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Discussion Starter #1
Just bought a 2012 Ninja 1000 with 5k miles on it. Test drive went well. I brought it out the other day for it's first long drive and the engine temp light came on. Started troubleshooting and the radiator fan wasn't working. So I replaced that. Then the thermostat housing has chunks missing out the lip that seals the system so the coolant is boiling and overflowing. I'm hoping I can just replace that and have it solve my overheating problems. I've been reading it could be a cracked engine casing, or a blown head gasket. I certainly hope not. I've been trying to locate a service manual and if someone could assist me with finding one that isn't $80 I would appreciate it! Hopefully I can get this baby up and running good to take on some fun and exciting trips this weekend.
 

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I would say someone has crashed to do that sort of damage.

Typically, a seal wont have chunks come out of it. I would replace the seal and make triple sure the shaft is ok.
 

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You sure it's the thermostat housing? I ask because it is fairly difficult to remove, and does not really use a rubber seal.

Do you mean the radiator cap?

The thermostat is located on the back of the cylinder head under the throttle bodies. Radiator cap is under the R/H fairing.

What did you replace the fan with? Factory fan assembly's are usually pricey.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Oops I meant the radiator cap housing. I was looking up fan replacements and noticed they want around $600 for a replacement. What a joke right?!? For a fan?!? I had an 2009 Kawasaki Ninja 650R that I had crashed four years ago sitting in parts around my place. I found the radiator fan off that and swapped out the motor part of it. It's working now, although I'm not sure if it has enough RPM's or what, but it's turning on when the engine is running and seems to be pumping a lot of air through the radiator. It seems like any fan motor from the newer Kawasaki ninja's can be swapped out as they have the same triangle shape and mounting holes. I'll post updates as I find out what happens. The radiator cap housing arrives today and i'll have it installed tonight after work. The bike looks like it was dumped once on its left side with minor scatches on the fairing, handlebar, and exhaust pipe. I'm hoping and praying it was just the faulty fan causing the overheating problems. Otherwise I spent six thousand on a lemon. I've never worked on a motorcycle head gasket before and it would be challenging but do able I believe. If it's the worst case scenario with a cracked engine casing then I'll be in pretty bad shape. I spent most of my money on purchasing the motorcycle.
 

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Well..... Two things...

The fan should NOT run all the time, only once the engine reaches 222-225 degrees. Then it will come on until it get to about 200 or so and shut back off...

Highway riding has enough air flow that a running fan is not needed, it's the stop and go city riding where it will kick on.

Hopefully it's the rad cap. If it cannot hold pressure it will overheat and boil over fairly quickly.

best of luck.
 

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I'm not sure I like the thought process, so far.

A left side crash took out the radiator cap? Isn't that cap on right side? That does'nt explain the fan issue, either.
 

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If the fan is running, and you're moving, but it's still overheating, then for whatever reason, the coolant is not flowing. Thermostat is stuck for whatever reason, and/or something is leaking, or there's a blockage somewhere in the system. I think it's time to start tearing things apart and closely inspecting each and every component. Riding while it's overheating will just lead to additional problems. I suspect there's more than one problem here, unfortunately.

I would start with a coolant flush. That will also allow you to see if coolant is even flowing.
 

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Once it is sealed troubleshooting any more serious issues(cracked or warped head/blown head gasket) should be easy:

1) Is it consuming coolant
2) Is it leaking coolant
3) Is there a volume of white smoke coming out of the exhaust.
4) Does the oil have water in it/does the coolant have oil in it

You are going to need to keep that calculator running..
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I apologize for the confusion. I know the fan only kicks in at a higher temperature. I tested the fan by bypassing the thermo switch and connected it directly to a 12volt source. The fan motor wasn't operating at all so I think that caused the temperature light to come on while driving under 40mph. The overheating light turned off once I got on the highway. When I got home I tore into it and noticed that there was damage to the coolant fill spout on the inside where it seals. I flushed out the coolant and noticed pieces of the damaged radiator cap housing in it. So I did a thorough flush as well as replaced the fan and radiator cap housing. I took it for a short drive yesterday and didn't have any heating issues once but it was colder out and started raining so my test drive was cut short. I mentioned the scrapes on the left side because I was worried that there could be internal damage from whatever happened that caused the scrapes on it. When it's nice out I'll be able to take it for a longer drive and see if the problem is fixed. The person I purchased it from didn't seem to know too much about motorcycle maintenance and might have filled it with the wrong coolant as well. I'm not sure how the radiator cap housing was damaged. Could have been from overheating with the steam melting the lip inside that seals the cap onto the system, or it could have been from exhaust gases due to a blown or cracked head. I'm hoping the problem was caused by the radiator fan malfunction. I didn't notice oil in the coolant or coolant in the oil. I also didn't notice white smoke billowing out of the exhaust. Some articles say that the exhaust gases can leak into the coolant system if something internal is damaged. Everything seemed to be working well last night though.
 

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Pressure test the cooling system. Do a leak down test on the motor as well (listen for bubbling while doing it and see if any in the coolant). Those will quickly tell you want you want to know.

As mentioned check for coolant in the oil and any weird smoke (not brown/black or sooty). Make sure there the cooling system is filled properly as well. Sometimes they can have air blockages and need to be bled.

The reason many people buy the N1k is they are supposed to be reliable. So if it wasn't crashed, hopefully there is nothing major wrong with it.

Forgot to ask, you don't list where you are at in your profile. Maybe you are close to another forum member who might be willing to help.
 

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Speaking of reliable, does that really apply after something has been crashed?

If you search "ninja 1000 overheating" issues you really wont find any, so whatever is going on will be owner caused.

Try to figure out how it crashed, and what hit.

It sounds like you are doing a decent, through job with this.

I still dont understand damage to the radiator cap area. The part is buried. It takes work to even find the cap. Same with the cooling fan.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Just an update, everything is fixed and I've logged 1000 miles on it recently. Happy to be riding again! I'm from Minnesota by the way. Thanks for the advice. Awesome forum on these awesome motorcycles
 
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