Dirt bikes take a good beating from their rough and tumble use. The undulating, rocky and muddy tracks that they are driven on make them twice as vulnerable to damage as ordinary bikes driven on smooth and concrete roads. The excess strain on the bike components causes them to wear out faster thereby demanding more frequent service schedules.
The radiator hose is one component that needs to be inspected regularly. Crafted from metal alloys or molded plastic, these pipe-like structures carry a coolant liquid from the engine’s pump to the radiator. Selected dirt bikes, especially those with a larger engine, are fitted with a pair of radiators for increased cooling efficiency. In case of a damaged radiator hose, the engine gets overheated and seizes.
When to replace?
With most other bike components, we replace parts when they show the slightest signs of damage. We do this in order to avoid untimely breakdowns and to keep the vehicle running in good condition. Radiators are built to sustain tough use. You do not need to replace them unless there is a crack in it or it begins to dry rot.
You should inspect the radiator hose if the coolant starts leaking out. You will observe pools of coolant wherever your park your vehicle. In addition to this, you will notice a heap of steam rising up or you will get the smell of radiator fluid. Metal radiator cores suffer more because of their tendency to corrode when subjected to moisture. The rust residue blocks the flow of the coolant. The hose might develop a bulge or soft spots in certain places; they can be felt by running a hand under it. There might be cracks in the lip of the hose. Also, you will notice that the clamps do not fit securely.
In all the above mentioned circumstances, it makes sense to replace the dirt bike radiator hose rather than repair it.
Replacing a Dirt Bike Radiator Hose
You can choose to buy a hose from a local manufacturer or an online store.
The type of hose is the first thing you need to consider. There are two main types; it includes molded and flex. Molded hoses are tailored to specific automobile makes and models. They cannot be fitted to any vehicle except the automobile they are engineered for. The second type known as flex hoses are universal designs that can be bent around any obstruction and made to fit a range of applications.
You will also need to take a look at the dimensions when purchasing a dirt bike radiator hose. The size of the hose, the diameter of the hose, at the upper and lower end helps achieve the right saturation time. The saturation time is the time the coolant takes to absorb heat from the engine it and expel it. If it happens too quickly or too slowly, the engine will start overheating repeatedly. Hence, it is necessary to choose a size that fits your vehicle.
When replacing a dirt bike radiator hose, it is necessary to replace the other associated fixtures as well. This includes buying new clamps. Dirt bike radiator hoses also vary in their shape and length. An automatic mechanic or one who deals in the repair or replacement of radiator hoses can help you with the selection.
What if, you choose to repair?
When the crack is small, you can get away with minor repair work. The job can be done at an auto mechanic’s garage or you can choose to do it personally using repair kits available on the market.