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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As some of you may recall, a few weeks ago I took my 650 in to do some general maintenance stuff and have a front tire put on. Well, I won't go through it again but will just say that it ended up costing me way more than the original $400 I was told it would cost.

Because I'd boughten a new car and have been busy with many other things, I hadn't ridden my bike very much at all since I picked it up. But last week I decided to ride it and to my anguish I discovered that the temp needle stays right at the apex when going down the hi-way, and goes clear towards the right whenever I'm in even just a little stop and go traffic.

I went down to talk to them about the situation, thinking it might somehow tie into the fact that they put a new fan motor on and that maybe something simply needs to be adjusted. My appointment to bring it in is this coming Saturday and I've got a real bad feeling that they're going to look at it and not be able to do anything to fix the problem. I suspect what I'm going to ended up with is a bike that can only be ridden in extreme cold. If I ride it the way it is it'll be no time before the fan motor burns out again and that'll be another $394.

Another concern is that they'll tell me that the only thing they can do is to tear the engine completely apart and see what happens. But the thing is, I REALLY don't want to put another dime into it even if they're confident they'll be able to find what's wrong with it and correct the problem. Not to denigrate the good times you folks are having with your Kaws, but speaking for myself, I'll never buy another one again. (I still can't believe that rinky-dink fan motor cost as much as it did. It makes me think the clever boy at Kawasaki deliberately put a crummy fan motor on the bike just so it would go past warrantee and then die, thus basically forcing people to shell-out big bucks for something that maybe cost them $10 to make.)

Man, this has all been sooo strange. All I wanted was to get an expert bike mechanic to service my bike so it would be in great shape for the summer, but it's cost me close to $2,000 and the prospect of riding it after Saturday doesn't look so great. I'd like to sell it and be done with it but there's no way I'd try and stick someone with the problem while BSing them about what a great bike it is. Even if I give it to one of those charity auctions the thing would still only end up being a paper weight for someone that thought he was bidding on a nice bike.

Any friendly thoughts or comments are welcome. Thanks for your time.:confused:

P.S. FWIW, I installed the thermo-bob myself a year or so ago and it seemed to work alright, though a bit hotter in the summer (but not like it is now).
 

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From my limited experience, it seems to be something other than a fan motor. Is there any chance something could have gotten into one of the lines when you installed the TOB and is now impeding the flow of coolant? Kinked hose? Just throwing that out there: not a master KLR troubleshooting technician. What kind of temps did it run at before you installed the TOB? I don't know enough about the TOB to know if something obstructing the flow through it would also obstruct the flow through the engine. Just a thought.
 

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I agree, the lack of a fan shouldn't make it run that hot, maybe the impeller isn't making the coolant flow properly.
 

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Sorry to hear your still having problems with this bike. If you take the bike to them, I would be adamant about them acknowledging the bike is there NOW as a result of their prior work. Short of that, my bike would never roll through the door again.

My gut gut gut gut feeling is to suggest you seek out an independent Japanese motorcycle shop and get a diagnostic on this issue. If you can, get the diagnosis and bring it back here for suggestions. Maybe something useful might come of it that you can either use with the original dealer you were hornswaggled by, or another option that will let you ride this bike. I suspect bringing the bike back to the dealer is little more than an opportunity for them to make payroll.

This whole issue might be resolved by simply burping the coolant system. Its now a matter of who you can trust to find out.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
From my limited experience, it seems to be something other than a fan motor. Is there any chance something could have gotten into one of the lines when you installed the TOB and is now impeding the flow of coolant? Kinked hose? Just throwing that out there: not a master KLR troubleshooting technician. What kind of temps did it run at before you installed the TOB? I don't know enough about the TOB to know if something obstructing the flow through it would also obstruct the flow through the engine. Just a thought.
You guys are great!

When I installed the TOB I was rather proud of how well I got the hoses cut to specs and how there were no kinks. And like I think I mentioned, the bike did seem to run "slightly" cooler before I put the TOB on, though the stock radiator valve did seem not as good due to having more fluctuation when riding the bike.

I've heard nothing but good things about the thermo-bob (save for one fellow that PMed me a bit ago), but if I had to do it over again I would just stick with the stock set-up. But that's easy for me to say now that I have a car and don't have to ride my KLR in the winter anymore (when snowless and iceless roads would permit, of course).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I agree, the lack of a fan shouldn't make it run that hot, maybe the impeller isn't making the coolant flow properly.
Someone PMed me a little bit ago and was nice enough to explain how to "burp" the bike and rid the system of air bubbles. So I'll do that within the next couple of days and see if that cures it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sorry to hear your still having problems with this bike. If you take the bike to them, I would be adamant about them acknowledging the bike is there NOW as a result of their prior work. Short of that, my bike would never roll through the door again.

*** I'm trying to work with them ... but they do know how I feel about things at this point. For the most part they're a pretty good bunch of people ... and whether or not they really have in fact been giving me the shaft this whole time is something only they and God know. In any case I just want to have my bike in good operational condition soon without there being anymore problems or costing me anymore dough.

My gut gut gut gut feeling is to suggest you seek out an independent Japanese motorcycle shop and get a diagnostic on this issue. If you can, get the diagnosis and bring it back here for suggestions. Maybe something useful might come of it that you can either use with the original dealer you were hornswaggled by, or another option that will let you ride this bike. I suspect bringing the bike back to the dealer is little more than an opportunity for them to make payroll.

****If it's more than simply fixing the problem by getting air bubbles out of the system, I'll let it be known here in this Forum.

This whole issue might be resolved by simply burping the coolant system. Its now a matter of who you can trust to find out.
**** Trust. It's one amazing word.:29:
 

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Hope this works out for you. I was just throwing the T-Bob out there as it was a change you had made, then the overheating seemed to show up after it was installed and the system was opened: just would have been one of the first things I would have suspected since it was a known change to the system where something possibly could have gone wrong. I may very well be way off-base.

As noted, there are many things that could be suspected as the culprit. Whatever it turns out to be, let us know if you're so inclined. Again, hope you're able to find out what it is and fix it so you can ride in peace.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hope this works out for you. I was just throwing the T-Bob out there as it was a change you had made, then the overheating seemed to show up after it was installed and the system was opened: just would have been one of the first things I would have suspected since it was a known change to the system where something possibly could have gone wrong. I may very well be way off-base.

As noted, there are many things that could be suspected as the culprit. Whatever it turns out to be, let us know if you're so inclined. Again, hope you're able to find out what it is and fix it so you can ride in peace.
Thanks, I will certainly report back with what happens.

Btw, even when I had to stock thermo in it the bike it would get well up there when riding around in first or second gear off the road. For that reason I never did take it off the beaten path too much. But I'd be curious what you folks have done in that regard, as I'm guessing your bikes would also not do so well in those types of slow, off-road driving conditions either.

I gather that with the newer model KLRs they've redone the cooling system so it works a little better, and that would certainly make sense Methinks.
 

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Btw, even when I had to stock thermo in it the bike it would get well up there when riding around in first or second gear off the road. For that reason I never did take it off the beaten path too much. But I'd be curious what you folks have done in that regard, as I'm guessing your bikes would also not do so well in those types of slow, off-road driving conditions either.

That sounds perfectly normal to me. Driving anything in low gear with no air flow, it's going to heat up. Happens to my KLR, pre and post Thermo-Bob. Your location is indicated as Reno. That's a hot place to my knowledge so it doesn't surprise me that your engine is running hot.

Some people wire in a switch to the rad fan that allows them to turn it on before the temperature gets to the point where it activates it. I don't have that so I can't say how well that works. I figure eventually you will get to the hot point anyway. Worst case is you pull off and let the engine cool.

From what I have read I don't think your problem is a difficult one. As was suggested you need to be sure that the cooling system doesn't have an air blockage in it. "Burping" it should solve that problem. Next make sure the fan works by jumpering across it. Then possibly replace the temp sending unit.

If you are not confident doing the work yourself you need to find someone close to you that is not a dealer or in it for the money. Possibly another forum user in your area.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
That sounds perfectly normal to me. Driving anything in low gear with no air flow, it's going to heat up. Happens to my KLR, pre and post Thermo-Bob. Your location is indicated as Reno. That's a hot place to my knowledge so it doesn't surprise me that your engine is running hot.

Some people wire in a switch to the rad fan that allows them to turn it on before the temperature gets to the point where it activates it. I don't have that so I can't say how well that works. I figure eventually you will get to the hot point anyway. Worst case is you pull off and let the engine cool.

From what I have read I don't think your problem is a difficult one. As was suggested you need to be sure that the cooling system doesn't have an air blockage in it. "Burping" it should solve that problem. Next make sure the fan works by jumpering across it. Then possibly replace the temp sending unit.

If you are not confident doing the work yourself you need to find someone close to you that is not a dealer or in it for the money. Possibly another forum user in your area.

Good luck.
Thanks for the comments!

Here's my Update: I burped the bike and rode it to downtown Reno which is a good 7-miles of traffic lights. I hit probably all the lights red and the bike seemed to do okay until I was all the way to the center of town, at which time the needle was slightly to the right of the apex with the fan kicked on. The ambient temperature was mild at 80-degrees and so then I turned around and took a slightly different route home but with a good number of lights that went red just as I pulled up to them.

All in all I'm not a happy camper as I can't help but feel that the bike is basically flawed as to my way of thinking there's no way that a bike should go that hot in the type of conditions that were out there today. I bought a new 2010 Ford Focus recently and have on several occasions driven it on the same road when the temperatures were waaaay hotter and the traffic was at a snail's pace, yet the temp gauge never hit the apex and my peace of mind was never threatened.

It's such a shame that an otherwise really fun bike would have this affliction, as it would be a gas to ride and enjoy it without having to spend half the time staring at the temp needle wondering when the fan's going to puke (again). At present time I'll keep my Saturday appointment and see if those dudes can do something about it (as they'll also add the tank and motor guards I bought for it, as adding those requires the bike be lifted off the ground ... ).

In the event that I get lucky and they're actually able to cure the situation (without requiring me to fork over more dough ...) then I'll be thrilled to keep the bike and have fun going on some adventures. But if they tell me "it's just one of those things you have to live with" then I'll for sure put it up for sale and hope I can recover a few jingles I've got in the thing (though I'll for sure, of course, tell prospective buyers why I'm unloading it).

Thanks for your time!!:)
 

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Alvin -

On the Gen2, and I believe on the Gen1 as well, running at about mid-guage is normal with a T-Bob installed. I think you will find that it will run there all the time, irrespective of the ambient temperature. That's what the T-Bob is designed to do - get the engine to a normalized minimum operating temperature and keep it at least that hot. The fan will kick in and control the upper end of the temperature.

See Wattman's page for a good idea of what temps you're seeing. Look at this page to see his calibrated temp guage overlay.

And yeah, if you ride around slowly it's going to get hot - but the radiator and fan are going to control the upper limit. That's they way it, and every other cooling system on the planet, is designed to work. Don't compare what you're seeing on the guage in your Focus to the guage on your KLR. You've no idea what the Focus guage represents in terms of temperature (though I would wager that your Focus is running at about 195 - 210 degrees...).

T
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Alvin -

On the Gen2, and I believe on the Gen1 as well, running at about mid-guage is normal with a T-Bob installed. I think you will find that it will run there all the time, irrespective of the ambient temperature. That's what the T-Bob is designed to do - get the engine to a normalized minimum operating temperature and keep it at least that hot. The fan will kick in and control the upper end of the temperature.

See Wattman's page for a good idea of what temps you're seeing. Look at this page to see his calibrated temp guage overlay.

And yeah, if you ride around slowly it's going to get hot - but the radiator and fan are going to control the upper limit. That's they way it, and every other cooling system on the planet, is designed to work. Don't compare what you're seeing on the guage in your Focus to the guage on your KLR. You've no idea what the Focus guage represents in terms of temperature (though I would wager that your Focus is running at about 195 - 210 degrees...).

T
Thanks!

I installed the T-Bob because I was riding during winter and it would be VERY cold out and the T-Bob did a nice job of getting the motor up to a nice operating temperature and would be very steady. But in the summer time it's a whole new ball game, though the stock thermo would also run hot as heck as well, though maybe not quite so much.

I will for sure look at the links later on and see if there's stuff in 'em that can allay my concerns about blowing through fan motors and a melting cylinder wall. Thanks for providing them.

As far as the Focus goes ... it has a temp gauge with a needle and not a simple light that comes on like so many cars now have, so my guess is that it does a good job of reporting what the heat situation is in the motor, though I could well be wrong.

Interesting comments about the fan functioning for the purpose of keeping the top temperatures down. But after shelling-out nearly $400 for one of the less than robust (fan) motors recently (and with only 13,000 miles on it), I can't help but feel uneasy about it being on so much when just riding through town makes it work so much.

Again, thanks for the comments and links!:)
 

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**** Trust. It's one amazing word.:29:
And do you trust the people that quoted you $400 and 'surprised' you with a $1500 bill later, holding your bike hostage, to do more work for you?

I wouldn't.

I say this in all candor - see Einstein's definition of 'insanity'.

Do remember that you are operating off a sample of one. I understand that, in your experience, KLR fans have a 100% failure rate. That not withstanding, hundreds of thousands of KLR fans never fail, and run robustly for many years and keep the upper limit of the coolant temperature in check. Read Wattman's stuff, look at the overlay and gain an understanding of what your guage is telling you. Keep and eye on it and ride the snot out of it. It is very likely just fine.

T
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The first link was a bit challenging to my modest intellect. The second link, regarding the overlay(s), was interesting. I bought an overlay with my T-B but never added it because someone mentioned you have to break a seal to the housing and I thought it's best to leave it alone. If I had it on maybe I'd feel a little better, though the fan would still be going and, well, I don't want to beat it to death, but you know how I feel.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
And do you trust the people that quoted you $400 and 'surprised' you with a $1500 bill later, holding your bike hostage, to do more work for you?

I wouldn't.

I say this in all candor - see Einstein's definition of 'insanity'.

Do remember that you are operating off a sample of one. I understand that, in your experience, KLR fans have a 100% failure rate. That not withstanding, hundreds of thousands of KLR fans never fail, and run robustly for many years and keep the upper limit of the coolant temperature in check. Read Wattman's stuff, look at the overlay and gain an understanding of what your guage is telling you. Keep and eye on it and ride the snot out of it. It is very likely just fine.

T
As far as those Kawi guys go ... my understanding is that they'll not charge me for seeing what they can do to rectify the problem, that's if there is in fact a problem. I have no idea what they'll conclude about the temp question, but, they will be installing the motor and tank guards for me to the tune of around $80. And that's okay, I'm not expecting freebies just because they got a ton of dough out of me for the other stuff. Just saying that it'll be cool to have the guards on.

Anyway, I'm curious ... so when I see the temp needle go an 1/16th of an inch or so to the right of the center line -- where those little squiggly heat lines are (yikes!) -- and the fans whirling away, you say don't worry about it, every-thing's fine?:character00286:
 

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Yes, that's right!

I have a Gen2, and it always operates between the middle of the guage and about an eight of an inch higher.

That corresponds to about 195 - 215 degrees, which is a pretty normal operating range for an internal combustion engine. Actually, most modern cars are designed to run at 210 - 215 degrees. Pressurized coolant (50/50 mix) won't even come close to a boil until over 250 degrees.

I don't have my manual handy to check, but I recall that the fan is activated at around 210 degrees. When your coolant gets that hot, the fan should be on and keeping the upper limit in check by drawing air through the radiator. Note that, at speed, there may be enough flow through the radiator to keep the coolant below the temperature at which the fan comes on. Also not that at low speed there will not be enough airflow to hold the coolant temperature in check without the fan coming on.

From your description, yours seems to be running about 195 to 215 degrees.

T
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yes, that's right!

I have a Gen2, and it always operates between the middle of the guage and about an eight of an inch higher.

That corresponds to about 195 - 215 degrees, which is a pretty normal operating range for an internal combustion engine. Actually, most modern cars are designed to run at 210 - 215 degrees. Pressurized coolant (50/50 mix) won't even come close to a boil until over 250 degrees.

I don't have my manual handy to check, but I recall that the fan is activated at around 210 degrees. When your coolant gets that hot, the fan should be on and keeping the upper limit in check by drawing air through the radiator. Note that, at speed, there may be enough flow through the radiator to keep the coolant below the temperature at which the fan comes on. Also not that at low speed there will not be enough airflow to hold the coolant temperature in check without the fan coming on.

From your description, yours seems to be running about 195 to 215 degrees.

T
All of your comments are starting to make me feel a little better. Now, if I could only get you to say that you'll be happy to pay for a fan motor replacement in the event ... .:63a::)
 

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Erm, no. Sorry... ;^)

T
 

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Start the bike and let it idle... watch the guage and when the fan clicks on, note the position (a little past half way) of the needle. Wait for the fan to cycle off and note the position (halfway or lower) of the needle again ... is it below the reading from earlier??
You are good to go if it is.
 
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