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Oil level and oil consumption.

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by gggGary, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Like most I keep the level between the marks, stick resting on the threads, bike on the centerstand, or sometimes on the ground balanced "upright". Also like most my motors use some oil. Took restomod to the SE rallye, it had about 1500 miles on the oil when I left. Had probably added a quart or more in those miles. Was on the lower mark when we unloaded at Iron Horse, put in about 1/3 quart and 300 miles later when I started home it was at the lower mark again. So I left it there and checked level at gas stops. Run home was mostly two lane, run at 50 to 70 MPH 4000 to 5000 RPM was typical. 950 miles home, here's the thing; level didn't change. Still at the lower mark, round numbers 1,000 miles, no oil use..

    So the Plan is to change oil and fill ONLY to the lower mark. See what happens next season.
    This motor was in a 5500 mile untouched stock special. Those 5500 miles were all put on the the first couple years from new, then it sat 30 years until I installed it in resto in 2015, put on another 10,000 miles since. Stock airboxes with crankcase vent tubes, UNI foam filters, stock carbs, slightly up jetted, and stock exhaust for the last 3000 miles. I don't baby my motors, I'm not a drag racer or flogger but like to ride with enthusiasm.

    Pulled plugs when I got home
    resto plugs after dragon tripa.jpg
    And did a cold compression check
    Two years ago, at 26,000 R142 L148
    same gauge now at 32,000 R153 L159
    Been using mostly Valvoline VR1 20-50 since the wake up.
    This motor is pretty drip free, it got the head stud retorque at wake up.
    gggGary valve cover 0-rings, tach drive seals replaced, clutch cover, cam seals, are still factory.
    DSCN3015.JPG DSCN3016.JPG 1500 miles since last engine cleaning.

    Anyone else leave their oil level on the lower mark? What's your typical oil use?
    MaxPete likes this.
  2. mrtwowheel

    mrtwowheel Honda Etched On Brain Top Contributor

    Did you get any oil or sludge in the air box when using the higher oil level?

    gggGary likes this.
  3. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    On both my XS1Bs, never noticed any oil consumption. At oil change, dump 3 qts, put in 3 qts. I guess that's 2,840cc's of oil in a 3,000cc crankcase, so not quite full, but always shows at the upper dipstick mark.

    Even when running 5 qts earlier this year, no loss of oil.

    Must be a reason for all the oil level and consumption hoopla on the 2,500cc crankcases...
    MaxPete, robinc and grizld1 like this.
  4. grizld1

    grizld1 Grumpy old man Top Contributor

    Might have something to do with reduced crankcase volume due to starter motor and gears for same, 2M; less volume=more pressure? At highway speeds (60-70 mph) I lost oil through the breather line in my D-model until I installed a Krankvent valve. Now I see no loss between changes filling to the top line.
    MaxPete, robinc and TwoManyXS1Bs like this.
  5. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    Dick, yes. Can look at this like compression ratio calculations. Instead of using combustion chamber volume, use crankcase volume (with pistons at BDC), just the air-only portion, oil volume excluded.

    Pistons move together, consider it as a 650cc single. Suppose crankcase volume is 6,500cc. That'll make the compression ratio 1.1:1, about 1.5psi pressure pulse.

    The catch here is the 500cc reduction in oil volume, to accommodate the equal (I presume) reduction in overall case volume (the starter bulge). This would make the air-only volume the same, XS1s vs all others. Hence, no change in this crankcase compression ratio, and the resultant pressure pulses.

    Back when I ran 5qts oil, that was a true 1900cc reduction in the air-only case volume, and would have a higher compression ratio, higher pressure pulses. Yet, lost no oil...
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
    gggGary, grizld1 and robinc like this.
  6. grizld1

    grizld1 Grumpy old man Top Contributor

    5 qts., no lost oil, no blown seals, no oil starvation due to foaming? I have to believe you, but could we add a caveat? Kids, don't try this at home!
    MaxPete, gggGary and robinc like this.
  7. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Extended forks throws the oil amount /dip stick reading in a cocked hat.
    My suspicion is oil level and crankshaft, stirring /foaming the oil is part of the issue.
    MaxPete likes this.
  8. Goldenboy

    Goldenboy . XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    This is a beautiful, very old, air cooled motor.. My manual calls for straight weight 50 or 60. All my air cooled motors used straight weight. My lawn mowers and VW bugs (when I owned them) used 30 wt. My reasoning is that air cooled engines have a temperature variant which is far greater than than a water cooled one and when the temp goes up under varied conditions, there is a certain amount of blow by caused by expansion which is minimized by a heavy straight weight oil, just like any other old motor. I put my hands close to the exhaust for a few seconds on both sides and see what my hands smell like after shutting the choke and warming it up. Does it smell like a hot pipe, oil or gas. After riding, when the engine gets hot on a hot day, see if you smell any oil. if so, try a straight weight. As an aside, my brother was thinking of buying a new Subaru Forester until online reviews reported an oil consumption problem with new models.
  9. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    You must not live up nort! You aint starting a 50 weight motor on a cold morning, lol. A big part of multi weight is faster cold start oil circulation. Studies have showed most wear happens before the oil circulates
  10. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Look up multi weight naming, an interesting story how the name tends to obscure the science. I am so danged old I remember oil labeled 30-30 multi weight.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
    Jim likes this.
  11. grizld1

    grizld1 Grumpy old man Top Contributor

    Just exactly what manual are you reading with the straight rate 50 or 60 weight recommendation for a 4-stroke air cooled motorcycled engine? It sure isn't one I've encountered in the last 53 years of riding and servicing motorcycles. Yamaha's specific recommendation for its 4-stroke air cooled motors was 20W/40. If you've been running straight 50W you might want to check your sump filter. I'd lay better than even odds that there's a hole sucked in it.
  12. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Not to mention the strain that puts on the sump filter....:yikes:
    YamadudeXS650C, gggGary and grizld1 like this.
  13. grizld1

    grizld1 Grumpy old man Top Contributor

    Indeed, Jim--great minds run in the same circles....
    gggGary and Jim like this.
  14. Goldenboy

    Goldenboy . XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Sandy Hook and motorcycle manual 021.jpg Sandy Hook and motorcycle manual 022.jpg
    View attachment 127637 View attachment 127637
    gggGary likes this.
  15. Goldenboy

    Goldenboy . XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Before I'm stoned to death, I will admit that my owner's manual says to use straight 40 wt above 60 degrees Farenheight, not 50 or 60 wt and in the thread on "timing", I mentioned my bike runs HOT due my settings for power, rather than around town use. I apologize for the error. I live in New Jersey and it does get cold. Around this time of year, I put my bike to bed for the winter. My sinuses cant take the cold. As we speak, I am enduring a bad head cold. In the heat of the summer, when I use it, I went to a higher straight weight viscosity when I began to notice seepage from gaskets and seams. This minimized the problem. I always clean the filter as part of an oil change and never experienced a problem as you describe. I still have a stock oil filter. Besides that, I took this bike to Denver and Santa Fe when I was younger and the only problem I experienced was an ignition coil that went out to lunch. Marlin72xs will verify what I am telling you about this trip. And I ran straight 50 at high speeds for several thousand miles on the highway and through the dessert with no discernable ill effects. I'm really not sure how many miles are on my bike. I'm on my third speedometer and second tach. When I was younger, the guages were bought when I could get up the scratch. Head lamps and points, plugs and condensers, air filters and chains took priority. I remember I ran it for two years looking at the needle bouncing around the base of the dial. Anyway, this is the first forum I've ever participated in and I enjoy the company.
  16. timbeck

    timbeck XS650 Junkie XS650.com Supporter

    Welcome to the gathering.....
    gggGary, Jim and robinc like this.
  17. Goldenboy

    Goldenboy . XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I've taken your advice and did look up the info on multi weights.It appears to be a crap shoot as to what the manufacturers claim and what your actually getting.
    T CLOVIS POINT, OIL POT 001.jpg There is a mind boggling amount of info in this article. And now I know why oil costs so much, the engineering involved. To over simplify, I will buy Valvoline with the picture of the motorcycle on it to make sure its right for a wet clutch. The manual says use a high quality oil to prolong engine life. Well, I question that notion as I changed the oil in my 1978 GMC van religeously at 5,000 miles and got 360,000 miles out of it. The oil? Wolf's Head. I drove it to the junk yard after 19 years as the body was so rotted. But it did not smoke. So danged old, huh, Gary? I've got the first Craftsman tool set .This is my plug gapper.
  18. Goldenboy

    Goldenboy . XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Thanks, Tim.
    gggGary and robinc like this.
  19. Jimbo W

    Jimbo W XS650 Enthusiast

    I filled my '80 to the full mark for the Piston Rally last month. After 450 miles it was down at minimum level. Topped up with 250 mls & it was back at minimum after 60 miles. Where's it gone? No smoke or leaks. My crankcase breather is just an open pipe exiting above the chain - definitely some oil splash in that area & from chain onto rear wheel. I'm using Halfords Classic 20/50 but will try something else once that is used up. As long as level doesn't drop below minimum I guess it is ok.
    MaxPete and gggGary like this.
  20. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    Pistons traveling up/down together means that up to 650cc of hot, oily gas is cycled back and forth thru the venting system. That's about the same volume as a 20 ounce soda bottle. If you could rig up a vented catch can of that size, maybe you'd be able to determine if oil losses are from venting, or elsewhere...
    grizld1, robinc and Jim like this.

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