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Author Topic: Checking oil in Electra X  (Read 617 times)


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Checking oil in Electra X
« on: March 31, 2013, 04:49:39 pm »
This post is about a topic so simple that I hesitated a long time to put it here.  Recently however I have seen posts from the U.S. and elsewhere that make me think it might be helpful to some other riders.

It may fall into the category of being so obvious that some riders don't think of it.

This applies to the Electra X.  I got mine new in May, 2006.  I don't know whether this would apply to other models.

The requirement to start and run the motor up to operating temperature in order to be able to check the oil level is neither quaint nor endearing.  Also, it causes the risk of ruining an engine if the pilot is not as knowledgeable or conscientious as we all are.

Early on I made a real dipstick out of a 1/4 inch dowel.  The end that goes into the oil tank is whittled to a point.  To use it, I stick it in and fiddle it around until I find the lowest point.

After changing the oil and very carefully verifying I had put in the right amount, then running it until it was hot, I checked the level, and notched the dowel at the level of the oil.

Then, I let the bike sit overnight, and without disturbing the bike (and the oil), checked and made a notch at the level the oil settles to.

Now I can check the oil before starting the bike.  On the road I can check the oil when the bike sits for a while while I'm in eating.

The early Electra X's, or at least mine, did not have true dipsticks.  This is a problem.  The difference in instructions in the slick owner's manual, the shop manual, and the hard-to-read service update that came out six months later, do not help.

Usually, with the right amount of oil in the motor, after sitting overnight the very tip of the stick has oil on it.  But what if it doesn't?  Is it only a zillionth of an inch low?  Or is the tank bone dry?  Until I know for sure, I don't start it up.

Good luck.



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Re: Checking oil in Electra X
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2013, 12:39:25 pm »
That's a good trick, Paul, and far better than my method of over-filling it and then running it out on the road as oil spits out of the catch-can, eventually leveling itself out.  Although with your method you won't get any oil on your rear tire so the thrill won't be there.  I should go buy a dowel now.
2007 AVL
2006 DRZ400SM


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Re: Checking oil in Electra X
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2013, 07:06:52 am »
I deal with this quandary every spring on my iron barrel 500. I suffer from wet sumping no matter where the piston is positioned and refer to my start up as "early mosquito control". I used to have the same concerns as you but i always ended up overfilling. So i just run it now and the oil is always bang on. But i think your method is great for some peace of mind,good job.
Robert & REnfield. 8) 8) 8).