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How do you check the oil level for your 400?


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I started a thread in the newbie topics about how to properly check the oil level in a Burgman 400. There were a lot of different opinions and philosophies about how to go about this so I created this poll to get an overall idea of what other forum members do.

Please feel free to check an option - I think I got most of them - or just ignore and go read another more interesting thread on the forum.
 

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I've checked my oil cold on the center stand on 4 bikes for the last 15 years. Cold engine oil stays up in the engine a LONG time after a bike is started but not warmed up.
 

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Your pole applys just as well to the 650. It has a sight glass and the procedure is the same for it. For that matter the procedure is also the same on the early model 400 but it has a dipstick instead of a sight window. If you want to widen it you could ask owners of those to also participate.
 

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See you've already have a 650 guy chiming in :lol: .

Guess I might as well add myself to the pole also. Anymore I just check my 2 bikes on the centerstand when they are cold. I long ago figured out where the level needed to be to match what I would get using the owner manual 3 minute/3 minute method.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Buffalo said:
Your pole applys just as well to the 650. It has a sight glass and the procedure is the same for it. For that matter the procedure is also the same on the early model 400 but it has a dipstick instead of a sight window. If you want to widen it you could ask owners of those to also participate.
I didn't realize the 650 had the same procedure as the 400 so they should be included as well but I can no longer edit the original post.

I did read somewhere that the 650 had a low oil indicator light which could make checking the oil not as critical as with the 400 or not (?)
 

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In my opinion it's a not because you will be way under the low level mark when that light comes on. I consider it a last chance warning in case your engine springs a leak while you are riding.
 

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The low oil level warning is often referred to as an idiot light. Only an idiot would rely on it - never a substitute for checking levels.
 

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Check while on CS, cold engine, reach up and pull back wheel down because that simulates bike setting level, on both wheels.

You're lucky this bike has a CS, for my Shadow 1100 you had to straddle the bike, reach down, and check a tiny dipstick. While balancing the bike vertical :roll:
 

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Are you sure about pulling the back wheel down? When on the center stand, my oil level fills the window completely. On the wheels the level is close to the max line. Maybe next time I check I'll put it on the center stand and raise the rear wheel with pry bar. See if the level changes.
 

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NormanB said:
The low oil level warning is often referred to as an idiot light. Only an idiot would rely on it - never a substitute for checking levels.
:lol: :lol: :lol:

Elliott,
 

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On any bike or scooter I've ever had I fill with the recommended amount of oil at oil change and then check on center-stand cold, then I check on center-stand when cold every so often to see if it is the same. Seams simple to me. :thumbup:
 

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I voted cold on stand but I often check it when I stop wile out when hot and on the stand,
never had to add any between services.
 

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I answered on center stand cold but's only if by myself. When riding with my son who lives with me, he looks while I hold it up but still dead cold. Guess I'll use the same ways with my 650. Maybe use my son more as the 650 is a little harder to get on the center stand then the 400 was. Must be that I'm getting older or is it the 650 weights more. :wink:
 

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The 400 is a mere 218 kg (480) #, and I find it easy enough (especially since i removed the bulky centerstand), to squat on the right side, grab the passenger hand rail and tilt the bike towards its balance point to easily read the sight glass. I always do this when cold about once a week, before my weekend ride. Cant say if this is possible with the Lardy!
 

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As for whether or not to pull back wheel down, while on CS, use a level while it is on its wheels to find level point, then recheck while on CS.
 

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In my opinion it's a not because you will be way under the low level mark when that light comes on. I consider it a last chance warning in case your engine springs a leak while you are riding.
This is incorrect. The gauge is accurate and will show even a the amount down incrementally
The warning comes on for a few seconds then goes off as the oil expands with warmth.
It will stay on longer as the level drops.
When is stays on then it's down near the low on the glass.

Figured I'd revive this.....and this applies to Burgman 650 owners only.

This is cold with the light on steady.

BTW for those like me with old joints a digital camera with flash makes it easy.



it took 1 pint to get it to slightly above midline cold.
 

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Put a make-up mirror in a cubby. When you want to check the oil level, set the parking brake, get it near upright from the left side and reach over with the mirror. Takes all of a few seconds
 

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I;m more concerned when it's down about getting the level correct.....the onboard gauge will tell me when I'm low but have to use the sight glass to get the correct amount in.

Centre stand seems best for that tho mirror would work even then.

so 1 pint down on 3 quarts total in the engine...no really an issue unless you don't top it up.
Mine only uses oil on hard runs

The 2005 did the same. Used a bit on high speed sustained runs.
 

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As for whether or not to pull back wheel down, while on CS, use a level while it is on its wheels to find level point, then recheck while on CS.
Mike, why don't you follow the owners manual method of checking? It's easy to do that was once you've done it a time or two. All modern Suzuki's are checked on there wheels after running them on the centre stand, or if no centre stand, held upright while it runs. Pulling the wheel down is incorrect. It needs to be on it's wheels which pushes the wheel up. The bike only needs to be on level ground for the book method to be really accurate. The engine itself of course can never be level. On the CS if you pull the wheel down it will still make it look as though you have more oil in the engine than you actually have. I've tried your method in my yard and it showed my engine was overfull following your method. In fact my level is spot on when using the book method. In reality, I don't suppose it would matter much unless you were actually very short of oil, but using your method you could be led to thinking the level is still ok even if you can see it is just above the bottom line, when in fact it could be below the minimum.
 
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