Radiator Maintenance - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 07-03-2014, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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Radiator Maintenance

I have a 2009 with just below 6k on it and I noticed that my temp gauge was starting to run a little hot. Not pegged but about Ĺ an inch higher than normal. The engine is running fine. Good throttle response,idle, etc. So anyway after closer observation I noticed that my radiator was plugged. Not internally but externally where the air flows through the grill and the cooling extrusions. Where 99% of my travels consist of old New England roads that have needed repaving for the last 20 years and some groomed state forest roads I am speculating that the majority of the crud is bug guts and air born vegetation. I gently scraped a lot of it off but it appears that there is still a lot of debris in the cooling extrusions. I am looking for suggestions of products that might help with my desire to get the air flowing correctly again. Ideally I would like a spray on hose off product. But I am open to all suggestions. I noticed after searching the forum that some have been proactive and installed filtering material across the grill which would appear to catch all of that crap prior to winding up like I have. I am presently pursuing that option. Any suggestions of material and a harmless means of fastening it would be greatly appreciated also. Thanks in advance for all suggestions.
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post #2 of 16 Old 07-03-2014, 07:58 PM
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I just blast mine from the front with a garden hose with one of those brass twist nozzle things on it. I try to angle the stream down a little instead of straight through the radiator fins. I've been doing it 3-4 times a year for over 4 years and my fan still works. I guess you could also use an air compressor if a bunch of water makes you nervous.

I don't see the point in any kind of filter, myself. It takes pretty large pieces of debris like bugs to actually clog up the radiator fins, but even dust or dirt could quickly clog any kind of foam or other material that's actually in front of them.



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post #3 of 16 Old 07-03-2014, 09:58 PM
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Carefully use a pressure washer from the back side. You want the be able to force the crud out the front. If you wash from the front you may drive some of the crud in deeper.

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post #4 of 16 Old 07-04-2014, 04:54 AM
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Originally Posted by iride4u View Post
Carefully use a pressure washer from the back side. You want the be able to force the crud out the front. If you wash from the front you may drive some of the crud in deeper.
The idea of flushing from the rear to avoid forcing debris further into the fins is sound, but doesn't the fan obscure about the top 3/4 of the radiator? I've never tried approaching it from the rear.

I've never done a thorough examination prior to hosing it off and have never done it because the thing was running hot, but it seems like most of the stuff I rinse off is confined to the front surface where that plastic mesh guard is.

The last issue of our Conservation Department magazine featured an article on endangered dragonfly species in Missouri. An inordinate amount of them seem to wind up plastered on the front of my radiator. I may be playing a large role in pushing them into the "endangered" category.



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post #5 of 16 Old 07-04-2014, 05:42 AM
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To do this properly you do need to remove the side panel and possibly the fan. It is far easier to do this on the KLR than to try it on my BMW K1600 radiator or Harley oil cooler.

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post #6 of 16 Old 07-04-2014, 08:06 AM
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Congratulations!! Haven't you heard that KLR engines run ice cold and you have to mod them to make them run warm.

Seriously I would just use garden hose to soak, spray on some bug spray that is made for cars to help break them down, soak, then blast, then use an old toothbrush, then blast again.

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post #7 of 16 Old 07-04-2014, 08:21 AM
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Hydrogen Peroxide will help dissolve bugs.
Yes KLRs do run cool but you still do not want a plugged radiator.

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post #8 of 16 Old 07-04-2014, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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I would like to thank every-one for their greatly appreciated input. I am absolutely anal about washing my bike. It is almost to a disorder level. I ride with guys that have never washed a motorcycle in their lives. ( cuts into their riding time ) and that’s O.K. I don’t judge. However the radiator/grill area just escaped me. Had it not been for the temp guage I never would have went looking in that area. I think once I get my present situation sorted I am just going to make sure I pay attention to that spot also and that should clear the issue.
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post #9 of 16 Old 07-04-2014, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Festis View Post
I would like to thank every-one for their greatly appreciated input. I am absolutely anal about washing my bike. It is almost to a disorder level. I ride with guys that have never washed a motorcycle in their lives. ( cuts into their riding time ) and thatís O.K. I donít judge. However the radiator/grill area just escaped me. Had it not been for the temp guage I never would have went looking in that area. I think once I get my present situation sorted I am just going to make sure I pay attention to that spot also and that should clear the issue.
I have a piece of window screen in front of my rad, it catches all the big stuff and then I just hose off the rad when I wash it. Seems to work well, no problems so far

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post #10 of 16 Old 07-04-2014, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by iride4u View Post
Hydrogen Peroxide will help dissolve bugs.
Yes KLRs do run cool but you still do not want a plugged radiator.
What he said
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