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Thread: Oil Check

  1. #1

    Oil Check

    Please excuse my ignorance.

    I have read the post on the proper procedure, warm engine center stand wait 5 mins. Then look at the sight glass. I understand the procedure.


    However I do not think I see any oil in the sight glass. It has only been maybe 300 miles since the bike was serviced at the dealership (oil changed etc. ..) There is no oil leaking onto my garage floor and the bike runs great.

    That said is it possible that it could have used enough oil that I can't see it in the sight glass in 300 miles or is it possible that the dealership overfilled it and I can't see a difference? Unfortunately since Revard closed I can't just ride over there and have them take a look and teach me what to look for.

    By the way I can see the brakefluid in the sightglasses on the handlebars.

    Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    BUBBAZANETTI
    Guest
    these bikes hide oil, thats all i can boil it down to, one day i topped it up and went out to AJ's, i asked him about it, he said "if you see oil when the bike is on its sidestand, you're ok" he thought my oil usage seemed "high" and said over filling it defenetly leads to MORE consumption. since then i've been just letting it go from the top of the sightglass to about 1/2 before i put a little in............

  3. #3
    Registered User breyfogle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndyRT
    That said is it possible that it could have used enough oil that I can't see it in the sight glass in 300 miles or is it possible that the dealership overfilled it and I can't see a difference?Thanks for your help.
    If it is overfull, when you look at the sight glass, the entire circle should be completely blackish-brown (i.e. the color of dirty oil). It's normal for engine oil to become "dirty" looking within a very few miles, its OK. If it is underfilled, you should be able to see the shinny metal plate behind the sight glass which has six distinctive flow holes around its edges.

    If your sight glass is dirty (old ones get that way) then there is no way to tell other than draining the engine and measuring what comes out.
    '89 K75S Original Owner
    '94 (Beta) R11RS, ( RIP 12-5-2010 courtesy of blind left turning cage driver ) ....

  4. #4
    BFish
    Guest
    indy,

    i have had the same issues as you describe. now have 7500mi on rt and oil consumption is way down. believe manual says a quart every 600-700 mi is not uncommon during wear-in. my suggestion, as i fretted about this way too much, is this: upon arrival home from ride leave on side-stand while doing required clean-up chores, check sight glass and i'm sure you'll see oil. 10-15 min later put on centerstand and check. if you see any oil you're good. next morning it may be lower in sight glass but don't worry. continue this process and when you finally see no oil measure 4oz and add 2oz, check and a few minutes late if no oil then add balance. this way you will not just pour an amount in with no reference. if your miles are still low on your rt you should start seeing a usage reduction at about 6k miles. make sure you're following the wear in suggestions. if uncertain do a search and you'll find threads out the wazoo on this very subject.

    BTW-i change all my fluids but had dealer do the 6000mi valve adj and also had them check for oil in air filter res, etc. i was clean. leads me to beleive that i did not over fill with oil and i followed the above prcedures.

  5. #5
    LBurns60 87797's Avatar
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    Question Oil Questions Continued

    I was worried that checking the oil was my problem... Thanks!

    I have a question for one of you who know better... If, because you can not see the oil in the site glass like the manual suggests you should and you add oil, does it tend to leak out of the plug? I am finding a small amount of oil in the fins around the oil filler plug. This is relative new (the bike has 17k). At first I thought it was a poorly fitting Wunderlich oil cap. So I replaced it with the stock plastic plug and it still seems to seep out. Is this something that is caused by overfilling? Or... something worse?

    I could you someones opinion and experience!

    Thanks!
    Lee
    02 RT
    Lee
    '14 R1200RT
    Ballston Spa, NY

  6. #6
    Just passin through wanderer's Avatar
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    oil leak at filler hole

    Check or replace the O-ring on the oil filler plug. Also wipe the seat in the head where the O-ring seats with a clean rag. I developed a little oil on my fins near the filler plug on a trip one time and stopped at a parts store to buy and replace the O-ring. While sitting outside the store I removd the O-ring and gave it a through cleaning and did the same to the seat. The O-ring seemed in good and pliable condition so I didn't replace it. That was about 6k ago and the leak has never returned. YMMV but I hope this helps.

  7. #7
    BFish
    Guest
    lee,

    no..it should not be leaking out of the plug unless way overfilled. could be drippings from filling? as stated, check the o-ring. excess goes to oil purgatory near the air filter.

  8. #8
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    Oil Consuption

    Well, I found this thread because I have the same issue. I bought my 2001 R1150RT in November. It had 20000 km and had just had its 20000 km service. After putting about 6000 km on it I noticed that I could not see any oil in the sight glass. I had not checked before, it didn't occur to me. I kept meaning to ask someone but kept forgetting, so I kept riding. Well, today I decided that I had to do something about it so I added over a litre of oil. Still can't see it! I decided that maybe it should be warm so I took it for a ride (Yes, a hardship, I know). As suggested here, I put it on its side stand for a few minutes and the sight glass was clearly full. Put it on its center stand and nothing. Added more oil. Finally! After adding about 1.5 litres it is half way up the sight glass.

    Is this normal? How much oil should it be consuming? Do you guys do oil changes more often than the 10000 km (6000 mi) recommended?

  9. #9
    On the Road jdcoffman's Avatar
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    I ran into a problem once after changing the oil. I kept adding oil and I couldn't see the level...finally I realized that if your not watching clean oil can cover up the entire site glass and it looks like you don't have enough oil in...being a really cheap guy i hated having to undo the drain plug and let some of that good oil out. My R1100RS seems to use a little oil but its not too bad I have a little 8oz bottle that I'll fill up if I'm going to take a trip. That way I can just add a little as needed without buying a full quart.

  10. #10
    Rally Rat Kenny2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish
    ...excess goes to oil purgatory near the air filter.
    In reality, the oil is BELOW the filter in the air box and being sucked into the engine. There is a drain on the left rear corner of the box. You need to take off the tuperware to get to it. It is similiar to the oil filler cap, twists off. I have heard of people opening this drain and spilling ounces of oil on to the exhuast. (hint) have a cup in place. I was concerned about oil use, adding 2-4 ounces every other week. I checked the drain, drops only,

  11. #11

    Thanks for the help

    I got out their Saturday and figured it out it took about a 1/3 of a quart but now the oil is directly across the center of the sight window.

  12. #12
    BklynPete
    Guest
    unfortunately bmw's do use alot of oil before finally breaking in, but you shouldn't go overboard on filling it over the top of the sight glass. the pick up tube for oil is near the bottom of the oil pan, so as long as you see oil in the sight glass, leave it be. i useually put the bike on the center stand and wait till the next morning to check it out using a flashlight. the sight glass does get dirty, but you can remove the bottom piece of plastic and clean it off, be careful not to push the sightglass thrue. when i change the oil, i put the oil in till it is just at the mid point. if i know i am going to do a long trip, i go to the top of the sight glass, with 81k miles, i don't have to top it off, but the little extra just makes me feel better.

    pete

  13. #13
    ben50171
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    Oil Change Frequency

    Purpleduck,

    I was advised to change my oil at 3,000 miles, especially as I am in the "breaking in" stage of my R1200. Oil and a filter (even a BMW filter) are pretty cheap insurance. I might feel more comfortable going the full 6k miles on synthetic oil, but with dino oil I feel most comfortable with 3,000k miles between oil spills.

    Good luck!

    Warmest regards,
    Ben

  14. #14
    I love Big Twins! Tominator's Avatar
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    On Oilhead and K bikes Never Never over fill. The sweet spot is Bag on the middle of the sight glass. Always check yours first thing in the morning or overnight. Never check while hot as other members have said. Oil hides in the engine/ oil cooler and will report a low oil level if checking during your ride. Then you add oil and have a overfill condition on your hands. (This is bad) On my R11S I keep it just under the 1/2 way mark and it never uses oil. Just over and I might have to add 1/2 litre between oil changes 3000 miles or 4500km is a good cycle. All BMW's consume some oil untill they mature, and stop around the 20,000 km mark. Motors get sweeter after this point...

    Cheers
    Tomas
    "All you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right kind of people."

  15. #15
    callmethebreeze
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    Quote Originally Posted by purpleduck
    Is this normal? How much oil should it be consuming? Do you guys do oil changes more often than the 10000 km (6000 mi) recommended?
    I've stuck with changing the oil every 3K. Even at 33k miles on the odo, I still burn about .5 L between changes. Oilheads are pretty bulletproof but checking the level regularly is obviously prudent. I put it up on the centerstand and try to keep the level in the middle of the sight glass.
    Best.

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