black glittery powder in my oil. (I searched before posting and no luck)

First post here, thanks for having me. I searched for a question like this but didn't see anything like this posted in my searches for combinations or 'oil' or 'rebuild' or 'black', so I apologize if this is a repost of something that's been asked before.

I picked up a used '06 450 and I've been riding the bike for three weekends. It has great power compared to my '05 KTM SX 250 2 stroke. I'm really happy with the YZ's performance. The thing pulls my arms out of the sockets. :)

However, the oil has a black 'glitter' suspended in it and I would like opinions on what it might be. It's like there is metal flake material from a candy coat paint job mixed into my oil. I have never seen anything like this before.

I thought it was cluth material as the clutch was slipping some on the first ride. I replaced it and no more clutch slip, but I still have all this glittery metal flake in my oil. The flakey stuff streaks up a bit and kind of 'clouds' up in the oil and is opaque, but the oil around the flakes looks clear like fresh oil.

The previous owner told me he replaced the crank bearing before selling and did a top end on it, yet it's smoking slightly at high rev's.

Am I seeing material in the oil from the top end bedding in?

Do I just ride it untill winter and keep changing oil every ride and do a top end this winter or dive in now and replace the top end ASAP before riding any more?

I have an 01 426. Just replaced crank bearings because of "flakes" in the oil. If they are very fine like powder, its probably metal coming from a faulty bearing. You said the previous owner replaced "1" crank beaing? If he did that the other one is probably the culprit. Check the oil filter and see how much build-up of this power there is.

I wouldnt ride it till you find out what the problem is. Metal in the oil is never good and could cause additional problems.

The glitter is normal. Re-search but use different description.

I think you're the first guy to use the word 'glitter' in a motorcycle forum.

Try flakes or aluminum or filter or first oil change. It used to be posted alot a few years back. You'll find Pictures too.

Above link is proof that I'm not the only guy to use the term! My manliness has been validated. ;)

Can I get some more opinions?

Do I just ride the thing for a while changing the oil and filter and not worry?

Thanks for the term flakes though, the powder is so fine it's too small to call a 'flake'.

I dunno..that sounds kinda scary to me, I agree that you should probably check the oil filter first..and see whats goin on in there.

Any more information would be great. Lend a hand if you can.

Do any of you see what looks like graphite power in your oil?

What I have is definitely not magnetic as far as I can I tell - my magnetic probe doesn't pick any of it up when I stir the oil with it.

Do you feel any grittyness(glitter) when you rub it inbetween your fingers?

I really can't feel the grit between my fingers. It looks like gray paste, or oil with graphite in it and I expected to feel grit in it, but I can't.

Does that even make sense? Is this clutch material like the CRF guys find in their tranny oil?

Keep in mind the motor recently had a rebuild including a new crank bearing and a new clutch.


I'll take some pictures of the oil this after noon. I'm going to start opening up the top end in my paranoia.

Black Glitter ? Unless your used oil is not dark, How would you see this?

It is normal to get glitter that is silver.....clutchplates and/or fine metal flakes

Check the inside of the clutch by removing the clutch cover.

Greyish paste is a sign of water in the oil....either previous owner started it in a deep puddle or creek....sucking water up the oil breather tube or there is a serious water leak in the motor.

I would change the oil and keep and eye on this...if the breather sucked up water it also sucked up debree and this may be a combination of the symptom.

Smoking is not good either.....this can be valve issue/valve seat issue -

Why was the crankbearing changed out?

I guess it's a dark silver, not black. The oil itself is clear, but the glitter is a dark gray or silver like graphite and sparkles in the sun.

The smoke I have no idea about, the crank bearing/main bearing was changed out because it went bad.

There is no water in the oil, it's a metal flake material.

probably fine metal shavings from the new bearing....

So I shouldn't be having kittens over it? :worthy:

It's pretty normal for used oil, especially used transmission oil, and let's face it, that's what it is, to have a look vaguely reminiscent of a can of half stirred metallic paint, particularly in the light. If it seems very fine, and there isn't a whole lot of it, it's probably just a good example of why you should change it so often.

If you're still concerned, you can do a used oil analysis through Amsoil, or Blackstone Labs, and see what the metal is and in what concentration.

Here are some pictures I was able to take of the oil. This oil has *maybe* 2 hours of light riding following my son around.

In a container:




Dripped from container onto paper:


New oil in the same light conditions for comparison:


Looks fine to me.

Doesn't that seem extremely dark for oil with less than 2 hours of ride time on it? I'm used to seeing occasional fuzz on my magnetic drain plug and the oil beiing a slightly different color, but this seems gnarly.

It's hard too see the fine grain particles in the oil in these photo's but it seems to be the graphite looking material that's making it dark like that.

I've been a two stroke and street rider for a long time so maybe I just have scewed expectations.

Is this how the oil looks coming out of the new YZF motors? :eek:

The dark color has little to do with the contamination levels in the oil. Oil can turn dark just from exposure to heat beyond certain levels, depending on its particular resistance to oxidization, and other matters of chemistry. It means nothing, all by itself.

Does your oil come out dark like this?

this used oil looks normal - no water contamination

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