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The last time my radiator was removed/cleaned was 2 years ago when the motor was changed. Since then I've been very diligent staying on top of routinely cleaning, e.g. spraying with degreasers, cleaning foams, Simple Green, reaching in with pressure washer, etc. I've been cleaning it "in the bike" probably 3-4 times a year. Towards the end of this riding season I noticed the temp would climb higher and sooner than anticipated. At idle and/or in traffic it would jump up a couple of bars in no time at all. This past weekend I decided to pull/flush/power wash the radiator. It's really not a big/difficult job. As a matter-of-fact it took me about 25 minutes to get the radiator out. On the bench I removed the shroud and fan. Shining a light through the radiator revealed the lower half was blocked at least 50% or more with debris, e.g. small rocks, tar, sand, dirt, bugs, etc. I drenched the radiator with degreaser and let it soak for about 15 minutes before I fired up the pressure washer. I directed the pressure from the back-side, of course. I was amazed at how much 'junk' came of the radiator on to the cement driveway. So much so that I repeated the spray/soak/pressure wash a second time. The inside of the radiator appeared to be fine. The old radiator fluid looked brand new there was absolutely no debris. I reinstalled and filled the radiator with Peak European OET fluid and added 4 ounces of Hyper Lube Super Coolant additive. It took the better part of a day to bleed the coolant system. I started by running motor, opening/closing both bleed screws (one on the water pump and the other above the left side hose). Bleeding didn't get very much air out. The whole time the bike was running air bubbles were rising into the coolant over-flow reservoir. When the fan kicked in I shut the bike down. I then topped off the reservoir. I let the bike cool down completely. When I came back out to the garage an hour or so later the reservoir was empty. I topped it off and repeated, e.g. start bike, bleed, fan turn on, shut down. I did this 4 complete cycles. After the 4th there were no more bubbles rising and the reservoir remained full. I should mention that by the 4th time the fan would NOT kick on, bike would get to a certain temp and just stay there... I'm happy with the results. I will now add radiator removal/cleaning to my Annual list, e.g. flush brakes, remove/inspect driveshaft, replace final drive fluid, etc.

Duane
 

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Discussion Starter #3
@mkr1966, nope, stay off dirt roads at all cost. I too thought my radiator was clean until I pulled it. Radiator has 78,000 miles total, about 28,000 since last removal/cleaning.

Duane
 

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So after your twice spray, soak, power wash routine did the radiator look a lot better, as in perfect, with the flashlight? I assume so but what say you?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
@Arizona Jim, YES, I was able to see through everywhere save for the very bottom 1/4". Before cleaning I couldn't see through hardly any of the bottom section of the radiator.

Duane
 

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Agree with Gunnert. At the TTW had a front TPS go out & a engine coil. Riding up to Blairsville, GA the red radiator temp light came on while in bumper to bumper traffic in an area with road construction. I had been very diligent in cleaning the radiator on my 2016 GTLE & have a RadGuard/ Fender Extender. Never had seen this warning before.

Fortunately, I had an RPM One extended warranty so, the TPS & Coil replacement were covered. Had the radiator cleaned out during the service. It was a mess in the lower 1/3.

Unfortunately, the dealer decided I needed all the spark plugs replaced after just 10K miles & bent my front rim. They put on 8 weights on the front rim, never indicated any damage on the invoice & the bike road "Thumpty Thump" at 50 mph. Of course they adamantly refused to admit any wrong doing. Rim is off being fixed at my expense now.

Bad string of events.

Best,

Doc:confused::confused:
 

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Agree with Gunnert. At the TTW had a front TPS go out & a engine coil. Riding up to Blairsville, GA the red radiator temp light came on while in bumper to bumper traffic in an area with road construction. I had been very diligent in cleaning the radiator on my 2016 GTLE & have a RadGuard/ Fender Extender. Never had seen this warning before.

Fortunately, I had an RPM One extended warranty so, the TPS & Coil replacement were covered. Had the radiator cleaned out during the service. It was a mess in the lower 1/3.

Unfortunately, the dealer decided I needed all the spark plugs replaced after just 10K miles & bent my front rim. They put on 8 weights on the front rim, never indicated any damage on the invoice & the bike road "Thumpty Thump" at 50 mph. Of course they adamantly refused to admit any wrong doing. Rim is off being fixed at my expense now.

Bad string of events.

Best,

Doc:confused::confused:

We need a sad emogie to click like we have the "like"
 

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The last time my radiator was removed/cleaned was 2 years ago when the motor was changed. Since then I've been very diligent staying on top of routinely cleaning, e.g. spraying with degreasers, cleaning foams, Simple Green, reaching in with pressure washer, etc. I've been cleaning it "in the bike" probably 3-4 times a year. Towards the end of this riding season I noticed the temp would climb higher and sooner than anticipated. At idle and/or in traffic it would jump up a couple of bars in no time at all. This past weekend I decided to pull/flush/power wash the radiator. It's really not a big/difficult job. As a matter-of-fact it took me about 25 minutes to get the radiator out. On the bench I removed the shroud and fan. Shining a light through the radiator revealed the lower half was blocked at least 50% or more with debris, e.g. small rocks, tar, sand, dirt, bugs, etc. I drenched the radiator with degreaser and let it soak for about 15 minutes before I fired up the pressure washer. I directed the pressure from the back-side, of course. I was amazed at how much 'junk' came of the radiator on to the cement driveway. So much so that I repeated the spray/soak/pressure wash a second time. The inside of the radiator appeared to be fine. The old radiator fluid looked brand new there was absolutely no debris. I reinstalled and filled the radiator with Peak European OET fluid and added 4 ounces of Hyper Lube Super Coolant additive. It took the better part of a day to bleed the coolant system. I started by running motor, opening/closing both bleed screws (one on the water pump and the other above the left side hose). Bleeding didn't get very much air out. The whole time the bike was running air bubbles were rising into the coolant over-flow reservoir. When the fan kicked in I shut the bike down. I then topped off the reservoir. I let the bike cool down completely. When I came back out to the garage an hour or so later the reservoir was empty. I topped it off and repeated, e.g. start bike, bleed, fan turn on, shut down. I did this 4 complete cycles. After the 4th there were no more bubbles rising and the reservoir remained full. I should mention that by the 4th time the fan would NOT kick on, bike would get to a certain temp and just stay there... I'm happy with the results. I will now add radiator removal/cleaning to my Annual list, e.g. flush brakes, remove/inspect driveshaft, replace final drive fluid, etc.

Duane
Great write up Duane and good item to add to the maintenance list.

Hey, you didn't happen to document that rad removal on video using multiple angles, arrows and captions did you? :wink:
 

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Ya lost me...how did they bend your rim changing your spark plugs?��
I hope it wasn't a BMW dealership. :surprise:

I think he had the tire/wheel rebalanced when they replaced the TPS, but I'm must guessing.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Doc, I've changed many a tire. I've tried to think of one, but there's only one way I can conceive doing anything that would dent a motorcycle rim; e.g. riding the motorcycle and hitting a pothole/object... Scratch/scuff, yes, dent no. Just sayin'...

Duane
 

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Hi, Duane, thanks for the detailed writeup, this made me go and check my rad level as I have just had the valve check and spark plug service done (33000km). I am sure the dealer did not clean the rad like you did, but we rode a 200 mile ride last weekend after the service, and before the ride the water level was midway between full and minimum. I have just checked and it is on the lower level line. You think maybe it was not bled properly? I did check with the bike hot during and after the ride, and the level was just above full, but nothing leaked when it is standing, so possibly air still in system? Thanks, Harley.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
@harleyzx1400, if your reservoir level only dropped as you described then you're fine, you have no issues. My experience has shown that when the system is not static bled correctly then it will 'burp' after running the bike/when you shut it down, e.g. upon cooling, air bubble will rise from coolant system and anti-freeze from reservoir will fill the void. My system 'burped' 4 times before all the air came out.

I should mention a few weeks ago I changed the coil on another forum member's bike, Herb. After doing the static bleed, warming up motor, and refilling the reservoir, it was fine. Herb told me yesterday he's only had to add a few ounces to top-off the reservoir.

Duane
 

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Thanks for the write up Duane! I also found that, without taking the grill off the radiator, you can not see just how dirty the bottom part of the radiator is and that's with a fender extender and minimal gravel road riding. Heating up quicker than "usual" and slower recovery time dictates to me when a good cleaning is due.

On a side note and I give full credit to one of the mechanics at my dealership who has been very generous with me in sharing his knowledge and methods for various maintenance steps that I've done on my bike. When refilling my radiator I use a funnel (Fun 1) with a twist type shut-off valve, tubing and a section of a different funnel. I cut the one funnel (Fun 2) until the taper diameter fit snugly into the radiator filler hole and the tubing fits snugly into the top of that funnel. The vise grips shown are used to close off the tube from the reservoir to the radiator and is done before draining the radiator during the removal process and stay on until the end of the refill/ bleeding process. With bungie cords I hang the main funnel (Fun 1) off the handle bars so it hangs vertically and the connected tubing reaches down and fits snugly into Fun 2. You can pour the anti-freeze into Fun 1 and then control the flow into the radiator with the twist shut-off valve which is very handy once the bleed valves start bleeding. Having a tight seal at the radiator filler helps keep the overflow mess to a minimum.

Funnel 1.jpg

Funnel 2.jpg
 

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Did you have any sort of extra screen installed?

RL likes to use A/C filter screen, but I've been fine with aluminum window screen.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
@Meese, no, I too am fine with the way the radiator comes from the factory.

Duane
 

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If you're asking me the answer in no extra screening. Going back and reading the thread that you linked I see that it may be a smart way of going. However, this may not be the right way to think about it but I've had my house screen door open with a nice breeze coming in but when I close the screen door the breeze is greatly reduced.
 

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Quote: I hope it wasn't a BMW dealership.

Yes, it was a BMW dealership.

Doc, I've changed many a tire. I've tried to think of one, but there's only one way I can conceive doing anything that would dent a motorcycle rim; e.g. riding the motorcycle and hitting a pothole/object... Scratch/scuff, yes, dent no. Just sayin'...
Duane
Lets see... I brought the bike in with one weight on the front tire. The k1600 road like you were driving on glass. The BMW dealership put a new TPS sensor in the front & changed the front tire. When they balanced the front tire they had to use EIGHT WEIGHTS. At 50 mph there is a defentive abnormal movement/ motion in the front tire. There is no documentation on the service record of any issue(s) with my front tire. A Honda motorcycle dealership figured out there was a dent in my front rim. Just sayin'...

Best,

Doc:confused::confused:

:b2topic::b2topic:
 
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