oil consumption - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-18-2017, 08:20 AM Thread Starter
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oil consumption

Hi,

The bike has 40.000 km (26.000 miles) and at each 1.000 km (621 miles) I have to fill about 130 ml (0,137 quart) with oil.
Currently running Bel-Ray semisyn 20W50, next change will be Motul 20W50 mineral. Bike is running well, only issue is to do not forget about oil refilling, specialy for longer trips.

Whant's your opinion / experience ?

Thanks
Marcel
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-18-2017, 09:39 AM
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1. How long have you owned?
2. Did this problem just show up one day? (I am not sure it is even an issue...130ml/1000km)
3. How long since the valves have been checked?
4. Does the rear plug ever show signs of carbon fouling?
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-18-2017, 01:07 PM
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What is the reason for using such a thick oil - 20W50? Do You have a very hot climate? Or engine problem with a poor compression? What is the API specs of Your current oil?
Does Your bike still has an afterburner?
Do You have any visible smoke when the engine is cold?
Any visible leaks of oil anywhere?
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-19-2017, 04:23 AM Thread Starter
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1. How long have you owned? Bike is from 1995, I own it from 2003 (13.000 km at that time).
2. Did this problem just show up one day? (I am not sure it is even an issue...130ml/1000km)No, it's from years ago, and the quantity that I have to fill up (130 ml) didn't increased in time, it's quite constant since years.
3. How long since the valves have been checked?I have checked and set up the valves by myself, 15.000 km ago (3 years ago).
4. Does the rear plug ever show signs of carbon fouling?I don't know, need to check. The rear plug is CR6E.


What is the reason for using such a thick oil - 20W50? Do You have a very hot climate? Or engine problem with a poor compression? What is the API specs of Your current oil?
I live in Romania, in a temperate climate, my wife is riding (it's my wife's bike) only in the summer when temperature range is between 20C - 35C (68F - 95F). I don't know about compression. The oil is https://store.belray.com/products/v-...tle/96910-bt1/
Does Your bike still has an afterburner?
No, I have removed the afterburner when I have scooterised the bike. Sorry, forgot to mention, I have scooterised the engine, but didn't notice some changes after that.
Do You have any visible smoke when the engine is cold?
When I start the engine, cold, there is a visible smoke coming from the rear cilynder. After warming up, the smoke disappear.
Any visible leaks of oil anywhere?
No oil leaks.

Last edited by marcelm; 09-19-2017 at 05:21 AM.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-19-2017, 10:11 AM
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1. Is the rear plug the factory recommended heat range?
2. You might be over the due date for the valves. Be aware that 800' are VERY fussy about valve adjustments and to ignore them will invite disaster.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-19-2017, 11:45 AM
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The valve clearance is not the reason for increased oil consumption (Same for a chosen spark plug type) These are different things. But You should definitely check the valves every 10'000 km!

When I start the engine, cold, there is a visible smoke coming from the rear cylinder. After warming up, the smoke disappear.
Well, that's the answer! Probably there's a problem with piston rings. The smoke comes form burned oil. Check the compression first!
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-19-2017, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tehnis View Post
The valve clearance is not the reason for increased oil consumption (Same for a chosen spark plug type) These are different things. But You should definitely check the valves every 10'000 km!

Wrong... a hotter plug may have been installed to cover up a plug fouling issue.

When I start the engine, cold, there is a visible smoke coming from the rear cylinder. After warming up, the smoke disappear.
Well, that's the answer! Probably there's a problem with piston rings. The smoke comes form burned oil. Check the compression first!
Wrong again...the smoke could be from excess fuel in the rear cylinder (due to a faulty fuel tap) burning off.

I ask my questions for a reason, so please do not second guess them.

Remember, without a question, there can be no answer.
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Last edited by sfair; 09-19-2017 at 01:16 PM.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-20-2017, 12:21 AM
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OK. Then we both asked this question wrong. We should ask what the color would be that smoke
If it's black (dark grey), it's fuel. If it's white (light blue), it's oil.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-20-2017, 05:51 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you guys for the real debate here.

1. Is the rear plug the factory recommended heat range?
No, factory recommended is CR7E, but because of too often rear plug fouled, I have changed to CR6E and now is OK. I understood that doing this, we only are covering the real reason, which can be a NOK fuel tap)

The smoke is not white, is more like black/blue.

This winter I will recheck the valves and will do a compression test.

There are no visible leakeges, and the cooling liquid is not contaminated with oil. Means, the oil can "disappear", because of worn rings or worn valves guides (seals). As the bike is from 1995, thinking aging valves guides it can be a reason.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-20-2017, 09:34 AM
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If it smokes on start up, along with rear plug fouling, is a good indication that your fuel tap is leaking.
When that happens, raw fuel runs into the rear cylinder and makes its way down into the crankcase when parked.
This has two effects:

1. You get fuel dilution of the oil.
2. The cylinder wall is washed clean of any residual oil which results in poor sealing/increased wear on that cylinder/increased oil consumption.

It is poor practice to install a hotter plug to cover up a condition that could result in shorter engine life.

In "my opinion", this is what I would do:

1. Replace fuel tap.
2. Do the carb while you are at it. At that age and mileage, it is probably in need. Replace float needle.
3. Replace plug with correct one.
4. Check valves if they are due.
5. Ride
6. Monitor plug condition.
7. Your oil usage is not a concern at this time.

Of course, you are free to dismiss the above as crazy talk at any time.
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