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07 ZX6R running very hot - Where do I go from here?

  1. #26
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    What color is the residue in the exhaust tip?

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  2. #27
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    Re: 07 ZX6R running very hot - Where do I go from here?

    And if you're this bonkers about it, check the damn plugs. And if you're absolutely white-glove anal, get a wideband O2 sensor with a reader and stick it down the tailpipe. Alternatively, dyno run, which often has this as an option.

    But degsy's suggestion about 'just the tip' is a great game to play.

    I don't see how oil level has anything to do with anything. Either you're dry, and you're going to produce tons of heat and seize it in a hurry, or you've got proper oil pressure. Might make minor differences, but nothing dramatic.

    Aren't kawasaki's famous for running hot? And as for your 'its only 10F hotter' comment a few posts ago, 10F ambient is a pretty significant change. If common temps are between 40F and 100F, a 10F change is 16%

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  3. #28
    '07 Kawi ZX6R Streetlethal100's Avatar
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    Re: 07 ZX6R running very hot - Where do I go from here?

    I know Kawis run hot. Anytime anyone says something about running hot, the first responce is always.... "that's normal". The only reason I am stuck on this is because it has changed. The bike ran much cooler for the past two years. Why did it change now?

    A car stays at 220 weather its 10 degrees out or 100 degrees out. Why does a bike fluctuate 50 degrees?

    The exhaust tip is slightly black. Doesnt look concerning to me. Im keeping an eye on the headers to see if they change color at all.

    So your telling me that at 40mph and approx 75F outside, the bike should be staying around 210F?

    Im going to check the plugs next. Maybe replace them just for the hell of it. Then run some injector cleaner too. Cant hurt.

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  4. #29
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    Re: 07 ZX6R running very hot - Where do I go from here?

    As a side note, Shouldnt the bike burp/bleed the cooling system by itself each time the bike heats and cools? If the bike has already heated and cooled a half dozen times, is it necessary to open the radiator cap and start the bike up for a bit?


    A little while ago I think I put in too much water weter. Like a third of the bottle. Since then I did a flush and refil with new fluid, and added only 4 cap fulls of WW. Do you think running high amounts of WW would cause any problems?

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  5. #30
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    Re: 07 ZX6R running very hot - Where do I go from here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Streetlethal100 View Post

    A car stays at 220 weather its 10 degrees out or 100 degrees out. Why does a bike fluctuate 50 degrees?

    The exhaust tip is slightly black. Doesnt look concerning to me. Im keeping an eye on the headers to see if they change color at all.

    Im going to check the plugs next. Maybe replace them just for the hell of it. Then run some injector cleaner too. Cant hurt.
    Because cars have huge cooling systems for the amount of power the motors produce; much easier to stabilize temps. Bike have marginally sized cooling systems, otherwise they'd weigh too much.

    If the exhaust tip is blackish, it's doubtful you're really lean. Maybe leaner than it was, but not excessively. Plugs will give a better indication, but still not definitive unless it's really rich or really lean.

    If You really want to chase stuff, compression and leakdown tests can help narrow down the headgasket scenario you mentioned in the first post.

    You're positive the cooling system is bled and operating properly?

    Edit: Does the bike run the temps/ have the same symptoms with the two different coolant mixtures You ran? If it did, WW not an issue.

    Not sure on the Kawi systems, but I've owned cars that need to be manually bled, they will NOT burp themselves. Others had no provision to manually bleed and took care of themselves. One of the cars was notoriously difficult to bleed and sometimes needed multiple attempts before It would work correctly.

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  6. #31
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    Re: 07 ZX6R running very hot - Where do I go from here?

    So the plan....

    1. Burp the cooling system and check for any visible air leaks in the hoses
    2. Check the plugs for discoloration and maybe replace (cheap enough)
    3. check the thermostat to make sure its working properly
    4. Pressure test the enginer for head gasket leak

    The more I think about it, I now sort of lean towards maybe a thermostat. If it was getting stuck and not fully opening, it would reduce flow. At low speeds when there is not much pressure being pushed through the system, the bike would heat up faster and stay hot longer. When the bike is running higher RPMS the pressure in the system is high enough to help move the coolant faster even if the thermostat is stuck only half open.

    I need to remove the whole intake and injector system to get at the thermostat don't I? Doh - pain in the azz

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  7. #32
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    Re: 07 ZX6R running very hot - Where do I go from here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Streetlethal100 View Post
    As a side note, Shouldnt the bike burp/bleed the cooling system by itself each time the bike heats and cools? If the bike has already heated and cooled a half dozen times, is it necessary to open the radiator cap and start the bike up for a bit?
    No. You can have air bubbles trapped in the system. If this were the case people wouldn't recommend burping the system, they'd just say run it up to temp and then add some antifreeze after it cools down.
    Quote Originally Posted by Streetlethal100 View Post
    A little while ago I think I put in too much water weter. Like a third of the bottle. Since then I did a flush and refil with new fluid, and added only 4 cap fulls of WW. Do you think running high amounts of WW would cause any problems?
    I don't know anything about WW's actual chemical make up, but would be extremely surprised if using too much of it would be related to any of this. I do understand that WW's goal is to basically reduce surface tension, allowing the water to flow over surfaces more freely. Using 1/3 of a 12 oz bottle would just be using 4oz. While I understand that's much more than needed I'd be surprised if it were damaging.

    You are using either a pre-mixed antifreeze or are adding water as well as antifreeze, right? (Or are you just adding water)?

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    Re: 07 ZX6R running very hot - Where do I go from here?

    If itcwere me, I'd chase cooling system stuff first. Most likely cause. Trapped air and/ or balky thermostat would be tops on my list. Burp it first, as air in the system could effect thermostat operation. No sense in chasing that if this is Just all a little air.

    If the plugs are original, I'd replace anyway. My 650 called for plugs every 7500. Worn plugs shouldn't be the issue here unless you have a shit ton of rideability symptoms too.

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  9. #34
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    Re: 07 ZX6R running very hot - Where do I go from here?

    The plugs were only more towards the diagnosis of "running lean" due to the really hot exhaust temperatures.

    But I will rumage around with the cooling system to see if I cant get a little change out of the symptoms.

    Thanks for the input guys, Ill report back once I do a little hands on work.

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  10. #35
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    Re: 07 ZX6R running very hot - Where do I go from here?

    Some vehicles have bleeder valves to get air out of hard-to-burp systems. Possible your bike has one of these and you need to open it? What about radiator fan, does it have one and it doesn't turn on so it's heating up too much in traffic? As for headgasket leak, I still think this is pretty unlikely and bottom of the list in operations order, but pretty sure there are kits to check the coolant for presence of carbon and fuel that would indicate there is a leak. Probably more certain than compression and leak down tests, and easier to perform.

    My gut still says you're chasing a problem that doesn't exist, and your about to fix something that isn't broken.

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  11. #36
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    Re: 07 ZX6R running very hot - Where do I go from here?

    On paper, it doesn't look like a big deal. The only thing I can really tell you about is the temperatures readings of the bike. They seem a bit high to me from what I am used too. I would think at 40mph the bike should be 190. The things that keep me stuck on this issue are how hot the carbon muffler gets now and how hot the plastic around the exhaust manifold gets. Way hotter then I ever remember. The plastic is so hot I cant even touch it. That doesn't seem right. So this leads me to believe the exhaust gasses are super hot and the bike is either running lean, or not cooling efficiently enough.

    The super hot temperatures that I physically feel are not necessarily showing in the digital temperature gauge. The only slight notification is that the temp rises very fast (a degree every second) at stand still and stays high even after the fan kicks on at 215. The bike will sit at 216 or 218 with the fan going until I finally get moving. (This is on a day thats maybe 75 to 80 degrees and not humid - no crazy temps like Arizona or anything)

    I'm a decent mechanic and I always love knowing my bikes inside and out. If it doesn't cost much other than beer and time, I don't mind poking around to see if I can improve something. I always try to do preventative maintenance instead of fixing things after the fact.

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  12. #37
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    Re: 07 ZX6R running very hot - Where do I go from here?

    "So your telling me that at 40mph and approx 75F outside, the bike should be staying around 210F?

    yes, if you are just running at that low speed.....you need air to cool it down and you aint getting much at 40mph...plus you prolly at 2nd gear around 5k rpm

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    Last edited by j4eric; 07-26-12 at 11:24 AM.
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  13. #38
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    Re: 07 ZX6R running very hot - Where do I go from here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Streetlethal100 View Post
    I would think at 40mph the bike should be 190.
    That is within the bounds of normal, but generally speaking I'd think you'd see even less than 190* at 40mph.

    Quote Originally Posted by Streetlethal100 View Post
    The only slight notification is that the temp rises very fast (a degree every second) at stand still and stays high even after the fan kicks on at 215. The bike will sit at 216 or 218 with the fan going until I finally get moving. (This is on a day thats maybe 75 to 80 degrees and not humid - no crazy temps like Arizona or anything)
    Thanks - this info is more useful (quantitative). The fan should cycle on/off. I don't know the specific range for your bike, but generally the fan should kick on at ~215* threshold and be able to bring it down enough that it cycles off. If temp doesn't budge with fan on, that does seem a little odd.

    Question: you said you had a shop do maintenance, right? Lots of bikes have foam and/or rubber heat shields to direct air around the motor. Doing a valve job: its very possible these were placed incorrectly or removed. For instance, on my 03-04 6R, there is a big rubber shield which covers from between the radiator to the valve cover. If removed, this could contribute to worse cooling efficiency. Not enough to damage anything, but might cause what you're seeing. I'd check into this.

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  14. #39
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    Re: 07 ZX6R running very hot - Where do I go from here?

    So I know you are running water wetter but I think it is far more effective when used with straight water, not coolant. Get distilled water, flush out the old coolant and add water and the recomended amount of WW.

    The bike will run much cooler all the time, in my 6r it dropped 10+ degrees everywhere and cooled off faster once under way. Don't forget you are riding a high HP supersport 600. It makes lots of power which creates lots of heat. Everything you have said sounds normal to me.

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  15. #40
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    Re: 07 ZX6R running very hot - Where do I go from here?

    Does anyone know where abouts the thermostat is on the bike? Im guessing its under the air box behind the engine a bit. I tried doing a search online for the best way to replace it, but I didnt come up with much. Does anyone have any pictures or videos, or tips? Do I need to take my entire air box off?

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  16. #41
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    Re: 07 ZX6R running very hot - Where do I go from here?

    Underneath the right-most intake. See schematic item 49054 here.

    To follow up my previous post: check that heat shields 14091 and 49016 are in place (schematic here).

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  17. #42
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    Re: 07 ZX6R running very hot - Where do I go from here?

    Thanks for that. Ill see what I can figit around with tonight a bit. I have a good amount of knowledge now and feel comfortable digging into a few things.

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  18. #43
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    Re: 07 ZX6R running very hot - Where do I go from here?

    Service Manual: Click Me

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  19. #44
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    Re: 07 ZX6R running very hot - Where do I go from here?

    So I pumped the radiator hoses to release the bubbles and topped it off. Warmed it up and found the same symptoms. It looks like the headers are discoloring dark and light patches above the neutralizing horizontal pipes. Im going to ride it a few good rides and see if any symptoms get worse or stay the same.

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  20. #45
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    Re: 07 ZX6R running very hot - Where do I go from here?

    If the bike has a burp/bleeding procedure for the cooling system, until you follow it you can't be certain you're not fighting an air bubble still.

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  21. #46
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    Re: 07 ZX6R running very hot - Where do I go from here?

    Well when I road it home a bit later the temp actually looked really good. It was at 168 on the highway and 175 on the backroads at 40mph. Thats more like it! I would be happy with even 190 on the back roads. I need to ride it more in variable weather to see if it was just the cool night air, or if something actually changed. I will try to burp the system again, as well and see if I cant actually find some burping procedures for the bike.

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  22. #47
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    Re: 07 ZX6R running very hot - Where do I go from here?

    Quote Originally Posted by e30addict View Post
    Service Manual: Click Me
    Quote Originally Posted by Streetlethal100 View Post
    I will try to burp the system again, as well and see if I cant actually find some burping procedures for the bike.
    You didn't click the link did you ;-)

    Has the factory "burping" procedure, coolant flow chart and temperature ranges for the thermostat and fan operation.

    Oh, and it's all free. Click it.

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  23. #48
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    Re: 07 ZX6R running very hot - Where do I go from here?

    .. Ok ok... You caught me.

    But I have now downloaded the attachment. Looks very helpful. That is going to be printed out and store in my tool box from now on. Thanks

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  24. #49
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    Re: 07 ZX6R running very hot - Where do I go from here?

    So I feel better. Im not crazy after all. After burping the bike a few times, and letting the cooling system bleed a bit while the bike warms up, it now runs great.

    On the highway I am running around 168F, on the back roads I am running around 175F to 190F tops. This is what I expect the bike to run at. The outside temperature is approx 84 degrees and slightly humid. The temp of the bike would raise 1 degree every 3 or 4 seconds now instead of every second. I am taking a long ride this weekend and will 100% verify if everything is staying the same.

    So for final reference, I did not fiddle with the thermostat or plugs. I remembered I changed the plugs last season. I check the radiator hoses and both sides were hot and had pressure.

    Thanks to all for joining in the conversation even though it wasn't as big of a problem as I thought it was. Still fun to debate possible options.

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  25. #50

    Re: 07 ZX6R running very hot - Where do I go from here?

    Hi Guys,

    I'm Lars, from the Netherlands and as I'm having a similar problem with my zx6r 07/08 i'm hoping someone here can help me out.

    Last year i bought this bike for track use. Unfortunately a few track days ago I noticed that the fan wouldn't power on. So I by-passed the sensor and made a switch that I can power on/off myself.

    But, even with the fan on during the 20 minutes on track it still runs 224-226 degrees (106-108 degrees celcius) with a weather temperature around 68 (20 degrees celsius).
    I even noticed the temperature running up to 241 degrees (116 celsius) on a verry warm day with 90 degrees (32 celsius) although I kept the fan running from the start.

    So what did I check untill now:
    -Thermostat--> it nicely opens full 8mm around 180 degrees.
    -Radiator--> warms up everywhere, no cold parts so it is ok
    -Flushed the system with a radiator cleaner, after that with water.
    -Filled it up with demi-water and added 5% Motul Mocool which should lover the temperature with about 5-10 degrees.

    After this the engine still runs to 224-226!!

    Sow do you have any other ideas what the problem might be??

    Thanks a lot!

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