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Richard Moss

Hi Mike,
Have you checked that your vent pipe is not blocked or crushed? I’ve had several head gasket failures and whilst I’ve seen the water being squirted out the overflow under pressure, it’s hard to imagine it blowing the radiator. See if you can blow down it.
Also your clean piston was likely steam cleaned by the engine sucking it into the cylinder. When I’ve had the beginnings of a failure whilst riding and not yet noticed, there was a lot of what looked to others like white smoke.. actually steam, coming out the exhaust.
It’s unlikely to have done any lasting damage… I flooded the mains with oil and put some in the bores whilst turning it over and took the doors off to do the same to the big end just to be sure.
As a note, my failures were down to a combination of some slight corrosion on my block face around a coolant hole and a slightly too narrow section of some composite head gaskets (between the bore and the coolant hole) where they didn’t seem to have punched out quite evenly. With the block face skimmed and a new gasket (I used one of my dad’s laser cut aluminium gaskets this time but another composite would have been fine) it has all been OK since.
Best wishes,