Kawasaki KLR Forum banner

Controversial but it works great

2417 Views 43 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  Hawkerjet
Long explanation, please forgive me.

It finally got cold here and I've been riding the highway in 40degF temps the temp gauge would 'barely' see 1/4(I don't like that, plus it's not good for the engine to run that cool).

I'm from AZ and ride when it's 110degF so ya, 40degF is 'cold' for me. I also have a lot of scare tissue from tons of surgeries that's blocking blood flow.

By the time I make a quick stop at a store and return to the bike it would be nearly completely cooled down and I'd have to wait for it to register on the gauge again before hitting the road(I always let my bikes warm up). Note: I do NOT have a Tbob on this bike.

I decided to experiment with a typical mod that is often seen in the 'big rig' community during cold weather. After making some basic BTU calcs I came up with this, it blocks exactly (1/3) of the radiator surface area.
Hood Grille Automotive tire Automotive lighting Motor vehicle

I realize it looks basic but keep in mind it's experimental. There is a reason it's on the bottom.

This simple mod allows the bike to now come up to 1/2 on the temp gauge when riding in the cold (where I like it to be for efficiency sake among other reasons) Same goes for hot summers, I like it to run right about 'half' on the gauge.

The engine obviously maintains it's heat longer after shutting it off to run into a store. I haven't had to wait to let it warm back.

Coming up the mountain on the way home it still sits at HALF on the gauge.

It's not good for the engine to be loaded hard while running 'too' cool.

I'd also like to point out that I don't even have to 'top off' the oil between changes on this bike(doesn't burn a drop) even after 6hrs of 4500-5000rpm on the highway.

Not trying to create drama, just thought I'd share my 'simplistic' solution. If it works for 'semi trucks' it could too work for the KLR.

Let me be clear, I still believe having a Tbob is the ideal setup. I just don't have one at this point. I also believe that 'always' letting the bike 'warm-up' before getting on it has protected this engine.

Thanks for reading my long post, best wishes and ride hard/often. (y)
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 5
1 - 3 of 44 Posts
I do agree with removing the temp gauge.

I don't know about that. One day when I was riding in 105F heat, my fan blew a fuse. I didn't know about it until I glanced down at my temp gauge and saw that the needle had risen to the red. (Gen 1)
  • Like
Reactions: 2
So the thermostat will open when coolant in the block reaches 165F, but that's the only limit associated with the thermostat, meaning the coolant temperature can climb from there without reaction from the thermostat. So the stock operating temperature of the KLR varies to either side of 165F regularly, causing the thermostat to cycle between opened and closed? I might argue that because the Tbob includes a 30F higher thermostat, it does raise the max coolant temperature particularly under cold-weather driving conditions because as you said, the thermostat does that. Having looked at Watt-Man's documentation, I deleted some of my earlier ignorance from this post and I see that with the Tbob, operating temp is indeed ~30F higher out of the top of the block and temperature differential between top/bottom of the block is reduced to ~20F from ~40-60F, if his data is to be trusted.
A picture is worth a thousand words. A picture with text is even better.
  • Like
Reactions: 3
A warmer engine is a happier engine and the aluminum castings of the KLR & most other motorcycle engines are one Giant heat radiator in cooler weather!
Yes, and a warmer rider is a happier rider in cooler weather.
Glasses Helmet Smile Eyewear Personal protective equipment
See less See more
  • Haha
  • Like
Reactions: 3
1 - 3 of 44 Posts