Oil Consumption (and level checking) - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-06-2012, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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Oil Consumption (and level checking)

Does anybody else suffer from oil consumption?

My Tiger didn't use any oil at all over the first 15,000 miles, but at 18,000 miles I noticed the level had dropped a bit.

I've been keeping an eye on it, and it definitely uses some oil.

Not a lot, in the last 5000 miles I estimate that about a half a quart has been used - so not exactly a terrifying amount. It just kind of bums me out. Just wondered if anyone else is using oil?

I'm going to start measuring what I put in more carefully, so that I can track if it gets worse. 24,000 miles on the bike now.

Also, I have noticed that the level in the sight glass varies depending on what you do with the bike. For example, after a ride, getting the engine fully hot, after sitting for a half an hour the level will be higher than if just running the bike for a short while (a couple of minutes) and letting it stand.

I don't understand that at all.

Well, everything seems to be in order then.
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-06-2012, 11:26 AM
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ALL engines consume some oil. It was just less perceptible during your first 15K miles.

As for the level check, check it the same way every time. Just let it warm up at idle for a few minutes, shut it down, wait several minutes for the oil to drain back to the sump. Then check it.

Checking it after a ride probably results in much more thermal expansion, and possibly some aeration from the gearbox, etc.

I'm several thousand miles behind you, so keep us all posted on your results. But I see no cause for concern yet.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-06-2012, 01:01 PM
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Mine was at the bottom of the site glass after I rode 180 miles at 90mph. That's to be expected. I also rev thru all the gears almost every take off.

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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-06-2012, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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Good points all. Let me clarify the oil level thing though. Take yesterday as an example. Bike had sat for a couple of days (I use the KLR650 to commute to work), and the oil level was in the middle of the glass.

I wheel the bike outside, give it a wash and a clean, dry it off, polish the tank, wipe it down etc. Run the engine for maybe 5 mins absolute tops. Wheel it back in to the garage, to the same spot where it always lives. Run it again for a couple of minutes.

Check the oil level this morning - it's on minimum. Now, it didn't squirt or burn that oil, in that amount of time. I'd be able to find an oil leak of that size, and I would expect to see blue smoke to burn that much in such a short time.

That just seems a bit weird. I have noticed this before, and it can catch me out when refilling with oil after a change.

But as Xyooper says, this is why you need to check oil the same way. The motor seems to have some aspect to it where the oil doesn't all drain back down the same way when it's fully hot vs only mildly warm. I just have never had a bike that does that, usually after a while seems like they always drain back down the same, whether hot or cold, if you see what I mean.

Still, not an issue, just something I noticed.

I have 24,000 miles on the clock now, and the bike runs like a champ - seriously it's the most fun bike I have had, and this oil consumption doesn't put me off at all, I'm just a bit surprised by it.

Well, everything seems to be in order then.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-06-2012, 04:38 PM
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When I do an oil change I buy 4 quarts of oil. For me, it takes 3 3/4 quarts to fill it to the top line. After 6000 miles I have used that last 1/4 quart to keep it to the full line. I'm at 17k miles right now.

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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-06-2012, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks - sounds like a bit of consumption is not unusual then on these. I might be using a bit more than you - but still not really excessive. I'll take more accurate measurements as I go on and get a real number on what I'm using.

Well, everything seems to be in order then.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-06-2012, 09:03 PM
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My bike is usually stone cold when I check my oil, so in the morning before a ride. I never seem to get a variation in oil level. Pretty much as long as it's between the lines I run it. I don't get worried about it being right at the top line. Some bikes sort of "seek their own level" over time. It might not stay right at the top line but it might never get below the mid range of the glass.

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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-06-2012, 11:01 PM
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I have just over 5000 miles on mine, and I've noticed a drop in the oil level in the last 2000 miles. That was a trip in very hot weather. Doesn't smoke and doesn't drip. so I'm not sure where it went. Based on what I've read above, I guess I'll not worry, it's almost due for a change anyway. It's reassuring that my bike is not the only one using some oil.
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by propforward View Post
Also, I have noticed that the level in the sight glass varies depending on what you do with the bike. For example, after a ride, getting the engine fully hot, after sitting for a half an hour the level will be higher than if just running the bike for a short while (a couple of minutes) and letting it stand.

I don't understand that at all.
My R1200GS was the same; seems the oil cooler sucked the oil up and wouldn't release all of it until the engine was completely warmed up. May be similar things happening with your bike, which would explain the higher level after a ride as compared to not being completely warm. With my Tiger, I only check oil after a longish ride, and after the bike sits for at least 5 or 10 minutes.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-10-2012, 02:37 AM
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That could very well explain why I didn't get as much oil out as I expected in my last oil change and why the level is higher than it should be for the volume I put in it.
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