if you are truely concerned with it at that temp, change the oil to a FULL synthetic and put some duct tape over the gauge. Another option is replace the temp gauge with an oil pressure gauge. Pressure is always more important than temp. Remember it's oil temp NOT water temp so the temp means very little to most people who think that over 100 is boiling.
First thing to work out is, is it running at 120+ when you are barrelling along an open road and the ambient temp is about 2 degrees? Or is it hitting 120 when the air temp is 45 and you are stuck in stop/start traffic?
In the former example the oil temp is probably too warm, in the latter, you're lucky, it should be reading 160++++!!
Don't forget that as it's an air cooled bike, when you are stationary the engine is not really able to cool down other than to transfer that heat to the surrounding air. Air that is still and hot itself (and trapped under the fairing) isn't going to take much heat off the engine. Once moving the air flow draws the heat off. The oil cooler does a reasonable amount when moving: effectively nothing when you are stationary.
IF it is 120+ when running free in cool ambient temperatures, then PERHAPS it is a little warm, and you could consider dropping down a heat grade in your spark plugs. Cooler plugs translate to cooler engines (to a degree). You should also check that it isn't running lean as a lean (not enough) gas problem will translate to hotter operating temps.
Yesterday was the first really warm day we've had here in eastern Ontario. It got to about 84F in the afternoon. Since my bike seems to run pretty cold most of the time, and we ride in cooler temps down to the 40s, we'd put a cover over most of the cooler. Well naturally we forgot about it and yesterday the gauge got up to the 3/4 mark. The engine sounded quite different when I stopped for some construction work.
The sound was probably a squeak but sounded more like someone playing with a recorder (the flute like instrument they give to kids to play with).
Should I be concerned? I've got the cover off now and the bike cooled right off, but I'm very paranoid about engine noises.
I'm running a full synthetic oil and it was changed about 3500 kms ago.
Well, first off, I have read that it is important to calibrate your gauge with boiling water. The instructions said to put the sender in boiling water and mark the gauge for that temperature. That would be 100C. Second, you absolutely want the oil to get at least to the boiling point because you want the water in the oil to be removed.
I can also report that my '02 900 Sport runs at the 1/4 mark on the open road in cool to warm weather, then goes up to the half way mark in stop and go traffic. I use Mobile 1 V-Twin synthetic oil in the engine, and I noticed that it takes longer to warm up from cold than before. I just got this bike so I don't know what kind of oil was in there before. I don't know if there is a difference in the engines between the Sport and the Supersport. I have been told that there is not, but that was from only one person.
Time for me to rehash an old subject. I've been giving this some thought as of late. Especially after the return ride from MotoGP this year. At the track , as well as heading home (OMFG! was it hot.), I was seeing temps of 140-150 on the gauge. I know everyone says "This is not unusual" and "The gauge wasn't even designed for the bike" but I still can't help worrying. It's what I do, when you put a gauge in front of me.
Anyways, on to the meat of the post. Has anyone else noticed the size of the cooler on the MH900e, and wondered if it could be adapted to other bikes?
Does anyone know why the hung such a large cooler on that bike? It seems like it's at least 70% larger than what everything else short of the Superbikes got. Any thoughts from the peanut gallery?
Maybe to compensate for the false round case? There would be less exposed case area for heat transfer. Is there more plastic around the front wheel that might reduce air flow through the cooler? Does the MH have a high compression than a 900SS or Monster?
Either that or Ducati got a great deal on some oversized coolers and you got one of them.
One other thing you could consider (not sure where the cooler is on an FE - which was the original bike under discussion) is to shift the cooler to the top of the horizontal cyl (aka Monster), instead of the low slung position. Gets it into slightly cooler air - and away from the turbulence created by the front wheel.