Liquid VS Air Cooled - KawiForums - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-29-2012, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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Liquid VS Air Cooled

In the same circumstances that would cause liquid cooled engine to overheat/get extremely hot, would the air cooled engine occur faster and more frequently? and would the results of this constantly occuring cause severe damage?

I go through a lot of stop & go and during late spring through late summer/early fall I find that my bike's fan would almost constantly stay on or just come on a shit ton.

If said scenario was replaced with an air cooled bike, would I be asking for trouble?

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post #2 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-29-2012, 10:36 PM
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I think that's the reason why there barely is any inline 4cyl bike without liquid cooling. Mine drives me nuts in traffic jams. One reason why I tend to always ride in leather, keeps the heat better off than jeans. I'm just slipping on the seat when riding with textile.
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post #3 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-29-2012, 11:26 PM
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Air cooled bikes require airflow over the fins to keep happy. That said, keep in mind Phoenix PD still uses KZ1000s (air cooled inline 4s) as police bikes, which sit there and idle for quite a while before going WFO.

Oh and keep in mind there are plenty of I4s with air cooling, including the original supersports.

Most of the time, they went to liquid cooling not necessarily for reliability, but because liquid cooling means you can design tighter tolerances, meaning more power out of the same size engine.

E.G. My Z750...
Previous version? ZR7S made from 99-03 (In the US) 75 HP 46 ft lbs.
Same engine size...
Z750S made from 05-06 is 107 HP and 55 ft lbs...

Currently own:
05 Z750S
Have owned:
01 Volusia

Last edited by Wrider; 03-01-2012 at 12:36 AM.
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post #4 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-29-2012, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glocken View Post
In the same circumstances that would cause liquid cooled engine to overheat/get extremely hot, would the air cooled engine occur faster and more frequently? and would the results of this constantly occuring cause severe damage?

I go through a lot of stop & go and during late spring through late summer/early fall I find that my bike's fan would almost constantly stay on or just come on a shit ton.

If said scenario was replaced with an air cooled bike, would I be asking for trouble?
Yes, theres a reason they dont have as many air cooled vehicles now adays and i suspect stop/go over heating would be one of them


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I would get more grip out of it if I were to ride on the rim than I would with a Shinko
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post #5 of 55 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 01:15 AM
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There is nothing wrong with an air cooled bike you just need to know when to shut it off. Its amazing how many people leave there bikes running waiting for a train to go by.

Liquid cooled bikes need to be moving to stay cool also, when the fans kick in its not really cooling the bike as much as they are just keeping it from getting hotter.

I commute on an air cooled inline 4 all the time with no problems, but in your situation where you have to stop to the point your fans are kicking on, then ya your better off with a liquid cooled one because if an air cooled one got that hot you would have to shut the engine off assuming you couldnt get back up to speed and it might be a problem for you.

Air cooled engines do radiate heat better then liquid cooled ones however and it will generally take longer for one to get too hot then it takes for a liquid cooled ones fans to kick in so you 'might' be able to manage, but your ass is going to be sweating and you need to be able to know the bike well enough to know when its getting to hot and it needs to be shut off.

Its just that with a liquid cooled one, when the fans kick on you can just stare at the temp gauge and not worry. Air colled ones dont have gauges. So yes a liquid cooled one will make your life a bit easier.

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post #6 of 55 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 04:29 AM
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Air cooled engines develop less heat (and less horsepower) than liquid-cooled engines of the same displacement. They have lower compression ratios and greater manufacturing clearances to ensure they do not seize up when hot.
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post #7 of 55 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 07:32 AM
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You could still use a fan on air cooled engines. The main reason that liquid cooling came in was the manufacturers using EU noise regs as an excuse to overcome a market that was generally against it, despite is technical advantages.

Once in, it allows closer spacing of inline engines and is more practical for configurations such as V4s, as well as better control of cylinder head temperatures.

In general a liquid cooled motor can handle excess heat better than an air cooled motor simply because of the fan. To provide an element of compensation, air cooled motors tend to be overcooled, which makes for longer warm up (no thermostat - the cooling is there even when it isn't required) and cooler running than is good for optimal efficiency. The need for airflow between the cylinders makes for wider engines than liquid cooled motors, but this doesn't matter too much when alternators are placed behind the barrels and primary drive is taken from a point between two of the cylinders.

Rob
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post #8 of 55 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 08:36 AM
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I've spent a bit of time working with air cooled engines in cars, installed where the trunk would normally be. Those cars run a cooling fan. They do tend to have longer warmups and less precise control of temperature while running. I believe liquid cooling became more popular due to the fact that emissions are controlled better when the engine temperature is more tightly controlled. In use, I've never seen one get too hot as long as the cooling fan was working properly. (Feri and Butzi Porsche had their ducks in a row.)

In a bike running without a cooling fan, I could see overheating becoming a major problem while stuck in traffic. Be thankful for liquid cooling.

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post #9 of 55 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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i dont really care for the technical aspects, I understand the reasoning behind them but I just wanted to figure out if air cooled would be THAT much of an issue. I'm not for or against either but I'd like to know if anyone ever experience issues first hand with an air cooled under severe stop & go.

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post #10 of 55 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 11:11 AM
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Air cooled

nope never had a prob with an air cooled bike even on the hottest days stopped on the highway ....I have several Air cooled machines even my 1960 Ducati runs after 5 hours of non-stop wide open punishment (not really comfortable enough to ride for longer than that) But my 1980 200cc 2stroke Vespa Has 8,500 miles on it ....You can literally Fill the tank's (oil & gas) and run it flat out 75 mph on the highway for 200 miles then pull off and fill just the gas do it again and still runs like a top it fired up today 20 degrees outside on the first kick
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