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Oil question

Old 06-06-2011, 12:56 AM
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Oil question

I'm crappy at search on forums, so bare with me, and if my question has already been asked/answered, please just point me in the right direction.

I've got a '97 Firestorm, bought it about 2 months ago (had 44.010 km on the clock)

Owner said the bike had the oil changed about 2000 km before I got it, so I rode another 2000km and changed the oil.

I had put Bardahl Oil, 15W-50.

Being a dumb ***, I didn't think to check the oil ever since I changed it (about a month ago/4000 km ago).

When I've checked it yesterday, I can see no OIL in the little window where the level is indicated.

So i started to fill her with some oil, 200ml at first, start it,leave it a bit, no level, another 150ml, start it, leave it.... no level.

At the end of the process I had put 1L of fresh oil and the oil level is just over LOW.

Is this normal for the bike to consume 1L of oil within 4000 km or so?

Is there something wrong with the bike that lead to this? what else should I check?

Could my foolishness (not checking the oil in time) cause any damage to the engine (fact that it ran short on oil)? Was the lubrication process affected? or just the cooling process (by oil) affected?

Regards
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:09 AM
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were you checking the window with the bike on its side stand? i think the bike has to be sitting stait up for the level in the window to be accurate.
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Old 06-06-2011, 03:22 AM
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dude, c'mon. I was checking the oil with the bike sitting straight....
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Old 06-06-2011, 04:46 AM
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That seems excessive. My bike, prior to the rebuild, have over 140,000 km and had negligible (non-existent) oil consumption. One thing to consider is that some engines tend to not like certain brands/types of oil. Perhaps try another kind and see what happens (hoping that is the problem......)

cheers
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Old 06-06-2011, 04:50 AM
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mikstr. I know what you're saying. Next oil change is due within 1000 km but I'll put Bardahl 15W-50 again,to see if it does the same thing again.
If it does, I'll use a different oil.
Yet,i'm interested in other possible causes.
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Old 06-06-2011, 05:02 AM
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Have someone follow you, do some aggressive acceleration and deceleration and have them look for smoke from the exhaust. Smoke could indicate bad valve seals and/or rings (hopefully not the case.....)
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:16 AM
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My 2001 VTR with 83,000 km. on it uses oil but I haven't measured the rate of oil consumption. I would expect to have to add oil if I were on a 4,000 km. trip.
If the oil light didn't come on while you were riding and you sense no difference in performance, I don't see much point in taking the motor apart. Oil is cheap;engine parts aren't. I haven't taken off the sump on mine but, based on what's in the manual, it looks like the oil pick up goes pretty far into it. I'd expect the oil light to go on if air rather than oil was being sucked from the sump.
Maybe a dyno run or a leak down test might give you some useful information if you're really concerned.
Supertrooper's comment was a good one. There was nothing in your first post that would indicate the position the bike was in when you checked the oil level. He was trying to help you.
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:17 AM
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With over 49,000 miles on the clock, mine has used up to 1 quart between changes since it was new. I change the oil every 3000 miles.

Why are you using 15w50, when Honda recommends 10w40? Do you live in a hot climate? For proper lubrication of the bearings, you don't want to go too heavy.
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by insider View Post
dude, c'mon. I was checking the oil with the bike sitting straight....
lol
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:52 AM
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Mine will burn a little oil when I stress it and it gets hot. I did 1000 miles in three days, about 250 of those miles on a track, and it was down about a quart at the end of that (maybe 3/4 quart). I was running 5W-40 (rotella T6) at the time.

My bike doesn't burn much if any during commuting though.

I agree about not worrying about it, as long as it's running to your liking and not smoking up the cars behind you.
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:55 PM
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Probably the wrong web site if you are looking for someone to 'bare' with you. We be a bunch of low self esteem body image worriers. Lotsa cyber-**** out there, thats just not us.

Have you looked at your crankcase breather? Is your airbox dry? If you're not getting clouds of blue smoke then the oil isn't burning in the combustion chamber and that would mean that you are losing it in liquid form.

A leak. Drain plug, pan gasket. I've seen both forms of leaks on bikes owned by the clueless. Is the exterior of the bike dry?

I've also seen a bike that had a 2 qt. oil change done when the need was 4 qts. That guy thought for sure he had a leak because it never showed on the dip stick.

A liter of oil gone in 4k Km is a lot, but not if seals and rings are bad and there is a leak. 'Luck out there.
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:15 PM
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Personally I would run 10-40wt of whatever flavor that lets you sleep best at night and run it for a while longer.

A bike that old with that low of mileage has sat for a long time sometime in its life. It can take a little time for dried out seals to swell up again and for everything to be happy once again.

Also if you run at high RPMs you will blow some oil into the airbox, its a big twin, it happens.

I tried 15-50wt once and the bike didn't really like it and there is really no gains to be had by running it IMHO.

You also should take a look at the R\R to make sure it is functioning properly as they like to die after a long nap.

Also put replacing the CCTs (once again with whichever type lets you sleep best at night) on your list as you have no idea of their history.
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:18 PM
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Oh and don't worry, it is very unlikely that you caused any engine damage.
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Old 06-07-2011, 07:50 AM
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@comedo: i understand what you're saying and I thank supertrooper for the info,but I just stated that the bike was sitting straight I didn't offend anyone.

@VTRSurfer: I thought of using 15W-50 due to some high traffic in the city and bike has some miles on it ... I'm not an expert, so I can't argue with you


@Evines: what do you mean by 'quart'?


@Pushrod: I'll check the things which you stated (although last time i checked the airbox was clean), I'll check the crankcase breather.
Also I'll ask a mate to check my rear if there's any smoke at acceleration

@8541 hawk: I don't wanna sound retarded,but what would be the correlation between the RR and the bike eating 1l of oil in over 4000 km?
As far as the CCT, i haven't touched them yet. I'll change them with OEM soon enough.

I'm looking at an oil change within less than a month, should I go with 10W-40 ? (same brand)
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Old 06-07-2011, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by insider View Post
@Evines: what do you mean by 'quart'?
Where are you?
1 US quart = 0.946352946 liter
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Old 06-07-2011, 08:08 AM
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hmm thinking the same, my guess is the UK? with lesser odds of oz/nz and lesser still sa lol
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Old 06-07-2011, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by 8541Hawk View Post
Also if you run at high RPMs you will blow some oil into the airbox, its a big twin, it happens.
i'mm curious. how can it be possible to blow oil in to airbox when it is under constant vacuum?
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Old 06-07-2011, 10:48 AM
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The crankcase breather vents into the airbox. Under heavy load, full throttle, vapors containing misted oil are pushed up to the airbox by crankcase pressure.
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Old 06-07-2011, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by VTRsurfer View Post
The crankcase breather vents into the airbox. Under heavy load, full throttle, vapors containing misted oil are pushed up to the airbox by crankcase pressure.
oh right, i forgot about those, sorry my mistake it is possible.
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Old 06-07-2011, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by insider View Post
@8541 hawk: I don't wanna sound retarded,but what would be the correlation between the RR and the bike eating 1l of oil in over 4000 km?
As far as the CCT, i haven't touched them yet. I'll change them with OEM soon enough.

I'm looking at an oil change within less than a month, should I go with 10W-40 ? (same brand)

There is no correlation between the oil issue and the R\R. What I meant to say was if the bike has sat for an extended period of time (which might be the reason for the oil usage, you didn't give that information so just trying to cover all the bases) you might also want to keep an eye on the R\R.

If it is a stock unit, you have around a 50% chance that it will fail soon. It is just a trend I have seen and and something to watch for on a new to you bike.

For your second question, Yes IMHO you should be running 10w-40.
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Old 06-13-2011, 08:28 AM
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checked the airbox, it was clean, and everything else.

Still can't make up for oil consumption.

Thing is for the past two days i've managed to average a fuel consumption of 10.4 L/100km. (mainly city traffic, 2-3 rd gear, 4th sometimes, 4000-5500-6000 rpm).

I also feel like something is not right. As if the grunt is a bit gone. If I 'floor' it in 1st, 2nd it goes, but in 3rd i feel it a bit lazier than usual (actually from 4th onwards).

Also,another thing I noticed,which perhaps makes sense... I'm in 5th, going 120km/h.. and if I floor it builds up speed slowly, and only from 5700rpm onwards to 6000 6500 7000 it really takes off.

I believe that is somehow normal,since the speed is not matched with the gear, as it is running in low RPMS for the gear that it's in...
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