How Hot a Motorcycle Engine Gets?

How Hot a Motorcycle Engine Gets?

If you’re not like my younger brother, who generally faces motorbike overheating issues, you should know how hot a motorcycle engine gets?

According to experts, the motorbike engine generally operated at the temperature range of 140-250 F (60 C- 121 C). And if your motorbike engine touches 270 F (132 C), consider it overheating. You might need to pay attention if your motorbike crosses the 250 F mark more frequently.

Let’s look at what it means for you and what you can do about it.

While writing this article, I leave no stone unturned so you can protect your motorbike engine from overheating. 

How Hot a Motorcycle Engine Gets?

Undoubtedly your motorbike engine is a crucial part which you shouldn’t ignore.

And that’s why you must know the motorbike engine temperature. 

In ideal conditions, your motorbike engine can easily touch the 250 F mark. However, this mark depends on certain factors. 

These factors are the temperature in which you’re riding, the motorbike CC, the gear in which you’re riding, and the traffic. 

For example, suppose you’re riding a low CC motorbike (below 300 CC) in the winter and low gear on an empty highway. In that case, your motorbike will hardly touch 250 F. 

I’m pretty sure many of you still don’t know that atmospheric temperature also plays a vital role when talking about motorbike temperature.

Also, you shouldn’t ignore the internal condition such as motorbike coolant and oil level in the engine, the impact on your motorbike temperature. 

Worry not! I’ve mentioned some reasons why your motorbike may start to overheat in the later section.

Why Do Motorcycle Engines Overheat?  

So far, you understand what the average temperature at which your motorbike engine operates is.  But have you wondered what the reasons behind your motorbike overheating issues are? 

Engine heating is expected, thanks to combustion continually happening in your motorbike. While overheating isn’t so common, engine overheating might be caused because of several reasons. 

I recommend checking each factor that contributes to motorcycle engine overheating. 

Factors causing your motorbike engine heating:Details: 
Low oil.Low oil increases the friction between piston and cylinder, causing your engine to overheat. 
Bad quality oil. Bad quality oil or the wrong choice of oil don’t reduce friction causing your engine to overheat.
Low coolant level. Coolant helps to cool the motorbike engine, and low coolant levels cause your engine to overheat.
Air fuel mixture. For proper heat transfer, the air and fuel should be in equal quantity.
High RPM. At the high RPM, your motorbike engine has to push harder, causing your motorbike engine to overheat. 
Radiator problem.The radiator also helps make your motorbike cool, and improper functioning may cause your motorbike engine to overheat. 
External weather. Your motorbike’s surrounding temperature should be much cooler than your motorbike temperature for proper cooling. 
Engine CC. High CC engines burn more gasoline, causing your motorbike engine to overheat. 
Motorbike gear. High motorbike gear influences motorbike to burn more gasoline, causing engine overheating. 

Low Oil:

Before understanding how the low oil can cause engine overheating, you should first know why we use motorcycle oil? 

Motorcycle riding causes friction between the piston and cylinder in the engine; this friction evolves the unnecessary heat. Oil in between the cylinder and piston acts as lubricants reducing friction and thus heat. Low oil does not only cause engine overheat but also can burn the clutch plate and cylinder lining. 

I always recommend checking the oil level before going for a long ride.  

Bad Quality Oil:

Sometimes the engine does not overheat because of low oil but because of oil type. Many of us don’t bother to cross-checking the oil type the technician is using. Even some of us leave the whole oiling work to the technician. 

For instance, some technicians use mineral oil in the high CC engine and synthetic oil in the low CC engine. 

Using mismatched oil in your motorbike can harm your motorcycle engine instead of cooling it. Experts always recommend checking the oil level and its type before going for a long ride. And always remember telling the technician about your motorbike engine demand before you miss the boat. 

Here’re recommended oil change frequency-time: 

Oil Type: When to Change Oil:
Synthetic oilAfter covering 8000 miles. 
Seme-synthetic oilWhen your motorbike covers more than 5000 miles. 
Mineral oilAfter covering 2000 miles. 

Coolant:

After checking the oil level and types, now it’s time to review the coolant level.

Coolant keeps the internal motorbike parts’ temperature in the range. Specifically, the coolant helps to cool down the motorbike exhaust and engine temperature in limit. And not only the lack of coolant might overheat the motorbike engine, but also the type and constituents of coolant can overheat the engine. 

For instance, in some coolants, you can mix the water in 50:50 quantity. 

And if the quantity isn’t evenly distributed, then the coolant may not work effectively. 

Also, adding water to the coolant lowers its boiling point, which isn’t good for your motorbike engine. 

Coolant has a hygroscopic property which means it can absorb water from the environment around it. 

And that’s why you should always avoid using the opened bottle coolant. 

There are mainly two types of coolant: Ethylene glycol and propylene glycol. 

If you don’t ride your motorbike too harshly, then the Ethylene glycol is more than enough for your motorbike. 

And if you’re a professional rider, you should go with a propylene glycol-type coolant. 

Considering changing the motorbike oil in a year or two for better performance. 

Air Fuel Mixture:

The air-fuel mixture is the most common problem causing engine overheating; thus, it would be better to check the carburetor first if you ever face overheating issues. 

In the carburetor, the air and fuel combine together for proper combustion. For proper functioning and heat transfer, the air and fuel should be in equal quantity. The lean air-fuel situation is caused when there’s not enough air and opposite for rich air-fuel mixture.

For cooling the exhaust and engine, the fuel and air both have to absorb the heat produced by the engine. 

But in the lean air-fuel, the air absorbs all heat alone and transfers the heat throughout the engine and exhaust. 

While in a rich air-fuel mixture, the fuel absorbs all heat alone beyond its capacity. 

Although it’s a slow process, it can still seriously harm your engine. 

And that’s why experts always recommend checking the mixture constituent in the regular interval.

High RPM:

Who doesn’t love riding motorcycles at high speed? But is it suitable for your motorbike? 

No, riding regularly at high speed can also cause motorbike engines to overheat. And it’s more common in old motorcycles. 

At the high RPM, your motorbike engine has to push harder. And the motorbike engine makes it even harder if there’s something wrong with the piston and cylinder. Tight chain, low tire pressure, high friction between piston and cylinder are some of the reasons why your motorbike engine pushes even more hard. 

I recommend taking a 15-minute break after riding for more than 1 hour to cool down the engine. 

Radiator Problems:

Problems in the radiator, including leakage and faulty fan, can also make your engine overheat. 

In the radiator, there’s a coolant that makes your engine cool, and if there’s any leakage, the coolant level will go down below the threshold amount. You must check any leakage if your motorbike overheats frequently. 

The next problem with a radiator is the faulty fan. Ok, tell me, how do you think the coolant cools the engine? Obviously, the coolant cools the engine with the help of a radiator fan. 

If ever the radiator fan malfunctioned, then heat exchange couldn’t be possible, causing the temperature increase. 

In this way, the faulty radiator fan doesn’t cool the coolant causing the coolant to carry more heat than its capacity. And this ultimately caused the engine to overheat. 

Don’t forget to check these radiator problems if your motorbike engine overheats. 

External Weather:

External weather conditions also play a vital role in your motorbike engine overheating. 

But have you ever wondered how weather conditions make your motorbike engine overheat?

Your motorbike engine comes with aluminum fins that transport heat from your motorbike engine to the atmosphere. And to do this, your motorbike’s surrounding temperature should be much cooler than your motorbike temperature. That’s why motorbikes overheat most in the summer. 

Although you can’t control this factor, you can take small breaks every 15 mins when riding for hours. 

Engine CC:

CC is defined as the motorbike engine capacity and the power your motorbike can generate at the given period.

The larger the engine size, the more power it can generate and the more gasoline it burns. And because of engine size and power, the high CC engine motorbike engine generates enormous power and heat. Experts always recommend checking the motorbike manual to know the engine’s average temperature. 

Suppose you’re riding a high CC motorbike in that case, sensing heating is pretty average, but you should always pay attention to your motorbike temperature. 

Motorbike Gear:

I’ve already mentioned above that your motorbike gear also impacts hugely when talking about motorbike heating temperature. 

But have you wondered how your motorbike gear influences your motorbike engine temperature? 

High motorbike gear influences the engine to produce more power and rotate your motorbike tire at high speed. This combination causes your motorbike engine to burn more fuel which increases the motorbike temperature. In simpler words, the higher the gear, the higher will be the temperature. 

If you’re continually riding for hours in a higher gear, you should consider taking a small break for at least 15 minutes. 

Recently I’ve written an article about motorbike overheating reasons and ways to prevent it, click here to read it.  

Frequently Asked Questions:

How much low CC motorbike temperature can reach in winter?

Suppose you’re riding a low CC motorbike (below 300 CC) in the winter and low gear on an empty highway. In that case, your motorbike will hardly touch 250 F.

Does low oil can be the reason for motorcycle overheating?

Motorcycle riding causes friction between the piston and cylinder in the engine; this friction evolves the unnecessary heat. Oil in between the cylinder and piston acts as lubricants reducing friction and thus heat.

How using bad quality oil can make motorbikes overheat?

Using mismatched oil in your motorbike can harm your motorcycle engine instead of cooling it. Experts always recommend checking the oil level and its type before going for a long ride

How coolant makes your motorbike cool down?

Coolant keeps the internal motorbike parts’ temperature in the range. Specifically, the coolant helps to cool down the motorbike exhaust and engine temperature in limit.

How high RPM makes your motorbike overheat?

At the high RPM, your motorbike engine has to push harder. And the motorbike engine makes it even harder if there’s something wrong with the piston and cylinder.

Final Verdict:  

How hot a motorcycle engine gets? According to experts, the motorbike engine generally operated at the temperature range of 140-250F (60 C- 121 C). 

And if your motorbike engine touches 270 F (132 C), then consider it as overheating. You might need to pay attention if your motorbike crosses the 250 F mark more frequently.

I’ve also mentioned some reasons why your motorbike engine may start overheating suddenly.

Additionally, don’t forget to read my previous article about motorbike engine overheating ( link is mentioned above).