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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, I just bought my 2000 Vulcan 800 Classic, had someone ride it home from the dealer as I'm brand new at this and it was 2 hours away, sat for about a week as i got my endorsement and now since I've been riding it, the coolant seems to be boiling out of the overflow hose and white steam (I'm assuming) is also coming from the hose. When I'm riding it there's no issue, at stop lights no issue, but if it idles for more than 5-10 minutes it starts steaming and dripping out of the little hose on the bottom right of the bike near the exhaust. The radiator hoses seem to be pretty firm and hot. The top of the radiator is definitely cold and the bottom is pretty warm, as in too hot to touch for more than about 5 seconds. Its not getting to overheating temperature, to where the light kicks on, no matter how long it idles it just steams out and drips all of the coolant from the reservoir. The levels are correct and i thought it may be that the fan was turning on however,
I had raised the idle speed pretty high to where the engine temp light kicked on, which DID trigger the fan, but at normal idle its not "overheating " and the fan never kicks on. Any idea what could be causing this? I have some mechanical knowledge from cars but not much otherwise. Im starting to think either the radiator is clogged, the cap isnt building pressure all the way, or the thermostats busted, but im not sure where to start in part replacements. Or could it be the water pump.
PS: i verified theres no coolant in the oil and no oil in the coolant.

PPS: also noticed the fan switch things/terminals are on the top of the radiator instead of the bottom where they seem to be on most of the videos i found of the Vulcans but that couldbe a model/year difference
 

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You posted this -
"I had raised the idle speed pretty high to where the engine temp light kicked on, which DID trigger the fan, but at normal idle its not "overheating"

How can you raise the idle yet at "normal idle" it not raised??
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What? I raised the idle with the idle speed knob since a higher idle should run the engine hotter. I did this as a test to see if the engine would in fact overheat, or if the fan was functioning at all. This then kicked the fan on and the engine temp light lit up. Once i again adjusted the idle speed knob back to normal, and idled the engine until it started boiling the coolant and let it steam off for a while, but the engine temp light never comes on when it idles normally, it just boils out the coolant gets a little warm and steams from the overflow hose.
 

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Welcome to the forum / motorcycle world I feel water cooled motorcycles really reliable the only time my bike got really hot was at a Mexico USA border crossing during summer otherwise I never had issues, I would start by making sure that you have enough anti-freeze to make coolant stable, I would try to find, rent, borrow, a laser thermometer at tool loan auto parts, harbor freight and confirm the actual temperature are critical, hope this helps

Ride Safe Ride Defensive
 

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OK at idle you should never get hot enough to turn the over temp light on, no matter the idle speed.
As posted above make sure the system is full of the 50/50 mix of coolant and water.

If good it then is possible that you have a head gasket leak from exhaust to coolant.
That would explain your problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
How do i even check the level at the radiator? There's no indication as far as i can tell. And even though the top of the radiator isnt heating up and the steam is only coming from the overflow hose, it could be the head gasket? Lol im sure that repair will be more than what i paid for the bike. Never using that dealer again
 

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The top tank is cool because there is no water in it.
Remove the speedometer and under there you will find the fill cap.
Also, fan and temperature sensors will not function correctly if not submerged in coolant.
 

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The top tank is cool because there is no water in it.
Remove the speedometer and under there you will find the fill cap.
Also, fan and temperature sensors will not function correctly if not submerged in coolant.
Listen to what sfair says. I had overheating problems on my 900 that didn't show up until about 6 months after doing a coolant change. It only happened when decelerating off high highway speeds (70mph +). The coolant bottle was always full. When I pulled the tank and checked at the fill cap, it was over a cup low. That's quite a bit when the whole system only holds about 2 qts. Not enough to cover the sensors and it didn't create enough contraction to draw coolant from the bottle.
 

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there is no top tank on a 800, you fill the rad up thru the cap then close it then fill up the reserve tank on the right side to the F mark, you check the L (low) and F (full) marks on the reservoir tank at the side when cold to determine rad fluid levels, you need to determine which hose exactly is giving off the steam because some hoses are for gas tank vents and some hoses exiting out below the bike can be for crankcase vent (as mine is)
 
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