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Blue Smoke

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Our youngest daughter took the 400s to work today, about 4 miles from home. Watched her leave, every thing normal. Came home after work and could tell by the sound of the motor some thing wasn't right long before I could see her. Sure enough as she came down our gravel road a trail of blue smoke followed her. Bike is a 06 with 13,000 miles on it. She pulled up next to me with a puzzeled look. Shut the bike off, restarted it, blip the throttle, more blue smoke from the exhaust. Killed the bike , checked oil, nothing registered. Not good. When I get home from work this afternoon I will put some oil in and fire the bike up and see what happens. Any thoughts or advice??? THanks, as always, Cman.

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First step is to drain the oil to check remaining total quantity and to see where most of the oil comes from (frame or sump). And check the coolant, perhaps it is low and the motor was overheated.

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Just got home from work. I'll go drain the oil, check the coolant and let you guys know.

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Total quanity, 400ml. 150 from the frame, 250 from the motor. Coolant full. No oil leaks what so ever. My fault for not checking. My 16 year old daughter got her MC lic. in mid July and kind of took over the riding duties of the bike. I just bought a DR 650se. I never rode the 400 much on pavement, and had it geared for off road. Anna has been riding more street than dirt, which proably means more oil consumption. Just was getting ready to do a oil change, 1800 miles or so since the last one. Any guess's on what I will find? Thanks, Cman.

( no metal in the drained oil. no shavings or small peices. used the sun shine outdoors in a clean white plastic pan.)

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400 ml is very low, obviously. 250 from the sump sounds about right. So basically there was almost no oil remaining in the frame to circulate.

Change and check the oil filter for metal. If OK, I would dump in 2 quarts of cheap oil, fire it up and see what the consequences are. If it seems OK, change the oil again in 50 miles to good stuff, ride it and keep an eye on the oil consumption and an ear out for strange noises.

By the way, rider has responsibility for pre ride checks. Air, oil, coolant, filter, tread, brakes, lights. Your daughter needs to learn.

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You may be lucky if there is no metal to be found...however it would be naive to think the engine hasn't suffered from any increased wear or damage... :ride:

As Noble suggested, pre ride checks are very important.and need to be encouraged and be routine ....:thumbsup:

Though , with the dry sump, It's more accurate to post ride check the oil level ....I slightly over fill with 2 litres..no problem...

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Total quanity, 400ml. 150 from the frame, 250 from the motor. Coolant full. No oil leaks what so ever. My fault for not checking. My 16 year old daughter got her MC lic. in mid July and kind of took over the riding duties of the bike. I just bought a DR 650se. I never rode the 400 much on pavement, and had it geared for off road. Anna has been riding more street than dirt, which proably means more oil consumption. Just was getting ready to do a oil change, 1800 miles or so since the last one. Any guess's on what I will find? Thanks, Cman.

( no metal in the drained oil. no shavings or small peices. used the sun shine outdoors in a clean white plastic pan.)

I ride mostly road than dirt and my oil doesn't drop between changes. :thumbsup:

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I recommend gearing it for where it's mostly ridden....What's the current sprocket sizes?

If Anna is riding mostly high speed road , perhaps you could gear it taller so she isn't screaming it so much...Try a 15T CS if it's now 14T..

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The bike has never used oil between changes. It's geared for off road. 13 / 47 setup. And, then again, I never used it for road work. And yes, Anna and I have had a good discussion on a pre ride check. I think she is on the same page now. She feels really bad, she knows how much we enjoy these bikes.

I didn't pull the oil filter but did put 1700ml of oil back in the bike. Started the bike up, has a top end clatter. Didn't smoke to bad, but then again I didn't let it warm up. I am off work thursday, so maybe some more advice on what direction to go. If nothing else Anna AND I will have a good learning experience from this. ( She wants to help in the shop with the fixing of the problem )

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13/47 is low for road use..I would up the front sprocket size...

Removal of top end for inspection is advised...the smoking will get worse as the oil warms...

The more "hands on" involvement Anna does with the mechanicals can only be good....:thumbsup:

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I'd say there had to be an underlying problem for it to consume 1.3L of oil over 1800miles, I change mine ~1000 miles and I never have to top up inbetween oil changes.

Definitely give the engine a thorough inspection! :thumbsup:

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After re-checking the milage I wrote down, 2483 miles since last change. The bike has never used any oil, but as stated earlier, it was mostly off roaded, and since the last oil change, there have been mostly hyway miles. I should have known, changed the gearing back to stock, and done a better job on teaching, and following up on pre ride inspections. Today I will put the bike on the bench and pull the top end off and see whats going on.

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Personally after re gearing back to stock (15-44) I would just put 2L of oil and ride it around and keep on top of the oil. At most I would check the valve clearance, the worst that can happen is you spend another 20 bucks on oil before you spend hundreds on a rebuild.

My bike smoked out of the blue for no reason, really bad. I tore the whole bike apart, replaced the valve seals, spent hours working on it and money on gaskets, then when I threw it all back together it smoked just the same:bonk:

I said screw it, and rode it around the neighborhood and gave it a good old Italian tune up. The smoke reduced. I rode it daily for about a week and the smoke reduced. When the bike was cold it would smoke, but once warmed up it was fine. It stayed like that for a few months. Now there's no smoke, warm or cold. Obviously just keep on top of the oil, but mine never consumed an appreciable amount. I change the oil every 1k miles, that was around 20k miles, and now my bike has 27k miles and is still going strong:ride:

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Drizzt, did you have any top end noise?? I have just about excepted the fact that there is pretty good damage to the motor, and have been thinking about a Cylinder Works Big Bore Kit. I'd rather not spend the money right now, with Christmas not to far off, AND 1 daughter in College. I just feel there might be to much racket comming from the top end. And I really can't tell exactly where the noise is coming from. Not sure if riding it would damage much more, say the valve train??

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Well, checking the valves would at least be a start. I didn't have any racket from the top end. If the motor was run that low on oil for a significant amount of time my guess is that the valves and top end was starved of oil. Maybe filling it full of oil would help, maybe not.

I'm by no means an expert so keep that in mind, but I would check the valves and if they were okay, run it full of oil and see if the noise starts dissipating. If not then the valve guides might be shot, the good news is that stock valves are cheap if you decide to go that route and not do a big bore. At that stage you could tear down and inspect the piston/cylinder for any wear and go from there.

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