08 Versys overheated - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-10-2010, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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08 Versys overheated

So... I am without my versys right now. It is sitting at the shop at the back of a week long service backlog.

On 5 Aug I was driving home from work when I noticed my temp warning light come on. Before I could get to the next exit it was venting steam from the coolant overflow tube. I imediately pulled over and turned off the engine. It continued to vent fluid untill it had almost completely emptied the radiator. So I called roadside assistance and had the bike hauled to the local service dept.

It was an abnormally hot day and traffic was crawling, but I have never expierienced anything like this before. I had checked the radiator fluid recently so I'm 90% sure it wasnt running low. I wish I had checked to see if the fan was running, but I'm not sure if it was or not.

Has this happened to anyone else? Is there anything I could have done to prevent having to sit on the side of the busy highway for two hours waiting on a tow truck?

"No man shal be debarred the use of arms" "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." Thomas Jefferson


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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-10-2010, 02:48 PM
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I'm wondering if this is just the fact that you were moving slowly on a very hot day. I believe is says int he owners manual something about idling for long periods of time can cause an over heat. Without enough air moving across the radiator, it can't cool the fluid enough. I ran into this on my Jeep when it had a bad fan clutch. It would over heat in slow moving traffic or idling but I could run on the highway all day with no problem.

I wouldn't be surprised if the dealer tops off the fluid and finds nothing else wrong with the bike...

Good Luck!
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-10-2010, 03:10 PM
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How many miles on the '08? Were you stop and go/less than 5 mph? For how long? When is last time you checked level of coolant?

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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-10-2010, 03:12 PM
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That's one of my nightmares during these hot days...
And your bike is so well exposed without all the plastics.
Could it be it's because you changed the radiator overfill container?


Best of luck with repair.
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-10-2010, 06:59 PM
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Sounds like you probably shut it off in time & it'll be ok, pending why it overheated, of course.

Hope it turns out good!



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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-10-2010, 07:04 PM
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Will interested what the workshop finds, maybe a blockage in radiator preventing circulation?
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-10-2010, 08:34 PM
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I had the same thing happen to me last sunday (8/8). I was out for a ride and my coolant temp light came on twice.

The first time happen while I was idling at a stoplight in town. I had just come into town from some mountain twisties, running 6k-9k (I notice alot of engine heat at these rpms). It was a very hot day and had rained in the morning, so very humid as well. I pulled over and let the bike sit for about 20 minutes, since I needed to cool off as well. Bike started up just fine, ran smoothly, normal.

Second time happen as I was heading back home, probably an hour after the first. I passed a campsite next to a river in missouri and stopped to check it out. As I slowly cruised through the site, the light came on again. Engine was still running fine, so I just hopped back on the highway and popped up to 55, but kept my rpms low as possible (~4k). About a minute after this, the light went off. Again, engine sounded fine, although this time, I was wearing my earplugs and should of checked to see if the fan was running.

The rest of the day went fine, with no more problems. Next day after I got home, I checked the coolant level, exactly between the two lines. Oil is fine. Fan spins freely. Radiator looks fine too, aside from a bug or two that I removed. Going to take it for a quick spin tomorrow and see if the fan kicks on like usual.

Any ideas, aside from it was probably just a hot day?


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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-10-2010, 08:38 PM
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Could be the fan, if your lucky it may have just been stuck(rock) a new one is expensive. do a search on radiator fans before paying retail for a new one. I believe you can use a fan off a Ninja and switch mounts. Much cheaper!
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-10-2010, 09:44 PM
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Many years ago, the thermostat on my Honda Shadow 1100 went out, for $50, I put on a new one, then the new one went out, I then put a $5 rocker switch on it and I turn the fan on manually whenever I want to.

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Jake Sabre
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20 bikes owned over time, 3 MC shops worked at
Couldn't live without 2 wheels and a motor
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 01:33 AM
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We run hot all time here with temp 34 ~37C. Fan does come on but so far no boiling or steaming.

Could be one of these which can cause overheating:-
1.Low coolant level
2. Faulty thermostat.
3. Coolant Cap.
4. Faulty Fan or sensor.

Add on if I have left out any.

on your repair work and some feedback on your finding.
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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 02:00 AM
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Sorry to hear about this, though it has brought up a question. I haven't heard or checked my fan at all. How would you do this while it is running?

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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 02:23 AM
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traffic jams are for motorcycles very bad. If you are running and 1st gear at very low speed there isn't air flow as it should be. Radiator can work fine, coolant can be full, but in temps above 30/35*C it's not enough. Note that Radiator in motorcycles are very small and normally temps of theirs engine is quite high.

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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 02:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill_milstead View Post
Sorry to hear about this, though it has brought up a question. I haven't heard or checked my fan at all. How would you do this while it is running?
Best advice will be to get a TEMP indicator, so you will know what the running temp is. The fan will auto kick in when hot or you are idling long.

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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 02:56 AM
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Thanks Fastoman, though you would have to be idling quite a while or in really hot weather right? I've been out in 100 degrees and didn't have anything happen. Not much idling, but some.

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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 03:41 AM
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the best advice is to run trough between cars, at second gear. Try it, it works and cost no money.

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post #16 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 03:54 AM
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Here is the link to a cool TEMP gauge just for the V.
http://digilander.libero.it/JH61/Ver...wnldpdfITA.htm

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post #17 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 08:46 AM Thread Starter
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Wow thanks for all the response guys. I wish I had had a chance to check a few things before having it dropped off at the shop. I almost want to go pick it up and check it out myself.

The problem is that if it is more serious and is something I can't fix then I have to get it back to the shop and I'll go back to then end of a week + long waiting list.

There have been several days straight of high 90s weather, and I'm guessing that the temp got high a few days before and I lost some coolant. Then when I hit the slow traffic in 98deg heat, it just wasnt enough to keep the engine cool while crawling in first gear.

I'll be sure to keep you guys up to date on how it goes. What do you think I should do; leave it at the shop or pick it up and check it ouy myself?

I like th idea of installing a rocker switch in place of the thermostat. I was thinking it would be cool to wire one in paralell with the functional thermostat so that it could be used as a backup in case of a thermostat failure.

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post #18 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacokawa View Post
the best advice is to run through between cars, at second gear. Try it, it works and cost no money.
Unfortunately, the only place in the US where this is legal is in California. I remember seeing lots of filtering when I was in France and Italy last summer, including through a long tunnel that had one lane in each direction - I never did understand which direction had right-of way...

Mark Hirschhorn
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Way too much of Speedy's stuff...
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post #19 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 01:17 PM
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I am not sure how oil affects this, and admit to being mechanically challenged (disclaimer).

My husband just switched his zx10R to synthetic, after a mechanic recommended it. Says it would help him run cooler. He has noticed a SIGNIFICANT decrease on temps. like 10-15 degrees. And his bike runs REALLY hot in traffic.

Any insight?

Sorry to hear you you are bikeless, Tailgun!

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post #20 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 01:51 PM
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The synth oil thing is definitely true, less friction=lower temps, and if Tailgun is using synth, he will be thankful because the synth may be the only thing saving him from damaged piston/valves, etc. Synth oil will not keep a bike from overheating if the fan was not operating during the slow traffic time he experienced.

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20 bikes owned over time, 3 MC shops worked at
Couldn't live without 2 wheels and a motor

Last edited by JakeSabre; 08-11-2010 at 02:18 PM.
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