MXA TEAM TESTED: EVANS WATERLESS POWERSPORTS COOLANT
WHAT IS IT? Evans Waterless Powersports coolant is a waterless antifreeze/coolant that is glycol-only-based instead of glycol and water. It can be used as a direct replacement for traditional antifreeze/coolant with some precautions.
WHAT’S IT COST? $28.95 (half gallon).
CONTACT? www.evanscoolant.com or (888) 990-2665.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with Evans Waterless Powersports coolant.
(1) Boiling point. Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. In a motorcycle’s radiator, for each pound you raise the system’s blow-off pressure, you raise the boiling point 3 degrees. With the typical 1.1 kg/cm2 radiator cap found on all Japanese-built motocross bikes, the boiling point of water is raised to 227 degrees. Adding a conventional ethylene glycol and water antifreeze to the system raises the boiling point to 265 degrees. If that is not enough boil-over protection, you can replace the 1.1 kg/cm2 radiator cap with a 1.8 kg/cm2 (stock on Husqvarnas and KTMs) and up the ante to 278 degrees. Still not enough? Evans Waterless Powersports coolant has a boiling point of 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
(2) Pluses. Why would you want to raise your cooling system’s boiling point to 375 degrees? Because coolant only works as long as it stays in a liquid state. Once it begins to boil, it turns to steam. Steam has zero ability to transfer heat from the engine’s metal components. Steam forms at the hot spots of the engine (i.e., combustion chamber, cylinder liner and exhaust port), and keeping temperatures under control at these hot spots is crucial to engine performance. When a pocket of steam forms, the coolant no longer wicks excessive heat away from that area. Steam also raises the pressure in the cooling system enough to blow open the radiator cap and start spewing the dreaded trail of white mist behind you. And, as you may remember from school, a pound of steam is made up of a pound of water.
(3) Minuses. First, if your engine’s water gets up to 375 degrees, there is something wrong with your system, although it is nice to have the failsafe of such a high boiling point. Second, to use a waterless glycol-based coolant, you must completely purge your engine of left-over antifreeze. This means every drop. If you leave more than 3 percent of the old antifreeze in the system, you will lose the corrosion-resistant properties of the Evans coolant. Third, Evans Waterless coolant is hygroscopic, which means that it absorbs moisture from the air if not kept in a sealed container. Fourth, it is fatal if swallowed. So, don’t drink it, but even a small puddle under your bike can kill your dog if he licks it. Evans adds a bitterant to deter dogs from tasting it. Fifth, not only will a spill kill small animals, but it is four times slipperier than water, which poses a slip-and-fall danger. Sixth, it is expensive. A 1/2 gallon is almost twice the price of a 1/2 gallon of Maxima Coolanol. Seventh, since Evans Waterless coolant boils at a much higher point, engine temperatures—not to be confused with water temperatures—are also raised.
(4) Performance. MXA ran Evans Waterless coolant in our KTM 350SXF. We had no issues. We did push a little coolant out the first time we ran the bike, but that was because the fluid expands by 7 percent when warm. After the initial run-in, we never had to top off the system. We did, as a precaution, drain half of the fluid after the first ride and top off the radiator with Evans Coolant to ensure that we purged any leftover radiator fluid (theoretically, draining and refilling cuts the potential old fluid percentage by half). We raced the bike in SoCal heat and in long motos without any issues—although, to be truthful, we had no issues with its sister 350 that was running Maxima Coolanol at the same races.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? The price (and everything listed in “Minuses”).
MXA RATING: This is the radiator fluid for a guy who wears suspenders to hold up his belt. It is an insurance policy against steam.