The Kwak got its first extended run this afternoon, thanks to a new eBay one-quart plastic minibike fuel tank and another carb clean-out. After I got some new random pond scum out of the fuel bowls and the float valves, the Beast fired up quite nicely, even at an ambient temperature of about 40 degrees max, with rusty spark plugs and 37 year old ignition parts.
With the additional fuel capacity, I was able to run the engine for 15-20 minutes, enough to warm it up to full operating temperature and catch some pine cones and needles stuck between the head pipes and engine on fire. As in, six-inch flames and flying sparks. I was able to blow out the flames and avoid having to mess up the area with the fire extinguisher I always have on hand when starting a "new" engine.
My question for today is, now that I've gotten the engine up to full operating temperature, what is the expected turn-on point of the electric fan? The temperature only got up to a needle's-width above the dot on the gauge before it stabilized, no doubt due to the ambient temp.
I haven't even started real troubleshooting, just curious if this is obvious to anybody.
Wow, these buggers use some huge batteries! I found a source of AGM batteries in this size (24 Amp/Hour) for about $75, shipping included. When I picked it up off my front sidewalk, my first thoughts were "oh man, they sent me a car battery accidentally" and "oh man, they sent me two of these batteries accidentally," but there was one, packed sideways as you could never do with a wet-cell battery.
When I gave it a slow shaping charge and mounted it today, it cranked the engine twice as fast as the fresh car battery connected via jumper cables. The bike is still very reluctant to start when cold, but there are several "teething problems" that are probably causing this.
Once started and warmed up, running off my one-quart minibike gas tank with fresh gas, the bike ran very smoothly at about 1200 RPM idle.
Since today was the last day of decent weather without snow for a week plus, I went ahead and rode the bike for the first time, to its next temporary home in my ex's garage.
I took it for the short "bypass" loop around town, and another loop in town (total 1.7 miles!). It ran exceptionally well, and as everybody knows, it pulled like a FREIGHT TRAIN. I took it through all five gears, and both front and rear brakes worked well. It's perfect for a torque freak like me--one of my formative hot rods that I still have is a '69 LeMans with a 500 ci Cadillac engine, so I know whereof I speak.
I was actually shocked at how this huge, heavy bike handled like a dirt bike compared to my '77 naked Gold Wing. It feels like I could do full-lock turns at idle all day. Of course, having just one quart of fuel instead of 5+ gallons on top of the backbone frame rail I'm sure made it feel very stable, but I still think there's some magic in the steering geometry. The very low seating position is also very cool, even with my 6'1" and ape-like arms. I think the Euro-style handlebars I have (somewhere) for it will work much better than they did on the Gold Wing, no doubt partially due to the factory set-back handlebar mounts.
The old beast is now safely under cover for the time being, and I've already stripped off some excess weight.
I always enjoy reading owners thoughts on these bikes when they ride them for the first time.
How did the temperature gauge react during your short ride? Sorry I can’t answer your previous question about where the needle should be, but my bike is a non-runner.
I think the Vetter touring gear looks good on the 1300, but can understand you wanting a naked bike.
Looking forward to your next posts.
The gauge ultimately got up to about 2/3 of the thick white band that indicates the normal range, but only after I stopped. I had already warmed it up at a fast idle until the needle got into the normal range before I rode off..
Interestingly, the fan never came on as I idled the machine to use up the small amount of gas in the mini-tank. I shut it down when the temperature hit that 2/3 level and the fan still hadn't turned on. A couple minutes after that the fan finally cut in, and stayed on regardless of the position of the ignition key. I'll be disabling that "feature" RSN (Real Soon Now) unless anybody can convince me I shouldn't. I think it's dangerous, ineffective, and stresses the battery needlessly.
I've never really been a fan of full fairings, mainly because they interfere with my enjoyment of what I think is my favorite thing about bikes--their primal nature and in-your-face expression of their mechanical nature. It's the same reason I hate these modern muscle cars with their engines covered up by un-functional plastic covers. If you hate looking at engines, why would you buy a muscle car in the first place? I believe the trend was started by the Corvette, which to me just goes to show that Vette guys really aren't "hot rodders" per-se, no matter how fast their cars are.
Mind you, if I was forced to ride all winter long in a northern state, I would happily embrace the idea of keeping the wind off, and would probably have a heated seat, vest, and gloves too. For me, one of my strongest aesthetic principles with hot rods, four wheels or two, is "Form Follows Function." I don't want anything on a bike or car that doesn't absolutely need to be there, or whose only function is decorative. The lighter and less complex a machine is, the better. I don't have a mechanical engineering degree but I'm an engineer down to my toes by nature. K.I.S.S. is written on my heart!
I've never really been a fan of full fairings, mainly because they interfere with my enjoyment of what I think is my favorite thing about bikes--their primal nature and in-your-face expression of their mechanical nature.
Perfect way of putting it! That's exactly how I see this, a 100%.
I shut it down when the temperature hit that 2/3 level and the fan still hadn't turned on. A couple minutes after that the fan finally cut in, and stayed on regardless of the position of the ignition key. I'll be disabling that "feature" RSN (Real Soon Now) unless anybody can convince me I shouldn't. I think it's dangerous, ineffective, and stresses the battery needlessly.
You might want to install a ZN sensor and the fan will kick in 10 degrees sooner. I think 2/3 is about right for KZ. I installed a ZN sensor on mine and the fan kicks in at about 1/2. Very happy with running the engine like this, as many people complain theirs are running hot.
I'd never worry about the fan kicking in after shutting the bike and removing the key. If the engine is hot, it runs a couple times for a short time (I didn't measure it, and for academics I should!), and that's it! I actually think it's a good thing. Regardless the no flow of the coolant by mechanical means at this point, some air flow over the engine must have the desired cooling effect after all - hence the fan soon cuts off. Meaning - the temperature did go down. It's a huge solid engine block, not an easy thing to cool down, and I'd think the air flow helps equalizing the temperatures across the mass of the engine.
Battery - I wouldn't worry at all. That fan motor draws minimal current. And the ignition has 'park' position where the parking light stays on - for a long time if needed. I bet that is much heavier on the battery than a fan running a couple times for 30 seconds.
I don't think it's dangerous. I've never heard of these bikes burning down due to fan running after turning the ignition off. It's been designed to work safe and I think it does.
Did I convince you to keep the way it is? You tell me! hahaha