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Air Cooled vs Oil Cooled vs Liquid Cooled Bike Engines

Engine components that run significantly more frequently than a vehicle’s tires generate much heat. A controlled explosion is performed a million times repeatedly using an internal combustion engine (ICE). Because there is so much friction, much heat is generated, so cooling is necessary to keep the engine temperature under control.

The bike manufacturing companies have experimented with various heat control techniques, but only three—air-cooled, oil-cooled, and liquid-cooled—have maintained their popularity. Let’s go over the operation and effectiveness of each system.

Let’s compare air-cooled vs oil cooled vs liquid-cooled bike engines.

Air-Cooled Engines

As the name suggests, air-cooled engines employ moving air to cool the motor. Air-cooled engines include fins to help direct airflow around the engine and dissipate heat. The air-cooled engine is the lightest and most affordable of the three engine cooling techniques because it requires no additional parts, such as a radiator.

Air-cooled engines are utilized in most Indian motorbikes on the market, and Porsche was once the most well-known manufacturer of vehicles with this configuration. This setup’s ease of use makes upkeep simple.

Some popular bikes with air-cooled engines in India are Moto Guzzi V85 TT, Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled, Ducati Scrambler Nightshift, Royal Enfield Himalayan, Harley Davidson Iron 883, Indian Chief Dark Horse, and Royal Enfield Bullet 350.

Air-Cooled Engine: Advantages

  • Air-cooled engines are simpler to make, less expensive, and relatively simple to maintain.
  • They are typically used for motorcycles with smaller capacities when the cost is an issue and excellent performance is not a crucial necessity.

Air-Cooled Engine: Disadvantages

  • The least effective of all is preventing usage in high-performance engines.
  • This technique is extremely archaic, and the engine soon warms up if it is repeatedly driven at higher RPMs.
  • When the motorcycle’s engine gets hot, it loses power, and operating an extremely hot engine can even cause an engine seizure.

Oil-Cooled Engines

Although oil-cooled engines have a tiny oil cooler positioned externally to help passing air cool the engine oil, they are similar to air-cooled engines in that they still have cooling fins to channel air. This radiator receives the hot engine oil and circulates it via an air-cooled cooling system before pumping it back into the engine. The main reason oil-cooled engines outperform air-cooled motors is that the engine runs on cooler oil, which effectively cools the internal operating parts.

Some popular bikes with oil-cooled engines in India are Honda CB300F, Suzuki Gixxer SF 250, Bajaj Pulsar N250, Hero Xpulse 200 4V, TVS Apache RTR 200 4V, and TVS Ronin.

Oil-Cooled Engines: Advantages

  • An Oil-Cooled engine is more effective than standard air cooling.
  • It is less expensive, simpler technologically, and simpler to maintain.

Oil-Cooled Engines: Disadvantages

  • Manufacturers can’t fit it with high-performance engines.
  • It isn’t as effective as liquid cooling.

Liquid-Cooled Engines

Almost all automobile manufacturers employ liquid-cooled engines in their automobiles, trucks, motorbikes, ATVs, and other motorized vehicles. To efficiently remove heat from the engine, the system uses a liquid coolant that is cooled by an external radiator and circulated through the engine through designated chambers or channels.

The system comprises a radiator, a fan (not always), and a reservoir for the continuously pumped coolant. This configuration enables motors to run for significantly longer periods, enabling car manufacturers to extract more power efficiently.

Some popular bikes with liquid-cooled engines in India are Bajaj Pulsar NS200, Yamaha R15 V4, KTM 390 Adventure, Jawa Perak, Yezdi Adventure, Ducati Panigale V4, and Aprilia Tuono 660.

Liquid-Cooled Engines: Advantage

  • Engines with liquid cooling run cooler, sustain high speeds for extended periods, and perform unaffectedly. 
  • Moreover, they last longer than an air-cooled engine.
  • The efficiency of a liquid-cooled engine is significantly higher than that of an air-cooled engine.

Liquid-Cooled Engines: Disadvantage

  • They are more expensive and difficult to create.
  • Comparatively more expensive to maintain as well.


Although this topic undoubtedly has more angles and depths, the goal of this post, Air Cooled Vs Oil Cooled Vs Liquid Cooled Bike Engines, is to convey the fundamentals as straightforwardly as possible. Possibly a longer, more in-depth account will come later.

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