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Oil level question

Discussion in 'Bling and Appearance' started by robbied, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. Hey everyone,

    I am curious to find out what is the best way make your bike level to accurately check your oil level?

    I did an oil/filter change today, I used my rear race stand on level ground but im not sure how accurate my method is because the rear is slightly lifted. I tried it with both rear and front race stands but its obvious the front is lifted higher than the rear.

    Any tips or methods?


  2. Learn to balance the bike on level ground, and upright, or get someone to hold it upright.

    A simpler method would to be buy a Honda, with a dipstick :LOL:
  3. I thought dipsticks bought Honda's

    Slightly higher in one end is hardly going to make THAT much difference to the oil level. You don't have to get it 100% accurate to the millilitre
  4. use the rear race stand only, and fill according to manufacturers spec.

    (incl. or excl. extra volume for oil filter change as necessary)

    4 inches off the ground is not going to stuff up your oil level, especially if you measure the replacement volume accurately.
  5. Speak for yourself
  6. Well...if it's one wheel or the other 4" off the ground the level won't be right. That's not much better than leaving it on the side stand...


    Trevor G
  7. Gotta love centre stands! :grin:
  8. just pull the bike upright whilst standing next to it, then squat down. It's not that precise a science.
  9. With the bike on level ground and on the side stand remove the dip stick and wipe it, then replace it. Now stand beside the bike and hold it upright at the balance point for a couple of seconds then let it back down on the side stand. Remove the dip stick and check the oil level.

    This is assuming that the dip stick is on the right hand side of the bike (most are) and that it has to be screwed in all the way when checking the oil level.
  10. which dipstick are we talking about now.... the dipstick as in oil level indicator, or the dipstick trying to precariously balance the bike whilst performing said procedure???

    I must be the only person around here that follows the service manual for my honda (with it's own oil level indicator - aka dipstick).

    Considering a 4" raising of the back wheel is going to affect the level of the oil in your sump by less than 5 degrees from horizontal, about a 1:13 grade, based on a short wheelbase of about 1300mm (remember pythagoras? he invented the math for calculating this... triangulation, aka Trigonometry) we are talking about an amount that is not visibly calculable on the dipstick.
    It is different when the bike is on a sidestand, because the lean angle is far greater (up to 30 degrees from vertical) and the distance over which the angle occurs, is far far shorter - the width of the crankcase (the pivot point is the centreline of the bike). in an inline 4 cylinder engine, this is much more noticable than elevating the rear axle on a racestand when the bike is vertical.
    The Dipstick is supposed to be an indicator to warn you of the colour of the oil, it's viscosity and the amount of oil consumed. it's a "warning" indicator. not a hard rule. if the level on your dipstick fluctuates markedly between oil changes, you have a leak somewhere, or your crankcase is overpressurized and pushing oil out.

    Still worried?
    take some measurements, axle to axle, and the delta between the raised rear axle and the axle height @ ground level. then get lazy and google a triangle calculator or remember your triangle math from primary school to calculate the included angle and the hypotenuse. you can calculate a gradient from that if you like. It wont be far off the value I quoted above, as most people don't own short wheelbase bikes like buell's.

    Still worried??Go back to where I stated use the rear race stand, and measure your oil to the last millilitre when you're refilling, if you want to be that anal about it, make sure you follow your bikes factory service manual.

    The fact is, you will never be able to drain ALL the oil from your bike, even with a filter change, leaving it overnight to lose every last drop. Follow the service manual statements to refill the exact amount according to whether you are changing the filter, or not.

    But Seeing as though you're going to go to all this trouble to check the oil level so finitely, you should consider changing the filter with every oil change, it's cheap insurance.

    Life would be so much simpler if we all had dry-sump engines.
  11. .

    Oi behave dip stick lol ooops i mean Sir dip stick :)
  12. He is doing an oil change dude. He is not re-inventing the wheel.

    This is usually how an oil change goes...

    1) Put bike on rear stand
    2) Drain oil
    3) Put new oil in
    4) Go riding
  13. Thaaaat, was funny!


    Trevor G

    PS Still larfing **groan** ;-)

    PPS Stiiiiiill larfing.... sorry