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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,
New to the forum, yay, but not new to motorcycling. Been riding for about 12 years now. My first bike was a Yamaha YZF-R6 rode the tires off that thing until my wrists and back started arguing with me every time I wanted to ride. So since I did a ton a city commuting I switched to a F650GS. Great little commuter and it got a lot of attention, but I wouldn't take that on the highway. So I then traded that in for a Sprint 1050ST. That was a good bike, but for some reason I really missed me F650GS. So after a few job site issues where the bike was intentionally tipped over, I decided to trade it in for the 2009 R1200R I now own and love.

Now the reason for the long story above is that every bike that I have owned and learned how they work has been a water cooled vehicle. The R1200R is the first air and oil cooled bike I have every owned. So I have a question about how it handles heat.

In the 3 years I have owned the bike I have noticed that on the thermostat there are 2 ticks. After the bike has started and runs for a bit the temp rises to about the first tick and stays there usually. When it gets warmer out or I get stuck in traffic the temp begins to rise toward the second tick. Normally on the previous bikes I have owned that second tick is a bad place for the motor temp to be because the bike has over heated at that point. I called my dealer after a ride the other day when it was hot, but I wasn't in much traffic, I just hit a lot of lights. The temp climbed all the way up to the second tick and I pulled off the road and shut the bike off to let it cool down. This upset me because on my little F650GS I had made that run numerous times and the temp gauge stayed pegged right in the middle despite the heat and traffic. The dealer asked me why I did that as it was normal operation of the vehicle.

So I am admitting that in the case of the Boxer motor I am more than a novice and unsure about the normal operating ranges of the bike. I know for a fact that there was plenty of oil in the bike as I had just checked and filled it that morning. When I pulled over no warning lights had come on, I was just being pro-active with what I think I know about the operational temperature range of the motorcycle. Would someone be as so kind to explain to me how the Boxer motor deals with heat, what its operational range is in regards to the thermostat, and when do I need to take steps to protect it from over heating?

Thanks in advance,
Chris
(Porkchop)
 

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Hey, welcome to the forum.

I'm not a mechanic, but I have seen plenty of videos with the R1200GS running on the desert at high temperatures for days and days.
My bike has a different computer altogether and the temperature shows on a 5-6 lines.
I got stocked on the Lincoln tunnel for good 40 minutes, on the first half I just turned the bike off but, the second half is uphill, I had to have it on in order to move with the traffic, I was really worried about destroying the bike by overheating it but the temp gauge never went all the way to the last line.
Did I mentioned it was summer and the weather was on the mid 90s with absolutely no air moving inside the tunnel, the bike thermometer read 105.
I'm sure you'll be ok.

Hope someone with more real info can help out here.

Be safe
 

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Same as Hoshiko, I have the gauge with 8 lines on the bikes computer. In normal running it sits at exactly mid range, about 4 lines.

A few weeks ago it was 96F here in MA and I was on I495 highway and it was stop and go for 55 minutes. The guage only went up another bar to 5 out of 8 lines. I was wearing my BMW summer riding suit but was baking in the 96F temp with 90% humidity. The bike handled it without incident. I was watching that guage like a hawk though :)
 

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Little update,
As a good human, I waited until today to get my bike inspected, for all of those who don't have to deal with this ****, NY requires to get your motorcycle inspected once a year, they put a sticker on your fork indicating the month, and as you already know mine was good until Monday.
Anyways, Friday rush hour riding all around Manhattan, trying to get one of the really few motorcycle shops to do my inspection, there was a point the thermometer read 102 Fahrenheit :eek: I was stocked on 6th avenue for good 20 minutes. The temperature never went out of control to the warning side, I kept a close eye on it.
Boots, riding jeans, mesh jacket, full face helmet and gloves, I want it to die.
And of curse I came back home with no inspection. :mad::mad: 10 pounds lighter and really thirsty.
Got home and swallowed 2 beers in 1 minute.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replys guys. Unfortunately the heating issues i have run into were in far less harsh conditions. So i think my dealer might be B.S.ing me because i am near then end of my warranty.

Chris
(Porkchop)
 

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Thanks for the replys guys. Unfortunately the heating issues i have run into were in far less harsh conditions. So i think my dealer might be B.S.ing me because i am near then end of my warranty.

Chris
(Porkchop)
accept nothing less than a fix.... if it's over heating, this might be a problem with the oil cooler or something, since the rest of the motor cooling system is VERY simple.... I'd get a second opinion maybe from an independent shop. btw, on my brand new bike, it's normal to get 4 bars in traffic, and during my motorcycle safety course with Team Oregon, i was doing a LOT of idling and stop and go, so I got 5 ticks.... so if that's all it is, I wouldn't worry about it.
 

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I believe there is a thermostat in the oil line that runs from the engine to the oil cooler. It blocks flow to the cooler until the engine warms up. Maybe your thermostat is stuck closed.
 

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I'm a new 1200r owner so I cannot specifically comment on it, but I have always owned air cooled bikes and never run into a heat problem as long as you keep the bike moving. Even in Chicago traffic in the summer, I experience more problems with the heat off the engine than the bike having issues. Generally the air cooled bikes have a bit more robust of operating parameters.
 

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I'm a new 1200r owner so I cannot specifically comment on it, but I have always owned air cooled bikes and never run into a heat problem as long as you keep the bike moving. Even in Chicago traffic in the summer, I experience more problems with the heat off the engine than the bike having issues. Generally the air cooled bikes have a bit more robust of operating parameters.
I'm assuming you had Harleys, I know how much the hear bothers your leg, specially the right one, I ride my buddy's V-Rod once in a while and the heating on the leg it's insane.

You are going to love how surprisingly cool the R is sup909.
 

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guess i'm going to resurrect this old thread here.. but i too am a bit of a "noob" to the boxer...

and just like porkchop up there... im coming from a liquid cooled gs.... and previously to that, my '75 cb750.. which, when that overheated... its guts basically spilled all over the road and left me stranded everywhere... :/


the other day on my way out of town, i got stuck in some thick traffic on the west side highway in manhattan, and the temp gauge soared to the top... i panicked a bit, then cut over and took 10th ave as quickly as i could to get some air flowing again.. once i finally got passed the stop lights and was coasting on 9A for a few the engine temp calmed back down and i had no issues. seems like this traffic stuff comes up for us "pre liquid cooled" r1200r's.. but has anything really gone wrong or caused any serious damage for anyone out there?
 

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.. but has anything really gone wrong or caused any serious damage for anyone out there?
While I'm confident there are myriad air cooled engine failure stories out there, I've never personally witnessed any...nor have any of my friends or associates personally witnessed engine failures. My personal experiences go way beyond our twin boxers, to include air cooled VWs, Porsches and diesel Deutz. Of course, the latter three all incorporate engine fans. Never seen, or heard of, any of these three failing for lack of air cooling. Among several other reasons, liquid cooling has become more popular largely to extract greater power, meet emission standards, engine muffling, and/or allow for slow or stationary use.

The amount of heat an air cooled must dissipate is significantly greater when operating under load versus idling. There is a large window of idling time, even in extreme high temperatures, that our boxers can endure. Even in a professional shop, fans are used mostly when the engine is run under load such as on a dyno or perhaps syncing throttle bodies. Bottom line: Common sense should prevail. There is a time and a place when a prudent user would stop the engine, and allow time to ameliorate the heat...or seek an alternative route which would allow greater engine air flow.

One last thought...I have several air cooled ATV's. All are working ATV's versus recreational use. My favorite one is a 1995 400 cc Honda Rancher AT. I primarily use this machine in the woods, and seldom go over 10 mph. It does have an oil cooler (like our R's), and a cooler fan (unlike our R's). In order for the oil thermostat to call for electric fan cooling air, I have to nearly abuse the machine... something like repeatedly going up steep slopes in first gear on a 90 degree day. Virtually all of my air cooled ATV's have run perfect since day 1...and day 1 for all of them occurred in the late 70's and early 80's (other than the Honda). None use oil, despite almost continual high temp, slow speed use. They have all passed the proverbial Test of Time. As Clem states: "ride more, worry less". :smile2:
 
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Overheat?

Have been stuck in traffic jams on the Boxer and can relate to what you are asking bkR1200R. Anxious.
NO, have not heard of any members here having R1200R engine damage from overheating. Like Birk has stated, use common sense.:)
Lengthy extremely high temps can begin to break down the oil. If you are worried, maybe an oil change. :001_unsure:
Jammed tunnels are the worst IMO. Try to leave yourself an alternate escape route to keep minimal air flowing. Keep the oil topped up. You're gonna be fine.
+1 Ride more, Worry less. :clown:
 
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