water in oil - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 04-08-2015, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Location: central ma
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water in oil

I recently took my bike out and dusted it off for the season. This is my second season with a klr 650. Over the winter I picked up Eagle Mike’s doohickey upgrade kit. I left the bike off at my tech’s shop so he could install the kit. While he was doing the job he emailed me a picture of the oil. It looked wicked milky. He stated that the fluid level in the radiator looked O.K. I would ocationally glance at the temp gauge when I road it over to his shop ( about 20 miles ) and the temp appeared O.K. I had changed the oil once over the previous summer and it looked O.K. ( used but no water, 2.5 k on that oil ). I stored the bike with about 1.5 k on the oil change. The bike is an 09 with about 7k on the engine. The spot I had it stored in was my heated cellar. I am talking it never gets below 70 degrees. My wife’s washer/dryer ironing area is in the cellar and she likes it about 70. I moved the bike out of the cellar into my garage on a Friday night planning to get it to the shop Saturday . Well, we received an unexpected 6” of snow over night so the bike ended up sitting in my non-heated, but very dry garage for about 2 weeks before the schedule allowed me to get it to the shop. So the bike went from 70 to freezing/ below zero while it was sitting in the garage. I ride rain or shine from March until as close as I can get to Thanks giving, my off road consists of state fire roads, extremely beat up New England back roads.( paved but should have been resurfaced 20 years ago ) I use a power washer on my bikes but not aggressively. ( I have never peeled off any decals or anything. Also along with that 1.5k on the oil I am sure the bike sat out in some drowning rain storms before I stored it. Is there some sort of engine case vent that would allow water in ? condensation ? Would the slightest amount of water make the oil milky. ( the sight glass on the engine case where you check the oil level is cloudy white ) My tech stated that I should change the oil again soon to try and clean out the engine. Is there possibly a product I can put into the oil that would help to remove/absorb the water from oil prior to changing it ? If not, is there some sort of rutine to run to get the engine safe ? Am I being paranoid ? I would really like to clear that oil level site glass without having to have to disassemble the engine. My rule for the last 30 years is to never take a motorcycle off line during the riding season unless there are no other options. Any suggestions offered would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 6 Old 04-09-2015, 11:03 AM
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I live in SoCal so it's hard to relate to all that freezing stuff, but I would change the oil and filter and see if it happens again.
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post #3 of 6 Old 04-09-2015, 08:12 PM
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As you say, let's not get too paranoid yet. It there is actually water in the oil, it will come out when you drain the oil. It will actually come out first because the oil floats on the water once it has settled out. I am sure you are going to do an oil change since the question of water in the oil has come up and it will bother you until you change it.

Also, since your will be interested in the oil, you will run the engine a short while with the new oil and the kill it and check the sight glass. You will notice the oil is foamy with little white bubbles and that will bother you. It shouldn't. It is normal. After you have ridden the bike far enough to get the engine up to normal operating temperature a few times, the bubbles will go away.

There is no normal way for rain water to get into the oil unless something has been left open. These places would be obvious because they would be leaking oil. Even a leak from the water pump would have to get by the water seal, the weep hole and the oil seal and you would see a drip from the weep hole. So, the only possible concealed leak would be from the head gasket over to the cam chain tunnel.

I think I would just ride it for a while and watch the oil.
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post #4 of 6 Old 04-09-2015, 09:36 PM
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Super common in cold climates, it's just the glass that seems to collect condensation and appear milky. If you were to drain your oil I'm pretty sure that you would find no milky appearance or water in it. My bike is stored in an unheated garage (way up North, lol!) does this all the time. Take it out for a good run and get the engine up to operating temp for a while and I suspect you'll find the cloudy site glass has cleared up .

Last edited by 650Stew; 04-10-2015 at 10:02 AM. Reason: Spelling... Darn phone!
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post #5 of 6 Old 04-10-2015, 09:15 AM
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This picture your tech guy mailed you of the oil - did he actually drain the oil and find it milky or was it a picture of the sight glass??

If it's the sight glass it's as 650Stew said. This is common to the KLR. Take it for a good hot run and it will clear up.

As far as adding something to the oil to clean it out you can use Sea Foam. Follow the directions on the can.

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post #6 of 6 Old 04-10-2015, 09:31 PM
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This malady is all to common in cooler climates with a KLR or ANY Motorcycle in my opinion!

The aluminum engine is One Giant Radiator! The engine oil has a hard time getting up to temperature. 195+f.!

Ride it 50-100 miles, Continuously, it will probably be fine with-out an oil change! Get it as warm as possible, for a while!

You may consider a "Thermo-Bob", remote Thermostat system and some oil flow modifications to help alleviate the 'cold oil' symptoms.

Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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