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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to K-bikes. I just started riding a 2003 K1200RS. Where should I expect the normal operating temperature to be on the gauge? Or does it fluctuate greatly depending on conditions? That does not seem likely being that it is liquid cooled. I have noticed that my gauge is reading just above the first line. Sorry, my bike came with no manuals. Thanks.
 

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temp

it still fluctuates depending on weather and driving conditions. my bike runs in center mark above 50mph but rises close to red line at lights. of course, fans come on and everything is good. i was like u, thinking liquid cooling would iron out fluctuations, but that isnt the case. dont worry if u get close to red in traffic and at lights, just make sure fans kick in and cool things down. i think a true check for what's normal for your bike is to run down road at steady 70mph, see where guage settles. this should be normal operating temp.
 

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30K1200 RS operating temp... weather dependent

I too have an 03K12RS. I purchased in Feb. of '03 and road it daily (weather permitting) up here in WI. My assessment is that depending on coolant in system, temperature basically fluctuated from very cold startup (needle pegged to almost off condition). after warmup would generally sit near first mark actually just above it. In hot temperature, never above middle when moving but up to first mark above middle when stopped (granted, no 115 temps here). Just my .02
 

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Jamie,
I would recommend ordering a set of manuals. They are available from your local dealer, or online. If this is your first BMW, a visit to your dealer for a service check and orientation to the bike is in order.

Operating temperature will swing quite a bit, from relatively low on the gauge to the red line when the fans should kick in.

Welcome to the forum and your new K!
 

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you're fine

GJBushman said:
I'm new to K-bikes. I just started riding a 2003 K1200RS. Where should I expect the normal operating temperature to be on the gauge? Or does it fluctuate greatly depending on conditions? That does not seem likely being that it is liquid cooled. I have noticed that my gauge is reading just above the first line. Sorry, my bike came with no manuals. Thanks.
Bushman-

The temp gauge will go all the way up into the red. At this point the fans should kick in and cool things off. Don't worry, this is typical running conditions. Just wait until the summer months when the outside temps start increasing. I can understand your worries, I think everyone was a little hestitant in the beginning.

ONON-
Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
not new to BMW

Spinner said:
Jamie,
I would recommend ordering a set of manuals. They are available from your local dealer, or online. If this is your first BMW, a visit to your dealer for a service check and orientation to the bike is in order.

Operating temperature will swing quite a bit, from relatively low on the gauge to the red line when the fans should kick in.

Welcome to the forum and your new K!
Yes, I do need to get some manuals. I've been looking at them on ebay. I'm not new to BMW but new to riding a K-bike on a daily basis. My other commute bikes have all been oilheads. I was hoping a liquid cooled bike would calm my fears of getting stuck in traffic. I'll keep an ear out for that fan. Thanks to all who responded.
 

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GJBushman said:
Yes, I do need to get some manuals. I've been looking at them on ebay. I'm not new to BMW but new to riding a K-bike on a daily basis. My other commute bikes have all been oilheads. I was hoping a liquid cooled bike would calm my fears of getting stuck in traffic. I'll keep an ear out for that fan. Thanks to all who responded.
Not trying to disuade you from the K, but the oil heads used by the CHP here in California have an additional oil cooler with fans installed (they tend to let the bikes idle a lot at times). You'll have to dig for parts in the "Authority" bike section, but it might be worth a shot that way, too.



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Hi guys - first post!
Got my '04 K12RS today (woohoo) and noticed temp near readline in town. I checked the level and its right at "min" mark.

Can/should I top off with water, distilled water, or wait till I can find specified mix of antifreeze/coolant?

tks, J
:coffee
 

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J-Didi said:
Can/should I top off with water, distilled water, or wait till I can find specified mix of antifreeze/coolant?

tks, J
:coffee
Proper mix of anti-freeze and distilled water is best, but if you're only adding a few ounces, distilled water alone is probably OK.

My '98 had some issues with bubbling out of the reservoir during really hot weather (like at the Lima rally last year.) I seem to have gotten that under control by replacing the radiator cap. I'm not sure if that's an issue with the newer bikes.

Even in cold weather, if I get into heavy traffic, my temp gauge goes up. As long as the fans kick on when it gets close to the red, you're OK. Even if you're stopped, the bike should not overheat.

-hank
 

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new Rad caps

My Rad cap failed on my 03 black K. On the top of Lolo pass. As long as I kept it above 50 life was good. When average speed went below 50 the bike started to overheat and blew coolant all over the rear wheel. This caused a very serious pucker moment that I don't think the seat will ever overcome.

Check with your dealer if the # on your cap has been superceded. Get an updated model, trust me, an iron bridge with the old cap can be the most serous of problems.
 

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Spinner said:
Jamie,
I would recommend ordering a set of manuals. They are available from your local dealer, or online. If this is your first BMW, a visit to your dealer for a service check and orientation to the bike is in order.

Operating temperature will swing quite a bit, from relatively low on the gauge to the red line when the fans should kick in.
Basically, the coolant temperature will remain extremely regulated as long as sufficient air flows through the rad while moving. After all, that is what the thermostat is for.

Where things start to fluctuate, is when there isn't enough natural air flow. Then (not surprisingly) coolant temperature starts to rise, even though the thermostat is wide open. There just isn't enough natural air flow to carry away the heat. The temperature continues to rise until the fan is triggered. Then coolant temp drops until the fan switches off, then rises until it starts again ..and so on.

But as long as you are going fast enough that there is more cooling airflow than needed, the thermostat starts to close a little, and temperature is very well regulated.

But this is no different than in a car.

Bob.
 

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Yes bob that's my reasoning as well, but with one big difference. The car has far more radiator area with increased surface depth, and with bigger more efficient fans covering the rad. surface for slow speed cooling. It has cooling capacity in reserve so the thermostat is able to do its job. Car manufacturers usually put different size rads into cars sold or used in hot countries. This is cheaper than using the same large rad. in all vehicles. It was mentioned here that leo cruisers may spend a long time on idle, so their bikes would have a special spec. cooling package.

Our cooling systems really are on the edge. If they were satisfactory for the motor output, you would see no change in temperature at any speed in any ambient temperature. The only time you see this in cages is slow speed or stationery, but my cage fans bring the gage reading down in about 30 seconds - not 2-3 minutes. Once the temperature rises above 'normal' determined by the thermostat, the thermostat is fully open and the cooling design has failed so you need to ride fast or wait 2-3 minutes for our fans to pull the temperature back down. These are all signs of too small rad. surface area I'm afraid. Tinkering with coolant mixes makes little difference when you have insufficient rad. area, or it is inneficient in the airflow.

Yes you can ride a bike without a pressure cap, I drove a diesel cage with a small cyl head leak like this for 8 years, providing you still have a good airflow. In fact if you spring a rad leak, removing the pressure cap to de-pressurize the system is the best 'get you home'. With the cap on, you just push any water straight out real fast.

I decided when I saw my K's temp gage move around more than I liked, that if I ever had a broken radiator I'd rebuild the oems with new deeper cores. My UK climes cause little problems but in some of your hot States I'd be looking at increasing radiator surface area. Look at the fans, they bend the air through a right angle so that reduces airflow efficiency, they only cover a part of the rad surface, and there's virtually no foam sealing around the cowl junction with the rads.

We may still be just better off than an air cooled motorcycle, so I've assumed the motor can run up to the coolant boiling point and still survive.



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Pathogen7 said:
The temp gauge will go all the way up into the red. At this point the fans should kick in and cool things off.
Mine did, too - until I had the ECU changeout done. Now the fans kick on when the needle is about 1/8" to the left of the first line in the red "pie" area.

Rusty
 

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How about some advice for turning off the bike when the aux fan is running. I pull into the garage on a hot day and kill the engine, the fan continues to run. Should I turn off the key and therfore the fan? Or, should I let the fan cool the bike down to a point where the fan kicks off and then turn off the key?

Thanks,

David
 

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Well you're lucky in some respects unless your fan setup is different to mine (you mentioned 'auxiliary'). My older KRS gets both its fans killed when the ignition is turned off, so the motor will raise up in temp a bit. 2 aspects to this. When the motor is stopped the water pump is stopped, so running fans with ignition off and small rads like ours only gives a limited benefit - but it does purge rising heat from above the motor. That is until a fan or thermostat sticks on - then you come back and have a flat battery.

I like all my main electrical circuits dead when the key is out, but I'm 50/50 on whether fan overunning is better. At least you get a chance with the motor off to hear and feel them working.



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