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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi community

To get straight to the point, I just bought my first motorbike this afternoon and rode it home and parked it up.
I came outside to admire her (about 19.5 minutes ago) and was having a nice close look at it's assembly when I noticed a white pipe / inlet / stem into container that was labeled "coolant" - and a nice dangling coolant lid right next to it.

1 - Yes. I'm aware of coolant in the engine; but as a brand new bike with now only 12klms on the clock, I would have thought it was filled AND lid replaced BEFORE I took it home.
2 - I saw absolutely no evidence of liquids on the motor or on the stem of the coolant canister. None 'neath the bike where she stands. And putting my finger IN the stem yields no moisture on said finger.
3 - IS / WAS THERE EVEN COOLANT IN THE EFF'ING THING?! OR AM I RIDING THIS THROUGH THE SHOP WINDOW IN THE MORNING AND ASKING FOR A HEAD AS PENANCE FOR THIS **** UP?

I am really worried that I have done damage to this brand new motorbike and they'll just wipe their hands clean of it.

All help and info is appreciated.
 

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Ok, take a deep breath. I really doubt you did any damage to it after only 12 kilometers. That looks like a reserve tank, and it really is no indicator of how much coolant is in the actual engine. I'd check your owners manual for how to check coolant level. I have a liquid-cooled honda, and you check and top off the coolant via the radiator, not the reserve tank. There's probably coolant in the motor, and they opened it up to top off the reserve before handing it over to you and either forgot to do it, or the bike drew in what they added already. Also on my Honda, the reserve tank cap can be deceptive about whether it's on tight or not.
 

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I hate to say this, but you could probably benefit from a couple of hours cozying up to the manual for your bike.

It appears that that is the coolant overflow, which will probably always be dry unless running hard on a hot day. You will probably find a metal cap near the top of the actual radiator for filling the radiator itself. If you open this (only when the motor is cold, please) and see no liquid, that would be indicative of a problem, and yes, I'd be kinda pissed.

That said, if you bike doesn't have any coolant in it, you would probably know it pretty quickly.

*** Disclaimer *** The above comes from my knowledge of automobiles, not motorcycles. I do not own a liquid cooled bike. I've been known to make mistakes, like eating spicy tacos at the airport before a 15 hour flight. I think that your situation is significantly better than that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I never even thought about the reserve tank to be honest. I saw it (the lid being off (when I noticed it, the rubber cap was hanging 100% underneath the stem and I was able to pop my finger straight into the stem with no lid remotely in my way)) and went into puzzled existence mode. I will get the manual out in the morning to find out some more. I'll also call Honda and ask them.

Even if they filled the engine and topped up the reserve, surely with the lid completely off AND having been ridden would make the liquid in the reserve tank push up and out.. Or perhaps if this is a reserve tank, there is no pressure in the reserve during riding?

Thanks for your reply mate
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I hate to say this, but you could probably benefit from a couple of hours cozying up to the manual for your bike.

It appears that that is the coolant overflow, which will probably always be dry unless running hard on a hot day. You will probably find a metal cap near the top of the actual radiator for filling the radiator itself. If you open this (only when the motor is cold, please) and see no liquid, that would be indicative of a problem, and yes, I'd be kinda pissed.

That said, if you bike doesn't have any coolant in it, you would probably know it pretty quickly.

*** Disclaimer *** The above comes from my knowledge of automobiles, not motorcycles. I do not own a liquid cooled bike. I've been known to make mistakes, like eating spicy tacos at the airport before a 15 hour flight. I think that your situation is significantly better than that.
^^^ yeah I usually take the time to read the manuals to better my knowledge but was on pc and decided to just ask / rant about it. I can only hope that you are right and no real damage is done.

**Funny you mentioning the tacos and flight. I got off a flight yesterday morning and ate only curries and curries and sorts of spiced curry dishes for the last 3 weeks AND also at the airport beforehand. Flight was rather boring in the toilet with no window - but it was quite cool at least**
 

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Just ride it back to the dealer as it is and show them what you found. They will fill the 'surge tank' to the correct level, place the cap on and you will be on your way as happy as ever:)

I had the same experience with a brand new streetbike but the CAP was completely missing.

I ALWAYS check a new bike out before I leave the Dealership to ascertain if it is road worthy by checking all of the lights, Mirror position, instrument cluster, oil level and I make sure that the tires have the correct pressure in them.

Nice bike by the way:thumbsup:

Sam:wink:
 

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Just like my cars, the coolant reserve on my Honda Valk has fill level marks on it. This is so that, when the engine cools, it doesn't suck air back into the coolant passages, and also so when the engine is hot, the coolant doesn't overflow the reserve tank. If the coolant is lower than the level mark, you add coolant through that cap, not at the radiator cap.

On my Suzuki VS800, OTOH, the coolant bottle was not accessible, and was just a catch-and-return tank for the coolant that expanded out of the radiator. You filled the coolant at the radiator cap until it was just above the neck hole, also to keep air out of the system when it cooled.

Which you have should be in the owner's manual.
 

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I would call that dealer right away

Ok ,I would call them and tell them to pick up their bike and not ride it even ten inches more. Have them trailer it back to the shop and observe THEM checking and replenishing the radiator fluid. What is in your favor is the time stamp of your first post on this forum and the stated mileage when you bought that bike.

Show them your forum post and get in writing that they will extend he warranty or something to protect you as a consumer. Yelp is a website to report bad behavior by a business. tell them that they need to impress you by their customer service to avoid the bad publicity this could cause.

Remember, make them SHOW you how much water is in the radiator. Do not let them work on that bike behind closed doors. Part of what they offer you is every penny of your money back and they can have the bike back if you are not satisfied.

Eye has worked for shops. Maybe he will have some advice as well.
 

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You are probably right slum from a pure warranty point of view but I doubt less than seven and a half miles will cause any long term damage. Unless of course it had zero fluid and was running the water pump dry. I can't tell if that's the overflow tank or not. May just be they failed to get the lid on after filling it. Seeing the tank level on some is tricky.
 

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My advice is to read your owner's manual and find out how to check the coolant level.

Then check it.

If it's more then just a little low, like you're at the half-way mark or less, call the dealer, tell them what happened, and ask them what they want you to do. Write down the name of the person you talked to.

If it's just a little low, like more then the half-way mark, then add the required fluid and go for a ride and don't worry about it.
 

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I have 4 air cooled bikes. Two HD, a Honda, and a Yamaha. I like them all.

But reality is if you want certain style of bikes, you'll have to accept liquid cooling. And it won't be long on the path we are on that air cooling will be obsolete for various reasons.
 

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Not one word was said by the original poster about whether or not the bike over heated:smiley_mornincoffee

You would think that the entire engine just melted:confused:

If it is water cooled then it either has a coolant warning light or a temperature gage.:icon_cool:

Sam:smiley_drinkcoffee:
 

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That just made me laugh!:71baldboy:

'Cause if WE run out of coolant, we're ALL in trouble...
Eye, just take a deep breath of coolant and relax. For the water/antifreeze cooled engine, the overflow tank is never pressurized so as long as it is the only thing with no coolant it is no problem. If you find the main coolant passage low that is quite another matter. In that case the advice to have the dealer specify how they want to deal with it is exactly the right advice. Chances are good that even an empty coolant system will have done no harm in such a short distance but do as they advise.
 

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Eye, just take a deep breath of coolant and relax. For the water/antifreeze cooled engine, the overflow tank is never pressurized so as long as it is the only thing with no coolant it is no problem. If you find the main coolant passage low that is quite another matter. In that case the advice to have the dealer specify how they want to deal with it is exactly the right advice. Chances are good that even an empty coolant system will have done no harm in such a short distance but do as they advise.
No longer universally true. The Ecotec engines on my Pontiacs have the pressure cap on the overflow tank, and a plain cap on the radiator. Cheaper that way, I guess. I've yet to see this on a bike, but then, I really haven't been looking.

BTW, liquid cooled engines can produce more power per liter.
 

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And trying to bleed all the air out of that Pontiac cooling system can be a real Biotch.
 
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