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

  1. #16
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    Does any oil show when itís on the side stand?
    2002 R1150R
    2016 BMW F700GS
    2021 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

  2. #17
    RK Ryder
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    According to a BMW master mechanic who once filled my K short by 13 ounces of oil, this will not harm your bike's engine (and the bike now has over an additional 100,000 km since then).

    If I were in your situation, I would clean my sight glass and then take the bike for a good run for thirty minutes or so. Upon returning home, I'd check the oil by my usual method, on the side stand for about 14 minutes and then have it jump onto the centre stand and then do a sight glass/oil level inspection. If your usual method of checking the oil level is to immediately pop the bike onto the centre stand, do that and check the oil level. Just inspect the oil by your usual method after a decent ride.

    As was mentioned, the oil level in Oilheads seems to vary by the day. Really clean oil that is overfilled can give the sight glass the impression no oil is present. If you filled the bike with the correct amount of oil, the Oilhead oil dance is possibly playing with you.

    Let us know what you discover about your oil level, whether by riding and checking or by dumping oil and measuring the amount that you had in the bike, including what was in the oil filter.

    Good Luck!
    Paul F. Ruffell
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Knights of the Roundel #333

  3. #18
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    This post reminds me of my one riding buddy. He checks the oil on his Harley every gas stop, even though it uses very little. He pulls the dip stick and adds a couple ounces of oil. I guess it makes him happy. One trip he asked me if I was going to check the oil on my Harley, Nope, I am sure it is ok. Next thing I know he is pulling the dip stick on my bike and about has a conniption because it is at the add line. He told me I needed to add oil. I told him no, I was going to change it that evening when we got home. Next thing I know he grabs the partial quart of oil out of his top case and dumps it in my Harley. I just had to stand there and laugh about the whole thing. I told him, "You know it isn't going to suddenly blow up because the oil is on the add mark!" I went on to tell him the engine would run fine on a quart or two, as long as it has oil pressure. More oil is for cooling and longer life between changes.

    So to the OP, assuming the oil is at the bottom of the sight glass you are fine. I would bet it could be much lower and not cause a problem.
    From the only real Fargo, ND!

  4. #19
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    Thanks

    Thanks to all who offered insight, after examining everything that came out, it looks like I was close to a quart off - not good.

    I think I've found the source of slow leak, which is a bummer as it'll need to go into the shop soon.

    Anyhow, apologies again if I freaked out - it was just truly mortifying to me to think that I'd been riding it around without noticing such a significant drop in the oil level and perhaps such that major damage had been done - seeing nothing at all in the sight glass felt awful to this end.

    Much appreciate the help.

    Happy riding.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider View Post
    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 wouldnít go doing an oil change unless the bike is due. And even then, Iíd still prefer to do as Iíve outlined above just so Iíd know the status. These bikes never read the same way twice in a row on oil levels, and a lot of ďBMW oil consumptionĒ is actually just people chasing erratic level readings and eventually over-filling, which is worse than being a tad low as far as Iím concerned.

    Best,
    DeVern
    Thanks. I went ahead and did the change as it was coming up on due anyhow [from what I can tell, I only bought the bike late last year and didn't ride it much given Covid].

    Anyhow, as I noted it looks like I was about a quart down. With the recommended amount now onboard I'm showing oil at about halfway up the sight; so, methinks that's it... and I've found the culprit [slow leak at the rear base of the cases.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by lawrencecarlson View Post
    Does any oil show when itís on the side stand?
    Didn't then, does now.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_F View Post
    According to a BMW master mechanic who once filled my K short by 13 ounces of oil, this will not harm your bike's engine (and the bike now has over an additional 100,000 km since then).

    If I were in your situation, I would clean my sight glass and then take the bike for a good run for thirty minutes or so. Upon returning home, I'd check the oil by my usual method, on the side stand for about 14 minutes and then have it jump onto the centre stand and then do a sight glass/oil level inspection. If your usual method of checking the oil level is to immediately pop the bike onto the centre stand, do that and check the oil level. Just inspect the oil by your usual method after a decent ride.

    As was mentioned, the oil level in Oilheads seems to vary by the day. Really clean oil that is overfilled can give the sight glass the impression no oil is present. If you filled the bike with the correct amount of oil, the Oilhead oil dance is possibly playing with you.

    Let us know what you discover about your oil level, whether by riding and checking or by dumping oil and measuring the amount that you had in the bike, including what was in the oil filter.

    Good Luck!
    Thanks, this is great.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoorUB View Post
    This post reminds me of my one riding buddy. He checks the oil on his Harley every gas stop, even though it uses very little. He pulls the dip stick and adds a couple ounces of oil. I guess it makes him happy. One trip he asked me if I was going to check the oil on my Harley, Nope, I am sure it is ok. Next thing I know he is pulling the dip stick on my bike and about has a conniption because it is at the add line. He told me I needed to add oil. I told him no, I was going to change it that evening when we got home. Next thing I know he grabs the partial quart of oil out of his top case and dumps it in my Harley. I just had to stand there and laugh about the whole thing. I told him, "You know it isn't going to suddenly blow up because the oil is on the add mark!" I went on to tell him the engine would run fine on a quart or two, as long as it has oil pressure. More oil is for cooling and longer life between changes.

    So to the OP, assuming the oil is at the bottom of the sight glass you are fine. I would bet it could be much lower and not cause a problem.
    Good to know, thank you sir!

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