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I'm going to buy a new 4-wheeler soon, but I'm really torn between a Z-400 and a 400EX. Can some explain the advantages and disadvantages of air cooled and liquid cooled motors. I understand that a liquid cooled motor will run more efficiently, but doesn't more parts on a motor mean more things that can break or go wrong. I'm wondering why one manufacturer would use a liquid cooled motor and one would use air cooled.
liquid cooled also can run a higher compression ratio. Over all the Z does have more power but a ex is a bullit proof trails bike. The ex should have a weight advantage just for that reason that air-cooled motors have less parts but I dont think it has much of an advantage if any.
Hey maddog56 -
I'm didn't want to start another honda vs. suzuki vs. yamaha comparison thread, I think thats been run into the ground already. I'm looking for information on liquid cooled and air cooled motors in general. Whether it be ATV's, dirt bikes or old Volkswagens. I'm looking for what would be a better adavantage for me and my style of riding. I will do a search too.
Liquid cooled is better in every condition. It maintains a constant tempature which is easy on the motor. also, you can add a temp guage into the radiatior to see what temp you are running, and making sure your not over heating. If you get your motor really dirty ( gunky dirt, mud, ect, ) it will greatly decrease the air-cooled engine's ability to cool itself, where as it wont phase the liquid cooled and would still run consistant. also, the Z400 is a much greater bike then the 400ex. Good luck!
get the liquid cooled. Rarely if ever a waterpump breaks, ive never seen/heard of that problem. water cooled is just more advanced... all the high performance quads are liquid cooled, YFZ 450, TRX 450R, Raptor 660R, Z400, 250R, banshee..... see the trend?
There are some instances where liquid cooling can be worse, the main one that comes to mind is really muddy conditions if your radiator gets plugged full of mud your liquid cooled engine will overheat. Other than that, here is my take on it:
Air cooled pros- Simple design, less moving parts, less to break down on the trail.
cons- Can't handle higher compression, could run hot with big bore kit=less reliability
Liquid cooling pros- More consistant engine temps, engine can tolerate tighter tolerances/higher comp, makes more power in general
cons- cooling system failure likely to be catastrophic
echo-I own both. Get the EX only if you exclusively ride very tight, semi-technical trails. That engine doesn't mind being lugged down and ridden slowly. For anything else, get the Z! The Z is by far the best all-around machine available right now.