After riding oil doesn't look right - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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post #1 of 20 Old 03-07-2017, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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After riding oil doesn't look right

Just bought a 2001 Very clean KLR with 4200 miles. Usually I would stay away from something that old and that low mileage because all the rubber would've dry rotted and all the seals and gaskets would need replacing but it was a really good deal.

The previous owner had just had it serviced and when I went to looked at the oil in the sightglass it looked brand-new, i.e. Gold and clearish. I purchased it, trailered it home and after after ridinging about 16 miles I looked at it again and it look like melted chocolate. Not frothy like a milkshake but definitely not what used motor oil would look like. It was light brown instead of dark.

I'm wondering if the rings are bad and I'm getting gas mixing in. After letting it sit overnight it does not appear to have delegated any.

The bike runs great, starts right up, no smoking, etc. any ideas?

Pic doesn't do it justice but I figured I would try. I am an experienced DIY car mechanic but am new to motorcycle maintenance. Is motorcycle oil just a different color? If I saw this in one of my cars I would be alarmed.
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post #2 of 20 Old 03-07-2017, 03:42 PM
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cjk911,
If you had an oil window on the sump of an automotive engine you would probably say the same thing.
Most likely you are just noticing aeration of the oil from running.

Remove the filler cap and rub you finger on the clutch basket, look at it, wipe finger on a clean white rag, Kleenex, toilet tissue.
Now go wipe some oil off of your automobile dip stick, nearly same-same, I'd guess.

With the engine turned off overnight, one can usually remove the oil filter cap above the oil window with-out making a mess.
Because the oil filter usually drains mostly back overnight. This will allow you a better look.

I will suggest from afar, normal. Ride on! And Welcome to the forum.

And many new members wish they knew how to post a pic on post #1!

pdwestman
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post #3 of 20 Old 03-07-2017, 03:50 PM
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Well first off I don't agree with the premis that a low mileage bike necessarily has issues with seals and gaskets; IMO that's all largely urban myth. I purchased a 2000 KLR last year with 577 miles on it. The battery was dead and the original tires were dry rotted. I went through everything else but after a full service the bike has been flawless for a year now. I could bore you with other, more extreme, examples from my collector car hobby, but suffice to say, condition is all I look at and the primary factors affecting condition are mileage and storage condition.

As far as your oil goes; it could be several things.

- 1) an oil change never gets ALL the oil out and depending if the bike was fully warmed up there could have been condensation present.

- 2) obviously it could be more serious like a water pump seal, leaking carb float/petcock failure, gasket failure etc.

- Check the crankcase and make sure it isn't overfull and/or smelling of fuel. Check the coolant for oil contamination and if all good I would fully warm the bike up and go for a decent ride (assuming you can do that where you are!) and check, it may be left over condensation and will burn off normally. May take an extra oil change or two to flush it all out.

2 cents,

Dave
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post #4 of 20 Old 03-07-2017, 03:53 PM
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....and this time, Paul treed me instead of the other way around. I tend to think he's right (as usual) and it doesn't look bad in the pic. The difference in the appearance of the oil is probably because the oil you saw initially was clean because the engine hadn't been run.....once it was it picked up old oil/residue, etc.

still wouldn't hurt to check the crankcase levels and coolant; always a good idea anyhow.


Dave
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post #5 of 20 Old 03-07-2017, 04:33 PM
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Dave,
I know how coolant could get into the engine oil. (I don't think either of us even remotely think that is currently at issue.)

But could you explain how oil might get into the coolant?
I can't understand How that could possibly happen?


I guess I have seen and Cleaned coolant reservoirs on ATV's which were Filled with engine oil or 2 cycle oil.

pdwestman
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post #6 of 20 Old 03-07-2017, 04:37 PM
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cjk911,
Please Read this link, if you haven't already?

http://www.klrforum.com/introduction...kes-avoid.html

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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post #7 of 20 Old 03-07-2017, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdwestman View Post
Dave,
I know how coolant could get into the engine oil. (I don't think either of us even remotely think that is currently at issue.)

But could you explain how oil might get into the coolant?
I can't understand How that could possibly happen?


I guess I have seen and Cleaned coolant reservoirs on ATV's which were Filled with engine oil or 2 cycle oil.
I've only personally seen it on automotive engines (usually head gasket or cracked head) but there was this thread: http://klr650.net/forums/showthread.php?t=127527

Dave
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post #8 of 20 Old 03-07-2017, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DPelletier View Post
I've only personally seen it on automotive engines (usually head gasket or cracked head) but there was this thread: http://klr650.net/forums/showthread.php?t=127527

Dave
The first few pics are no-longer viewable, but as I remember the floaties were rather small Dark bits, almost like black pepper.
I figured probably combustion by-products, not really 'oil'.
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pdwestman
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post #9 of 20 Old 03-07-2017, 06:28 PM
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I think the detergent action of modern quality motor oils results in early discoloration of the lubricants.

YMMV!
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post #10 of 20 Old 03-07-2017, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Pdwestman I did read the 1st time owners thread but I didn't see anything about oil color.
So far the fluids have all been good with no noticeable change so I figured it wasn't a head gasket or cracked block.
Good to heAr that even an old KLR will hold up. I have had awful luck with buying old cars that say for a long time, of course they have a lot more rubber and seals to go bad.

Thanks all for the reply. I will pull the oil filter cover tomorrow and check it. I do plan on a ride Thursday.
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