Ice cold engine of my KTM Duke 200 heats up and shoots the highest temperature and the gauge reaches the extreme within like 15-30 minutes of driving it in traffic. And the engine stops and doesn't start (obviously).

Things I don't do which might cause this-

  1. Useless revs.
  2. Shooting ahead of the traffic showing off the acceleration.
  3. Not keeping the coolant filled.
  4. Not getting the motorcycle serviced on time.

I am not able to figure out the reason for this. At times it does cover 300km and above almost non-stop. Whereas on other days it doesn't even withstand 10km of driving in traffic. Usually, if there's a traffic jam and I have to stand still for 10 minutes, I see the temperature of the engine jumping quite a lot of degrees.

What could be the reason and how do I fix this? Could the 'higher power and comparatively lesser displacement' ratio be the reason?

  • 2
    Shooting ahead of the traffic showing off the acceleration. Actually, that might help your problem by increasing airflow over your radiator!
    – dss539
    Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 14:22
  • And getting me into an accident sooner as well, right? LOL!
    – Sandman
    Commented Aug 26, 2014 at 8:24
  • 4
    In my experience, being far ahead of traffic is an extremely valid safety tactic. Where I live, the biggest threat to a rider's safety is the soccer moms in giant SUVs holding a latte and talking on a cell phone while driving with their elbows.
    – dss539
    Commented Aug 26, 2014 at 14:21
  • did you ever resolve this? What year is the bike? Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 20:10
  • This just happened to me last night. Fortunately, it was right opposite the KTM service centre, so I just parked it there and handed her over to the guys this morning. I'll know what's wrong by the end of the day!
    – aalaap
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 8:09

2 Answers 2


Looking at a blow apart diagram on your bike, it appears you have two radiators, one on each side of the faring, for your bike. One or both of your radiators may be blocked or partially blocked. Take the faring off and check to see if there is any ash/trash stuck in the fins.

Also, sitting in slow traffic will not allow a good amount of air to come over those fins, which would cause the temp to rise. You would think this would be thought of when the engineers designed the things, but you know the deal. I don't believe your bike has any fans to draw extra air, so this helps exacerbate your situation.

The third thing I'd check is to see if there is an internal obstruction in the hoses going to/from the radiators. Not knowing what year your bike is (to see how old it is), you may need to flush/change the radiator fluid. If you were to change your coolant, put a product like Water Wetter into the coolant which will make it work better.

The fourth thing which may be causing it is if the thremostat is bad. I see the thermostat for you bike runs at 55C (131F). If you are running at or near the redline, this could be a real cause. It could be stuck in a partial open position or not opening fully.


That shouldn't be happening

You have a fan on the back of the radiator.

I think @paulster2 has two very salient points he stated.

  • wetter water

  • possible bad thermostat

I'd like to reiterate.

You have a fan. It has a cowling and everything. If your bike is overheating in slow traffic there is an issue. No if, ands or buts. You need to figure that.

So your low hanging fruit possibilities are really.

  • Is the fan coming. If not, why not?

  • Is your thermostat opening up when it's hot. If not, why not?

  • Are you using the appropriate coolant or just straight water?

You should be able to idle in traffic for hours and not have your bike overheat.


Use this test to see if your thermostat is working.

If your running water for coolant, dump it and use what KTM recommends. Check your owners manual for that.

If your fan isn't coming on, that's more than likely the issue. You can test it by starting your bike and seeing if it eventually comes on. Just let it idle and watch the temp.

If you need help troubleshooting a fan that isn't coming on, come back and ask that question. Someone will help.

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