Temperature question


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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imsbreezy
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 6:18 pm
Location: Ripon, Wi
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Aspencade
1975 CB400F

Temperature question

Post by imsbreezy » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:26 pm



Have had my 83 aspy 4 years now and have noticed occasionally that at interstate speeds ( 78? up to 75 is ok) the engine starts to get hot (not overheating but going up one bar on the gauge) if I get behind a vehicle not drafting or anything just rolling up before passing or when they sneak in ahead of me. Otherwise no problems. I read somewhere in the forums a couple years ago about radiator wings or something like that needed to keep it cool at higher speeds. My bike has nothing like that on it. I just had the timing belts and coolant changed and radiator cleaned and new hoses installed. Coolant looks good, no oil in system. Just wondering if this is normal.



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AZgl1800
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Re: Temperature question

Post by AZgl1800 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:50 am

I suspect you are more worried about the "bars" on the temp gauge than necessary.

just install a light to let you know when the fans come on, and note that they cycle off. at 75 mph though, I doubt they ever come on, but if they do, then you will know it is "getting too hot".
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DenverWinger
Posts: 1090
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: (s)
1980 GL1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
1993 GL1500 Aspencade (2017-)
1983 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)
Past rides
1972 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL1000 (2002-2006) sold

Re: Temperature question

Post by DenverWinger » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:50 am

You aren't overheated unless coolant is boiling, and will probably see ALL the bars lit.

Temp gauge on my 1100 normally runs right around 1/2 scale. An Analog meter. If it gets to 5/8 scale the fan kicks on until the needle is back to 1/2 scale.

Remember the heat wave of 2012? Two-Up on the 1100, pulling fully loaded camper trailer on the Interstate Slab thru Eastern Colorado and Nebraska (we were on a schedule). At 85 MPH in 97 degree heat pulling that load the gauge went to 5/8 scale and pretty much stayed there, fan running the whole time. Definitely hotter than normal, but still far from overheated.

The return trip was more sedate, we were not on a schedule, came back from Michigan down US 24. Mostly 65 MPH. Thru Missouri and Kansas this was even hotter outside, outside temperature hitting mid-upper 100's. Bike didn't care, gauge still never much over 5/8 but it was too hot for US! In the middle of the afternoons we had to find a watering hole in the next small town and wait out the heat a couple hours! Return trip took 5 days, stopping a couple hrs every afternoon to cool off the humans. Good camping in the evenings/mornings though.

I have seen the 1100 overheat, I went to Colorado Springs one day and when I got off the Highway into the city streets I noticed the gauge reading hotter and hotter at traffic lights, fan wasn't coming on. Engine would cool off some between stoplights. Even at 9/10 scale definitely hot but still no boiling. About the 5th stoplight the gauge slowly made it's way all the way over to the red and I started getting steam and coolant out the overflow. This is clearly overheated and I pulled over and shut her down. With ignition switch "on" I started wiggling fan connections. Wiggling the plug on the fan switch the fan suddenly came on so I started her back up and went on my merry way. Must've been some corrosion in the switch plug.
♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:

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WingAdmin
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Re: Temperature question

Post by WingAdmin » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:36 am

DenverWinger wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:50 am
You aren't overheated unless coolant is boiling, and will probably see ALL the bars lit.

Temp gauge on my 1100 normally runs right around 1/2 scale. An Analog meter. If it gets to 5/8 scale the fan kicks on until the needle is back to 1/2 scale.

Remember the heat wave of 2012? Two-Up on the 1100, pulling fully loaded camper trailer on the Interstate Slab thru Eastern Colorado and Nebraska (we were on a schedule). At 85 MPH in 97 degree heat pulling that load the gauge went to 5/8 scale and pretty much stayed there, fan running the whole time. Definitely hotter than normal, but still far from overheated.

The return trip was more sedate, we were not on a schedule, came back from Michigan down US 24. Mostly 65 MPH. Thru Missouri and Kansas this was even hotter outside, outside temperature hitting mid-upper 100's. Bike didn't care, gauge still never much over 5/8 but it was too hot for US! In the middle of the afternoons we had to find a watering hole in the next small town and wait out the heat a couple hours! Return trip took 5 days, stopping a couple hrs every afternoon to cool off the humans. Good camping in the evenings/mornings though.

I have seen the 1100 overheat, I went to Colorado Springs one day and when I got off the Highway into the city streets I noticed the gauge reading hotter and hotter at traffic lights, fan wasn't coming on. Engine would cool off some between stoplights. Even at 9/10 scale definitely hot but still no boiling. About the 5th stoplight the gauge slowly made it's way all the way over to the red and I started getting steam and coolant out the overflow. This is clearly overheated and I pulled over and shut her down. With ignition switch "on" I started wiggling fan connections. Wiggling the plug on the fan switch the fan suddenly came on so I started her back up and went on my merry way. Must've been some corrosion in the switch plug.
Colorado Springs is 6,000 feet in elevation. Assume it's 80 degrees out, with a dew point of 59 degrees (that's today's weather). That puts your density altitude at almost 9,000 feet. This means if you were to fly an airplane, it would behave as if it were at 9,000 feet, not 6,000 feet (i.e. it would fly much more poorly and make less power). Air pressure is only 23.95 in HG (sea level is 29.92), so the relative air density is only 76% of what you would see at sea level. This affects how well your cooling system works. The less dense the air, the less heat energy your bike's cooling system can transfer into it, and the harder the cooling system has to work.

To make matters worse, the boiling point of your coolant goes down as air pressure is reduced. At sea level, your coolant will boil at around 233F. At the pressure you would see today in Colorado Springs, it will boil at only 210F. So the overall capacity of your heating system goes down as well.

Basically, the higher in elevation and hotter temperature, the less efficient and capable your cooling system is. Watch your temperature gauge at higher elevations.

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DenverWinger
Posts: 1090
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: (s)
1980 GL1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
1993 GL1500 Aspencade (2017-)
1983 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)
Past rides
1972 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL1000 (2002-2006) sold

Re: Temperature question

Post by DenverWinger » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:09 pm

Roger the elevation, going up some of the high mountain roads you can actually boil over at normal operating temp if your radiator cap is questionable.

That wasn't the case in Colorado Springs though, the fan simply wasn't working and the engine was getting hot at stoplights. Once I got the fan going all returned to normal.
♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:

~Mark

imsbreezy
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 6:18 pm
Location: Ripon, Wi
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Aspencade
1975 CB400F

Re: Temperature question

Post by imsbreezy » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:19 pm

Thanks for the response. Kind of what I thought but it never hurts to hear it from someone else.



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