Thermo fans come on, but temperature doesn't drop - Yamaha R1 Forum: YZF-R1 Forums
09-14 R1 Mechanical Help Mechanical and Critical Issues for the 09-14 R1

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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-25-2016, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
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Thermo fans come on, but temperature doesn't drop

Just wondering if anyone has any ideas...

I have a 2014 R1 with very low kms/miles. The weather here has been hot lately - 30 to 38 degrees C (86-100F). The bike is running quite warm, anywhere up to 111 degrees C (232F) at idle when waiting in traffic. The fans come on and they both are working (I checked) but the temperature of the coolant doesn't seem to drop more than maybe 2 or 3 degrees, which means the fans just stay on until I'm moving again. Does that seem right? I'm used to other bikes when the fans come on, the temperature drops, and the fans turn off again, and the cycle repeats. The R1 seems to heat up until the fans come on, but if I let it idle, it doesn't cool back down to the point they switch off. It just stays hot.

I flashed the ECU recently to get the fans to come on at 100 (212F) degrees, instead of 105 (220). The temp still gets past 100 at idle, right up to 105, 106, 107. The fans seem to stop it getting hotter, but they don't seem to be cooling it.

Has anyone got any thoughts as to why this is? I've checked the coolant level in the overflow, and it's sitting at about the maximum level. Bike is still hot so I haven't popped the radiator cap off yet. The fans both work and are drawing air through the radiator. Could it be caused by air in the radiator/cooling system? Any help would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 06:05 AM
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Try 96 turn on and 91 turn off. This is approximately what mine are at (205 and 195). Seems to help if I don't let it get that hot to begin with. Depending on the ambient temperature, sometimes the bike cools down, other times it holds the temp around 205. I'd say what you're experiencing is normal, these engines are just stupidly hot.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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I've reflashed the bike to have the fans come on sooner. I'll see if that helps. The ambient temperature for the next couple of days should be a bit cooler so that might make a difference.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-29-2016, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
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Well, the fans come on at 96 (and should turn off at 91) but the temp still goes up to about 100, and then just sits around 98-100. The fans don't seem to cool at all. Is that normal?
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-29-2016, 03:08 PM
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Ah, you're in Australia. What you're describing is normal. The last few days here in Sydney it's been hot and humid. I've flashed my bike so the fans come on at 96, and turn off at 91. My bike still goes to 105-110, and stays there no matter what the fans do. It's only after I do some riding at 50+ for a few mins the temps come down. I think the fans are small, and only designed to stop the bike from overheating, not cool it down.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-29-2016, 03:13 PM
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Depending where you are in Aus, you might want to experiment with the ratio of coolant to water. A mate of mine in Brissy makes his coolant mix a bit weaker, around 20% coolant to 80% water. Reason being, coolant does not remove heat as well as water. The only reason coolant exists is to raise the boiling point of the water, and it also reduces the freezing point. The best thermal solution for heat removal is pure water; but water boils at 100, so water alone ain't good enough. If you're having problems removing heat, you can gain a small advantage by increasing the water to coolant ratio. Some people run 50% each, that's fine for where you really need your coolant not to boil or freeze, but you will run hotter temps because coolant does not carry heat away as efficiently as water does. For Aussie heat, 50% each is probably not the best option.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-29-2016, 03:14 PM
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Your other option is to buy a racing radiator or those radiator upgrades.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-29-2016, 03:22 PM
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I'm running the blue Yamacool coolant. No antifreeze properties, but good for the heat.

The fans are small and only cover about 1/3 of the radiator at best, yet do an amazing job of blowing the heat into your shins. I figure keeping around 205-210 is better than 225-235.


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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-29-2016, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TwentySixRed View Post
Ah, you're in Australia. What you're describing is normal. The last few days here in Sydney it's been hot and humid. I've flashed my bike so the fans come on at 96, and turn off at 91. My bike still goes to 105-110, and stays there no matter what the fans do. It's only after I do some riding at 50+ for a few mins the temps come down. I think the fans are small, and only designed to stop the bike from overheating, not cool it down.
Thanks for the feedback. That's exactly what mine does. I thought maybe the fans weren't working as well as they should since the battery doesn't seem to be 100% - I've had trouble starting the bike once or twice in the past few weeks. I've also read somewhere else of someone having a similar problem that was solved by getting a new battery...?

I'll try some new coolant this weekend and flush the radiator while I'm there. Could an air bubble cause the bike to have trouble cooling?
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-08-2016, 04:41 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. That's exactly what mine does. I thought maybe the fans weren't working as well as they should since the battery doesn't seem to be 100% - I've had trouble starting the bike once or twice in the past few weeks. I've also read somewhere else of someone having a similar problem that was solved by getting a new battery...?

I'll try some new coolant this weekend and flush the radiator while I'm there. Could an air bubble cause the bike to have trouble cooling?
Air bubble? Not really. After 5-10 mins ride any air bubble in the cooling system will have been thoroughly bounced, leaned, and vibrated out. What you could check, is if there's any bugs or gravel in the radiator fins, or bent fins, leaves stuck between the fans and the radiator, or any other kind of blockages. A guy I know bent a heap of his radiator fins with his pressure washer. Just sprayed the high pressure spray right onto his radiator and voila - heaps of bent radiator fins. Spent half a day with a nail file straightening them out again. So don't Gerni your radiator, it'll **** it.

Also, check this link about coolant mixing: Coolant Mix and Overheating

And another article with graphs: http://hellafunctional.com/?p=629
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Last edited by TwentySixRed; 03-08-2016 at 04:47 PM.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-09-2016, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Air bubble? Not really. After 5-10 mins ride any air bubble in the cooling system will have been thoroughly bounced, leaned, and vibrated out. What you could check, is if there's any bugs or gravel in the radiator fins, or bent fins, leaves stuck between the fans and the radiator, or any other kind of blockages. A guy I know bent a heap of his radiator fins with his pressure washer. Just sprayed the high pressure spray right onto his radiator and voila - heaps of bent radiator fins. Spent half a day with a nail file straightening them out again. So don't Gerni your radiator, it'll **** it.

Also, check this link about coolant mixing: Coolant Mix and Overheating

And another article with graphs: Things you should know about coolant | hellafunctional
Thanks mate! Those links are super helpful. The radiator looked pretty good when I checked it but I'll take a better look. I might need to mix my own coolant instead of buying premixed 50/50.
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