Oil change question - Honda RC51 Forum : RC51 Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-09-2012, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Oil change question

Hi I am doing the oil change and was wondering the best way to measure the oil level. Should the oil level be measures on a warm bike 3 minutes after the engine is shut down, on a cold engine after all the oil has drained to the bottom etc.

the reason why I am asking is that it does take quite a while for the oil level to stabilize and there is a difference on how or rather when you measure it. The difference between full topped off (I know you dont want it that high) and 3/4 to where you do want it a very small about of oil.

Thanks in advance for your response ...

2004 RC51 Nicky Hayden, PCMIII, Sato-Low Mount
1994 FZR600, KTMSXC625 Thumper, Honda Metro, 150cc Puma
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-09-2012, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by MakisRC51 View Post
I believe the correct way to check the oil level is this.
Start your engine and let it idle for a couple of minutes on the side stand.
Then kill the engine, count 30sec, to let the oil from the cylinder heads to drain into the pan, and lift the bike from the side stand. Hold it from the throttle's clip on so that it is ballanced on it's own gravity center. At that point you don't need much efford to keep it leveled so you carefully knee down and look through the oil window. Have the front brake lever pressed, during all this proceedure, for safety.
The oil should be in the middle between the min and max indicators (a bit lower or higher is not an issue). If "a bit" is not clear enough then take it as +/-1mm from the middle.
Always do this proceedure on a leveled surface (not up or downhill).
The service manual says 4.12 quarts with oil filter change and 3.9 quarts without the filter.
In my experience, on every bike I service I take the service manual's suggestions in mind cause the real indication is the dipstick or the window at the bottom line.
I remember the Cagiva Canyon that had a minus 200ml quantity indicated in it's service manual due to a factory's typing error and until the maufacturer issued a paper informing workshops on that mistake. lots of motorcycles where seriously damaged
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-09-2012, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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This response supports my theory that indeed its not super strait forward measuring the oil level. Its close to how the manual says to do it. But its definitely a time sensitive measurement.

I have mine on the rear race stand and maybe that can create an inaccuracy (although a heck of a lot easier for those of us who work alone).

2004 RC51 Nicky Hayden, PCMIII, Sato-Low Mount
1994 FZR600, KTMSXC625 Thumper, Honda Metro, 150cc Puma
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-09-2012, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by nochain View Post
This response supports my theory that indeed its not super strait forward measuring the oil level. Its close to how the manual says to do it. But its definitely a time sensitive measurement.

I have mine on the rear race stand and maybe that can create an inaccuracy (although a heck of a lot easier for those of us who work alone).
Its not too sensitive, thats why there is a sight glass with a low/high level.

Pending on the filter size (I use shorties), I put just shy of 4 quarts in every time...I like to run just below the very center of the sight glass.

I have in the past used a funnel with a trigger to release the oil, it was kind of a PIA but this would get you measured out.



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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-09-2012, 08:08 PM
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I agree with Madbuyer, I use the shorty filter and use a funnel with the open close valve...just under 4 quarts will do it. I wouldn't read the level with the race stand in use, Makis RC51 said it right, just take your time and you will get pretty used to reading the glass after a couple of goes. Sure beats taking it to the shop, paying out a load of dosh and while your riding home notice oil leaking from the rear cowling on to the rear swingarm....lazy/sloppy Honda mechanics, didn't wipe up their spilled oil inside the fairing. Not to mention the dirty hand prints all over the bike.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-10-2012, 02:08 AM
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i just did an oil change i put a mobil 1 110 filter on there and i put like 4.2~ qts in that sucker haha but that racing 47 mobil 1 is good stuff
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-10-2012, 10:27 AM
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I did mine a few weeks ago and just dumped 4 quarts into it. Seems to work just fine.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-10-2012, 02:10 PM
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changed the oil a couple of times now, used 4qts each time with the oil level right smack between high and low. I've used a geniune Honda filter each time.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-10-2012, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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Hey guys I am not looking for a specific amount to "add" during the oil change. I wish it were that easy. I appreciate your experience but in my mind its all relative. To simply add 4.X qts (Not saying that your necessarily saying that this is the "procedure") is only what you replaced and does not take into account much else. I suppose I could measure with a graduated cylinder the precise volume taken out at each change and put in the exact amount if the original amount was accurate provided no burn leaks or changes in type of filter. But I would rather measure it in way that is accurate and be sure.

I am not trying to make this a PHD Thesis or kill a dead horse. Just trying to learn from you experienced guys with this machine after finding out something that should be so simple is actually a little more involved.

What I have learned here is:
1. not to use the race stand when measuring the oil level.
2. measure a warm engine
3. measure on wheels naturally balanced upright
4. measure approximately 30 seconds after shut down

All seems simple but not intuitive. For me I would think measuring the oil level on a cold engine is where you have no rate of change and the best place to put a sight mark on the level window. No ambiguity all the oil in steady state. Measuring it how its run (upright as opposed to the side stand or race stand) makes perfect sense and is intuitive.

OK last comment - where does the 30 seconds come from

2004 RC51 Nicky Hayden, PCMIII, Sato-Low Mount
1994 FZR600, KTMSXC625 Thumper, Honda Metro, 150cc Puma

Last edited by nochain; 04-10-2012 at 07:39 PM.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-10-2012, 08:47 PM
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Did oil changes just get difficult?

2003 Honda RC51 - 46K+
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PCIIIr, SATO low mount C/F, hotbodies undertail, SATO F/S, CRG shorty BRK & CLTCH levers, Magical Racing C/F speedo cover and rear hugger, HRC clutch & F Brake sock covers, Galfer SS lines all around, pair valve mod
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