TRUTH ABOUT TEMP

Cycle World - - Race Watch Munro Indian Landspeeder - LARS WESTLUND NOR­WAY

Q:When I got my driv­ing li­censes, back in dino-time (oil-wise), I learned the en­gine wasn’t re­ally warmed up un­til oil tem­per­a­ture had reached 60 de­grees Cel­sius/140 de­grees Fahren­heit. Is this still true? (Or was it ever?) On my Guzzi the oil-temp me­ter of­ten doesn’t reach that temp un­til 6 to 8 kilo­me­ters, how­ever on my wa­ter-cooled Du­cati, the “cold” in­di­ca­tor (cool­ing me­dia)

goes out af­ter just 2 to 3 kilo­me­ters.

A:Today’s tol­er­ances, ma­te­ri­als, and lu­bri­cat­ing oils are all much bet­ter than in the past. Op­er­at­ing tem­per­a­tures some­what out­side of the ideal aren’t much of a con­cern for mod­ern pro­duc­tion en­gines any­more. If your en­gine runs on the cool side, watch for mois­ture not get­ting evap­o­rated out of the crank­case. Wa­ter makes a very poor lu­bri­cant. If your oil ever seems even slightly milky, change it. If your en­gine oil runs very hot (say more than 230 de­grees Fahren­heit), con­sider run­ning full syn­thetic oil and per­haps adding an oil cooler. Ex­ces­sively high oil tem­per­a­ture will cause car­bon buildup in the en­gine’s hottest places such as pis­ton ring lands and ex­haust valve stems/guides.

Also, when oil is ex­ces­sively heated, its lu­bri­cat­ing abil­ity breaks down, which of course will ac­cel­er­ate en­gine wear. A prop­erly func­tion­ing liq­uid­cooled Du­cati is less likely to suf­fer oil-tem­per­a­ture ex­tremes than an air­cooled Moto Guzzi, and if the lat­ter is vin­tage, the crank­case breath­ing might not be as ef­fec­tive, lead­ing to more mois­ture buildup if you take a lot of short trips in cool weather where the oil might not get up to a high enough tem­per­a­ture to evap­o­rate the wa­ter. So­lu­tion? Ride far­ther and faster!

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