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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I decided to change the coolant in my bike, an 04 gsxr 600. This is my first time changing the coolant on my own. I followed all the directions found in my bike manual. I noticed that after you refill the radiator with coolant a lot of people would let the bike run with the cap open and wait for the bubbles to stop popping up. Well after rocking my bike back and forth and refilling to the top of the radiator I started it up and let it run. However, I didn't see any bubbles coming up to the surface after running the bike for 5+ minutes. I thought maybe I got all the air out, so I capped it, let it heat up and cool down a few times, then filled the reservoir to the line and put the bike back together.

I just took it out for the first ride since the maintenance and kept my eye on the temp gauge, which seemed normal at first. Upon starting the bike I noticed a faint coolant smell which I attributed to spilled coolant burning off of the exhaust lines etc.. Took the bike out for about 30 min. The temp was hovering around 170-180 the first 15 min, which is normal this time of year (Ohio) so I stopped looking at the gauge. When I pulled into my drive I noticed a hot smell and looked at the temp gauge which was reading 220. My bike in the past may have gotten to 220 in the dead of summer while waiting in stop and go traffic, NEVER in March while riding steady for 30 min.

Bike smelled hot, temp gauge was rising 1 degree every few seconds so I shut her off and now here I am. Obviously I must have done something wrong with the coolant flush. It looks like maybe there is still some air in the system? Do I need to re-flush or just take the fairing off, do a little more rocking, and try the bleeding screw again? Or maybe I have b***** problems?

Any help is appreciated
 

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Did you buy premixed (50/50 antifreeze/water)? If not, did you mix it 50/50 with distilled water? Water is a much more efficient coolant than antifreeze (however, water will freeze at higher temps than coolant and will cause corrosion used by itself). This is why you mix water with your antifreeze. If you replaced 50/50 coolant with straight coolant, that would explain your problems.

If you did mix your coolant properly, if you haven't rechecked the level since taking your 30 minute ride, that's your next step. You may have had a very large pocket of air.

EDIT: Also, to state the obvious, make sure that you properly tightened down any bolts you removed to drain the coolant.
 

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for somebody that will probably be doing a coolant flush soon, if an "air pocket" occurs, does it work itself out?
After you fill it, let it settle for a couple of minutes and rock the bike a bit. Then refill to full again. Then take it for a quick spin with the plastics off (if required). This will most likely work out any air that is in the system, so just refill when you get back from the quick ride (wait for it to cool, of course). Any air pockets will eventually work themselves out.
 

· Habitual line-stepper
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^yeah, they come out on their own, as said above. But you usually can't get them all without riding the bike at least a little bit.
 

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^yeah, they come out on their own, as said above. But you usually can't get them all without riding the bike at least a little bit.
^this. It takes a few full temperature cycles (cold to fully warmed up and back to cold) for the air to move its way into the expansion tank. Then you can just top off the expansion tank (and the radiator if you like) to the proper level.
 

· second chimp in space
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You can also just bleed it. The manual will tell you if your system is self-bleeding or not. If not, then for example you just loosen a bolt on the water pump until coolant comes out then tighten it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So I took the fairings off again... opened the radiator cap and the coolant level was still all the way to the top. The reservoir had gone down a little bit, to just below the bottom line (I had filled it to the top line previously). I started up the bike and let it run for about 10 min. I witnessed no air bubbles rising up through the radiator. I turned off the bike, rocked it side to side again, and moved and tapped on the coolant hoses to loosen up any air. Then I topped off the radiator (I had lost some coolant from rocking the bike) and capped it. I started up the bike, let it run, and then cracked the bleeder screw at which point coolant started spraying out immediately. I tightened the screw, let the bike cool down, and then topped off the radiator and reservoir.

I took the bike for a 15 min ride, at which point the temp would stay constant or drop a degree or two while moving, but any stops or slow riding would result in the temp gauge increasing rapidly. At cruising speed my bike now is in the 180-190 range (60 degree F outside air temp), whereas before the coolant change it would run in the 170-180 +/- range. At a red light the bike can easily go from 185 to 200 + in the 30 seconds or so that I am sitting there.

The fan kicks on around 220, at which point the engine temp will start to drop.

My buddy has a 2008 and running temps around 190-200 are common for him, but it was never that way on my bike until now. He says it doesn't sound like anything is wrong to him.

Another friend of mine says it is due to the fact that I used Prestone 50/50 coolant instead of the coolant straight from Suzuki. Is there really that much difference in the formula of the coolant? I guess it makes sense, bikes and cars are two very different machines. But I read before doing all this that the Prestone is fine....

I am not afraid to re-flush the coolant and use the Suzuki stuff, but I would hate to spend over double the price on the Suzuki coolant and then find that I still have the same problem.

Thanks for the continued help guys
 

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It does sound normal. As long as the Prestone mix is OK for aluminum, it should be no problem.
 

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So I took the fairings off again... opened the radiator cap and the coolant level was still all the way to the top. The reservoir had gone down a little bit, to just below the bottom line (I had filled it to the top line previously). I started up the bike and let it run for about 10 min. I witnessed no air bubbles rising up through the radiator. I turned off the bike, rocked it side to side again, and moved and tapped on the coolant hoses to loosen up any air. Then I topped off the radiator (I had lost some coolant from rocking the bike) and capped it. I started up the bike, let it run, and then cracked the bleeder screw at which point coolant started spraying out immediately. I tightened the screw, let the bike cool down, and then topped off the radiator and reservoir. I took the bike for a 15 min ride, at which point the temp would stay constant or drop a degree or two while moving, but any stops or slow riding would result in the temp gauge increasing rapidly. At cruising speed my bike now is in the 180-190 range (60 degree F outside air temp), whereas before the coolant change it would run in the 170-180 +/- range. At a red light the bike can easily go from 185 to 200 + in the 30 seconds or so that I am sitting there. The fan kicks on around 220, at which point the engine temp will start to drop. My buddy has a 2008 and running temps around 190-200 are common for him, but it was never that way on my bike until now. He says it doesn't sound like anything is wrong to him. Another friend of mine says it is due to the fact that I used Prestone 50/50 coolant instead of the coolant straight from Suzuki. Is there really that much difference in the formula of the coolant? I guess it makes sense, bikes and cars are two very different machines. But I read before doing all this that the Prestone is fine.... I am not afraid to re-flush the coolant and use the Suzuki stuff, but I would hate to spend over double the price on the Suzuki coolant and then find that I still have the same problem. Thanks for the continued help guys
What did you end up doing
 
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