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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm planning on changing the Coolant/Antifreeze on my 916 and was wondering if there's any specific type of antifreeze to use, or is anything OK.

Reason I ask is that I have a 5L container of some generic brand, Ethylene Glycol anti-freeze that I bought for my wife's car when I changed the thermostat but I didn't need to use any so it is, in effect, free! and I like the idea of saving money by not buying any more ;), it says that it's suitable for Aluminium engines, but I don't want to use anything that would cause any problems.

Any advice? :)
 

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I recall reading several years ago about a problem some Gold Wing owners were experiencing when using auto antifreeze which contained silicon. Supposedly the silicon was damaging the water pumps. I don't the details and I don't know if it would apply to a DUC.
 

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Some mechanics will say to use motorcycle specific antifreeze as it usually doesn't contain silicates (most "car" brands do) which can cause wear on the water pump. Try and use distilled water (normal 50/50 mix) if possible to, it will eliminate/reduce the build-up of minerals in the radiator.
 

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I used regular old Texaco brand antifreeze (cheap stuff they had at Advanced Auto that has same content at Prestone) and I mixed it with distilled water I bought for 99 cents a gallon.

I followed exactly what the Haynes manual said. I used flush to really get system clean. I drained at water pump and little drain plug underneath that one hose. Which was stopped up and I had to clear.

Make sure to recycle too. No dumping down the drain. :)
 

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There was an interesting discussion of antifreezes on another Duc board a while back. A few interesting ideas came out of it. One: silicates in typical antifreeze can damage the seals on Ducati water pumps so the recomendation was to use only anti-freeze specifically labelled as "silicate free". Honda makes such an item. Don't assume "motorcycle" coolants are silicate free. Another thought was only buffered antifreeze should be used in aluminum system because non-buffered products can oxidize aluminum both in the radiator and the motor thus reducing the heat-transfer potential. Mercedes-Benz coolant is buffered but I've not been able to find an antifreeze that is labeled as both buffered and silicate-free. Also, aluminum will oxide very rapidly if left in contact with the atmosphere and cooling ability will be very negatively impacted. If this happens, a mild acid should be run thought the system to remove oxidation and restore cooling capabilities. M-B makes such a product.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I can't find any mention of Silicates on the container but, it is Car stuff, it was cheap and I've had it a few years so I think I'll err on the side of caution and get some dedicated Bike Anti-freeze - any particular type or brand better than the others? also should I use distilled water?

I have to say that in my other bikes and cars I've just used whatever was to hand - ignorance is bliss! ;) but I'm trying to do what's best for the Ducati, even though it inevitably costs more.... :(
 

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haynes manual says what type of anti-freeze not to put in as does the Ducati manual. I forget what stuff it's not supposed to have in it. But normal antifreeze doesn't have the stuff.
 

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This bulletin from Honda ia a little dated (like 20 years) but I think it's still valid. I hope it's readable.

I use Honda conventional coolant in most all my vehicles...motorcycles included!

I feel that even coolant with silicates is okay. Just change it often.
 

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I run Honda coolant not because I'm worried about the water pump. My main concern with coolant that contains silicates is that as the coolant ages, the silicates come out of suspension and deposit themselves in the cooling system. Have you ever opened a radiator cap and see that white, crusty stuff in there? Yeah....silicates. Silicates will also come out of suspension from coolant that just sitting on a shelf for too long (so I've read).

Flushing doesn't get rid of this stuff. It has to be mechanically removed. I've lost more than a few radiators to this stuff (plugged).

I used to get Honda concentrate (mix-your-own) coolant for about $13/gallon. Mixed 50/50 with distilled water I get two gallons for about $7/gallon.

Last time I checked, concentrate is no longer available from Honda; just the premixed stuff for the same $13/gallon.

Oh, yeah......the Honda coolant I'm talking about (and the tech bulletin) comes/came from from the local Acura dealership.

I think there are other OTC brands that are silicate-free (and cheaper). I think Peak markets one.
 

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You guys mention silicate free and I see that you are providing Honda products, but for cars. Honda did make the silicate free anti freeze for motorcycles. I have not looked for it for several years, but maybe it is at your local Honda motorcycle dealer, too. And maybe the quantity is smaller due to its motorcycle use. Just a thought, because that is where I would start my search when I want to replace the coolant.

Dave Harhay
 

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If the anti-freeze is labeled for use in Aluminum engines, it will be fine. The distilled water recommendation is good. I've never used it in a car, but it is clearly better.
 
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