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This question comes out of curiosity. A buddy of mine just bought a 2003 ZR-7S. A pretty sweet looking bike. The engine is air cooled as opposed to my bike (a ZZR600) which is liquid cooled. Does anyone out there know much about these two different cooling systems, as far as efficiency is concerned? I would assume liquid cooled bikes are better at actually keeping and maintaining a reasonable temp...while air cooled would not be as efficient (perhaps overheating in standstill traffic jams?). someone enlighten me please...
 

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I may not be the best person to explain this but here goes.

In the real world there is not really that much difference between the two because each type of engine was designed in order to be cooled one way or another.

Thousand of Harley's snailing along in 100 degree heat at rallies proves that air cooling can work.

Engine design is the main difference, air cooled engines require more space in order to assure air circulates around the cylinders equally and their final size is increased with the addition of cooling fins. Liquid cooled engines can be made smaller and don't require fins since the cooling is built in with the addition of channels in the engine that can circulate cooling liquid.

The differences between the two types are quite evident when you take into account the fact that in this case the air cooled engine although larger is less powerfull and as a lower rpm range.

Liquid cooled engine can be better controlled for heat buildup which allows designers to make these engines smaller and higher revving but rely on external controls to acheive this. Air cooled engines don't require thermostats or radiators or fans that add weight, can fail and add expense to the bike.
 
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