Motorcycle Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello again everyone :)

I did my first oil and filter change myself, all alone on my own, and it was actually really easy.
I'm now trying not to think too much about all the times in the past I paid a mechanic to do it while I could have done it myself and saved money :D

When I bought it, 4-5 month ago, in July, the guy who sold me my Kawasaki GPZ 500S 1997 told me he just changed the oil and the filter.
I've read the bike's official user's manual and they recommend to change the oil and the oil filter every 10.000 km (6200m), so I thought I still had a lot of time.
However, my bike has a very annoying problem: The oil level sight glass has an opaque layer on the inner side that prevents me from reading the oil level the normal way.
Here's my oil level sight glass:



As you can see, impossible to read any level (and don't get fooled by the black thing that looks like an oil level, it's just part of the rubbish stuck on the inner side of the window).
I describe the full problem in the post "Unreadable oil level sight glass gauge on Kawasaki GPZ 500S 1997" in this very forum (sorry I cannot link it directly I don't have enough post on this forum yet :D )
I have tried to scratch gently the inner side of the glass with a wooden chopstick inserted in the oil refill hole, but it's unreachable.

Therefore, I decided to change both the oil and the filter long in advance, less than 3000km/2000 miles, after purchase, to make sure that the oil is new and that there is the recommended amount of oil in the engine.
I just did that and expected to drain about 3 litres of oil from the engine and filter, since it's the recommended level.
But turns out that I only drained 1.8 litres, so there was waaaaay less oil than it should.
In addition to that, the oil was really opaque, so I think the oil and filter change was a lie.
I think I'm lucky to have decided to change the oil now, otherwise I would have probably seized the engine if I had waited the 6200 recommended miles trusting the seller naively.

I have refilled the engine with 3 litres of oil and a new oil filter as instructed in the user's manual.
I intent to change the oil again in advance, but this time I will pay a mechanic to do this and remove the side of the engine, replace the oil sight glass to be able to read the level correctly and proceed to the next oil and filter change all in one go.

I have several questions about all this:
Can there be bad consequence of having used my bike with used and insufficient oil? (After the oil change I took it on a few rides of a few dozen miles and everything ran smooth and nice).
Is there another way to control the oil level without the oil level sight glass? (I thought about using a chopstick as a dipstick inserted on the oil refill hole and use the oil mark on it as a gauge, like on cars. What do you think? Do you have another technique?)
What is, in percentage or in litres, the difference of quantity of oil between MAX level and LOW level on the oil sight glass?
Without leaks how much oil needs to be added every 500 miles or so? (I have no idea of how much oil is consumed during use)

Thank you for you help guys.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
607 Posts
You might try adding a little Sea Foam to the crankcase 100 miles or so before your next oil change -- 1 oz. or so to each quart. The stuff does work, and will loosen and flush out a significant amount of crud when you drain out the old oil. May not clear up that sight class enough, but it's cheap and worth a try.

One accessory that has helped me tremendously in checking the oil level is a mechanic's telescoping mirror. I can sit on the bike, level it up, extend the handle of the mirror, and look at the oil level -- all without the help of an assistant to hold the bike level, or of dropping the bike while I'm trying to hold it level and practically standing on my head to read the oil level.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the Sea Foam tip @oldenslow I didn't even know that such a thing existed !!

If I can solve the oil sight glass problem I might buy the type of mirror you are talking about.
However, isn't more practical to just put the bike on its middlestand?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
607 Posts
Thanks for the Sea Foam tip @oldenslow I didn't even know that such a thing existed !!

If I can solve the oil sight glass problem I might buy the type of mirror you are talking about.
However, isn't more practical to just put the bike on its middlestand?
Yes -- if you have a middle stand! Neither my '17 Honda CBR300R nor my '08 Suzuki Boulevard C50 has one, though. It's a trend you see on many bikes these days, and one that irks me considerably.
 

·
Visionary
Joined
·
5,272 Posts
I took that one further, when I rode my Vstar I bought a LED lighted extending mechanics mirror. It's the perfect tool for the job, the light makes it easy to see the oil.

You might try adding a little Sea Foam to the crankcase 100 miles or so before your next oil change -- 1 oz. or so to each quart. The stuff does work, and will loosen and flush out a significant amount of crud when you drain out the old oil. May not clear up that sight class enough, but it's cheap and worth a try.

One accessory that has helped me tremendously in checking the oil level is a mechanic's telescoping mirror. I can sit on the bike, level it up, extend the handle of the mirror, and look at the oil level -- all without the help of an assistant to hold the bike level, or of dropping the bike while I'm trying to hold it level and practically standing on my head to read the oil level.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pierrox

·
Moderator - Loves All Motorcycles
Joined
·
1,251 Posts
Rookie question, but how do you engage the center stand on a big bike? For the life of me I can't figure out how to get the center down on my GS850G. I come just short to putting all my weight into the lever and pull up on the frame at the same time. I can maybe get the rear end to lift an inch or two.

But it's weird, bikes half the weight don't need nearly as much force and I don't even break a sweat engaging those center stands. Maybe I'm doing it wrong?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pierrox

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Rookie question, but how do you engage the center stand on a big bike? For the life of me I can't figure out how to get the center down on my GS850G. I come just short to putting all my weight into the lever and pull up on the frame at the same time. I can maybe get the rear end to lift an inch or two.

But it's weird, bikes half the weight don't need nearly as much force and I don't even break a sweat engaging those center stands. Maybe I'm doing it wrong?
I struggled with that too, actually the trick is to pull your bike backwards, give it a good momentum then press the middle stand with your foot with strength.
The inertia of the backward movement will make it climb on the middlestand.
That's what I use, but there are apparently other techniques, check out the videos on YouTube, search with "how to put motorbike on centre stand" you'll find plenty.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
Some bikes seem to have a better design for the center stand. I had a 1980 Kawasaki KZ500 that was so easy to get on the center stand that I used it more than the side stand. One suggestion is to get help getting it up on the center stand and measuring how far off the ground the rear tire is. Then select a piece of plywood less than that measurement and ride the rear tire up on it. This will allow the stand to be further deployed and not require as much lifting.
 

·
On The Road Again!
Joined
·
4,204 Posts
Every bike is different.
My 99 1500 Goldwing weighs 900 pounds and is very easy to put on the center stand.
My 76 Goldwing only weighs about 650 or so and is IMPOSSIBLE for me to get onto the center stand.
 

·
Very Famous Person
Joined
·
10,003 Posts
--

Making your own dipstick may be a workable idea. If you put in the required amount, run the bike for a minute or so, then let it settle for awhile. If you can get a stick into an open enough reservoir, then notch where the level is full. Some time when it's a half inch lower, measure how much you add to get it back up to the full mark. Then you know where the 2-1/2 liter (or some amount) level is. Being down a half liter should not hurt anything. Apparently you were running it down 1.2 liters.

Have you tried to get a manual on that bike? That might give you some hints.

--
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top