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Engine Oil - How much is too much?

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Ok I've done some searching and reading up on oil level. I know many have said the sight glass is not a reliable way to tell how much oil is in the bike. I did my first oil change on my '06 450 last night and filled to the top of the sight glass, ran it for a minute to circulate the oil and fill the filter, then topped it off. I've always changed oil this way in my street bikes - but I guess when you are dealing with a 4+ quart capacity motor there is probably more room for error.

Anyway, I did some reading last night and decided to play it safe and drain the oil, then I put in a measured 1000mL of oil. The label by the filler cap says .96L without filter change, and .98L with filter change. So my 1 liter should in theory already be a little overfilled. But, I can't see any oil in the sight glass with the bike level. I know it will probably be ok but it's driving me nuts to not be able to check the oil level by checking the sight glass. I'm wondering if I added some more oil to bring it up to the middle of the sight glass if that will hurt anything? I'd rather have some oil to gauge the level by than not have any indication at all. Any input? How much oil do you guys usually fill the bike with?

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you will be fine. I did oil and filter change the other night put in 1050cc's of oil and it didnt even show up in the sight glass. But after a ride yesterday it showed up and sitting my garage still shows 3/4 full in the sight glass. I think measuring the oil in a ratio rite or something equivalent is your best bet and you obviously did that by knowing what you put in. You should be just fine and keep measuring it.😏

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i cant answer your question but on my 2008 honda crf450r its 700ml in engine and transmission, and usually when i change it, it is half way in the sight glass, now for some annoying reason it is full beyond the full mark and i dont know why. i measured and everything so i dont know whats wrong or why.

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On my 10 yz450 the site glass is supposed to be used to gauge the amount of oil as well. They say that it should be be between the upper and lower part of the site glass. The bike says 950ml without filter change and 1000ml with and every time I put in the right amount, the site glass is full beyond the upper mark.

Book says that if there is any excess oil, you can remove it using the check bolt and to let it seep out until the oil stops coming out in which you have the required amount.

I put in 1L the other day without a filter change (50ml overfull according to the manual) started the bike, let it sit and removed the check bolt. Nothing came out...

Don't know if it hurts the bike to overfill but because this uses a sump system I'm going to guess that it doesn't matter, any excess will be left in the tranny and should come out the check bolt. If nothing comes out your good.

Point being, does your engine have a check bolt???

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I know it will probably be ok but it's driving me nuts to not be able to check the oil level by checking the sight glass.
That there is the answer to your problem. Just learn to not care what the sight glass shows you. It's that simple and dead easy to do. If you cannot see oil and want to, then lean the bike to the right until you do.

I have a SS filter which holds very little oil if the engine is left to sit for an hour or more. If I drain all oil, then 1.1L comes out and so 1.1L goes in. BUT I also have the rekluse clutch cover so my engine holds another 50ml because of that. If I put in any more oil, then I smell and see oil dripping out the case breather. So 1100ml is my maximum. I've done it this way for the past 200+ hrs. 250 in total.

With a stock clutch cover, if you change the filter, you can safely put in 1050ml and forget about it for the next 6 hrs run time.

If you do not drain from the front 6mm bolt hole, then you can usually assume that about 50ml is sitting up there.

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Thanks for the help guys. As someone told me would happen after riding at the track yesterday the sight glass was showing full. I guess my main concern was wanting to keep an eye on oil level in case the bike is burning any, etc... I have no reason to think it would but it's a new bike to me and I want to make sure it stays healthy. Was running great yesterday w/ the 1000mL I put in it.

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I have an 06 and I just dump in a quart of oil from a 1 quart oil bottle. When I'm done, I fill the bottle up again from the larger 4qt bottle so it's ready for the next oil change. I'll then check the site glass after coming off the first moto or practice laps. 😏

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The Right way to know if the level is ok, start the bike and let it idle for 5 min on a level ground with the bike leveled, shut it off and let it stand for 3 min, now There should be oil in the sight glass.

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The Right way to know if the level is ok, start the bike and let it idle for 5 min on a level ground with the bike leveled, shut it off and let it stand for 3 min, now There should be oil in the sight glass.

This is correct. Although I would not let it idle for that long. Snap the throttle a couple of times in the first minuet and your done. As far as the original question, your engine will tell you when you have too much in it. It will blow it out the breather tube, no big deal unless you have a quart too much then a locking issue could arise.

You guys are killing me with your reason as to not trust the sight glass. Picture this... install a sight glass in the side of a cup, pour in liquid, does the sight glass not directly relate the height of fluid in the cup? Why would it not in your transmission or crank case? I know what your thinking... what about all those place for oil to hide in there? It is still liquid and the engine is designed to drain all oil back to the sump or cup if you will. The only place where oil will not drain back from is in the top of the cylinder head and even that is a minimal amount. (less than a couple ounces) If it doesn't show in the glass in the first 5 to 10 minuets add some until it does. Trust the glass and ride on. WFO

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This is correct. Although I would not let it idle for that long. Snap the throttle a couple of times in the first minuet and your done. As far as the original question, your engine will tell you when you have too much in it. It will blow it out the breather tube, no big deal unless you have a quart too much then a locking issue could arise.

ok, i understand the "fear" of letting it idle that much, i used to have it too. But after i instaled a trailtech dash on my KLX (the temp sensor is right at the exit of the Head, meaning, the hottest the coolant will be) and after playing with the KX450F with the computer (the KX software for modifiying the map, which display all the sensors the bike has) i've learned that the only thing that you have to check is the header, but they are all SS or titanium and believe me they have the capacity to hold that heat.

Anyway, the KLX takes at least 15 min on idle to reach 80 degrees celsius (the bike should work at around 100 or 110) so temp is not anything that should worry you, off course, if the bike is cold.

Another thing, if you give it a little gas it doesn't help to display the right amount of oil on the sight glass.

Here's why:

The bike has 2 oil pump, one that's called the scavenge pump (you must be thinking: "HEY! this bike is not a dry sump system!!" but is not and it is, lol). Ok, why? because the engine has two chambers, the crankshaft chamber and the transmision chamber. The scavenge pump takes the oil on the bottom of the crankshaft and sends it to the transmision where the "real" oil pump pumps oil to the rest of the engine. So when the engine is at idle the scavenge pump sucks all the excess oil out of the crankshaft to the transmision housing (where the oil glass is) soo if you give it a lil gas the oil pumps sends more oil to the head and it unbalances the oil.

I'm in a lil rush so feel free to ask any question or to explain it better than me!

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ok, i understand the "fear" of letting it idle that much, i used to have it too. But after i instaled a trailtech dash on my KLX (the temp sensor is right at the exit of the Head, meaning, the hottest the coolant will be) and after playing with the KX450F with the computer (the KX software for modifiying the map, which display all the sensors the bike has) i've learned that the only thing that you have to check is the header, but they are all SS or titanium and believe me they have the capacity to hold that heat.

Anyway, the KLX takes at least 15 min on idle to reach 80 degrees celsius (the bike should work at around 100 or 110) so temp is not anything that should worry you, off course, if the bike is cold.

Another thing, if you give it a little gas it doesn't help to display the right amount of oil on the sight glass.

Here's why:

The bike has 2 oil pump, one that's called the scavenge pump (you must be thinking: "HEY! this bike is not a dry sump system!!" but is not and it is, lol). Ok, why? because the engine has two chambers, the crankshaft chamber and the transmision chamber. The scavenge pump takes the oil on the bottom of the crankshaft and sends it to the transmision where the "real" oil pump pumps oil to the rest of the engine. So when the engine is at idle the scavenge pump sucks all the excess oil out of the crankshaft to the transmision housing (where the oil glass is) soo if you give it a lil gas the oil pumps sends more oil to the head and it unbalances the oil.

I'm in a lil rush so feel free to ask any question or to explain it better than me!

I have never owned or have been around a klx, but I assume they are similar in some ways to the kx. I believe they may be tuned and set up in such a way they may be able to withstand a longer idle duration. I know this was not the point of the original discussion but these race bikes will not idle nearly that long before they start blowing coolant out and heat the header to near critical point where they loose temper. (imagine what that will do to the cylinder head) I have not felt the need to check header temp in different situations but certainly it would be a neat little project.

As for why I recommend snapping the throttle, it is just to speed up the transfer process so you don't need to sit and let it idle for that long. By your thought process and way of explaining the oiling system the two chambers would not level out. I have had several of these kx's apart but have not thought to look if there is a transfer opening from the scavenge pump pick up screen area to the transmission without going through the pump. Even if there isn't and your unbalanced idea is correct wouldn't you want to check the oil in the most likely situation you will be using it. I know I don't just idle mine around. WFO!

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You guys are killing me with your reason as to not trust the sight glass. Picture this... install a sight glass in the side of a cup, pour in liquid, does the sight glass not directly relate the height of fluid in the cup?
I've always pictured two cups. A sight glass in one of them. A tube connects the two cups but at a height above the sight glass. Then try to reliably work out via the sight glass how much oil is in both cups.

But what's the point in trying to trust it? Measure it out and pour it in and forget.

I only use the glass to check if there is some oil in there. It's not like after 6 hrs runtime I'm going to burn significant oil, and check how much by the sight glass.

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