer green pads front and black on rear
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-16-2008, 10:23 PM
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If your temp gauge only went a little past middle, I wouldn't think the cooling system itself would be the problem. Sure you have the correct sparkplug (heat range)? Mixture too rich (high, hot, humid = thin air)? Get some ethanol spiked gas?

These things can get so frustrating.
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-16-2008, 10:24 PM
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If the temp only rose to a "6", and it was that hot out I would be more inclined to think about the carb needing adjusting.

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post #5 of 9 Old 08-17-2008, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwynn View Post
You will probably get many resposes telling you this is normal. I rode today and my bike did exactly what you desribed. It happens during stop and go traffic the most. There is one mod out there that funnels more air into your radiator by blocking the gap between it and the plastic.
Thing is, this was happening at full speeds (55-75 mph). 'Should' have been plenty of air moving across the fins. ...and it was beyond super-fun stopping every 30 miles. While the bike cooled off, I heated up!
In my quick research tonight, I ran across the intake mods. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGIRON View Post
If your temp gauge only went a little past middle, I wouldn't think the cooling system itself would be the problem. Sure you have the correct sparkplug (heat range)? Mixture too rich (high, hot, humid = thin air)? Get some ethanol spiked gas?

These things can get so frustrating.
hmm. I checked the sparkplug about 1k miles before this ride (the bike had about 3.8K miles at the time. Looked perfect, so I antisiezed and reinstalled. I'll take a look at the plug again to see if there's any hints of problems there.
Too rich mixture? Would that rear it's ugly head especially when the bike got hot? The missing firing seemed to correlate perfectly with heat (exacerbated by the engine working hard during the climbs).
At first it felt exactly like I was running out of gas. My immediate reaction was to flip the fuel valve over to reserve. (No effect, of course)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daddyjoe View Post
If the temp only rose to a "6", and it was that hot out I would be more inclined to think about the carb needing adjusting.
Interesting that you're on the same page as bigiron. Would you agree that I might try leaning things up a bit?
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-17-2008, 10:36 AM
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I was talking about the type (heat range) of the plug, but if it's the one you've been using all along, it's probably not an issue.

I was leaning more toward altiutde (you don't indicate how high your were)and ambient temps making your mixture rich, but that 's kind of guessing -- which I'm doing a lot of lately.
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post #7 of 9 Old 08-17-2008, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGIRON View Post
I was talking about the type (heat range) of the plug, but if it's the one you've been using all along, it's probably not an issue.

I was leaning more toward altiutde (you don't indicate how high your were)and ambient temps making your mixture rich, but that 's kind of guessing -- which I'm doing a lot of lately.
I'll still look at the plug. Someone else indicated a plug problem causing very similar symptoms.

I'm not sure of the altitudes, but I'm guessing it was 2500 ft at highest. The problem was also occuring in the Columbia Gorge which, at this location, is <500 ft.

I forgot to mention that every station we filled at had the 10% ethanol sticker. Can/should I adjust things for this mix?

Based on a (really great) private message and the public messages here I'll also look at the following:
Spark Plug
Fuel tank vent
Carburetor (clean/check it)
Seafoam additive/clean with Premium gas.
Vacuum Line (collapsed/cracked)

...and some more look-see at some mods:
T-mod
Hurricane mod
$ .22 mod

You guys are awesome!
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-17-2008, 12:45 PM
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I don't know what to advise about the ethanol. I've always been under the impression that KLRs are pretty much designed to be like tractors and run on anything. We haven't been seeing much ethanol here (yet), but on a recent trip thru the midwest, we experienced it just about anywhere north of Tulsa.

My Dodge Hemi DOES NOT like ethanol. Very noticeable effect on performance and a couple of times threw an "intermittent miss all cylinders" code. Cleaned up after we got home and ran a tank of mid-grade and can of Berrymans.

Maybe you can premium for awhile (I'm assuming it does not contain ethanol) and see what happens.

As I said earlier, just another WAG (wildass guess).

BTW - an edit earlier didn't save -- I suggested checking the plug gap - too wide gap and fouling caused by overly rich mixture could possible cause misfire.
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-29-2008, 07:16 AM
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It sounds like vapor lock to me, gas can [and will] boil in the bowl, creating an overly lean condition.Is the exhaust pipe header on your ride factory? bent in towards the carb? check to see if anything you farkled might be causing heat to be trapped around or funneled to the carb.If it does it again, reach doen and feel the carb bowl and see if it is hot to the touch....my.02 cents.
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