How to REALISTICALLY check your oil on a VStar 650? - Motorcycle Forum
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Old 08-18-2008, 08:59 PM   #1
chipps61
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Default How to REALISTICALLY check your oil on a VStar 650?

So I'm about 800 miles into this new bike of mine, its been through its 600 mile service, and everything's all good (in fact smoother these last 200 miles than the original 600 - whatever they did at the 600 mile service was all good)... I figure its time to start normal maintenance checks, and all of a sudden I realize there's no real good way for a single guy like me to physically check the oil level in the bike.

Who the hell designed a bike with no center stand, the oil level window down around the left floorboard, and the bike has to be LEVEL in order to check it? In short - its impossible... the only way I could check it according to the manual is to have someone else sit on the bike and hold it level while I lay down on the ground and look in the window.

That just plain old isn't feasible for me...

Any hints? Suggestions? Laughter?
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:08 PM   #2
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Laughter?
At your service!


telescoping mirror:
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:15 PM   #3
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Are you serious? I need to actually get a mirror and do a balancing act? Gaaaaaaah!
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:16 PM   #4
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Save your other hand free to hold the flashlight!
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:25 PM   #5
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How... non-enlightening... but if thats what it takes I'll mutter expletives and ATTEMPT to do so.....

Last edited by chipps61; 08-18-2008 at 09:27 PM.. Reason: I also can't spell while attempting to check my oil.
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Old 08-18-2008, 10:45 PM   #6
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Man, all this hassle over such an easy chore. Be sure the bike is full when it is upright. Now lay it over on the stand and see what appears in the window. This should be the same each time while still on the side stand, problem solved.
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Old 08-18-2008, 11:40 PM   #7
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Set it up straight and estimate how much 'lift' you need under your side stand to the bike to be 'vertical'. Use 1" x 4"? 2" x 4"? etc for cribbing under the kickstand to get a good vertical position. Keep slight pressure on the stand side of the bike so it doesn't tip the opposite direction. Dismount and inspect (with slight hold toward the stand side) your oil level.
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Old 08-19-2008, 02:50 AM   #8
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I use the mirror method....works great. If you can see oil in the sight glass on a quick visual inspection your good to go. Ultimately I shoot for 1/2 to 3/4 full on the sight glass.
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Old 08-19-2008, 03:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hogrider View Post
Man, all this hassle over such an easy chore. Be sure the bike is full when it is upright. Now lay it over on the stand and see what appears in the window. This should be the same each time while still on the side stand, problem solved.
I think most of the time the oil is up over the window when on the side stand so it is hard to tell where it is that way. I tried it once. I guess you could always make sure it's over the view window and assume it's safe.
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Old 08-19-2008, 06:38 AM   #10
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I put a block of wood on the ground and put the kickstand on that
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Old 08-19-2008, 07:41 AM   #11
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Oil only has less than 200 miles on it, when its on the sidestand that window is either empty or completely covered - (we'll call it completely covered since I still have an engine).

Ok, so a block of wood and try not to dump the bike on its right while I lay down on the ground to look (window is quasi hidden behind and just under the left floorboard), or try the mirror.

Guess I'll pick me up a mirror and do the expletives thing.
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Old 08-19-2008, 10:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WACB650 View Post
I think most of the time the oil is up over the window when on the side stand so it is hard to tell where it is that way. I tried it once. I guess you could always make sure it's over the view window and assume it's safe.
One thing is for sure, it isn't low enough to damage anything..
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Old 08-19-2008, 12:12 PM   #13
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Not sure how well this would work, but ...

I talked with a person who has a V-Star that said they checked their oil level the regular way to make sure it was properly filled. They then put the bike on the sidestand and stuck a plastic zip tie into the oil fill hole. They marked the oil level on the zip tie with a permanent marker so they would always know where the "full" level was.

I haven't had a chance to try this yet, but I'm going to give it a shot.
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Old 08-19-2008, 12:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by louturks View Post
I put a block of wood on the ground and put the kickstand on that
Thats what I do ; I think most bikes are like this -- hard to check oil.
I tried the mirror method too, but the block of wood method seems easier.
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