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Thread: Checking The Oil Level

  1. #1
    apriliaforum expert kzmille's Avatar
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    Checking The Oil Level

    The oil must be checked with the engine fully up to operating temperature and the bike straight up. Don't check it on the side stand, the level will read low. The manuals say to check it after you stop the motor. This means immediately after stopping, not after waiting for a few or more minutes. When you stop the engine the hot oil begins draining from the tank back into the engine because the tank is higher. The engine must have been idling with the bike straight up when you stop it. Do not idle it on the side stand, stop it, and then put then bike upright and check the level. It will read low. Although the manuals say to check it with the engine stopped the most consistent readings can be achieved with the bike upright and the engine idling. The highest oil level that will show on the sight tube with the engine running is at idle. The oil level drops as the revs build to, and pass 4000 RPM. You will notice that the oil level does not change between idling and stopped. You can top it up so the level is at the full mark at idle.

    Ideally you want the bike level front to back as well as side to side but I check it on the paddock stand which elevates the rear wheel a bit. This does make the level read 2 or 3 mm higher but knowing that you can adjust the level accordingly.

    Some, including myself, have advocated setting the level so it reads at the full mark while holding the revs at about 4000 rpm. When done this way the oil level will be near the top of the sight tube at idle. There is very little to gain from the small amount of additional oil and you are much more likely to get oil in the airbox.

    Get into the habit of checking and topping the oil at the end of each ride when the bike is fully up to operating temperature. Then you will know it is ready for the next ride. After setting the proper oil level if the temp drops to very cold temps the oil will not even be visible in the sight tube. Do not add oil because it will be overfilled when it is fully warmed up.

    When changing the oil you need to know how much to put in after draining the tank, the drain in the engine case, and changing the filter. I put in three quarts and run the engine briefly till the oil light goes out and the oil level in the tank drops. Stop the engine and add the fourth quart (you cannot pour all four quarts in the tank with out running the engine or it will spill over). Now drive the bike for 10 miles or more and when you get home check the level and top it off. If you measure the oil you add you will know exactly how much over 4 quarts to fill with at the next change. Don't even bother looking at the sight tube if the engine is cold.

  2. #2
    apriliaforum expert MauriceOz's Avatar
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    Too Late

    I already overfilled it before reading this bit of essential reading.

    It was low, about to do long ride so added oil, read this and it is now over.

    Should always search this Forum supported by AF1 (does this get me a discount on postage next time) who do a wonderful job of spreading important info.

    Maurice

  3. #3
    apriliaforum Member t1n0m3n's Avatar
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    OK, so i was checking the oil all wrong... No wonder my bike seems to use so much oil and my airbox is full of oil...

    Thanks for the great info.
    2009 Star Vmax
    2006 MV Agusta Brutale 910s Silver/Red, EMoto Hugger

  4. #4
    apriliaforum prov-nov BushrodW's Avatar
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    oil change instructions in users and service manuals....

    ....appear to be non-existent. Only reference I see is take to dealer for oil changes.

    WTF?


    Cheers,

    -BW
    skillet licker

  5. #5
    apriliaforum expert Ignite Aprilia's Avatar
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    Good help, I just wish these so called official Aprilia manuals would actually explain in detail what exactly to do in these cases.

  6. #6
    apriliaforum member scott2ride's Avatar
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    Note!!!! 4 quarts is basically 3.8-4 liters or 3800-4000 mils.

    That is ok in the 03 and earlier bikes, but the 04+ bikes only take 3500 mils max (3.69 quarts). And that assumes you replace the filter and drain the seconary plug next to the filter.

    All Im saying is, dont overfill it!
    ScottyDog

    Official Aprilia Linkage Tester !

    My Garage is a bottomless pit of cash sucking hopelessness. So it's definitely part of the family!

  7. #7
    apriliaforum Member t1n0m3n's Avatar
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    How long do I let it idle? If I let mine idle for more than 5 to 10 seconds the oil level rises about 100 to 200 ml (or about an inch on the tube). Do I check it before or after the oil level rises?
    2009 Star Vmax
    2006 MV Agusta Brutale 910s Silver/Red, EMoto Hugger

  8. #8
    apriliaforum member scott2ride's Avatar
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    i ALWAYS CHECK MINE IMMEDIATELY AFTER A DECENT RIDE. (A RIDE AROUND THE BLOCK IS NOT ENOUGH. dO AT LEAST 8-10 MILES)

    I hAVE IT AT 2500RPM AND CHECK IT. iT SEEMS TO BE MOST ACCURATE AT THAT rpm.

    OPPS SORRY ABOUT caps
    ScottyDog

    Official Aprilia Linkage Tester !

    My Garage is a bottomless pit of cash sucking hopelessness. So it's definitely part of the family!

  9. #9
    apriliaforum Member t1n0m3n's Avatar
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    I usually check the oil at a stop light after I have been riding for a while, and I recently noticed the oil level rising at idle.. Thanks for the info. I will rev the engine to 2500 and see how that works.
    2009 Star Vmax
    2006 MV Agusta Brutale 910s Silver/Red, EMoto Hugger

  10. #10
    apriliaforum expert kzmille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by t1n0m3n
    How long do I let it idle? If I let mine idle for more than 5 to 10 seconds the oil level rises about 100 to 200 ml (or about an inch on the tube). Do I check it before or after the oil level rises?
    As stated above, the way I do it is after it has been idling long enough for the oil to rise to its highest level. Bike vertical the whole time of course. This is what you are checking, the highest oil level during normal operation.

  11. #11
    apriliaforum expert ARAIHEAD's Avatar
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    Just checked the oil & its spot-on,............... just thought i would tell you all.
    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.

  12. #12
    apriliaforum Member jmarnell's Avatar
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    Changing the oil

    Quote Originally Posted by kzmille
    The oil must be checked with the engine fully up to operating temperature and the bike straight up. Don't check it on the side stand, the level will read low. The manuals say to check it after you stop the motor. This means immediately after stopping, not after waiting for a few or more minutes. When you stop the engine the hot oil begins draining from the tank back into the engine because the tank is higher. The engine must have been idling with the bike straight up when you stop it. Do not idle it on the side stand, stop it, and then put then bike upright and check the level. It will read low. Although the manuals say to check it with the engine stopped the most consistent readings can be achieved with the bike upright and the engine idling. The highest oil level that will show on the sight tube with the engine running is at idle. The oil level drops as the revs build to, and pass 4000 RPM. You will notice that the oil level does not change between idling and stopped. You can top it up so the level is at the full mark at idle.

    Ideally you want the bike level front to back as well as side to side but I check it on the paddock stand which elevates the rear wheel a bit. This does make the level read 2 or 3 mm higher but knowing that you can adjust the level accordingly.

    Some, including myself, have advocated setting the level so it reads at the full mark while holding the revs at about 4000 rpm. When done this way the oil level will be near the top of the sight tube at idle. There is very little to gain from the small amount of additional oil and you are much more likely to get oil in the airbox.

    Get into the habit of checking and topping the oil at the end of each ride when the bike is fully up to operating temperature. Then you will know it is ready for the next ride. After setting the proper oil level if the temp drops to very cold temps the oil will not even be visible in the sight tube. Do not add oil because it will be overfilled when it is fully warmed up.

    When changing the oil you need to know how much to put in after draining the tank, the drain in the engine case, and changing the filter. I put in three quarts and run the engine briefly till the oil light goes out and the oil level in the tank drops. Stop the engine and add the fourth quart (you cannot pour all four quarts in the tank with out running the engine or it will spill over). Now drive the bike for 10 miles or more and when you get home check the level and top it off. If you measure the oil you add you will know exactly how much over 4 quarts to fill with at the next change. Don't even bother looking at the sight tube if the engine is cold.
    Well, I followed the directions above and came to realize that changing the oil in an Aprilia is a PITA. Christ, how complicated can this system be!

    One thing I wanted to point out with the above guide is, when you put the bike on its side stand, the reading in the site glass is not going to read "low" like kzmille states but will actually read "higher" than when you have the bike straight up. Mayber I'm doing this wrong but have looked at the sight glass numerous times and indeed, when on its side stand, the oil level rises above the "max" indicator but when I stand the bike straight up, it reads just below "max".

    As for running the bike to temperature, I had the bike idle till the temp guage read 185 degrees and the fan kicked in. I also reved the engine periodically up to 4000 and then to 3000 and down to 2000 intermitently to mimic driving. I then checked the oil level while the bike was upright at idle and it read about a 1/4" - 1/2" below the "max" level. Is this sound right?

    Also, since the "search" function on the forum is not working, can anyone direct me to proper instructions in changing the oil and filter.

    Thanks in advance
    Joe Marnell
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  13. #13
    apriliaforum expert QuickHX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmarnell
    Well, I followed the directions above and came to realize that changing the oil in an Aprilia is a PITA. Christ, how complicated can this system be!

    I then checked the oil level while the bike was upright at idle and it read about a 1/4" - 1/2" below the "max" level. Is this sound right?

    Also, since the "search" function on the forum is not working, can anyone direct me to proper instructions in changing the oil and filter.

    Thanks in advance
    From mr. ed, AF1:
    "How do I change my oil?" which links to: sl_mille's fine fine, reference website

    Your welcome in reverse.

    By the way, 1/2" or so in the sight tube appears to be NOT a big deal... unless it's on the high side, then you goop up your airbox.

    -Quick
    --------------
    Throttle body settings: "It's more a philosophy than pure numbers." -Gabro

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    Aw, heck - You mean what I know...

  14. #14
    apriliaforum expert kzmille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmarnell
    Well, I followed the directions above and came to realize that changing the oil in an Aprilia is a PITA. Christ, how complicated can this system be!
    jmarnell,

    There is nothing complicated about checking the oil level. The simple directions provided in the owners manual are:

    *Check the oil when the engine is warm, having ridden for at least 10 miles.

    *Stop the engine before checking the oil.

    *Keep the bike vertical, with both wheels on the ground.

    *Check the level of the oil in the sight gauge.

    Despite these simple directions, owners find all kinds of ways to get it wrong. I can't say if they don't read the manual or they just don't follow the directions exactly. In the eight years these bikes have been out there have been countless threads on this forum about this very topic. My article above was written to try and explain some of the ways people get it wrong, not to make it complicated. As I stated above the easiest and most consistent way to to check the oil level is after a ride, with the engine idling, put it on the rear paddock stand and check the sight tube. That's all there is to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by jmarnell
    One thing I wanted to point out with the above guide is, when you put the bike on its side stand, the reading in the site glass is not going to read "low" like kzmille states but will actually read "higher" than when you have the bike straight up. Mayber I'm doing this wrong but have looked at the sight glass numerous times and indeed, when on its side stand, the oil level rises above the "max" indicator but when I stand the bike straight up, it reads just below "max"...
    There may be some difference in the sight tube arrangement on your 04 compared to my 01. What I was talking about here is with the engine idling. With the bike vertical, engine idling, and the oil level at the max mark if you then put the bike on the side stand the oil level in the sight tube will drop. The reason it does this is because with the engine leaned to either side oil puddles away from the oil pickup and can not be picked up and sent to the tank. More oil in the engine means less oil in the tank.

  15. #15
    apriliaforum Member Aprilia13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kzmille
    Some, including myself, have advocated setting the level so it reads at the full mark while holding the revs at about 4000 rpm. When done this way the oil level will be near the top of the sight tube at idle. There is very little to gain from the small amount of additional oil and you are much more likely to get oil in the airbox.
    ..................
    I don't get it. If there's very little to gain, except an oily airbox, why do you still advocate?
    Ride smarter, not harder!

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