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Thread: GSW--Busted Radiator Fin

  1. #1
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    GSW--Busted Radiator Fin

    287 miles on my 2014 GSW, about an hour west of Austin. NOTHING around me. Suddenly get a splash of liquid on my visor. Try to attribute it to the morning condensation that maybe reached critical mass and flew of the front of the bike. Notice that the spray on the visor isn't evaporating . . . then look down at handlebars. More liquid . . . it has a blueish tint.

    Check temperature gauge--227 on a cool morning of 55 degrees. Definitely not the 185 it was a few miles ago when I happened to look at it.

    Pull over, dismount. Radiator fluid running down the front of the bike with steam coming up as the fluid hits the exhaust pipes . . .

    Upon inspection you can see something (a rock/big pebble) hit the radiator fin--didn't see it, didn't feel it, didn't hear it. No 18-wheeler or anything else to curse. Must have been a stone that got kicked up by the front tire.

    Not what I planned for this morning. But at least it happened on a state highway and not the dirt county roads I was planning on riding. And with the great weather I was able to brew a couple cups of coffee with the JetBoil while I waited for BMW Roadside Assistance that got to me with about 80 minutes.

    Damn, though. Had just passed on the radiator guards because I was thinking that a small dent here or there wouldn't be the end of the world. And besides, had a plenty of time to get them . . . what are the odds that I'll have an issue right away?

    Guess what I'm ordering tonight from Touratech . . . ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by pjrider View Post
    287 miles on my 2014 GSW, about an hour west of Austin. NOTHING around me. Suddenly get a splash of liquid on my visor. Try to attribute it to the morning condensation that maybe reached critical mass and flew of the front of the bike. Notice that the spray on the visor isn't evaporating . . . then look down at handlebars. More liquid . . . it has a blueish tint.

    Check temperature gauge--227 on a cool morning of 55 degrees. Definitely not the 185 it was a few miles ago when I happened to look at it.

    Pull over, dismount. Radiator fluid running down the front of the bike with steam coming up as the fluid hits the exhaust pipes . . .

    Upon inspection you can see something (a rock/big pebble) hit the radiator fin--didn't see it, didn't feel it, didn't hear it. No 18-wheeler or anything else to curse. Must have been a stone that got kicked up by the front tire.

    Not what I planned for this morning. But at least it happened on a state highway and not the dirt county roads I was planning on riding. And with the great weather I was able to brew a couple cups of coffee with the JetBoil while I waited for BMW Roadside Assistance that got to me with about 80 minutes.

    Damn, though. Had just passed on the radiator guards because I was thinking that a small dent here or there wouldn't be the end of the world. And besides, had a plenty of time to get them . . . what are the odds that I'll have an issue right away?

    Guess what I'm ordering tonight from Touratech . . . ?

    Holy Crap.... Glad I put the Touratech guards on as soon as I brought her home. Aamazing how vulnerable they are.

  3. #3
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    And here I'd been thinking they're not really all that important. I liked the look/apparent functionality of the Hornig version. They're also a few dollars cheaper than the Touratech version. Might be time to order some.

  4. #4
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2wheels9784 View Post
    Holy Crap.... Glad I put the Touratech guards on as soon as I brought her home. Aamazing how vulnerable they are.
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  5. #5
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    ughh...

    Don't own a WC yet, but looking at the radiators, noticed they are out there... lots a frontal area to catch bouncing stones on the highway.
    I don't like the appearance of most guards, but these rads need to have some protection.

    I do own a 2003 K1200GT.
    It also has a big front facing, flattish item, larger that one of the 2 WC radiators. The headlight.

    Even though I leave as much or more following distance than most, this past spring a rock found the headlight.
    Impact crater with small hole.
    $550.00ish new.... just for the part.
    The bikes are aging, plenty of used parts around, and I found a fine replacement on Flea bay for $110.000 shipped.

    If I may, how much for the new radiator?
    I'm guessing about the same... $500...
    ( just looked it up $~290.00)

    or

    it can probably be repaired by snipping the damaged tube and and sealing both ends.

    d'milan
    Last edited by dmilan; 10-09-2013 at 02:39 PM.

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    Well, the dealer let me know yesterday that there's no replacement radiators in North America and they're trying to get one allocated out of Germany. So we haven't even talked price yet. This was more of a "It's going to take some time" phone calls.

    Parts for the GSW seem to be hard to come by based on some other conversations I've had with owners.

    Money aside, I want to be riding so the wait for the part is a bit of salt in the wound . . .

    I've ordered the guards from Touratech to reduce the chance of this happening again.

  7. #7
    Ponch ponch1's Avatar
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    That didn't take long...Meaning the radiator is out there as someone said and it's a bike meant to be ridden off pavement. Go figure.
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    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Yeah... real dirt bikes like KTM, for example, would never do that... Oh... wait.


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    Looks like the damage to my wallet for the left-side radiator is about $300 for the part and around $90 for labor. Dealer has located one so I'm just glad to be getting my bike back in the next couple of days.

    Radiator guards arrive Monday and they're going on the same day.


    Quote Originally Posted by dmilan View Post
    ughh...

    Don't own a WC yet, but looking at the radiators, noticed they are out there... lots a frontal area to catch bouncing stones on the highway.
    I don't like the appearance of most guards, but these rads need to have some protection.

    I do own a 2003 K1200GT.
    It also has a big front facing, flattish item, larger that one of the 2 WC radiators. The headlight.

    Even though I leave as much or more following distance than most, this past spring a rock found the headlight.
    Impact crater with small hole.
    $550.00ish new.... just for the part.
    The bikes are aging, plenty of used parts around, and I found a fine replacement on Flea bay for $110.000 shipped.

    If I may, how much for the new radiator?
    I'm guessing about the same... $500...
    ( just looked it up $~290.00)

    or

    it can probably be repaired by snipping the damaged tube and and sealing both ends.

    d'milan

  10. #10
    -Walt 2wheelfamily's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ponch1 View Post
    That didn't take long...Meaning the radiator is out there as someone said and it's a bike meant to be ridden off pavement. Go figure.
    Actually this is not an uncommon occurrence...with "real" dirt bikes.


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    Even my antique Transalp has better protected stuff from the factory. It wouldn't be very easy to pop a rock off the front into the rads. I'd call this a design error- but that was a pretty big rock to make that dent.
    On track cages, we make screens for low mounted (oil) coolers from 1/4" stainless hardware cloth and usually pop rivet or screw them to the panel opening. That stuff stops just about anything, is cheap, and easy to use. Does minimal damage to airflow through the cooler.

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    This comment isn't going to help much, but I'm a little skeptical as to the cause of the damage.

    The OP noticed the coolant leaking only a short distance from the selling dealer and felt nothing that could be identified as a rock hit. To me the radiator damage looks like something that might have occurred prior to his first ride. I hope I'm way off base on this.
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  13. #13
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    You wouldn't feel a hit on the rad from that size rock.

    But if it were shipping/assembly damage- from what? Need to see how this model is crated and what parts are actually dealer assembled to evaluate that one- it is an interesting idea. Maybe talk to a some of the mechanics at other dealerships or get a look at a crated example.
    Still, that's a fairly hard hit to make that big a dent in the cooler.

    I wouldn't expect its crating or we'd hear more of these. The previous models for which I know the crating/ assembly drill were crated pretty nicely by the factory.

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    No, I there were 287 miles total on the bike when it happened. I had it out for a ride the weekend before and was just starting on a day's ride when it happened.

    Something hit the radiator and I know when it happened because there was a spray of coolant on my face shield when it first happened--I attributed the moisture to condensation coming off the bike but quickly realized it was something else.

    The other reason I know it was perfect when I first drove it off the lot is that I spent way too many hours installing the crash bars and was in front of both radiators for extended periods while I wrenched those things on.

    Anyway, got the bike back late today, radiator guards go on Monday evening after UPS drops them off . . .


    Quote Originally Posted by sailorlite View Post
    This comment isn't going to help much, but I'm a little skeptical as to the cause of the damage.

    The OP noticed the coolant leaking only a short distance from the selling dealer and felt nothing that could be identified as a rock hit. To me the radiator damage looks like something that might have occurred prior to his first ride. I hope I'm way off base on this.

  15. #15
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    If you have comprehensive coverage, this loss would be covered by your insurance less any applicable deductible.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

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