These days, liquid-cooled engines in motorcycles are becoming more and more ubiquitous. Back in the day, most motorcycles featured air-cooled motors, which are by far much easier to maintain than their liquid cooled counterparts. However, the never ending quest for horsepower has ushered in liquid-cooling technology even on small displacement engines.
Nearly all performance oriented-motorcycles come equipped with liquid-cooled engines. So, what exactly does liquid-cooling mean? Well, as the name suggests, these types of engines make use of a liquid coolant. Now, coolant serves two purposes. Number one, it keeps temperatures at bay by physically cooling the engine. Secondly, it prevents corrosion within the engine’s coolant system which comprises the coolant lines, hoses, and your radiator. All that being said, it is absolutely essential that you make sure your motorcycle’s engine has the optimum coolant level, otherwise, you run the risk of overheating and getting stranded in the middle of the road. Here are a few easy steps for you to properly check your bike’s coolant level.
Locate your coolant reservoir
All liquid cooled motorcycles come with a coolant reservoir. The coolant reservoir is where we stop at our coolant, as well as check our overall coolant level. On most motorcycles, The coolant reservoir is located somewhere near the fuel tank above the radiator. However, other motorcycles have their coolant reservoirs situated in other locations such as below the radiator, under the seat, or sometimes beneath the fairings. That said, it’s important to check your owners manual in the event you can’t immediately find your coolant reservoir.
Stand the bike upright
In order to get an accurate reading of your motorcycle’s coolant levels, it is important to ensure that your motorcycle is standing upright. Now, there are several ways for you to get your bike standing up straight. If you have a paddock stand, it will be easier for you to get an accurate reading of your coolant without much hassle. However, if you do not have a paddock stand, you can have a buddy hold your motorcycle upright while you check your coolant level. You could also opt to lean the motorcycle against a wall while carefully checking your coolant level, making sure the bike is on a flat, even surface.
Top up if necessary
Most motorcycle coolant reservoirs come with two lines which serve as the coolant level indicator. More often than not, it is best to have your coolant level right in the middle of these two lines. Now, if you find that your coolant level is below the minimum level, this means it’s time for you to top up. Topping up your coolant is a rather straightforward procedure. All it entails is unscrewing the filler cap of the coolant reservoir, and filling it up with additional coolant. Be sure to check your motorcycle’s owner’s manual for the specific type of coolant that your bike uses. It is also advisable to top up with distilled water. When topping up with water, be sure to use nothing other than distilled water, as tap water and mineral water contain contaminants which could calcify and block your coolant channels.
So there you have it. Ensuring your motorcycle’s cooling system is in tiptop shape is a sure fire way to ensure that you get your money’s worth, and that your bike continues to perform to the best of its abilities for many years to come.