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Where did the oil go??? Really!

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New bike, 07 KTM 450 XC-W.

Ran for 3 hours, drained oil (completely, including sucking out oil in filter cavities) adjusted valves. Used old oil filters, added some oil to filter cavitiy.

Put in 1300 cc or 1.3 ltr total into bike, including oil filter cavity. Being anal about the oil in the site glass I vacked out approx 40 cc just to bring the oil to the half way point in the sight glass.

Both bikes had fresh oil at the mid level (approx 1250cc or 1.25 ltr.) in the sight glass. Neither bike had been started since the oil change.

Took both bikes (I have the same bike, bought same time, same oil change procedure, valve adjust...everything identical) out on a 1 hour ride. Both bikes ran great, no problems.

The only thing that happened is, she tipped the bike over on the left side. Shut it off, picked in up and went back riding.

Came home and checked the oil level in my bike while it was hot. Oil was just slightly below the sight glass window.

Her bike, no sign of oil, bike level. &%$#@!?

Maybe sight glass problem...tipped bike over on right side, sight glass filled up and drained back down.

No sign of oil leak on bike.

I checked the air box and all the breather tubes. No sign of oil.

Checked oil drain plug, small screen plug, large screen plug and all four filter bolts, torqued to spec. Good.

Added approx 250cc oil, just barely showing in sight glass, started bike up, ran approx. 2 minutes, shut down, checked oil level after about 5 minutes, bike level, it was halfway between the bottom and center dot.

Stopped at this point.

Where has the oil gone?

Bike showed no signs of leaking anywhere or burning oil, runs great, starts and hauls ass...

Only thing I haven’t done yet is drain all the oil out and measure it. I will do this tomorrow only if I have to.

Has ANYONE heard of this or experienced this? Please PM me or reply.

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Your bike has no problems and the oil did not leave the engine, it filled the oil galleys and finished filling the oil filters. It is normal to see the oil drop like this after an oil change. After an oil change always start the bike for a couple minutes and recheck the oil level and top off as needed. Also remember the oil level is at the bottem of the sight glass when the engine is cold and at the top of the glass when the engine is hot.

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I used the old filters which were still wet with oil and I filled the oil filter chambers with oil before putting in the filters. I put in 1.25 ltrs and the oil was to the middle of the sight glass.

It was the exact same procedure with the other bike.

I had to put in 250cc oil to bring it up to the 1/4 mark.

What do you think?

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This has happened to me a variety of times. Fill, start up, let run for a while, adjust oil level, took for a ride, look, no oil in the sight glass, let sit, start up, oil 3/4 up the sight glass. Who knows, guess the pumpkin has a mind of its own. Mine always settles after a couple short rides. You can adjust the level. I don't think you hurt anything because your oil amount was so close. It only takes very little to get the level to rise.

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I know, it does only take 50 cc or so to make it rise a lot.

That's what's so strange. I put in 250cc when it was hot, it still didn't show in the window and I stopped putting oil in it because I thought maybe a bad site glass. No sense in putting more oil, just to have to drain it off.

Fired it up this morning to let it warm up, settled, and the oil is barely at the 1/4 mark. &%$#@!?

I'm thinking the only way to know for sure is to drain it and account for it.

I accounted for it based on what was missing from the new oil container.

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Another thing that will make it read diff. is if you bike is not standing straight up, and it is leaning to one side or the other by just a few degrees it will read low or high depending which way the bike is leaning. Even on a stand if the back of the bike is up higher than the front it will read low.

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Update:

Warmed up bike, drained oil from every hole and cavity except for the amount the filters hold when wet. Unsure what that amount is...maybe 100cc total for both.

I measured 1.25ltrs...hmmm, this is the amount KTM says the bike holds...This is good.

Cleaned all the screens and made sure they were seated ok.

Poured this amount back into motorcycle and it went way above the site glass, I understand, oil hasn’t had the opportunity to get throughout the engine.

Took the bike out for a 10 minute spin.

5 minutes later, with bike level, no sign of oil in site glass...tilt bike to right side, site glass fills up, level out bike, no oil in window.

About the 1.25.ltrs drained out. *Either I only put in 1000ml when I did the oil change and then 250ml I added later (hence the total amount of 1.25ltrs.

Or...the motorcycle lost or consumed approx. 200-250ml...This seems unlikely and I’ll really only know on the next oil change.

Or...maybe there is a blockage somewhere and the oil is unable to return to the case.

How can this be determined?

Why does the oil not appear in the site glass as with the other bike?

I understand the site glass does not represent the amount of oil in the bike. In this instance the site glass seems useless.

*I swear I did not start drinking until after the oil change.

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Sounds like you are doing everything right. The only thing i do different is I dont measure the amount of oil, I fill the case till the sight glass has the oil at the correct level. Even when it take more than 1.2 ltrs. I would rather have too much oil than not enough.

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Thanks, great and sound advice, that's what I did...

Case closed: File this away for the next guy.

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