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Why did Ducati go from the Monster being air-cooled to water-cooled? Does the performance gain offset the weight gain? Are water-cooled engines more reliable that air-cooled?
 

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I was told they were forced to go water cooled in order to meet EPA standards. Does anyone know if this is true?


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Yes it's true. As the emission standards get tighter the need for a water cooled engine becomes greater. The water cooled ones are easier to meet the emission standards over air cooled engines. I personally like that they went water cooled for the monsters again, keeps them cooler in traffic and appeals to more people but that's my opinion


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Yes it is easier to keep engine noise down with water-jacketing. And mandated drive-by noise limits are becoming more stringent all the time.

It is also easier to get stronger performance, as water-cooling keeps the engine components more stable, permitting closer tolerances - particularly between piston and bore. This also permits water-cooled engines to run 'cleaner'.

But of course water-cooled engines are generally heavier than an air-cooled equivalent. And have a vulnerability to radiator damage or coolant loss which doesn't affect an air-cooled.

So you win some, you lose some..

:)
 

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There definitely are trade offs--weight, complexity, and more to damage in a fall with water cooled. I guess water cooled is the future, but I still prefer the air cooled. For me part of the attraction of motorcycles is the raw, crude, noisy, and rough nature of the beast.


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I personally like that they went water cooled for the monsters again, keeps them cooler in traffic and appeals to more people but that's my opinion.
That's a moot point actually. Whereas the air-cooled engines undoubtedly develop 'hot spots' in traffic, the rider is usually blissfully unaware.
But water-cooled engines get very hot, very quickly if they aren't moving, as they rely on air passing through the radiator to lose heat from the system.
So the water-cooled rider has a temperature gauge which keeps getting dangerously hot in slow-moving traffic.
Years ago (when I rode a bevel SS) we had a protest ride through the city here. The GPZ900 Kawasakis were the latest thing, so we're talking mid '80s.
With the slow stop-start running they were all boiling and pulling over, while we sat there with our air-cooleds idling away happily.
So it's not quite as simple as newer always being better..
 

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All of my bikes have been water cooled. I have had all of them stuck in traffic in 90-100 degree F heat, and have never had one overheat (2 SV650s, 2012 GSX-R750, Ducati Monster 1200S). That must have been an 80s thing. On all the bikes i have owned the fan comes on between 217 and 220 and shuts back off at 210. None of them had any problem getting back to the shutoff point with just the fans cooling them. As soon as I start moving again they all drop back to the 170s. "Dangerously hot" according to the manual is much higher than the fan on point.
 

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Yes the fans should save the heat becoming too much of a problem (and certainly things have improved since the '80s!) but I was referring more to the way a water-cooled bike starts quickly building up heat when it is stationary.

Air-cooled bikes (I have both) are usually not as highly tuned as their water-cooled equivalents - particularly in the case of Ducatis. Water-cooled bikes give off a lot of heat to the rider when temperatures get up.

We get a lot of days over 100F here. My water-cooled bikes start cooking me in slow traffic, where my air-cooled never does.
 

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Plenty of aircraft engines are air cooled and are renowned for their reliability. If it wasn't reliable they surely wouldn't be using them. I never notice heat on my Hypermotard even in the nastiest traffic. The 1098 is a whole different story.

I have an appreciation for the simplicity of the air cooled engine, so much less to wear out or remove if you want to work on it...... not to mention less to get damaged in a fall.

That said, I also like the greater performance potential from the liquid cooled designs.
 
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Yes it is easier to keep engine noise down with water-jacketing. And mandated drive-by noise limits are becoming more stringent all the time.

It is also easier to get stronger performance, as water-cooling keeps the engine components more stable, permitting closer tolerances - particularly between piston and bore. This also permits water-cooled engines to run 'cleaner'.

But of course water-cooled engines are generally heavier than an air-cooled equivalent. And have a vulnerability to radiator damage or coolant loss which doesn't affect an air-cooled.

So you win some, you lose some..

:)
they quieten them down then new owner puts the loudest exhaust he can find on .:naughty:
 
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