Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Time to smell the roses
This picture here is the aftermath of yet another motorcycle overheating fest at the MotoGP at Laguna Seca this year.
When I heard it'll be in the 70s for this year's MotoGP at Laguna I was relieved. Not only for my own comfort but for all those poor bikes that had relentlessly overheated last year trying to get into the track.
But I was wrong.
It was pleasant for us humans (although it did get pretty chilly camping at night). The bikes however, if you got caught with the coming-to-the-track-at-8.30am- crowd, had a hard time once again.
Although it was cool, being stopped in traffic is hard on any bike. All newer bikes are liquid cooled and made for speed, so going slow or not going at all gets even the coolest running bike into the red.
On many modern motorcycles the fan never comes on under normal operation (i.e. on the gas, and getting air flow cooling through the radiator), so when it does, a little bit of corrosion makes the fan stick a little initially. This makes the dedicated 30A fan fuse blow, and then results in a non-operating fan and an overheating bike.
My bike circled between 220F and 225F, which is totally borderline. I was glad I checked the fan operation before I left by letting it run and monitoring the temperature until the fan comes on (or not, in which case you need to check out why).
Still, I thought that was a little hot and I was prepared to switch my bike off at any sign of fluid leakage.
Unfortunately, a lot of people were unaware of their bikes leaking. There was one poor motorcycle that got kicked even though it was down already - literally: it leaked coolant AND was already obscured in cooling fluid smoke, kept dying, and the owner still tried to re-start the bike every time it died.
And although I usually don't exercise empathy for inanimate objects, even motorcycles, THAT made my heart hurt. Argh!
That's the time when you evaluate how much it is worth to you to not miss first practice in the morning. Is it about $2000 or more? Which is what it costs to get rebuild the engine or even swap one that you got form ebay.
Time to smell the roses (or the smell of overheating motorcycles...as long as it is not yours...) since there was no way for ALL of us to bypass traffic, since traffic consisted solely of motorcycles with the same problem.
In any other situation, the solution is to (safely) split lanes and keep the bike moving. After all, that is why the lane splitting law was adapted in California, not to keep cool bikers moving, but to keep hot bikes cooled down.
But at Laguna - yet another overheating mayhem, but apart from that it was a great and very fun weekend, and I can't wait until next year, and now I am writing another blog that deals with all the fun times we had...
Posted by Jennifer Werkstatt at 9:54 AM