Kawasaki Vulcan Forum banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
386 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I know there are several threads on this, but, whilst away this winter I noticed the rear cylinder was covered in oil (again) from the breather hose, I dipped the oil and it was just at the top of the flat part of the dipstick having just been serviced, so I removed 250ml of oil, cleaned the oil residue off. Dipped the oil again and it was no where near the maximum mark and I then had no oil breather leaks for 1800 miles.

Then yesterday I cleaned the last of the winter salt off the bike, and noticed the rear cylinder covered in oil mist again, dipped the oil this morning and it's halfway back up to the maximum mark.

What the hell is going on??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,620 Posts
Are you checking the oil per the manual?

On most Vulcan models, there's a specific oil level procedure. Unlike your car, you can't just take the dipstick out of a cold engine leaning on it's side and get an accurate reading. On my Vulcans, the procedure is to warm it up, then hold it up off of the kickstand (sit on it) and check the oil (clean dipstick, re-install, check). Check your owners manual to see if the procedure is the same.

I know from reading the other threads, that generally it seems most 1700 owners report that an oil level above 'half' on the hashmarks can cause oil blow at higher RPM's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
386 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Yes, checking it hot and level, after allowing 3 minutes for oil to settle, as per manual.
I can't seem to get the same reading on dipstick twice.
I have noticed that a slight deviation in level front to back of the bike makes a massive difference but I always try to check it in the same place that is level but as I've said never get the same reading and it always seems high.
The oil is not contaminated with fuel or water.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,656 Posts
I just put in 5 quarts at each oil change and don't worry about it. Chasing the dip stick can lead to too much oil in the bike.

Unless you clean everything, you can have drips for quite a while since the tube vents.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
580 Posts
I just put in 5 quarts at each oil change and don't worry about it. Chasing the dip stick can lead to too much oil in the bike.

Unless you clean everything, you can have drips for quite a while since the tube vents.
Me too. I've never had to add between oil changes, and never had any oil from the crankcase vent. Are you sure there isn't oil leaking from somewhere
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
343 Posts
Glad to know I'm not the only one having difficulty getting a firm oil level reading.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
386 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Contacted the bike shop I bought the O2 eliminator from today, and even though it's a Sunday I got a reply straight back.
Trying to cover all the possibilities even though the plugs are the correct colour, thought there might be a slight chance it was running very rich and fuel was washing past the pistons into the oil.
Got it straight from the dealer how the eliminator forces the ECU to run in open loop, and like I said the plugs are the correct colour. He did however suggest it might be a sticking injector, allowing the fuel to drain down until the residual pressure has gone.

I've got an oil contamination kit coming in a few days to check for fuel and coolant, will post results if anyone is interested.

Of course the most likely outcome is operator error, and I just can't check the oil level correctly............................
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,707 Posts
I do the same as twowheeledaddict and dlars. And there a few others do the same. I gave up checking oil all the time. If it ever starts leaking or using then I will start checking... I like the sight glass on my Yamaha's..........
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
391 Posts
copied and pasted from another forum.
http://www.kawasakimotorcycle.org/forum/kawasaki-touring-sport-touring/137753-nomad-oil-capacity.html

Kawasaki's method to check the oil is "odd" because the motor is a semi dry sump engine with 2 sections in the crankcase that store the oil. 1. The section below the crankshaft and 2. the transmission. These two sections in the crankcase are partitioned off from each other... however the seal between them is not 100%, oil leaks between the sections when the bike is not running.

How it works.
When the engine is running oil is pumped from the tranny thru the oil filter, thru the engine and finally into the sump in the crankcase. The oil pump in the sump serves as a scavenger pump and pumps the oil back into the tranny and it starts all over again. So when the engine is running very little oil remains the crankcase sump.

Now when you shut the engine off, over time oil from the tranny seeps back into the sump. After long enough time half the oil will be in the sump and the other in the tranny. This allows oil to be in the sump to bath the crank shaft on cold starts.

So if you check your oil on a cold engine that has not been started you won't get an accurate reading because oil has seeped from the tranny and into the sump and the oil dip stick is in the tranny where half the oil has seep into the sump. In order to get an accurate reading you need to run the engine to pump all the oil out of the sump and back into the tranny.

Now that we know that we can check the oil cold. First use the procedure in the owners manual and make sure the oil is up to the full mark... add oil if necessary. Then the next day when the engine is cold start the engine for 15 seconds with the bike on the side stand. This is done to pump all the oil out of the sump into the tranny. Now wait 2-3 minutes to allow the oil to drain back into the tranny and check the oil level on the dip stick. Wherever the level is on the dipstick is the full mark on the engine cold and on the side stand. Mark it or remember where that level is and you can use the cold method and not burn you fingers using the Kawasaki's hot method.

The key here is consistency, check the oil on level ground and the bike angle on the side stand the same each time and you will get a consistent reading. What you can't compensate for is the ambient temperature. Oil does expand and contract, if you check your oil using this method you'll learn where the winter/summer level is on the stick. It doesn't really matter how you check the oil if you know where the full mark should be in your method and you're consistent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,656 Posts
I do the same as twowheeledaddict and dlars. And there a few others do the same. I gave up checking oil all the time. If it ever starts leaking or using then I will start checking... I like the sight glass on my Yamaha's..........
All my other Kawasakis have the sight glass. I'm sure Kawasaki had some reason to change to a dip stick.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
150 Posts
It's too much of a hassle for me... I put 5 quarts in mine and run it. If I want to check it, I fire it up like in the method above, shut it down, let it sit for a few minutes and check it. If there is oil on the dipstick I ride. I don't have time for the Kawasaki method.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,656 Posts
It's too much of a hassle for me... I put 5 quarts in mine and run it. If I want to check it, I fire it up like in the method above, shut it down, let it sit for a few minutes and check it. If there is oil on the dipstick I ride. I don't have time for the Kawasaki method.
What I do as well. As long as there is oil on the stick. good to go.

Too many people, including 'professionals' put too much oil in these bikes. They are just pumping it in from a 55 gallon drum unless you specifically request a certain brand of oil and watch them perform the service.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
386 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Yes I am convinced this is operator error. The service technician always puts too much oil in, as he only runs the motor up for a couple of minutes after the oil change before he dips it. It was okay after the service as it was cold here, and cold on the ride down to Spain, then when I was there it was hot and the bike ran really hot in the traffic which is when it started spewing oil out the breather.

I ran the engine for 3 minutes this morning and checked the oil and it was barely on the dipstick, then ran it up till the fan came on and re checked and it was at the top on the stick.

Got the level sorted for checking on the side stand now to take the guess work out of whether or not the bike is level.
It annoys me that Kawasaki don't even mark the dipstick with maximum and minimum marks. Guess they knew the trouble they were causing with this set up and thought that would make it even worse.

I will ask the tech to put half a litre less in next service, which is now 1000 miles overdue, but he's on holiday..............
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
386 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Man I am so sick of this. Used the Kawasaki today for a ride down to a local race track. The weather has picked up today and on the way home it was hot. Oil spewing out of the breather again all over the rear cylinder, and yet last week when it was chilly, even after a long ride the oil level was only reading half way on the dipstick.

Kawasaki have really got this wrong. How can the ambient temperature have such an effect on the oil level. This doesn't happen on my Harley.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
580 Posts
Man I am so sick of this. Used the Kawasaki today for a ride down to a local race track. The weather has picked up today and on the way home it was hot. Oil spewing out of the breather again all over the rear cylinder, and yet last week when it was chilly, even after a long ride the oil level was only reading half way on the dipstick.

Kawasaki have really got this wrong. How can the ambient temperature have such an effect on the oil level. This doesn't happen on my Harley.
I don't know why oil is coming from your crankcase vent, is the vent hose properly routed to the left side intake if stock, or into the backing plate on the right side of your intake if it's modified?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Guys, I can understand putting in the proper amount of oil after a change, and leaving it alone until the next oil change if there are no leaks or burning issues.

What I'm curious about is how you decided on 5 quarts when the manual specs call for 4.5 quarts with a new filter.

Ride safe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,620 Posts
I don't have my manual in front of me but I could've sworn it said like 4.5 WITHOUT filter, and like 5.2 with?

Either way, folks report that 5 quarts puts it amply in the "full" marks without going over. So it seems reasonable.
 

·
BOTM Winner, May 2015
Joined
·
740 Posts
5.3 with filter
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top