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How Cold is TOO Cold?

Old 06-25-2007, 12:05 PM
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How Cold is TOO Cold?

Hey Gang,

Took a wet wet ride out to LaPush this weekend for a bachelor party/surfing weekend with some buddies. This is only the second long-ish trip I have done on the Hawk so far. Was running the Harris tank, and was getting about 160 miles out of a tank before almost bone dry. So thats only about 32mpg...pretty dismal, but not out of the ordinary from what I can tell with our Hawks. Thats cruising at about 80 with some spirited riding vs. my buddy on an SV-650s. We'll not discuss his mileage...I am sure its closer to 45mpg. Oh well.

Anyway...onto my question. I had to slug through traffic on a friday afternoon, and even working through traffic at 5mph, I was surprised that the fan NEVER came on. Not once that I can tell. In fact the needle has never gone over half, and even that is rare. Normally, it barely ever hits the quarter mark hash. This doesn't seem normal to me, though I have yet to take temp readings with an infared thermometer. What is the normal temp range for this bike? It was unusally cool for late june, only about 65 degrees, but even on warmer days on my commute, it never gets hot or really even "warm".
Is something amiss? I don't suppose the P.O. would have pulled the thermostat out, but I suppose its possible. Or it cold be stuck wide open...

Thoughts?

-R
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Old 06-25-2007, 12:36 PM
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Too cold

My fan doesn't usually come on until my coolant guage needle goes over the 1/2 way point. I live in southern california, ride in the desert weekends and the only time the guage climbs above half and the fans go on is when I'm commuting in highway traffic on a hot day crawling. You're probably OK.

PS about mileage - I got about the same as you do 32 MPG until I did a tune up, synched the carbs and adjusted the throttle position sensor. I lowered the TPS reading to the minimum recommended resistance (4.something ohms).
The TPS adjustment takes away some of the big torque hit off the line but I find the bikes faster because I can open it up more confidently & controlled and whack the throttle into curves without worring about the sudden torque hit making the rear tire come unglued.
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Old 06-25-2007, 12:58 PM
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I posted this in another temp thread: I have a VFR that has an almost identical analog gauge as the VTR. I replace that assembly with an aftermarket digital unit that plugs into the same thermostat location. This bike runs a traditional front radiator design unlike the hawk and is not known for running "hot". I used that term lightly as my new gauge now returns the typical "high" numbers most digital owners complain about (220-223f before fan comes on). That certainly sounds a lot hotter than 1/2 way on a face doesn't it?

But check your fuse and see if a rock or other debris has block the fan blades. After running it around to get it quickly up to temp, let it idle for a good long time. It should cycle the fan after a few minutes or the overflow bottle will start bubbling. Then you'll know for sure it ain't working!
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Old 06-25-2007, 01:02 PM
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Interesting observation, Chitownson. I did the 15T front sprocket change over the winter and it's grab-it-out-your-hands quick. If I had the skill-sets I think I could keep this thing on steady power-on mono for at least a hundred yards, maybe more - too mucho anujus. It's got great "get away from cagers" speed. But you're right - I am only opening the gates about a quarter of the way

I just put a new fan on and it never comes on before the gauge hits half. Earlier in the summer I did a few rides with no fan at all. Things get mighty toasty in the shorts at stops when the gauge gets a little above half.

After the fan install I was amazed at how good that little fan controlled the temp.
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Old 06-25-2007, 03:02 PM
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When I bought my VTR the gage read from cold all the way up to Hot, the fan kicked on when it got up toward Hot. After a couple years the gage started reading lower and lower... so I inquired with the shop and they said its a comon problem, the fan kicks on when its supposed to but the gage never reads more than half way. I was told its a typical problem with that bike and to replace the gage. The gage finally pretty much stopped reading anything so I just ignored it and listen for the fan. I did just recently unpluged the single wire lead from the temp sensor, cleaned and squeezed the plug so it fit tighter and its back to reading the temp half way.
I like the idea of adding a digital gage.

LaPush ride eh? Cool. I was doing the North Cascades last weekend.
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Old 06-25-2007, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by XLSR-VTR1 View Post
When I bought my VTR the gage read from cold all the way up to Hot, the fan kicked on when it got up toward Hot. After a couple years the gage started reading lower and lower... so I inquired with the shop and they said its a comon problem, the fan kicks on when its supposed to but the gage never reads more than half way. I was told its a typical problem with that bike and to replace the gage. The gage finally pretty much stopped reading anything so I just ignored it and listen for the fan. I did just recently unpluged the single wire lead from the temp sensor, cleaned and squeezed the plug so it fit tighter and its back to reading the temp half way.
I like the idea of adding a digital gage.

LaPush ride eh? Cool. I was doing the North Cascades last weekend.
Nice...I love that loop. Pretty busy on the weekends sometimes though...
I miss that aspect of my old job; having days off in the middle of the week meant I could ride my favorite roads hard without a lot of traffic.

-R
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