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Motorcycle Repair/1986 HONDA V-65 MAGNA 1100CC

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Question
I HAVE AN 86 V-65 THAT OVERHEATS AFTER 5-10 MILES. THE FAN WAS WIRED TO RUN WHENEVER THE ENGINE RUNS, BUT NOW IT ALMOST NEVER RUNS. PREVIOUSLY DRIVING ON THE FREEWAY WOULD KEEP IT COOL. BUT NOW EVEN THAT DOES NOT HELP.COULD THE THERMOSTAT ALSO BE STUCK? REPLACING ONE THING AFTER ANOTHER TILL THE PROBLEM IS FIXED IS EXPENSIVE,  CAN YOU SUGGEST A SEQUENCE OF THINGS I SHOULD DO TO ISOLATE THE PROBLEM.
         THANKS,
         TIM

Answer
I normally only deal with old Suzuki's - pre-1977 actually. Having said that, what I would check are the following:

- are you using anti-freeze or water as a coolant ?
- if anti-freeze, when was it last changed ?
- if water - then it will need to be dumped and replaced with proper coolant
- are the inlet and outlet hoses getting warm ? just looking to confirm that the water pump is circulating coolant
- does the fan ever start ? If not, then you will need to test the thermoswitch and see what an ohm meter says, but normally the fan switches are just that - switches. So open or closed. If you connect the switch to ground the fan should come on, if not then replace
- if the fan is starting and the inlet and outlet hoses are getting warm are you certain the gauge is reading correctly ? there is some sort of thermoswitch that it connects to and you will need to test it - again using an ohm meter - these are actually rheostats, and vary resistance with heat, so again, your manual should give the range that is correct for your year of bike
- pull the thermostat and test it - testing is easy - suspend it in a pan of water and heat till just under boiling and you should see it open. Your manual will tell the the correct temperature. If it doesn't open, replace it
- once all the above has been checked out, reverse flush the cooling system after testing the thermostat and before refilling with new coolant mixed to the correct freezing point for your machine - your manual will tell you what mix to use

Hope that helps !

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Ian R. Sandy

Expertise

I can answer restoration questions specifically about the Suzuki GT750 Water Buffalo/Kettle/Water Bottle which was made between 1972 and 1977. I may also be able to assist with some restoration questions on the Suzuki T500 made between 1968 and 1977. I will not answer questions about other makes or models. I focus on restorations - I not especially interested in 'non-stock' restorations or rebuilds.

Experience

I wrote the on-line reference manual on the Suzuki GT750 called 'A Field Guide to the Suzuki GT750 Le Mans' which is available at no charge on line. I currently own six Suzuki GT750's - a 1972 (scheduled to be restored in 2013), a 1973, a 1975, two 1976 models and a 1977. I also operate and maintain the on-line reference site 'Suzuki T/GT Resources' as well as the Old Japanese Bikes web site.

Organizations
I am a member of the VJMC, the AMCA and of the CVMG.

Publications
'A Field Guide to the Suzuki GT750 Le Mans' 'Notes from the Corner' - the OJB blog 'The Suzuki T/GT Resource Pages'

Education/Credentials
Graduate of Sheridan College in Instrumentation Technology, which is interesting but not really germane to this discussion - I owned my first GT750 new in 1974 and have owned and ridden at least one now for very nearly 40 years.

Awards and Honors
My 1973 GT750 was featured as the 'March' bike in the recent CVMG-RMS section calendar.

Past/Present Clients
I am the web-admin for the CVMG, and also for the CVMG-RMS section. I am also a moderator on the Sundial 2 stroke board.

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