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Discussion Starter #1
Was talking to the guy who is a certified motorcyvle mechanic and he uses prestone 50/50 in his bikes......was slways told thatcwas a no no, whst sre your opinions on using car coolsnt for s motorcyvle?
 

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Been using O'Riely's 50/50 blend in my 800 the last 5 yrs, change it every other year. Still looks about new when I change it, so dont seem to be a problem. Just make sure its safe for alumimun engines, which most all anti freezes today should be. Used Prestone 50/50 the 1st time, have 106,000 miles on bike, so how can you argue with that?
 

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So, what are the claims of those who advise against using car coolant? What are the supposed pitfalls?
 

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Motorcycle coolant does not contain the same silicates that most automotive coolants contain. The difference being most automotive water pump seals only have to keep coolant from escaping to the atmosphere, whereas most motorcycle water pump seals have to keep oil from getting in to the coolant and vice versa. The theory is the water pump seal on your bike won't last nearly as long when being exposed to these silicates. This is not to say that you certainly will have problems, if the seal does fail that may or may not constitute a big problem for you, after all most MC coolant is quite a bit more expensive than what's readily available for cars.
 

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From the Kawasaki Service Manual for Vulcan 2000, I see no specific distinction for a motorcycle-specific type of antifreeze.

The first group is from the Periodic Maintenance section:

Cooling System
Coolant:
Type (Recommended) Permanent type antifreeze
Color Green
Mixed Ratio Soft water 50%, Coolant 50%
Freezing Point –35°C (–31°F)
Total Amount 2.5 L (2.6 US qt)

This second bit is from the Cooling System section:

Coolant Provided When Shipping
Type (Recommended) Permanent type antifreeze (soft water and ethylene
glycol plus corrosion and rust inhibitor chemicals for aluminum engines and radiators)
Color Green
Mixed Ratio Soft water 50%, coolant 50%
Freezing Point − 35°C (− 31°F)
Total Amount 2.5 L (2.6 US qt., reserve tank full level including radiator and engine)



Either case it sounds like plain old antifreeze to me since there is not a specific specification given.
 

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Just make sure it's safe for aluminum engines! It pretty much all is now but it's worth a double check. Every now and then some brands of coolant are no good for aluminum engines.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Been using O'Riely's 50/50 blend in my 800 the last 5 yrs, change it every other year. Still looks about new when I change it, so dont seem to be a problem. Just make sure its safe for alumimun engines, which most all anti freezes today should be. Used Prestone 50/50 the 1st time, have 106,000 miles on bike, so how can you argue with that?
Cant argue with those results, from what i read(thanks for your input gentleman), as long as its safe for aluminum and silicate free im good, correct?
 

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The main thing is to be silicate free or low silicate, and of course aluminum compatible. I buy the Honda coolant, was turned on to that when I had a Goldwing. I will gladly spend a little bit more to make sure I have the right coolant and no worries about my water pump.


Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
 

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I went to Honda's motorcycle in Troy, OH school back when I was a tech and they were very adamant about using the correct coolant. I realize part of this was due to the fact they wanted to sell Honda coolant which is quite a bit more expensive than automotive stuff you can get at the parts store. The presences of silicates combined with the water pump seal design was the technical explanation as to why automotive coolant should be avoided.
 

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Guys...these are not Hondas and the Kawasaki OEM service manual does not mention any requirement for low or no silicate antifreeze. No need to overthink it. Plain old antifreeze and soft water is the recommendation of Kawasaki for the Vulcan 2000.
 

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Guys...these are not Hondas and the Kawasaki OEM service manual does not mention any requirement for low or no silicate antifreeze. No need to overthink it. Plain old antifreeze and soft water is the recommendation of Kawasaki for the Vulcan 2000.
Some of it I think is old information being transferred onto new bikes (Like 'don't store batteries on concrete' which doesn't apply to modern batteries that have tough plastic cases that moisture can't seep through! But you still hear it!).

SOME of it is just wanting the best.. The manual also recommends Dunlop D404's at a certain pressure but I run Michelin's at a different pressure because that's what I've found works the best for me! Likewise nothing wrong with a guy wanting to do a little reading to find out if there are advantages to another brand or type of coolant.
 

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Hard for me to buy into "wanting the best" when many posts I read are people looking for the cheapest oil filter, cheapest tires, cheapest whatever, etc. Then I'm supposed to buy into some high priced antifreeze is the ticket? Uh huh... ;)
 
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