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Motorcycle Radiator Caps

The radiator is an important part of any liquid-cooled internal combustion engine. A motorcycle radiator cap covers the reservoir part of the radiator that contains the liquid that is responsible for cooling the engine. Selecting the right replacement parts and accessories for your motorcycle requires understanding the cooling system on your bike.

Where is the radiator cap located on a motorcycle?

It is found on top of the radiator on all combustion engines. The exact location of the radiator on your motorcycle depends on the make and model of the bike you have. As a general rule of thumb, you will need to remove the right-side fairing to gain access to your radiator.

How do you remove a motorcycle radiator cap?

Removing a radiator cap could be dangerous and should be done very carefully owing to the pressure buildup within the system. If your motorcycle has been running, then the coolant inside the radiator will be hot. Removing it too quickly could cause the liquid to splatter, so use caution when breaking the seal. Twist it only enough to slowly release the pressure before removing it entirely.

How long do you wait before removing a radiator cap?

You can remove it at any time, but the hotter your radiator is, the more dangerous it is to remove the radiator cap. For your own safety, it is best to wait at least 15 to 20 minutes until your motorcycle engine has cooled down. Trying to remove the cover when the engine is hot could cause the cover to blow up and may result in severe burns from boiling water and steam.

When should a motorcycle radiator cap be replaced?

A leaky radiator cap on your motorcycles engine typically indicates that it needs to be replaced. The cap creates a vacuum so the coolant can flow through the motorcycle engine. When you see a leak, it usually means that there is not enough seal to create a proper vacuum. Smoke coming off of your radiator is often liquid from the radiator and an indicator that it is not cooling properly.

How long does a motorcycle radiator cap last?

Radiator caps are like any other part or accessories for your motorcycle. You can replace it regularly to prevent issues, or you can replace it when you see indications of a potential fail. The life of a motorcycle radiator cap varies based on brand and use. Consider buying an extra one and storing it in your motorcycle for a quick fix when you need it.