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Gone
2nd October 2006, 21:00
I changed my oil (Synthetic) this weekend and was not happy with what I saw: Approx 1/4 of a quart of midnight black, sludgy oil left in my bike! This struck me as strange because I last had my bike serviced (and oil changed) at at 1300 mi, making the next recommended interval 5300 mi. My current mileage is 3458. I changed my oil 1500 mi early and There's a 1/4 quart of oil left? WTF?!!!

I call the dealership for an explanation, They tell me I should've been checking the oil every 100-200 mi. (this is supposedly what Harley-Davidson reccommends) Guess I should be checking the oil level between gas stops. Yeah right.

Here's what I did: Put 3 quarts of oil in, rode a couple of miles let it idle for a couple of minutes. Drained the oil, replaced the oil filter, Put 3 new quarts of oil in, boxed the old oil filter for further inspection (metal shavings, etc) checked the plugs, beat my head against a wall and cursed the dealer.

Apon further inspection of the bike I found that the (Dealer installed) Basani pipes had rattled loose from the exhaust port (1 nut rattled off, 1 nut barely on). I wonder how many times I've washed this bike with the exhaust port partially exposed?

Hopefully major problems stemming from these issues do not arise in the future. If they do, I can guarantee you they will surface the day after my warrantee expires.

Damn, I'm cynical. Damn I'm paranoid.

Mr Jimi
2nd October 2006, 21:06
Just exactly how did you check your oil?
Did you do it by the owners manual?
If not you may be 3 quarts over full?:doh
Jim:tour

xena
2nd October 2006, 21:09
Did you check the oil when you got it back
from the dealer after they performed the
1k service?
Can't speculate as to what happened, but
yeah, you should be checking your oil prior to every
ride. Get in the habit of it now and you might
avoid a costly repair later.

bplinson
2nd October 2006, 21:22
Hmmm...I check my oil at least once ever 200 miles. I have heard too many horror stories about what happens to Sportster that run without oil.

It take less then 10 seconds to check it.



Apon further inspection of the bike I found that the (Dealer installed) Basani pipes had rattled loose from the exhaust port (1 nut rattled off, 1 nut barely on). I wonder how many times I've washed this bike with the exhaust port partially exposed?



Well if they installed new exhaust gaskets that might happen. When you replace exhaust gaskets you have to retighten the fasteners for the first 100 miles or so since they will compress.

CntryFun
2nd October 2006, 21:33
(if I understood what you're saying)
Just by draining the oil, Sportys have some left in them. The only thing you can do is get one of the adapters that go where your oil filter does and let it pump the oil out. Yes, I think it is STUPID to design a motor/bike/system that you can't drain almost all of the oil out of, but that's life. Change it like the manual says, you won't be able to put the full amount of oil in otherwise you'll be full, but as long as you're running good oil, good filter, and changing it regularly there's no reason to think that you wouldn't be fine. The dealers don't drain that extra 1/2 qt or however much anyway.

wabiker
2nd October 2006, 22:41
Horns...dude.... RELAX...!
.... shiite will vibrate loose,
.... yes you will have some *left over oil*, when ya change the oil.. loosen the drain tube till clean oil comes out then re-cap it and ride.
....dont over fill as the oil will expand then, you will be freaking out when it comes squirting out yer filler tube.

sportysrock
2nd October 2006, 22:54
It sounds like Horns only had 1/4 of a quart of oil period, and if that's the case he's pretty lucky it still turns over. The newer bikes should be checked on the stand after they have run a bit to pump the oil back to the tank. I check mine when it's hot after a ride.

wabiker
2nd October 2006, 22:57
...Ooops, My Bad...I guess I was reading it wrong.

mikeLI_77
2nd October 2006, 23:05
I changed my oil (Synthetic) this weekend and was not happy with what I saw: Approx 1/4 of a quart of midnight black, sludgy oil left in my bike! This struck me as strange because I last had my bike serviced (and oil changed) at at 1300 mi, making the next recommended interval 5300 mi. My current mileage is 3458. I changed my oil 1500 mi early and There's a 1/4 quart of oil left? WTF?!!!

I call the dealership for an explanation, They tell me I should've been checking the oil every 100-200 mi. (this is supposedly what Harley-Davidson reccommends) Guess I should be checking the oil level between gas stops. Yeah right.

You should get into the habbit of checking the oil before every ride. It should be part of your pre ride inspection of making sure your tires are inflated properly, you have enough oil, a visual inspection of the bike to see if any parts are coming loose on you, etc. I usually check mine right before I'm about to take off on a ride. The oil is the blood of your motor. Takes about
1-2 minutes at most to check. Even after I have had my indy change the oil for me before I even leave there parking lot I immediatly check it to make sure it is ok.

Also how do you know it was the dealers fault for you having only 1/4 quart of oil in the bike?


Apon further inspection of the bike I found that the (Dealer installed) Basani pipes had rattled loose from the exhaust port (1 nut rattled off, 1 nut barely on). I wonder how many times I've washed this bike with the exhaust port partially exposed?

Punkmxcn has had this problem just recently with his bassini pipes as well with the bolts coming loose. I don't know if you both have the same style bassini pipes but maybee check with him and see and maybee it's a defect from the company or do a search and see who else has the same pipes and if they have had this problem with there pipes as well.

Here is a link to Punkmxcn's thread about his pipes.

http://xlforum.net/vbportal/forums/showthread.php?t=38580

jms969
2nd October 2006, 23:15
Sorry about your misfortune but... ...damn dude you should check your oil before each and every ride or at least every 100 miles or so...


This is HD's preride checklist. It is pretty good other than the drivel about having your dealer service your ride... See #1 on the list...

http://www.harley-davidson.com/wcm/content/pages/wrenching_department/preride_checklist.jsp?HDCWPSession=DvCvFhLHyrBRqGy dJbSfNTSH3Hn3yLnF1hnqsJfZpQh0WTCvCT8P!-6059626!1635933551&locale=en_US

A quick, pre-ride routine will keep your Harley® ready and your mind at peace:

Before riding your motorcycle at any time, do a general inspection of the entire bike to be sure it's in safe riding condition.

You can start by checking the oil and filter and inspect other fluid levels. Harley-Davidson® motorcycles are made to make oil changes easy. If you do it yourself, don't slack off on the maintenance schedule. And make sure the old oil is properly disposed. It should be sealed in an approved container and taken to a legitimate oil disposal facility.

Next you'll want to check the controls to be sure they operate properly. On your list of controls to inspect should be the front and rear brakes, throttle, clutch and shifter. You should also examine the steering for smoothness by turning the handlebars through the full operating range.

Check tire pressure often, daily when you are touring, and always using a good gauge. Consult your owners' manual for correct pressure and load rating. Air pressure can change with the air temperature. While you're at it, inspect the tires. Replace them if there's less than 50 percent of the tread left, or if there's any cracks, cuts or signs of distress. Tires should be changed by your dealer. They are expertly trained to replace tires and to inspect your wheels.

Check for any fuel, oil or hydraulic fluid leaks. Give the cases and lines a once over to make sure there are no leaks.

For high-mileage bikes, inspect the drive belt, sprockets and brakes.

Check your headlights, directionals, tail light and brake light every time you ride. Not only do they help you see where you're going, but they are your best way of being seen by others. If a light is out, it is easy to change yourself. Consult your owners' manual and/or service manual for correct type and removal and replacement procedure. If replacing a headlight, be certain the beam is focused properly.

Before you start riding, sit on your bike and take a look in the mirrors to be sure they're adjusted properly. Even if you don't think you've moved the mirrors, do a quick check just to be sure.

You can double the life of your battery by checking and correcting its water level regularly. It's as easy as looking at it with a flashlight for most models. In warm weather climates, check the water level on a regular basis. Otherwise, every 2,500 miles is a good guideline. For those who can't ride as often as they'd like, install a battery charger with a convenient disconnect. If you travel often, for instance, the charger will help you avoid a dead-battery homecoming.

The Harley-Davidson Extended Service Plan™ prevents a breakdown from ruining a trip. If you ever get stranded on the road, you'll be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses* you pay while covered repairs are being made to your bike, including car rental costs and pick-up charges. Plus, if you're ever stuck overnight, your Harley-Davidson Extended Service Plan will even pick up the tab for your hotel and meals.*See contract for complete details.

Doing basic maintenance yourself can save you time and money in the long run, but don't venture into the land of do-it-yourself if it's not your natural habitat. The risks just aren't worth it. If you are the least bit unsure, go see the experts in their natural habitat: a Harley-Davidson dealership.

Gone
2nd October 2006, 23:46
Correct only a small amount of oil in my bike. period. My bike was running perfect, and still does. No oil on the plugs, she doesn't burn any either - If it's an internal problem - It's certainly not evident. There's never been any oil on the ground (where I store the bike). The dealership said: "It's not unheard of for a Harley to consume a quart of oil every 1,000 mi." Fine. Then where are the other 1.55 quarts? "Just because being meticulous is recommended doesn't mean it's required to maintain the warranty." That's what another dealership told me when I asked them for advice.

Here's what I'll do: Ride the hell out of it and hope the problems surface before the warranty expires.

You guys are right though - for now on I'll check before I ride.

DIESEL
3rd October 2006, 00:13
Bro--I had the same thing happen to me--they never put the oil back in. Either way, if it is still cranking over--add oil to the proper level and ride. IMHO, you did right by changing the filter and the oil. Just make sure you do it every 2500-3000 miles and you'll be fine. You're in AZ--there are a bunch of us on the forum who will help, just send us a PM, and join the riders list. I know a good indy if you are wanting to get it checked out without going to Harley.

mikekj
4th October 2006, 04:22
If I had any vehicle, of ANY kind, that needed the oil checked every 100-200 miles, I'd either sell it or rebuild the engine. I'm sorry, but that ain't normal. Maybe normal 100 years ago, but not now.

That oil is either leaking or burning. It don't just disappear into thin air.

melcheld
4th October 2006, 04:37
A quart every 1000 miles is normal? No friggin' way. If that were the case, you'd never have to change the oil, just the filter, because by the time the interval came up, you'd alread have 3 new quarts of oil:doh I hate it when dealers give people the old, "Oh, they all do that" crap.

Is it possible the check valve failed and all the oil drained into the crank case? I'm assuming not since you said the bike ran fine. Good Luck.

Cheers,

Luke

bshadbolt
4th October 2006, 05:09
Did you check the oil when you got it back
from the dealer after they performed the
1k service?
Can't speculate as to what happened, but
yeah, you should be checking your oil prior to every
ride. Get in the habit of it now and you might
avoid a costly repair later.

Xena has a good point there - I always check the oil level after getting the bike back from a service. Last time it was nearly 1 qt low and I had to top up immediately.

The explanation from the dealer - they forgot that rubbermounts are checked on the sidestand, not vertical. :o

Cheers,

Brett

Sportster1200
4th October 2006, 08:44
Wouldn't be the first time a dealer forgot to put oil in. If you check your owner's manual I'm sure you will find a statement of expected oil usage. The factory won't even look at a bike for a oil use warranty issue if it burns less than a quart every 1000 miles.

I check my oil every time I fill up. Takes a few seconds. Riding a Harley is like driving a hundred year old car. That's why we like them. If you wanted maintenance free you bought the wrong bike.

Kong

Scooter_Trash
4th October 2006, 12:47
Horns, you haven't answered one of the most legitimate questions yet. Was the bike cold when you checked it? In other words, how long had the bike been sitting and not running before the oil was checked?

Gone
4th October 2006, 17:23
2 Weeks cold my man.

"Riding a Harley is like driving a hundred year old car"

Funny, I can't find many parallels between the 2007 v-rod and the 1907 Ford S Runabout.

wabiker
4th October 2006, 17:36
Heh heh heh... and a V-rod aint REALLY a Harley...DoH:sofa

wussboy
4th October 2006, 19:52
I've said it before and I'll say it again...

No dealer will ever touch my bike again!!!! I would seriously consider the fact that the chump who did your 1000mi service didn't fill it back up... Dealerships have the "A" team and the "F" team... and you know the "A" team is putting chrome on a $30,000 bike.

On top of that... I check the oil in all my motors REGULARLY... I'm convinced my father's and my diligence with the oil in my 86 cage has kept it running like it is... the body will rust off before that motor quits. Oil is the easiest and most important bit of maintenance you can do on any motor.

bplinson
4th October 2006, 19:58
Oil is the easiest and most important bit of maintenance you can do on any motor.

No truer word have been spoken.

Gone
5th October 2006, 22:11
Cut the oil filter open and inspected it for shavings...I couldn't find any, not even w/ a magnet! What a relief.

Scooter_Trash
5th October 2006, 23:34
2 Weeks cold my man.



That answers the question then. I doubt your bike was as low on oil as you think. There was oil in the sump. Before checking your oil, you have to start it and let that oil get pumped back into the tank. I learned that one the hard way.