XR400/250 oil question

(RIP) Mark Dilloway

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Ok you guys with these bikes - How do you know how much oil to have in the bike. Recently I found my oil level low on the XR400 and topped it up - went for a run and after a mile or so on the road at 60mph the bike started getting slower and slower. I thought I had a seizure coming on. As I coasted to a stop - clutch in- oil was seen pouring out of what turned out to be the crankcase breather. After a while I started it up and rode home.

The dipstick showed it was overfull and I removed a litre of oil.

Still suspicious I checked the manual - it says 1.7 litres after an oil change w/o filter. So I drained the oil and put 1.7 litres back into the bike leaving a further 1 litre in the drainage pot!!!.

When I came to check the dipstick the oil level was nowhere to be seen - not a drop on the dipstick.

Clearly I am very surprised I didn't blow any seals with almost 4 litres of oil in the bike but has anybody come across this oil anomaly?

Thanks

Mark
 
Answering my own question

Having thought about this I believe its a problem with all oil-in-frame bikes because if the bike is left for a while the oil drains into the sump. Can anybody confirm this?
 
Oil in Frame

Yeah I had a similar problem on my DR 400, should have read the manual really, where it said run the bike until warm and then stand for three minutes before checking oil!
 
Well yes, the oil on XR's will of course drain from the galleries back to the crankcase, but when it gets hot will also expand up the frame.
To check the oil level, run for around 5 minutes (no not you, the engine) stop engine and with bike upright, straight away remove dipstick, wipe it clean and dip without screwing dip stick in. That is the correct level.

So when you change the oil, fill it with the specified amount then run untill untill warm, (5 mins), and check as above, only then adding as necessary.

Similar confusion can arise with the GS.

Hope that helps.
Tim
 
Thank you Tim and Jim

Many thanks to both of you - I feel a lot better now!


It's not clear in the manual and to think I had double the amount of oil it - no wonder it spluttered a bit. I just hope I haven't clogged the rings - its only done a 1000 miles or so.
 
timolgra said:
Well yes, the oil on XR's will of course drain from the galleries back to the crankcase, but when it gets hot will also expand up the frame.
To check the oil level, run for around 5 minutes (no not you, the engine) stop engine and with bike upright, straight away remove dipstick, wipe it clean and dip without screwing dip stick in. That is the correct level.

So when you change the oil, fill it with the specified amount then run untill untill warm, (5 mins), and check as above, only then adding as necessary.

Similar confusion can arise with the GS.

Hope that helps.
Tim

Tim/Mark,
This is basically what I do when checking a bike that is supposed to have oil in it.
However when performing an oil change,this is my procedure.
Warm the bike up for 5 mins.
Remove the dipstick,
Drain the sump plug
Re-fit sump plug
Drain the frame plug
Re-fit the frame plug
Remove Oil filter cover and remove Filter.
Put in a new Honda filter the correct way and re-fit the oil filter cover.
Fill from a measuring jug about 1200ml of fresh 10/40 Semi Synthetic quality oil.
When the level is showing on bottom of dipstick, kick over bike with kill switch off and decompressor used.( Now oil has been manually ciculated around bike),
Re-fill 100-200ml of oil, until it 's showing on dipstick.
Now start bike up and run for 5 mins.
Stop and wait for oil to settle after 2-3 mins.
Check level and top-up to full level.start again,run and re-check after oil has had time to settle.
Works for me.
 
Johnny, I agree entirely with your methods and quantities for an XR 250, but just to clarify for Mark's bike which is an XR400 and requires a further 400ml.
So would need 1600ml plus 100 - 200ml.
Tim
 
timolgra said:
Johnny, I agree entirely with your methods and quantities for an XR 250, but just to clarify for Mark's bike which is an XR400 and requires a further 400ml.
So would need 1600ml plus 100 - 200ml.
Tim

Yep you're correct Tim (I'm looking at an XR400 Manual that I've just sold on E-Bay...........more postage).
Is my method of oil changing on the XR, a sensible one.
 
JohnnyBoxer said:
[B
Is my method of oil changing on the XR, a sensible one. [/B]

Sensible, is a gross understatement mate;)
Tim
 
Thanks again

Johnny method duly put into place and validated. Yes very sensible indeed. Honda manual shown to be slightly erroneous. After settling almost 500ml oil needed to reach UPPER mark on dipstick. That is 2.2 litres needed against the manual volume of 1.7 litres.

Still a hell of a lot less that what I had in before! There I was going down the road, engine slowing and when I stopped all this oil pouring out the engine (onto my left foot) - there was a trail of oil all down the road on the nearside fortunately- I thought I'd blown a seal. It wasn't till later I realised it was pouring out of the crankcase breather. Still it goes to show how good Honda seals are because there is not a drop of oil seeping from the gear shift or any of the oil fittings. The crankcase pressure must have been horrendous
 


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