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 While Ecoblu is still available, the Agip coolant has apparently been superseded by Agip Permanent Plus and Agip Permanent Spezial …..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!