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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I know that some of the old Porsches and VW's used to have air cooled engines and I know there are some serious fanbases for cars with air cooled engines, but I'm not sure if I understand what exactly is the appeal of it? Is it just because it's unique, or are there maybe some actual driving advantages to an air cooled engine? Does it feel different to drive, perform different?
192.168.o.1
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Lighter weight but they have the disadvantage of poorer engine temperature control which is a minus feature when it comes to emission control.
 

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In ideal conditions they'd drive the same as a watercooled engine, in all other conditions they are a compromise. Simplicity is the only advantage they have, but it comes with a reduced lifespan.
 

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Air cooled engines can be very reliable when properly maintained and not pushed to extremes, as shown by Lycoming, Continental, Wright, Anzani, Gnome and others powering planes.

In reality, my current Bonnie and most previous bikes could more accurately be described as air and oil cooled. They wouldn't survive for long without thier oil coolers and make engineering and maintenance compromises that liquid cooled engines don't need to make.

The last genuinely air cooled bike I owned was a 1978 Honda Superclub. Low stressed but low power. And surprisingly good fun to ride.
 

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For me its that I'm very much a dinosaur, air cooled bikes where built when I was young, so that's the only real bike for me. Even though my 08 Bonnie is oil + air cooled.
 

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i have 13 motorcycles. only one has a radiator.

most are pushing 50 years old or better.

am i living in a paradise i was unaware of? should i stop cursing their electical systems and pleistocene carburetors and reconcile myself to an eternity of 10 000 mile valve jobs?

their brakes suck too.

but given all that im not in the market for water cooled motorcycles.

lol
 

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They are louder more mechanical. If it wasn't for loud race exhausts all you would here in a water cooled engine was a bit of valve tick and some intake. 1998 was the last year for air cooled Porsche engines. Same year when my T595 Daytona was built. Not that long ago really. BMW's 9T engine is still air/oil cooled. You can throw in Guzzi as well.
 

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they certainly loud. i came back on the return road on my 65 T120 once at the wilmington land speed races and tge announcer announced

welk, its not very fast but it sure is loud . . .

its faster now but i still listen to the valves to know when they need to be adjusted
 

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air cooled is less to worry about water cooled motors I think last longer as they dont run so hot. Deutz truck had Deutz air cooled and some water cooled motors I operated an excavator in the 70tes had a Deutz air cooled motor but like the vw no fins they had a fan to push air around the motor there were in the 70/80tes a few bmw with vw motors I know a bloke in bundabury had a vw moter in a bow for 18 years and rebuilt it once
 

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AGAIN-SIMPLICTY!! at least triumps water cooled classics look-CLASSIC by keeping the engine fins + using smaller radiator. most bikes use big UGLY radiators + the indian scouts quickly come to mind!! overall air cooled models generally have less xtras, but many like the traction control ETC until you have issues + as mentioned a lighter bike. EMISSIONS is WHY as they CAN'T be met without water coolings help!!! similar power can be made even with carbs BUT again cant meet the EPA's requirements in USA + EURO's are even tougher!!
 

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Well, HD is meeting emissions here at least in the US. For how long, don't know. Lower HP engines. BMW's 9T although oil cooled as well is meeting Euro 4 I believe. Don't know about Euro 5. Also, not the power of the new BMW wasser cooled engine.
 

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HD Sportster range is over and done in Europe next year due to emissions. That's why I got one, got to own one at least once as a motorrider.
 

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Well, water cooled motors do tend to last longer. (Although some air cooled engines have racked up some high mileages.)
It’s sad air cooling seems to be phasing out , Sadly also, I miss two stroke motors...if you want to talk about simplicity 😉
OH no I totally forgot 2 strokes out of sadness. My first new bike in 65 was an X6 Hustler. After the Army in 68 I bought a 500 Titan. Everything about them was amazing. 29 bhp 6 speed out of a 250cc!!! So stupid to ban them, the Yamahas and Kawas were tremendous.
 

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Air cooled goes back the inception of motorcycling. A direct link to the seminal origins, like smelling gas fumes and greasy hands and clothes, tuning by the exhaust smell not a lap top. I know, it's dinosaur stuff, but some of us ancients grew up on varsol, tubed tires, frequent plug changes and points/condensor ignitions. STP was a wonder fluid.
 
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