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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Many bikes come from the dealer with a 50/50% mix of water and antifreeze. With many antifreeze types that gives freezing protection down to as low as -60* F (do your own metric conversion). For many riders, this is WAY more freezing protection that is needed.

Water (distilled) cools much better than antifreeze. The more antifreeze in the coolant, the less ability the coolant has to pull heat from the engine. Also water releases heat better than antifreeze. This makes your radiator work better than it otherwise could.

When the engine heats up - especially in hot climates or when run hard - the cooling passages in the engine do not all pull heat from the engine. As coolant flows through the engine is heats up and pulls less heat. Also, the regions near the top of the cylinders and the combustion chambers produce more heat than other areas. Even if the coolant passages are well designed, routed, and shaped, hot spots in the passages can and will develop.

These hot spots cause coolant to boil and make small pockets where the boiling prevents additional coolant from reaching these areas resulting in the area to get even hotter.

Reducing the amount of antifreeze in the coolant will allow the coolant to perform better. Some products like Water Wetter or a few drops of Soft Soap are surfactants that reduce the strong surface tension of water. This allows for much smaller pockets to form when the coolant begins to boil. This results in much better coolant performance.

Also, many do not realize that many ECUs add fuel to the engine when it starts to get hotter than normal. This is done to prevent detonation (pinging) and the associated damage. It also reduces performance.

The header on our bikes is routed very close to the radiator. This means that exhaust heat can be radiated INTO the radiator, reducing its performance. Exhaust coatings and wraps can help to keep this under control.

I live in a region of the world where winter temeratures rarely get near freezing, and never get this low in my garage. As a result I use a maximum of 25% antifreeze in distilled water. Adding 5% surfactant like Water Wetter and 20% antifreeze give me good winter protection and excellent summer heat control.

The end result is an engine that will quiclky cool down when riding hard, runs cooler at low speeds, and has less tendancy to have detonation and preignition issues than before. And the engine makes very repeatable power on consecutive dyno pulls or when run hard for long periods on the street.

Another issue is antifreeze types - polyethylene glycol or polypropylene glycol perform differently.

This is not a be-all, end-all word on this subject. I hope it helps some, and gets feedback from others.
 

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Makes sense Dev, same temps here, never below freezing. The main purpose as I see it, for anti-frezze is corrosion protection.
In my younger days, I've pulled too many alloy engine bits that have been rendered useless due corrosion.
This has led to my aversion of liquid cooled engines. Much prefer air cooled types, never got around to getting the Porsche..........:-\, and I had to make an exception for my Speedy.

To conclude I do not really need the anti-freeze in my bike but I'd sure like to know what's the best corrosion inhibitor.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
20% is more than enough to keep corrosion in check - especially if you never add tap water. It also keeps the seals in good shape.

This is definately a case where LESS IS MORE.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It depends on the brand and type of antifreeze used. Generally 20% PG protects to 10-15* F, and 25-30% protects to 0* F. Look on the back of the antifreeze bottle for the protection chart.
 

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I am reviving this old thread due to several recent questions.

Distilled or deionized water cools better than water with antifreeze. The higher the antifreeze percentage, the less efficient the cooling becomes. Use only what you need.

There are two common types of antifreeze, ethylene glycol (EG) is the most common, and propylene glycol (PG) is the newer non-toxic antifreeze that is becoming more and more common. Antifreeze contains lubricants for the seals in the cooling system as well. PG is the coolant most tracks want you to use, because it is not as slippery if it overflows or leaks as EG.

As long as the antifreeze is a low silicate design (most today are), you can use it in an aluminum engine - bike, car, etc.

A surfactant is a detergent additive that breaks down the high surface tension of water. This means that in small cavities in the cooling system, where hot spots develop and cause boiling to occur, the bubbles caused by the boiling will be much smaller, and better cooling can happen. Water Wetter, Soft Soap, Purple Ice, etc. are all surfactants.

Engine Ice is water and PG premixed with a surfactant - nothing fancy. Evans NPG differs, but is basically a PG coolant mix with a very high boiling point that does not add water, but less cooling ability than pure water. To get the most out of NPG you need a low pressure radiator cap and a faster driven water pump (or more impeller blades).

The cooling system temperature is set by the thermostat. It is a spring loaded valve that is set to open at a given temperature. Improving the efficiency of the coolant will not drop the running temperature of the bike. It only prevents it from running hotter, and helps it to cool down quicker when run hard.

The fan has a thermostat as well. It is set to come on when the temperature exceeds a given point. Improving the coolant efficiency can reduce how often it come on, but at low rpm, the water pump moves less fluid, and the engine WILL run warmer, than at higher engine speeds. And higher road speeds will flow more air through the radiator and cool better.

There are lower temperature thermostats available (too low of a temperature will keep the engine in start-up mode and runs richer) , and Muzzys offers a fan blade that moves more air.

I hope this clears up a few things.
 

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premier said:
So at what temperature does this 25/75 mix freeze?
You can purchase a hydrometer (relatively cheap and very simple) which will tell you what the freezing point of coolant is currently at. It will change based on any additions or subtractions from the system and with age.
 

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Also, if you get a dual scale specific gravity hydrometer ($25), it will have a temperature chart as well.
 

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Devious, once again, thanks for the info. I live and work in Chicago, and so, unfortunately, have to deal with both temperature extremes (below zero in the winter and 100 degrees in the summer) and lots of stop and go traffic. I ride the bike to work every day there is not snow on the ground in the winter and every day there are no lightning storms in the summer. The commute is short, less than ten miles, but because of traffic, it seems like the fan runs a lot. The bike never gets past 7 bars and that's just for a very short time until the fan starts running. Here's my question: In my situation, would it make sense to run Engine Ice (or a lower coolant to water ratio) in the summer and swap to a standard coolant mix in the winter? Or keep the coolant mix 50-50 year round and use a Muzzy fan? What's the best combo for us who don't enjoy the benefits of southern living?
 

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Most antifreezes protect to -50 or -60*F when mixed at 50/50. Even in Chicago, you likely do not see these temps in the winter. Reducing the antifreeze MAY be good for your uses.

But before you do that, try adding 3-4 drops of Soft Soap (or half a bottle of Water Wetter) to the top of the radiator, and top off the overflow tank with distilled water (available at most grocery stores). If this helps, then that may be all you need.

In stop and go traffic, or at low speeds, these bikes simply run the fan often.
 

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Mr. Devious Sir,

What do you reccommend for temperatures that range between 60-90 degrees F?
Should I run 10% antifreeze, a little SoftSoap and the rest distilled water?

Thanks for the help.
 

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Mr. Skinny Sir,
For those temps, I use 70% distilled water, half a bottle of Redline Water Wetter, and 25% PG antifreeze. It protects to around 15 degrees F, lubricates the seals, still prevents corrosion, and seems to cool down very quickly when run hard.

If you want to run less antifreeze, use Royal Purple's "Purple Ice" instead of Water Wetter - it has seal lubricants that Water Wetter does not have.
 

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Might I suggest the sobriquet 'Dr DEVIOUS'

AA :pow: :pow:
 

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was going to post a new thread, but since this one's here already...
i just drained, rinsed, and refilled my cooling system with distilled water and water wetter, total cost ~$11 after tax. bike doesn't get over 5 bars hot now(used to maintain 6, and up to 7 when idling in traffic) ever. plus i have enough water wetter left over to do that 2 more times.

the bike holds 2.8l of coolant, or 2.95 quarts for the metric impaired. the water wetter bottle recommends 1oz per quart of water. 2.95q = 3/4 gal to make that easier.

i got 2 gallons of distilled water, drained my coolant into some tupperware whatsit, refilled with just distilled water and drove around town for a bit. let it cool, wash rinse repeat.
the third drain (2nd fill of water) was almost completely clear(well, not blue anyways)
the last 3/4 gal of water went in with the 3oz water wetter added and was left in.

all you need is a Phillips head screwdriver, 8mm wrench, pair of pliers or something like a 4mm or 3mm socket for retaining bolt on radiator cap, a small container for coolant and a few minutes
 

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ok i got the Water Wetter and three gallons of Distilled water today. Looked at the anti-freeze and there are so many now with different mixtures that I got confused :wtf: I read the backs of a few of them and none mentioned PG or EG. Asked the counter woman with her tits hanging out and she looked like me :wtf:
So any suggestions? I'm going to do the 25/75 with Water wetter
 

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Devious

What problems do you see happening if I run a combo of just distilled water and Purple Ice for my summertime mixture here in SC?

Can I get away with not using coolant at all?

Thanks
 
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