What You Always Wanted To Know About KLR650 Coolant Temperature (But Were Afraid To Ask!)
This thread's objective: A SEMINAR on KLR650 coolant temperature.
Invited: Impressions, observations, experiences, theories regarding KLR650 coolant temperature. Comments may be critical, cynical, irreverent, and even controversial--one rule, they must be CIVIL, devoid of ad hominem
personal) attacks on other inmates and their remarks. Disagreement welcomed, but . . . stick to the issues (extra credit for positions bolstered by facts, valid references, and/or direct experience evidence).
O.K. I'll launch the first treatise (or manifesto, if you prefer):
Recent posts have suggested cooling system problems, some real, and some perhaps imaginary. I propose a diagnosis and postulate a cure:
Diagnosis: Micro-reading the temperature gauge. The stock cooling system is designed to keep coolant temperature within safe limits (a RANGE of temperatures, not one specific temperature); a somewhat broad spectrum of temperature values. Referencing Goldilocks,
coolant operating within those limits is, "Just Right," that is, within manufacturer's design goals. The absolute, optimal, precise coolant temperature isn't a realistic meaningful or significant parameter, IMHO, as long as the cooling system remains operational as designed.
Cure: Kawasaki could have installed "Idiot Lights," in contrast to temperature gauges, on KLR650s. I think the more highly-stressed Versys 650 has only an idiot light (and no radiator bypass). Some automobiles muddle through without temperature gauges, relying on warning lights to signal dire conditions. My approach: Absent idiot lights, if the temperature gauge needle stays shy of the far red zone, "Don't worry! Be happy!"
Then again, maybe the Kawasaki designers and engineers chose cooling system operating values comprising tragic flaws. There may be, "One Absolute True Coolant Operating Temperature," wherein operation outside this precise point indicated on the temperature gauge constitutes ENGINE ABUSE. Running at the Chosen Temperature adds tens of thousands of miles to the machine before major overhaul is necessary, and results in significant increases in power output and fuel economy.
DISCLAIMER: No data nor direct evidence corroborating opinion expressed above exists; OPINION only. YMMV! Conflicting opinion, data and evidence welcomed!
CAVEAT: No criticism of the competently designed, manufactured, and tested, responsibly marketed Thermo-Bob intended. My riding partner, at 95,000 miles (will hit 100,000 this summer) on his '08 KLR650, LOVES his! While the Thermo-Bob stabilizes engine temperature more fully and at a higher nominal operating temperature than the OEM (stock) KLR650 cooling system; the maintenance consequences of reducing the dread HEAT CYCLING and THERMAL SHOCK phenomena remain elusive and difficult to quantify.
Did Kawasaki's coolant system design goals irresponsibly disadvantage KLR650 owners, specifying operating parameters (e.g.,
thermostat opening temperatures, etc.), dooming engines to shorter-than-necessary service life and lower long-term performance? Or were these operating values, even within a relatively primitive cooling system design scheme, adequate for nominal service life applications?
The Thermo-Bob definitely enhances the KLR650 cooling system by "modernizing" its operation. Is the mod essential, or merely nice to have? Does ambient climate play a role in determining the Thermo-Bob's worth?
O.K., thread launched! Please share your own experiences and opinions regarding KLR650 cooling systems! No offense taken from any forthcoming comments!