For the past few rides, I think my 2007 Ninja 250 has been running hotter than before. At least, I think it feels hotter through the seat, but the oil temperature gauge seems to be pointing pretty much where it always has (1/3 of the way up from C).

I've put on about 200 miles since I bought it, and I cleaned and lubed the chain (it was getting kind of grungy), but that doesn't seem to have had any effect. The oil level seems fine. My mechanic checked it out when I bought it, and declared it like-new, so I don't think there's anything disastrous going on here. Apart from feeling warmer than before, it rides just fine.

Is my engine screaming out for an oil change, or something like that? Or is this just a consequence of riding in warm summer weather, and as long as the oil temperature gauge doesn't flip out I'm fine? Or is the oil temperature gauge the authoritative measure of what's going on with the engine, and I'm just imagining all this?

Edit: After I shut it off, I hear the fan come on for a minute, and then turn off. I don't know what cooling systems there are but that one seems to be operating. That might lend support to the "just being paranoid" theory.

  • Where is the regulator/rectifier? a friend of mine had his fail on him by becoming extremely hot to the touch - it was under his seat... – Mauro Aug 10 '11 at 12:44

Are you sure the engine isn't liquid cooled as the newer models are? It's very unusual to have an oil temp gauge on a bike, most likely it's a coolant temperature gauge. The fact it's got a coolant fan would suggest it's liquid cooled, too.

I'd check the level of the coolant to see if it's a little low, just to be on the safe side.

The simple explanation might well be that it's either warmer than it was when you rode the bike initially or that you're using the right hand a little more, which will create additional heat. A lot of bikes feel like the rider is being cooked at standstill in summer so if all the fluid levels are OK and it's not misbehaving in any other way, it's probably fine.

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  • Er, I guess it is a coolant gauge, oops. I'll check the coolant level and if that looks OK I'll call it good. Thanks! – Ken Aug 4 '11 at 4:46
  • This is a liquid cooled bike. – DucatiKiller Feb 17 '16 at 23:39

Most of such cases involve connection between the bike engine and the exhaust system. There might be a problem with the exhaust system which you need to check on.

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  • Not sure where you're headed with this brief answer. Perhaps you could elaborate? – mac Feb 1 '13 at 17:29

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