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Old Oct 20th, 2008, 1:02 pm   #1 (permalink)
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Automotive Coolant = Motorcycle Coolant?

Is there really any difference between the two?

If so, what exactly?

It would seem that the internals would be made of the same materials...but you never know.

Apparently my VW takes some kind of special coolant...which is different from our Dakota....and I know that apparently some GMs take a special coolant as well...

but what about bikes? Is there a difference?

I know there is when it comes to motor oil...
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Old Oct 20th, 2008, 6:52 pm   #2 (permalink)
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The coolant for motorcycles needs to be non-corrosive for aluminum heads. Most of the time, its not just your standard yellow crap. I use water wetter and there are many products like water wetter that when mixed with de-ionized water, make a great coolant. Especially in texas, you don't need something that works in low temp's.
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Old Oct 20th, 2008, 7:06 pm   #3 (permalink)
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you will find ''honda ''brand coolent is the same for cars and bikes.and a suitable replacement for ducatis.an bonus is its reasonable,blue colored,and premixed
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Old Oct 20th, 2008, 7:07 pm   #4 (permalink)
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Yep. Everybody's right. The VW stuff is the red colored type which ORIGINALLY signified safe for aluminum heads IIRC. Now you need to read the bottles. The green/yellow stuff is many times marked safe for aluminum too.
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Old Oct 21st, 2008, 7:40 am   #5 (permalink)
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We use water wetter in the truck during the summer and warmer months. However, up here North of Dallas, we tend to still like to use a true AntiFreeze durring the cooler months.

Yes, even on the bikes. When you commute on your bike, it's going to be exposed to the elements as well. Our bikes don't just sit in a garage only to be let out on 100% perfect days.

Thanks for the info all.

Well be sure to look for coolant for alum. heads.

If we lived closer to a bike shop, this wouldn't be an issue....but again, up here North of Dallas, we don't have any close by.
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Old Oct 21st, 2008, 7:48 am   #6 (permalink)
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The vast majority of car engines are aluminum now days. I use plain old Prestone 50/50 in everything from my aluminum bike engine to my aluminum truck engine. Aluminum is aluminum whether it's powering a car or a truck or a motorcycle or a snowmobile...no differences.
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Old Oct 21st, 2008, 7:49 am   #7 (permalink)
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Stay away from mixing anti-freeze with de-ionized water. The DI water is very corrosive, which is why it's usually found in PVC pipes. RO water (reverse osmosis) or distilled water is better than tap water.

The biggest difference between the green and orange anti-freeze, IIRC, is the recommended length of time between changes to maintain corrosion resistance. If anybody is going to analyse a material to death, it would be Honda or BMW. Both of their anti-freeze solutions are blue in color (silicone based?) and probably more expensive than a gallon of something from Wall Mart.
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Old Oct 21st, 2008, 8:03 am   #8 (permalink)
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Stay away from coolant's that use silica. It has been known to cause water pump failures on Honda's.

I've used Peak Global (gold bottle avail at Menards) for years with no problems. It comes premixed and is very reasonably priced.
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Old Oct 21st, 2008, 8:05 am   #9 (permalink)
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de-ionized water is not corrosive in itself (unless you mean relative for use in a car battery)
It is run in PVC pipes because if you run it inside of cast iron or galvanized pipes it will re-mineralize. (for lack of a better word) which will defeat the object of the exercise

reverse osmosis is a process where a purer form of water is obtained, but it still has lots of minerals and ions in it.
The purest from of water is distilled water which has just about zero minerals and ions in it (which makes it good for preventing scale buildup in an engine but bad to drink for humans over the longterm.)

Whatever you do, never drink antifreeze - it will destroy your liver and it is a slow and agonising death.

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Old Oct 21st, 2008, 9:25 am   #10 (permalink)
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+1 to anti-freeze without silica. Use distilled water. You can probably find distilled water in your local grocery store.
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