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Thread: Is my oil level perilously low????!!!

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Is my oil level perilously low????!!!

    Appreciate any feedback here as I'm completely flummoxed.

    I went out to do some service on my 2001 R1100s this morning ahead of some rides this weekend [my first decent rides of the year]. Have been rding the bike minimally [once to the office this week] a couple of short 30sh mile loops over the last couple months as the weather changes and weekends allows.

    So, I went to look at my oil sight glass and I can see almost no oil. I did the 15 minute warmup, sidestand, centerstand routine and below is what I now see in the glass.

    Am I crazy in concluding that my bike is massively down on oil? It isn't leaking or noticeably burning either.

    I'm going to do an oil change now just to be sure, but... any help is greatly appreciated!

    oil.level.r1100s.jpg
    Last edited by mhines; 04-30-2021 at 07:26 PM. Reason: feedback

  2. #2
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    Good God the drama... perilously, massively??? Only if the oil pressure light comes on. As it is no one can say what the oil level is because it's not visible in the sight glass.

    Manuals are great for this kind of info... try one.

    Screenshot 2021-04-30 133425.png

  3. #3
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    Put on side stand and look again to see what that looks like. If the oil is fresh and the engine is clean and sight glass is old it could be its overfilled
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  4. #4

    oil change

    Since you are going to do a change anyway, what you get in the drain pan will give you an idea. If you check the sight glass right away after turning it off you might not see much. No warning light probably no worries.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by GIARCG View Post
    Good God the drama... perilously, massively??? Only if the oil pressure light comes on. As it is no one can say what the oil level is because it's not visible in the sight glass.

    Manuals are great for this kind of info... try one.

    Screenshot 2021-04-30 133425.png
    I have a manual and this site and youtube but none of that is conclusive, thanks for the pic

  6. #6
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisinsc View Post
    Put on side stand and look again to see what that looks like. If the oil is fresh and the engine is clean and sight glass is old it could be its overfilled
    Doesn't look it but always a possibility!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mntngrown View Post
    Since you are going to do a change anyway, what you get in the drain pan will give you an idea. If you check the sight glass right away after turning it off you might not see much. No warning light probably no worries.
    Right - obviously the ultimate arbiter is what comes out.

    I figured no light means a lot but, just not used to the lack of clarity as my Ducs always show a good amount in the sight and I'm relatively new to this bike and BMWs in general.

    Perhaps if I said that off the top the forum police wouldn't have been so harsh in their retort?


  8. #8

    drain warm

    Since there is an oil cooler up front, I read here that it is important to get the oil warm on a short ride before draining.

  9. #9
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Later on I will remove the “help” from the title so as it doesn’t look like an emergency and will be better for the search feature(s) later on.
    OM
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    Later on I will remove the “help” from the title so as it doesn’t look like an emergency and will be better for the search feature(s) later on.
    OM
    Thanks and sorry, too much coffee.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mntngrown View Post
    Since there is an oil cooler up front, I read here that it is important to get the oil warm on a short ride before draining.
    Did so, thanks.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by GIARCG View Post
    And the drama continues... LOL.

    You asked for any feedback and you got it. Once again, get a manual...who knows, you may need to put air in a tire someday (grin).

    Wait... I see you have a manual. Is what I posted not clear?
    The pic is the most helpful thing thus far, so, thank you.

    That said still can't see much in there... it's just counterintuitive.

  13. #13
    Left Coast Rider
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    If the procedure you've told us you've gone through is accurate, you're low on oil. Add half a liter and see what happens. If it comes up to fill half the sight glass, you're good. If no, keep adding until you see oil. Then you'll know how low you were. Don't forget to let the oil drain into the crankcase while refilling. Wait 5 minutes between additions. If you want to change it after that, feel free.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BC1100S View Post
    If the procedure you've told us you've gone through is accurate, you're low on oil. Add half a liter and see what happens. If it comes up to fill half the sight glass, you're good. If no, keep adding until you see oil. Then you'll know how low you were. Don't forget to let the oil drain into the crankcase while refilling. Wait 5 minutes between additions. If you want to change it after that, feel free.
    Thanks for this, very helpful.

  15. #15
    Registered User GTRider's Avatar
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    Relax. From the bottom of the window to the correct mid-point is about a cup of oil. Lean the bike to the right, with a helper, and see if oil appears in the window. Stand it up, add oil slooowwly until you are near the correct level, then go do something else for 10-15 minutes then check again.

    I wouldn’t go doing an oil change unless the bike is due. And even then, I’d still prefer to do as I’ve outlined above just so I’d know the status. These bikes never read the same way twice in a row on oil levels, and a lot of “BMW oil consumption” is actually just people chasing erratic level readings and eventually over-filling, which is worse than being a tad low as far as I’m concerned.

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