How do you check the oil level? - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1
    WildWilly's Avatar
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    Without a center stand. Messed up my shoulder and ribs in a bicycle accident and there is no way I can get the bike up on my center stand. Owners manual says to check the oil with the bike upright. (O/E center stand) How do you riders w/o center stands check the oil level?
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    Quote Originally Posted by WildWilly View Post
    Without a center stand. Messed up my shoulder and ribs in a bicycle accident and there is no way I can get the bike up on my center stand. Owners manual says to check the oil with the bike upright. (O/E center stand) How do you riders w/o center stands check the oil level?
    Ask a friend to hold the bike upright for you. Seriously, I don't see any other way.
    Grey F800 ST. Built Apr. 2007. ABS. OBC. Center stand. Double-Bubble Screen. K&N air filter. PIAA bulbs, 2009 mirrors (plus extenders). Michelin Pilot Road 2 tires . HID lamp . BMW panniers. 

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    Have you tried an alternative way of getting it on the center stand. I have a bad back and get my bike on the center stand by stepping on the center stand with my left foot. I push the center stand to the ground with my left foot, grip the bike frame with my left hand, the tail rack with my right hand and push down with my left foot while moving the bike to the rear. It raises up pretty easy.

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    WildWilly's Avatar
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    Rick: Thanks for the tip and I will try it when I mend a little more. Right now I probably shouldn't even be riding, but I need to get out for even a little while. It hurts when I lift my helmet and I don't even want to think about putting it on the center stand. Thanks again for the tip.
    Quote Originally Posted by RickG View Post
    Have you tried an alternative way of getting it on the center stand. I have a bad back and get my bike on the center stand by stepping on the center stand with my left foot. I push the center stand to the ground with my left foot, grip the bike frame with my left hand, the tail rack with my right hand and push down with my left foot while moving the bike to the rear. It raises up pretty easy.
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    Hi Bill, I agree with Rick for the the center stand technique. It's really pretty easy that way, but if you're buggered you're buggered. I had my center stand off for a track day, and I used a technique for leveling the bike on the side stand. I had a wooden wedge that I slipped under the side stand when I wanted to check the oil level. I'd hold the bike almost upright (near enough is good enough) and push the wedge under the stand with my foot. The bike would be almost vertical, and resting gently on the wedge. I'd need to push it upright another couple of inches before it would tip the other way. That's when I'd check the oil level. Be ready to catch it, just in case.

    Cheers, DaveC
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    When I picked up my bike, the owner/head mech, just sat on the bike upright, reached over unscrewed the dip stick, rocked the bike, see oil sloshing around to show me the oil was full, and screwed in the dipstick again.
    What feels better than banking a motorcycle over into a corner? 

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    When you are putting any bike on the center stand you are slightly raising the rear wheel off the ground.

    An easy way to get even a lowered bike on the center stand is to roll the rear wheel onto a board. A 2 x 6 is about the correct height and is wide enough. Just make sure that where you place it, it will not get in the way of the center stand. Since the rear wheel will then be raised up, the bike will easily go on the stand.

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    One more method: roll the bike backwards a little as you "stomp" the center stand tang. Inertia becomes your friend.

    Also, a small block of wood and a floor jack, used carefully, can put the bike temporarily in oil-checking position without any muscle strain on your part.

    Hope you mend rapidly - I find myself cornering way too fast on my bicycles since getting the scoot [g].

    -dan
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    Morrison, Colorado SHU is offline F800Riders.org Supporter
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    If you've got panniers on, it's not too tricky to slightly lean the bike against your garage wall- right side end of handlebar and right pannier just barely supporting the bike. Don't walk away from it though.


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    Great suggestions all. Thanks for the help. Tried the 2x6 and it worked like a champ. I've been riding "dangerous" motorcycles for 35 years without a scratch. Took up "safe" bicycling 3 years ago and I've been down twice. Oh well, it gives me something to whine about. Thanks again for the help.
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  12. #11
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    Tried this today and it worked like a charm. No effort required to get the bike on the cnter stand. Thanks for the tip.
    Quote Originally Posted by Daytona F800 View Post
    When you are putting any bike on the center stand you are slightly raising the rear wheel off the ground.

    An easy way to get even a lowered bike on the center stand is to roll the rear wheel onto a board. A 2 x 6 is about the correct height and is wide enough. Just make sure that where you place it, it will not get in the way of the center stand. Since the rear wheel will then be raised up, the bike will easily go on the stand.
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  13. #12
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    Do you guys check your level when the bike is cold or hot? I'm having a hard time getting the exact level right. How many liters/ounces/quartz has worked best for you?
    Last edited by asphalt assault; 07-29-09 at 05:20 PM.

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by asphalt assault View Post
    Do you guys check your level when the bike is cold or hot? I'm having a hard time getting the exact level right. How many liters/ounces/quartz has worked best for you?
    User manual page 87/88 says hot and it takes 3 litres. The difference between min and max marks on dipstick is 0.4 litres.

    Procedure is:

    In order to ensure that the engine oil level is read correctly, check the oil level only after a lengthy trip.
    Wipe the area around the oil filler neck clean.
    Allow the engine to idle until the fan starts up, then allow it to idle one minute longer.
    Switch off the engine.
    Check that the engine is at operating temperature; make sure the ground is level and firm and place the motorcycle on its centre stand.
    Remove oil dipstick by turning it counter-clockwise.
    Wipe the oil off MIN-MAX part of dipstick with a clean, dry cloth.
    Seat the oil dipstick on the oil filler neck, but do not engage the threads.
    Remove the oil dipstick and check the oil level.
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  16. #14
    art/r is offline F800Riders.org Supporter
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    To check the oil on my ST, I sit on the bike and hold it uprigh between my legs. From this position it is easy to reach the dip stick.

  17. #15
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    Can somebody confirm that the oil level on the dipstick is the same whether the bike is on the centerstand or held level on the ground off the centerstand. On my bike, refilling with 3L (warm, new fiilter), seems to overfill, removing 200 ml settles it down. I measure on the ground holding bike level (iphone levels are handy for lots of things, was even thinking of mounting it to have a record of maximum lean angle achieved, but that would be too depressing).

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