air cooled harley in heavy traffic

Discussion in 'Engine, Fuel and Exhaust' started by killertiki, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. killertiki

    killertiki Member

    Hey guys, new to harleys, my last bike had a temp gage, how do you know if a harley is getting hot in heavy traffic, and do you need to worry about it getting hot?
  2. gunnut

    gunnut Junior Member

    I can only go by what happened to a brother of mine at last years hoggin the bridge,that is,he was SMOKING! from all around the cylinders soo it looked like,and he ended up with fried thighs! However,he had all the fairings,paniers etc,and regular dino oils in.I was on my wide glide,(no fairings,panniers etc.which got hot,but no smoking(I have Red Line full mine )So I guess that means if your ride is fully cloaked,the restricted airflow in traffic is something to think about.

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

    gunnut said it GOOD... the only problem with him is; ALWAYS on the WRONG SIDE of the STREET....Haha
    I just didn't drive on a visit to that side of the world...

    If you are talking about the 883 sporty....
    YES you need to be CONCERNED about HEAT,,, always..

    I have found the sporty to be a COOL riding bike... more ways than one!
    YOU can help it out a lot by your choices of OIL...AND FILTER...

    being a 2002 883, I would tell you that the big difference from 883 to a 1200 in cylinder size is a 1/2 inch over-all THICKER WALL..The 883 uses the SAME SIZED cyl bbls. that are a 1/4 inch thicker on the cyl. walls..

    a 1200 is 3.5" bore and the 883 is 3" bore....
    so ONCE the 883 GETS HOT, it takes more TIME and AIR to cool it back down..(MY OPINION)
    Usually with stage one(FULL) exhaust and air..and a proper slow and high JET to make it run correct fuel mix. and IDLE cap removed to adjust IDLE AIR-GAS mix..
    YOU should have one of the better bikes to keep COOL...

    LIKE said : the BIG BIKES have a lot more problem with slow moving and HIGH temperatures than you shoul EVER HAVE..

    YOU CAN HELP the bike out by going to a GOOD 20/50 FULL synthetic oil for the engine I,,,, like gunnut,,,, USE REDLINE....
    MOBIL I V twin 20/50.... AMSOIL..... ROYAL PURPLE are also reccomended by MANY here and THAT is a personal choice ISSUE..
    JUST make sure it is FOR the AIR-COOLED harley engine.... THEN FIND a good place to obtain the product...
    I still perfer the RED...

    THE oil filter here MANY will say NO to but I always USE a LONG DYNA FILTER on that OLDER motor 2002 should be ok with on the filter MICRON size the motor calls out for BEFORE adding the longer filter... BUT I did find the extra cup of oil and cooling surface offered by the LONGER filter to be a +

    MY 883's/1200's many from 1995 thru to the 2006 roadster (still have it) ALL I have owned seamed to NEVER have a OVERHEAT problem!!!! even down in HOT AZ. never did need a oil cooler on them.... synthetic oil made a big diffeerence...

    REMEMBER ,,,,,,, IT IS AIR AND OIL COOLED so don't let it sit long WITHOUT the proper AIR passing by the engine....

    I also would recommend using the FORMAL+ harley suggest to use in the primary clutch-gear case.... BUT a good synthetic 20/50 in engine and NEVER the SYN3,,,, syn3 is a SIN!

    YOUR TRANNY AND CLUTCH SHARE THE SAME BATHROOM! so you have TWO oils to change.. while the BIG bikes have THREE...

  4. Grillfish

    Grillfish Junior Member

    Like bubbie said about oil. I had a 2002 1200 XLC, ran it for 7 yrs and used Mobil 1 V-Twin (HD stuff in the chaincase). I even think the oil filter I used cross referenced a Dyna as well, as I always used a "longer" one on my Sporty. Now I did add a stage 1 (V&H exhaust and SE AC) and rejetted the bike. I added a HD oil temp gauge that was also the dip stick. Easy to look down as I sat in traffic and see what the oil temp was.

    I sat in traffic one yr during Bike week on Main St for close to 40 minutes creaping along. I also rode it to work in the summer in traffic. No major heat issues other than my left hand cramped up using the clutch all the time.

    Now the 96" in my RG is waaaay hotter than my Sporty ever was. (But I do miss my Sporty).

    Ride safe and have fun.
  5. killertiki

    killertiki Member

    Thanks guys, been riding around bike week here in daytona, and was just wondering about it,no problems yet though
  6. Grillfish

    Grillfish Junior Member

  7. Jim B.

    Jim B. Junior Member

    I came from the water cooled world (05 Goldwing) and was very paranoid about cooling when I bought my 09 Road Glide. I put in an oil cooler, a LeNale Fan (I've had good luck with it but see posts by Smitty to the contrary), and synthetics. Also got a dipstick thermometer. I always check the temperature and it is usually around 220 degrees. Went through the desert twice (112 degrees) last year on a 4,250 mile trip to Sturgis and never had any problem.

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    Being as the 2002 883 Sportster is carbureted and only warning signs of overheating will be sound of pinging and power I have a 2004 1200 Sportster, that is my only indication. I choose not to "wait" and tend to "lane split" or pull off if the traffic is really severe as there is no reason to invite trouble. I did install an oil dipstick temp guage...about $32 in the HD P & D catalog.

    If you live in a temperate area, and are worried, why not add an HD or JAGG oil cooler kit...worth the price of admission and piece of mind. :D

    The EFI guys have electronics to provision protection in the form of shutting down the rear cylinder, but turning it back on when the throttle is rolled on and such...lucky guys! :s
  9. murf

    murf Active Member

    It's never a bad choice to add a cooler, especially if you're in summer traffic a lot. Heat is one of your engine's worst enemies. I've heard the "Jagg" 10 row is a very good cooler. read the article that showed installation and if you're at all mechanically inclined it won't be tough.
  10. Safehaven

    Safehaven Active Member

    If you have an EFI bike, as NewHDFan said, the controller will first drop the idle speed to slow the heat build up. If this is not enough it will cut the combustion cycle of the rear cilinder which will sound like a misfire.

    Only happened once so far, after about an hour on a parkinglot during a warm summer day, practicing slow riding.

    You'll hear it when it happends :)

    Hope that helped you along a bit.
    Take care,