Radiator cleaning - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old Jul 17th, 2013, 7:44 am Thread Starter
slparry's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Wrexham, Wales, UK
Posts: 104
Radiator cleaning

Well after having the warning light pop up while riding very slowly in some back lanes (we're hitting 30C here at present) I decided it was about time I cleaned the rad, the K's been through every British winter since I bought it new in 2007, so 6 years worth of detritius.

Removing the bodyworks no biggie apart from the tedium of all the screws

The first three strips of radiator "vanes" from the bottom where corroded but the main core was fine so the corroded vanes got brushed out.

Then a hose from the rear from the top down, along all the remaining vanes until good flow was displayed.

All done, all bolted back and re riding the exact route that resulted in overheating before resulted in the guage barely moving from about a third from bottom

A high speed test, courtesy of a race with a new M5 (the K won hands down) at a gps recorded 151mph, followed by ticking over for 10 minutes waiting for my riding buddies, resulted in the same one third up guage.

Some points I feel:
  • The front mudguard is a poor design, too short and funnels muck onto the rad

    The inverted triangle shape of the rad is daft, especially as the fan resides at the bottom of the inverted triangle right behind where all the crud flows onto.

    The "vanes" between the cores are too fine and as such clog up if so much as a gnat hits them

    The radiator "guard" whilst protecting from larger stones etc is a poor design, I'd have thought a louvered design like dirt bikes have would have offered better protection.

    Now that the three rows of core no longer have vanes on them on mine there's no way they can clog unless I go riding in ploughed fields and from my tests it doesn't appear to have negatively impacted cooling capacity at all (which was a suprise)

Halfway through as seen from my webcam

Last edited by slparry; Jul 17th, 2013 at 7:56 am.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old Jul 17th, 2013, 9:22 am
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Moyock, NC, USA
Posts: 357
I agree on the short fender. You need one of these:

Makes a big difference.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old Jul 17th, 2013, 9:59 am Thread Starter
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Wrexham, Wales, UK
Posts: 104
Just ordered one from Motorworks


They're on special offer
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old Jul 19th, 2013, 4:15 am Thread Starter
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Wrexham, Wales, UK
Posts: 104
BTW as an additional benefit, cleaning the rad has increased the HP, I assume the electronics backed off the power a bit because of the increased temps. Like they do when it detects poor petrol.

It's now singing like it used to when I first had it!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old Jul 19th, 2013, 5:58 pm
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Fairbanks, AK, USA
Posts: 108
I've had the Fenda Extenda since mid-2011 and still had to clean out the rad twice since
I agree, it doesn't take much to clog it or much reduced surface area to affect cooling
performance. I start by gently soaking the rad from the front and then remove the panels and
shroud. Next is same as you, blow water from rear to push crap out the same way it came
in. Then I use a air blow gun and carefully sweep it across the rad from the rear.

2016 R1200 GSA, 2007 K1200 GT, 1981 CBX, 1975 Norton, 1968 Moto Guzzi
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