checking oil

checking oil

Postby DevonCbx » Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:52 pm

I have asked about this before. Once again should I check the oil before starting for the day or run the bike and let it sit for several minutes then check the oil? I thought it would be more accurate to check the oil before riding. Also my bike seems to burn a bit of oil after a long ride. Is this normal? I don't have a heck of alot of KMS on it.
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Checking Oil

Postby CBXRoger » Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:36 pm

I always check mine before starting out as it is the most convenient. I believe the manual says to run it first and then check it. As long as your oil is in the acceptable range on the dip stick, that is all that is important.

Most CBX's use some oil. With Mobil 1 my '82 CBX goes through lots of oil. With Amsoil, I use very little.
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Postby steve murdoch icoa #5322 » Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:41 am

I start the bike, adjust the choke down to idle and let it run for 1 minute.
Turn it off and let it sit for about 3 minutes and then check the oil level.
My method only, of course. And yes it does burn a bit of oil when playing in the upper revs.
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Postby Terry » Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:41 am

Checking it cold has to be the most accurate way to tell how much oil is inside. Disagree?
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Postby EMS » Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:48 am

Terry wrote:Checking it cold has to be the most accurate way to tell how much oil is inside. Disagree?


Yes, agree. But is the objective to find out how much oil is inside or is the objective to find the proper level for operation???
When you ride and oil is in circulation, you want to make sure that the oil level is not below the "low" mark :? :? and above the "high" mark :?
I would run the engine for a while and then check, with the bike on the centerstand, without screwing the dipstick in.
Then again, I think the engineers put a "range" on the dipstick to account for different methods, cold or warm. Most automatic transmission oil dipsticks in cars have a cold and hot mark.
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Postby Terry » Thu Jun 19, 2008 3:22 am

In re: "Yes, agree. But is the objective to find out how much oil is inside or is the objective to find the proper level for operation???"

I want to know how much oil is inside...which tells me what the proper level (should) be. I can't see any more accurate way to determine this than checking a cold engine. Checking it warm can also be pretty accurate if you wait long enough for the circulating oil to drain into the pan before checking it. I also think the hash marks on the dipstick approximate the range of a quart of oil. If mine is near the bottom mark, a quart brings it up to the top mark. Auto transmissions in cars are checked while hot and running.
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Postby Rick Pope » Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:05 am

You might read your owners manuals. It spells out the oil checking procedure.
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Postby FowVay » Tue Jun 24, 2008 11:26 pm

I'm new to the forum but I'd like to add my 2 cents on this conversation. On page 2-2 of the factory service manual is given the exacting procedures for checking the oil. It reads as follows:

Run the engine and allow to idle for a few minutes*.

Stop the engine and place the motorcycle on its center stand.

Check the oil level with the filler cap/dipstick after a few minutes. DO NOT screw in the cap when making this check.

If the level is below the lower level mark on the dipstick, fill to the upper level mark

That is the exact procedure in the manual. It puts a asteriks on the time duration but it never clarifies what a 'few minutes' is.

The running of the engine prior to checking the oil level could be recommended for several reasons. It's possible that they want a sump measurement that is exclusive of the oil galleys and puddle valleys built into the head.

It is also possible, and likely, that they want to account for the foaming tendency of the fluid during operation. Oils foam and volumes increase greatly during wet-sump operations. A overfilled sump due to incorrectly measuring the volume will only add to the foaming issue and trying to lubricate a engine with aerated oil is like trying to drink a liter of beer foam. It just doesn't work.

So I'm going to check my level after the bike has run for a few minutes on a cold engine. That way the pockets are filled and the oil is foamy and I should get a measurement accurate with what the designers intended.
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Postby alimey4u2 » Wed Jun 25, 2008 4:53 am

An excellent reminder for all FovWay, I must go back & check the proper way. Decades of ownership has made me, well......lazy
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Re: checking oil

Postby super jim » Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:49 pm

Should be simple with some room for error or interpretation. Letting it set "for a few minutes" after running it is very subjective. If you check the oil level one minute after shutting it off, the level could be near the bottom of the dipstick but then if you continue to wait 10 minutes it will be at the top or even above the top. I think 3 - 5 minutes is a good target. That puts me in the upper range on the dip stick. However, If I check it cold the next day before starting it will be well above the high mark by about 1/8"
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Re: checking oil

Postby daves79x » Tue Oct 01, 2019 6:59 am

Well, I've owned my '79 since new and when I do ever check the oil level, it's stone cold and has been likely sitting for a few days or weeks. Know your bike, and how much oil it uses and as others have pointed out, there is a full quart leeway between the low and full mark. It's not rocket science.

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Re: checking oil

Postby Larry Zimmer » Tue Oct 01, 2019 8:58 pm

One other thing to know: Hot oil has more volume than cold oil. As with most things, it expands as it is heated. SO, the longer you idle, the warmer it becomes; and, the 'fuller' it will appear to be. Basically as Dave said, let it sit over night. All the little galleys will drain; and, the oil will be at its minimum thermal volume. Side bar: it's full when the oil is at the bottom of the cap threads of the crankcase.
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Re: checking oil

Postby cross » Fri Oct 04, 2019 12:05 pm

I usually check my oil after returning from the ride and add more oil but only up to about 3/4 from min-max.
I as well have noticed that when cold, the oil level creeps up to the threads of the dipstick so it's a good measurement as well

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