Motorcycle Cooling System Problems Q&A

Problems with the cooling system of a motorcycle can lead to catastrophic engine damage, especially if the bike is overheating. Sometimes a simple coolant flush is all it takes to fix a cooling system problem.

Master powersports technician John Talley answers live questions every Friday at 3pm Eastern on our YouTube channel, and in this edition, motorcycle cooling system and overheating problems were the (no pun intended) hot topic of the week. Here are John's answers to some of our viewers' questions about cooling system problems with Suzuki and Yamaha motorcycles. 

Motorcycle cooling system problems

Suzuki Motorcycle Cooling System Problems

I have a 2008 Suzuki GSXR-1000 that spills coolant from the overflow hose coming from the reservoir after a hard ride. Do I have air bubbles?

John Talley: Air bubbles, possibly, but I’m wondering if you’re having a little bit of a flow issue, because it shouldn’t be spitting this out so easily. The GSXR is a performance machine and you should be able to ride it hard without in putting too much overflow into the reservoir … that’s what it’s there for. So you may have air bubbles, but I would flush out the system and refill it. Make sure it’s clean and your thermostat is up-to-date or has been replaced recently. When it’s over 4-5 years old, it’s probably time to go ahead and pop one in there, and it would be a great time when doing a flush, to go pop in a new thermostat because they don’t cost that much, and that’s one less thing that could be causing a problem with your machine. 

Watch the video above to see how to do a coolant change on a Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle.

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Yamaha Motorcycle Cooling System Problems

I have a 2016 Yamaha R6. I was at a stop light in first gear and the bike stalled on its own. What do you think this could be? It wasn’t a hot day and the fans were on. 

John Talley: When you say “stalled”, are you telling me it just shut off? And it wouldn’t start again? I guess that could be overheating, and that could cause it to shut down. So it’s a ’16, that’s coming up on 4 years old. Maybe it’s time to do a coolant flush on this one. If you would, reference one of our videos. I haven’t done a coolant flush on an R6 but it’s basically the same process as far as draining it out, and running a flushing agent through there a couple of times and then refilling it. It may be time to do so on yours, especially if the fans are working.

Watch the video above to see how to do a motorcycle coolant flush.

Want to see more live repair questions answered? See more motorcycle and ATV repair questions answered here.  



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