On Sunday morning my wife and I took the 2005 883 Sportster Custom for a ride. We decided to ride on Hawk Mountain Road which takes you up and over Hawk Mountain Sanctuary and down the other side. We went up one side of the hill and down the other. We turned around and came back up the hill which is steep and a good mountain to climb. About half way up I smelled something getting hot and my wife commented to me about the smell also. We kept going to the top and the hotness smell went away and we never smelled it again. Here is my synopsis on what happened and need your input.
1. It ( the bike) never did this before on any ride.
2. I weigh about 180 and my wife weighs about 115 and we have rode 2 up quite a bit.
3. Could of I have been lugging the engine down to much for that hill causing it to heat up more than usual?
4. Is it best to gear down and keep rpms up on a hill?
5. It just seemed to happen on that hill and never before.
I am open for suggestions or should I be looking at something. Sportster has about 34,000 miles on it and has been serviced faithfully. Let me know what you think.
You need to keep the rpm's up first to keep the strain off of the engine in the climb and second to keep oil pressure up since the cooling of the heads is primarily a function of the oil carrying away the heat.
Jeff, Always err on the high side. Sportsters like to rev! With the amount of weight you are carrying you can't afford to go along at low rpm's.
A lot of people destroy the crank bearings on Sportsters by running them too slow a rpm.
My advice to new Sportster owners is....if it sounds "like a Harley" you are running at too low a rpm.
You always want to keep RPMs up about 3000 on hill climbs. Also a bit higher RPM helps keep the engine cooler than lower lugging will do. It seems just the opposite but it is true. Run a bit higher and hear the engine sing rather than grunt.
A good test of gearing when climbing is you should be in low enough gear so you can accelerate easily if needed or wanted. Open the throttle and it should go! Of course if you are already in first you are sol..
Yeah but , luggin a Harley sounds soooo good like a Harley should (but only if you have straight drag-pipes.........especially if its two Harley's side by side goin up-hill in high-gear !) Man-o-man does that ever sound good ! Harley's are stump pullers , all torque & very little horsepower . These newer one's may not be made to take that kind of low rpm but I've had five EVO's back in the eighties and NEVER had a problem with any of em .
And I don't baby my Harley's . I pretty much red line em and ride em hard and put em up wet . My 02 twin cam W/G gets the same treatment & now has 40K trouble free miles . Routine maintenance and a SE-upgrade kit with the high-performance oil pump and AMSOIL keeps my ride smooth & reliable as nails ...........and it sounds like a real Harley should . Course mine IS carbureted !
JUST SAYIN !
Sportsters have to get revved of they will starve for oil is my understanding.
The Road- are you from shreveport? I think I saw the bike in your pic here one day. I may owe you a wash job from drooling on it.