Idle without oil

21 replies to this topic
  • Shawbridge Husky

Posted May 07, 2001 - 03:20 AM


I am an idiot! Don't let me near your bike. After having carefuly washed the bike, draining and and cleaning my oil filter I was preoccupied with work and stuff. I decided to idle the bike like I always do after washing. After idling for a minute or two I sat back on it only to look down at the oil dipstick just resting and unscrewwd. Yep , no oil! Have since been on two rides, no smoking, lots of compression, seems like there was no damage. I had Golden Spectro semi-syn in it at the time of oil drain. I seem to be hearing slightly more noise from motor but cannot be sure. I think I have become paranoid and am hearing things that were there already. Would appreciate your comments. Thanks, sorry for my stupidity.

  • Boit

Posted May 07, 2001 - 06:23 AM


Why would you admit to that? That's one I'd keep to myself... :)

[This message has been edited by Boit (edited 05-07-2001).]

[This message has been edited by Boit (edited 05-07-2001).]

  • enmerdeur

Posted May 07, 2001 - 06:54 AM



Faites attention Alor!

If it was only idling you will probably be ok.

Word of advise: Don't Do That!!!!

99'YZ-400 (Mine)
00' TT-R 125 (Hers)
91' KX-125 (Son #1)
93' CR-80 (Just sold it. Looking for another TTR125 for Son #2)
99' PW-80 (Son #3)

  • Shawbridge Husky

Posted May 07, 2001 - 06:57 AM


Boit, I guess I want to see if anyone out there did the same and find out if there could have been damage or not. Also would bolster my self esteem somewhat to find out that I am not the only one scatter brained enough to do such a thing. :)

  • yzernie

Posted May 07, 2001 - 07:13 AM


Originally posted by Hugh LePage:
Also would bolster my self esteem somewhat to find out that I am not the only one scatter brained enough to do such a thing. :D


You are not the only one...but the rest of us would never fess-up :)


  • enmerdeur

Posted May 07, 2001 - 07:38 AM



Although I haven't done such a thing yet I alsost did last time I changed my oil. Caught myself just in time. What I do now is whenever I am working on the bike and have not finished I put a piece of red electrical tape on my kick starter to remind me not to start the bike. Once the maintenance is done I remove the tape. It helps my 40+ year old brain remember whats going on.

99'YZ-400 (Mine)
00' TT-R 125 (Hers)
91' KX-125 (Son #1)
93' CR-80 (Just sold it. Looking for another TTR125 for Son #2)
99' PW-80 (Son #3)

  • Guest_Guest_*

Posted May 07, 2001 - 07:45 AM


I did the same thing on an 01 wr 426. i was doing many things at once, beer included, when a friend stopped over. "whats it sound like" is how it all started. I fired it up and let it run for about 30 seconds. ieven revved it a couple of time. When I realized what was going on, I shut it off and broke out in a cold sweat. The thing runs the balls. I have been beating the snot out of it ever since and no issues. Pulls like a champ. We were both lucky. I'll make you a deal, I won't do it again if you don't.

PS: The more noise you listen for, the more you will hear.

[This message has been edited by mike68 (edited 05-07-2001).]

  • forloop

Posted May 07, 2001 - 08:15 AM


I dought you hurt it. Its all about friction and temperture. If you burn the oil off the places in the motor that create heat due to friction it would be bad. Synthectic oil can take a lot of abuse and still survive.

Do not feel too bad. I know a guy that did this to his new Toyota Avalon. 10K mistake.

01 YZ426F #85 Vet C

  • DaveJ

Posted May 07, 2001 - 09:14 PM


You're only an idiot if you make the same mistake twice.

And I'm sure that noise you're hearing is in your head, so don't lose any sleep over this.

Most engines can idle and even run at great lengths without any oil. Ever seen those bogus ProLong commericals? In other words, you had lubrication, just no circulation.


  • Amador

Posted May 07, 2001 - 11:03 AM


Hey Hugh!

I'll take a little heat with ya! I did the same thing about a year ago with my 00' 426.
I was doing so many things at one time. Swing arm, wheel bearings oil change, headset ect. By the time I got done it was like 2:30 am. I got cleaned up and went to bed. Woke later in the am and fired her up!! I too broke out in a cold sweat and for the next ten rides or so, I thought about it constantly! I sought therapy and now am fine. My bike has been kickin' ass every since! never a problem. Your bike will be fine, and in time, like me, your ego will be too.

Visit the ThumperTalk Store for the lowest prices on motorcycle / ATV parts and accessories - Guaranteed
  • Guest_Guest_*

Posted May 07, 2001 - 11:57 AM


Dont feel bad it sounds like you did not hurt anything, I did. While riding at the coast with some friends I had forgot my stand and had to use the tie-down method on one side. The wind blew it over twice!! It only scratched the ingition cover and dented the pipe gaurd. Your not the only one out there.

  • Guest_Guest_*

Posted May 07, 2001 - 12:46 PM


Kinda the same thing..........I read an article in some mx mag about 10yrs ago about a guy that wanted a new bike but his wife said only if the XR250 gave out on him! I think it was a 1985 one of the same yrs I had. He rode the snot out of it and still cudn't get it to blow! Hardly ever checked the oil and finally one day when his wife was gone he put it up on the stand and duct taped the throttle open started it and went to the grociery store...........He came bak and sure was "dead".......only when he checked the gas tank it had just fun out of fuel!
He decided that if it was that tuff that he mite as well keep it!
About 3mo.s later he was racing a hare n hound and screamin across a dry lake bed in 5th pinned. Crested over a small rise and thats when she decided to give out!
Siezed up and ass over tea kettle he went!
got the bike home and discovered that the plug had worked slightly loose and allowed a single piece of sand into th motor and into the bearing which caused it to sieze.
He did get a new bike but he kept the old one just for the story!
I had 2 or 3 xr's and you sure can't fault the indestructibility of the motor.and that was in the 80's so I think the Yammy 2decades later is surely at least that tough!


That's not thunder ridin' your BUTT .........
It's a whole Damn HURRICANE!!!!!!

  • holeshot

Posted May 07, 2001 - 12:56 PM


I haven't neglected to put oil in my bike yet, because I always complete that job before I move on. I really doubt if you hurt it, since you only idled it a short time.

Of course, there is that time when I forgot to put the chain tensioner back on, and kicked like mad trying to figure out what that funny clackity-clack noise was. The chain jumped two teeth on the cam sprocket, and everything locked up. Thankfully, the spark wire wasn't on (I wasn't trying to start it, just seating the buckets before taking a final measurement). It's run perfectly since that time.

I've done worse, but I'm not ready to fess up yet.....

Holeshot's Page

  • Boit

Posted May 07, 2001 - 04:06 PM


Hugh, I haven't done THAT.....yet. But, I have pulled my share of boo boos. Your post got me to thinking and I went right out to my garage and made a red ty-rap to put on my throttle anytime I do any work on my machine. That red ty-rap will be a reminder to check over my work before starting the engine. Something good usually comes out of something bad...sorry that happened to you... :)


Posted May 07, 2001 - 09:37 PM


Back in the 70's when we rode in Levi's and work boots sometimes the kickstarter would go up your pant leg so when you tried to put your foot down after stopping your foot was stuck and you would do the old fall over sideways trick. I also fell over the same way on my mountain bike when my shoe got stuck in the pedal. I had just pulled up next to a car full of teenage girls. The good thing about getting old is you really don't care what other people think when you do something stupid.

  • Sandracer_uk

Posted May 08, 2001 - 12:47 AM



if u advertise your bike for sale on thumper talk in a year or so,,,,,,,remind us of this moment haha

"when the dust storm comes they say the devil rides in"

  • vznx1w

Posted May 08, 2001 - 04:18 AM



Because the YZ uses a roller bearing crankshaft and rod design, it can run for a very long time without oil (unlike the plain bearing cranks used in cars and many street bikes.) The piston and cylinder will be OK as well, w/ just the residual oil film. The component which most needs PRESSURIZED oil is the cam bearings within the cylinder head. However, based on mu experience you would have to run for a very long time to do any significant damage. As a Suzuki dealership mechanic, I once test rode a GS400 (also has roller bearing crank) that the owner claimed was "stalling." About 3 miles into my ride, it made a terrible schreeching noise and stopped running as the camshafts seized in the cylinder head. After a few minutes cooling it started and ran. Back at the shop I discovered the guy had installed his oil filter backwards--with the blank end against the oil passage--totally shutting-off oil flow through the engine. The guy didn't want me to inspect his cam bearings, so he rode away and put 12,000 more trouble free miles on the bike!!

Don't worry--be happy!

  • emcdan

Posted May 08, 2001 - 06:12 AM


It sounds like everybody has had some experience in this area! I once had a stick to jab underneath my tank of an XR600. It broke a valve cap completely in half, blowing just about all the oil out as I rode. By the time I saw smoke and oil, it was to late. I found a coke can, cut the bottom off and bungie corded it across the motor. It held out dirt but there was no oil to come out. I road pretty fast pace for 32 miles back to the camp. I heard some clatter but I got back. (Thanks guys for wait'n up for me...&%$#@!) I put oil in it and rode a couple more times. Tore the engine down later, defintely blue/black marks on bearings (but functioning). Surprizingly, no real signs of scorching from the piston or cylinder. I call it lucky. I think the oil-less 426 will survive. Just in case, sell it and get a 450....Ha Ha

  • Shawbridge Husky

Posted May 10, 2001 - 09:59 PM


Thanks for all your experiences and comments! My self esteem is on a comebck but am not completely recovered yet. Checked out filter the other day and there was a small, normal amount on aluminium inside as usual. I think the clatter I think I am hearing may be due to the fact that I switched to regular Spectro and not Golden Spectro semi-syn. oil. ( I picked up a gallon at the bike shop thinking they were all same ) Will replace oil on weekend and let you all know.

  • enmerdeur

Posted May 10, 2001 - 10:47 AM



Go to your auto parts store (Maybe Canadian Tire)and get some Mobil 15-50W Syn. It works great and is about half the price of moto oil. Many people on the list use it with good results

99'YZ-400 (Mine)
00' TT-R 125 (Hers)
91' KX-125 (Son #1)
93' CR-80 (Just sold it. Looking for another TTR125 for Son #2)
99' PW-80 (Son #3)

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