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  • Non Roadstar-bike overheating problem.

    Figured there’s some good mechanical experience around here so it’s worth a stab.

    Bike in question is a 2006 Yamaha R1.

    Little background. Trying to get some good old fashioned forum help for this issue. Started recently overheating while riding. Ambient temperatures not extreme (70-85°F only). Radiator fans are working properly. Radiator is clean. Installed a new thermostat and took it for a ride. Seemed to work fine for about 5-10 miles (coolant temps reading 180°F or lower). Then, coolant temps started to rise above 200°F. This while cruising along at 70mph in top gear (around 5300RPM). Virtually no load on the engine (flat Michigan ground). Started seeing coolant temps above 230°F. Only way I could get them to start dropping closer to 200°F was to downshift and get the RPM’s up (7000-8000). Temps would go back down closer to 200°F which is still hotter than normal. Coolant boiling over out of the overflow when parked right after this. I originally replaced the thermostat due to the exact same issues. Obviously that wasn’t the problem but it was worth a try.

    I rebuilt this engine about 5 years ago. Cooling system has only ever had distilled water+water wetter or Engine Ice. When I say rebuilt, I mean completely. Split cases, new crankshaft, new plane bearings, piston rings, all new valves in #3 cylinder, new piston in #3, machine shop checked the head and cylinders for spec, the whole deal. Machine shop balanced all 4 piston/connecting rod assemblies. Very meticulous. All parts were washed several times in a parts washer. All OEM Yamaha parts used only. All gaskets, followed the service manual to the letter, etc. Bike has ran perfect since then for about 3,000 miles. 500-700 miles of that is track days at top third of advanced level (just to give an idea-it’s been taken care of very well but also ridden hard).

    Engine Ice came out of bike looking exactly like it does in the brand new container (yesterday, when doing the thermostat replacement). No debris, sludge, discoloring, etc. Normal street riding and this bike has always run coolant temps around 170-180°F until this problem.

    All that being said, the above facts point me to a water pump that is not pumping coolant like it should. Maybe still circulating but at a severely reduced rate. I’m waiting to take the bike apart until I do more research, see some opinions here, etc. I have all the tools and knowledge to take the thing apart and repair it myself. Also have the heated/air conditioned shop to do it in. Colder temps are coming fast here so this may ultimately be a winter project but I’d like to start getting in front of it soon.

    What say ye?

  • #2
    My first thought was a blockage somewhere in the system.
    Your water pump theory sounds very likely to me.
    Can't wait to see what the experts think about this.

    Comment


    • #3
      One thing easy to check is Rad pressure cap. Also is that a system that needs to filled with a coolant AirEvac tool to make sure that there is no air trapped in the system? You may be correct on the water pump also. A bad head gasket in a coolant jacket will pressurize the cooling system and sometime to the point of blowing coolant out of the radiator (cap off) and you can actually see the piston pulse as it is blowing out.
      https://youtu.be/9GbxhF9bBxE

      Comment


      • #4
        Anything electronic (sensor) involved in the coolant process? Tells fans when to kick on etc? If not pull water pump and inspect in would think. I rebuilt a leaky water pump on a liquid cooled 1300 Royal Star and it definitely ran cooler afterwards.
        LET'S RIDE

        Comment


        • #5
          Davej:
          No special tools needed to fill system. It’s a similar setup to any old car you can think of. Radiator, water pump, thermostat, radiator cap with an overflow tube that goes to an overflow reservoir. Nothing in service manual says anything about filling it (other than to just fill it). Plus, I’ve drained and filled the system and ridden for a few thousand miles with no issues.

          Lugnut:
          One coolant temperature sensor. The temperature is displayed on the dash when the bike is on. Fans come on at 220°F and then back off at 212°F (which is exactly what they’re supposed to do). Sensor appears to be working properly.

          Comment


          • #6
            Water pump and oil pump are one unit inside the oil pan. That’s the reason I’m poking around first. If I have to remove it, so be it. But if I don’t have to, I’d rather not, ha ha. Big job.

            Comment


            • #7
              Did you run the engine with the rad cap off to bleed the air from the system? Does the rad cap look like the highest point in the system? You may need to jack up the front end only to make the rad cap the highest point. Can you see any coolant flow in the rad with the cap off?

              Comment


              • #8
                You did check the oil, right, to make sure there's no water in it? Some water cooled BMW's drive the water and oil pump off a common shaft. I had one that the shaft seal failed and it pumped water into the oil, but no oil into the water. Made a real mess, and the bike ran hot.

                Comment


                • #9


                  Originally posted by daveto View Post
                  Did you run the engine with the rad cap off to bleed the air from the system? Does the rad cap look like the highest point in the system? You may need to jack up the front end only to make the rad cap the highest point. Can you see any coolant flow in the rad with the cap off?
                  Yes to all. It’s the highest point for sure. Ran it with the cap off. Also rode it, let it cool down and topped it off. It’s not a coolant level problem. Have drained and filled this system several times with no issues. Good question though.

                  However, even if it is moving around in there, that doesn’t mean the water pump is pumping effectively.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Father Pobasturd View Post
                    You did check the oil, right, to make sure there's no water in it? Some water cooled BMW's drive the water and oil pump off a common shaft. I had one that the shaft seal failed and it pumped water into the oil, but no oil into the water. Made a real mess, and the bike ran hot.
                    Yes and the oil is fine. Yamaha engineers installed a coolant weep hole/tube in the water pump assembly that goes down thru the bottom of the oil pan. If the seals in the water pump go bad, it doesn’t contaminate the oil. It goes out the weep hole. Pretty ingenious design for an eventual failure they worked in there if you ask me.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Damn that blue 2020 R1 looks damn sexy. I won’t post a pic but google it. Damn it’s sweet!

                      My 2006 is still pure sex but this has me thinking...

                      Onwards and upwards...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Sounds like the water pump needs to come out and apart. Just googled a parts break down. 5 bucks on a sheared roll pin or a loose impeller nut.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JoeBloShmo View Post
                          Sounds like the water pump needs to come out and apart. Just googled a parts break down. 5 bucks on a sheared roll pin or a loose impeller nut.
                          Probably right. Although if I go thru all that to remove it I’ll probably just replace the whole assembly. Depends on what it looks like I suppose.

                          Needs a new rotor. Maybe a stator and a clutch job also for prevention. Will be a winter project probably.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Update for anyone who might care...

                            Did a pressure test on the coolant system. Found a tiny leak near a hose clamp on a part of the thing that you’d never see while riding. Probably ran low on coolant. Pulled the engine and did a leakdown test. Leaked air into the neighboring cylinders as fast as I could put it in, ha ha.

                            Pulled the head off. Head gasket screwed. Actually broken. Rings in #1 cylinder also broken. Gouged the crap out of the cylinder wall.

                            Not worth the rebuild except that I love this bike too much. So, away we go. Sent head and new (used, eBay) cylinder to Livengood Motorsports in Atlanta area. Deck a couple thousandths off the head to make it perfect. 20 new valves with all related springs, seals, keepers, etc. Little bit of valve machining, nothing extreme. CNC cut all new valve seats. Better than factory. Hone cylinders at a machine shop that does plating (not Nikasil but Yamaha’s version of it). All new pistons and ring sets. Finally got the head and cams bolted back on last weekend. Still need to set the valve lash as it will be slightly different with the new valves seats. Hoping to check and adjust that this weekend. All new Samco radiator hoses with Samco clamps will be going in, as well as new cam chain and sprockets (might as well at this point). Bunch of other small related stuff.

                            Cant wait to get her back up and running. I’d do pics but...

                            Meantime I got myself a low mile 2004 CBR1000RR and just went thru it all (fork rebuild with proper springs, rear shock cleaned and set up properly, new tires, chain and different sized sprockets, etc.) With all the new suspension stuff it handles much like the R1 now. I’m in a viscous love triangle with these bikes now...

                            Comment


                            • #15

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                sounds like you have been busy. Glad to hear you found the problem just to bad it was a big problem.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Thanks guys. I check in here every once in awhile still. I still own a Roadstar also, ha ha. Just found my love for sportbikes once again (never actually went away, just tried to suppress it for awhile). Now I’m looking to pack a few mid 2000’s litrebikes into the stable because they’re awesome machines and can be had for fairly cheap. And handle great with some proper setup.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    One day when I see you I'll have to let you take a ride on mine. I think it may revive your love for the R* again. You will just have to do a little work to the R* to get it to run like mine. Mine runs real strong after I did the last bit of work on it.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Finally got the valves adjusted (that’s a job). Got the motor back in (another job, lol) and she fired up nicely. Filled up the coolant and took her for a rip around the countryside. Bunch of hard pulls up thru the middle of the rev range to seat everything in good and tight.

                                      Almost forgot how much fun this bike is. It’s trying to kill you the whole time it’s whispering (screaming?) in your ear to just keep going faster. Full throttle runs at triple digits over the slightest little rise in the road pulls the front tire right off the ground. This thing has been a ton of time, work, and money for what it’s actually worth in the marketplace but damn she delivers a smile every time...

                                      Comment


                                      • Bikerron
                                        Bikerron commented
                                        Editing a comment
                                        Fun stuff.

                                      • Brad_G
                                        Brad_G commented
                                        Editing a comment
                                        Great to hear it's together and back on the road. I can feel the excitement in your words. It sounds like money well spent!

                                    • #20
                                      Screw what the marketplace says it's worth. If any of us was concerned about market value we would be in the hole the first time we put gas in the R*. I built mine for me not the next guy and I know that is how you feel about your bikes. If it ever goes to another guy he just gets a better value.

                                      Comment

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