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Old 09-24-2009, 03:36 PM   #1
rivercreep OP
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Air/Oil cooling VS. Liquid cooling.

......and DR650 VS. KLR650.

Let's keep in mind that Oil has a "Flash Point" and that as long as that flash point isn't reached, Oil maintains its ability to properly protect an engine and "Overheating" becomes a relative term.

Below, I've posted two links that show some scientific Data between two popular D.S. Bikes that dispells (I.M.H.O.) some myths about longevity potential between air/oil cooled vs. liquid cooled bikes; when you combine the information between the two articles and use some common sense to reach your own conclusions.

Air/Oil vs Liquid..........(DR650 vs. KLR650)
http://www.topgunmotorcycles.com/ti_...e/tioct06.html

Let this article give you one less thing to worry about when trying to choose between the two models!

Engine Oil basics and some ratings.
http://micapeak.com/info/oiled.html

Let this article take away some of the Myths spread around here in regards to oil arguments and it's capabilities.

I also tried desperately to find an easy to comprehend (in lay-mans terms) article in regards to "Metalurgy" so that all who are interested in the above two articles can dispel even more worries about the "overheating" of an engine and just how much it takes (temp wise) to ruin the insides of your engines but, couldn't.

Why am I posting the above links?
Simple. People have this misconception that an Air/Oil cooled engine simply wont last as long as one that's liquid cooled. If you take the time to apply the factual and somewhat scientific information in these two articles to the DR650 vs KLR650 conondrum; You'll see the two are almost a wash in the realm of engine reliability.

I'll keep my personal opinions out of this thread so you can draw your own conclusions. (and NOT be accused of "Trolling")

PLEASE DO keep in mind; I'm not talking about racing engines here. I'm talking about these two Bikes in particular.
There's a good reason WHY Suzuki got away from Oil/Air cooling with their GSXR series many years ago. And that WAS all about longevity due to the high state of tune those engines were in and the fact that liquid cooling CAN remove MORE HEAT than Air/Oil can BUT; Liquid cooling isn't necessary untill there's a risk of hitting the Oils flash point. (or risk of pre-detonation withing a combustion chamber)

Happy Reading!
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Old 09-24-2009, 05:01 PM   #2
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This really isn't very scientific as you state. Looking at the two bikes oil temps and talking about engine life is a grasp at best.

Air/oil cooled engine have to run much looser piston/ring/cylinder clearances. This is the cause of increased blow by and piston rock in the bore over a water cooled jug. All things being equal wear will be increased. If metal to metal happens due to a lack of proper clearance the flash point of the oil is irrelevent.

Am i missing your point? If so please explain.
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Old 09-25-2009, 03:46 AM   #3
rivercreep OP
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You're kind of missing my point.
A DR650 with its modern NikaSil plating and oil/air cooling is actually capable of maintaining it's tolerances better than the liquid cooled KLR due to it's not having different materials expanding and contracting at different rates like you'd find in a water cooled bike with an iron liner, alloy head, alloy jug and piston.
All alloy = less changes in tolerances.
Proof would be in the complaints about oil burning KLR's vs DR's not having the same complaint.

I will go with what you stated in regards to non modern air/oil cooled bikes that still use an iron liner instead of plating. You're right on the money there! (say pre 96 DR650)

F.W.I.W. I could see a bike like a DRZ400 with both the NikaSil plating AND liquid cooling being capable of even longer engine life. (barring water pump or radiator failures of course)

Am I making more sense now?
I'm assuming the new KLR still uses an iron liner. (?)
I believe the looser tolerances you speak of are tighter than what you're thinking in regards to a NikaSil plated cylinder vs and old iron liner type. You don't have any more blowby than you do with a liquid cooled bike, possibly even less with the NikaSil air/oil cooled bikes.
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Old 09-25-2009, 04:00 AM   #4
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Wow, you really have a deep seeded hatred of water cooling don't you...
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Old 09-25-2009, 04:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rivercreep
Proof would be in the complaints about oil burning KLR's vs DR's not having the same complaint.
The oil burning was a bad batch of rings in the early production so maybe not so much of a water vs. air cooled thing as you think.

For me some of the decision is also a use decision. I ride 70/30 pavement/dirt so the water cooling isn't any problem. If I was a radical dirt rider I would probably consider air/oil more of an advantage as I wouldn't have to worry about cracking a radiator/lines in a laydown.

Your minds already made up so this isn't really a question. It's asking for validation and no matter what arguments you get you're not going to change your mind.
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Old 09-25-2009, 04:40 AM   #6
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Finally, the proof I was waiting for.
That does it, I'm filling my radiator with oil.
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Old 09-25-2009, 05:42 AM   #7
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[QUOTE=josjor]The oil burning was a bad batch of rings in the early production so maybe not so much of a water vs. air cooled thing as you think.

Maybe some of those rings found their way into early 2009 model KLR's as well?

Didn't the folks at MMP do a teardown on a 2008 KLR engine and determine that the cylinder was out of round?

For the record I like both of these two bikes
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Old 09-25-2009, 05:56 AM   #8
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who cares about all that drivel
motorcycle motors should have fins.
if i wanted a radiator, shrouds, water pump, thermostat, temp gauge, hoses, seals, gaskets, fittings, clamps, boiling-hot fluid running all over i'd get a cage.
pretty big list of stuff to bring your bike down versus fins.
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Old 09-25-2009, 08:22 AM   #9
TNC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plugeyes
who cares about all that drivel
motorcycle motors should have fins.
if i wanted a radiator, shrouds, water pump, thermostat, temp gauge, hoses, seals, gaskets, fittings, clamps, boiling-hot fluid running all over i'd get a cage.
pretty big list of stuff to bring your bike down versus fins.
Well...by that logic we should all still be riding 2-strokes...not that there's anything wrong with that...stated in my best Seinfeld immitation.

On a serious note, I don't think I'd have too much heartburn with either air or watercooled engines as long as the overall package performed well. I might pick an XR650L over a DR650, however, if it came right down to the wire.
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Old 09-25-2009, 09:07 AM   #10
NJjeff
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Air/Oil vs Liquid

Is this a question anyone is asking?
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Old 09-25-2009, 09:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rivercreep
You're kind of missing my point.
A DR650 with its modern NikaSil plating and oil/air cooling is actually capable of maintaining it's tolerances better than the liquid cooled KLR due to it's not having different materials expanding and contracting at different rates like you'd find in a water cooled bike with an iron liner, alloy head, alloy jug and piston.
All alloy = less changes in tolerances.
Proof would be in the complaints about oil burning KLR's vs DR's not having the same complaint.

I will go with what you stated in regards to non modern air/oil cooled bikes that still use an iron liner instead of plating. You're right on the money there! (say pre 96 DR650)

F.W.I.W. I could see a bike like a DRZ400 with both the NikaSil plating AND liquid cooling being capable of even longer engine life. (barring water pump or radiator failures of course)

Am I making more sense now?
I'm assuming the new KLR still uses an iron liner. (?)
I believe the looser tolerances you speak of are tighter than what you're thinking in regards to a NikaSil plated cylinder vs and old iron liner type. You don't have any more blowby than you do with a liquid cooled bike, possibly even less with the NikaSil air/oil cooled bikes.
The tolerances (clearances) may change less, but are the tolerances not larger on the air-cooled?

I do not air-vs-water cooled comes down to longevity, I think it comes down to the amount of power that can be reliably made.

Dave
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Old 09-25-2009, 09:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJjeff
Is this a question anyone is asking?
I tend to think not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by XR650L_Dave
1.) The tolerances (clearances) may change less, but are the tolerances not larger on the air-cooled?

2.) I do not air-vs-water cooled comes down to longevity, I think it comes down to the amount of power that can be reliably made.
1.) Perhaps we should all compare piston-to-cylinder clearances and find out.

2.) Yeah, power density potential is a major difference between air- and water-cooled engines. Both are limited by how much heat can be dissipated by the cooling system, but the limit tends to be much higher with water-cooled engines. I think radiators typically have a lot more surface area than the head and cylinder of an airhead engine.
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Old 09-25-2009, 10:22 AM   #13
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Boy, this has got your goat...

I see RiverCreep has formed a new discussion all about what he and I were discussing before...

As far as the article goes, well -- statistics can be used to prove anything -- 85 per cent of people know that.

All kidding aside... in the real world, a water-cooled engine will outlast an air-cooled engine. In the case of the DR vs. the KLR, well, I've never seen a DR with as high of KM's on it as I've seen on a KLR. Proof is in the pudding...
And when the Marines mount up, in the desert or otherwise, they like watercooling.
It's true water-cooled engines are susceptible to massive cooling failure where air-cooled aren't (as much) but generally speaking, water-cooled is more reliable and longer lasting... and I know that article you're quoting says otherwise, but I live in the real world, not in an essay, and my real world experience says:

Water cools better than air. Effective cooling = long life.

But, just like in the last thread, I really have no problem with "agreeing to disagree."
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Old 09-25-2009, 02:29 PM   #14
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I don't hate liquid cooling.

I think liquid cooling can help an engine last longer if/when the power is really there and theres enough heat being generated to warrant its use.
What I don't like is all the Myth about engine longevity when it isn't really needed.
I've seen older air cooled Bug engines go over 100,000 miles reliably when engines of the same era were burning oil and ready to die by 75,000 miles. (that were liquid cooled)
I've also had 2 previous DR650s (the reason I bought my third) go 50,000 miles without any oil burning or reliability problems.

My main problem with liquid cooled off road/adv bikes is how exposed the radiators are to damage. (in a perfect World I just wish there was another mounting area)
Plain street bike = I'd take a liquid cooled bike with absurd horsepower any day. (although I also owned a 92 GSX1100G with an oil radiator that never had any overheating issues either and it also served a long life)

My goal is to dispel the Myth, nothing more.
Any Engineers out there KNOW just how many B.T.U.'s an engine has to produce before liquid cooling becomes necessary?
That's something I'd love to know.

I also apologize if my personal preferences offend anyone. I just thought this might be an interesting topic to talk about; Questin being asked or not.

Best!
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Old 09-25-2009, 03:36 PM   #15
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Y'know...I kinda agree with Plugeyes. Why complicate things when you don't have to? Fins..air-cooled..dun't get much simpler.

Sorry, I'm new....and I'm also looking to purchase either a DRZ400 or XTZ660, both of which are water cooled. (I dive too....and I have first hand experience of water cooling!!)

(I used this smiley cos it made me smile).

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