Emergency - coolant leak, possibly empty now

It would appear that I’ve got a leak somewhere in my coolant system, but I have no idea where, I’m in work and have limited access to tools, and its 50 miles home. It started off as a dribble where I would have a few drips at the end of a ride (but I didn’t recognise it as a coolant leak because I’ve never seen red coolant, only blue or yellow), but it turned into a long pour this morning when I’d finished riding.

So, what can I do about it to get me home the 50 miles? I can get the fairing off so I might be able to find the leak to see if its in a hose or metalwork, but what can I practically do about it given limited access to workshop?

All suggestions (especially quick ones) appreciated.


if it’s pouring, it will likely be a main pipe or the rad. take the fairings off and check the hoses. you’ve likely got a split in one which you could temp fix with some superglue and electrical tape.

my bike dumped its expansion bottle worth of water on Friday

quite worrying if your not used to it me I just ignored it as its was quite hot on the way home Friday & I got stuck in allsorts of traffic

fill the bike up with water then run it ,if it dumps the water out in no time you have a leak if it doesn’t your overflow done its job

if your rad leaks look for any damp areas & usaly if a hose has gone it will be a squirt of water coming out

If you’re in the city (EC*) I keep some spare 6mm rubber tubing and some zip ties.

Also some adjustable spanners, screwdrivers, multi tool, torch…

Let me know and I’ll happily lend you. :slight_smile:

Thanks Jakeysz. I have all the tools I need under my seat - all the Halfords advanced 1/4" sockets and spanners that I need, but zip ties and rubber tubing I have none - good idea to keep some somewhere.

I have managed to get to Halfords on Mile End road (Christ it’s hot out there!) to get some coolant, top up water, a drip tray and a funnel, and am keeping hold of some empty 500ml bottles to store any overflow coolant in before I dispose of it at an approved waste site. Fortunately I also have my drill driver with me as I was supposed to be fitting a light for a friend of mine. Lucky for me.

I’ll see how I get on with that lot.

Been there. :crazy: Luckily, I was just 12 miles from home, and the leak was quite slow, so managed to get there without even a top up. Unluckily, it was quite clearly the radiator that was leaking, which I consequently had to replace and it had cost me an arm and a leg :ermm:
I would check the coolant reservoir, top it up if empty, start the bike up and monitor how fast it’s being drained at the same time looking for a leak. Make sure the radiator itself is dry, check the pipes connected to it, maybe it’s just a loose connection. Otherwise obviously there should be some traces of the coolant on other parts of the bike if not on pipes themselves, or at the very least where the coolant drips on the ground. Good luck.

Times like this I love my Chinese piece of shet which doesn’t even know what coolant is :slight_smile:

A stitch in time …

stitch wasn’t needed this time :wink:

It got home!!!

And same thing again this morning. Smaller puddle, but I suspect that it around the thermostat. Gameplan is to keep riding this one, perhaps with the side fairings off for ease of spotting what is going on, but try and get the electrical gremlins sorted on my other (sliver) one, change the chain and sprockets and then properly strip down my black one, full service, full fluid change etc,

put some dye in the bike when it leaks it will leave a trace

Well, screwed that one up, didn’t I. Less than 100ml on the floor this morning, and the expansion tank looking pretty good. Apart from the minor issue of taking the radiator cap off to make sure, and seeing metal. Which is significantly less than good. So I have topped up at the radiator and will see what happens. Another Litre. Out of a total capacity of 2.75l. Oops.

I do wonder if there is a blockage somewhere which means that the system purges without anything showing on the expansion bottle. Hey ho, see what the next few days bring. Might well run it without the fairing on.

have you tried the stat

take it out & do the kettle test or just leave it out

The wonderful thing about VFRs is that it is impossible to located the stat without removing the entirety of the bike first. But yes, that is the next target.

What is TRC out of interest?

Therevcounter.com Another place like this, except global, not London. A number of guys here are also there. Including me.