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Discussion Starter #1
I posted something a couple of days ago about a puncture in my 05's overflow resevoir. I need help. Came in from Dallas a few days ago and staying outside Deals Gap for a few more days.

Here's the scoop. It's a mystery.

Trailered 8 bikes from Dallas to Chattanooga last Friday. When we were taking the Wing off the ramp nicked the corner of the overflow resevoir. I got some Wet JBWeld and fixed the leak. The thing I didn't do was refill it. My bad. It was late and we had driven 850 miles that day. Needless to say no leaks and road hard for two more days with no problems.

Monday morning woke up and rode the 20 miles from Robbinsville to Deals Gap. Parked the bike in the parking lot and had coolant running out from the front cowling. Lost a good amount. I would say about 1/2 to 3/4 of a quart. Found the overflow spout and filled it up to the top. Then road to a mechanic outside of Robbinsville ( about 15 miles ) and sat for 2 hours. Ran the bike for about 20 minutes and wasn't leaking when I pulled in and didn't leak after running idle. Went to an auto parts store and topped off the radiator. Added about 6-8oz roughly. Then rode the Tail of the Dragon up and back. Stopped a couple of times to see if it was leaking. Nothing! Even watced the temp gauge. I have never gone above halfway mark on the temp gauge. So no problems yesterday and put about 100 miles ( hard driving too ) on it.

This morning woke up and rode with the group about 5miles max to meet u. There she was again as I stopped beginning to leak from the front of the bike. Shut her down and parked. Nothing more leaked. Left it all day and we all went to the river. Nothing sitting under her when I got back about 6 hours later. Started her up and she did it again. Dripping from around the top of the cowling more on the left side of the bike high up. Went to the autoparts store and bought some Bars stop radiator leak. Drove the 5 miles back to the cabin and pulled up. She was leaking again.

Any ideas????? I'm baffled. The gauge works or so it appears. I can't imagine the bike overheating in a 5 miles slow ride this morning and this afternoon. Not sure if it has something to do with the fan. Never seems to be overheating. Could the coolant be bad? It has 40k on it. Bought it with 12k Feb '09. Haven't changed the coolant but it was bright green. Actually, I'm pretty sure the coolant was changed last summer. As the bike had a new transmission put in, alternator replaced and alternator gears. It was trailered and when they towed it busted the overflow resevoir. So pretty sure it's not original coolant. Not thinkin it's the thermostat. Wouldn't make sense why a 5 mile trip would cause this.

Wondering if I put too much in the overflow and it's trying to push some excess out.

Sorry for long thread but wanted to explain as much as I could. My 11 y/o son is on our annual trip and hate to sidebar the rest of the trip for something that might be minor.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Ok ... let me see if I can sum this up. For a long time your LF upper rad clamp has been leaking, but since ther rad cap no longer holds pressure as designed you have not known that. Now there is a hole in the resevior and after coolant leak out and was never filled up correctly, it started overheating, building up excessive pressure and wala they leak showed up.. I am also going to assume that the coolant has not been replaced every 2 years or 24k as required ... are we on the same page thus far or are all my assumptions wrong?

Hopefully you have not used any stop leak. If so, that complicates it all since that needs to be flushed out ASAP.

So back to the original problem. First off, stop riding it and get it fixed. To fix it, you will need to pull the ferring loose to get to the LF hose clamp and replace it with an aftermarket one. I have learned not to trust
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Have not added anything yet. Waiting to see what posts come here. I have never dropped a bit of coolant on until this trip. The first leak was from the overflow reservoir when it was nicked. JBWelded that and no problems for two and a half days. Then this new leak started yesterday from the front. I rode 100 miles yesterday after topping off overflow and radiator. Nothing yesterday after that. Now it started again this morning with two 5 mile rides.
 

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Glad to hear you have not used stop leak. I edited my above post. You may want to review it.

Is your goal to continue riding for now and trailer it home or to fix it properly for now?
 

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Your problem is either that it was never filled correctly, and/or the thermostate is now damaged.

Lets assume the thermostate is not damaged. Here is the proper filling instructions. With the engine off, remove the rad cap and fill the radiators. Sometimes it requires a slow pour and this is best done after it has sat a couple of hours. Once full, cap it and start the engine. Let it idle 2-3 mins snapping the throttle 3-4 times. With it running, remove the cap and top off. Reinstall the cap and allow it to warm to the normal range and fill the resevior to the top mark. Carefull, about an ounce is a couple of notches.
 

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I think that should get you back on your ride. Stop every hour or so and readd coolant as needed to the resivior. If it goes dry, see post above for proper filling instructions.

When you get home, replace your resiviour, replace the LF rad hose clamp and pressure test the cooling system and cap and repair as needed. Drain and fill the coolant if not done in past 2 years or 24k. If you need the cooling system pressure tested addapters you can get those from my web page at JustWings.com.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
When I toppedoff the radiator yesterday I filled and let it run about ten minutes with bubbles coming up. Then put cap on and ran about 100 miles. Now I think I made a mistake when I filled the overflow and filled it to the top of the spout. If it was the thermostat would it act up in a 5 mile ride at 35mph in 75 degree weather?
 

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When I toppedoff the radiator yesterday I filled and let it run about ten minutes with bubbles coming up. Then put cap on and ran about 100 miles. Now I think I made a mistake when I filled the overflow and filled it to the top of the spout. If it was the thermostat would it act up in a 5 mile ride at 35mph in 75 degree weather?
Yes, a thermostat can act like that and so can a blown head gasket. But it must be filled correctly first to condem anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
did everything you said. checked overflow on left side under cover. It was full. bike was off for last couple of hours and then checked radiator under r/side glove box. I added about 2-4 oz of coolant to that. sealed it and ran a few minutes. opened it up and it was full. I'll ride tomorrow and carry coolant with me. What puzzles me is that I've never gotten over mid temperature range on gauge. I haven't lost any power and also don't notice any smoke coming out of pipe indicating blown head gasket. Very strange.
 

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Sounds to me that you've just overfilled the reserve tank. Properly refill the system at the radiator filler neck under the right storage pocket, bleed the air from the system and then drain out the extra coolant from the reserve tank. That should solve your problem.

From the Service Manual:

"Fill the system with the recommended coolant through the filler opening up to the filler neck. Install the radiator cap.

Bleed air from the system as follows
:
1. Shift the transmission into neutral.
Start the engine and let it idle for 2 – 3 minutes.

2. Snap the throttle three to four times to bleed air
from the system.

3. Stop the engine and add coolant up to the filler
neck.

4. Install the radiator cap

....Remove the reserve tank cap/dipstick. Fill the reserve tank to the upper level hole of the dipstick with the motorcycle on its center stand on a flat, level surface..."


 

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I agree that you overfilled the tank. If I understand your post correctly you rode it a couple days before the other leak showed. If so, I think you have another leak up around the radiator that just chose this time to appear. If it were me I would fill the tank as suggested and run it. After running it for the day let it cool overnight and check the coolant level again in the tank and radiator the next morning. Top off as needed. You may have to do this a few times if you have air in the system. I see no reason to suspect a thermostat problem.
 

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quote:
Dripping from around the top of the cowling more on the left side of the bike high up. Went to the autoparts store and bought some Bars stop radiator leak. flush this out when you get home, not good
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Didn't add the stop leak. Did get the excess coolant out of the overflow. When I left this morning it was right at the top mark on dipstick for overflow. rode about 20 miles from Robbinsville to Deals Gap parking lot. Had some coolant on my left boot...dripped about 3 tablespoons in parking lot. Did this one more time...then rode Dragon to Gatlinburg and then down to Pigeon Forge. The second half of day not a single drip. This morning some very minor ones...So mysterious. Oh...temp gauge never got to halfway point. That's riding the Tail pretty hard and lots of uphills all day.
 

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It is not a mystry. You have a coolant leak that leaks under different pressures. When the pressure is just right it leaks, and at other times does not. That is why I was originally said that you have a radiator cap that is probably bad. As you continue riding it, always be checking the level at the resivior. If it runs dry of low, you will have to refill according to the instructions above.
 

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Didn't add the stop leak. Did get the excess coolant out of the overflow. When I left this morning it was right at the top mark on dipstick for overflow. rode about 20 miles from Robbinsville to Deals Gap parking lot. Had some coolant on my left boot...dripped about 3 tablespoons in parking lot. Did this one more time...then rode Dragon to Gatlinburg and then down to Pigeon Forge. The second half of day not a single drip. This morning some very minor ones...So mysterious. Oh...temp gauge never got to halfway point. That's riding the Tail pretty hard and lots of uphills all day.
Good Morning"

Hopefully a small leak on a hose. That is the good situation, no big deal, just add a bit and keep on going.

Highly unlikely it it the radiator cap, as that is on the right side, so the leak would work down on the right side. Yours is on the left. Hopefully the hose or a hose.

If you do not hear a fan hitting the radiator then you can relax. Get in front of the bike and with a good light look at the left radiator and fan, use a stick or anything and spin the fan, wiggle it around see if it has side play. The fans have been known to cut into the radiator.

If all looks well, relax, ride and smile. Deal with the hose issue whenever.

If I were on a trip and it did turn out to be the fan, I would just cut the wire to it and run on one fan. Avoid traffic jams and so on, and keep going. And deal with that later too.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Only have two days of riding left anyway. Mornings I seem to lose a little bit more but then it doesn't lose that much. Temp gauge is never affected. Don't think it's the cap as it's leaking left side and cap ison right side. When I get home I'll tear it apart and check the high hoses and clamps.
 

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Good Morning"

Hopefully a small leak on a hose. That is the good situation, no big deal, just add a bit and keep on going.

Highly unlikely it it the radiator cap, as that is on the right side, so the leak would work down on the right side. Yours is on the left. Hopefully the hose or a hose.

If you do not hear a fan hitting the radiator then you can relax. Get in front of the bike and with a good light look at the left radiator and fan, use a stick or anything and spin the fan, wiggle it around see if it has side play. The fans have been known to cut into the radiator.

If all looks well, relax, ride and smile. Deal with the hose issue whenever.

If I were on a trip and it did turn out to be the fan, I would just cut the wire to it and run on one fan. Avoid traffic jams and so on, and keep going. And deal with that later too.
Kit ... it is not a radiator cap leaking it is a cooling system that's had a coolant leak for probably a long time that he became aware of after it over heated. A cap that is bad will not allow pressure to build up to the required 16-20 lbs. Lets say his cap released pressure at 6 lbs, but his leak shows up 12. A cooling system that is over heating can build pressure repidly wanting to expand (above the 12 lb mark) and thus a rad clamp hose leak shows up.
 

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You stated that the trans had been worked on... I'm thinking that you have a loose hose clamp somewhere... There is one down by your lrft foot area that can be gotten to pretty easy... I would check all the hoses to insure they are tight (after you get back home)...
 
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