It’s easy to forget to change your motorcycle coolant in the midst of other bike maintenance. Usually it is simply out of sight, out of mind, but using an optimized coolant and antifreeze is pivotal in keeping your bike protected from extreme temperature and corrosion. Be sure you are aware of what to look for when you next change your motorcycle coolant:
Motorcycle Coolant has to Dissipate Heat
Decreasing the heat of the engine is the number one objective of the coolant. The combustion chamber causes serious heat, easily reaching 1,500°F (816°C)—depending upon operating conditions, weather and configuration of your engine.
Because metal expands when it’s hot, your bike’s engine was created to withstand a certain amount of metal expansion. If it becomes too hot, though, metal parts can expand more than their creation allows, leading to metal-to-metal contact. For example, the piston can swell too much and scrape the cylinder wall. The cylinder head can also twist and cause a leak in the head gasket—from there, it’s just a matter of time until the engine fails.
The coolant in the motorcycle needs to absorb the heat and get it to the radiator, where it will disperse into the air. The majority of powersports applications—like ATVs, dirt bikes, and motorcycles—need ethylene glycol coolant, since its main strength is to dissipate heat. The boil-over rating from the coolant will give you an idea of how well it protects your motorcycle from heat. AMSOIL Powersports Antifreeze & Coolant will prevent boil-over up to 226°F (108°C).
Motorcycle Coolant also has to Resist Corrosion
If the primary objective of a motorcycle, dirt bike, ATV or other powersport coolant is to dissipate heat, resisting corrosion is 1B. The majority of powersports cooling systems will use additional aluminum than passenger-car cooling systems, and some will utilize magnesium. The metals allow for a lightweight and durable iron alternative, but unfortunately, they are more sensitive to corrosion and water quality.
Specific configuration of engines can also lead to increased demand that the coolant can effectively resist corrosion. Many previous powersports engines included passages for coolant surrounding the cylinder and head, but not the engine block (like a typical passenger vehicle engine). Beginning near the mid-2000s, though, manufacturers started introducing engines that had liquid-cooled blocks to help with efficiency. Though this design helps the engine cool more effectively, it also exposes the coolant to additional metal, thereby increasing the need for protection from corrosion. Even Harley-Davidson, the epitome of air-cooled engines, has begun to diverge from tradition and begin exploring more liquid cooling.
If corrosion begins to form in powersports cooling systems, heat transfer can decrease, disrupting engine temperatures. If the corrosion is serious enough, coolant passages can become clogged and flow can be restricted—leading to an overheated engine. Corroding metal can also lead to leads in your cooling system, creating stains on your garage bill AND a costly repair bill. For the most effective protection, use a motorcycle coolant (or another powersports coolant) that is pre-mixed with purified water at a 50/50 ratio. This will remove contaminants that speed up the process of corrosion. The coolant should also have strong additives specifically desgined for magnesium, aluminum and additional metals that are found in cooling systems of powersports equipment.
Though it isn’t required, a long-life formulation provides meaningful benefits. Many enthusiasts don’t want to deal with the hassle of switching coolant more than necessary. An extended-life formulation will reduce maintenance and be more convenient.
AMSOIL Powersports Coolant & Antifreeze
AMSOIL Powersports Antifreeze & Coolant provides all the benefits a good ATV, dirt bike, motorcycle and other powersports coolant should. The advanced design allows hot-running and high-revving applications’ temperature environments to be better controlled, and the long-life formula provides all-season protection for up to five years. Upon mixing with highly purified water, this coolant resists scale and deposit to keep your engine clean.
- Ethylene-glycol formulation meets OEM requirements
- Extended-life formulation lasts up to five years
- Free of nitrite, borate,and phosphate
- Can be used safely oncopper, aluminum, and brass/bronze alloys
- Boil-over protection as high as 226°F (108°C)
- Freeze protection as low as -34°F (-37°C)