Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

A "by the book" oil level check is worthless on my bike!

Recommended Posts

I've put alot of highway miles on my bike recently and I decided I should check the oil level before I rode it again. I usually never check the oil anymore because I've never had a leak or any kind of oil loss on it in the past and I change it often.

Well I let the bike run for 3 min. and then let it sit 3 min. I inserted the dipstick, pulled it out and NOTHING, and I mean nothing on the dipstick. Well I'm in a panic and angry with myself for not checking it sooner and I put the bike aside until I can get oil and a filter to see how much oil comes out.

Next day with new oil and filter in hand I change the oil and pour the old oil back into the containers to see how much it really had in it. Much to my suprise and relief it was nearly a full 1700ml. I ran the bike again for 3min on and 3min off and this time I did see a tiny bit of oil on the very bottom of the dipstick but not nearly close to the full level. I know I've put the right amount in so I'm not going to stress over it but it sure would be nice to have a consistant and reliable way to read the oil level. It seems the oil drains down into the engine quicker than it should when it's turned off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am pretty sure I follow the same procedure, except I usually know my level is good, and I go ride the bike for a few minutes (5 or more) and then let it sit perfectly upright while the engine is shut off and it works just fine. If I shut it off and the bike is on the kick stand, I get a bad reading.

Just my personal experience and I have no idea why it happens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try riding the bike around a couple blocks instead of just idling then do the 3 min wait. Works better .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am pretty sure I follow the same procedure, except I usually know my level is good, and I go ride the bike for a few minutes (5 or more) and then let it sit perfectly upright while the engine is shut off and it works just fine. If I shut it off and the bike is on the kick stand, I get a bad reading.

Just my personal experience and I have no idea why it happens.

I'll have to try that, I just let it run 3min and sit 3min on the kickstand and then stand it upright to check it. It seems in the past when I checked the oil I got all different kinds of readings but never did I not see oil on the dipstick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yes, the manual says run for 3 min but that isnt enough to get the juices flowing. Have to get it to running temp and pressure. Idling wont do it. Go for a ride. Check your oil after filling the gas tank and cleaning your headlight and goggles/sheild-takes about 3 mins and you were going to do it anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had exactly the same experience as slimtrader. The specified procedure might work for some bikes, but it does NOT work for all bikes. Frustrating.

Does anyone know what happens (is supposed to happen) during the three minutes? In other words, where is the oil before the appointed time, and where does it go afterwards?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the oil is stored in a tank in the frame. the oil seeps into the bottom of the engine overnight. When the engine is started, the oil is pumped through the engine and up into the frame again. As the oil heats up it expands as well. The 3 minute wait is to allow any bubbles in the oil to break down and to allow the oil to settle to a consistent level (dont know how much drains down during that 3 minutes-not relevant, the dip stick is calibrated for a 3 min wait from full operating conditions).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Typically, I run her for 3-5 minutes and turn the bike off while it is balanced ( off the side stand), I wait for about 20 seconds unscrew the dipstick, wipe it off, dip it back in, and that is the level.

I have never been able to wait 3 minutes and have any oil on the stick.

I do have an E, but I don't think it matters

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to point out 50ml is enough to take the oil level from "off" the dipstick to full. So if it is off the dipstick after three minutes add 50 to 100 ml and I would guess it will be okay again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does it matter if the oil level is too high on these bikes? Since it is a dry sump there should be no problem with foaming the oil like in a typical wet sump setup. I have never checked exactly how much oil mine takes, I just keep it at the top of the hash makes on the dip stick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It takes 1900ml to fill mine to full after oil+filter the book says 1800 but I chose to go with the stick :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Same experience here, mine always takes more oil than it should. And yes I am checkign with the bike level.

btw, has anyone done a comparison of checking it level to checking it on the sidestand, does it make much difference .... just curious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mine does the same thing. Has since I've had it. Although it might just be that I don't let it warm up as I usually check it either after idleing or slowly riding around for a minute or two or cold. So I guess thats why but even after changing it the dipstick still didn't show any oil on it so I just gave up knowing I had enough oil in there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad to see this seems to be normal.

The first year I owned the bike, both oil changes I did used up the 1.8 liters as it was supposed to and the level was correct. This year for some reason both oil changes took about 2.2 liters to get the level up to the correct part of the dip stick. After the 3 min wait, maybe some of the oil is draining down now where it did not do that before?

I have no idea why the difference?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this  

×