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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Saw something in a recent issue of Cycle World that got me to wondering. Some guy wrote in regarding temp gauges and said that while working for Mazda in the 80s they "solved" the problem of owners fretting over 3/4 temp gauge levels while in standing traffic BY ADDING A RESISTOR that kept the dial from climbing so high, basically turning it into an idiot gauge. Perceived overheating problem solved!

I'm probably not the only one who has been impressed by our Wee's constancy at three bars regardless of riding conditions or ambient temps, certainly compared to other liquid-cooled bikes I have owned whose gauges climbed like a Sherpa on crack under certain conditions. Now I'm wondering...could this be why we never get seem to get hot under the cowl(er)?
 

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Wow, I never heard of that "solution" to a bike courting the overheating redline.

It's like a reverse Spinal Tap scenario: "This dial... Goes to 8."
 

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Once in a great while, mine will climb to 4 bars.
 

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Once in a great while, mine will climb to 4 bars.
Ditto for me, when it's really hot out and I'm stuck in traffic, sitting. Once the 4th bar pops up the fan kicks on however...:beatnik:
 

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I'm probably not the only one who has been impressed by our Wee's constancy at three bars regardless of riding conditions or ambient temps, certainly compared to other liquid-cooled bikes I have owned whose gauges climbed like a Sherpa on crack under certain conditions. Now I'm wondering...could this be why we never get seem to get hot under the cowl(er)?
Maybe it's because the V in our engine leans further forward (into the air stream) and the cylinders are more separated than other engine configurations.
 

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It's not that they were solving a problem with the cars going into overheat, but that ignorant owners didnt understand that green is still normal range. Stop and go, hot day, temps are going to be in the high end of the range. But back in the 70s, makers decided not to bother car owners with numbers on gauges, and made it so that gauges read below half of 3/4. And that they didnt move fast, they buffered the movement. Fast gauges means trouble, doncha know. And a high reading must mean trouble. So slow and low is the name of the game.


When the Neon SRT came out, folks freaked out because the gauges were not buffered, and when you got on it WOT, the temps would rise almost immediately. People freaked out. Engineers told us they were expecting the gear-heads they wanted to sell the car to to appreciate being fed real data, not muffled crap.
 

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I had an 1100RT-p, cop bike, and the only time the fan ever came on was when I was running the bike in the garage with a big fan for cooling and only then when the bars went to 5. Sitting in Vegas traffic at 115 degrees never went over 3 bars
Motorcycles ran for many years with just air cooling and never had a problem.
If the bike gets to 5 bars on the Wee I might pull over and check the coolant. I'm not going to sweat it until then.
After anyway, how many folks have reported a severe coolant heating problem?
 

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Yeah, I have no doubt that the temp gauge on my wee is seriously damped.

The one on my BMW (car) is notorious for this. Once the car is warm, it points straight up and down, no matter what. Unless it's about to overheat, then it rapidly goes hot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I had an 1100RT-p, cop bike, and the only time the fan ever came on was when I was running the bike in the garage with a big fan for cooling and only then when the bars went to 5. Sitting in Vegas traffic at 115 degrees never went over 3 bars
Right. Key to that is "cop bike." CHP ordered theirs with fans installed behind the oil cooler for a reason. My non-cop (of course) R1150GS would get to the top of the scale after only a few minutes of idling in traffic on hot days. More than once I had to shut it off and paddle forward with my feet in traffic like that.

Interesting that some have seen four bars on the Wee. I have not, even in midsummer traffic in Sacramento where it gets damn hot, while my old GV1200 v-4 muscle cruiser would get to temp redline at the drop of a hat. I guess the gauge is fully functional after all, and the Wee's cooling system is more than adequate. Coolness is happiness.:yesnod:
 

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My 2001 E150 Van

Maybe still today the oil pressure "meter" is being fed by a switch and resistor so its really a disguised idiot light always reading happy as long as there is any oil pressure.

I know with 5 weight oil at idle the meter would appear to show very low oil pressure which freaked people out.

My Vee guage has hit 4 bars after run and then idle on a hot day
 

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Always 3 bars!

Always? Yes.

Really always ALWAYS? Well, almost. :mrgreen:

116 MPH in hot sunshine, chasing a crotch rocket to Denver. 3 bars.

1500 miles in 2 days. 3 bars.

1600 miles in 2 days. 3 bars.

1700 miles in 2 days. 3 bars.

77 mileposts in an hour, in Florida. 3 bars.

Hail in BC. 3 bars.

Snow in New Mexico. 3 bars.

Worse snow in Ontario. 3 bars.

Rain on Trans Canada Highway near St. Johns Newfoundland, July 2 2007. 2 bars.
2? Yup, 2, but only momentarily and only that day and place. And only in the rain.
Almost all the time on that day, 3 bars.
Everywhere else and every day before and since, 3 bars.

And yes, I look at it.
 

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I commute rain or shine on the Wee in FL. Never seen 4 bars, even in stop and go traffic in downtown in triple digit temps. I will say it was uncomfortable with my feet directly next to the engine which made me suspicious. 2 bars occasionally if it is below 50F and very rainy and wet but often jumped to 3 at traffic lights.
 

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certainly cars temp gauges are 90% useless, the steam will be coming out before the gauge reads too hot.

I ran an aftermarket gauge on my skyline. The factory gauge was "normal" temp range, between 40 and 120 celcius, basically the stock gauge on a car are useless, can't comment on a bike though, I've only had the strom a month and it's the first bike I've had with a guage.
 

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The DL1000's fan turns on at approximately 105 degrees C and turns off at about 100 degrees C. Three bars show on the gauge from 100C to 111C.

On the DL650 the fan turns on at ~98C and off at ~92C and shows three bars from 80C to 111C.

That's why it is normal for the DL1000 to show two bars but go to three on hot days at slow speeds while the DL650 shows three bars but goes to two at speed on cold days or cool rainy days.

80C to 111C is a pretty big range so it's no surprise the 650 can live there easily. Four bars would concern me.
 

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I've been in 103 deg temps and 20 deg temps and have never seen anything but 3 bars. Even stuck in traffic. Now you wanna see a bike heat up fast. My VFR has a temp gauge and just at a stop light that V4 will shoot up from 190 to over 230 deg in seconds!
 

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Wow, I never heard of that "solution" to a bike courting the overheating redline.

It's like a reverse Spinal Tap scenario: "This dial... Goes to 8."
The 900 Ninja (1984?) did exactly that. Originally the temp gauge would get close to or even in the red, so Kawasaki added an inline resistor to make it read lower.
 

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.
And here I was, innocently thinking that the temp gauge had some vague correlation with coolant temp.
And pleased that my old Landrover temp gauge needle never varied from exact mid-zone, even when labouring up and down sand dunes on the hottest of days ~ which I had previously put down to its small engine and huge radiator.

Likewise my Wee gauge never varies.

I am, however, a little disturbed by the speed with which my Wee gauge goes from zero to three, with such a short distance ridden.
Does this really reflect that the coolant around the cylinders has reached proper temp range ?
Or worse . . . that the coolant is okay, but the engine oil temperature may still be at sludge-like viscosity ?

Is there some rule of thumb . . . like ~ you can engage in high-rev gusto, after the temp gauge has been showing 3 bars for a minimum of 5 minutes ?
.
 

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Any time you have 3 bars, there is no need to wait before getting rambunctious.
 
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