13 replies [Last post]
barlow53
barlow53's picture
 Offline
VBMWMO #9125
Joined: 07/08/2016
Posts: 24

I have heard different opinions of when to check the oil level on the pre-70 Twin Airhead Motorcycles. Some say look at the level on the dip stick when the oil is hot and some say when cold. And the second question is "should the level be at the "Max" line to be correctly filled"? I do not see anything in an original owners manual other than dip stick unscrewed and on center stand. Any opinions?

Thanks in advance for your input! ~~Bob

schrader7032
schrader7032's picture
 Offline
VBMWMO #7032
San Antonio, TX
Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 6885
I don't think it makes much

I don't think it makes much difference when you check the level. Clearly, you don't want to do it right after shutting the engine down...oil is still draining into the sump. I would think that if you wanted to be sure all the oil is drained, you would do it when cold. But try it yourself...check oil within say 5 minutes after shutting down, an hour later, and then the next day. See what the difference is.

I certainly wouldn't fill past the max level, but the downside of having it full-full is that the internal air volume is reduced and there might be a tendency for the oil to be whipped up...windage...and creating a mist. I usually don't worry about the top amount much...I put in the required volume of oil and then go on about my business. I do check oil every so often just to make sure "I still have oil!!".

Lower quality oils will burn off some of the additives in the formulation, so I would expect to see some reduction in amounts. But I would think that if the oil level was between 1/2 and full and stay there, I think you're in good shape.

__________________

Kurt in S.A.
'78 R100/7 '69 R69S '52 R25/2

Twocams
Twocams's picture
 Offline
VBMWMO #8750
Joined: 03/16/2014
Posts: 720
I always check my oil levels

I always check my oil levels cold on bikes, cars, truck what ever. If you are changing the oil on your bike you do it cold or room temperature? I do anyway. Then its checked when cold all the time cause that's the way I changed my oil. As far starting my bikes to get the oil warmed up...why. The oil is all drained down in to the pan from sitting all night, so I just drain it.

__________________

Twocams
69 R69S
92 R100RT
2004 Aprilia Atlantic 500cc single cylinder Scooter

312Icarus
312Icarus's picture
 Offline
Joined: 07/15/2016
Posts: 435
In general it doesn’t really

In general it doesn’t really make much of a difference. That said, if you are on the road, filling with fuel, and it is just a touch low, don’t worry about it. It does take some time to fully drain.

Icarus

Grant R26
Grant R26's picture
 Offline
VBMWMO #8145
Toronto Canada and Long Island, Nova Scotia
Joined: 03/28/2011
Posts: 208
Good point...I have always

Good point...I have always warmed up the bike before oil changes because that's what my grampie told me. No other reason but habit.

Your point that all the oil will be settled in the sump if it has been sitting for a day makes sense.

Next oil change will when the engine is cold. I'll see how it works. Nothing worse than getting hot oil all over the show eh ! (grin)

Grant in Toronto

Jim D 5112
Jim D 5112's picture
 Offline
VBMWMO #5112
Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 124
Hot Oil Change

The oil was to be changed hot because all of the gunk and contaminants are still in suspension and will be drained with the oil before they settle to the bottom. Also warm or hot oil will be less viscous and will flow better when draining.

schrader7032
schrader7032's picture
 Offline
VBMWMO #7032
San Antonio, TX
Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 6885
The gunk stays in suspension

The gunk stays in suspension in detergent oils...with non-detergent oils, it can fall to the bottom of the pan. I don't know how long that took...maybe hours...but that is why with the older oils, removing the pan routinely was a good way of cleaning out the crude that had settled.

__________________

Kurt in S.A.
'78 R100/7 '69 R69S '52 R25/2

312Icarus
312Icarus's picture
 Offline
Joined: 07/15/2016
Posts: 435
In addition to holding gunk

In addition to holding gunk in suspension, warm oil, boils off water, gasoline and other stuff in the oil (which is why you want to get oil up to temp on a regular basis, but when chaining, it flows better, getting more of it out.

As for checking, hot or cold, make allowance for expansion and being not fully drained and you will be fine. Just don’t over fill.

Icarus

Daves79x
Daves79x's picture
 Offline
VBMWMO #9030
Joined: 08/09/2015
Posts: 358
Unless

Unless you are willing to let hot oil drain for 1/2 hour, you will get more out draining it after it has been sitting for some time and is stone cold. If you have been warming up the bike properly by riding lots of miles each time you run it, there will be less moisture in the oil draining it cold than if you start it up to warm before draining.

Dave

__________________

Dave

312Icarus
312Icarus's picture
 Offline
Joined: 07/15/2016
Posts: 435
^Not to be

^Not to be argumentative...but I would like to see some evidence of that, as it seems counter intuitive. Icarus

Twocams
Twocams's picture
 Offline
VBMWMO #8750
Joined: 03/16/2014
Posts: 720
My thought is car

My thought is car manufactures & Jiffy lube type places have always told us 3000 miles or 3-6 months. If you go to a Jiffy lube type place your car oil is going to be hot. So why wouldn't they always tell you to drain hot.
But oils and additives have changed with time but not our old BMW bikes. Now oils can go 5,000 to 10,000 miles without changing....so they say. For bikes with oil filters and hot drain plugs usually you have to wait 5-10 min. before you can even touch them. I have been draining my oils cold for the last 10 + yrs now and will continue.
Drain your oil when you want, this is just my .02 worth.

__________________

Twocams
69 R69S
92 R100RT
2004 Aprilia Atlantic 500cc single cylinder Scooter

schrader7032
schrader7032's picture
 Offline
VBMWMO #7032
San Antonio, TX
Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 6885
Guess this is another slant

Guess this is another slant on the winter oil thread! Or tire thread!

Likely no amount of discussion will change anyone's mind. It basically comes down to keep doing the thing the same way you've been doing it. If it got you this far, it can't be that bad! Big Grin

__________________

Kurt in S.A.
'78 R100/7 '69 R69S '52 R25/2

Daves79x
Daves79x's picture
 Offline
VBMWMO #9030
Joined: 08/09/2015
Posts: 358
Amen

Amen to that!

Dave

__________________

Dave

MikeL46
MikeL46's picture
 Offline
VBMWMO #9300
Joined: 01/01/2016
Posts: 72
I guess the real answer is:

I guess the real answer is: it doesn't matter much, hot or cold - as long as you do check/change oil regularly.

Mike

__________________

67 R50/2 w/R100 engine/trans and Ural Sidecar
69 R60/2 76 R90S 78 R100RS
70 Triumph w/Spirit Eagle Sidecar

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.