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Old 04-02-2009, 08:31 PM   #1
nucofed
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Default water vs. air cooled for new rider

Buying dual bike for hunting, exploring, fun in the mtns. Looking at 250 size. 54 year old. Water or air cooled? Basically, Honda 220 vs. Kawasaki 250 ? Any other advice alwasy welcome. No street use planned-only logging roads, dirt trails in high Cascades. Thanks
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Old 04-03-2009, 12:11 AM   #2
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I think it is impossible to say what is exactly better. Water cooled motorcycle is heavier than air cooled, and there are more details could be broken while riding(e.g radiator etc). But it has less probability to overheat. Maybe for totally newbie air cooled dirt bike will be better, cause it is easy, light and I don't think you'll be riding your first season in the areas when it can be overheated
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Old 04-03-2009, 06:23 AM   #3
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Being able to control the temperature of the engine within a very small temperature range leads to many substantial benefits. Water cooled engines have a significantly higher power potential than air cooled within a set displacement, with the possible exception of 2 strokes, which are pretty much a moot point these days anyway. There are some very cool (pun intended) air-cooled bikes out there, but water cooled engines are clearly more efficient, durable, powerful, and economical.
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Old 04-03-2009, 06:38 AM   #4
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Here's the question: Are you going to wrench yourself? If so, I'd go air-cooled. Water-cooled means more things to learn. If this is your first experience I'd keep it simple. When you're ready to move on then go for the water-cooled bike. Since you're just playing you wouldn't miss any of the power the water cooled bike may benefit from. But that's just me.
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Old 04-03-2009, 07:30 AM   #5
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High altitudes are going to be murder on the power output. At 8,000 feet you lose about 25% of your horsepower. You might think about a larger displacement DP bike like the Suzuki DRZ400 or the SR650. I would definitely avoid the Honda. That 14 hp engine is only going to get you 11 at altitude.
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Old 04-03-2009, 07:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ksu76rus View Post
I think it is impossible to say what is exactly better. Water cooled motorcycle is heavier than air cooled, and there are more details could be broken while riding(e.g radiator etc). But it has less probability to overheat. Maybe for totally newbie air cooled dirt bike will be better, cause it is easy, light and I don't think you'll be riding your first season in the areas when it can be overheated
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:28 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by seruzawa View Post
High altitudes are going to be murder on the power output. At 8,000 feet you lose about 25% of your horsepower. You might think about a larger displacement DP bike like the Suzuki DRZ400 or the SR650. I would definitely avoid the Honda. That 14 hp engine is only going to get you 11 at altitude.
Or the Yamaha WR250R. Its EFI compensates well for altitude, so I'm told. It is, however, more expensive.

If e-start is not a firm requirement, older Honda XR's abound.
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:55 AM   #8
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Or the Yamaha WR250R. Its EFI compensates well for altitude, so I'm told. It is, however, more expensive.

If e-start is not a firm requirement, older Honda XR's abound.

Bah!! Just turbo it then the altitude problem becomes almost nil.
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:27 AM   #9
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Or the Yamaha WR250R. Its EFI compensates well for altitude, so I'm told. It is, however, more expensive.

If e-start is not a firm requirement, older Honda XR's abound.
Yes, EFI does compensate the misture. However the fact that air pressure is 20% less at around 7500 feet than it is at seal level means that even with proper mixture you are still going to lose 20% of your horsepower. I ride on my mountain property at 8500 feet and ride over high passes two-up on various bikes. You find yourself downshifting a lot going over Monte Cristo's 9000 foot pass. I think the 14hp Honda 230 is a big mistake for anyone riding in the Cascades.
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Old 04-03-2009, 11:21 AM   #10
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I think it is impossible to say what is exactly better. Water cooled motorcycle is heavier than air cooled, and there are more details could be broken while riding(e.g radiator etc).
This is like saying dont get electric start because the battery could die and leave you stranded? I think they have liquid cooling figured out by now, the extra weight is worth the benefit imo. The weight isnt going to be that much more anyway. Just my 2!
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