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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old Mar 29th, 2014, 8:48 pm Thread Starter
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overheating problem

Today on my first ride of the season, I had a bit of a overheat. It was 32 degrees outside, I was riding at speed when I noticed the temp climbing. I stopped and checked for a blocked radiator saw nothing. Well I turned around and headed home a mile down the road the temp dropped to the normal range. So of course I rode onabout 100 miles with no more problems. Has anyone else had this happen? If so what should I look at to correct it? I woulc hate to have a problem riding out of state. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old Mar 29th, 2014, 9:55 pm
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clean the radiator with a hose. Check the coolant level. You may have an air pocket.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old Apr 1st, 2014, 1:46 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtfromhd
Today on my first ride of the season, I had a bit of a overheat. It was 32 degrees outside, I was riding at speed when I noticed the temp climbing. I stopped and checked for a blocked radiator saw nothing. Well I turned around and headed home a mile down the road the temp dropped to the normal range. So of course I rode onabout 100 miles with no more problems. Has anyone else had this happen? If so what should I look at to correct it? I woulc hate to have a problem riding out of state. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks
Did the temp rise enough to turn on the fan? How far up the temp scale did you go? Not sure if you really had an overheat at all.....

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old Apr 1st, 2014, 7:31 pm
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Might help in the future to list your current ride so we can give more accurate replies. Pic is a k13GT. Might just be a temporally stuck thermostat.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2014, 10:30 am Thread Starter
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solved overheat?

Here's what I found, when I came home the radiator was a bit muddy, but I do belive the thermostat stuck. I think that because the temp dropped after bringing the revs up a bit. Since then 500 miles worry free.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old Jun 9th, 2014, 2:19 am
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Ive had the same problem on autobahn's once over 110mph the water temp went full bars no flashing or red alarm but caused me to back of around 90 all ok normal temp increase the speed again goes high didnt want it to blow amything as on holiday on it so just kept speed a bit slower. But its a pain in slow traffic overheats I mean red warning is on not sure if somats not working fans on but is it single speed?
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old Jun 11th, 2014, 4:51 pm
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The bottom third of the rad is notorious for getting clogged up with crud.
I thoroughly cleaned mine when I removed it for the valve check service.
I soaked it for a few hours in a tub of soapy water then used cans of air duster to gently blow the soaked crud through from both sides after removing the fan.
If using a hose pipe with the rad still on the bike make sure it's a gentle flow, the core is easily damaged.
My bike runs so much cooler now.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old Jun 11th, 2014, 5:48 pm
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OK, sounds like it's time for BMW Radiators 101.

There is an existing plastic radiator Protecting Grill (part #2 below) that blocks most small rocks. There is also a center Mud Flap section (part #3 below) that blocks crud thrown up from the tire when running in a straight line.

This same basic setup is used on all the Slant/4 K1200/K1300 bikes, as well as the Slant/6 K1600 bikes. In fact, the Protecting Grill and Mud Flap are the exact same parts.



The basic concerns are small or large rocks causing direct damage to the radiator, or crud embedding in the fins and reducing cooling efficiency over time. We've seen these things happen on many different bikes, although it's usually not critical and doesn't generally cause any direct damage to the bike. Although we have seen a few cases where the blockage has gotten bad enough that the overheating was serious enough to stop riding the bike, and at least one case where the radiator was unable to be cleaned and needed to be replaced (thanks to Texas chip-seal roads).

It has been shown that giving the radiator a good cleaning and inspection at the 18K service intervals (when it comes off for the valve check) is usually a good idea. Scratch that - it's a great idea, and really should be part of the normal BMW Maintenance Schedule. Most good mechanics know to do this, but still, it's definitely something I would specifically ask about when the bike goes in for the valve check.

Even so, folks are looking at ways to minimise the damage and keep the radiator cleaner betwen services.

There are several options here:

1) Leave it alone, and trust the BMW factory guards. That's OK for most riders, but some will still have trouble with rocks or road tar or other crud thrown up from shitty road surfaces.

2) Add some simple aluminum window screen material sandwiched between the factory guard and the radiator like I did on my K16GTL. Mine came from the local hardware store and was cheap. This will block bugs and crud, while the factory plastic guard still blocks small rocks. Mine still looked fine at 60K miles, and I had no overheating issues at all, even when dead-stopped in NYC traffic, or running across the desert at speeds at well over 100F. Other riders have used fiberglass window screen, but stay away from the cheapest plastic stuff as it quite literally can't take the heat.

3) Add some filter foam material between the factory guard and the radiator like some K16 riders have done. This is also pretty cheap, and should help block road tar and other sticky crud that can get into the radiator and harden, causing a noticeable loss of cooling efficiency in extreme cases.

4) Add a much stiffer metal mesh screen material, the same as some riders have used for an oil cooler guard. This should help with rocks, but the larger openings would still let sticky crud through.

5) Add a Fenda Extenda to help minimise crud and small rocks thrown up from the front tire. This is probably a good idea no matter what else you may do here.

6) Replace the factory plastic guard with a metal guard like the RadGuard. This will help with rocks, but would still let some crud through, much like option #4 above. Plus it's expensive . . .

7) Use some combination of the above to get rock protection plus crud abatement.

8) Sell the bike and buy something air cooled.

Those options are listed roughly in the order of cost. Which way an individual rider may go depends on their experience, their concerns, and their pocketbook.

For more information, see this thread and this thread over at the K1600 forum. Warning: there are some pretty ugly pics in those threads . . .

This ends BMW Radiators 101.

Be sure to tune in next week for Oil: Facts and Fallacies, and the week after for Which Tires Should I Buy?

Ken
Pacific NorthWet
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles and counting...
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 60K miles miles and counting...
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
BMWLT#145, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032

All lower 48 states plus Alaska on the K13GT in two weeks . . .

Some people see the gas tank as half empty. Some see it as half full. All I care is that I know where the next tankful is coming from...
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old Jun 14th, 2014, 2:03 pm
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Well after blasting the radiator with a hose pipe lots of corroded fins and shite left on the floor a few hole.in the fins and its working a treat runing much cooler and o overheating in traffic
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old Jun 14th, 2014, 2:27 pm
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That's good to hear, Tony.

Enjoy the ride.

Ken
Pacific NorthWet
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles and counting...
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 60K miles miles and counting...
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
BMWLT#145, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032

All lower 48 states plus Alaska on the K13GT in two weeks . . .

Some people see the gas tank as half empty. Some see it as half full. All I care is that I know where the next tankful is coming from...
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