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Inconsistent oil level readings

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This morning as I was getting ready to take my XR650L out for a romp in the hills, I decided to check the oil level.  It was down a bit, so I decided to check it like the Owner's Manual recommends by running it for a few minutes, letting it sit for a little while, then sticking the dipstick in there.  Doing it that way gave me a reading of totally empty.  The oil didn't touch the stick at all.

So I rode the thing around the block to give it a bit more time to warm up, did the oil check again and it showed lower than before I started it.  I dumped some oil in there, ran it for a bit and it still showed low.

So I figured it wasn't empty but was wondering where the oil had gone, since it really hadn't used much oil at all for the first 1000 miles since I last changed the oil.  So I rode it six miles in the general direction of the hills then killed the engine, pulled over and checked it.  I was planning to turn around and abort the ride if it was low, worrying about why it would suddenly be using oil.  It turned out to be right at the full mark with the dipstick inserted but not screwed in - as the Owner's Manual suggests.

I checked it again about 30 miles into the ride, 60 miles into the ride, and at the end with 127 miles on the trip odometer.  It is now consistently reading right at full.

Any ideas why doing it as the manual suggests gets me a low reading, but checking after riding for a few miles seems to be consistent?

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It takes awhile for the scavenger pump to fill the reservoir,,,,,,,but oil that`s in the reservoir is higher than the pump,,already primed and ready to go,,you start the bike and the pressure side takes oil immediately from the reservoir and starts sending it to the filter/head/crank........and the reservoir level drops FAST..

But the scavenger pump takes a bit to prime and start replenishing the oil tank,,and if you have it on it`s sidestand running any time at all it takes even longer as the oil level is nowhere near the screen when on the sidestand..so the scavenger can`t do it`s job..

This is why I say check it after every ride,,if it`s full then don`t check it next start-up unless you have oil all over the floor..

The manual,,in my opinion gets people to check it cold as it hasn`t been run long enough,,,and does not consider the scavenger pump is a little slow at start up..

 

if these bikes only had a center stand.......a lot of people would have less issues with the oil check procedure..

 

B

Edited by brianhare
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1 hour ago, brianhare said:

But the scavenger pump takes a bit to prime and start replenishing the oil tank,,and if you have it on it`s sidestand running any time at all it takes even longer as the oil level is nowhere near the screen when on the sidestand..so the scavenger can`t do it`s job.

The manual also says to run it on the sidestand, turn it off, THEN move it upright before checking the dipstick.

I think I'll just keep the habit of checking a minute or two after I park it in my garage.  That has worked well for me so far.  The only reason I checked it the way I did today is that I remember it being down a little and wanted to top it off before a long ride.  I guess I had better learn to top it off right after a ride as well.

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5 hours ago, brianhare said:

If these bikes only had a center stand.......a lot of people would have less issues with the oil check procedure..

FYI:  there is an outfit in South Africa called "Dirt Bike Africa" (DBA) that recently started making Cigar Mike's center stand for the XR650L. Evidently Mike kindly gave them all his patterns. Anyway, they ship to the USA. I can send a link if anyone is interested.  I'm making plans to pick one up next month to try out. 

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29 minutes ago, brianhare said:

Mike did a nice job designing that

Yea, I became aware of them after Mike wasn't making them any more ... so have always been disappointed that I missed the opportunity.  Like you said, he put a lot of work into that design, and it'd be a ton of time I don't have to "reinvent the wheel" for a one-off.

Seems like it can be put on & taken off the bike fairly easily, so if you had a hard ride planned, you could always leave it home that day.  A lot of the "purists" don't like the idea of a center stand on a dirt bike, lol.   In any case, I'm looking forward to this renewed opportunity to get one for my XRL.

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 My dealings with Dirt Bike Africa were great . Send Antony your money and he'll turn it into cool motorcycle stuff :thumbsup:

 

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On 9/23/2017 at 11:33 AM, JoeRC51 said:

And an XR can always use the extra weight.   :facepalm:

Nobody said you *had* to buy one. :p

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