Kawasaki zn1100 oil cooler - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-30-2016, 02:00 AM Thread Starter
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Kawasaki zn1100 oil cooler

So the beast ran wonderfully for a year, so I figured why not mess things up?

I'm contemplating putting an oil cooler on her, and am curious if anyone has personally done this for their early 80's ZN or KZ.
My logic is that more oil means less issue when she does start to burn a little, and it will also keep the engine cooler as a whole which means a happier bike.
Any thoughts?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-30-2016, 11:45 AM
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I would be interested in how this works out. I owned a CB900C that had an oil cooler. The way it worked was that the oil pump had two sections. One section pumped oil to the cooler and it came back to the base. The other section provided oil pressure to the engine. I'm not sure how it would work on a ZN.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-01-2016, 10:46 AM
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I belive you'd need to plumb the oil cooler the same as the KZ1000-R1 ELR or KZ1100-B GPz etc. Those models have an oil pressure switch fitting on top of the crankcase for attaching the oil cooler lines. AmericanClassix.com used to sell the fitting, but I don't know if they still do.






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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-01-2016, 12:11 PM
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The oil cooler fitting described is actually two pieces. One is for a go-into and the the other is for a go-outta. You plumb out of the outta fitting into the oil cooler and loop to the into fitting. the normal fitting just has the oil pass straight through and a contact for the oil idiot light. The cooler should also be fitted with a temp switch so if you ride in cold weather the oil will bypass the cooler as it keeps the oil too cool for too long otherwise. The fitting(s) for a ZN1100 should be the same as for any J motor or son of J motor 1100cc version such as yours.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-01-2016, 01:50 PM
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I think the 1000/1100 J uses one fitting, but I could be wrong.
The fitting in the link sure looks like it would accept 2 oil cooler lines.
I know the 650 would use two fittings.

Kawasaki oil cooler fitting --- 92005-1055




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1981 KZ650-CSR. Competition, Sports & Road.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-02-2016, 08:17 AM
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Unless you live in the south and put alot of miles on the bike on extended runs, an oil cooler can cause more problems than they're worth. If they are not plumbed correctly they will restrict necessary oil volume to the cams. If your motor has a crank with needle bearings the oil pressure is very low and adding more lines and a cooling unit will compromise an already low pressure system. One other reason not to install an oil cooler is the crankcase and its oil needs to reach and maintain a 180* + temperature for extended periods to dissipate the moisture that condenses within the crankcase. Keeping the bottom of the finned pan (the motor) clean and going up one size on the main jets will do wonders for lowering oil and engine temps.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-02-2016, 08:54 AM
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Main reason for the oil cooler is to remove the heat picked up in the wet clutch...Only place where oil is used for cooling in a pure motorcycle air cooled engine. I has insignificant or no impact cooling the engine, it is not its purpose..... is an oil-properties preserver, not an engine cooler. Best analogy of this oil cooler job in a car is the automatic tranmission fluid cooler, even though in a car; engine an transmission are separate.

In the 80s, japanese air cooled fours had no oil coolers in the States, but same bikes would have air coolers in Europe. The rason was; it was assumed in the more crowded, narrow, winding roads of Europe, the rider would have to shift more often and be more aggresive than in the vast expanses and straight roads of the US.

As long as you don't abuse it or go "racing", the ZN is OK without the oil cooler.

As a note; today all big retro air cooled bikes have oil coolers, and all high performance liquid cooled bikes also have them. Some times is an outside oil-to-air intercooler, often is an internal oil-to-liquid coil wrapped around the oil filter.

Last edited by Hugojose; 10-02-2016 at 08:58 AM. Reason: typo
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-02-2016, 11:14 AM
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I worry about my ZN700 when I get stopped by traffic lights a lot on hot summer days. I shut the engine off while it is sitting at a long light. In that situation a cooler wouldn't make much difference I suspect. My Venture however has water cooling and a temp controlled fan. That is one reason the Venture V4s are known for going over 200k miles.

1985 Kawasaki ZN700 Shaft, 4cyl
1989 Yamaha Venture Royale
2007 Yamaha Royal Star Venture
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-02-2016, 11:46 AM
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With the ZN700 you might be able to install an oil pump from a 2000-05 ZR750 (ZR7/ZR7S). It flows more oil & might be a direct bolt-on. There are some topics about it over at KZ Rider for adding it to the chain drive KZ/ZX 750s. I don't know if there would be a problem with blown or leaking gaskets.

In regards to retrofitting an oil cooler, as pointed out in those KZR topics, Kawasaki added an oil cooler to the ZR750 air cooled models & those engines are based on the KZ650/KZ750. The ZR7 engines nos. begin with KZ750EE, same as some of the chain drive models. I'd guess the ZN is very similar in regards to the oil pump, if not the same, but the engine number is probably different because of the shaft drive.


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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-03-2016, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadRunner322 View Post
I worry about my ZN700 when I get stopped by traffic lights a lot on hot summer days. I shut the engine off while it is sitting at a long light. In that situation a cooler wouldn't make much difference I suspect. My Venture however has water cooling and a temp controlled fan. That is one reason the Venture V4s are known for going over 200k miles.
An air cooled engine will not melt nor overheat, unless something stupid like running without oil or holding high revs while not moving. Their temperature varies with load,..true... but they have more metal than liquid cooled engines to take it (that's why air cooled engines are heavier than their liquid cooled counterparts). The reason for liquid cooling is increased performance, not longevity or reliability (compression ratio is limited by air cooling)

Witness the original VW beetle which started life in the German military in the late 40's as the "Kubelwageen" and saw combat from the deserts of North Africa to the Russian frozen steppes without missing a beat, and then went on selling for 30 years as the most successful single design in history....or the Israeli old Centurions and M60 tanks with Continental Teledyne air cooled 12-cyl diesel engines pedal to the metal in combat in the hot desert, where is was preferred because it was more reliable against projectiles piercing

A couple of owners in the old KZ forum reported getting over 200K miles on the old '70s KZ650 without rebuilding. Main reasons inexpensive Japanese motorcycles "supposedly" have short life is because they go through the youth market first, who promptly trashes them for 'fun'. Give them a Yamaha Venture or a Toyota Camry and they will make short work of it within 40k miles, liquid cooling and all. The old BMWs "air head" were known for extremely high mileage and longevity.....young people could not afford them thanks god...and they were not great performer either so did not interest them much anyway.

Treat your bike like a Goldwing and it will last like a Goldwing, liquid cooling or not. Ever seen a Goldwing doing a wheelie??

Last edited by Hugojose; 10-03-2016 at 07:04 PM. Reason: typo
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