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Oil Level Honda Spada

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Servicing' at netrider.net.au started by Captain115, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. Hi all,

    So a friend of mine bought a Honda Spada the other day, and I know quite a few people on here have had them so I thought I'd ask:

    How the hell are you meant to check the oil?

    On my CBF250, you:
    warm it up, turn it off and let it sit for a couple of minutes, then while upright, check it using the dipstick. This is supported by both the workshop manual and the Honda owner manual.

    On the VT250F, which was just the model before the Spada (but almost identical engine, oil window etc), you:
    warm it up, turn it off and let it sit for a minute, then while upright (on centre stand), look at the little oil window. This is supported by both the workshop manual and the Honda owner manual.

    Yet bizarrely the Spada doesn't seem to have anything set as the Offical Honda guide says:

    warm it up, turn it off and let it rest for a moment on the sidestand and then check the oil window.

    The dodgy workshop manual says:

    warm it up and let it sit on the centrestand (?) and check the oil.

    So my question is, how d you check it? On the sidestand or while upright? I assumed on the sidestand as that was what it says in the official book, but I've read some threads on here that mentioned to hold it upright. Indeed in this thread (https://netrider.net.au/forums/showthread.php?t=116002&page=2#.UF5dY43ib5y) someone mentions that they check it 'while idling' (page 2) which would mean ours is bone dry as when it's idling the oil window is empty.

    Sidestand or upright? Idling or off?


  2. Make sure you have the bike on level ground & get someone to hold the bike upright & check the oil in the window.
    Every bike i have owned [more the 30 bikes over 40 years ] is checked this way whether it has a dipstick or oil level window.

  3. That's what I assumed, but surely the Offical Honda Manual (ie the book that comes with the bike) wouldn't make a mistake like that? It clearly says on the sidestand!

    More food for thought, the VTR250's are to be checked upright as well. Not sure where this leaves me.
  4. I have a VTR250... very very similar engine.

    You balance it upright, and peak at the sight glass. This is quite awkward. I leave the sidestand out just to help me catch it if it gets away on me... I'm pretty sure engine off is fine so long as the oil is warm, although I cannot remember exactly.

    The sight glass level is very sensitive to the being on it's sidestand or being held upright. For example, with my bike on the sidestand, the window is empty, while holding the bike upright, the sight glass will be at the max level.

    I'm not going to say that bikes have not been made to have their oil level checked on the side stand, although this makes no sense to me.

    People adjust side stands.... if they are on soft grass all the time, then they would want to bike more upright so it doesn't sink. If you only park on roads, then leaned over more would be better, so the bike is less likely to blow over or be bumped. If you broke your sidestand and replaced it, then what are the chances that your sight glass would remain properly calibrated...
  5. I hadn't noticed this reply. This does seem very weird. Can you ring a honda mechanic? Surely they wouldn't mind telling you?
  6. Hmmm, well I decided that the obvious way of checking would be draining the current oil and seeing how much there was. Without taking the filter out, I drained 3L of oil out, heaps more than there is meant to be! Without filter change, there's meant to be 1.8L for comparison.

    So then I assume that the original, sensible way of oil measurement (while upright) should be the way it goes. It's very interesting to note then that the Offical Honda Manual got this wrong. Attached is a screenshot of the manual.

    If anyone else (especially previous Spada owners) would like to put forward ideas of where I've gone wrong, please do so as I'm still not entirely convinced.


  7. You're definitely getting it right by standing the bike upright - don't worry about what the "official owner's manual" says, I'm more surprised that one still exists!
    (Mine is a photocopy of an old photostat, with lots of stuff crossed out and Japanese scribble all through it...)

    As for how much should be in there, "just above" the 'Full' line in the window is OK - as long as it's not spewing into the airbox you're fine...
  8. What about the engine running vs. engine off?

    I'd imagine warm oil is better, after all you want it to all flow down after you have just levered it off the side stand.

    But seriously, engine on vs engine off.... how much oil could possibly be held up by all those moving parts? I'd imagine it would be the smallest amount and have no noticeable effect on the level (I am going to check this next time I start my bike though, just out of curiosity)
  9. Most Honda manuals are available through Honda's website:

    Does seem odd that the Spada manual says to use the sidestand, when both the VT250F and VTR250 both say it should be level (and the location of the sight glass appears identical in all three bikes).

    Keep in mind that the upper level is a maximum line - not a fill line. So you want the level somewhere between the two, not slightly above the maximum.

    Edit: Oh and as for cold vs hot remember that oil expands slightly with temperature. So you want it close to the minimum line when cold, near the maximum line when hot. How much is held up in the moving parts is easy to check by comparing how much oil you add - with the rated oil capacity. On a bike like the Spada I'm guessing there'd be around 250-500ml sticking to engine parts depending on how long its been sitting.
  10. Huh, well I put about 1.8L back in and guess what, when upright the level sits perfectly just below the max line. I can't believe that they made such an error but there you go.

    Fired her up and she sounded about the same. Checked the plugs and the front was fouled with oil so I replaced them and also checked the air filter (all clean, didn't seem like oil had got there).

    Started her up again and sounded a lot nicer, back to a normal bike. Cheers for the advice everyone, I felt like I was doing it right until I read the manual and corrected. Should've gone with gut instinct anyway!

    So far future Spada owners, ignore the book and just check it upright like other bike!

  11. Yes, I'm aware of that.
    And yet I stand by my advice, that just above the "Maximum" line in a Spada is fine.
  12. Glad I'm not the only one who was confused when trying to check the oil level the first time!

    What I was thinking though is this: What happens if people change the sidestand? Then the bike would be standing with more/less lean and the oil level would be different. It only makes sense to me to have a fix point, as in holding the bike level while checking.
    Plus that's what my mechanic does :)
  13. Thanks for clarifying!! (y)
    So confused when I read the manual