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Discussion Starter #1
This is the newbie section and it says no question is too dumb to ask - right?

I've checked my oil level as described in the owner's manaul:

Start the engine - (from cold I presume - this is what I'm not sure of) and allow it to run for three minutes at idling speed.

Turn off the engine and wait about three minutes, then check the oil level through the inspection window.

When I got the bike from the dealer - doing the precedure above - the oil was too low so I added to the "F" line. So things are fine - correct?

What bothers me about this is that now after the bike sits longer, or especially overnight so the engine is stone cold, the oil level completly fills the inspection window.

Should I have done the oil level check when the engine was cold - like I did - or when the engine was up to temperature? Idling for three minutes doesn't heat the oil up to operating temperature.

Thanks
 

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Idling the motor for a few minutes does not get the oil hot, it only makes it circulate completely through the engine.
After running it , put the machine on the center stand or have someone hold it level and check the sight glass.
The level will probably be around the middle, and as the motor sits it will go all the way to the top of the glass.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
DandyDoug said:
Idling the motor for a few minutes does not get the oil hot, it only makes it circulate completely through the engine.
After running it , put the machine on the center stand or have someone hold it level and check the sight glass.
The level will probably be around the middle, and as the motor sits it will go all the way to the top of the glass.
Thanks,

So I guess I did it correctly.

When the oil is up to temperature and I shut off the engine the level in the sight glass goes past the top almost immediately as the oil flows so easily when hot.
 

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I do that all the time, then it drives me nuts when it fills the window, lol. Un-less you really over did it, you should be fine.
 

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DandyDoug said:
Idling the motor for a few minutes does not get the oil hot, it only makes it circulate completely through the engine.
After running it , put the machine on the center stand or have someone hold it level and check the sight glass.
The level will probably be around the middle, and as the motor sits it will go all the way to the top of the glass.
The oil level should only go as as high as the Full mark not above or completely fill the site glass.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
InfernoST said:
DandyDoug said:
Idling the motor for a few minutes does not get the oil hot, it only makes it circulate completely through the engine.
After running it , put the machine on the center stand or have someone hold it level and check the sight glass.
The level will probably be around the middle, and as the motor sits it will go all the way to the top of the glass.
The oil level should only go as as high as the Full mark not above or completely fill the site glass.
OK - THis is what I was affraid of - that I'm overfilling the oil but if you follow Suzuki's instructios - start engine - idle for 3 min - stop engine and wait 3 min - check level - then you end up having the sight glass completly full after all the oil finally settles back to the sump. I also wonder if you'll get different results on different days like doing the check when the ambient temp is 40F or doing it when it's 90F.

I think it would have been better if the sight glass could read the proper oil level when the engine is stone cold so you wouldn't have to do Suzuki's procedure of starting and stopping the engine.
 

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^^^ I agree. Go out to ride your bike, look at the window, take off, simple. Why would they make you go through the warming and settling cycles when they vary so much?
 

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When mine is on the center stand the level is very different than when it's on both wheels. It doesn't seem like that should make a big difference, but it does. With the scooter on the center stand, the sight glass is completely covered with oil. When I have both wheels on the ground and do the balancing act of holding the bike level and simultaneously peering at the sight glass through my bifocals, the oil level is near the "Full" mark.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
BikeMike said:
When mine is on the center stand the level is very different than when it's on both wheels. It doesn't seem like that should make a big difference, but it does. With the scooter on the center stand, the sight glass is completely covered with oil. When I have both wheels on the ground and do the balancing act of holding the bike level and simultaneously peering at the sight glass through my bifocals, the oil level is near the "Full" mark.
I found both position to be basically the same. With the 400 on a level spot in my driveway I put the bike on the center stand and then took a level and put it on the seat. Using some small pieces of wood I propped up the level so the bubble was between the two lines. I then took the bike off the center stand and the bubble was just about in the same spot - not enough to really give a noticable difference with the oil level.

Could your results be more of a side to side difference - it's very difficult to hold the bike perfectly vertical by yourself while trying to check the sight glass. I think that side to side variations would effect the level a lot more than fore and aft differences.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
BikeMike, I owe you an apology - of sorts. When I checked the level of the bike at the seat with a level I shold have actually checked it at the muffler - the trailing arm moves a lot more than the seat when taken off the centerstand. The engine does tilt a lot more fore and aft when put on the centerstand BUT I didn't find a big difference with the oil level in the sight glass. What I did find - and I mentioned this is my last post - is that the side to side - left and right - position makes a huge difference where the oil level is. This this really a two person job - unless you have some sort of bike stand - as trying to hold the bike perfectly vertical and look at the site glass at the same time is quite a feat.
 

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Do it one time off the stand, and take note of where it is on the stand. Do it cold too. The only difference is it will go up when hot.
 

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lloyd123 said:
BikeMike, I owe you an apology - of sorts. When I checked the level of the bike at the seat with a level I shold have actually checked it at the muffler - the trailing arm moves a lot more than the seat when taken off the centerstand. The engine does tilt a lot more fore and aft when put on the centerstand BUT I didn't find a big difference with the oil level in the sight glass. What I did find - and I mentioned this is my last post - is that the side to side - left and right - position makes a huge difference where the oil level is. This this really a two person job - unless you have some sort of bike stand - as trying to hold the bike perfectly vertical and look at the site glass at the same time is quite a feat.
It IS quite a feat. In fact, it's one of the scariest things I do on my scooter. I recommend keeping the side stand down, in case the bike falls to the left. Of course, if it falls to the right . . . :shock:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
BikeMike said:
It IS quite a feat. In fact, it's one of the scariest things I do on my scooter. I recommend keeping the side stand down, in case the bike falls to the left. Of course, if it falls to the right . . . :shock:
Not to mention that if you determine that the oil level is too low you now have to hold the bike with one hand while trying to pour more oil in with the other hand - and don't take too long because oil is still settling back into the sump after shutting off after running for three minutes.

I'm doing what Mike suggests and keeping the bike on the center stand on a level spot.
 

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I use to put my 400 and now my 650 on the center stand where there was a slight incline facing the front wheel into the incline, it works for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
InfernoST said:
I use to put my 400 and now my 650 on the center stand where there was a slight incline facing the front wheel into the incline, it works for me.
+1

Great idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
InfernoST said:
I use to put my 400 and now my 650 on the center stand where there was a slight incline facing the front wheel into the incline, it works for me.
Yet another post by me on my own subject. This is what happens when you're retired, obcessed over a new bike and border on obsevive complusive.

I decided to check out the theory about facing the bike into a slight incline and found the opposite to be true - you need the face the bike slightly downhill.

First I put a level on the muffler - trailing arm, muffler and engine are all connected. The photo below shows the bike on a level area with a brick under the side stand to bring it almost straight vertically - just for illustrative purposes. I but little pieces of wood under the level to get the bubble between the lines while holding the bike perfectly vertical.



This photo shows that when on the center stand in order to keep the bubble between the lines I had to face the bike at a slightly downhill angle.



Here's a close up of how I attached the level to the bike.



I think this is valid - please post if I screwed this up as this is the spot in my driveway that I will now check my oil level while on the center stand.
 

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Ok folks, let's all take a breath here.
The sight glass is a lot like the idiot lights on the dash of your car, or as we used to call them "the too late" lights. By the time they come on it's usually too late.

As long as there is some oil showing in the sight glass it's going to be ok, it should not be completely full , but even then it's probably ok.
Much ado about nothing IMHO.
 

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I tend to agree with Doug. As long as the oil is between the marks after the 3 minute run 3 minute drain back interval I don't worry about it. And yes when the bike is fully warmed up the oil level will go all the way to the top of the window when it drains back.
 

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If you follow the manual and put in the measured amount of oil required for oil change only, oil & filter change and engine overhaul depending on your circumstances you should always be fine. To be honest with you I think the site glass is cute but it causes to much unnecessary heartache, give me the old dip stick any day.
 

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Okay, so I did as the manual says. I park the bike in a Condor chock so it's almost level. The difference following the manual is about 1/8 of the sight glass -- 3/4 after following the manual, about 7/8 when sitting cold for a day or so. I'd be very comfortable if the oil is at 1/2 of the sight glass cold. Below that I'd add some. And, yes, I'd prefer a dip stick also!

BTW, it's the same on the centerstand, so you can probably forget the level or holding the bike level off the side and center stands.
 
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