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Discussion Starter #1
Within the past week I took a 15 mile ride at ~ 28 degrees F temp. The next day when I looked at my oil level window it looked kind of milky, like there might be condensation in it. Is this a potential problem with cold weather riding? i.e. that your oil might not get hot enough to drive off water from combustion? Today I rode at about 38 degrees and made sure I kept the rpms up during the whole ride to get the engine warm. I also rode farther. I'll put up another post tomorrow to let you know if this ride had the same result.
 

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Yes it could be, how hot did the coolant temp get? Normal? or too cold. Even at normal readings on the gage that only 180 deg, not enought to even boil off water. So short rides could cause condensation. Block the radiator to get it hot.

FOG
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the tip Fog. Sort of like the truckers use over their radiators in cold weather eh?
 

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Seems like it'd be good to leave room for the fan to pull air in around the perimeter.
Leave some space between the radiator and the wind block (thick plastic... like mudflaps).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Further info on this subject: I did note that the temp gauge barely came up on the 28 degree ride. When it was 38 and I kept the RPMs up to the 4000+ range it came up just a little, but I don't think the fan ever kicked on, so it sounds like restricting some air flow thru the radiator might be a good idea in cold temps to keep the water boiled out of the oil. Thanks for the input guys. Today is sunny and about 45 degrees, so I don't expect it to be an issue.
 

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When I changed my oil the other day I found the oil to be only slightly warm even after a 15 mile ride. The temperature gauge was about the 1/4 mark after riding for about 5 minutes so it appeared to be warmed up. Seems to be pretty common on most motorcycles when the temperatures get below 40F. Especially those bikes fitted with an oil cooler. I suspect its just the way it is and as long as the oil is changed regularly its nothing to be really concerned with. Fresh oil is loaded with anti-corrosion additives.

Now during the summer the oil can get rather hot even during short rides. Pretty strange how ambient temperature can have such an affect on the oil temperature even on longer rides.
 

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longhaul747 said:
When I changed my oil the other day I found the oil to be only slightly warm even after a 15 mile ride. The temperature gauge was about the 1/4 mark after riding for about 5 minutes so it appeared to be warmed up. Seems to be pretty common on most motorcycles when the temperatures get below 40F. Especially those bikes fitted with an oil cooler. I suspect its just the way it is and as long as the oil is changed regularly its nothing to be really concerned with. Fresh oil is loaded with anti-corrosion additives.

Now during the summer the oil can get rather hot even during short rides. Pretty strange how ambient temperature can have such an affect on the oil temperature even on longer rides.
Yeah, it's part of what gets taught in many physical science courses. (Flashback time!)

The greater the difference between a heat source and the substance that absorbs that heat then the faster the heat is transfered. If you're driving through 100 degree air and the engine coolant reaching the radiator is 185... then the difference is just 85 degrees. When you drive through 40 degree air then the difference is 145 degrees... so the air can absorb a lot more heat per cubic foot. Temperature equilibrium is when the engine reaches a temperature where the heat made is the same as the heat lost.

Our little 500 twins, like all common internal-combustion engines, lose most the combustion heat out the exhaust. The rest conducts through the engine/oil/coolant to heat those things and can reach cooler air.

So in cold air it makes sense to diflect cold air from running right through the radiator, as FOG shared.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
About your suggestion MrSciTrek...my thought is to simply duck tape a sheet of cardboard over about 1/2 the radiator front and watch the temp gauge to see the effect. Not sure I understand what you're saying about the heavy plastic and leaving room, etc.
 

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In weather as cold as 20 F or so. you can completly block off the entire radiator. Hell you could probably drain the damn thing. For rides of 20 Miles or less and no full throttle stuff. The metal and the oil in the engine will disapate enough heat to keep the engine safe. Your temp gage won't work though. Just musing.

FOG
 

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ninjamon said:
About your suggestion MrSciTrek...my thought is to simply duck tape a sheet of cardboard over about 1/2 the radiator front and watch the temp gauge to see the effect. Not sure I understand what you're saying about the heavy plastic and leaving room, etc.
The heavy plastic (like used in lightweight mudflaps) would be waterproof. I thought it'd be better than cardboard. Poke/drill a hole in each corner & just use nylon tie-straps to hold the plastic in place. Much cleaner & better on the eyes than duct tape.

Leaving room: I worry that someone might block their radiator and forget about it. A few weeks or months later they go out riding in warm weather & might overheat the engine: even if the radiator fan turns on a completely blocked radiator won't let air move through. $$$! So leave an inch or so of space between the radiator & whatever you block it with. If the cooling fan turns on it'd be able to pull some air in through that one inch gap.
 
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I just use a sheet of posterboard painted black. About half the size of the rad, slipped in between the screen and the radiator. You can even leave a tab sticking out so you can pull it easily on warm days. It doesn't seem to get too wet, and since its painted you can't even notice its there.

Rich
 

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Discussion Starter #12
OK MrSciTrek, I think I get it now. Also thanks to RichC10...that's a good idea too, although it does not give the clearance that SciTrek thinks is important. I suppose as long as you remember to pull it in warmer weather C10's idea is fine too...I think your temp gauge will quickly let you know if you forget it - before you get any serious overheating.
 

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" and I kept the RPMs up to the 4000+ range it came up just a little, but I don't think the fan ever kicked on, so it "

I keep my rpms around 5000 all of the time, even on hiway runs...is this OKay? or am I actually killing my engine?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Some feedback for the group...I tried the black posterboard(my wife had some scraps laying around)to cover ~ 1/2 the radiator surface area today...temp ~ 45 F. It worked great. Of course at that temp I probably did not need it, but the fan never kicked on and the temp gauge stayed in the low range of my gauge. I will probably try another piece of posterboard that covers ~ 3/4 of the rad when I ride at less than 30 F. Great idea and I did not even have to tie it in...the radiator screen presses it into place, so as long as you leave a pull-tab when you cut it(for pulling it out), you're talking about a real easy fix for cold weather riding. Thanks for the ideas!
 

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ninjamon said:
Some feedback for the group...I tried the black posterboard(my wife had some scraps laying around)to cover ~ 1/2 the radiator surface area today...temp ~ 45 F. It worked great. Of course at that temp I probably did not need it, but the fan never kicked on and the temp gauge stayed in the low range of my gauge. I will probably try another piece of posterboard that covers ~ 3/4 of the rad when I ride at less than 30 F. Great idea and I did not even have to tie it in...the radiator screen presses it into place, so as long as you leave a pull-tab when you cut it(for pulling it out), you're talking about a real easy fix for cold weather riding. Thanks for the ideas!
The Eskimo's figured that out. I think it was in the winter of 1642.

FOG
 
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