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Old 01-18-2013, 04:28 AM   #1
Hennepinboy OP
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Oil Cooler Radiator R1200GS Adventure

Planning for an Alaska trip this coming summer, planning to ride the Dalton Highway, been thinking of adding some protection to my mostly stock R1200GS Adventure. I was wondering if has anyone had a problem with a punctured oil cooler radiator? I do not want to add any un-necessary weight to an already too heavy motorcycle.
Looking at an on-line parts list for the R1200GS it appears that you could use a short section of copper tubing to by-pass the radiator for a, limp home. I carry a oil cooler by-pass tube for my 92 R100GS that I have never needed in the 160,000 miles that I have never had to use.
Would a guard over the radiator be just a waste of funds and a restriction for cooling? Or would it be a farkle that I wish I had installed when I have oil running down the beak?
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:38 AM   #2
El Gato
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I've (thankfully) not personally experienced a problem with a rock into the oil cooler. However, Jim Hyde from Rawhyde adventures lists an oil cooler guard as on of his top 8 accessories in this video. I'm sure this is partly TT marketing, but the Rawhyde fleet is surely a very good testing ground for GS reliability and Jim is probably more qualified than anyone to know what stuff gets damaged most often on this bike. In the grand scheme of things, oil cooler guards are pretty cheap, easy to install, and weight next to nothing so even if the chance of damage is pretty low I'd put one on just to be safe.
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:54 AM   #3
justinallen03
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Anythings a possibility, and if you are going to be following people on what I presume is a gravel road, things can get thrown up. I put one on my bike (got the Kildala one, liked the way it looked the best), but I can't tell you if its been put to use or not. I do feel comfortable that it's there, though. Flip side is they all look like they block some airflow, but I can't tell you to what level of effect that is. The times i've been close to overheating were in 100F weather in barely moving conditions (traffic jam and winding singletrack)

I can tell you that rocks do get close judging from the small chips in my headlight lens.
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:05 AM   #4
Dorian
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I installed a Touratech oil cooler guard on my 12GS. Not surprisingly it does reduce airflow a bit - my bike seems to run about one bar higher on the temp gauge now - which I'm not keen on but so far I think it is worth the extra protection since I do a lot of off-roading. The Touratech instructions do mention that the guard will increase oil temps in "extreme conditions" (whatever that means?).

Lots of mfgs to choose from for oil cooler guards. Here's a link to a Globeriders/Touratech video by Helge Pedersen showing an 1150 with a punctured cooler.

Cheers, Dorian
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:17 AM   #5
Hikertrash
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The day I rode my bike home from the dealer, I had a rock fly up from a car I front of me on the highway and it dented some of the oil cooler fins. The oil cooler guard was the first farkle I purchased for my bike after that.


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Old 01-18-2013, 09:30 AM   #6
kellymac530
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Always ride alone, OR, out at the front of the pack...this substantially lessens the risk of rocks flying back at you...
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:42 AM   #7
Wallowa
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Make Your Own Guard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hennepinboy View Post
Planning for an Alaska trip this coming summer, planning to ride the Dalton Highway, been thinking of adding some protection to my mostly stock R1200GS Adventure. I was wondering if has anyone had a problem with a punctured oil cooler radiator? I do not want to add any un-necessary weight to an already too heavy motorcycle.
Looking at an on-line parts list for the R1200GS it appears that you could use a short section of copper tubing to by-pass the radiator for a, limp home. I carry a oil cooler by-pass tube for my 92 R100GS that I have never needed in the 160,000 miles that I have never had to use.
Would a guard over the radiator be just a waste of funds and a restriction for cooling? Or would it be a farkle that I wish I had installed when I have oil running down the beak?

I was given a square of stainless steel mesh [by PM incidental, generous guy..] I used a round punch and put a series of round holes [put mesh on a 2x4 to punch holes without distorting mesh] into the mesh to give more air flow but not allow "objects" to prang my oil cooler. I then cut mesh to outside dimension of the cooler and on the non-finned outer right and left edges I glued on one half of a 1" strip of hook and pile velcro...then glued the other side of the velcro on the screen at the same location as on the cooler. I put the screen in place by pushing the velcro together and remove by pulling velcro apart...

Light weight, good protection, easy to remove for cleaning fins, cheap and no apparent increase in oil temp. And of course it is light weight!

Ps....Use soft luggage and carry less to lighten the load...just sayin'
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:15 PM   #8
rkleen
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Yes, it happens

Not me, but a fellow rider on a trip to Hill Country, TX
Not gravel road... just the ranch roads.
And a little stone maybe for the rider in front, break the oil line in the radiator of the GS.
We fix it in the road, and it was my first on line order when i get home...
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:28 PM   #9
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I've resisted buying any protection farkles on my GSA. Like you said they add weight. The bike runs hot already in summer traffic, I wouldn't risk it getting fried with a screen in front of it. If something punctures my oil cooler, oh well, get it fixed. I would think it's an extremely rare occurrence. I'm more worried of my front tire going flat at 80 MPH.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:58 PM   #10
WindSailor
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The fins bend -very- easily; don't know about breaking an actual tube. Some people can ride around and never get dinged in the radiator and some people, well, just can't win.

Here are some pictures of the ones I've made.

This one was the first one that was just zip-tied to the radiator - stainless steel mesh - $5 at the local sheet metal shop. Originally there was no padding underneath the mesh where I zip-tied it to the radiator so I took it off worrying about the darn thing rubbing and possibly getting a hole in it. And made another one...



The one I use now is made of a piece of UHMW (heavy duty wear plastic) and uses the top cover mounting screws as a 'swivel point' so I can inspect and clean the radiator if needed. Plus it has a space between the screen and the radiator - so if I have to clean the screen by rubbing it - the debris doesn't get ground into the radiator. That part I like.



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Old 01-18-2013, 02:50 PM   #11
Wallowa
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Well Done!

Quote:
Originally Posted by WindSailor View Post
The fins bend -very- easily; don't know about breaking an actual tube. Some people can ride around and never get dinged in the radiator and some people, well, just can't win.

Here are some pictures of the ones I've made.

This one was the first one that was just zip-tied to the radiator - stainless steel mesh - $5 at the local sheet metal shop. Originally there was no padding underneath the mesh where I zip-tied it to the radiator so I took it off worrying about the darn thing rubbing and possibly getting a hole in it. And made another one...



The one I use now is made of a piece of UHMW (heavy duty wear plastic) and uses the top cover mounting screws as a 'swivel point' so I can inspect and clean the radiator if needed. Plus it has a space between the screen and the radiator - so if I have to clean the screen by rubbing it - the debris doesn't get ground into the radiator. That part I like.



Well done, that mesh looks like the stuff I used, then as stated, I PUNCHED a series of holes in rows to give it more air flow without compromising the protection. I like to pivot idea, although with the velcro screen is easy to peel off.

Good job..

Ps...From reading another post on this thread..."Holing" the oil radiator is a big deal...not only lose engine oil, overheat motor but you can oil back tire...and FYI with a rear flat the bike is more difficult to control than a front flat...
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Old 01-18-2013, 03:29 PM   #12
WindSailor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallowa View Post
Well done, that mesh looks like the stuff I used, then as stated, I drilled a series of holes in rows to give it more air flow without compromising the protection. I like to pivot idea, although with the velcro screen is easy to peel off.

Good job..

Ps...From reading another post on this thread..."Holing" the oil radiator is a big deal...not only lose engine oil, overheat motor but you can oil back tire...and FYI with a rear flat the bike is more difficult to control than a front flat...
Thanks.

VERY GOOD idea about using velcro for easy access.

That makes cleaning a snap. Better idea than the 'commercial' ones I think on how they attach them. Next time I consider modifying something, I think I'll hit you up.

Thanks for sharing that info.
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Old 01-18-2013, 04:16 PM   #13
Wallowa
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To Clarify..

Quote:
Originally Posted by WindSailor View Post
Thanks.

VERY GOOD idea about using velcro for easy access.

That makes cleaning a snap. Better idea than the 'commercial' ones I think on how they attach them. Next time I consider modifying something, I think I'll hit you up.

Thanks for sharing that info.

I punched holes in the screen for more air, NOT drilled as I incorrectly put in the one post you saw...punching pushes the mesh to one side and does not cut the mesh which would make sharp ends and drilling a wire mesh is, well difficult at best! It will spin, but punching on a block of wood is easy..
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:41 PM   #14
TuonoBiker
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I just added a TT oil cooler guard simply to help prevent taking a rock from the guy in front of me. I really don't think I would listen to those saying it adds too much weight. The TT one is aluminum and weighs next to nothing.

I really like idea of making one. I'm the first to admit I totally suck at creativity, but the guys that posted their home-made ones look great - let alone you can remove them to hose out the bugs? Priceless...

I did blow the coin on the potentiometer and fuel line guards....to me they just seemed like they were hanging out waiting to get bumped, kicked or have some weird inadvertant death. I think a headlight guard would be nice too....taking a rock to the headlight wouldn't be good.

Have fun!

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