The Story of OilBud Oil Coolers

The days of sacrificing the sleek lines and design style of a Harley-Davidson in the name of keeping oil temps cooler are gone. Perhaps the reluctance to bolt the traditional radiator style oil cooler to the down-tube or the front of the frame has turned some Harley owners away and allowed them to write off the importance of oil as a coolant. Bud Clarke understood the significance of regulating oil temps after working with experimental aircraft; you cannot just pull over and cool down! Knowing cooling power is so important… but placement was vital to aesthetics, he had to come up with a work around. So, by design, the OilBud is mounted up and in between the frame rails*. What this means is, it will not take away from the classic feel of your Harley Davidson unlike other oil coolers on the market. Even more importantly, the placement allows a significantly larger cooling surface than is afforded by the conventional cooler. (The OilBud inter-cooler efficiently delivers a 35°- 45°F oil cooling differential between the hot and cold side of the OilBud system.) When installing OilBud, you will see Bud’s attention to detail in working with your Harley’s design, effectively maximizing its performance, and in the end, protecting your investment.


In The Beginning

Bud Clarke, owner of Bud’s Biker Parts, wasn’t content to let oil temps on his 2005 Harley Softail run at 250°F (newer Harleys up to 300°F) and risk engine trouble. One day when walking by an experimental airplane he was building at one of his businesses – Air-Ryder (Clarke Manufacturing Inc.) – a thought struck Clarke: If the oil cooler he designed for this turbo charged inter-cooled airplanes could cool oil temps from 300°F to under 200°F, certainly he could design something for his Softail Harley.


The Inspiration

Inspired by aircraft technology, the OilBud™ oil cooler is built from aircraft quality materials, braided stainless hoses, 6061-T6 aluminum extrusion and welded in header tank assembly. The temperature regulator starts to open when oil temps hit 185°F and fully opens at 200° F. Temperature differentials from the cold to the hot side of the cooler have been measured between 35°-45°F.

The durable OilBud™ oil cooler fits between the frame rails of your Harley, and once mounted under the motorcycle, it is virtually undetectable. It is designed for 1999-2016 model years Harley Touring, Harley Tri Glide (same mounting as the Touring model), 2000-2016 Harley Softail, including ABS models, 1999-2016 Harley Dyna* and on all the NEW liquid-cooled engines. It is easily installed with no major retrofits required. The OilBud™ cooler element does not hang below the frame rails on the Touring, Tri-Glide or Softail.

*Due to Dyna frame design, the cooler element cannot go between the frame rails. However, it is higher than the scrap guard that protects the engine crank-case. Because of the durability of the OilBud™ and how it is mounted to the bike, the rear cooler element on the Dyna makes for a great jack point!

What are the costs to your engine when oil gets too hot and breaks down?

Engine overheating can lead to catastrophic results. “Inadequate cooling” is a major contributing factor that can lead to detonation and pre-ignition (for more on this, read: Engine Basics: Detonation and Pre-Ignition.) With OilBud, Harley-Davidson owners no longer have to take the chance of running hot oil temps, being on the side of the road from an unnecessary break down, or having to shell out thousands of dollars on costly engine repairs. Cooler oil temperatures mean longer engine life for your motorcycle.

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