Jump to content

08 DR650 Oil leak

Recommended Posts

About two weeks ago I picked up 08' 650 with 4200 miles on it. I paid $2100 so I thought it was a great deal. Bike looks great and runs great. It had Continental dirt tires, but this time of year Im mainly on the street untill hunting season so I put some Kendas on for the road. The motor had some grime underneath the head pipe when I bought it but nothing terrible. Now its leaking pretty bad, my shoes are getting dirty and it drips a few drops when parked over night. Looks like base gasket maybe? Seems to only leak when Im riding. Both sides of the motor are getting wet and the lower half of the air cooling fins on the head have oil residue on them also. I think it had too much oil in it when I picked it up also. Is this common?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Dog,

Welcome. Some oil leakage is quite a normal thing on these bikes...I have had several small leaks here and there...if its up high on the head, it may be leaking from the cam/valve cover...it's a simple job to pull it off, put on some good RTV and seal it up...some pics might help us identify where it's coming from, but I would start there...there are also a couple of bolts that run through the cover into the head and hold the cover in place. These use crush washers to provide a seal. IF the cover has been removed it's possible that the washers are not providing a good enough seal and allowing oil to bypass the bolts...a little oil leaking is nothing to get worried about...again, if you can post some pics I am sure that we can pinpoint the location of the leak and get you back on the road and grinning in no time...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't use RTV. The inevitable squeeze-out can come adrift and clog small oil passages in the motor, causing a major failure. Use a proper gasketless case sealant, such as Yamabond #4 (your local MC shop should have some sealant in stock). It's much thinner than RTV (i.e. will squish down to almost nothing to maintain proper bearing clearances in the valve train) and is wicked sticky, so it will stay put, even on the inside of the motor.

Also, if you're having trouble locating the oil leak, go to the pharmacy and buy some athletes foot spray. Clean the motor real thoroughly. Use the spray to coat the motor in a light, white powder. Oil tracks will be very visible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info! I wouldnt be concernd about a small leak but its bad enough now it ruined my new shoes lol. And my girlfriend doesnt like the hot oil hitting her toes as we ride. It appears to be below the head pipe in the base gasket area, but it must blow up onto the lower fins.. Nothing on the top of the head. Ill try cleaning and the powder! thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your '08 shouldn't have a base gasket problem, but it could be the camchain tensioner gasket. If it goes it will make a mess similar to what you describe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, leaky motors suck.

My first street bike (a '74 CB 750) was 8 years old when I got it and in need of some maintenance -- the rubber grommet holding the wires at the stator had dry rotted. My left boot and pants were perpetually black.

I finally had the bright idea to soak my right boot in old oil so it would match. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like the cam chain adjuster gasket leak, common leak from what I've read on here. THe oil will blow all the way forward and up onto them fins, throws you off as far as it coming from the right rear of the motor behind the fins. Amazing how oil will move forward because of the air vortex while moving.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Im sure its the cam chain tensioner gasket now. Whats the fix, I mean if the factory gasket doesnt hold what will?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know I'm adding to an old post, but since DR650 CCT gasket repairs seem to be all over the map here's the simple way I did mine when it failed on my 09 at 23k miles after reading all of the posts about how hard it was to clean off the old gasket: 

  • Remove the headpipe (which is maybe a good time to wire brush it clean and check the header weld for cracks). 
  • Remove the small 10mm end-plug bolt from the CCT.  (Be ready with a magnet in case you drop it into the depths)
  • Remove the CCT using a little patience and a standard 5mm allen wrench. With the cap bolts out a small tap with a screwdriver handle may be required but the tensioner spring will help to eject the CCT when the gasket releases.  (Clean the outside surfaces of the CCT.)
  • Wet a paper towel with carburetor gum cutter and ensure that there is no oil residue anywhere on the original gasket.  Plug the head to avoid oil contamination and using the extension tube on the cutter apply a very small shot directly into any crack(s) in the gasket to ensure it is clean.  Do the same on the gasket surface of the CCT (but don't spray cutter into the internals)
  • Now using a finger apply a very thin layer of Permatex high-temp gray gasket sealant to the old gasket ensuring there are no gaps especially at the crack(s).  The operative word here is THIN to avoid any excess squishing out of the material internally when the CCT is re-installed.  (Ensure that no paste is applied within the engine.)
  • Using a small screwdriver, insert it into the end of the CCT where the small 10mm bolt was located and fully retract the plunger until it does not self-release when the screwdriver is removed.
  • Reinstall the CCT and torque the 5mm cap bolts to spec.
  • Reinsert the small screwdriver and release the cam chain plunger.
  • Reinstall the 10mm CCT plug bolt and the headpipe...You're done.  (Make sure your header is relaxed not under any tension before re-torquing the header bolts)

My bike sat for maybe an hour before taking a 45 mile test ride.  Overnight would be better to ensure the Permatex is completely cured.

I think most of the issues with reusing the original gasket where possible are the result of not taking steps to ensure that all oil residue has been removed from the gasket surfaces so that the Permatex can properly bond with the original gasket.  Nothing bonds correctly when surfaces are coated with oil, not even oil resistant Permatex.

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

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×