Oil Check With Xr's Only Temperature Dip Stick

When I got my bike (an 01 XR400) the oil dip stick was not the oem one, hence I opted for a new one. I bought the XR'S only dip stick.

I see in the XR's owner's manual that the oem dip stick has a lower and an upper level for the oil. The XR'S only though doesn't. What it does have is a level that's painted red (and which wears off by simply wiping the stick) and a very small punched point about half an inch below that red painted spot.

I tried checking my oil a few days ago, but I got confused.

The manual says what many of you guys suggest; That is warming up the bike, and then let it idle for 5 minutes. Turn it off and then check the oil level without screwing in the dip stick. My question is what temperature should the bike be running before you shut it off and check it? I am currently running full synthetic MOTUL 10-40 motorcycle oil and the running temperature of my bike is usually between 175-185 degrees F.

So, how should I proceed and check the oil you guys? I'm really confused and frustrated about this.:banghead::busted:

The point of running the engine is two-fold: to get the oil warmed up to operating temp so it flows through the system normally, and to pump the oil from the engine up into the frame sump (reservoir) and get the level evened out. When the bike sits, the oil slowly drains out of the frame sump, through the oil lines and into the engine. It won't completely drain just from sitting, but the level will drop. So reading the stick after the bike sat for a while will give a false low reading. You might want to ask someone with a 400 and OEM dipstick to tell you the distance between the full mark and the bottom of the threaded cap. Then you can measure it on your TDS and scribe it with a file or something - that will not wipe off and you will always have a full mark to go from. Other TT'ers will certainly chime in. Hope this helps. :banghead:

XR400 OIL LEVEL CHECK

XR400's are odd for checking the oil and the manual is wrong.

Warm up your XR400 for a few minutes per the manual.

Check the oil, it will show low.

Now ride it two laps around your car or truck.

Check the oil, it will show OK.

Don't believe me? You shouldn't!

Drain the oil. Put in the recommended amount of oil.

Now try checking the oil using both methods above.

You know the motor is properly filled, so test how to check it.

(Guess how I developed this method!)

I guarantee you for 99% of the XR400's out there if the gearbox is not used, the oil in the tank will show low. This is one reason XR400's are often over filled, which is not good for the bike.

BUT I HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH OIL IS IN MY XR???

Then you are probably overdue to change it.

XR's are dangerous as you have to run them to check the oil.

Drain the oil. Put in the recommended amount of oil.

Now try checking the oil using both methods above.

Two quarts of oil is $6 to 15. A new motor is hundreds of dollars.

Oh, for the XR's Only dipstick, take a triangular file and etch a very faint line at the proper levels. Score it too deep and you'll break it off.

Mark your XRs Only dipstick 4" below the bottom of the screwcap. That will be the high level. 7" will be the low level.

Thanks for the heads up guys.

Thing is, when I bought the bike I changed the oil filter and oil. Following the manual I poured in 1,8 liters. I' ve since ridden it for about 150 miles and after receiving the XRs only dip stick, thought I'd check the oil level. Kevin, I actually did try both ways. First I tried the manual's way. The temperature had barely reached 120 degrees. So I figured it must be logical that I don't see any sign on the stick. Afterwards, I rode the bike for a good while, till it reached its operating "normal" temperature of about 180 F, then let the bike idle for another few minutes (the temperature rose to 200 F) and then shut it off. I checked the stick and the oil had not reached the "punched point" nor the red painted spot. Hence my frustration.

This whole thing got me thinking that maybe instead of waiting the manual's 5 minutes, there must be a temperature level, say 200(?) F when the oil must be checked. (Full synthetic oil, I've read here in TT lowers the bike's temp by quite alot, right?)

Heck, since I did change the oil to the manufacturer's specs I figure it must be alright, but it would be nice to know from time to time if the bike needs some oil or not. (Hondas are said to consume more oil than others I am told..)

By the way, is anyone else using Motul full synthetic 10/40?

Trailryder. that's what I was looking for too. Thanks guys!:banghead:

Try using the stock dipstick as a benchmark.

I warm my 400 for a few minutes, ride it around my Suburban once or twice.

Grab the paper towel on the rear bumper rack.

Kill the motor while sitting on the bike. (must be vertical, not on kick stand.)

Unscrew the dipstick. Wipe it off.

Check the oil level.

If you let the bike run resting on the side stand it will read low-barely touching the dipstick sometimes. It must be upright when running. Even then it will only read about 1/2 to 2/3 on the dipstick, even when I know it is full (I put in 2 qts) After riding it for a while I will recheck it and it is always at or near the full mark.

I replaced my stock dipstick with the XRs Only temp gauge dipstick the last time I did an oil change. I'll be keeping the stock dipstick to check my oil.

I am glad you posted this, I was thinking of ordering one of those but I think it is stupid that it doesn't have proper markings on it. Seeing that its purpose is to measure the oil it is almost hard to believe. :banghead:

I am glad you posted this, I was thinking of ordering one of those but I think it is stupid that it doesn't have proper markings on it. Seeing that its purpose is to measure the oil it is almost hard to believe. :busted:

That's exactly what I was thinking. How difficult could it have been for them to put two benchmarks on the stick?:banghead:

Anyhow, I think, now that Trailryder has given me the distances, it's worth the buy. I really like knowing the oil temperature when I ride. It kind of makes me feel sure I'm not overpushing the bike.

Bottom line I'm glad I bought it. Hopefully it will last long as well.

What is considered the over heating temp?

What is considered the over heating temp?

I think anything between 200-250 F is considered "normal". If you use sunthetic motorcycle oil, expect the temperatures to be lower than that. On my bike and under "normal" conditions, the running temperature

is about 180 F.

I am glad you posted this, I was thinking of ordering one of those but I think it is stupid that it doesn't have proper markings on it. Seeing that its purpose is to measure the oil it is almost hard to believe. :banghead:

If you don't care about the temp reading....Anyway, I'm gonna take a file and put some marks on mine. I've found that ANY dipstick without some type of marks are difficult to read, no matter if it's bike, truck, car, etc....

About marking your dipstick, score and make a notch on the side instead of the face, else you may risk breaking it.

I replaced my stock dipstick with the XRs Only temp gauge dipstick the last time I did an oil change. I'll be keeping the stock dipstick to check my oil.
I have the XRs-Only temp dipstick too, but also kept the stock one to check my oil with...

I don't get an accurate reading unless I actually RIDE the bike around a little. I use KevXRs method, except I ride around the block a couple of times instead of just around the truck.

I don't even bother checking the oil after changing it anymore. I put in 2 full quarts (with a filter change), so I know it's good, if slightly over-filled.

I only check the oil every couple of rides in between oil changes.

Once the bike is warmed up, I kill the engine and check the dipstick. If I see oil in the middle of the stick, I'm good to go. If no oil, then you definitely need to add.

I don't worry about it too much because I know how much is really in there.

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