Old Man on a Bike
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Nokomis, FL, USA
Is a Small Crash Still a Crash?
Today, 100 miles from home I took a rock into the left radiator. With great wonder at the blue gunk splattering up on my face shield and left leg, I pulled over to a shady spot. Nearly lost it when my foot slipped out in the coolant puddle (man that stuff is like oil).
Took a while to source the leak because although I could see the ding in the radiator, the coolant was coming from somewhere above. I took off all the left side tupperware (quite the project with the OEM "tool kit"). Checked the hoses and all over the top of the radiator and couldn't find the leak. went back around front to the ding, and the slightest little, barely visible, piss stream was shooting straight up from the ding causing the illusion of a leak from above.
It was my good fortune a NAPA store was within walking distance. I bought some brake cleaner, some JB weld, and a few tools. Pulled the bottom hose to dump the coolant, sprayed the ding area liberally with brake cleaner, reamed the hole and scraped the surrounding aluminum with a newly-bought knife, kneaded the JB and pressed it into the hole. Spent the next hour reassembling the tupperware, only to come up with one extra fastener...DAMNIT! Disassembled said tupperware looking for the screwless hole to no avail! Put the recalcitrant screw into the top box for later attention.
Added a liter (well most of a liter, as some spilled) of drinking water to the right radiator, and fired her up. Waited for the cooling fan to come on (which takes for freaking ever... like watching a pot boil) 214°F on the panel, fan blowing heat, no leak! Rode about 5 miles to a favorite lunch spot, shut'er down and had a fairly decent Cuban and a couple beers.
The bike was cool enough to top off the coolant.... water from the table.... and rode 100 miles down the super-slab without being gentle. Watched the temp and she hovered around 184° for most of the ride, climbing to 220° in heavy stop and go traffic. JB Weld is some good sheeit, as it was drip free!
2017 R1200GSA Low Suspension
2005 Harley VRod