Harley Heat

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by mermaidlover, Jun 4, 2015.

  1. mermaidlover

    mermaidlover Member

    Hi there everyone

    Just a quick question regarding the running temp of the Harley's. I've got a 2013 fat boy and it is the first big air cooled bike that I've owned. I absolutely love the bike, so I may just be a little paranoid with it at the moment !! My question is regarding how hot these beasts get. I was out today for an hour or so and the weather for once was really hot. I was held up for a period in slow moving traffic, and the heat that was coming off the engine was unbelievable. As I say, this is my first Harley and the first air cooled I've owned so I'm not sure what is normal. Can the bikes stand being held in traffic for long periods, or will it damage the engine by getting too hot ? I know this may seem like a stupid question to some, and I'm assuming that these engines have been designed and tested in much hotter climates than I'll ever live in.

    I've done some 'googling' and some of the horror stories that people have posted don't make good reading. Any advice ?

    Many thanks
  2. Jeff Klarich

    Jeff Klarich Well-Known Member Contributor

    Out here in Colorado I swear people can't drive. I get caught in traffic all the time due to accidents and rush hour traffic, I try and shut it down if it's going to be any longer then a few minutes. Even tho they are built for hot conditions there is a limit to how hot they can get before damage can be done.
  3. atm33

    atm33 Active Member

    Definitely not a stupid question. Gotta love the simplicity of an air cooled engine, but overheating when not moving for an extended period is the down-side. The warning light should come on at some point before that though, or so I would imagine, not that any of us stare at the console the whole time. Mine doesn't have an oil temp gauge, so I hope is has an idiot light...
  4. gator508

    gator508 Well-Known Member

    Yes, they do get hot, a lot of experience living here in the south. If I'm not mistaken, there is a parade function where the back cylinder shuts down when the engine approaches overheating temperatures and shut off by a blip of the throttle. I also believe this function is set to on or off by the dealer, a freebie one time I think. I have read about this somewhere in the forum, others may chime in to enlighten you more on this subject.
    When its cold you are going to love the built in heater:D
  5. mermaidlover

    mermaidlover Member

    Thanks for the replies everyone. I suppose It's something that I will get used to. I like the sound of the built in heater in cold weather as that is what we get most of the time over here !! I guess what I would call hot weather, you guys would be pulling on a jumper or two !! The sun is out again so i'm off for another ride.... Make hay while the sun shines so to speak !
  6. Billbo

    Billbo Junior Member

    through it all there is no mention of temperatures??? Here in Louisiana, hot summer temperatures get up around 100 degrees F. i've even seen hotter. That is almost too hot to ride with comfort - even the wind in your face is HOT, but the bike just keeps on going. I dont sit stopped for too long -- I'd have to guess here and say around 5 minutes max. Then I would pull over and turn the engine off - wait till traffic is moving, then start up and continue on. I have been (and I am certain others have too) been in some VERY HOT interstate traffic conditions. No it's not good for air cooled engine to sit not moving. Just be smart about it all and do what you think is best - you will get an idea of when to shut it down and let it cool off.

  7. tourbox

    tourbox Senior Member

    On the newer models the owner can shut off or turn on the Parade mode. The owners manual should tell you how. Has to do with rolling the throttle forward when turn ign. on.
  8. jamesearl

    jamesearl Senior Member

    I have the cylinder shut off thing,you can easily tell when it kicks in.The bike starts bouncing a little more,and you can definitely hear it going from a twin to a thumper.It takes a little more to overcome it.When I start from a standstill I give so little gas it almost dies,and when only the one cylinder is going,it would die if I didn't give it a little more gas to overcome it.It also takes a fraction of a second to go back to two cyl.from parade mode.It gets close to a hundred degrees around here in summer,never noticed too much engine heat.Maybe because I've never had a liquid cooled bike.I have warmed my gloved hands on the eng. in winter.
  9. Jeff Klarich

    Jeff Klarich Well-Known Member Contributor

    I believe the way it's designed and meant to work is blip the throttle before you take off and that will engage the rear cylinder. I've never owned a scoot with this feature but from what i've read that's the process after it goes into parade mode.
  10. dolt

    dolt Senior Member

    You don't have to get used to it and I would suggest a few modifications to cool you and your motor off.

    1. Pay the Harley "tax" and upgrade to a hi-flow air filter and hi-flow mufflers, install a fuel management system like the TTS Mastertune and get the motor dyno tuned, preferably not by a dealer.:s These bikes come tuned very lean to meet EPA standards and a proper tune that will add fuel will cool things down.

    2. Install an oil cooler. I know, everyone will tell you that they only work while moving. However, consider that a cooler cools the oil so when one stops, the oil is cooler than it would be without a cooler. Addtionally, there is still heat transfer taking place while stopped. If the ambient air temp is 100* and the oil temp is 250*, heat transfer is still taking place. An oil cooler won't keep you cooler but it will keep the oil cooler. Synthetic oil start losing it's lubricating capacity at 250* and when oil temp hits 300*, time to shut the motor down.

    3. Remove the catalytic converter; the main source of heat coming up on the right side. You can take the Stage I upgrade a step further and replace the OEM head pipe with an aftermarket pipe that does not have a catalytic converter. Also, there are vendors that will remove the cat from the OEM head pipe for you.

    4. Install a set of Wards cooling fans; probably the best modification for cooling the oil; cool the heads and cool the oil. Easy DIY install and Jason is a great guy; always available by phone and eager to service his customers.

    Cooling fans - WARDS PARTS WERKS

    If you don't do any of these things and oil temps consistently exceed 250*, consider changing oil at 2500 mile intervals.