So you’ve got an awesome bike and you’re out on awesome roads in awesome weather and with an awesome crew. You’re laying the power on exiting the apex of a gnarly corner and something just doesn’t feel right. She’s moving underneath you in an unexpected and unanticipated way, and out of the corner of your eye you see an indicator on your dash light up, temperature warning. WTF?

Welcome to a holed radiator. Hopefully, it’s a small leak and hasn’t been spewing a jet of blue or green slipperiness over your calipers, downpipes, front-wheel and making its way to your rear wheel.


leaking coolant mess
radiator holed at servo

It happens. No road is without loose chunks of surface, depending on where you ride it can be fine sand-like debris through to what could pass as rocks. Safe on the track? Nope. Bits of loose tire can and do come off your and others’ tires. Sure, they’re soft but they can have a nasty habit of becoming embedded in your radiator, bending those crazy tiny and fine aluminum fins that your bike relies on for cooling. Ride anywhere there are bugs? Think about how often you have to stop to clean your visor, those squashed bugs will also be likely making their way into your radiator too. It can also show itself from a slow leak at a service station where you precious steed can look like it’s just wet itself.


Cooling is critical to an engine, with multiple explosions per second inside your cylinder head it doesn’t take long for a cooling issue to cause catastrophic engine damage. Link that to the potential dangers of super slippery coolant leaking out of your radiator and ending up stranded in Deliverance like banjo playing country and well, you need something to guard your radiator. To me, it’s a non-negotiable, get a radiator guard if you ride a motorcycle, anywhere. How about the cost? Sure, they’re not free (and little in life comes without a price tag of some kind), but think about it as insurance for when things go wrong, you’ll be glad you made that small investment. 

I’ve been using Radguard radiator protection on four previous and my latest steed, all sourced from the same local Aussie company that specialises in radiator guards. Their repertoire of specially designed guards is comprehensive and if needed they can even custom build units to your exact specifications or provide you with the same specially designed grill material that goes into all their guards and build one yourself.

lower radguard for downpipes

In honor of my new steed, which I’m hoping to take delivery of in the next few days, my first addon is a new radiator and oil cooler guard from our good friends at Radguard. I contacted them to say how much I love their gear, order some protection and they’ve kindly given me a discount code to share with my friends. Use the code ARC35 which gives you AU$35 off purchases over $100, this coupon expires on 28/02/2022.

Get protection, you’ll be glad you’ve got it, especially when you don’t need to think about what could have happened otherwise.

getting to a radiator on a ZX-14

How hard is it to get to the radiator cap on a ZX-14? Very.

radiator after 132k

A radiator protected by Radguard after 132,000 kms!

holed radiator, happy

There’s always someone with a camera 🙂

holed radiator, happy

If you’re super keen, you can even add some metal flywire behind your Radguard to afford even more protection from fine particles.

fly wire

Metal flywire cut to shape with edges folded.

flywire attached

Flywire attached behind the Radguard, held in place by friction.