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07XR650L

No Oil?!

26 posts in this topic

I have an '07 XR650L with 590 miles. I broke it in according to the "Motoman Technique".

I went for a 100 mile ride today and when I got back I checked the oil after the bike was completely cool and... NO OIL! Not even a drop on the dipstick. I have an oil temp. dipstick and never went over 200 degrees today.

I have changed the oil once already and was very careful with everything, I added the right amount of oil (I used Mobil 1 Synthetic Motorcycle Oil) and used the right filter. There are absolutely no exterior leaks. I have noticed over the last couple days that there is some black residue in the end of the tailpipe.

This leads me to my questions:

Should I check the oil when the bike is warm? If so, where should the level be when it is cool?

Does the black residue at the tailpipe mean that oil is slipping past the rings and burning? Or is the residue normal?

Could the oil I used just be burning up? The oil I used met all the criteria that the owner's manual specified.

Sorry to ramble. Thanks in advance.

Oh, and as a sidenote, I have the smog block off kit installed and a UNI air filter. This may have nothing to do with the problem, but maybe some dirt got in and ruined the rings/cylinder walls? The air filter is oiled correctly, and the smog kit was done right. I did not use any gasket material on the block off plates.

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You need to check the oil when it is warm. I dont know if using a full synthetic on a new motor is the right thing to do.

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I've had all the big Honda thumpers since 1986 and I allways checked it as soon as I shut the engine off after a ride, never had a problem. If you wait it will drain into the engine and read low.

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First I personally am not a big fan of the motoman break in, and your exact issues are why. Second never, never use a full synthetic oil in a single cylinder 4 stroke, they always smell like burnt clutch when you disassemble them, but mostly never use full synthetic in a new motor, yes its slipping past the rings cause they never got a chance to seat correctly! Oil checking proceedure; warm bike up for 5 minutes, turn off let cool 5 minutes oil level should read correct at this point! Please dont take offense ( lot of that going around lately) you asked and its just my $.02

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rebel, no offense taken, that's why I asked. Why shouldn't synthetic be used if it meets all the criteria in the manual? Will the rings eventually seat? And, should I get that oil out of there ASAP?

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What's a good oil to use?

Yeah, take that synthetic oil out. The problem with full synthetic during break-in is that IT WORKS TOO GOOD… but after 3k or so, its good to use.

Right now, Use a good “motorcycle oil” 10-30, or whatever they have. But make sure it’s a 4-stroke motorcycle oil though – not car oil.

Don’t rack your brain too much on brand etc…I mean it’s a 650L… The thing isn’t too particular.

Hope this helps :bonk:

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rebel, no offense taken, that's why I asked. Why shouldn't synthetic be used if it meets all the criteria in the manual? Will the rings eventually seat? And, should I get that oil out of there ASAP?

The full synthetics especially automotive oils contain a molybdenum additive, plus others, which is not good for a wet clutch, will cause slippage, then overheating etc... also it is just too slick and prevents the rings from seating. I would reccomend the Honda GN oil the weight would depend on your ambient air temp, here in Florida I run a 20-50 weight, and have been using Belray thumper oil, it is extremely thick and holds up well under high heat conditions, but on a new bike I would run the Honda GN in 20-50 weight, would use it for the first 3000 miles. And yes I would go ahead and change the oil and filter asap! good luck, let us know if it quits burning oil. keep an eye on the level and as long as the bike has been running you can check the oil within a minute or so of turning it off.

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Make absolutely sure you're checking your oil level per the manual. With dry sump oil systems like most XR's overfilling is a very common mistake due to a false low reading. On XR650Rs the manual sais to idle for 5 minutes then check the oil without screwing in the dipstick. My nephew bought an XR400 last fall & overfilled it by not following the owner's manual to the letter.

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I currently have 4 air cooled singles on synthetic oil,several that way for years. Mobil1 MX4T, amsoil or rotella t syn. The bikes are a 2000 XR600R, and 3 honda ATC350x's. All the same motor design, and one got synthetic after a 20 minute break in on dino oil. No failures, leaks or clutch slippage whatsoever. Your running some of the best oil you can buy, there is no reason to change back to a inferior conventional oil. If your burning it you'll see a huge cloud behind you when your riding the bike, your probably just seeing carbon on the pipe, and that's normal.

As far as rings seating, your rings seat within the first few minutes if not seconds of start up, wich is done either at the factory or the dealer before you even bought your bike. If they didn't seat then they never will.

Oil should be checked warm or hot, and my manual states immediatly after shutting off engine, and they aren't lieing, if i wait 30 sec you can hear it draining back to the motor, so i check it the second i kill the motor.

As long as the synthetic oil has no moly in it, or dosen't have a energy concerving stamp on the bottle, it's generally fine to use in a wet clutch application. All the ones i use are motorcycle safe.

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The Mobil 1 synthetic does not have moly additives and is not API energy conserving.

So my plan of action now should be to warm the bike up, check the oil according to the owner's manual and see if I am in fact burning oil? If I am burning oil, this means the rings did not set... right?

Even if I did not burn any, I may put conventional oil back in the bike. The reason I used the synthetic in the first place is because it said it was designed for wet clutches, and I heard it would help make it shift better.

Thanks for all the replies...

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Well, I feel like a total jack-a$$. I checked the oil like I should have, by the manual. I idled the bike for about 5 minutes (until it was warm, around 100 degrees). Then I checked the oil immediately after I shut the bike off. I seated the factory dipstick, but didn't thread it in and the reading was about 1/2 to 3/4 full. Which I figure is OK because the bike wasn't super warm. I'm thinking maybe a little synthetic oil is slipping past the rings because of the blackened tailpipe, but I don't know for sure. I run Mobil 1 in my Jeep and get the same thing at the tailpipe.

Why does Honda say to wait 2-3 minutes to check the oil level? Like hrc1 said earlier, you can hear the oil draining right back into the cases as soon as you shut the bike off.

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I,ve run Mobil 1 in all my engines with no issues, I have 35k on my Blackbird and no oil consumption at 4k oil change intervals. I bought a new in crate CBR1000F and drained the factory oil before starting it and ran Mobil 1 15/50 and I sold it at 30k miles it was just below the full line on the dipstick bettween oil changes. When I worked for Chevy all Corvettes came from the factory with Mobil 1. Here in AZ conventional oil turns to black water on 110 degree days I wouldn't run it in a lawnmower.:bonk:

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Up here Wal-Mart sells Mobil 1 synthetic specific for motorcycles at a better price than anywhere else I've checked. At least at the local wally mart it's not stocked next to the automotive oils, it's shelved with the helmets a few isles over. Glad to hear you've figured out the oil check procedure.

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As others have said, the synthetic oil reduces friction to almost zero. This is NOT what you want in a brand new motor. You need to run regular oil for at least a few thousand miles to break everything in, you can't go wrong with Honda oil from your dealer. I don't know what the Motoman breakin is but if it isn't approved by your owners manual then I wouldn't do it. Breakin is probably the most important thing you will ever have to do with your motor, and you only get that one chance to do it right, unless you rebuild. If you work the motor hard without proper seating, you'll score the cylinder and rings and set yourself up for lifelong oil burning. Hopefully you haven't done this already. A little patience is all it takes, that motor will pay you back for a little TLC in the beginning.:bonk:

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Cars are different than Bikes. They do a breakin run on the critical parts at the factory. That is why Corvettes come with Synthetic oil, also some others. My friend just bought a new Toyota truck and the manual specifically says there isn't any breakin procedure THAT THE OWNER HAS TO DO, it has been done at the factory. I've got 170K on my streetbike running synthetic blend and it still runs awesome. I broke it in however with standard oil for 3k after a rebuild. Just my 2 cents.

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First I personally am not a big fan of the motoman break in, and your exact issues are why.

I broke my XR650R in according to Motoman's instructions. It now has about 15,000 mostly off road miles on it and doesn't burn a drop of oil. Runs like it did when it was new.

I've always used Shell Rotella mineral oil for Diesel engines.

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As others have said, the synthetic oil reduces friction to almost zero. This is NOT what you want in a brand new motor. You need to run regular oil for at least a few thousand miles to break everything in, you can't go wrong with Honda oil from your dealer. I don't know what the Motoman breakin is but if it isn't approved by your owners manual then I wouldn't do it. Breakin is probably the most important thing you will ever have to do with your motor, and you only get that one chance to do it right, unless you rebuild. If you work the motor hard without proper seating, you'll score the cylinder and rings and set yourself up for lifelong oil burning. Hopefully you haven't done this already. A little patience is all it takes, that motor will pay you back for a little TLC in the beginning.:bonk:

I completely understand what you are saying, but I did some reading online about break-in periods. As far as I understand it, the rings seat within about the first 20 miles. Basically as soon as the engine is hot and the rings have time to expand etc. I've also heard mechanics say that when they rebuild a motor thy take it out and run the RPMs right up and let the motor get to running temp. so the rings will seat. If you google "motoman" you should find his write-up easily. As far as I'm concerned, his explanations for breaking in a motor make a lot of sense. I might like you say however, switch back to conventional just to play it safe. I understand about the synthetic working too well.

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