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Controversial but it works great

2415 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.
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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)
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I have the coolant bypass installed aka Thermo-Bob.

My usual M.O. is to ride once a week and pick the best weather day. This is a big benefit of being retired.

At temps much below 50 I usually find something else to do instead of riding. I'm just not much of a cold weather rider.

It's called cherry picking. 馃崚
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The temp gauge is the only "high tech" item on the entire bike. Why would you want to get rid of it?

KLR doesn't even have a master warning/idiot light.

Kawasaki brand bikes are notorious for weak prone to fail stators.

My old low tech Versys 650 had an idiot light. Without that light I would have had no idea that my stator had failed until the bike quit running. As it worked out I was able to make it to the next town and call for help. Had I continued my planned route I would have turned into a F O R D in a remote area with no cell coverage.
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Up here in northern NY, ridden for a few hours at a time, once Summer has passed I have found it useful to block off the bottom half of my T-bob equipt Gen 2 radiator. I use duct tape for the first 1/2 and then in the Fall, cover up another 1/4 with masking tape which is easy to remove. Pretty crude, but my temperature gauge finally gets up near the middle.
I salute all you winter animals. Enduring those harsh winter temps.

If you were on a Goldwing that would be a different story. Superior wind protection, heated grips, heated seat, plug in heated riding suit, windshield wiper, wet bar, fire pit, blackjack table, etc. Not really a bike but an Auto-cycle.

The coldest I have ever done was 38F on a KTM 1190 adventure. Bike had really good wind protection, heated grips, heated seat as a result of sitting over the rear cylinder and header. I would not attempt 38 degrees on my John Deere team green OMB.

Ride on brothers...ride on.

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