SV superbike leaking/using coolant

Morgan Jones morgan at
Sun Sep 21 08:18:12 PDT 2008

Hello everyone,

My '99 SV track bike has developed what I think is a coolant leak.. It 
was down probably a cup of coolant after my last track day.   I filled 
it and took it to the track again yesterday.  After a full day of riding 
it is down about 6 inches.  It still cools fine but of course that's 
sort of a lot of coolant for a track day..

Well in the middle of the day I pulled off the bodywork and this is what 
I found:

It's definitely coolant--it's just a touch damp and smells like water 
wetter.  There is evidence that there was fluid in the belly pan but 
very little (like 1/2 cup).  The pan is totally dry.

I cleaned it up and ran the bike until the fan kicked on and couldn't 
see evidence of leaking.  I took the bike back on the track and it used 
more coolant.

A little background: I bought the bike with a popped freeze plug which 
lead to a blown head gasket.  That was 2 years and 12-20 track days ago.

This is a worked bike:  680cc, carillo rods, valve work, race cams, flat 
slides.  The work was all done many owners ago and as far as I can tell 
it was done well..  it has run like a Swiss watch in the 3 years and 
probably 25 track days I've owned it.  It's 90hp at the wheel depending 
on whose dyno you ask.  It is clearly faster than other SVs on the track.

Any ideas?  I want desperately for someone to tell me that's dripping 
from somewhere and I just need to look harder..  That's not what it 
looks like to me.  Could this be a leak from the water jacket at the 
base gasket?  Does that ever happen?



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