The Motrag radiator guard has been on the Capo for about 6 weeks/4,600 miles. In that time it has been through driving rain, blazing sunshine and a temperature range of 7C to 35C. Not exhaustive, but a reasonable range of conditions and mileage on which to update the original review.
I don’t know about your Capo, but mine has always had a bit of ‘character’ when it comes to engine-temp versus ambient-temp. Below 25C ambient, the coolant will read a rock-solid 75C day in, day out. But as soon as the ambient temperature begins to rise above 25C, so will the engine-temp. By 35C outdoors, the Capo will run at no lower than 78C AND get hot under the collar when stationary far quicker. Quite understandable and besides, it has done it from day one and never changed – even when the coolant has been!
So how did the guard fare?
- Quality: Superb! It looks as good now as when fitted. No corrosion or stone damage to the powder coated mesh that I can see.
- Fit: Adhesive pads are still firmly attached to the radiator after undergoing wide temperature variations and vast amounts of rain!
- Affect on cooling: With ambient temperatures below 30C no noticeable difference in day-to-day running. Above this temp, a slight increase (approx 1-2C) was noticed along with slightly reduced time to fan-on when stationary. However I’m talking a change that was deliberately being looked for and based on years of experience on my Capo ‘as standard’. The fact is the difference is subtle and hardly noticeable at all and most certainly NEVER causes an issue.
Conclusion: This is a quality product at a good price that does the job intended and (to my eye) looks jolly nice as well. Protection, durability and aesthetics for under €70 can’t be bad in my books …. and if your reading this Manuel, bag up another one please for the second Raid! 😀
motrag.com – Radiator guard €64.95 inc. tax
After fiddling around with the cam chain tensioners, it was time to refill the coolant system – something Aprilia say to do every 2 years and MotoA has successfully neglected for almost double that! The handbook says to use either Agip Cool or IP Ecoblu. While Ecoblu is still available, the Agip coolant has apparently been superseded by Agip Permanent Plus and Agip Permanent Spezial ….. and wait for it ….. they’re about to be rebranded again as ENI Antifreeze Bike P and ENI Antifreeze Bike S. So which one do we need for the Capo? Well the ENI website says Bike S, while AF1 recommend Permanent Plus (Bike P), so I ordered Permanent Plus before the headache-of-confusion got any worse!
What’s the difference? One is blue and one is red …….. but it goes a bit deeper than that! I must admit that the heady and scintillating world of antifreeze has past me by for most of my adult life, my knowledge pretty much stopped at – it’s green (mostly) and it stops my engine exploding into an ice block during winter-woolly-wearing time. Oh no, it seems that is most definitely NOT the end of it, our aqueous boffins have been brewing up a positive Smörgåsbord of antifreeze variants and as you can guess only some are suitable for our precious two-wheel companions. If you want to fry your brain with antifreeze techie stuff, have a read here. Otherwise it simply comes down to the difference between the two Agip products – Permanent Plus (Blue) is hybrid technology and good for 2 years while the Permanent Spezial (Red) is OAT (Organic Acid Technology) and good for 5 years – hence the ‘long-life’ tag.
But in the end, whatever you buy just make sure it’s good down to -40c and nitrate free and pre-mixed or mix it to a 50/50 solution. Remember that over time the corrosion inhibitors will be used up and the solution will slowly become acidic. Consider buying a PH tester for a couple of pounds/dollars to check the PH level in the radiator when doing a service, ideally it should be 8 or higher when new. If the PH is below 7 then the coolant definitely needs replacing before the acidity starts to eat away at the engine.
So now the Capo has had a nice flush and refill with Permanent Plus and the spreadsheet has been updated to give me a gentle nudge when it’s due to be changed again, rather than the fill-it-forget-it method I’ve used to date!