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I just got a 79 yamaha xs1100 today that needed a new battery, gas, and new tires. Got the battery in and bike running with limited difficulty, but my buddy was sitting on it and revving it in neutral. Besides from the exhaust popping from time to time it was running smoothly. He really laid on the gas and got it up to about 5,000 rpm in neutral when it acted like it ran out of gas and then when he turned it off I noticed that oil started leaking out of the side pretty heavy. Any ideas on what this might be? Looked as though it was coming from the left side of the bike. Not too familiar with bikes so I can't be all that more descriptive.
 

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you need to do a good inspection, there will be a defined trail where the oil leaked downward, if you cant find one, you will find a bubble of oil underneath somewhere that will either tell you where the case is leaking or lead you to the source of the oil leak.
 

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Oil leak

I have a 79 XS11. There is also a good XS11 site.
There is oil in the engine and gearbox, in the middle drive gear case, and the rear gear case which is in the center of the rear wheel.
The middle drive has SAE80/90 in it, which is a lot thicker than the engine oil.
The seal for the middle drive is hiding under the rubber boot. If it is leaking it would come from the boot area. But the gears in there do not turn if the back wheel is not turning.
The engine has a seal at each end of the crank shaft, and an oil filter cover and drain plug in the center of the engine. Wipe the bottom of the engine clean. Fire it up and observe. Many ham fisted mechanics can mess up the bolt that hods on the oil filter cover.
Study it some more and report back. Make sure you have enough oil in the engine.
Does the bike have the stock air filter, if yes check inside the filter box for oil. Check also the vent hoses attached to the engine. Make sure they are clear of debri.

Unkle Crusty*
 
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