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XR400 oil consumption question

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I have an '02 XR400. I did an oil & filter change to start off my winter riding season. The bike took the full 1.8 (L or qt., I forget which) and the dipstick showed the level to be right between low & full. I rode for a 1/2 day (approx 27 miles) and put the bike away for a few days. I checked the oil level today (ran engine 5 min, then checked immediately) and the bike took approximately a 1/2 qt. of oil to get back to the same level as before the ride. No leaks noticed, but I'm not terribly observant and wasn't thinking about it while riding. Is that type of oil consumption normal?

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Now that you know you have the correct oil level, I'd check it again after another ride. Is the bike smoking at all? Plug black?

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XR's are just friggen impossible to check.

Put 1.8 (my bike takes 1.9 or a little more) qts in and call it good untill the next oil change.

Just kidding.

Ride it HARD and get it good and warm. Then stop, on a level ground, and let it idle for about 30 seconds. Check it then. I get the most consistant readings that way.

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At the begining, after you changed the oil filter, and filled it back up with oil, Did you start it up for a min, for the oil to curculate through the engine and fill the filter up, then top it up more again after that?

If not, thats why it was low! Because, you changed the oil filter, and its going to fill it back up as soon as you start it, then its going to need topping up again.

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this is the easiest way i know of checking the oil, i change it after every ride so it is always full of nice clean fresh oil. i change the filter after every 2nd or 3rd ride. i know, it is overkill, but hey my oil always clean...

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XR's are just friggen impossible to check.

Put 1.8 (my bike takes 1.9 or a little more) qts in and call it good untill the next oil change.

Just kidding.

Ride it HARD and get it good and warm. Then stop, on a level ground, and let it idle for about 30 seconds. Check it then. I get the most consistant readings that way.

That's the best way I think, it works well for me.

by the way, did the header make a difference?

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The powerbomb?

I bought the bike used with it on there. So, I dont really know. I DO know that unless I pipe clamp my old guard on there, I burn my pants.

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I put the XR on the stand and warmed it up for a couple of minutes while shifting through the gears. Oil level is now OVER the full line. THANKS FOR THE GREAT INFO!!!

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Can someone explain to me why this process of riding it for a few minutes before checking the oil would work better?

Can you explain why the oil level seemed perfect when I checked it after only idling in neutral for a few minutes immediately after the oil change, but would require going through the gears for an accurate reading now?

My local dealership says burning 1/2 qt. of oil in 4 hrs of riding is "normal" for the bike.

Just trying to understand the quirks of the bike.

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Can someone explain to me why this process of riding it for a few minutes before checking the oil would work better?

My local dealership says burning 1/2 qt. of oil in 4 hrs of riding is "normal" for the bike.

My xr also burns oil. Having oil in the motor and in the frame tank, are we actually low on oil in the motor or just don't have as much in the frame?

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Unless your XR is thrashed from old age, running with a dirty or improperly installed air filter, or other problem, I doubt very much it is burning much oil. You must follow the manual procedure to properly check the level, however. I have found overfilled mine thinking it was way low, until I started following the drill.

As a dry sump motor the level in the frame will drop when the bike sits without running. If you start it up, leave it on the stand, then check it, it will still read low. The oil pump pick up screen is on the right side of the engine cases so with the bike leaning left on the stand it will not pick up all the oil in the cases. I don't think it takes a hard ride to stabilize the oil level but the bike must be riden or run on a stand to get an accurate reading.

If your XR burns a significant amount of oil something is wrong, i.e. worn rings. I do not need to add any oil to mine between changes- 600 miles on-off road.

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Mrshred, I understand all that but:

My xr also burns oil. Having oil in the motor and in the frame tank, are we actually low on oil in the motor or just don't have as much in the frame?

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In the tank only. I would check before or after every ride if I had a bike that burned oil.

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After changing oil and filter i have found after you fill the oil and start the bike you have to engage a gear and move the bike forward a few feet to spin the gearbox and then shut off once it has idled for a few minutes and check the oil again and top up. Ive never had to top up between oil changes every 1000kms. and oil stilll looks clean. 😢

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Yep same here! But I change my oil every 2 thousand Kays! And it still looks pretty clean! And then change the oil filter every 4 thousand. 😢

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You know, it's funny. If I let me bike idle on the kick stand for 10 minutes, my oil level is in the mid range between high and low. If I ride it for 2 minutes in second gear at the most, come back, put it on the kick stand again, and let it idle for another 10 minutes, check again, and it's over the maximum line. I wonder if it has anything to do with operating temp. My xr does not get to it's maximum temp just sitting there idling, even for 10 minutes. I have to ride it briefly to bring up the operating temperature. Ah shucks, I don't know anymore, but I do find it disconcerting to get mixed readings. I can do an oil and filter change, putting in exactly 2 quarts of oil, start the bike and let it run for 5 to 10 minutes, just as described in the manual, not blipping the throttle, check the oil, and it is not even touching the dipstick. I ride it for a couple and then let it idle for a couple and check it and it's half way up the stick. Drives me crazy. I'm sure I have too much oil in my machine right now, but I'll take my chances using too much as opposed to not enough.

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Yea, sounds a bit confusing.

I found that with mine too.

Yes like you said, Id rather it be over full than under full. I always over fill it. I cant see what difference it could make over filling it, since its only a reservoir in the frame!

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That dealer is on crack! There is no way an xr in proper running condition should burn 1/2 qt of oil in 4 hours. I go and ride for 8 hours at a time, I would be a quart low!

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