At GKR Snowbikes, the complete satisfaction of our customers is our top priority. Check out some of our frequently asked questions below to get the information you’re looking for. Contact us with any other thoughts or questions.
What is the purpose/benefit of an engine cover?
The purpose and benefits of an engine cover are many but in essence, a typical dirtbike is not designed to operate in cold temps and deep snow. As a result a few things can occur that affect performance and longevity of your bike.
These covers are designed to specifically fit the bike model and provide complete closure of the engine and surrounding components. The purpose is to prevent the snow from direct and constant contact with the engine. Without some type of barrier the engine will typically run cold which will in turn create other issues.
The vast majority of snowbikes are fuel injected and when the bike runs cold the ECU begins to add fuel based on the ECU algorithms. This over rich condition (similar to having the choke on in a carbureted engine) will reduce power and if it is significant enough or runs cold long enough you can begin to experience cylinder wash which will result in premature cylinder and ring wear. The excess fuel also dilutes the oil and is evident if your oil level increases or if you smell fuel when you do an oil change.
Another benefit is by reducing the direct contact of snow on the engine and attached components it reduces moisture infiltration in the motor and electronics.
Obvious signs of this are electrical failures, poor running bike, and milky oil.
Is this all I need to manage temperature on my bike?
No, it is part of a system that will become very effective in keeping your bike running at optimum temperature.
You will need a thermostat if your bike does not have one, you will need a temp guage so you can keep an eye on temps, and you will need some type of blockers to cover the radiators at times.
These rad blockers are part of the engine cover kit and allow you to very easily and quickly cover one or both rads to keep temperatures in check. You will find that as conditions change your cooling system needs change.
For example, on a groomed trail heading up to the riding areas there is little to no snow flying up onto the rads and the engine is under load as you typically climb in elevation.
In this situation typically you would remove one or both rad blockers to get airflow through your rads to cool the engine.
Once you get to the powder and get off trail the snow would pack the rads and they would overcool the bike. At this stage you would simply put the blockers back on and ride, keeping an eye on the temp guage to find the right balance.
I don't have rad blockers now and sometimes my bike overheats?
In the early stages of adding engine covers we had this occur too. What we discovered is that after riding deep snow without any decent coverage on the engine or the rads, the rads would get plugged full of snow and ice over on the front. Once the bike had some heavy load on it and it was getting hot again the air could not flow through the iced over rads and the bike overheated. With proper use of rad blockers in the deep powder this does not occur and the rads are effective at cooling once the blocker is removed and air can pass freely through the unobstructed rad. We often get asked about spring riding and warm conditions and is there too much coverage with this engine enclosure? In our experience NO! The bikes radiators are designed to handle the cooling needs of the motor (remember, these bikes run at +30C in the summer on only the rads) and if the rads are kept clear they are very effective at handling the cooling requirements. In some instances where you ride very slow and cannot get the speed to create airflow the addition of a fan kit can be beneficial, no different than in the summer on tight slow single track riding.
Does the engine cover melt from the exhaust pipe?
No it will not if properly installed, however, similar to most all other products on the market a pipe guard is required to keep a separation between the hot pipe and the engine cover.
As long as there is a gap or separation there will be no issues.
We do sell and recommend Pro Carbon Racing guards as they are the best fitting guards we have found on the market.
P3 Composites and Moose racing also make guards for many models and are effective.
How do I get access to service my bike?
This engine enclosure will allow full access to both sides of the bike.
The side panels are easliy removed with NO TOOLS. The fasteners stay in the panels where they belong so you don't have to search for them in the snow or on the shop floor.
The panels come off and back on in literally seconds, no zip ties, bungee cords, or bolts. There is also a removeable oil door to allow you to drop the oil without creating a big mess.
Do I need rad guards on my bike?
Technically no, they are not required on your bike, however, they are definitely recommended and here are a couple reasons why.
Anyone who has ridden a bike in the snow will soon find out that you will fall over. Maybe not often, maybe very often for some. Don't worry, the good news is rarely do they turn into injury for you the rider. On the other hand, one of the critical and vulnerable points on your bike are your radiators and they often take the brunt of the impact. A failure in a rad is the end of your day!
A good set of rad guards helps support the rads to prevent them from getting squashed on a tip over. They also protect the front face from getting a hole punched in it by a stick. If you ride in the trees like we do, this is a real possibility.
A third benefit is they give you a great surface to mount rad blockers on!
There are many style and brands available. We sell and recommend SRT Offroad guards shown here in orange and we have also had great success with Unabiker guards shown here in plain aluminum.
Can you do custom logo colors?
Yes we sure can!
We use an adhesive (typically reflective) vinyl to add the color so there is a huge selection of colors available. This picture shows a color match to a customers bike wrap that turned out great.
As long as we can get material to match your request we are happy to match the logo to whatever you desire.