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Do you check it cold or hot? How long do you wait after shutting down to check the dipstick, giving time for the oil to return to the crankcase? Do you add oil if the level is at the low mark, but not below the mark or do you wait until it drops below the lower level?
 

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I always check oil cold in all my vehicles. That doesn't mean that is the correct way to do it. But it gives me a constant to work from.
 

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l generally do it at work, which involves riding it from the parking garage to the shop, then l let it sit for 5 minutes while l get my stuff out...but l concur with Critter, whatever you do, do it consistently. l think there are as many opinions on this as there are on the types of oil to use.
 

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My bike has a dry sump system. The oil tank is below the seat. Here's the procedure for checking the oil.

Oil must be at normal operating temperature in order to check for the proper level. The owner's manual suggests checking at the end of a long ride. The bike should be on level ground and on the center stand. Let the engine run in neutral for one minute and switch off the ignition. There is no dipstick. The oil level can be visually checked through an oil tank viewer that is marked with 3 lines. The top is MAX and the bottom is MIN. The middle mark is the optimal level.

Also, there are sensors and warnings for both oil pressure and oil level. Once the engine is warmed up if you stop and let it idle a few seconds with the clutch pulled the information panel displays a message "---Oil Level OK---"

My bike seldom needs oil between oil changes. The few times I've had to add a little was because I was hotrodding at high rpms for an extended time. On those few occasions I follow the procedure above and added just enough to get to the oil tank middle mark between the MIN and MAX.
 

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I have to look in the owners manual every time to see if it's to be done level or side stand. But I check it cold when I do. Unlike the wife's Spyder that has to be done warm/hot and within a few seconds of shutting it down.
 

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My Harley manual says to check at operating temperature(hot) on the sidestand on level ground. I used to check it cold, apparently that may cause you to overfill the oil tank and as I've been told by a Harley dealer mechanic when it is overfilled the oil has to go somewhere like leaking out of the breather lines on the cylinder heads. The best advice is to do what the owners manual says.
 

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My Harley manual says to check at operating temperature(hot) on the sidestand on level ground. I used to check it cold, apparently that may cause you to overfill the oil tank and as I've been told by a Harley dealer mechanic when it is overfilled the oil has to go somewhere like leaking out of the breather lines on the cylinder heads. The best advice is to do what the owners manual says.
That's the way my manual states. Changed oil cold on a Classic one day and just as you say, at Highway speeds it started dripping oil out of the breather. Things are a bit different on a Dry sump.
 

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I check my 883 the same way, hot on the kickstand.

The VTX you check with the bike up straight. I check it cold, but I think the manual calls for warmed up and shut off for ten minutes.

I have never had to add between changes to either bike.
 

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I check mine cold before I ride. The manual says have a buddy hold it upright and check level, yup it takes two people to check the oil.:biggrin::71baldboy:
 

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I do weekly maintenance on Saturday. The bike goes up on the race stands so it's level, and I can check all the bits and pieces to include the oil sight glass. It's cold when I do this.
 

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I check mine cold before I ride. The manual says have a buddy hold it upright and check level, yup it takes two people to check the oil.:biggrin::71baldboy:
Its just the stiffer, weaker of us that need 2 people.......my cousins boy grabs it one handed then bends over far enough to look at it(straight legged)........I stand it up, have wife or son hold it, then work my way down to all 4's, shine a flashlight and get my eyes close enough to see it while trying to keep my head as much upright as possible because my vision blurs when my head is upside down.
 

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Looks like they've taken a very simple dipstick operation that any dummy could do and morphed it to the level that it takes a collage degree and super natural contortion-ism now. I like old school.
 

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Looks like they've taken a very simple dipstick operation that any dummy could do and morphed it to the level that it takes a collage degree and super natural contortion-ism now. I like old school.
If any dummy could do it they wouldn't need a motorcycling book for dummies! :p

 

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Looks like they've taken a very simple dipstick operation that any dummy could do and morphed it to the level that it takes a collage degree and super natural contortion-ism now. I like old school.
Are you... sure you're talking about motorcycles and not something else? ;)
 

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not while riding, that's for sure...mine is warmed up and level....back when I could still ride I would take short trip around the block (my block is almost 2 miles around) pull in the driveway, shut it down, pull the seat, go get a cold drink and by then all the oil has drained back down and I can stand the bike up and check it with the dipstick

 

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I have a 4"x4"x6" block of wood that I put under the side stand. This puts my bike almost level. Then I get down on my hands and knees and check it.

I have also checked it on the lift and there isn't much if any difference in the reading
 

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Bikes need oil? Who'd a thunk it!

I check the sight glass cold on the center stand with the front wheel up so the bike is level.
 
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