A17 radiator - 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 57 Old 01-26-2018, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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A17 radiator

As some of you know, I am restoring 2003 bike. Radiator tabs on the front (where the shroud bolts on) are bent. Rad looks clean, and it's not leaking. Instead of trying to straighten this thing, I decided to buy a new one. Ordered, paid, and after a LONG wait, received something I didn't even recognize (from China of course).

Now I have to go through the same process again, but.........I am thorn as what to buy. Should I buy a new rad (they are all from China, either painted, or bare aluminum, some ship from China, some from CA), or a used one? Used one would be OEM (with potential problems - seller claims "no leaks, no deposits", but we all know how that goes), and as far as the new one, I am leaning toward painted one (just for the looks from the front). Where were the OEM rads built (2003 model)? Were they built in Japan, or China (I'd like to stay away from ANYTHING built in China!).

Also,....I haven't seen bare aluminum rad installed on the bike, so I have no clue how it will look (too much "in your face"?). I don't want the radiator to be the "focal point" in the front view, if you know what I mean?

IF you have bare aluminum rad installed, I'd appreciate a pic from the front, to see how it looks, also, I would appreciate any input in regards to my radiator dilemma.

Thank you.
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post #2 of 57 Old 01-26-2018, 03:07 PM
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Just a thought. It probably isn't the least expensive option; but maybe have a local Radiator Shop replace the Core on a used Radiator that has a leak. Essentially you're buying the used Radiator for the End Tanks and the Structure. As long as the Radiator is straight, you don't care if it leaks. You'll be replacing the Core anyway. But leaking Radiators are usually pretty cheap. In the end you wind up with what amounts to a new Radiator that is perfect for the bike.
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post #3 of 57 Old 01-26-2018, 04:49 PM
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Daniel,
Are the screw heads just leaning towards the middle of the bike? They will straighten up easily. Even this caveman can do that.
I used to use a 3 cornered file to cut the first thread in the self-tapping style oem screws deeper. So one didn't have to push so hard to get them started into the clip-nuts, the first time.

Or is the side wall and tabs crushing in on the first row or two of fins?
Probably No Need to Replace the core.

When it comes to motorcycle / atv radiators, I trust the best to always do their best. Mylers in Utah.

https://www.motorcycleradiators.com/

I have tried the local automotive shops twice. Twice I have been disappointed.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 84,000+ miles & counting
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post #4 of 57 Old 01-26-2018, 05:20 PM
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1) Do NOT buy cheapy chinese radiators.....you've been warned! ;-)

2) Normally I'd tell you to buy a Mylers Supercool as it is the ONLY aftermarket unit I'd trust but there may still be minor fitment issues and it may look slightly different. This is what I'd buy but I'm not trying to restore my bikes, just make them work perfectly

3) as someone who has some experience restoring vehicles, I think your best bet is to a) take the one you have to a rad shop and see if they can fix it to your satisfaction b) buy a brand new one from kawi (I can only imagine the cost) or c) keep an eye out on ebay for a nice original - but it may take buying more than one before you get one you're happy with (DAMHIK!)


Good luck,

Dave
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post #5 of 57 Old 01-26-2018, 06:04 PM
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Send an e-mail to Mylers, they sometimes have popular used radiators for sale or exchange, if I remember correctly.

I think the last 2 twisted & leaking atv radiators I sent were repaired for less than $80 each.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 84,000+ miles & counting
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post #6 of 57 Old 01-26-2018, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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The radiator I have on the bike has the left sidewall bumped in, crushing first two rows of fins. If I try to bend that back, it will develop a leak. It got crushed when the bike was laid on it's left side, and landed on the rock edge of the PO's driveway. I think all of these rads (on Ebay) are made in China, and some are marketed as "racing".

Thank you for your responses, I think I'll stick with OEM.
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post #7 of 57 Old 01-26-2018, 10:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danielsand View Post
As some of you know, I am restoring 2003 bike. Radiator tabs on the front (where the shroud bolts on) are bent. Rad looks clean, and it's not leaking. Instead of trying to straighten this thing, I decided to buy a new one. Ordered, paid, and after a LONG wait, received something I didn't even recognize (from China of course).

Now I have to go through the same process again, but.........I am thorn as what to buy. Should I buy a new rad (they are all from China, either painted, or bare aluminum, some ship from China, some from CA), or a used one? Used one would be OEM (with potential problems - seller claims "no leaks, no deposits", but we all know how that goes), and as far as the new one, I am leaning toward painted one (just for the looks from the front). Where were the OEM rads built (2003 model)? Were they built in Japan, or China (I'd like to stay away from ANYTHING built in China!).

Also,....I haven't seen bare aluminum rad installed on the bike, so I have no clue how it will look (too much "in your face"?). I don't want the radiator to be the "focal point" in the front view, if you know what I mean?

IF you have bare aluminum rad installed, I'd appreciate a pic from the front, to see how it looks, also, I would appreciate any input in regards to my radiator dilemma.

Thank you.

Danielsand

I know you were leaning towards sticking with OEM but I did a little checking around and found something you may be interested in taking a look at. It's a Tusk aftermarket radiator, but it is designed around OEM. All your factory hardware is supposed to fit up with no problems. I have a few tusk products (other than the rad) on my bike and I am very happy so far. The rad isn't painted, but I think you should be able to rattle can it if it drives you crazy to see all that shiny metal glaring at you from behind the shroud. Or maybe a piece of bug screen could help hide it. You mentioned before that you had plenty of BUGS over in your territory anyways. Another good thing is that it's available from Rocky Mt ATV/MC for about 100 bucks. (Way better than $450 like the OEM rads!) I don't know if you have dine business with them, but they usually have great customer service and ship pretty fast.

Here's the link-https://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/p...AWASAKI-KLR650

Good Luck, I hope this helps.

Antwon
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post #8 of 57 Old 01-27-2018, 12:44 AM
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WOW! DANG!

For OEM Radiator P/N 39060-1074 the lowest price new I could find was $337.95.

Didn't realize. They must be made of gold!
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post #9 of 57 Old 01-27-2018, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you Antwon.

I'll do some checking, but Tusk rad, as well as Mylers one, look suspiciously just like "cheapy" Chinese ones available from multiple sources. When I blow up the pics, I can see the same welds (much rougher then OEM), and same construction. On unpainted rads this is pretty obvious, not so much on painted ones (paint obscures the imperfections in welds.... somewhat).

As far as painting,.......my experience with radiators that I replaced in the past (mostly on Jeeps), is that they come pretty greasy (unpainted ones) due to the manufacturing process. In order to paint them, one has to degrease them first, in a "bath" with several chemicals, in several stages. Even then, paint starts to peel from the fins rather quickly, and shortly after, from the tanks as well. I would not paint it, for it'll look like crap pretty quick.

As far as manufacturing these rads goes,.........I never mentioned before, but I owned two car dealerships in the past. From what I know about new car manufacturing (and I am pretty sure it's the same for the motorcycles), factories (in this case KHI) source out ALMOST everything to outside suppliers in Malaysia, Singapore, China, Thailand, Mexico, etc. (labor costs). Once these suppliers are tooled up for production of some component, they keep producing even after the ordering manufacturer stops ordering (model discontinuation, and other reasons,.....like KHI getting a LOT of warranty claims, because of the substandard component). After the orders stop, these components are found on "aftermarket" sites, much cheaper than the "OEM" labeled ones, although they are essentially the same product (in SOME cases minus factory QC!). I owned three European franchises, one Japanese, and one American (under two roofs), and they were all the same. In case of VW (one of my Euro franchises), my service department was able to install some component either as "OEM" (with appropriate VW markings), or "aftermarket" (same component, from the same supplier, minus VW markings) as a MUCH cheaper alternative for the customer. And that was while the model of the vehicle/component was still available from the "mother factory" in Wolfsburg.

It would be interesting to find out where are the rads sold by Tusk/Mylers/ and other "aftermarket" suppliers actually made, but I am sure they (aftermarket houses) don't make them by themselves. That's why I was asking if anyone knows WHERE are the OEM rads for KHI actually made. As I also know, manufacturers of the components change even during the "life" of the vehicle model. After model discontinuation, some smaller manufacturers (of radiators, water pumps, alternators, etc.), buy prints/tooling from the original supplier for OEM, and they start cranking out "aftermarket" components, cheaper! "Cheaper" is possible because they can start "cutting corners" (example,....offering unpainted radiators), for they don't have to meet the strict factory QC.

Sorry about writing a novel here.
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post #10 of 57 Old 01-27-2018, 10:37 AM
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Daniel,
Mylers is family owned and 100% USA. They have been doing motorcycle radiator repair since the late 70's-early 80's, IIRC.

Explore the Mylers web-site.

https://www.motorcycleradiators.com/...icture-gallery

I think your radiator will be an 'Easy Job' for them. E-mail them a pic of yours.

Hopefully we will get to see a before & after shot also.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 84,000+ miles & counting
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