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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2001 Kawasaki Bayou that starts and runs fine. I do a lot of work on a ranch with it. If I am driving slow checking fence or spraying weeds it seems to vapor lock. I can also feel the heat from the exhaust pipe, or engine on my leg. Any thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated.
 

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is this a 300 or a 250????

They're both air cooled. Meaning--they get hot (like about 300-400 degrees). So yes, either one of them they're gonna feel hot around your legs since they naturally run hot, and it's worse at low speeds because there is no air flow across the engine to pull the heat away/rearward, and no air flowing across your feet/legs to "cool" them off. Wear long pants. IF it's a 300 4x4, and you're running around at very low speeds, make sure to put it in low range, or you'll be buying a clutch (and they ain't cheap....assuming they're still available). It very well could be vapor locking. That 400 degree engine is directly under the fuel tank. Does it do it in the late spring/summer/early fall? Winter gasoline (and old gasoline) will boil at as low as 80 degrees F. These things were never made to be used as tractors, although many do; and using them as such will result in exactly what you're talking about.

That said, a valve adjustment seems to help, particularly on the 300's. Running "summer blend" fuel helps tremendously. The cure, go faster. It needs air flowing across the engine to cool it off. It's likely overheating if you do a lot of fence spraying with it. Usually it'll show up as black engine oil, and it'll turn black quickly with lots of heat. It ain't got no oil cooler, just the air flowing across the engine and that's all. Another thing that causes excess heat is constant clutch slippage. Remember the bayou's have two clutches, a disc clutch and a centrifugal clutch. They both run in the engine's lube oil, right next to your right foot. At low speeds like when you're creeping along, the centrifugal clutch is slipping, just like a go-kart, and that slippage creates heat, which heats the engine oil, which heats the rest of the engine, and you feel it on your foot/leg/etc, also the heat will contribute to fuel percolation aka boiling. What you are using the ATV for is a worse case scenario as far as making heat. As said, if it's a 4x4 300, make sure it's in low range first gear when using it for fence running. That will take some of the slippage out of the centrifugal clutch, which will reduce heat even though the engine will be running more RPM.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
"Thank You" for your response. I have been running it in low range, and also changed the oil, and that seems to have helped. It is winter time, hopefully it will run the same this summer.
 
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