New 2020 Kaw 450 runs HOT

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7/20/2020 12:22 PM

I recently got a 2020 Kawasaki 450 (I also have a 2019 kaw 450 & never encountered any of these issues).

Bike has 8-9 hours on it & you'd think I rode it in the Korean war. The clutch completely smoked at 3 hours. I put a Rekluse clutch in. Every time I ride my machine & set it on the stand it smells hotter than hell: the clutch, the motor, everything is excessively hot. It never needs radiator fluid, doesn't leak any. I change the oil every time I ride it. I've been running Rotella 15w-40 since I put the new clutch in (couple mechanics recommended this, i'm not completely sold on it but doubt it's causing the issue). This past weekend I changed oil after 3 motos & the oil looked like burnt coca cola. I'm really worried about this unit & wondering how I can get it a pristine running machine. SOS HELP.

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7/20/2020 12:28 PM

try a higher boiling temp radiator cap? I have a 2019 and put a 1.6 on mine and run rotella and change every 3 rides and doesn't look bad. When you changed your clutch did you drop the oil or just lay the bike on the side? I ask this because if you pull your pull rod out and you still have oil in the bike, it will weep between the slave cylinder plunger and the push rod, always putting pressure on it.

Maybe your clutch is not fully disengaging and your smoking your plates and smoking your oil as well? Just a thought

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7/20/2020 12:43 PM

whiskeyfrottle43 wrote:

try a higher boiling temp radiator cap? I have a 2019 and put a 1.6 on mine and run rotella and change every 3 rides and doesn't look bad. When you changed your clutch did you drop the oil or just lay the bike on the side? I ask this because if you pull your pull rod out and you still have oil in the bike, it will weep between the slave cylinder plunger and the push rod, always putting pressure on it.

Maybe your clutch is not fully disengaging and your smoking your plates and smoking your oil as well? Just a thought

I do have a higher boiling radiator rap on! I for sure dropped the oil then ran it 5 minutes then dropped the oil again. Not sure on the pull rod putting pressure on but it definitely is a possibility the clutch is not fully disengaging.

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7/20/2020 12:45 PM

pull the clutch assembly out and take a look. I wouldn't keep riding it like that.

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7/20/2020 12:56 PM

fourfourone wrote:

pull the clutch assembly out and take a look. I wouldn't keep riding it like that.

what am i looking for

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7/20/2020 1:10 PM

fourfourone wrote:

pull the clutch assembly out and take a look. I wouldn't keep riding it like that.

NicNak wrote:

what am i looking for

Take it apart and looks for signs of heat. Looks at the plates and see if they are blue from excessive heat.

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7/20/2020 1:13 PM

fourfourone wrote:

pull the clutch assembly out and take a look. I wouldn't keep riding it like that.

NicNak wrote:

what am i looking for

fourfourone wrote:

Take it apart and looks for signs of heat. Looks at the plates and see if they are blue from excessive heat.

alright will do. Thank you.

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7/20/2020 1:22 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/20/2020 1:26 PM

Water pump? Wouldn't affect the clutch but yeah, I wouldn't ride it until you've figured it out

Clutch not disengaging seems the likely culprit

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7/20/2020 1:32 PM

Quit riding it so hard

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7/20/2020 2:17 PM

A slipping clutch will generate a ton of heat and as a few posters have suggested, this is more than likely the cause. If you had a '19 and didn't have these issues, retrace your steps and see what's different on this bike. Oil? Levers? Clutch lever setting? Etc. they are essentially the same bike. Good luck and keep us posted!

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7/20/2020 2:58 PM

Avoid higher pressure caps.

It's not fixing the problem, it's just hiding it.
Not to mention, it's adding more pressure on the cooling system. Higher pressure on the hoses, clamps, seals, gaskets, etc...

Should only use a higher pressure cap in extreme situations, like a mud race, not for everyday riding/racing.

I'd be looking at the clutch/clutch installation

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7/20/2020 3:12 PM

Was it running super hot with both rekluse and OEM clutch in it?

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Go Hawks!

7/20/2020 3:44 PM

mx510 wrote:

Was it running super hot with both rekluse and OEM clutch in it?

yes

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7/20/2020 3:48 PM

I don't believe the Rotella has friction modifiers in it like motorcycle oil that is recommended?
Not saying that's the problem.

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7/20/2020 3:53 PM

Does not sound like the coolant is actually circulating. I would change coolant, refill with a mix of engine ice and straight distilled water (nothing cools better than distilled water). Make sure the coolant is "burped" correctly to make sure air is not trapped in the system.

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7/20/2020 4:06 PM

My only idea would be that it's something to do with the water pump.

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7/20/2020 4:08 PM

1stSSPZ wrote:

Does not sound like the coolant is actually circulating. I would change coolant, refill with a mix of engine ice and straight distilled water (nothing cools better than distilled water). Make sure the coolant is "burped" correctly to make sure air is not trapped in the system.

Engine Ice comes pre-diluted
Do not add water

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7/20/2020 4:11 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/20/2020 4:16 PM

1stSSPZ wrote:

Does not sound like the coolant is actually circulating. I would change coolant, refill with a mix of engine ice and straight distilled water (nothing cools better than distilled water). Make sure the coolant is "burped" correctly to make sure air is not trapped in the system.

Doesn't Engine Ice allow the cooling system to run at a higher temperature? It allows the coolant temp to climb to 256F before boil over, according to their website

Agree with checking coolant is circulating

Seems like Engine Ice would not correct the problem, only mask it like a higher pressure cap allows more pressure build up (and higher engine temp)

A slipping clutch will raise the engine temp quickly, and the Rekluse operates under the slip factor. And not adjusted to engage fully and it will slip further, adding more heat to the equation, eventually burning the oil and possibly the plates

Bring everything back to stock. Run normal recommended oil and quantity with the stock clutch (installed and adjusted correctly), confirm the cooling system is working and properly "burped" (there is a plug on the top left radiator just for this) with correct coolant. Check coolant lines, water pump rotor is turning, etc. Basics

Adding more variables and making changes is no way to trouble shoot

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7/20/2020 4:59 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/20/2020 5:04 PM

If the coolant wasn't circulating it would have gotten hot enough to push the coolant out the overflow. The OP says it has never needed coolant. Easy enough to check, start it with the radiator cap off and see if it's circulating.

I don't believe you're dealing with a top end heating problem. I honestly think the clutch is creating your heat issue.

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2018 KX450F
2005 KX250
2003 KDX 220
1984 KX 80
1982 RM 80
1980 RM 80
1977 XR 75
1969 Honda Mini 50

7/20/2020 5:05 PM

dkurtd wrote:

If the coolant wasn't circulating it would have gotten hot enough to push the coolant out the overflow. The OP says it has never needed coolant. Easy enough to check, start it with the radiator cap off and see if it's circulating.

I don't believe you're dealing with a top end heating problem. I honestly think the clutch is creating your heat issue.

When I test rode a friends 2019 KX450f I had that exact problem with the clutch.

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Go Hawks!

7/20/2020 5:54 PM

I am OP father and thanks for all the suggestions. we have tried most these things and for whatever reason it seems the clutch does not fully disengage. Being hydraulic there is no adjustment. We have bled the clutch as well. I agree with the one post and we are going to throw in a new OEM clutch and go from there. The rekluse that is in it is just there fiber and steel set up not an auto of any type. Keefer says to take out the judder springs and swap a thicker fiber in on the stock set up so will likely try that to.

Water pump is working fine and radiator has been burbed.

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7/20/2020 6:00 PM

Remove the judder spring as suggested! Night and day difference.

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7/20/2020 6:07 PM

neysbo wrote:

I am OP father and thanks for all the suggestions. we have tried most these things and for whatever reason it seems the clutch does not fully disengage. Being hydraulic there is no adjustment. We have bled the clutch as well. I agree with the one post and we are going to throw in a new OEM clutch and go from there. The rekluse that is in it is just there fiber and steel set up not an auto of any type. Keefer says to take out the judder springs and swap a thicker fiber in on the stock set up so will likely try that to.

Water pump is working fine and radiator has been burbed.

With so few hours I would be talking to the dealership. You guys are throwing way to much money at a brand new bike. If the clutch isn't fully disengaging I would be looking at the actuator and the end of the push rod.

How is the power when running? If the clutch is slipping it should be noticeable in power delivery

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7/20/2020 7:05 PM

Are you running a stock lever or aftermarket?

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7/20/2020 7:18 PM

motoxracer17 wrote:

Are you running a stock lever or aftermarket?

Stock lever but that is all we ran on our 19 , I see ARC makes a specific lever for the KX450.

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7/20/2020 7:37 PM

neysbo wrote:

I am OP father and thanks for all the suggestions. we have tried most these things and for whatever reason it seems the clutch does not fully disengage. Being hydraulic there is no adjustment. We have bled the clutch as well. I agree with the one post and we are going to throw in a new OEM clutch and go from there. The rekluse that is in it is just there fiber and steel set up not an auto of any type. Keefer says to take out the judder springs and swap a thicker fiber in on the stock set up so will likely try that to.

Water pump is working fine and radiator has been burbed.

soggy wrote:

With so few hours I would be talking to the dealership. You guys are throwing way to much money at a brand new bike. If the clutch isn't fully disengaging I would be looking at the actuator and the end of the push rod.

How is the power when running? If the clutch is slipping it should be noticeable in power delivery

I’m calling dealership tomorrow. Definitely a nuisance & not thrilled with this expensive of a machine. Power definitely seems weird. It winds out & not as much bark. & at this point.

Also judder springs are out cause you take them out when you put a rekluse in. Put rekluse in at 3 hours & it’s got 8 now & it’s completely smoked

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7/20/2020 7:40 PM

NicNak wrote:

I recently got a 2020 Kawasaki 450 (I also have a 2019 kaw 450 & never encountered any of these issues).

Bike has 8-9 hours on it & you'd think I rode it in the Korean war. The clutch completely smoked at 3 hours. I put a Rekluse clutch in. Every time I ride my machine & set it on the stand it smells hotter than hell: the clutch, the motor, everything is excessively hot. It never needs radiator fluid, doesn't leak any. I change the oil every time I ride it. I've been running Rotella 15w-40 since I put the new clutch in (couple mechanics recommended this, i'm not completely sold on it but doubt it's causing the issue). This past weekend I changed oil after 3 motos & the oil looked like burnt coca cola. I'm really worried about this unit & wondering how I can get it a pristine running machine. SOS HELP.

Something about the clutch from MXA. They mention the clutch not fully disengaging.
https://motocrossactionmag.com/mxa-tech-spec-10-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-2020-kawasaki-kx450/

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The older I get, the faster I was.

7/20/2020 7:41 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/20/2020 7:55 PM

Sounds like it is running to lean! Go to the black plug in. Or get one of these, I got one and wow what a difference

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7/20/2020 7:46 PM

motoxracer17 wrote:

Are you running a stock lever or aftermarket?

neysbo wrote:

Stock lever but that is all we ran on our 19 , I see ARC makes a specific lever for the KX450.

Yeah put an ARC on my bike and it comes with a plunger/ rod that’s a different length and must be replaced or the engagement is off. Thought I’d check.

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7/20/2020 7:48 PM

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The older I get, the faster I was.