Go Back   Motorcycle Forum > Motorcycle Riding > Advanced Riding

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-11-2009, 10:26 AM   #1
newbie-b
Founding Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 7
Question What is the differnce between water and air?

Hey everyone, the question I have is what is the difference between a water cooled engine and an air cooled engine. I was checking out the BMW R1200RT and it's air cooled but I like the look and size of the bike. I heard that the water cooled engine is better, but something must be okay about the air cooled engines becaue they are still in production.

The only thing I heard about the air cooled engines is that they die at the higher altitudes because of the thinning air. That came from a Harley guy I know, but I know he does not do cross-country or interstate rides. I ride a 2003 Suzuki SV1000S, which is water cooled, but the engine gets hotter than fish grease. I know when I get a newer bike I will get a sport touring bike, but I really do not have a full understanding of air cooled and water cooled engines. All comments are welcomes....laters...
newbie-b is offline   Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links Remove Advertisements
Motorcycle Forum
Advertisement
Old 10-11-2009, 01:48 PM   #2
acecycleins
Founding Member
 
acecycleins's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: North Georgia
Posts: 4,129
Default

Air cooled came first and has been the staple for HD, BMW, Triumph and Moto Guzzi for 100 yrs. So, which has more history? More moving parts means more things to break. Water cooled may be kinder to the bike in high traffic and racing, but it's biggest difference is that water cooled bikes tend to produce more horsepower.

Buy what appeals to you. Not what your silly ass friends think.
__________________
"Slack" - a state of being in which everything flows smoothly.....a frame of mind so at ease that the universe naturally cooperates.
acecycleins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2009, 01:56 PM   #3
ejis
Founding Member
 
ejis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 285
Default

Wow...where to begin...

Your Harley guy knows, well, nothing, it would seem. All (non forced induction) engines loose power at higher altitude. In general, water cooled engines make more power than a similar sized air cooled engine. Some air cooled engines have issues at high ambient temperatures and/or if you're not moving (such as being stuck in traffic). Air cooled engines are generally simpler and cleaner looking without the radiator hanging out there or all the hoses. They both get the job done. BMW engines are some of the more reliable ones, by reputation, at least, and their air/oil engines have taken some pretty extreme journeys all over the world. More than you're likely to do. And what's wrong with the SV that you need a newer bike?

All engines get hot. That's what happens when fuel burns. That's why they need to be cooled. If it doesn't get hot, it's not making you any power. I have no idea how hot fish grease is, though.
ejis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2009, 02:07 PM   #4
Buzglyd
Founding Member
 
Buzglyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 10,904
Default

Well an R1200RT isn't a sport-touring bike. It's a touring bike. I love air-cooled bikes for their simplicity but I'm no fan of the boxer.

The new liquid-cooled 4 cylinder BMWs make about double the power of the air-cooled boxer.

The R1200 is a fine bike but a little too flatulent for me.
Buzglyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2009, 08:11 PM   #5
The_AirHawk
Founding Member
 
The_AirHawk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Leanin' Tower O' P-P-P-P-POWAAAAAAAAA!!!!
Posts: 11,491
Default

Generally speaking, you can't see a Fart in air.
__________________
Parfois, on fait pas semblant
Sometimes, it's not pretend
Oderint Dum Metuant
Let them hate so long as they fear
политики предпочитают безоружных крестьян
Politicians Prefer Unarmed Peasants
Nothing to see here, Citizen. Move along now...
The_AirHawk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2009, 11:16 PM   #6
newbie-b
Founding Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 7
Default

Thank you for the respones and it really does help.

To EJIS, if you ever had hot fish grease jump off the prying pan and onto your skin, trust me, you would definitely know where the saying comes from...my SV is a very cool bike good power and size, but it gets hotter than my first bike which was a Yamaha YZF 600. Do not get me wrong, I really like my Suzuki, but I know that in a few years I will have time and hopefully some extra greenbacks to take some longer trips on a bike. Between you me and the folks on this forum, your right about my Harley guy...he don't know diddley...laters...
newbie-b is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2009, 07:04 AM   #7
Kenneth_Moore
Registered Member
 
Kenneth_Moore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: VIsiting the GIft Shop in the Pit of DIspair
Posts: 7,118
Default

We had an interesting real-life demo of air versus water cooled engines just yesterday. My pal on his Ultra Glide whined his way along 30 miles of 90 degree heat, while my DL1000 floated down the road like a cool breeze. I couldn't even hear the radiator fan kick in over the sound of Mike complaining about how hot his thighs were. I thought I'd be helpful and point out that if he'd waited a few months to buy an 09 instead of an 08, he'd have gotten the new rear-cylinder heat management. system.
__________________
www.kennethmoore.org
Kenneth_Moore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2009, 08:43 AM   #8
seruzawa
The Toad

 
seruzawa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: 8501 ft.
Posts: 17,461
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenneth_Moore View Post
We had an interesting real-life demo of air versus water cooled engines just yesterday. My pal on his Ultra Glide whined his way along 30 miles of 90 degree heat, while my DL1000 floated down the road like a cool breeze. I couldn't even hear the radiator fan kick in over the sound of Mike complaining about how hot his thighs were. I thought I'd be helpful and point out that if he'd waited a few months to buy an 09 instead of an 08, he'd have gotten the new rear-cylinder heat management. system.
I've had another experience in the desert when the ol' radiator blew 10 miles from nowhere.
__________________
"Make no mistake, Communism lost a big argument - one we know today as the 20th century."
seruzawa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2009, 10:50 AM   #9
Kenneth_Moore
Registered Member
 
Kenneth_Moore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: VIsiting the GIft Shop in the Pit of DIspair
Posts: 7,118
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by seruzawa View Post
I've had another experience in the desert when the ol' radiator blew 10 miles from nowhere.
Thank you, Mr. Negative.

I've had another experience where my Shovelhead scuffed a cylinder and broke a ring in heavy traffic on A1A one summer.
That stuff is fate/luck/whatever. Day in, day out, a water cooled engine puts out more power in a smaller package, and runs cooler in hot weather.
__________________
www.kennethmoore.org
Kenneth_Moore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2009, 11:17 AM   #10
Buzglyd
Founding Member
 
Buzglyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 10,904
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenneth_Moore View Post
Thank you, Mr. Negative.

I've had another experience where my Shovelhead scuffed a cylinder and broke a ring in heavy traffic on A1A one summer.
That stuff is fate/luck/whatever. Day in, day out, a water cooled engine puts out more power in a smaller package, and runs cooler in hot weather.
You gotta remember Ken, Seru buys his motorcycles at garage sales for less than $50 and then "fixes" 'em.
Buzglyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules

Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off