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Old 11-26-2014, 08:06 PM   #1
Vilks
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WARNING! No distilled water on the radiator

Last May at NOLA’s tech inspection I was told that I need it to drain the radiator coolant but was asked not use the paddock area. Luckily, I though, the bike shop that has a garage there did it for me and all I was asked is to get more distilled water as they did'nt have enough. I drove to get it had to stop in a couple of shops before finally I found 3 gallons at a cvs.

But yesterday panic set in while I was reviewing the article on Riding Skills; Fast Corners from Sport Rider Magazine October ’13 issue. I notes The Ask Geek section answer a question of a poor guy who’s track bike’s radiator need it to be replace because of leaked.

It turn out that that you should use running tap water or cheap drinking water from the grocery store but not distilled water.
Distilled water is a holdover from brass/copper radiators. Distilled water which is depleted from all it's minerals replaces it with the aluminum of the radiator.

In fact Royal Purple Ice explicitly specifies not to use distilled water.

Maybe everyone already knew that but giving my experience at NOLA I doubt it.
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Old 11-26-2014, 09:20 PM   #2
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Thats actually the first time I've heard anyone suggest not using distilled. I know running tap water in my old Audi resulted in a lot of rust in the coolant.
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Old 11-26-2014, 09:53 PM   #3
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I never use distilled water. I do use a filtered drinking water and an additive like water wetter to help lube the water pump. We had problems on a drag car we had that kept getting leaks in the thin radiators that we used and turns out it was the distilled water that was causing all the trouble. We stopped using it and never had anymore issues. Good advice.
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Old 11-26-2014, 10:11 PM   #4
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Mixed with antifreeze, it's ok. That's what I run in all my vehicles.
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Old 11-26-2014, 11:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gots2no View Post
Mixed with antifreeze, it's ok. That's what I run in all my vehicles.
That's the point. No antifreeze in race bikes. I would like to see it outlawed at track days, at least in level 3. I have seen some bad accidents caused by antifreeze on the track for a overflow or loose radiator cap.
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Old 11-26-2014, 11:32 PM   #6
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Makes sense
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Old 11-26-2014, 11:50 PM   #7
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Don't drink it either. It'll scavenge minerals out of your body. I've seen it rust stainless steel lab instruments.
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Old 11-27-2014, 12:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ek View Post
That's the point. No antifreeze in race bikes. I would like to see it outlawed at track days, at least in level 3. I have seen some bad accidents caused by antifreeze on the track for a overflow or loose radiator cap.
I'm with you, when they ask me I could've said that I didn't have antifreeze but didn't want to be the jerk that lies and ruins everyone day. Over there they apperently don't use the cone off technic. They laugh when I told that that happens here.

Last edited by Vilks; 11-27-2014 at 12:38 AM.
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Old 11-27-2014, 01:22 AM   #9
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In race cars we have aluminum radiators and aluminum heads and run distilled water. We just have to put a anode somewhere in the cooling loop. It is a softer metal and corrosion will go to it and protect the aluminum parts. There are all types out there and can be bought at any marine supply store. You would have to do some research and find a way to install on a bike.

Here is what I have in my car. You can trim them and put in one of the coolant plugs as long as you can find the right metric bushing.



http://www.westmarine.com/buy/sea-sh...04_122_002_502
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Old 11-27-2014, 07:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gots2no View Post
Mixed with antifreeze, it's ok. That's what I run in all my vehicles.
Same here for the last 40 years, but now I wonder would it be any better to mix antifreeze with purified drinking water instead??

_
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Old 11-27-2014, 12:24 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by SilverBullet View Post
Same here for the last 40 years, but now I wonder would it be any better to mix antifreeze with purified drinking water instead??

_
That was Royal Purple recommends cheap grocery store brand of bottle filtered water.

They also mention that stray voltage from the electrical system can make its way into the cooling system if your radiator isn't properly grounded. This effectively turns the radiator into a weak battery and this electrolytic action will remove aluminum too. They recommend checking between the cooling system and other parts of the bike for voltage. Anything above 300 millivotls is too high and additional grounding is need it.
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Old 11-28-2014, 01:42 AM   #12
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When you first posted this I though it was BS. I've been thinking about and it does make some sense.
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Old 11-28-2014, 10:55 AM   #13
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Thanks for the info, I suppose I'll get drinking water from now on.
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Old 11-28-2014, 06:16 PM   #14
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Distilled water bad, distilled water with water wetter good.

Distilled water is very corrosive especially at elevated temperatures, it requires a corrosion inhibitor.

Tap water is also bad as it often contains hardness that will lead to scale.
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Old 11-28-2014, 10:51 PM   #15
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I use saltwater from the bay. Filtered, of course.
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Old 11-29-2014, 01:40 AM   #16
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I use unicorn
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Old 11-29-2014, 03:59 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slash24 View Post
In race cars we have aluminum radiators and aluminum heads and run distilled water. We just have to put a anode somewhere in the cooling loop. It is a softer metal and corrosion will go to it and protect the aluminum parts. There are all types out there and can be bought at any marine supply store. You would have to do some research and find a way to install on a bike.

Here is what I have in my car. You can trim them and put in one of the coolant plugs as long as you can find the right metric bushing.



http://www.westmarine.com/buy/sea-sh...04_122_002_502
Good idea. The zinc acts as a sacrificial metal - not to be confused with the sacrificial pistons in BryanE's bike.
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Old 11-30-2014, 11:47 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vilks View Post
Last May at NOLA’s tech inspection I was told that I need it to drain the radiator coolant but was asked not use the paddock area. Luckily, I though, the bike shop that has a garage there did it for me and all I was asked is to get more distilled water as they did'nt have enough. I drove to get it had to stop in a couple of shops before finally I found 3 gallons at a cvs.

But yesterday panic set in while I was reviewing the article on Riding Skills; Fast Corners from Sport Rider Magazine October ’13 issue. I notes The Ask Geek section answer a question of a poor guy who’s track bike’s radiator need it to be replace because of leaked.

It turn out that that you should use running tap water or cheap drinking water from the grocery store but not distilled water.
Distilled water is a holdover from brass/copper radiators. Distilled water which is depleted from all it's minerals replaces it with the aluminum of the radiator.

In fact Royal Purple Ice explicitly specifies not to use distilled water.

Maybe everyone already knew that but giving my experience at NOLA I doubt it.
Distilled water and / or demineralized water should not be used if you elect to run a mixture of straight water and Purple Ice in your radiator.

http://www.royalpurpleconsumer.com/p...lant-additive/

For Street bikes:

Maxima Coolanol is a ready-to-use 50/50 blend of premium quality ethylene glycol based antifreeze and deionized water to provide optimum rust and corrosion protection for all aluminum and magnesium motorcycle and ATV liquid cooled engines.

http://www.maximausa.com/product/coolanol-power/
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Old 12-01-2014, 07:01 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gots2no View Post
Good idea.
Forgot to mention that I use water wetter with it.
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Old 12-01-2014, 09:31 PM   #20
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get two beer or coke cans. put one in a bowl of tap and the other in a bowl of distilled water

cover and wait a month and look what can is more corroded

and you see why corrosion inhibitors are used
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