2012 Vaquero - Oh MY the HEAT! [Archive] - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums

2012 Vaquero - Oh MY the HEAT!

04-18-2013, 10:33 PM
I've had the bike for 5 1//2 weeks, racking up almost 1100 miles so far. I've watched the Temp Gauge do its dance, and read many, many forum entries at several sites discussing the Vaquero's heat issue. Today, I finally experienced it for myself.

Today was the first day in Central, OH that the temperatures got above 80. After work, I took the bike out and ended up riding alot less than I'd intended. I wasn't worried about the what was showing on the gauge. In cooler temps, I've watched it hover around the tick mark just below half-way and at the half-way mark, and on slightly warmer days around the tick mark just after half-way. Today it was hovering between the 3/4 tick and the redline.

Okay... just the gauge in and of itself, I tried not to worry, based upon what I'd read up on before. But the further / longer I rode today, the more I noticed my right leg was getting hotter and hotter. To the point of practically and literally cooking. My jeans were extremely hot to the touch on the inner thigh, and I became very concerned when I started feeling some pain in that area. I gave up on the ride early and went on home. Its 10:20 now and I've been reading and reading and reading on what to do on all these forums.

I've read about wrapping the pipes. And changing the coolant. Installing a Power Commander V, and something about a KAMS kit. New muffler's or even entire exhaust systems. All the above. But for someone with limited funds available, what can be done?

I've been riding for years, and have had many different brand's of bikes. This is my first Kawasaki, and the first time I've had a heat issue like this. I had two Valkyries, and sitting at a traffic light in 90-degree's the heat from the engine would come up and cause a sweat... but it wouldn't burn you or cook your leg. I've had three different Harley's that would do pretty much the same thing.

But my beloved Vaquero is burning my leg, and I have got to remedy the situation. Can anyone help?

Vaq Now
04-20-2013, 04:20 PM
The best thing to do for the least amount of money is wrap the head pipe and put syn oil in it third take a 1 1/4 bymetel hole saw and a long exstetion and drill out the two rear baffels in your pipes. Will help it to breath the wrap will stop the burning of your leg and the syn oli will lower the motor temp. I have a 2011 red vaquero and have done all three wrap the head pipe and cross over is the best thing I did next to syn oil and then the debaffel. You will notice a huge difference when your done. If you not to mechinicly enclined have a friend that is help the wrap needs to be as tight as possible. Use high temp paint I got mine from napa and sand and paint the head pipe to keep it from rustting and put the rest of the can on the wrap and start it outside it will smoke and stink for a while just my .02 cents worth and what I did to mine to help the heat. Good luck.

Steel Panther
04-20-2013, 04:53 PM
Have you seen the thread on vacuum leaks at the intake ? If you have a vacuum leak making it run lean, it could sure cause it to run hotter.

Vaq Now
04-20-2013, 05:47 PM
This is very true but you would have to have a big leak I had a leak on mine and had a majoy ordeal to get it fixed but if you can take it to the dealer where you got it and get them to check for a leak that would be a good thing. There is a therad on another sight from racn ray on how to check it yourself. I was lucky the first time the dealer checked it for me and found a leak fixed it and it came back in two weeks there is a therad on hereh about mine if you want to read it. But it would take a big leak to make it run that hot mine never did.

Steel Panther
04-21-2013, 10:56 AM
It's funny you said 80 degrees outside temp is when you started having the heat issue. That is the same temp when I started having a heat issue with one of my bikes. The thing would cook my right leg and go into "trying to save it's life at idle" and would shut down the rear cylinder. Luckily with this bike I could just re-flash the stock ECU. It fixed the problem and it runs better. It can idle now and never get hot. Plus I left the safety feature to shut down a cylinder if it ever does get hot, only instead of just shutting down the rear, now it alternates and causes the front and rear to skip every other beat, so far it's never gone into that mode.

If you don't have a vacuum leak, then adding some fuel I feel will help. I'm not sure what your options are for doing that, I'm sure you could probably come up with a way to lie to the factory ECU by changing sensor values, but without a really good understanding of fuel injection, you could also wind up destroying your bike. The best bet is probably an aftermarket fuel controller like the power commander, if you go with a power commander get the one for race use, I'm pretty sure the street legal version won't allow the fuel map to be adjusted at idle.

Vaq Now
04-22-2013, 07:31 AM
Realy sounds like to me you have limited funds to deal with and want the best fix for the money. My suggustion is take back to dealer and have them check coolent level, air leak, ECU, and if none of this than wrap the head pipe other guys have on other forums and with huge reductions in heat to leg. As money comes in same problem I had do one thing at time first I would get TFI fuel cotroler you can adj for stock lean fuel and change adj when you add pipes and K&N air filter to stock set up. Or put big air kit on it. TFI or the new one out to replace it can be adjusted as needed. I have a 2011 vaquero put a cobra Fi2000r on it after I debaffeled it and put a K&N stock air filter in it. I got the best mileage out of my bike with that set up just did not care for the cobra new one out there today that do a better job. So start where you can and money alows and work your way up to next mod as I did. But it could be as simple as low coolent, air leak or bad ECU if not I would read other forums and start with wrapping head pipe and cross over pipe cheepest way to help problem. I hope this helps you read as much as you can on forums information it king. Good luck to youand safe riding to check remove left side cover to see coolent storage tank and level.

05-18-2013, 04:33 AM
Have had my 2011 Vaquero for over two years and riden nearby 30k on it and in a lot of 100 degree plus Texas days.

We'll, this is a big V-Twin and they get hot, so your best bet on the Vaquero and Voyager is to wrap the pipes and then put on a set of heat deflectors.

Wrapping the pipes help keep the heat from your lower legs and the heat deflectors protect your thighs and jewels.