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Old 01-22-2016, 08:31 PM   #1
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Overheating, But Not Really

TL; DR--Bike gets hot on spirited rides above 10k RPM. Fine for hours of riding at lower RPMs. New water pump, new thermostat. Even gets hot with ambient temps are in the 50's.

'09 Ninja 500 I picked up as a commuter a little over a year ago doesn't like to do work. Temp gauge won't get above half as long as you're just cruising at steady RPM (up to about 90 MPH). Past 90, or much time in the 10k RPM and above range, and the gauge jumps to the break between the white and red bars. Won't get into the red, but once it's there, it won't drop until I shut the bike off for at least 30 minutes.

When I bought the bike there was a slight drip from the water pump housing caused by a driveway drop (PO's wife). I replaced the impeller, impeller shaft, and gasket. There wasn't much coolant in it (I'm assuming from the leak), so I filled it with 50/50 premix after the pump replacement.

Made it through one year of commuting and one spirited hill country trip with no issues. A few months ago I went on a fairly brisk ride. Lots of miles with temps in the high-40's to mid-50's, and that's when the overheating issue started. I replaced the thermostat (OEM), and the bike sat until a few weeks ago. Took it out on another spirited ride (only about 100 miles), and it got hot again.

The bike is now sitting in pieces. No obstructions in the impeller, hoses, radiator, thermostat housing, or through the block. Radiator fins are clean and straight, and the thermostat opens at 180*F (I tested it). I assume the gauge is accurate because coolant moves into the overflow reservoir when gauge is at the break, then moves back into the radiator when the bike cools.

The bike takes forever to warm up. Cruising at 60, the gauge won't even get to the halfway point. I'm almost thinking that the thermostat isn't opening fast enough, and by the time it does, it's really too late. I'm thinking about drilling the rim to allow more coolant flow while its closed. I'm also thinking that making a run with the thermostat out would let me know if my theory is correct.

Am I missing anything?
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Old 01-22-2016, 09:26 PM   #2
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Did you burp the bike after the water pump rebuild?
Are any of the hoses going to the water pump soft or collapsing at high revs?Is the bike all stock?
How does the air filter look? Clean and well oiled?
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Old 01-22-2016, 10:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
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Did you burp the bike after the water pump rebuild?
Are any of the hoses going to the water pump soft or collapsing at high revs?Is the bike all stock?
How does the air filter look? Clean and well oiled?
Stock bike, 20k miles. Pretty sure I replaced the filter 3k miles ago when I adjusted the valves. Lower hoses are firm. Inlet hose (thermostat to radiator) is a tad soft. Haven't checked for collapse at temp and high revs. As for burping, it pretty much takes care of itself. Fill radiator, fill reservoir, run til thermostat opens, and top off as needed. Swirling coolant visible when full with cap open.
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Old 02-01-2016, 04:49 PM   #4
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Well, it definitely wasn't the air filter. Put a brand new OEM filter in it and took it for a ride today. It didn't get as hot, but it still got hot enough to boil into the overflow and wouldn't cool off until I turned it off. Weird thing is that if I keep it at 90mph/8k RPM or below the gauge won't get above half unless I get below 60mph. Then it jumps up again, but will drop as soon as I increase my speed.

There are no leaks, and there is absolutely no sign of water in my oil, so I'm ruling out a head gasket issue for the moment. I'm thinking a partially blocked oil filter at this point.
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Old 02-01-2016, 07:19 PM   #5
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I wouldn't completely rule out head gasket just yet. If PO ran it low on coolant and got hot, it may have caused head gasket to go and slight warpage and situation has gotten worse over time. Water in oil is not the only sign of a bad head gasket.

Also, I didn't read anything about the radiator cap.

I have a cooling system pressure tester you can use. let me know.
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Old 02-01-2016, 08:24 PM   #6
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Change your plugs and your radiator cap.
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Old 02-01-2016, 08:25 PM   #7
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May have to take you up on that. Do you think I'm wasting my time with the oil filter theory? It's not a bike filter. It's a PureOne car filter. EX500 site says it's a valid substitute, but I know it has more media.
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Old 02-01-2016, 08:44 PM   #8
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If the cap is bad, it will not pressurize correctly, especially at high speed. The pressure raises the boiling point, so if cap is not holding full pressure it lowers the boiling point. Spark plugs are cheap and easy.

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Old 02-01-2016, 09:08 PM   #9
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Plugs have 4K miles on them.
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Old 02-01-2016, 09:10 PM   #10
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Rad cap would be much easier than a head gasket. Lol.
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Old 02-01-2016, 09:12 PM   #11
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Plugs are fine then.
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Old 02-22-2016, 10:16 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Plugs have 4K miles on them.
Pull one of the plugs and see if it is running lean. You may have to run the bike at high rpm to get a correct read on the plug.

Are those carb'ed or injected?
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Old 02-22-2016, 01:39 PM   #13
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Believe the issue has been sorted already, awaiting for confirmation.
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Old 02-22-2016, 02:38 PM   #14
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Pull one of the plugs and see if it is running lean. You may have to run the bike at high rpm to get a correct read on the plug.

Are those carb'ed or injected?
Dual carbs, but I think the issue is sorted. I'm just waiting on the correct ratio of free time and good weather to present itself.

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Believe the issue has been sorted already, awaiting for confirmation.
And I still haven't been able to take it for a real test run. Was going to do it first thing this morning, but the weather gave me the finger.
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Old 02-22-2016, 05:25 PM   #15
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Can someone list the proper steps in burping a hayabusa gen1 the bike runs hot in traffic and stays right above half way when riding.
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Old 02-22-2016, 08:00 PM   #16
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Can someone list the proper steps in burping a hayabusa gen1 the bike runs hot in traffic and stays right above half way when riding.
With the bike cold and the cap off run it till about 180 degrees.
If there's air in the system the coolant level will drop down in the radiator.
With it still running, top it off, install the cap and fill the reservoir to just to below the hot full line.
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Old 02-22-2016, 08:04 PM   #17
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Thanks Patrick if no air in the lines other culprits could be waterpump or tstat fan works properly
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Old 02-22-2016, 09:48 PM   #18
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What are you calling running hot? Is coolant overflowing into the reservoir?
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Old 02-23-2016, 04:58 PM   #19
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The needle stays tad bit over half way mark when in traffic stop and go it goes up under the red but doesnt go into the red area. The tank sits at minimum line when cold I havent checked it while it wss running. Am going to replace plugs, air filter, and rad cap this weekend
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Old 02-23-2016, 08:44 PM   #20
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The needle stays tad bit over half way mark when in traffic stop and go it goes up under the red but doesnt go into the red area. The tank sits at minimum line when cold I havent checked it while it wss running. Am going to replace plugs, air filter, and rad cap this weekend
That's actually fairly common for most Hayabusas.
As long at it doesn't go into the red, the fans are coming on and you're not puking coolant I wouldn't worry too much about it.
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