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Author Topic: How careful should I be about overheating on long trips?  (Read 2470 times)

WillW

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How careful should I be about overheating on long trips?
« on: May 21, 2010, 08:33:24 PM »
What is the feeling among you experienced Bullet riders about "resting" the bike periodically on long trips? I was on the bike for around five hours today - Electra EFI now with 2000 miles on the clock - with a couple of short stops, but long spells of mixed riding - a lot of cruising at around fifty/sixty, slower through towns and villages, but a couple of short spurts at 70, and I touched eighty briefly on an unavoidable stretch of major dual carriageway. Also hit rush hour traffic on the way home with a long traffic jam. It was a hot day (at last) and the bike ran fine, but was mighty hot when I got home, the casings still very warm a couple of hours later. It's a lean burn engine I know so runs pretty hot I guess, but I just wondered how careful I'm supposed to be about overheating....?
« Last Edit: May 21, 2010, 09:15:15 PM by WillW »
2010 Royal Enfield Electra (G5) DL

2004 Kawasaki W650
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Ice

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Re: How careful should I be about overheating on long trips?
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2010, 09:40:41 PM »
Good on you WillW !!

 Getting the whole lump,transmission and all up to temperature and keeping it there for a good while dries the moisture out of the internals quite nicely.

 Your AVL mill having the forged steel con rod and roller crank set can handle with casual aplomb the speeds and RPM's that make my Iron barrel wince.

On warm days a cool down stop is as much for the rider as it is for the bike.

« Last Edit: May 21, 2010, 09:42:47 PM by Ice »
I can break it better,,,,at night, in the rain, on the trail,, 20 miles from nowhere.

REA #136

"TIMEX", the '06 Iron Barrel Military that takes me everywhere I want to go... and some places I shouldn't.

WillW

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Re: How careful should I be about overheating on long trips?
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2010, 09:56:28 PM »
Thanks Ice, that's the kind of reassuring insight I was hoping for. I shall ride on into the long summer and not give the matter another thouight...   ;)
2010 Royal Enfield Electra (G5) DL

2004 Kawasaki W650
~ the best british bike they never made ~

hocko

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Re: How careful should I be about overheating on long trips?
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2010, 10:01:24 PM »
Hi Willw, I'm in Nth Qld Australia where it's hot most of the time, an average run with highway and built up areas involved of about four hours, no problems at all. Go and enjoy it.

Cheers  :)

WillW

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Re: How careful should I be about overheating on long trips?
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2010, 10:47:12 PM »
Well it don't get much hotter anywhere than it gets in Oz for sure. I've hung out from time to time in the South Australian desert - so hot they live underground!

And speaking of hot  -  have you seen that Australian V-twin Enfield conversion?
2010 Royal Enfield Electra (G5) DL

2004 Kawasaki W650
~ the best british bike they never made ~

georghammond

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Re: How careful should I be about overheating on long trips?
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2010, 06:03:29 PM »
Yes, I was wondering about engine overheating as well.

I have the iron engine bike, 2001 Classic. I just took her out for a short ride this weekend, stayed below 30 MPH, but the engine seemed to be getting quite hot. Not sure if iron engine bikes tend to get hotter than Electra.


UncleErnie

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Re: How careful should I be about overheating on long trips?
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2010, 06:59:55 PM »
Sounds like the perfect ride.

The only thing I did for the heat was switch from 15-40 to 20-50.
If you find your cylinder leaning to one side or the other, it might be time for a cool-off.
Run what ya brung

ScooterBob

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Re: How careful should I be about overheating on long trips?
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2010, 07:25:20 PM »
Yes, I was wondering about engine overheating as well.

I have the iron engine bike, 2001 Classic. I just took her out for a short ride this weekend, stayed below 30 MPH, but the engine seemed to be getting quite hot. Not sure if iron engine bikes tend to get hotter than Electra.



The old Iron Engine WILL toast itself if you lug it around at 30 mph - especially if you lug it around in HIGH GEAR, where it has no oil pumping through it to cool it off! The Iron Engine offers an especially difficult thermodynamic profile for its cooling - the combustion chamber is HUGE with its romping, stomping 6 to 1 compression ratio - and therefore it heats more iron - and wastes more energy AS heat than a higher compression bike. Oil circulation is tantamount to keeping the little beastie cool - and the pumps just don't pump much at idle. The little bike needs revs to keep the cooling flow of oil going to all the parts - THIS is why these little engines get deep fat fried and then knock the rods RIGHT out of them - lugging!  The UCE, however - not a problem - its generous cooling fin area, combined with a higher compression AND an oil pump that actually DOES, will keep one cool enough even if you lay down on the tank and pin the throttle ...... Use GOOD full synthetic oils in her, though ..... the higher temps inside an oil cooled engine will coke off dinosaur oil and cause spot heating, wear - and eventual component failure.
Spare the pig iron - spoil the part!

ScooterBob

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Re: How careful should I be about overheating on long trips?
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2010, 07:27:00 PM »
Sounds like the perfect ride.

The only thing I did for the heat was switch from 15-40 to 20-50.
If you find your cylinder leaning to one side or the other, it might be time for a cool-off.

This brings an image of a Salvador Dali engine leaning over and splishing little droplets of molten alloy on the ground .......  ::)
Spare the pig iron - spoil the part!

t120rbullet

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Re: How careful should I be about overheating on long trips?
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2010, 07:44:34 PM »
I rest mine for about 10 minuets every 100 miles while I fill it up with gas and have a smoke.
The UCE cools very well due to a lot of large cooling fins, much better than the Iron or Avl.
Never got stuck in rush-hour traffic with it, I try to avoid that at all costs. OTOH no air cooled motor will do well do in stop and go traffic.
I run Amsoil 20 w 50 in it.
CJ
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2012 Concours 14 (no name yet)
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singhg5

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Re: How careful should I be about overheating on long trips?
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2010, 09:04:07 PM »
Changing oil every 2000 miles is also helpful to keep the engine clean and get rid off any burnt oil residues - though manual suggests every 3000 miles for UCE.   Also fully synthetic oils resist thermal break down better than semi-synthetics.
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WillW

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Re: How careful should I be about overheating on long trips?
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2010, 09:22:53 PM »
Semi-Synthetic oil is recommended in the UCE owner's manual. Mine came with Silkolene 15-50 semi synth and I've used it since for both oil changes so far. What real difference does fully synth make?
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2004 Kawasaki W650
~ the best british bike they never made ~

REpozer

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Re: How careful should I be about overheating on long trips?
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2010, 10:11:58 PM »
As long as you have low RPM's with ample air flow over the jug, you shouldn't have any real overheating problems.

Semi syn oil is supposed to give synthetic qualities at a lower price. In our case it should keep the "coking " from occurring in the oil lines exposed to high heat.
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t120rbullet

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Re: How careful should I be about overheating on long trips?
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2010, 11:17:48 PM »
Semi-Synthetic oil is recommended in the UCE owner's manual. Mine came with Silkolene 15-50 semi synth and I've used it since for both oil changes so far. What real difference does fully synth make?

The full synthetic oil is the same price as the semi-synthetic around here and the semi-synthetic is hard to find. 
Aside from that I don't think that there is any difference at all.
The G5 is the first vehicle I've ever put any form of synthetic anything in.
Personally I think it's a waste of good money. But then there is the warranty period to satisfy ::)
CJ
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ScooterBob

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Re: How careful should I be about overheating on long trips?
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2010, 12:50:38 AM »
The full synthetic oil is the same price as the semi-synthetic around here and the semi-synthetic is hard to find. 
Aside from that I don't think that there is any difference at all.
The G5 is the first vehicle I've ever put any form of synthetic anything in.
Personally I think it's a waste of good money. But then there is the warranty period to satisfy ::)
CJ

Au Contrere' mon Frere'! Full synthetic lubricants are QUITE essential in a modern, high-speed, high temperature engine. One must understand the characteristics of dinosaur oil to understand WHY synthetic lubricants are required - AND "the bomb". First there is lubricity over temperature. Both oils in the same viscosity start out equal - and stay pretty much that way to about 180 degrees in oil temperature. The synthetic is fine - but the dino oil starts to lose its ability to lubricate due to temperature shear - that is the molecular structure starts to unravel. As the oil gets hotter and hotter, the dino oil shears more and more until at about 210 degrees with most oils, you start to have METAL TO METAL contact due to the oil being completely sheared. Meanwhile the synthetic is still good due to the fact that its molecular structure has been engineered with long chain molecules that actually clump together under heat and pressure making the oil have a GREATER shear strength than at lower temperatures! I've temp gunned the bottom of the UCE after a "brisk" run and gotten 220 degrees on the OUTSIDE of the oil plug ......

Another benefit of the synthetic oil, in the same vein, is its ability to resist "coking off" or turning back into car tar in your engine at temperature, Dino oils WILL coke off at about 250 degrees - put some on a hot plate and watch it! At the coke temperature - not only is the dino oil allowing metal to metal contact - it's actually turning acidic and ABRASIVE as it cooks into coal chunks. The synthetic oil, although starting to lose lubricity ( but only about 40%) will not coke off until about 380 degrees or so (all that depending on the blend and manufacture of the oil, of course!) - and at THAT temperature - you got more than hot oil!.

Look on the SAE.org website for info and read "The Practical Handbook of Machinery Lubrication" by Leunger. This is the bible of machinery lubrication of ANY kind - I have worn out a copy of it in my travails to keep everything from absorber pumps to stock car motors together. Bottom line, CJ - you ain't wastin' your dough - but you'll waste your little thumper if you put Quaker Cake into it .... ! 
Spare the pig iron - spoil the part!

t120rbullet

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Re: How careful should I be about overheating on long trips?
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2010, 03:07:43 AM »
I bought a pile of parts a while back and in it was 3qts of that Royal Purple synthetic oil.
I put it in my Triumph and it made a big difference.
I had a purple puddle on the floor instead of that "hand rubbed oil" finish.
CJ
1999 Enfield 500 Black Deluxe "Silver"
2012 Concours 14 (no name yet)
2013 Royal Star Venture S  "Jelly Roll"

ScooterBob

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Re: How careful should I be about overheating on long trips?
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2010, 02:07:27 PM »
I bought a pile of parts a while back and in it was 3qts of that Royal Purple synthetic oil.
I put it in my Triumph and it made a big difference.
I had a purple puddle on the floor instead of that "hand rubbed oil" finish.
CJ

Think of it as an English Bike status symbol ..... everyone ELSE'S ragged English bikes leak black .... YOURS leaks PURPLE! Hahaha! Mine leak red from Klotz - and they smell good, too .....  ;)
Spare the pig iron - spoil the part!

Ducati Scotty

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Re: How careful should I be about overheating on long trips?
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2010, 05:25:48 PM »
Some other advantage of synthetic oils for air cooled engines:
-They have a very linear viscosity transition across temperatures.  Dino oils are thicker when cold, thinner and breaking down,as mentioned, when hot.
-You can use a thinner oil weight.  One of the reasons for heavy weight dino oils is the higher shear strength.  Since synthectics don't fail as easily on shear you can use a thinner oil.  Thinner oil is a GOOD THING!  To a point ;)  The thinner the oil is the faster and more completely it gets to all the engine parts.  You didn't have this option with dino because of shear failure but you have it with synthetics.  You don't need to go thinner than manufacturer recommended but if you have the choice between two, go thinner.

Also, after much reading I've determined there is some benefit to moto oils if you have a unit engine with the same oil in the engine, clutch, and gearbox.  Gears break down oil.  Auto oils are legally limited in the amount of compounds they can put in to prevent this.  Older oils had more but these are bad for the env.  Moto specific oils have more of these compounds.

All this said, if you're not racing or riding really, really hard and you check and change your oil and filter regularly with good quality oil, which one you choose, brand, dino, synthetic, doesn't really seem to matter all that much.  How many people do you know who have lost an engine to oil failure?  I have almost 200,000 miles on my Civic.  It gets name brand oil but nothing special.  It has been to Jiffy Lube amnyt times in it's life.  Still runs great and has great compression.

Scott

WillW

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Re: How careful should I be about overheating on long trips?
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2010, 05:32:41 PM »
A lot of good info again. I might switch from semi to fully synth next oil change. I have a couple of litres of the semi left, and was wondering whether I could just tip a couple of litres of full synth into the same container and make a more synthetic oil. I emailed Silkolene oil clinic and the man said yes. Fine to mix as long as you're mixing good quality oils.
In case anyone else had wondered the same, now you know. ;)
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2004 Kawasaki W650
~ the best british bike they never made ~

qgolden

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Re: How careful should I be about overheating on long trips?
« Reply #19 on: July 26, 2010, 07:32:00 PM »
I rode my for about two weeks and then put the sidecar on. Prior to assembling I took a CHT with an infra-red thermometer.    After running for 'bout an hour with the car on I took a reading as soon as I got home, head temp was within 10 degrees.  Not very scientific nor did I bother to record ambient temp, but it was in the upper 80's and roughly the same time of day.  That being said I would not scare me to run all day without the Hack only taking breaks when I needed them.  The Hack must put some additional work on the motor but it cools to the same level.

-Quinn
Any other Enfields in New England?

Ducati Scotty

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Re: How careful should I be about overheating on long trips?
« Reply #20 on: July 26, 2010, 08:31:39 PM »
I'd go to full synth for just one reason: semi-synthetic is not a defined product.  You could have a little synthetic in there or a lot.  There's no way to tell and no industry standard to meet.  Synthetic is 100% synthetic.  The engine doesn't need much oil, splurge for the good stuff.

Scott