How To Prevent Your Motorcycle Engine From Overheating

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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Engine overheating can be a serious problem during long rides.  The most common problem is the premature engine failure.  If your motorcycle’s engine is oil cooled then you don’t need to worry alot but if you own a motorcycle with air cooled engine then you haven’t got any option except air to cool the engine.  Air cooled engines are more prone to fail during continuous long rides at high speeds.

What Happens Actually

Every modern motorcycle whether it is Yamaha, Honda or Suzuki use a four stroke engine with different number of cylinders.  A cylinder is a place where combustion takes place at a very high speed.  Normal riding can’t overheat the engine but if you are moving at high speeds then the frequency of combustion inside the cylinder increases, therefore the temperature keeps on rising and rising.  The presence of engine oil reduces much of the friction and effects of heat.  But engine oil has a temperature range beyond which it can fail and will no longer provide lubrication to internal components of an engine.  Cases arises in which detonation occurs due to failure of engine oil in which the piston gets a hole in the middle at the top of it.  Therefore engine fails because it is no longer able to compress the air/fuel mix due to a hole on the top.

Tips To Avoid Motorcycle Engine Overheating

  • Initial Start : When you start your journey with your motorcycle then slowly start it without giving throttle and let the engine idle for at least 2 to 3 minutes to allow the engine oil to circulate completely throughout the engine.  This situation is called engine warmup.
  • Free Flow Of Air : Do not block the air coming to engine by fitting covers or anything that can obstruct the free flow of air.  If engine doesn’t get sufficient air to cool then the temperature rises.  As the temperature rises you will hear rattling sounds from the engine.
  • Avoid Riding At High Speeds : If you are on a long ride then avoid riding at high speeds continuously as it will increase the temperature quickly.  Cover the distance in parts and stop the engine at regular intervals for atleast 10 minutes.  If you are riding at a normal speed then it’s your choice whether to stop or not.Motorcycles like Yamaha R1, Honda CBR can tolerate high temperatures because of advanced cooling mechanism, but if you have an air cooled engine then you should follow the above mentioned tip.
  • Correct Carburetor Setting : If your motorcycle’s carburetor is set to a lean mix of air/ fuel then the engine will get heated frequently.  So correct adjustment should be made because correct adjustment helps to keep the engine cooler because there will be correct ratio of fire and fuel that is to be burned.
  • Choice Of Engine Oil : Engine oil should be chosen wisely as there are many brands in the market that promise that engine will run cooler than your normal brand.  So you should make a choice among these oils.

The Don’ts

  • Never try to cool a warm engine by throwing cold water directly on the motor and the cylinder because it can create cracks in the engine block which may make the metal brittle.
  • Do not run motorcycle with blocked or dirty air filter.
  • Do not use a hotter range spark plug as it may pre-ignite the fuel before the piston compresses it,therefore correct cycle will not be achieved and engine will lack power.

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This post is written by xDNA who likes to write to write about motorcycle maintenance and performance at motorcycle lord.

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