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Old 10-19-2012, 12:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Traffic and engine cooling question

How fast do I need to be moving, to be moving air over the engine to cool it?

This is my first air cooled H-D, don't want to bake the engine.
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Old 10-19-2012, 01:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I've heard 20mph.
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Unless you are parked for quite a while with the motor running, I wouldn't worry about it.
I have an oil temp gauge on my Ultra (replaced the air temp gauge) and it's never gotten anywhere I worried about it and that includes riding through the desert in July.

Regular riding is good enough.

If there was a "real problem" with "cooking" a Harley engine, they wouldn't have been around for 110 years. Same goes for other bike manufacturers.
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gusotto View Post
Unless you are parked for quite a while with the motor running, I wouldn't worry about it.
I have an oil temp gauge on my Ultra (replaced the air temp gauge) and it's never gotten anywhere I worried about it and that includes riding through the desert in July.

Regular riding is good enough.

If there was a "real problem" with "cooking" a Harley engine, they wouldn't have been around for 110 years. Same goes for other bike manufacturers.
If you're riding along that's true, but if you're sitting in traffic too long your rocker box gaskets are going to melt along with your right leg. They don't have 'parade mode' in these things because they love the heat.
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Old 10-19-2012, 02:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't know if anyone knows the answer, but I watched a drill team perform at mostly walking speeds last weekend in 90 degree heat and noticed most of them didn't even have an oil cooler.

BTW - I never notice the right leg heat issue unless I am (shame on me) in shorts.
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I put an oil temp gauge on my Ultra due to all the noise about overheating and even in stop and go traffic in the high 90*, the oil temp never got much past 190*. I’m glad to have the gauge just to keep an eye on it but so far it really wasn’t necessary.
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:46 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I am on the Fort Lauderdale Drill Team, most of us have 2010+ bikes. A lot of limiteds. After a routine, our bikes are hot! We have to let them cool off a good ten mins between practice runs.


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Old 10-21-2012, 11:24 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpilone View Post
I am on the Fort Lauderdale Drill Team, most of us have 2010+ bikes. A lot of limiteds. After a routine, our bikes are hot! We have to let them cool off a good ten mins between practice runs.


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10 minutes to cool off? Try measuring your oil temp after 10 minutes. It will be hotter than it was running. With the oil not circulating it just absorbs all the heat of the engine. Check your oil pressure and oil temp after it sits for 10 minutes. I'll bet temp goes up and pressure goes down. I've seen it too many times. Oil pressure 40 running down the freeway. Stop for a cigarette. Start bike. Oil pressure way down. Get back on freeway. 5 minutes later oil pressure back up. The oil just sucks up all the heat of the engine when it is sitting. You need way more than 10 minutes to cool it off.
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1rusty1 View Post
I put an oil temp gauge on my Ultra due to all the noise about overheating and even in stop and go traffic in the high 90*, the oil temp never got much past 190*. Iím glad to have the gauge just to keep an eye on it but so far it really wasnít necessary.
you don't have a CAT on yours,i can tell by your pic.

BTW what year is yours?
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I have a 2011 RK. I've heard that the engine will actually stall if it gets too hot sitting in traffic. It hasn't happened to me, but at long lights in very hot weather it does switch to run only on the front cylinder.
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:35 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Doesn't matter as long as you go REAL fast in between traffic lights to cool it down again.
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:46 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I got stuck in some Las Vegas traffic on my '06 Road Glide.The traffic was stop and no go for what seemed like an half hour at least.The bike got so hot,one of the cylinders shut down.The bike was running like crap so I had to to split lanes to get back to the hotel.

For for these engines to cool down,it's going to take at least an half hour to hour if the bike is shut off.To cool down completely,it will take hours.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:45 AM   #13 (permalink)
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My poor old Evo don't seem to care as long as she's not in the garage.
You should try that.
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:05 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markk9 View Post
How fast do I need to be moving, to be moving air over the engine to cool it?

This is my first air cooled H-D, don't want to bake the engine.
These engines can take a lot more abuse than you think. I got stuck in traffic coming out of Gatlinburg a couple of years ago. The traffic was backed up for miles due to a terrible accident. I had nowhere to pull off and was sitting in traffic for over an hour. The bike would go into limp mode when it got really hot, otherwise it performed just fine. Finally got out of traffic and rode another six hours to make it home no problem. I must add that i do run full synthetic engine oil, which i believe helps during these extreme heat episodes. As far as what speed cools the engine, I'm sure the outside air temp is a factor, but as long as you are moving faster than 20 mph i'm sure you are getting enough movement to keep it from overheating.
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:41 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I have a oil temp gauge with the sensor in the pan. After a 3hr ride on a 95deg day, I got hung in construction traffic for over 30 minutes. I was impressed with how long it actually took for the temp to get from 280 to 310. When I shut the engine off, the oil temp can drop 40deg in just 15 minutes. I know a previous poster stated the engine actually gets hotter when shut off, but that just doesn't happen on an air cooled engine. What he is describing is the heat soak that is typical of liquid cooled engines. Once the water stops circulating, it actually acts as insulation slowing down heat transfer.
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