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Thread: Air cooled vs Liquid cooled engines.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Bridgeport and Midland Michigan
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    Default Air cooled vs Liquid cooled engines.

    I'm just wondering if people could list what in their experience, the pros and cons of both Air cooled and Liquid cooled engines. I believe it could prove to be both an interesting and informative discussion. I'll start, but I only have experience with air cooled engines, so I'll forgo talking about bikes with radiators. And then perhaps talk about what you personal preference is, and why?

    Air cooled
    Pros: Seems steadier at low to mid RPM, great for cruising and commuting, Lightweight (comparatively), Less complicated, you don't have to worry about buying more coolant.

    Cons: Redlining your bike with regularity is discouraged, if something DOES go wrong It is likely to be a serious issue, Less long term top-end capability and performance, shorter engine life.

    I like Air cooled engines, not only because that's all I've ever ridden, but also because it is tried and true. If you know how to handle them, you can pretty much avoid their negatives, as well. Despite this, part of me really feels that one day I'll have to break down and get a bike with a Radiator, preferably with a fan. As I want to be able to hit the track on my bike for fun, and having the top end performance to do that, as well as the higher heat dissipation, would be nice.
    All I care about is the road, man.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Brownstown, MI
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    16,607

    Default

    Well one thing to make sure is known in this discussion. Don't confuse air cooled being all push rod motors, and not all liquid cooled motors are over head cam.

    Most people consider air cooled motors as the only motors that are hot; and that water cooled is not hot. NOT TRUE always. My brother's water cooled Kawasaki Vulcan Voyager runs hotter on the rider than my Harley.

    I wouldn't let the motor cooling type make up my mind on a bike... I'd get a bike that is what I want, fits the bill, and my budget. That being said, I'm interested in what the others say.
    ^^My $0.02 not yours^^
    -Chris
    aka Gas Man

    "Why pay somebody else to fuck up your bike?"
    "Custom don't bolt on!"

  3. #3
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    Sep 2009
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    Default

    I would have to say that the only real advantage of air cooled is not having to worry about coolant and a radiator and such. Yes the liquid cooled kaw might be transferring more heat to the rider but when you think about it it should be releasing more heat and the actuall conponents running cooling. But like gas said that wont be my sole reason for choosing a bike. However last month for opening day I wished I had a coolant system because the bike was starting to over heat due to the lack of movement in traffic.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2014
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    Default

    Yeah gas man, I'm aware. My bike it air-cooled yet it has dual over head cams.

    Great engine though on its own, I like it.
    All I care about is the road, man.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Farmington Hills-Algonac
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    Default

    My MV Agusta was water cooled and ran hotter then Satan pissed off. My Bonne runs way cooler and so does my 2013 FLHX

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    More compression= more heat. More compression also= more power.

    Liquid cooled engines allow you to run higher compression, thus more power. The new Twin Cooled bikes run at 10:1 and make more HP, their air cooled counterparts run at 9.7:1.

    There's also a myth that liquid cooled bikes are quieter. Thats bunk, its a function of exhaust, not cooling method.
    _________
    Roll away the dew...


  7. #7
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    Dec 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fastfem24 View Post
    My MV Agusta was water cooled and ran hotter then Satan pissed off. My Bonne runs way cooler and so does my 2013 FLHX
    First generation BMW K bikes. K100's, K1100's. I had a '90 K1 that would roast your ass. The 1200's with the twin radiators and ducted fans were fine.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by StevieRides View Post
    Yeah gas man, I'm aware. My bike it air-cooled yet it has dual over head cams.

    Great engine though on its own, I like it.
    Didn't know your knowledge base... didn't mean any insult.
    ^^My $0.02 not yours^^
    -Chris
    aka Gas Man

    "Why pay somebody else to fuck up your bike?"
    "Custom don't bolt on!"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    I prefer air cooled as it warms my burrito 20% faster than a water cooled motor and lunch is important.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bombdog View Post
    I prefer air cooled as it warms my burrito 20% faster than a water cooled motor and lunch is important.
    And really, after lunch and a few beers any bike can be liquid cooled, all you have to do is pee on it.
    _________
    Roll away the dew...


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