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Discussion Starter #1
I went for a 100 plus highway mile ride the weekend before NYE and when I got back, I was several ounces low on oil. This machine has never used oil before, even on 4,000 mile trips. So naturally I was concerned.

I topped it off and took it for a short jaunt down the highway yesterday to look at the old water trough from the now-gone racetrack.

I got back and had my wife help me hold the bike - basically full (maybe a hair over). I pulled the spark plug, looks good. From what I could tell from the coolant - no oil in there. No serious leaks. I'll pull the air filter when I get ready to fight with it (the K&N makes it a royal pain to pull/reinstall).

I'm wondering if, since it was over 100 miles at highway speed, that somehow the oil is getting squeezed out between the mating surfaces. There was a touch of oil at the bottom of the engine by the fill window, but none on the ground like a leak.

Any ideas why, out of the blue, it would start to loose or leak oil? It's not burning it or leaking it in to the engine or else the plug an coolant would show traces of it.
 

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How much oil was in it before the 100 highway miles? How many miles since last checked?

The crankcase ventilation (PCV) system on the pre-'07 400s is known to pass oil at higher speeds, which can be minimized by installing a smaller orifice in the line between the case and the air filter.

Though I have not read of similar experiences on the newer models, the post '07 PCV is very similar and could perhaps be sucking up engine oil as well...
 

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interesting, what was the average riding temp? if there is no leak I couldn't think of anything else.... but an small leak
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It may be a small leak.

Either way, if I get out for a ride tomorrow, I'm going to change it and the filter anyway. For some strange reason, it seems that when the oil needs changing some of it will "disappear."
 

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A long time ago someone told me that, when something in a machine changes, the machine is trying to tell you something. That little piece of advice has saved me untold hassle over the years.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
A long time ago someone told me that, when something in a machine changes, the machine is trying to tell you something. That little piece of advice has saved me untold hassle over the years.
So, any ideas what it's trying to tell me?
 

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How much oil was in it before the 100 highway miles?

How many miles since last checked?

Without that info it is unknown whether i was an "all of a sudden loss", or a persistent small loss over the time since last checked/changed.

All that can be done now it to monitor the oil level daily and see what happens...
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Since we're getting the last nice weather (in the 60s) tomorrow before a week of cold and rain (not ice, just cold, cold rain), I thought I'd take a nice ride to some of my photo projects tomorrow and then change the oil and filter when I get home. I'm going to pop out and check the bolts on the side and make sure they're not loose.

Once it's filled and marked, I'll keep an eye on it, but then, I do anyway.

BTW, I just came in from pulling the air filter (the garage is about 40 degrees and unheated). I didn't notice any oil pools in the filter housing or the area that the PVC system vents in to. Yes, there was a bit of oil, but that area probably hasn't been noticed in over 15,000 miles so I feel confident that oil isn't just blowing out the PVC system. If anyone knows how to really "check" the PVC system, let me know.

I'm suspecting a gasket that may be starting to go. When I take it in for some other work, I'll have them check it and maybe replace it if it show leaking. BTW, I don't plan on taking it to a dealership but an independent I know.
 

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Bruce
How many miles do you have on it now? My 07 at around 30k started to leak between the cases. All the bolts were tight. I sure didn't worry about it as it was just having a HD moment & started marking its spot. :laughing5:
 

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What oil are you using? I've had two bikes that leaked with synthetic but didn't with dino.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It doesn't leak when cold or on shorter runs. Apparently this leak is only when it's on the highway for a hundred miles or so. I typically keep the RPM around 5,500 - give or take a bit. Building up some crankcase pressure or just thinning out?

I'm wondering what could be causing enough pressure to start a leak. I've always had a bit of grime on the case but nothing in oil loss. I'm saying loss because I don't think it's usage (plug, coolant and air filter look good).

Oh well, I'll keep an eye on it. Maybe an oil change tomorrow will appease it. When I go back to work, my trip is 2.4 miles each way so I try to take it out on the weekends (at least every two weekends) to heat up the oil enough to burn off any junk.
 

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It doesn't leak when cold or on shorter runs. Apparently this leak is only when it's on the highway for a hundred miles or so. I typically keep the RPM around 5,500 - give or take a bit. Building up some crankcase pressure or just thinning out?

I'm wondering what could be causing enough pressure to start a leak. I've always had a bit of grime on the case but nothing in oil loss. I'm saying loss because I don't think it's usage (plug, coolant and air filter look good).

Oh well, I'll keep an eye on it. Maybe an oil change tomorrow will appease it. When I go back to work, my trip is 2.4 miles each way so I try to take it out on the weekends (at least every two weekends) to heat up the oil enough to burn off any junk.
Check #9 The Tube, Breather Which Connects to the Airbox. This should Be Connected.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Elliot, good and secure.

osbornk - Rotella 5W-40 - used it for years with good success. The Mobil 1 line doesn't work for me and I never noticed a difference with the Mobil motorcycle oils over the Rotella - neither did the UOA.

DR - a bit over 15K.

Now, can someone explain this to me. I know what a closed PVC system is and what an open PCV system is, but exactly where is the engine getting it's air supply so that vapors can be drawn back in to the air box and burned? I didn't see anything in the manual.
 

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It could Be Possible Bruce, That the Rings are letting Oil into Combustion Chamber, But if that was the Case there would Be Smoke, So we won't go there,

I Use 10w-40, My Oil Refill Plug has a little leak, becuze it's Plastic, I'm gonna see if i can Order a Metal One, I'm not a fan of that Plastic Plug stuff, Mines Cracked. Seen some on Ebay,

So bruce, is there any Oil Under the Engine CrankCase. or any where Around it?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Elliott, I saw a tiny bit on the bottom of the cover (not exactly what part it is but it's right under the oil fill area). I've wiped that away and I'll see what happens tomorrow.

I could build a totally open system by repiping the hose from the crankcase to the atmosphere and including a small filter, but why - I'm not hardly any oil in to the airbox.

I'm starting to really suspect a small leak. Sometimes an oil/filter change will fix this - and least I think it did one time before on the old bike. I've run this one at the RPM range for thousands of miles.

If it gets annoying, I'll have a mechanic run a leak down test on it before they check the valves (adjustment) and then replace the gasket.

One thing at a time right now - one thing at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Update

OK - changed the oil.

I filled with what the manuals said to for oil/filter change - 1,300 ml and it only brought the oil in the sight glass up to just a tiny bit above the low level.

I added another 50 ml and the oil now shows in the middle. I've marked the location and will see. I need to put about 80 - 100 miles of straight highway to see if either the oil is foaming, aerating out or if there could be a problem with the PCV system.

Of course, going back to work in a few weeks and the weather about to turn nasty - not much for joy riding in the cold.
 

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Moisture?

Years ago as a Ford factory service rep we had a customer that would drive in the city for weeks but after driving three hours to the beach, the engine oil would drop a quart. I remember the engineers documenting the accumulation of moisture in the crankcase from short trips was eventually burned off during the long trip to the beach. The sudden drop in the level appeared to be a mega change in consumption. Perhaps the same is occurring?
 

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Hooch is completely right about the build up of condensation in the oil if the bike is not being ridden frequently on longer runs where the engine and oil both reach full operating temperature and stay there for long enough to evap the water content from the oil.

My own car recently has been used for three weeks on short runs where the oil never reached full working temperature. It has to do around 10 miles to reach it's optimum temperature and then it needs to stay there to evap all the water from the oil for another few miles. When I checked the oil it was way over the top of the indicated full mark on the stick. So took her for a 50 mile drive and rechecked after allowing the car to stand and the level was down to just under full. Before the start it was about 1/4 inch above the full mark due to water at the bottom of the sump.

Remember, for every 1 gallon of petrol you burn, you create 1 gallon of water, some of which goes straight into the sump past the rings during warm up. On a short trip you also get further condensing of water vapour as the engine cools, again going into the sump. It builds up so when you check the oil it may look ok but after a long run, suddenly the level has dropped because all the water has evaporated plus some small amount of oil too from the heat generated on a long run. Engines like our Burgmans use oil cooling to the underside of the piston. It's injected directly at the piston crown from underneath from an oil nozzle in the crankcase. This superheats the oil on a long run and always results in some oil loss due to evaporation. The harder and longer you ride the more oil evaporates. So that part is normal but it should not be too much of a loss on one hundred miles of riding.

Is you crankcase breather partially blocked? Or completely blocked? It may be connected but not working correctly due to emulsion of water and oil build up in the breather tube which is blocking it. It happens generally on bikes that are not ridden very hard and that don't do too many miles in normal use.

Also, how do you check your oil? The Suzuki recommended 'Owners Handbook' (the one that comes with the bike) method on it's wheels after allowing it to run on the centre stand first for 3 mins, let it stand for 3 mins and then put it on it's wheels to check the site glass on level ground? Or, the workshop manual rough check method which is not designed to be completely accurate? I'm asking as you say your oil level is only half way up the site glass after putting in loads of oil. You may be getting extraneous readings misleading you somewhat if you are not using the correct Suzuki handbook method. Let us know how the new oil and filter goes.
 

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One thing about Reading the Site Glass, Once you put in the Oil and it shows FULL on the Site Glass, But it's a must to Start the engine for those minutes that you mention Quantum Mechanic, But people forget that the Oil Filter Containment All so Hold a Cup of Oil as well, After you put in the new OIL, Best to start it and let it run for that amount of time, The OIL will Circulate into the OIL FILTER, and this case once you let the Bike Settle with engine Off, Read the Site Glass and it will no longer Show on the FULL Mark, So it will have to be Checked Again and Filled a little More, According to the Book the Oil Level is SAFE to run Between Full and Low even Under Low But with CAUTION!!
 
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