View Full Version : falco oil level tube / pipe - cloudy enough to not see any level.

02-26-2012, 04:17 AM
hi all,

A quick question from this noob about (sorry in advance) the oil level on my Falco.

Having not had her for 3 weeks I've been unable to locate an oil level every time I've checked. I have tried the things listed on other posts, but can never see any colour difference anywhere along the tube / pipe.

One of your kind members has sent me a photo of his and there is a clear blue / less blue divide where all instructions say it should be, but I have squat.

My conclusion is that either 1) I'm a true burk and are not checking it right, 2) the engine is dry as a bone and some how hanging onto life, 3) the engine is swimming in the stuff and the tube us flooded all the while, 4) the tube is knackard or blocked thus not alling oil into and or out of it 5) she just hates me, seeing that in 3 weeks I've had a dead battery, puncture, pillion seat blew off & met a lorry wheel, 3 repeated flats on the new tyre leaving me wait for the Aa.

So, all considered, could it be anything else and should i attempt to clear the tube before replacing etc? Any advice is welcome as i really don't want her to go pop.

Also, I noticed yesterday whilst removing the aftermarket slipons to replace the originals (too loud for my neighbours - now.sounds like an electric tin opener) the exhaust is blowing from the join below the oil tank, where a belly pan would be. Is this common or something I need to fix? It's from the join where the extension bit slips in. They aren't damaged, just leaking a tad LOL.

Many thanks for your time and any help you can offer,

Cherrs, Upex

02-26-2012, 06:34 AM
Drop me a pm with your mobile number and I will endeavour to meet up so I can have a butchers

02-26-2012, 08:49 AM
My assumption is that either option 2 or 3 applies.

You should check with engine warm (>15 minutes, having achieved at least 65C water temp. for a while) and bike standing upright, 30sec - 1 minute after engine shut-off. Not earlier, and not later!

The Rotax V990 engines have a dry sump racing lubrication like a Porsche 911 flat-6, or Yamaha XTZ / SZR 660 / TRX850. Forget about checking with a cold bike, or at an angle like you can do in normal cars or average Japanese Inline-4's... The oil level can vary immensely in the external reservoir. Hence, always check at the same condition according to manual (as described above).

Level is easily distinguishable in the tube - give it a good wipe:

Level a tad too low, but still ok if it shows up like this with a warm engine:


Here it's too low, but still visible:


Totally empty (with some hints as to where to find what):


02-26-2012, 08:49 AM

use some black silicone in the joint. Not too much.

02-26-2012, 03:02 PM

Many thanks for the replies.

Aladinsaneuk (http://aladinsaneuk/) - Are you not in the US somewhere? or does your little (left signature) mis-lead me as to your location?

go_modem_go (http://go_modem_go/) - Thanks for the detailed reply. Very useful, expecially the pictures. Your 'sight tube' is much clearer than mine.

I followed your information and took her for a blast (40 mins) and due to some faulty traffic lights, she was up to 80c or so, so was well warmed up. I returned home and stood the biike upright and killed the engine whilst watching the oil level tube for a couple of minutes. I never saw anything other than what is in the pictures (if I can figure out how to attach them here) The pics were taken around 45seconds after the power was turned off (thought I'd go between your sugestive figures) and the tube stays like this - never noticed it any different in these 3 weeks, hot, cold, upright or on the stand.


Sorry - she is in need of a wash!

RossGuzzi (http://RossGuzzi) - Not sure what WAFO means or what you mean by using some black silicone, assume you mean on the brass type bolt nut thingies when replacing the tube thing?

If anyone has any ideas regards the above, please feel free to share them, as I'm stumped, other than to replace the tube, but cant seem to find one online anywhere, but not actually sure what its called!

Thanks all,


02-26-2012, 04:11 PM
There is only one sure way of finding out:

Use a flexible dip stick, or wire, and measure the approximate level via the filler hole (even at standstill, cold).

It better be full - well, up to the hilt.

Well, overfilled is not a good thing at all for dry sump engines (may cause oil over-pressure and long-term damage to seals!), but better than totally empty! :D

If it isn't, and the tube has a blue discolouring but tank (and tube) is in fact empty, it sure is time to fill up!

You should ALWAYS have some oil showing up, no matter in which circumstances. These engines DO NOT have a wet oil sump under the engine where oil is collecting - all you really have is this external tank.

If that's empty, no wonder your bike warms up to 80C in winter! :eek:

Maybe it's time to give her some new oil & filter.

So, drain everything out and measure up what you get out of there. It better be 3.5 liters or more!

You must be very careful with the filter type, your bike looks like it has been converted to the 2008 & later RSV long version 3.75 inch filter (http://www.af1racing.com/store/Scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=4918) (on my pictures, you see the oil filter cover for the earlier short 2.75 inch filter (http://www.af1racing.com/store/Scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=1408)) - and that's a whole different topic.

Fill in 3.8 liters including filter & oil drained via BOTH the oil reservoir plug AND the magnetic engine drain plug.

Just a tad (50cc) more if it's the long 2008+ RSV oil filter (which is certainly what it looks like! I've never seen that 2008 RSV filter casing on a Falco before - some dealer must have been very thorough in upgrading the bike... :confused:)

I know that I waffle on a lot about this, but be very careful - fitting a short, normal 2.75 inch Falco filter (which any normal Falco rider would order, including me) into your converted engine may cause severe damage:

A 2.75 inch filter will loose all filtering capability to zero - it'll dangle around loose in that way too long filter compartment). No idea what Aprilia was thinking when they mixed in two filter length types - I am sure more than more than one engine got damaged after sprag clutch wear / metal particles and prior confusion in the after-market filter sector (they usually only list & sell short filters for the Falco...)

Usually oil needs to be filled in two steps:

1 - measure up 3.8 litres, fill up to the top of the tube. Some will be left over.
2- Let engine run for a while, shut down, and top up with the oil which is left over from your 3800cc contingent.

Since you may an early bike made in 1999-2000 (if it's red fire "candy" with bare aluminium frame), the selection of your oil is VERY important - otherwise these early black or red bikes are prone to clutch slippage. DON'T go for some fully synthetic oils - semi-synthetic 10W40 is what Aprilia recommends for 1998-2000 bikes in the UK (important: JASO approved! That's a Japanese bike industry norm that contains wet clutch test cycles).

EDIT: I see from the other thread that your bike is in fact a Flamingo red '03/04 UK model with black frame. You most likely have an upgraded clutch that are a little less choosy about oil types (and additives), so fully synthetic oils would be preferable (15W50).

Since you have a last year production run that was only sold in very few countries (mostly UK, some in BeNeLux), maybe that'll explain the updated long 3,75 inch oil filter cover. It may still have been under the extended warranty / at dealer service intervals when the filter upgrade came along! :)

02-26-2012, 07:01 PM
I was meaning in the joints of the exhaust pipes.

I could be wrong but it looks like it is overfilled. Just follow what Olivier says and you will be right.

WAFO.....Welcome and Fuck off........general forum welcome. Got no idea who started it !


use some black silicone in the joint. Not too much.

02-26-2012, 07:22 PM
All the previous posts have given you all the correct information you need. I purchased a Falco recently and had a similar issue, especially as the previous owner had told me that it had just been serviced. I looked at the sight tube and thought that I would have to purchase a new one, however it was only the dirty oil that made the tube look like yours,once the oil was drained the tube became a lot clearer. It was obviously over filled as well as there was a lot of oil in the air box. I wouldn't get too stressed until you drain that oil.


02-26-2012, 07:26 PM
Honestly looks like some one used the wrong tube for the eyesite maybe clear wasnt easily availiable before I would do anything I would grab a flashlight and try to shine it through from side to make it easier to see then I would order a clear tube an swap it out. Motorcycles arent cheap to replace.

02-27-2012, 12:54 AM
I cannot think of a better example of a USA minor outlying island than the UK - I live in Bungay btw... I am also one of the moderators for ridersite

i think we have around 7 falco's around norwich now....

oh - welcome and dark orrrffff!

finally - pretty sure that is overfilled....

02-27-2012, 03:34 AM
Soz to take this off topic, but BUNGAY!

My soon to be ex-sister in law lives in the old rectory there, nice little village, with emphasis on little. So my question is, how on earth did you manage to be allowed in?

02-27-2012, 07:07 AM
I had a strap on hump, and walked with a limp.... and they kindly accepted my application for the job of Village Idiot...

(The old rectory - she is not short of a bob or two then...)

02-27-2012, 11:52 AM
So my question is, how on earth did you manage to be allowed in?

Surely there is a clue somewhere ..............

Soz to take this off topic, but BUNGAY!

I had a strap on ...... and walked with a limp....

Nope - can't find any clues there

02-27-2012, 04:09 PM
from the wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bungay#Modern_Bungay) on this village:

Bungay has an unusually large number of hairdressers


02-27-2012, 04:59 PM

Lots of hair dressers - the population is ageing so there is a huge demand for dyeing grey hair.....

That is one of the reasons why Andy knows the town - such a shame that none will dye his pubes - apparently the grey is permanent..

02-27-2012, 07:32 PM
I had a strap on hump, and walked with a limp.... and they kindly accepted my application for the job of Village Idiot...

(The old rectory - she is not short of a bob or two then...)

Husband is a dentist, nuff said

02-28-2012, 07:52 AM
go_modem_go (http://go_modem_go) - many thanks for the info. I like the dip stick idea as a mind ease for the time being. How much oil should I be seeing on the stick though? I can see oil if I peer in the filler hole, so there is some in there!

Also, how far would the oil cover stick out from the top of the bolt head if its the longer type? I want to ensure I get the right one.

Regards your edit - my Falco is a 2001 flaming red with silver frame. Wish it was a later one with less miles and a nice black frame, but alas, no joy.

RossGuzzi (http://RossGuzzi) - thanks, I was slightly perplexed over that one/two. I'll do this as since fitting the standard pipes back on, they are rattling in the push in bits and driving me mad. Will the silicone not melt though?

Twins (http://Twins) - thanks for this, don't suppose you sourced a new sight tube did you? just incase i do need one. can only find them on af1 at a large price and not in UK. Will drop the oil soon and leave it drain for a few hours, so hopefully that will clear out the tube. It's unerving when I can't see, especilly if I catch a whiff of something burning!

jarrodscot (http://jarrodscot) - tried the light, and it made no difference what so ever. tried it in the light and in pitch black, still no joy!

Aladinsaneuk (http://Aladinsaneuk) - Thanks, I'll head to ridersite when get a spare few minutes. Regards the overfil, think you may be right as looked in the airbox and whilst the drain tube was empty, there is a bit of oil in the box. I put half a cup full in to see if it made a difference to the sight tube and it may seem that some of this was spat into the box.

Everyone - I heard a tale about a falco engine running dry and popping due to a filter (or something) that had been placed in the wrong way round. Would this be the oil filter or the tank filter thing that sits with the oil pipe? or something else entirely, as want to ensure I dont do the same thing.

Not wanting to cause a war or anything, I assume a 10-40/50 semi would be OK for the falco? - question though, will this make Neutral any harder/easier to find, as it's a right bit*h at the moment, until I kill the power, then she slips right in!

Cheers all, Upex

02-28-2012, 08:29 AM
You might start a war :D

I use agip 15/50 semi, but if that works fine for you, I don't see reason to change.

02-28-2012, 08:31 AM

get in touch with griff at aprilia performance for your gear selection - you need a clutch jet - i think they are about a tenner.... search here or rider site for detailed instructions on how to fit

rotax engines do not easily fail.... i guess you could put the oil filter in the wrong way but....

oil wise - semi synth for certain! the year of your bike is right on the cusp, but i strongly suspect the clutch will slip like a mad bastard with full synth oil. I use 10/40 for what its worth though i have used 15/50 in the past.

02-28-2012, 02:26 PM
The clutch jets are the same ones than for Chinese 50cc 4-stroke scooter carb jets, and some older Dell'Orto Carbs for Vespas. And many more!

Size 40 can be had for mere pennies... 10 quid by Aprilia is a blatant rip-off... A trip down to your local scooter shop with the jet 75 can save you a few quid... ;)

02-28-2012, 02:38 PM
aladinsaneuk & Go modem go - thanks for the heads up, but what am I asking for? A clutch jet 75 or a jet 40 and will they know what I mean? Not up on the technical stuff, but with pics and instructions can generally figure stuff out.

All - thanks for the input with the oil. Will get some fresh wet stuff ordered and lube the old girl up a bit. Fingers crossed it'll fix my issues LOL.


Cheers for the info. Off to read about fitting a clutch jet thingy LOL.

02-28-2012, 02:44 PM
No I didn't have to buy a new sight tube,my Falco was over filled by the previous owner. It wasn't until i had drained the oil tank that I realised the tube looked like yours because it had to much oil. While the tube is not clear like my low mieage Mille, I can see the level now quite easily. If you do need a tube I am sure there would be plenty of breakers in the UK that have damaged oil tanks at the right price. I use Motul 15w50 300v double ester full synthetic in both the Mille and Falco with no clutch issues. I can't see how you could put a oil filter in backwards as the filter has a hole on one end that fits over the spigot on the crankcase and is held in place by the cover, I dont think the cover would bolt up without leaking if it was in backwards.

02-28-2012, 03:19 PM
More info please Olivier ;)

Griff's company is called aprilia performance but is not an official aprilia shop... Though griff was iirc technical director of aprilia uk ....

The original clutch jet was a 75 the replacement is a 40

02-28-2012, 09:36 PM
on the dipstick front, if you get the engine up to temp then let it stand as described before.

Put your dipstick in the hole and mark or hold the stick at the top of the filler hole. Take the stick out and hold it on the outside of the casing with your fingers/mark at the same level it was when on the inside to give you a level reading.

A rough guide is to have the oil level around the horizontal vanes on the casing HTH

02-29-2012, 05:12 AM
Hey Aladinsaneuk, what's the chance of you slipping over to upex's gaff and checking out his Falco ? the suspense is killing me. :lol:

02-29-2012, 06:56 AM
when I get asked to, I will only be too happy :)

(I suspect the oil change will provide the answer though)

And to make upex aware it is quite common to have some oil in the air box.... the crank breather goes there and does give an oily mist....

02-29-2012, 07:11 AM
Oil in the airbox isn't a good sign.

It means there is too much oil - and that can cause long-term problems as well.

When overfilled (which happens all too easily on this dry sump system), I ALWAYS take excess oil back out again, with a Tetanus-Syringe until I get a middle reading in the tube on a warm engine.

Especially since I have an open airbox (real mess if overfilled!) :D

03-02-2012, 01:53 AM
Twins - hopefully that will be the same for me. Have not found a sight tube anywhere but af1 and it very expensive for a piece of clear tube. Whatever happened to a little window eh? LOL
Hope your bearing up, will endeavour to relieve your anticipation as soon as!

Aladinsaneuk - will give griff a shout and get a jet thingy to. When you remove the old one will all the fluid pour out?
Yeah, to meet up would be good, as I'd like your view in the bike overall. Pretty sure the brakes need work etc, but without a comparison, who knows?
I work in Norwich so could ride out your way or something similar. Will try to pm you my number.

Falcopops - i'll be giving this a go as soon as i can and will let ya all know just how many inches I go down to!

Go_modem_go _ I've been looking at posts here about the open airboxes, to be honest, I'm not sure why you all do it, us it for the better intake noise? Hopefully will be draining her soon, so will hopefully have a proper sight tube Hague then and she won't need to be over filled anymore.

03-02-2012, 08:37 AM
you lose a dribble of fluid....

the secret of the changeover is preparation - you will need a wooden toothpick and a screw driver that fits the replacement jet exactly....


is a long thread but has all the info you need

03-04-2012, 10:58 PM
Since I just have to contribute something to this fun little thread I guess it should be this:

Welcome and Fuck Off was given to us by CarlosT, outside of Philly, yo.

Credit where credit is due, and all that rot. pip.

03-07-2012, 10:18 AM
All - too many to name - thanks for all the useful info.

I have just done the dip stick ( :lame: )method and this is what I found. When I put the dip stick in, i angled if forward from the filler hole (otherwise only went 3 inches or so) and it seemed to go all the way down to the bottom part. The level (once withdrawn and place externally using the same filler hole point) is indicated by the yellow line which I've crudely added. I did this both hot (85c) and cold whilst on the sidestand. Is this too much or not enough?


Thanks, Upex - I will be changing the oil and filter soon (going to order the longer one) so should sort it all then, but for the time being would like your input (hopefully reassurance)

03-07-2012, 12:43 PM
Too much oil in there. Even when cold, it shouldn't be that high..........the level should be no higher than HALF the distance between YOUR mark shown & the MIN line on the tank.

03-07-2012, 03:19 PM
Get rid of that excess oil!

It'll cause a real oily mess in your intake, and you'll have too much oil pressure. Not good for the engine at all!

Someone didn't have a clue on how to measure & fill a dry sump engine... You can just hope it wasn't the previous owner... :rolleyes:

Elegant method: Big Tetanus Syringe & moped fuel line.

Or just open the drain plug a bit...

03-07-2012, 04:50 PM
Hang on guys. Buried behind the fairing near the top of the tank is another mark "MAX".

According to the manual its fine as long as you dont exceed "MAX" when hot and I've always filled mine just below with no issues and only the minimum amount of oil in the airbox you would expect from the oil mist condensing in there.

BTW, when cold, my oil sits about where the photo has the line drawn

03-07-2012, 07:04 PM
You are right of course... To me that tube looks full to the hilt!

But as long as it is not exceeding MAX 1 minute after shutdown when warm, it's ok (yellow line is also ok).

The amount of time after shutting down of the warmed-up engine and taking a reading is important.

Falco oil level behaviour is indeed weird...

I find it much more precise to determine the correct oil level in the external tank of my dry-sump Belgarda SZR 660 (dipstick lid). Having said that, it has the similar behaviour of massive variation between hot / cold. However, filling it up is a worse nightmare than on the Falco: The tank lid is well hidden away, even with a funnel you'll spill the odd pint!

I'll have to refill my engine tomorrow, since I took some stuff apart (incl. oil tank, flywheel, opened right underside bolt for crankshaft blocking, etc) I drained it totally dry, replaced filter as well.

I'll post how much exactly I got in there - and where it'll sit with 3.8l...

03-07-2012, 08:53 PM
...But as long as it is not exceeding MAX 1 minute after shutdown when warm, it's ok (yellow line is also ok).

The amount of time after shutting down of the warmed-up engine and taking a reading is important...

You do not have to wait one minute to check your oil level. Nowhere in any aprilia owners manual or shop manual does it say to wait one minute. The aprilia instructions clearly state to stop the engine and check the oil level. You can even check it with the engine idling which is the most common method of checking the oil level in dry sump engines. The bike does have to be fully up to operating temperature and fully upright. This is how I check mine at the end of every ride. Up on the rear paddock stand and check the level at idle. Stop the engine and the level stays the same. Try is some time and you will see. This is the best way to ensure you have the correct amount of oil. Any where between the min and max marks is fine though with the stock breather system running near the max mark can increase the amount of oil in the air box.

More than you will ever need to know about checking the V60 oil level. (http://www.apriliaforum.com/forums/showthread.php?82247)

03-08-2012, 12:52 AM
as the original poster is planning on a doing a total oil drain and change, its a moot point at this time

I do think that reminding all to check the oil properly is a very good idea :)

03-08-2012, 03:40 AM

And it clarifies a misconception I've had since years - the 1 minute rule.

Guess what - it's indeed not in the Falco manual.

It's in the Yamaha manual from both my Italian Yamaha-Belgarda SZR 660's, with the Minarelli-built dry-sump monocylinder 5-valve Yammie XTZ660 engine! :cathat:

Which were my main bikes before the Falco was added to the stable...

Having said that, I usually check oil when riding on tours that can last several days. That's where the 1 minute rule come in handy - that's the time it takes to take off helmet & gloves, position the bike upright, have the tube clear and check.

It gives different readings than right after engine shut-down (apart from the fact that oil may still running along inside the tube).

Mis-filling and overfilling on my Belgarda dry sump engine has taught me to better always check in the very same condition, for comparative purposes... Doesn't do any harm!

03-08-2012, 08:54 AM
Never mind :)

03-09-2012, 02:00 PM
FALCOnry (http://FALCOnry) - go_modem_go (http://go_modem_go) - anzacinexile (http://anzacinexile) - kzmille (http://kzmille) - Aladinsaneuk (http://Aladinsaneuk) - DelHess (http://DelHess)

Thanks for the input. My pic with the yellow line does relate to where the dipstick level indicated the oil was upto, so from you comments I assume the dipstick would be showing the same level as the tube should?

If the tube should show the same level as the dipstick method, then it does seems she is filled to the hilt. I would have thought I'd see more oil in the airbox though? There was a bit - 2/3 spoons full, but not a massive amount and the drain pipe was empty. Do you think this may indicate a blockage somewhere?

Anyhows, I know feel much more confortable with how to check the level, so fingers crossed after I drain her dry, the tube will clear and allow me to see a level.

Going to order the filters this weekend and get her done asap.

So, a couple of questions for you gurus to be able to part your knowledge and guide a newb though:

Should I be ordering a new o ring seal and oil tank washer at the same time, or do these last for several changes? To drain the oil out properly, should she be on a paddock stand (upright) or on the side stand to allow a more angled run out? Also, how long should I leave her to 'drip' the last dregs out before refilling? and lastly (:bs:), for now then, the oil tank filter (where the pipe does into the metal part), does this get cleaned or replaced? (seem to recal reading to blow it with air?) if replaced, is it called an oil tank filter?

Thanks all, Upex

P.S. Do you think I should replace the fuel filter whilst I'm at it? The clocks are on 32650 miles, so she no spring chicken, but not sure of the fuel filter interval.
heers, Upex

03-10-2012, 01:25 AM
I would leave the fuel tank related stuff well alone..... Search here or ridersite for info about our petrol tanks growing....

Re the washers etc - re anneal the copper, replace others as needed


If you do it's helicoil time

I put mine onto an abba stand and drain that way - I warm the bike up a bit before draining then leave it for an hour or so - no need to but I generally have a couple of other jobs to do so....

If you head out for a bimble today - Saturday - I am working on my bike in Loddon from 12 to 4.... Drop me a pm if you want to shamble over.... And I do happen to have a 50ml syringe and tube for draining out excess oil......

03-10-2012, 03:41 AM
Aladinsaneuk - you are a gentle. Thanks for the offer, Sods law I'm not on the bike today, its dedicated to the car as its mot time. Fingers crossed eh. If I get done early i'll drop ya a message.

Fuel tanks growing? The extra capacity would be nice, but does sound like a good thing. Will have a browse tonight.

Not sure what you mean by - re anneal the copper, assume it a typo for reuse?

Thanks for this though, gonna get me a syringe and take the top off until the parts get here.

Hope your jobs go well today. Cheers, Upex

03-10-2012, 03:52 AM
nope re anneal :)


that will explain all

03-10-2012, 09:03 AM
Aladinsaneuk - you are a gentle.

A gentle WHAT - the mind boggles :eek:

03-10-2012, 01:18 PM
To drain even more old oil out it's real quick and easy to drain the oil cooler of its contents. I've never measured, but I'm guessing that nearly the same amount comes out of there that drains out of the mag plug, perhaps a 1/4th of a cup or so.

Once that's all done, I plug 4 quarts of fresh juice back in and it fits perfectly, right on the mid-mark. No further measuring required.

03-10-2012, 03:17 PM
Aladinsaneuk (http://Aladinsaneuk) - How did you get on today? were you doing anything good or just general prep for summer?

Thanks for the anneal info, I never knew that. So I've learned something new today in addition to finding out that Toyo Proxo tyre are rubbish - 2 big gashes (one nearly taking the tread from the carcass in a nice clean peal) and a nail = failed MOT = 200 for a new one! Pants

anzacinexile (http://anzacinexile) - :lol: I generally use my mobile to view and post here, and it doesn't work very well. Then to make it worse, my phone still changes text to what it thinks I want to say, rather than what I type in. I miss the errors because the phone doesn't show everything (unless tiny). So... read my posts in the future for some typo funnies! - FYI I typed 'you are a gent' and the HTC filled in the rest!

SoulDaddy (http://SoulDaddy) - Sounds like a good idea. I take it that the cooler doesn't drain fully by the standard method then? (seems a tad stupid to design it to leave old oil in there ? Italians!!) So, where is the best place to drain the cooler from then and if I do this as well, will I need to order anything else to cover that part of the draining, e.g. a hose clamp thingy, another washer etc?

Thanks All, Upex

03-10-2012, 03:39 PM
I have a Mille oil cooler and oil tank on my Falco and I don't remember the stock one well enough to give you precise directions, but on mine I simply back off the hose clamp at the bottom of the oil cooler, pull the rubber hose, and voila, additional old oil is thereby received. I would think yours would be quite similar.

03-10-2012, 03:42 PM
No - servicing in a few weeks...

Fitted my new integrated indicators and tail lights.... Put the clip ons back under the triple crown, fitted 4 pad calipers and brake lines.... Not a bad three hours fettle :)

I did think about cleaning it but remembered I had beer to be drunk just in time

03-12-2012, 01:17 PM
Aladinsaneuk - Awesome - beers beats cleaning everytime. You'll have to post a pic of the new light/cators. Like the sound of those and would to have a gander, see if its something for the future.

SoulDaddy - I'll have a look and figure it out. Do the clamps back off nicely or is it best to have a spare incase it beaks/bends so is useless? Thanks for the heads up.

03-12-2012, 01:44 PM
If the oem click clamp is still on there then you'd need a pair of Oetiker pliers to R&R it easily, although some folks can somehow manage without them. It's probably easier and cheaper to just have a good hose clamp on hand to replace the stocker with.

03-12-2012, 04:13 PM
Cheers SoulDaddy. Never heard of those pliers, so dont have any.

So to close this all off - some folks here say 10w40 (and say the manual does). Others say (and say the manual does) 15w50. My question - what the hell is the difference (all above me) and which would be best for 2001 Falco with 33'000 miles and the larger extended filter being used daily for 10mile each way commute and some additional weekend riding now and again? Once I have thoughts on this, I'm done and getting oily (thankfully the wife likes me being dirty!) on the weekend.

Cheers all,


03-12-2012, 04:16 PM
I use 15w-50 Semi-synthetic.

03-12-2012, 04:32 PM

You will dEfinitly need semi synthetic oil

The owners hand book specifies 15/50
Due to some reported clutch slip problems on some machines, aprilia instructed The dealers that 10/40 could be usEd

I used to use 15/50 but now use 10/40 BUT I do change my oil twice a year... Because I can!

For you - try which ever you want - but use a motorbike oil

03-12-2012, 04:37 PM
Cheers SoulDaddy. Never heard of those pliers, so dont have any.

So to close this all off - some folks here say 10w40 (and say the manual does). Others say (and say the manual does) 15w50. My question - what the hell is the difference (all above me) and which would be best for 2001 Falco with 33'000 miles and the larger extended filter being used daily for 10mile each way commute and some additional weekend riding now and again? Once I have thoughts on this, I'm done and getting oily (thankfully the wife likes me being dirty!) on the weekend.

Cheers all,


The standard oil for the Rotax motors is 15w50 but Aprilia UK sent out a notice to the UK dealers saying that if neutral is hard to find AND the clutch is bleed properly AND the clutch is adjusted according to the book, then its OK to use the more common (and slightly lighter) 10w40.

That what I run as I have 5 bikes in my garage and I buy my oil in bulk and I didnt want to bugger about with another oil just for one bike. Must say that the Falco is much happier with the lighter oil BUT, and this is a big BUT, dependent on what year, some Falco's (mine included) absolutely HATE full synth oil. Makes my clutch slip like a bastid

03-12-2012, 05:36 PM

If you intend to mainly ride it for short commutes, you will be much better off with 10W40 - it's better suited for running cold.

Apart from that, it's cheaper and much easier to get, and was recommended by Aprilia for use in early Mille and Falcos in Northern European climates.

Make sure its NOT fully synthetic, but semi-synthetic, and is listed as compatible to the JASO MA standard (Japanese motorcycle norm, contains a friction / slip test for wet clutches).

I would strongly recommend NOT to use any car / automotive engine oils - ever. Unless it has a JASO-MA2 compliance label (very rare, exceptions prove the rule, such as Shell Rotalla T 15W-40 mineral heavy duty truck engine oil :D).

I use the cheapest semi-synthetic "house brands" from motorcycle shops Polo (Viscoil 10W40) or Louis (Procycle oil brand). These oils are made by the well-renowned Pentosin and Fuchs oil refinery respectively. 4/liter net if it's on a sales offer in 4-liter canisters.

Never had clutch slip on either Viscoil or Procycle 10W40 - but always got bad clutch with the expensive oils from "top" brands like Shell, Castrol etc... :rolleyes:

If you want 15W50 semi-synthetic (as recommended by manual), I'd recommend Motul 5100 (15W50 motorcycle version - NOT the automotive stuff!).

It's very widely available, I've been running this oil for years in South of France in the hot months.

03-13-2012, 12:57 AM
and for the UK folk, rider site does have an ongoing arrangement for its members with opie oils - we get 10-22% discount on the normal price and opie oils is normally a good price anyway!

(BTW - None registered / Logged in visitors to rider site cannot see our discount and offers section......)

i have used opie oils several times and found that the cost saving is worth it - and having stuff delivered to me in the wilds of norfolk is a damn sight easier than having to drive to a decent size town!


03-13-2012, 08:22 AM

get in touch with griff at aprilia performance for your gear selection - you need a clutch jet - i think they are about a tenner.... search here or rider site for detailed instructions on how to fit

rotax engines do not easily fail.... i guess you could put the oil filter in the wrong way but....

oil wise - semi synth for certain! the year of your bike is right on the cusp, but i strongly suspect the clutch will slip like a mad bastard with full synth oil. I use 10/40 for what its worth though i have used 15/50 in the past.

Aladinsaneuk (http://Aladinsaneuk) - I finally got round to following your advice and have just belled them (called on the telephone before you all start being perverse) the stuff is on its way and I acidentially ordered the clutch jet 40 to, oups... how did that happen Mrs??? So, now I need to get a correctly fitting spanner and hope the old jet comes out (and isn't already a 40).

Although I've worried over this quandry I am hopefull that a long drain will clear the tube. Only this morning, for the very first time, did I actually see oil in the tube. She stood for 3 days and just after starting this AM, I could see a level within the blue that dropped for a few moments (to where you all say it should be) and then rose back up. This gave me great joy and optomisum and I'm ever hopeful of an easy read result (well, easy as these things get!)

Cheers Aladinsaneuk and everyone else for all the info. I'll post back with questions of what to do when the oil change goes wrong in some way soon! :kidding: (fingers crossed)
One thing now though... for the 'larger' members of our community, does the longer filter have to go in, in a particular way round? and if so, does it have arrows etc (i.e. clear which way) or is it only the short filter that is directional (due to the bypass valve?)

Thanks All, Upex

03-13-2012, 11:34 AM
look at the one you take out... it all becomes clear then.... and if in doubt, shine a torch into the recess and you will see where the filter sits....

03-13-2012, 12:42 PM
The end with the big hole in it goes into the engine case first. This is the same whether long or short filter and yes, some people have gotten it wrong.

03-13-2012, 02:10 PM
Aladinsaneuk - kzmille - thanks. Stupid question I know, but having been told that a chaps Falco died in spectacular fashion due to having the filter in the wrong way round - not him but previous owner - died on way home after collecting it - gutted! I'm a tad paranoid LOL.

Cheers all, Upex

03-13-2012, 04:08 PM
As you are in Norfolk, uk chill out - you get stressed your hump will burst

(I was going to say that is an in joke but inbreeding is not a light matter around here... It's a family trait....)

03-13-2012, 09:23 PM
I've personally never tried, but I would imagine fitting the filter the wrong way would require a hammer, or atleast alot of force. Where as fitting the correct way is no trouble at all.

I would call it Idiot Resistant. :D

03-13-2012, 10:24 PM
Only the force developed by a 5mm hex key. I agree with you it seems impossible but more than a couple have managed it.

04-24-2012, 07:02 AM
OK, Well to continue the saga, I pulled out the clutch this weekend and put it back in. After this was all done, I looked at the oil tube and it looked correct (like the pictures from go_modem_go on page 1) Miracle!!! Horay and all that. Well chuffed..... until I rode to work today. At start up, the tube was great, then I saw a trickle of oil running down the tube (on the inside) and it continued to fill the tube. By the time I was at work, the tube was full again (like in my original pictures (on page 1)), bollocks! I've just been to check it now (after standing for 4 hours) and yeah you guessed it, its remained full (like my pics on page 1).

So, what on earth would cause it to become normal when I removed the clutch? but then return to full and not drain away after 1 ride?

Any ideas? I'm stuck for what to do next. Could there be some sort of vacuum developing, stopping the oil drain out of the tube? Could it be that the bike hates me?

On the plus side, I made myself a tail tidy out of crap lying around my garage - I'll post up a pic in an appropriate thread - and put my loud cans back on, which is better than riding a sewing machine!


04-24-2012, 07:19 AM
This is all perfectly normal. There is nothing wrong!

Please research the principle of dry sump lubrification... ;)

Do not go for any reading after it has been standing for a while, or whilst it is running. Or when it's leaning on the sidestand.

- Allow the engine to idle for about 15-20
minutes, or ride the vehicle on a country
road for approximately 15 km (9.5 mi).
-Stop the engine.
- Keep the vehicle in vertical position, with
the two wheels resting on the ground.
- Check the oil level in the transparent
pipe (1) through the appropriate slot pro-
vided on the left fairing.
MAX = maximum level
MIN = minimum level.
- The difference between “MAX” and “MIN”
amounts to approximately 460 cm#.
- The level is correct when the oil almost
reaches the “MAX” mark.

If it is still higher than max, you need to remove some oil!

04-24-2012, 12:51 PM
Go_modem_go thanks for this. I should have said in my post that I did do this. Since I've owned the bike, I've never seen anything but total blue in the sight tube. Until I pulled the clutch out, put it back and then I could see a definite level, down near the low mark (as in the page 1 pics) this was with a cold engine and on the side stand.

I then rode this morning, and oil tricked into the tube from the top until it was full (looking the same as it always has) I got to work, killed the engine and checked it stood upright, hopeing to see it start to fall, but nothing. It's stayed full again. I then checked after she had been stood for few hours (as I don't know what the cold level should be) to see if it had moved, but not. I've just rode home (10miles) and killed engine again, checked level stood upright (watched it for few minutes) and no change, still full.

So, I thought the tube was stained blue, but seeing it after the clutch removal has confirmed not. It may be well over full, but I have had no blow back into the airbox since I first checked and the dipstick measure indicates its at a decent level. So I'm thinking something is stopping it it draining from the sight tube. But don't know why it would have drained when I removed the clutch? If she is overfilled somehow, why would the level in the sight tube have dropped when the clutch was removed, but not when its in?

If it hadn't drained when I pulled the clutch, is assume it was a stained tube or overfilled, but this seemed to buck that trend.

Is it possible that some sort of blockage, or vacuum could do it?

Thanks, Upex

04-29-2012, 11:41 AM
Dropped the oil today (finally got chance) and pulled the clutch out again, oiled it up as seemed a bit dry. Changed my oil jet for the 40 I git from griff, only to find she had a 40 in already.

2 things have puzzled me,

1 - when I took the oil jet out, it dribbled oil for an hour or so, is this normal? The oil had been drained via both drain plugs and had been well drained, stood for hour or so before I took out the clutch jet.

2 - my oil jet (old one) was blocked with tiny bits of metal (looked like brass and some silver alloy)
ould this have starved the clutch of oil? Or what other effects would a blocked jet cause? Could this have caused my oil sight tube to nit drain back, thus was always showing as full?

I'll try and attach a pic of the blocked jet content, should I be worried? Do anything due to these buts of metal?

Thanks all, Upex

OK, this website and my phone don't get along. The text (above) wasn't added, but the pictures were added to the previous post, so please see pics above in relation to this post.

04-29-2012, 01:53 PM
Looks like someone drilled the jet out and didn't get all the swarf out.

The reason it dribbles oil is because there is oil in galleries in the cases, cylinders, and heads that does not drain under normal conditions. Removing the jet gives the oil an escape path. Nothing to worry about and it has nothing to do with your oil tank site tube. A clogged jet will certainly cut oil flow to the clutch but I wouldn't worry about it.

04-29-2012, 04:06 PM
Kzmille - the jet hasn't been drilled, infact, its in great condition, if anyone needs one, its yours. The bits have somehow collected in the jet. Which way does the oil flow through the jet? Screwdriver side into engine, or engine, coming out screwdriver side? If its the latter, would go with the bits being collected as the oil flows through, if its the first direction, I have no idea why they would have collected there. They seemed magnatised, all stuck together. My magnetic drain plug had nothing stuck to it though, was clean. Nit sure where these bits have come from, but there was a fair quantity of it, and brass and silver? Something being ground away?

04-29-2012, 05:25 PM
I'm saying that possibly a previous owner drilled out the original jet. It definitely looks like drilling swarf and it definitely looks like brass. Oil flow is from the threaded end to the slotted end, or from right to left, so it makes sense that the swarf would accumulate in that end of the jet. What doesn't make sense is how the swarf got on that side of the jet. If someone had drilled the jet out from the left side you would think most of the swarf would have been outside of the threads in the case.

If it was in the jet from the manufacturer you would think it would have been cleaned out and if not you would think someone installing it would have noticed.

It's a mystery that I doubt we will ever understand.

04-30-2012, 12:02 AM
out of interest, when you drained the oil - did you measure it?

and agree with KZMille - some one drilled that in situ i think..... but is changed now so......

04-30-2012, 06:26 AM
Lol, well as your not saying its from a vital organ, I'm happy with that. I see what you mean now, original jet was drilled, pushing swarf into the engine, the oil flow then pushed it all into the new jet to collect.

Do you think its worth me pulling the new jet out in a couple of weeks to make sure it doesn't do the same, incase any bits le
Aladinsankuk - id say around 4 litres, although this included at cup or three of new stuff LOL. Wad sh
Another question, tried to move off today and she stalled as soon as I engaged first, with slight forward movement. She did this several times, but was fine when warm. Could this be excess fluid in clutch (from mes wetting the plates) or do I have a new issue? Never done it before, and I had to open the gas a bit whilst moving into first to get her going.

Thanks all, Upex

04-30-2012, 07:38 AM
It might not be a bad idea to check it again after some riding.

04-30-2012, 11:33 AM
And you did follow the guide to bleeding that kzmille wrote.....

If not, go and read it, then take the slave off the engine, depress the internals and do a quick rebleed.....

(it is in the guide.... Use it! I do!)

04-30-2012, 12:50 PM
Zkmille, ill do that then, incase any bits remain.

Aladinsaneuk, no, might make me sound stupid, but I thought the whole clutch master to slave was all sealed and all my oil related stuff, and pulling the clutch plates wouldn't affect it. I'll have a read though and get it done to see if it helps.

04-30-2012, 01:31 PM

It makes a HUGE difference

Put it like this - look at the slave cylinder and look at where the bleed nipple is.... Gravity/physics shows there has too be an air pocket.... What happens to trapped air in a hydraulic system ????

That tie in with what your symptoms are?

Thought so ;)

( a link to kzmille's guide to bleeding can be found at ridersite in the aprilia technical section)

05-01-2012, 07:43 AM
Aladinsaneuk - I don't know - it's things like this why I rely on your and your buddies who actually know these things :worship:

I'll look for the ZKmille guide and give it a blast. I hear that the clutch can be a royal PITA to bleed - are there any gizzmos that will help, as I've never bleed anything other than pheasents!

05-01-2012, 08:10 AM

go get a large syringe and some oxygen tubing and reverse bleed!

(You can buy vacuum bleeding kits but i am cheap.... )

the link you want to read is :


and the guide makes it easy :)

05-01-2012, 08:46 AM
The original article with updates is here:


05-01-2012, 10:09 AM
Maybe it's a dyslexia problem? ;)

05-01-2012, 02:41 PM

He's not word blind - but is Norfolkian !