Oil Temperature

Joined
Jun 27, 2009
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69
Location
Southern Maryland
I have an 03 Heritage Softail and I run Revtech 20W50 Conventional oil in it. I live in Southern CA and the engine temperature sometimes reaches 250 degrees. Is any one else seeing temperatures like this?
 
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Joined
Nov 18, 2004
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Kitsap, WA
about normal from what I've seen from aircooled bikes, all makes. upward of 300 in stop and go or hard fast running
 

CCI

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Jul 15, 2009
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New Mexico USA
Is this engine temperature or oil temperature? If it's engine temp, this is not a problem. If it's oil temp, you should seriously consider changing your oil twice as often as the manufacturer recommends and also think about adding a cooler with a thermostat. I used to run a HD service dep't, word from the factory school was that 200 degrees was OK for an oil temperature, every 20 degrees past that cut the life of the oil in half. This was over 20 years ago, I'm sure oil has improved, nonetheless, 250 is hot for oil. I'd spend the money if it were my bike.
 
Joined
Nov 22, 2004
Messages
8,722
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Texas
I am guessing that you are getting your temp reading from the oil tank dipstick gauge? If so, than compared to mine you are running a little hot - but still normal for an air cooled engine running dino oil in high heat and stop and go riding. My Softail Duece (Twin Cam FI) runs around 215 and that's in high 90 to 110 degree weather here in Texas. If I get a lot of slow moving or stopping like you encounter in heavy traffic, my guage will get up to 250 but not often. I run the Redline V Twin HD oil in 20W/60. You really should look at going synthetic oil in that bike, you will notice a temp drop and get better protection. Just don't use the Harley Syn3 junk. Redline, Mobil 1 and others are better choices in my opinion than the RevTeck oil..which we don't know who makes it for them. Could be just regular oil rebadged and sold at a premium price.
 
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PT1

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Feb 6, 2007
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near the mistake
Normal operating temp for a TC88 engine is 230F. TC96 runs hotter and many report temps over 300F in the SW US. As long as you are using a MC rated synthetic oil your are fine. My 2006 TC88 reads temps of 250 at the cyl head all the time. FWIW I would recommend switching from the conventional oil to a synthetic like Mobil1Vtwin or Amsoil or Redline as those oils can easily take the higher temps. That is the primary reason I have run synthetics in all my air cooled bikes.
 
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PT1

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Feb 6, 2007
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near the mistake
 Originally Posted By: CCI
I used to run a HD service dep't, word from the factory school was that 200 degrees was OK for an oil temperature, every 20 degrees past that cut the life of the oil in half. This was over 20 years ago, I'm sure oil has improved, nonetheless, 250 is hot for oil. I'd spend the money if it were my bike.
20 years ago you were dealing with EVO motors...the new lean tuned EFI TC engines (for EPA reasons) run really hot in comparison.
 
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Joined
May 6, 2007
Messages
534
Location
North Texas
 Originally Posted By: PT1
 Originally Posted By: CCI
I used to run a HD service dep't, word from the factory school was that 200 degrees was OK for an oil temperature, every 20 degrees past that cut the life of the oil in half. This was over 20 years ago, I'm sure oil has improved, nonetheless, 250 is hot for oil. I'd spend the money if it were my bike.
20 years ago you were dealing with EVO motors...the new lean tuned EFI TC engines (for EPA reasons) run really hot in comparison.
Just wait until the Euro III emmission standards are applied in 2010, I foresee the death of air-cooled street motors soon. EPA is going to really tighten things up very soon for motorcycles.
 
Joined
Nov 22, 2004
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Texas
 Originally Posted By: PT1
Normal operating temp for a TC88 engine is 230F. TC96 runs hotter and many report temps over 300F in the SW US. As long as you are using a MC rated synthetic oil your are fine. My 2006 TC88 reads temps of 250 at the cyl head all the time. FWIW I would recommend switching from the conventional oil to a synthetic like Mobil1Vtwin or Amsoil or Redline as those oils can easily take the higher temps. That is the primary reason I have run synthetics in all my air cooled bikes.
That is correct, I forgot to mention in my post that I am running an oil cooler on my Duece. My wife's Lowrider (same FI Twin Cam) doesn't have a cooler and does run 10-20 degrees warmer. I agree - run a syn oil to protect the engine. Side note about those 96's - when my dad got his new 2007 Ultra CLassic TC96 to replace his Evo Classic he just about couldn't ride the thing due to the heat! I mean it burned his legs so bad on a long trip he had to stop and ice down. Finally, he got the covers/heat shields on the rear cylinders and the dealer remapped the computer to cool it down a bit. I hooked my Twin Scan II to it and could not believe how lean that bike ran.
 
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Joined
Oct 26, 2005
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East Central Missouri
I have an '08 Fat Boy that typically runs 240 on the gauge in the oil tank in hot weather. In 100+ temps it'll run 250. No oil cooler. Mobil 1 V-Twin or Amsoil MCV is what it gets. This is more typical for the newer big twins and especially the fuel injected models.
 
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