Any machine that has an internal combustion process will require some type of cooling system to prevent the metal from overheating. Motorcycles are no exception to this rule and the cooling system they carry is very important.
Knowing how the cooling system works can prevent a driver from overheating their engine, which can avoid costly repairs. If you are going to own a motorcycle, make it one of your priorities to understand before you hit the road.
How does the engine of a motorcycle cool?
So how does a motorcycle’s cooling system work? The cooling system of a motorcycle works in two different ways: the first is air cooling in which the natural wind passes through the fins found on the cylinders and cylinder heads. The second is through water cooling in which the coolant passes through thin plates in a radiator that is cooled through natural wind and recirculated to the engine.
A motorcycle’s cooling system is a fairly simple process, but it can have dire consequences when it is not working properly. This article can explain in detail exactly how the cooling system on a motorcycle works, as well as other information you will want to know as a driver.
How an air cooling system works: motorcycle cooling system
Air cooling is the most common way to cool a motorcycle. Most motorcycles will have it. It is efficient in the sense that it requires fewer parts to complete the cooling of an engine. You will notice how many motorcycles have ridges or fins on the engine. These aren’t just for looks, they actually serve a vital purpose in motorcycle functionality (they look great though!).
The combustion process within an engine is extremely hot and it must be for the engine to move those pistons up and down for the motorcycle to move. But the engine cannot get too hot because that will mean that the structure of the metal components will start to change and in turn can ruin the engine completely.
You may have heard the term “an impounded engine.” This means that the pistons inside have somehow fused with the cylinder walls; This is usually because those parts got very hot and essentially melted. Basically the motor is totaled when this happens. It can be fixed, but it’s probably cheaper to just buy a brand new engine.
This is where those fins come into play. Most parts of a motorcycle are exposed anyway, so attaching fins to the cylinder and cylinder head is a perfect way to cool the engine. These fins are generally made of aluminum because they are lightweight and have higher heat transfer efficiency.
While riding a motorcycle on the road, the wind will naturally pass through these fins and basically cool the engine. . The engine could not be cooled as effectively without the fins; the fin structure can capture air much better than the engine block itself.
How a water cooling system works: motorcycle cooling system
The way a water cooling system works on a motorcycle has the same principle as air cooling, but it is done differently. You will notice that the engine of a water cooled motorcycle looks a little different from others. This is because these types of motorcycles generally do not have fins, but instead have what is called a radiator probably positioned at the front of the engine block.
This is a more complex system but it can withstand more extreme temperatures. Instead of fins on the outside, there are trails called water jackets that are inside the engine and around the cylinders. Attached to these trails is a radiator and a reservoir.
A pump (known as a water pump) circulates and pushes a water / antifreeze solution from the water jackets inside the engine to the radiator and then back to the engine. This coolant passes through small plates during the circulation of the radiator, which essentially cools it due to the wind that passes through it. The cooled substance is then recirculated throughout the engine to cool it down.
The thermostat plays a vital role because it senses the temperature of the engine and …