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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Followed instructions and advise of several videos in changing the coolant on my 2006 vtx 1300. Everything seemingly went well. I even let the bike run for 5-6 minutes with the system open while I topped off to ensure the thermostat opened to allow all air bubbles and hopefully air pockets to escape. Put everything back together and everything seems fine. Question: Is there any way to ensure everything is fine? Did I get all the bubbles out? Maybe its just me focusing on something I didn't before but the radiator fan seems to run more now, even in cooler weather. Any feedback appreciated,
 

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When you burped the system and you say coolant flow past where the radiator attaches you should be good. I when the engine is running I add fluid until I can not add any more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
When you burped the system and you say coolant flow past where the radiator attaches you should be good. I when the engine is running I add fluid until I can not add any more.
Thanks for the response. I made sure the coolant reservoir was at proper level and topped off at the fill point before screwing down the cap. The reservoir level has not changed a bit and I suppose fluid would be drawn from it if I didn't top off properly before closing the system.
 

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My experience: 2003 1800s. To date: 116k miles.
After my last coolant change, done because of a third water pump replacement, it took more than 1500 miles for the last air bubbles to finally disappear. I kept checking my overflow reservoir (which I had never done before). This is how I recall my numbers (two years ago):
  • ride 1: 100 miles. No changes to overflow.
  • ride 2: 300 miles. Overflow empty. Refilled.
  • ride 3: 500 miles. Overflow fine.
  • ride 4: 500 miles. Overflow fine.
  • ride 5: 300 miles. Overflow empty. WTF????????? I am now 1300 miles from home (Denver-Yosemite). My hotel was next to O'Reilly's, bought coolant. Refilled overflow.
And now 20,000 miles after the last refill of the overflow everything is still fine.

This lesson told me that every time I had coolant changed the system was not properly burped. Since I never checked coolant level in my overflow tank I suspect that riding too long with too little coolant, though the overheating light never went on, caused my water pump to slowly die.
I am not going back to the same dealer, but I also now check the overflow level frequently even though it kills me to basically have my old body lay flat on the ground just to check the level.

This is how I explain my problems, which of course does not mean that I am right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My experience: 2003 1800s. To date: 116k miles.
After my last coolant change, done because of a third water pump replacement, it took more than 1500 miles for the last air bubbles to finally disappear. I kept checking my overflow reservoir (which I had never done before). This is how I recall my numbers (two years ago):
  • ride 1: 100 miles. No changes to overflow.
  • ride 2: 300 miles. Overflow empty. Refilled.
  • ride 3: 500 miles. Overflow fine.
  • ride 4: 500 miles. Overflow fine.
  • ride 5: 300 miles. Overflow empty. WTF????????? I am now 1300 miles from home (Denver-Yosemite). My hotel was next to O'Reilly's, bought coolant. Refilled overflow.
And now 20,000 miles after the last refill of the overflow everything is still fine.

This lesson told me that every time I had coolant changed the system was not properly burped. Since I never checked coolant level in my overflow tank I suspect that riding too long with too little coolant, though the overheating light never went on, caused my water pump to slowly die.
I am not going back to the same dealer, but I also now check the overflow level frequently even though it kills me to basically have my old body lay flat on the ground just to check the level.

This is how I explain my problems, which of course does not mean that I am right.
Man, you are some kind of serious rider, I applaud you! I bought my 2006 vtx1300 out of the crate and I just turned 19K. I appreciate your detailed explanation of your experience and will keep a close eye on my reservoir tank. Thanks.
 

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.. Is there any way to ensure everything is fine? ...
Yes, by monitoring the function of the reservoir. There are 2 lines shown on the reservoir, cold and hot. You burped the system so with a cold bike the reservoir should be at the cold line, add if necessary to make it that way. Run the bike to get it as hot as possible, the tank level "should" have moved up because the coolant expanded in the system, it exceeded the psi rating of the radiator cap and the expanded excess was forced out to the reservoir. If that happens there can't be any air in the system as the radiator cap is the high point in the system. If there was air it would be forced out before the coolant, air won't cause the reservoir level to rise, it will just leave. If the tank level goes up there is no air.

When the bike cools the raised level in the reservoir will be sucked back into the radiator by cooling contraction so the level should lower. If it does that means you don't have a leak in the reservoir hose or radiator cap. If one of them leaks air will be sucked back into the radiator instead of the reservoir coolant.

So if the tank level rises and falls consistently all is healthy.
 

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At my last coolant change I connected a vacuum pump to the hose going to the reservoir
and pumped some air out of the system a few times.
The hoses collapsed some, released and added more coolant. Repeated this a few times.
Added fresh coolant to the reservoir.
The burp was done with the vacuum pump.
 

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On my bike I never see any changes in the level in the reservoir tank. Make me wonder if my radiator cap is working.
 

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On my bike I never see any changes in the level in the reservoir tank. Make me wonder if my radiator cap is working.
Or you may not be getting it hot enough to exceed the cap psi.
 

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I did think of that. But in Arizona I would think that would not be a problem. The fan will turn on when at a stop light.
Not sure, but works the same way with a car. We know no problem taking a radiator cap off a cold radiator but look out on a hot vehicle. Without looking it up (service manual) not sure what the psi is on an X but probably 10-15, anything over that and it will be pushing liquid thru the hose into the bottom of the reservoir.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes, by monitoring the function of the reservoir. There are 2 lines shown on the reservoir, cold and hot. You burped the system so with a cold bike the reservoir should be at the cold line, add if necessary to make it that way. Run the bike to get it as hot as possible, the tank level "should" have moved up because the coolant expanded in the system, it exceeded the psi rating of the radiator cap and the expanded excess was forced out to the reservoir. If that happens there can't be any air in the system as the radiator cap is the high point in the system. If there was air it would be forced out before the coolant, air won't cause the reservoir level to rise, it will just leave. If the tank level goes up there is no air.

When the bike cools the raised level in the reservoir will be sucked back into the radiator by cooling contraction so the level should lower. If it does that means you don't have a leak in the reservoir hose or radiator cap. If one of them leaks air will be sucked back into the radiator instead of the reservoir coolant.

So if the tank level rises and falls consistently all is healthy.
Another well thought out and thorough response. I will definitely observe the coolant levels in the reservoir during cold and hot stages and hopefully will see a difference between the two. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm going to throw out a real weird question but curious about possible answers. Q: How is it so crucial that so much focus should be on Honda bike's coolant, when manufacturers like H.D. make bikes as large or larger than 1300cc and they are only air-cooled? Still only twin cylinders. Again, just curious.
 

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I'm going to throw out a real weird question but curious about possible answers. Q: How is it so crucial that so much focus should be on Honda bike's coolant, when manufacturers like H.D. make bikes as large or larger than 1300cc and they are only air-cooled? Still only twin cylinders. Again, just curious.
Air cooled HD's have engines and engine cases designed to work as air/oil cooled. Our bikes are designed to work with coolant. The specific type of coolant is to keep the coolant passages clear and minimize damage to the the coolant passage surfaces.
 

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The latest H-D touring bike has water cooled heads.

Earlier models had oil coolers.

More HP = more heat.
Poor H-D riders getting their nuts roasted...
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Air cooled HD's have engines and engine cases designed to work as air/oil cooled. Our bikes are designed to work with coolant. The specific type of coolant is to keep the coolant passages clear and minimize damage to the the coolant passage surfaces.
[
Air cooled HD's have engines and engine cases designed to work as air/oil cooled. Our bikes are designed to work with coolant. The specific type of coolant is to keep the coolant passages clear and minimize damage to the the coolant passage surfaces.
Thanks for the input
 

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I'm going to throw out a real weird question but curious about possible answers. Q: How is it so crucial that so much focus should be on Honda bike's coolant, when manufacturers like H.D. make bikes as large or larger than 1300cc and they are only air-cooled? Still only twin cylinders. Again, just curious.
Hypothetical, and I've seen it personally a number of times. Traffic tie-ups on an interstate, or construction bottlenecks, for miles. Hot summer day. See bikes on the side of the road. They have to be HD and because they aren't getting their airflow past the engine fins, they're cooking. Meanwhile me & my buddy are putting along slowly with our water cooled bikes. THEY too are getting damn hot to sit on, but at least they were meant to operate that way.
 
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Water cooling works on both sides of the fence, whether you're stuck in traffic on a calm hot desert day or cruising a cold high mountain pass at night the oil lubrication is kept at the same ideal flow temperature. Water cooled equates to longer engine life.
 
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