Help w/ Coolant Problem?

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tfenne
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Help w/ Coolant Problem?

Post by tfenne » Fri Jun 10, 2016 2:40 pm

So, I'm about 1000 miles post first service, and started paying attention to my fluids. Checked the coolant expansion tank closely for the first time and realized that it's totally dry. :? I popped off the right hand side radiator shroud, opened up the radiator. Radiator is more or less full, so that's good. And the bike's coolant temperature (and oil temp for that matter) have been totally normal while riding recently. So I'm assuming some air got forced out and I just need to add some coolant to top things up.

I checked the manual and it says Motorex M3 coolant, and I read every thread I could find here and on the other superduke forums, and the consensus is definitely M3 for a 2015 SDR. Given that the expansion tank is empty I syphoned maybe 10-20ml out of the radiator to confirm the color and convince myself that topping off with M3 would be fine. What came out was totally colorless and slightly cloudy. It has a smell, but not a strong one; I have some pink "eni bike S" coolant on hand that smell much stronger, and some green "Triumph HD4X Hybrid OAT" stuff which has a similarly weak but slightly chemical smell to it.

I put in a call to the dealer to ask what they put in the bike and of course they don't keep records, but tell me that KTM recommends M3, so that's what they would have put in when they sold me the bike. So not a lot of help there. I also asked if they carry any clear coolants at all, and they said no they're all colored.

I really don't want to spend several hours draining and flushing. I also don't have a good way to securely raise the front end 50cm. But I'm stumped. Any thoughts on what's in my radiator and how to confirm it? The options as I see it are:
1) The dealer is full of crap, and it's some kind of clear coolant
2) It's water, or coolant that's so far diluted it might as well be
3) Something was added or something happened to cause the coolant to lose it's color

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Re: Help w/ Coolant Problem?

Post by mrossk » Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:02 pm

I don't know the answer to your specific questions, but I also had an empty expansion tank, had the dealer add more coolant to top it off, and now 3500 miles later, all seems well. I can't imagine that mixing similar coolants could be harmful, it's what I would do. That's probably not too helpful...

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Re: Help w/ Coolant Problem?

Post by DukeNukem » Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:08 pm

Mine was empty....topped up with Motorex 3.0!!All good

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Re: Help w/ Coolant Problem?

Post by xtremewlr » Fri Jun 10, 2016 5:23 pm

Quick research chows that the M3 stuff is originally pink in color. Over time, it could very well loose that color and appear to be clear. I think this is what you are seeing. I've seen it happen with distilled water and WaterWetter in my track bikes.

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Re: Help w/ Coolant Problem?

Post by DukeNukem » Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:05 pm

I checked my rad after I realised the expansion tank was empty and it was full of pink stuff!!
The exp tank was definately empty as I could see it filling from the bottom of the tank as I was filling it!!
KTM in the service manual say to check it regularly and to top up if needed so that says to me that this is likely to happen many of us(and is)

Gary
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Re: Help w/ Coolant Problem?

Post by Gary » Fri Jun 10, 2016 9:00 pm

The color of M3 is very light. If you just siphoned a thin layer, it might look colorless... It doesn't have much odor either. Feels almost like water with a little bit color added...

tfenne
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Re: Help w/ Coolant Problem?

Post by tfenne » Sat Jun 11, 2016 12:47 am

Thanks guys. If I squint at what I took out I can see a hint of pink. The wife got home and I showed it to her and asked her if she saw any color in the liquid and she said pink without any hesitation - so I guess it must just be the case that M is very pale pink and/or mine lost some of its color. I think I'm going to top it up with the pink "Eni Bike S" (which a different KTM dealer recommended as a replacement for M3 which I can't seem to find locally).

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Re: Help w/ Coolant Problem?

Post by jmjenia » Tue Jun 14, 2016 7:41 pm

I noticed that my expansion tank is almost empty this weekend when installing my Rotty Stage 4. What I'm hearing here is that it's not uncommon. I'll have to order some Motorex M3 coolant.

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Re: Help w/ Coolant Problem?

Post by unicycle » Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:36 pm

Has anyone heard why it gets low? My temp gauge seems to stay right in the middle at operating temperature, so that tells me the motor isn't overheated. I wonder if the cooling system is over pressuring and pushing the coolant out of the expansion tank?

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*Update:

Spoke to mechanic at dealer and was told it was most likely low do to air trapped in system. I guess all the wheelies I do helped purge it. :mrgreen:

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Re: Help w/ Coolant Problem?

Post by unicycle » Thu Jun 16, 2016 7:45 pm

In regards to coolant type I found this:

http://www.bickers-online.co.uk/netalog ... ations.pdf

I will be showing that to my dealer as they only stock M5 and told me it should be ok to mix. My gut feeling told me otherwise. I went with some extended life coolant from a auto parts store that said silicate and phosphate free on the jug.

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Re: Help w/ Coolant Problem?

Post by kten » Fri Jun 17, 2016 12:41 am

unicycle wrote:In regards to coolant type I found this:

http://www.bickers-online.co.uk/netalog ... ations.pdf

I will be showing that to my dealer as they only stock M5 and told me it should be ok to mix. My gut feeling told me otherwise. I went with some extended life coolant from a auto parts store that said silicate and phosphate free on the jug.
Pretty sure your gut is correct, not supposed to mix them. Top up with what's in there or remove the lot and refill with one type.

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Re: Help w/ Coolant Problem?

Post by Al SDR » Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:57 am

Unicycle, thanks for the link - good info to show to my dealer, who doesn't stock M3 at the present time. I printed out the link to show him.

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Re: Help w/ Coolant Problem?

Post by 1290 » Fri Jun 17, 2016 5:49 am

I think you guys are going way over the top concerning types of coolant. Mine done exactley the same thing I just filled the resivor with pink Nulon fluid and never looked back and that was 15,000km ago

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Re: Help w/ Coolant Problem?

Post by phayhoe64 » Sun Sep 04, 2016 7:53 am

I replaced my coolant with Evans waterless coolant, pig to do but runs cooler than standard and seems to be less lumpy running. I even purchased an abba skylift to facilitate doing the work so not cheap in all. Purging the system became a problem on the 1190/1290 engines not the 990. Air bleed screw doesn't release all the air from the cylinder heads and you have to make sure both cylinders get to temperature and both fans operate whilst the front is raised. Hope this helps


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Re: Help w/ Coolant Problem?

Post by Stark » Thu Sep 08, 2016 8:56 am

I had a similar issue, but my reservoir was empty at just 220km. Unable to discern what coolant they prepped it with (closed over Xmas) I chose to flush it and replaced it with a Nulon green concoction. What a pain in the butt that was. On the plus side, the bike now runs 2-3 bars cooler with the Nulon stuff- which I guess is testament to darker coolants having a higher boiling point (136c) from memory.

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