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...not a farkle...a necessity.
You can order the Thermo-Bob HERE
Price of the Thermo-Bob kit is $115 including S&H as of July 21, 2008
Engine temperature is more important than most of us understand. And consistently keeping your engine in a certain temperature range is even more important still.
There are a couple of reasons for this, so let me take a second and tell ya about it.
Modern performance engines are to a large degree reliant upon clearances. Clearance between the cams and the valve stems, clearances between the crank and its bearings, and of course clearances between the piston and the cylinder walls. Too much clearance and the parts rattle and beat themselves to death quickly. Too little clearance and an engine seizure is the result. Certainly we’ve all heard our engines make a little more noise and rattle when cold, and we’ve seen the result of high temperatures causing a crank or piston to “lock up” or "seize". Both cases are bad, very bad. This is why we always let the engine warm up to temperature before we ride, and try to control the high temperature as we ride.
Now we all know that metal expands with heat and contracts with cold. Knowing all about this, the design engineers that built your engine allowed for the engine to operate at an optimum temperature where the metal parts have expanded to a specific size, resulting in the perfect clearances for best power, and longest life. Anything to either side of this optimum temperature and obviously the opposite is true… diminished power and shortened engine life.
Surely I don’t need to tell you about the importance of engine oil in the longevity of an internal combustion engine. But what you may not know is that the oil also has an optimum temperature at which it works best. And once again, allowing the temperature to move outside of this optimum range even for a short period of time is detrimental to the life of the oil…and thus the engine itself. The oil needs to be hot enough to freely flow into all the tiny spaces that require it, and also hot enough to boil off the water and combustion contaminates that naturally accumulates in the oil as a byproduct of engine operation. Yet if the oil gets too hot, it quickly ( almost instantly ) breaks down, looses it’s lubricity, and is ruined.
So hopefully now you can understand that temperature control in your KLR650 engine is not just about controlling the upper end, and the boil over point, but also controlling the lower end as well, to keep the internal components and the oil hot enough to work best and last the longest. Hot enough to work properly, not so hot as to ruin the engine or oil.
The engine temperature control system in the KLR650 is fairly simple. The engine generates heat. The liquid coolant is there to take that heat to the radiator via a pump. Air takes the heat from the coolant in the radiator and the process starts over. The upper end of the temperature range is controlled by airflow through the radiator. This is accomplished either by forward speed through the air (and maybe airflow enhancements like the Patman Radiator Mod), or by way of an electrically controlled fan to assist with airflow if the engine temps get too high.
The KLR is unable to control and stabilize the temperature of its engine. Like I said, this is bad. For all the reasons we spoke of above.
What is needed is a method for the water in the engine to keep moving around so it heats up quickly and evenly, and also circulates around the thermostat, so it doesn’t open and then slam closed with each inrush of cool water.
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