Coolant / radiator fluid change on a Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad 1600
We metric riders brag about riding liquid-cooled bikes, but how often do we replace the liquid? About ever year or two we really ought to consider swapping out the fluid, especially because it's so easy!
What type of fluid can be used?
Honda makes a motorcycle specific coolant, but any coolant safe for aluminum body radiators should be fine. One thing to keep in mind is that it's not good to mix dexcool (orange coolant) with the green, standard coolant. It's a common complaint that mixing these two products can cause a gummy build-up inside the radiator and reserve tank.
1. Place a container under the radiator and remove the bolt on the bottom of the radiator, catching the rubber washer from falling into the fluid.
2. Remove gas tank.
3. Remove radiator cap, which is located on the right side of the frame about half way down the spine.
4. Remove the right side cover to access the reserve tank. Remove the reserve tank and drain old fluid. If you notice residue build-up, now would be a good time to clean it thoroughly.
5. Replace bolt on the bottom of radiator and reserve.
6. Fill from the radiator cap, shaking the bike to bring any air bubbles to the surface, until completely full.
7. Fill reserve to the full line and check levels. If everything is still full, replace the tank and side cover.
That's it! Easy, wasn't it?
For the most part, this is the same process for any bike.