Brand New and I May Have Ruined Her!!

I am freaking out over here and need some counsel. Last Wednesday I bought a brand new 05 XR650L. Well, I have put about 125 miles on her since. Today, for no reason whatsoever, I decided to check the oil. Guess what? Almost bone dry. There was a little bit of oil right at the end of the dipstick, on the low side of the "LOW" line. So I went to the dealership where the purchase was made (in my car, not on the bike) and told the guys at the service center. They told me that is part of the break in process. The oil is going to get absorbed by the "seals, gaskets, etc. Don't worry about it, just add some oil". Well it ended up taking roughly 1.75 quarts of oil to get it to the "Full" line on the dipstick. The thing only holds 2.0 quarts. My math tells me that this was running the first 125 miles on 1/4 of a quart of oil. There were no signs of a leak anywhere on the bike.

My question is, did I do any permanent damage to my engine?? If this sounds like a silly issue, I appologize. I am seriously worried about this. I know the dealership is not going to shoot me straight if there might be some damage. Hopefully you guy's will. What do you guy's think? Is there signs to look for if damage has been done? It seems to be running the same after adding the oil as it did before. Should I go raise heck with the dealership over this and ask that they check out my bike? Or should I just tell myself that Honda XRL's are bulletproof, and go riding.

Very important question!

Did you check the oil when the bike was cold, or had it been running for at least 10 minutes?

If you checked it when it was cold. Then you would only see a small drop on the end of the stick.

It is a dry sump motor, and must be run for at least 5 minutes before the oil will fill the cavity to be checked.


Thanks for the response.

I rode for about 15-20 minutes. Then the bike sat for about 10-15 minutes, then I started it up and let it idle for about 3 minutes and cool for 1-2 minutes. Then I checked it and got the very low reading. After putting in 1 quart, she sat for about and hour. I then started her up and let her idle for about 3-4 minutes and cool for about 2 minutes and checked her again. Then the reading was about a 1/4 of the way above Low and 3/4 of the way below Full. Then added oil until it was at full (ended up taking another 3/4 of a quart).

What do you think?

Hard to tell. I don't think the bike will go 125 mile on 8oz of oil, on the other hand, I don't think the engine and frame will hold 1 gallon of oil. :cry: My bike takes an awefully long time to warm up so I can check the oil, and it be correct. I run it for at least 15min. and the check it immediately after it shuts down.

Just to be safe. I would drain the oil. Catch it in a clean container so you can measure it and put it back in. Drain it from both the downtube and the engine drain bolt. While the engine drain bolt is out give it a few slow kicks with the kick-starter to pump out any extra oil. Measure it using your old empty oil bottles and put it back in.

Should take less than a half hour and you will be able to sleep tonight.

I would be willing to bet you have too much oil in it. I hope I am right.

I tell you what, if the dealer sold you a bike with 1/4 qt of oil they owe you in checking out the bike THOROUGHLY!!!! Imagine if you bought a car and rolled off the dealer lot with only 1/4 the operating oil. They would be liable. Part of their checklists in getting bike ready to roll is to check the oil amongst many other things they probably breeze over.

It sounds like you checked it the right way for a dry sump. I think you need to raise some serious crap at the dealer and demand an extended warranty that they cover.


The XR650L holds more oil then the XR650R. It hold a full 2 litres. That is more then two quarts. I think you are not warming it up long enough and waiting to long to check it.

Only sure way is to drain all the oil and measure it. But it sounds like you are not warming it up enough before checking it, and then letting it sit too long.

Best thing is to ride it for a while and get it thoroughly warmed up, hot, and then kill it and check the level with no delay. That's how to get an accurate reading.

It's easy to overfill a dry sump engine if you're not sure of how to check the level and get an accurate reading.

Now, what the dealer said is B.S.!! There is no way the engine is going to "absorb" that much oil! That is just total B.S. and is typical of the morons who work at dealerships. Now, some dealerships do have good mechanics. I have a good friend who works at a Kawa shop who is highly skilled and trustworthy, but good mechanics are not the norm!


'00 XR650R/uncorked/jetted/street legal

'04 KX500/fmfgnarly/vforce reeds/illegal

If it was at the bottom of the dipstick the first time you checked it it had more than a 1/4 qt in it. I agree with the other guys that you need to ride it and get it good and hot then check the oil. If I were you I would drain it and change the oil filter and put in what is says to put in then you will know for sure. The bike might use some oil during break but not 1 3/4 qts. I don't think you hurt it. Change the oil and ride it. :cry:

Yeah--those old bikes are awesome. Tanks.

Back in the day Honda really knew how to make a great long lasting that can do some serious miles with very little oil in it and still be ok.

Most likely you are alright.

To bad they dont design bikes like that anymore.

When you drain the oil, I would drain it hot, and let it set in a tupperware container for a while to settle out and then pour back real slow to see what's in the bottom. It will be normal on breakin to see a little residue, but not much.

ps: Do you really want the dealer to "check it out" that you suspect of running it out the door low on oil?

if it turns out that it really was that low, you would have to suspect the dealer perhaps didn't properly "prep" the bike before delivering it to you ... it does happen on occasion, but you would probably never get a dealer to admit that ...

There are 5-6 dealers in the Phoenix metro area that are owned by the same corporation. They are liars and thieves. They are the large shops that usually have name "Motorsports" tied in with title. I would rather not ride at all, then buy something from them. I would not trust them to look at my bike. I drove all the way to Tucson to buy my bike from a reputable dealer.

I would be interested to know where you purchased your bike.

I'm not sure, but I think Honda puts the oil in at the factory.

BWB63 .... your figures are off ... a liter is LESS than a quart ... a liter is about 8/10 of a quart ... about 5 liters to a U.S. Gallon ...

A liter is 33.5oz.

A quart is 32oz.

I'm no math wizard, but I think a liter is more.


JackAttack is right. Sorry but, a litre is 1000ml a quart is 946ml A litre is more....bigger...larger.......The XR650L holds 2000ml 2.1 quarts. The XR650R 1,600ml or 1.7 quarts

BWB63 .... your figures are off ... a liter is LESS than a quart ... a liter is about 8/10 of a quart ... about 5 liters to a U.S. Gallon ...

Don't argue w/ BWB. Man knows his shi*. :cry:

When we bought the wifes XR100 from the honda dealer in Ok., I checked the oil first thing. It was kinda hard to start new though, like jetted wrong. After her first ride, (I do them every ride), I started to clean and re-oil her air filter. Holly cr--, the filter was saturated and the air box had about 3/4" oil standing in the bottom. It was filter oil too, not motor oil. Cleaned that thing out and re-oiled the filter like it should be, and the bike started and ran fine. Go figure :cry:

Is your avatar/picture you falling from a aircraft heading for the ground??? I guess that's one way to get big air.......

my apologies ... I double-checked, and discovered a litre IS larger than a quart...Ive had it wrong for most of my life ... glad I didnt bet any money on it ... how embarrassing :cry:

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