Its blog time again with your host Ratso. I hope that you have all had a wonderful week, personally I have been working my ass off but I did manage to get lighting into the new, improved garage. One day I really must post some photos…Or maybe not, it is just a garage after all.
Yesterday, sitting bored at work I realized that it was just possible that maybe I was on the edge of a sanity problem. It came to me suddenly that I had been sitting doing nothing thinking about mousse filled puncture proof tires, which is all well and good, but what I was pondering wasn’t in fact anything remotely sensible it was “what do they do with the antlers?” Anyway, after that quick lapse into insanity I went on to the net and found another thing to gaze off into space vacantly about: Air cooled bikes V Water cooled, which is better?
Now until I went for a surf I hadn’t realized that this was actually a thing, but it seems it is. People get all hot under the collar about it and possibly jump up and down and shout a bit, but I wouldn’t know because it is on the internet after all. Anyway, here is my point of view on the subject.
Personally I couldn’t give a fuck!
A slight overheating problem
Let’s be honest they are both good, and I can prove this by looking at times gone by and realizing that both of them have been around for a very long time. Both have advantages and disadvantages but if I were being brutally honest water cool bikes have more advantages. A water cooled engine can be made to tighter tolerances because you can control its temperature, and these tighter tolerances lead naturally on to more efficient and therefore more powerful engine which as we all know is very important. It is no surprise that all the real fast bikes these days are water cooled. The water jacket and radiator allows the building of aerodynamic bodywork, which would be impossible for something air cooled as that flow of air around the engine would be impeded. It also allows for a much more efficient engine, fuel is burnt better, emissions are lower and therefore in these days of environmental awareness water cooled bikes are easier and cheaper to produce to conform to international standards. All good reasons to say that water cooling is better but…..
Well people also say that air cooled bikes get too hot and uncomfortable riding round town. Maybe, but then I can ask the question “what the hell are you doing just riding round town?” If that is your main consideration buying a bike, by a moped or get on the bus, they are a lot better solutions. A bike has never been and never will be a practical form of transport, a bike is not about that a bike is fun, it is something you have because you love it more than its foibles. There is no doubt in my mind that an air cooled bike looks better than a water cooled one. Those cooling fins, the exposed exhaust pipes not hidden behind a great slab of aluminium radiator and the cleaner, water pipe free aesthetics of the engine make it so much more, well bikey. The engine of a bike is one of the quintessential things about them, traditionally they are exposed and anything exposed is looked at and commented upon, if it is covered in plastic and hidden away, well it is like giving a super model a body length cardboard box to wear…ok a pretty colored cardboard box.
Air cooling makes your bike better looking, not you!
So there you go, it is a question of form over function and I can see advantages in both, which is of course why I own both. What I will say is this, if I am going to buy a bike to ride the highways of life in the style of the great dream then it would be air cooled, but if I am going to buy a bike to live the dream of riding the Isle of Man, (which starts this weekend, yay), then it would be water cooled.
It really doesn’t fucking matter, just get out there and ride.