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Old 06-22-2011, 09:32 AM   #1
Hoff OP
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Checking the oil level

Seems to me that checking the oil level on a motorcycle should be easier than it is on the 950 adventure. I don't think I've ever gotten a consistent reading from one day to the next. I think for future models they should build the dipstick into the oil drain plug, have you turn the bike upside down, with the front end raised at the same angle required to fill the cooling system and run the motor for at least 1 minute but not more than 2 minutes to save time....
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Old 06-22-2011, 10:18 AM   #2
MotoTex
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Oh, that's a dipstick?

I just thought it was a stirring stick.
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Old 06-22-2011, 10:26 AM   #3
Chuckracer
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It's not that critical.
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:03 AM   #4
NeverQuit
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a better stick...

One thing that helped me was switching from the metal dipstick to the plastic. I think the 950's all came with metal sticks, which with fresh oil, is very tough to see a oil on. 990's all (I believe) came with a black plastic stick which somehow is much easier to read. Of course both are kind of like trying to read skywriting at night.

I get consistent readings by a) getting it well up to temperature on a ride, b) coming to a stop, and putting it in neutral, c) idling for 30 seconds, and d) checking it right away after that.

I think we all need to be careful how we jam the stick down into the tank. Think about it.....if you slosh a straw around in a milkshake, the shake would show up higher on the straw than if you had gently inserted it.
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:15 AM   #5
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As long as the oil level is between the "min" and "max" marks, you are good to go. Don't sweat it if it's not exactly at the same spot every time you check
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:53 AM   #6
MotoTex
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I have found that if you try to "top it off" and have actually gotten a false reading (for any of a number of reasons), it's not an issue.

The extra oil WILL find its way out.

My rule now is to only check the oil at fuel stops, after riding for at least fifteen minutes at highway speeds.

Idling from cold for a few minutes till it's up to four bars on the temp scale won't provide a consistent reading of the oil level.

After fiddling with it a bunch, having to take oil back out when I've overfilled it, I've finally determined that this 36K+ miles 950 doesn't use any significant amount of oil between changes.

I almost wish they had designed a hole through the tank and put a sight-glass in.
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Old 06-22-2011, 12:54 PM   #7
Subutai
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Originally Posted by MotoTex View Post
I almost wish they had designed a hole through the tank and put a sight-glass in.
They tried, with the Super Duke. Result: readings inconsistent, sight-glass leaking. Dipstick system is fine. The bike is not too picky about the oil amount.
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:06 PM   #8
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The method I found easiest was after a ride let it idle for 1 min (time it takes to strip outta my battlesuit), shut it off and let it sit for one minute, pull the stick out and wipe it then put it back in and pull out, check, recheck, secure bike.
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Old 01-04-2012, 04:19 PM   #9
viola-tor
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So do you thread the dipstick down tight to get the reading, or just dip it in without twisting?

You'd think after 50k miles I'd have figured it out...
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Old 01-04-2012, 05:33 PM   #10
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Good timing on this thread. I've recently realized that I don't check the oil on either of my bikes (cars either). I was wondering how to do it properly for the 990 Adv, but haven't bothered tracking down my owner's manual to get the instructions.

On my XR650L you also have to run it for a while, turn it off and let it sit for a few minutes, then stick the dipstick into the frame and see what's in there. I miss the Ducatis with the little window on the side of the engine case that showed the oil level.

I understand that some XR650 owners have put in a plastic tube at the right height on the frame so that you can just glance and see the oil level. Why can't the manufacturers just do something like that when they build them?

I've also recently realized that it's been at least four years since the brake fluid was change in my XR. I'm pathetic at maintenance. At least I usually lubricate the chain at regular intervals.
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Old 01-04-2012, 06:38 PM   #11
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Scott, I agree with the "clear window" idea. BMW R1200GS has it as well, and it's one of the simplest little perks any bike could have.

Hope dipstickin' it doesn't deter you from checking so much that you end up with a very expensive seized engine! Careful......and ride safe, all.
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:40 PM   #12
Sumi
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Originally Posted by NeverQuit View Post
Scott, I agree with the "clear window" idea. BMW R1200GS has it as well, and it's one of the simplest little perks any bike could have.

Hope dipstickin' it doesn't deter you from checking so much that you end up with a very expensive seized engine! Careful......and ride safe, all.
Yeah, some other KTM's also have this feature:) Like the newever LC4's with the "clear window" , and also some LC8 models do have a clear tube on their oil tanks..

However I don't think it's a big deal to check the oil level on the LC8ADV as well with the dipstick method (actually it's not the dipstick that makes it a bit "complicated", but the dry sump design of the engine) - if you follow the manual you won't get it wrong.. And for the OP: because of it's dry sump design, you will hardly get the same readings every day (it's not impossible however, but it doesn't mean too much, as you are only measuring the current oil level in the oil tank).. You just have to be somewhere between the min and the max marks.

So as long as your oil pressure light is off when riding, and the oil level in the tank is between the two marks on the dipstick, don't worry about it:)
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Sumi screwed with this post 01-04-2012 at 07:50 PM
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Old 04-17-2014, 05:52 PM   #13
OrangeDevil37
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what happens if you have just a hair over full with the oil. is bad for the motor? mine is about a 8th over full or just under an 8th. i have noticed since i changed the oil i have oil leaking from somewhere. im ook the pan off today and check all my bolts and cant figure out where the leak is at? i have heard the bike will push out excess oil? if so where from?
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Old 04-17-2014, 06:32 PM   #14
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I've overfilled my 2008 990 more than 1/8 over and I didn't notice any issues at all. I wish it was easier to check the oil level.
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Old 04-17-2014, 09:21 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by viola-tor View Post
So do you thread the dipstick down tight to get the reading, or just dip it in without twisting?

You'd think after 50k miles I'd have figured it out...
The owner's manual states to screw it back in all the way before checking the level.
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