Originally Posted by wekrico
The advice on this forum regarding the temp gage is to ignore it as long as you know your fans are working. What i would like to know is there an aftermarket gage that could be installed that gives you an accurate temp reading ( perhaps digital )? i just keep checking to make sure the needle backs off (thermostat opens) because mine seems to take a while to back away from the hot zone. It would be reassuring to me to know that the temp was not above 105 C. When I rode to the rally in Johnson City last season, a good bit of it was in pouring rain. One time I'd check my gages and it wold show lower than normal temp and a few minutes later it was past the white line of the upper triangle. Then I.d keep checking to see if it dropped or if my temp warning light came on. For those who can ignore this dance, you have more faith than I do. Am I the only one who would rather have a more accurate way of checking this vital sign?
Sorry John I hit the Moderator Edit button by mistake which I've now corrected.
I haven't worked out where you got that advice from. The temperature gauge may not be linear like a dial gauge, but it works and from many posts here there are points at which the gauge settles or rises to which are consistent. I know where my gauge points are for my bike and rely on the temperature gauge telling me something is wrong if these points change.
First you talk about thermostat opening. I've posted many times that unless you ride in the frozen North, the thermostat is likely to be fully open most of the time on this bike. If you've ridden the bike in Winter and the gauge holds at just below the middle mark - that's your thermostat open point.
In hot weather, the radiators are too small so the thermostat stays fully open. Theoretically, the cooling system is unstable, but above 40 mph there is sufficient airflow to JUST stop the temperature rising much further. Rarely have I seen the gauge settle back to the Winter position for hot weather fast cruising.
Now the cooling system might lack radiator capacity, BUT the temperature gauge should never be swinging about rapidly. Any changes should be taking place over several minutes. If there are rapid fluctuations then there is likely to be air trapped in the cooling system. The important area of the gauge is between the half and 2/3rds gauge markers or just below redline. As I explained, I believe the cooling system runs theoretically unstable due to lack of capacity in the radiator size so you have to note what the bike has been doing when the gauge climbs. Above 40mph and in hot weather expect the gauge to stay stable at the 1/2 mark or even just above. When coming to a stop expect the gauge to rise slowly to just below redline and eventually both fans come on.
When both fans come on, if the bike is still stopped in traffic, expect the gauge to drop back to the 1/2 marker in up to 10 minutes. If you move away to over 40mph, perhaps 5 minutes.
Fitting a more accurate temperature gauge won't solve anything. You still come back to radiator size capacity which affects running over 40 mph, and the size and airflow rate of the electric fans which affect what happens when the bike is idling or running below 40mph.
I'm afraid the only way of stopping the 'dance' if they are slow changes, is ride at over 40mph and for slower speeds pull more heat away from the radiator cores (more or bigger fans). This assumes your cooling system is in tiptop shape - The rads aren't blocked with bugs, the coolant level is ok and there is no trapped air.
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