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Brand new XR650L has no oil

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I just joined the forum a few weeks ago after buying a brand new 2019 XR650L. I have put 106 miles on the bike so far. When I checked the oil (followed proper procedure) no oil showed on the dip stick at all! Even screwed in, oil does not register. Any ideas or suggestions? Has anyone experienced this? Thanks.
 

Tourmeister

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Uh... that is crazy. I am wondering if the shop just didn't fill it completely? A new bike should not be burning or losing oil at that kind of rate. I'd call the dealership manager and let him/her know. If they did not fill it properly, that could have ruined the engine. It might be worth draining it (or letting dealer do it) just to see how much actually is in there.
 
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The service manager is coming to my house tomorrow (Sunday) to see what he thinks. He was a tech. before service manager, so hopefully knows his stuff. I don't think I'll ever be comfortable with it. I'll always worry about it dieing prematurely. Thanks for the reply.
 

Tourmeister

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The service manager is coming to my house tomorrow (Sunday) to see what he thinks. He was a tech. before service manager, so hopefully knows his stuff. I don't think I'll ever be comfortable with it. I'll always worry about it dieing prematurely. Thanks for the reply.
If they have another one, you might try pushing for them to swap them out for you. I know they will resist like crazy, but like you said, there just is that total lack of confidence now... That sucks for a new bike!
 
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I would call the dealership and let them know ASAP. Someone there might have missed that on the final check before del
The service manager is coming to my house tomorrow (Sunday) to see what he thinks. He was a tech. before service manager, so hopefully knows his stuff. I don't think I'll ever be comfortable with it. I'll always worry about it dieing prematurely. Thanks for the reply.
You need to let them know that Sunday when they come to check it out. What ever you do do not ride it anymore. I bet somebody just messed up and did not do the final check before you signed your documents.
 

mitchntx

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It has roller bearing bottom end, not babbit type bearings.
So at 100 miles, I doubt you've damaged the bottom end.

Did it smoke?
Was it clattering or hard to shift?
Was the clutch grabby or slip?

If it was running and riding normal, I doubt you have anything to worry about.
Those plants are pretty bullet proof.

But ... this is leverage you can use in order to get complimentary and routine inspections done.
Oil and filters, valve checks, etc.

But ... it would be the same service department that prepped the bike initially.
 

South Tex

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My guess is the service manager is going to show up with 2 quarts of oil. If so, make him put in a little at a time and make up your mind when it was too dangerously low. He won’t have any authority to hand you a new bike so try to get his opinion before he starts so at least you have leverage with the dealer if both quarts go in.
 

Windmill

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I would put a oil pan under both the frame and motor oil plugs. Drain the oil and measure it with manager standing there (should be about two quarts) . Oil in frame sometimes takes 10 min or so then turn bike off stand straight up pull dipstick wipe off insert but not screw in then check. Should be near upper oil level mark. If you check a cold oil in frame it will probably not register on dipstick. Read manual. If I drained oil and it was less than close to two quarts, I want a new bike. Dry sumps can be tricky to check. Also buy a filter before manager gets there and change and inspect filter and oil for metal. I'm betting oil is ok. Some of the oil migrates to sump after setting awhile. I would not let that bike out of my sight if he wants to haul it back to shop. If it drains out two quarts go ahead and change oil and filter. Keep us informed. I would not let him just add oil to bring the level up. Also keep old oil and filter in case an analysis from a lab is needed. Like I said I bet you are ok, but those boys are going to try and cover their as if there is a problem I shined a light into oil filler and can see oil below dipstick when cold.
 
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Tourmeister

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Wow:huh: could they really have done that?
I don't put ANYTHING past the prep folks at a dealership...

I bought a brand new VFR 800 from Stubbs in Houston. Before I left the parking lot I happened to notice that they had stripped out a mounting screw for the windscreen. I pointed it out to the salesman and they didn't want to fix it. I insisted they fix it. Then they complained about how expensive it would be and wanted me to pay for it. Then I told him I would not take delivery and would cancel the deal. Then they wanted me to drive all the way back down to Houston from Huntsville rather than ship me the parts. Again, I insisted or no deal. They finally and grudgingly gave in. Once I got the part, it was a quick and easy fix. I was miffed that the prep guy KNEW he had goobered the screw and tried to pass it off to see if I'd notice or not. Had I not noticed it and got it home, it would have totally been on me and I doubt I would have been able to get them to pay for the parts, which was around $400!

I won't even go into the horrid details of negligence at a few other dealers that leaves me wondering how they stay in business!? However, one of them DID NOT stay in business and was gone in about a year from the time they opened. It is ironic that they claimed they were going to be the top dealership in Texas... :doh:
 

bwdmax

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With the dry sump system as long as there was some oil in the frame you did no harm in 100 miles. The dealer is still at fault and needs to make it right. What is right? That is what you need to decide.

You could use something longer than the dip stick to determine how low it is, before the service manager comes, just so you know.
 

Windmill

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With the dry sump system as long as there was some oil in the frame you did no harm in 100 miles. The dealer is still at fault and needs to make it right. What is right? That is what you need to decide.

You could use something longer than the dip stick to determine how low it is, before the service manager comes, just so you know.
Totally agree but wouldn't you have to heat it up first before checking?
 

bwdmax

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Yes you would need to run it first. The damage is done if there is any. I would crank it for a minute or two, then kill it and check it. I would then decide based on that how hard to push service manager and dealer in general.
 

Windmill

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Agree completely. I couldn't see mine on DS when I got it a few weeks ago. It was barely on the stick after heating and took only less than a 1/2 qt. My bike is used, but being cool weather it didn't matter if I had rode it 500 miles. I had old 60's Triumph with oil in frame, it is good but weird. My Yamaha SR500 dry sump would flood the crankcase after sitting a few weeks if you added oil when it wasn't really low, and I would have to drain and pour back in frame just to start. It had check valve leakage. I do like frame oil for cooling in Tejas. summers.
 

mitchntx

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If it were out of oil, the valve train would be clattering, gears would be grinding and the clutch would be really grabby.
A dry sump motor doesn't take a lot of oil to adequately lubricate vital components of a single cylinder engine.
And a roller bearing motor doesn't require a tremendous amount of continuous lubrication at low loads.
The extra capacity is for cooling, settling and longer service intervals.
 
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Bartow County Georgia
If it were out of oil, the valve train would be clattering, gears would be grinding and the clutch would be really grabby.
A dry sump motor doesn't take a lot of oil to adequately lubricate vital components of a single cylinder engine.
And a roller bearing motor doesn't require a tremendous amount of continuous lubrication at low loads.
The extra capacity is for cooling, settling and longer service intervals.
That's part of the problem, the oil's cooling function. If it was low on oil, it seems like the engine might have overheated. Could this cause premature wear on internal parts?
 
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Bartow County Georgia
Agree completely. I couldn't see mine on DS when I got it a few weeks ago. It was barely on the stick after heating and took only less than a 1/2 qt. My bike is used, but being cool weather it didn't matter if I had rode it 500 miles. I had old 60's Triumph with oil in frame, it is good but weird. My Yamaha SR500 dry sump would flood the crankcase after sitting a few weeks if you added oil when it wasn't really low, and I would have to drain and pour back in frame just to start. It had check valve leakage. I do like frame oil for cooling in Tejas. summers.
Yep, I'm new to the frame/oil deal. I've been on Harley's for quite a while but have owned dirt bikes in the past.
 
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I don't put ANYTHING past the prep folks at a dealership...

I bought a brand new VFR 800 from Stubbs in Houston. Before I left the parking lot I happened to notice that they had stripped out a mounting screw for the windscreen. I pointed it out to the salesman and they didn't want to fix it. I insisted they fix it. Then they complained about how expensive it would be and wanted me to pay for it. Then I told him I would not take delivery and would cancel the deal. Then they wanted me to drive all the way back down to Houston from Huntsville rather than ship me the parts. Again, I insisted or no deal. They finally and grudgingly gave in. Once I got the part, it was a quick and easy fix. I was miffed that the prep guy KNEW he had goobered the screw and tried to pass it off to see if I'd notice or not. Had I not noticed it and got it home, it would have totally been on me and I doubt I would have been able to get them to pay for the parts, which was around $400!

I won't even go into the horrid details of negligence at a few other dealers that leaves me wondering how they stay in business!? However, one of them DID NOT stay in business and was gone in about a year from the time they opened. It is ironic that they claimed they were going to be the top dealership in Texas... :doh:
Crazy the stuff some dealers will do. I work part time at a H-D dealer. We rarely have techs make mistakes with striping threads. Sometimes they will put a tiny scratch on the paint, but we always fix the problem for the customer. I guess I'm expecting the same type of service from the Honda dealer. If they made a mistake, I want them to own up to it and make it right. I don't want to be worried about this bike for the next ten years.
 

OldTLSDoug

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Wow:huh: could they really have done that?
I had a 2001 TL1000S I picked up. It felt odd when I turned and the suspension seemed overly harsh. When I got home it had 58 psi or so in the front tire, 40 something in the rear. I have also had loose bars, loose axles, etc. I never ride them much until I "bolt it" as Mitch would say.
 
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I would put a oil pan under both the frame and motor oil plugs. Drain the oil and measure it with manager standing there (should be about two quarts) . Oil in frame sometimes takes 10 min or so then turn bike off stand straight up pull dipstick wipe off insert but not screw in then check. Should be near upper oil level mark. If you check a cold oil in frame it will probably not register on dipstick. Read manual. If I drained oil and it was less than close to two quarts, I want a new bike. Dry sumps can be tricky to check. Also buy a filter before manager gets there and change and inspect filter and oil for metal. I'm betting oil is ok. Some of the oil migrates to sump after setting awhile. I would not let that bike out of my sight if he wants to haul it back to shop. If it drains out two quarts go ahead and change oil and filter. Keep us informed. I would not let him just add oil to bring the level up. Also keep old oil and filter in case an analysis from a lab is needed. Like I said I bet you are ok, but those boys are going to try and cover their as if there is a problem I shined a light into oil filler and can see oil below dipstick when cold.
Great ideas. I'll have a clean container to drain the oil into. At the minimum, if I'm satisfied the oil was not too low, I hope to get some free services. I think I'm entitled to that. They really need to do something to make me feel comfortable with my situation.
 
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I had a 2001 TL1000S I picked up. It felt odd when I turned and the suspension seemed overly harsh. When I got home it had 58 psi or so in the front tire, 40 something in the rear. I have also had loose bars, loose axles, etc. I never ride them much until I "bolt it" as Mitch would say.
I'd say my bike definitely needs a good boltin'!
 

StromXTc

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I had a 2001 TL1000S I picked up. It felt odd when I turned and the suspension seemed overly harsh. When I got home it had 58 psi or so in the front tire, 40 something in the rear. I have also had loose bars, loose axles, etc. I never ride them much until I "bolt it" as Mitch would say.
I guess i shouldn't seem surprised. My front axle was loose and the clamping bolt for it was missing. Discovered several hundred miles later. Reassembled with blue threadlocker
 

StromXTc

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Zeeman
When you drain the oil as witnessed with the dealer, do you have a pyrex or something to sneak out of the kitchen to quantify how much was in it and to innocently ask, "is this the amount it's supposed to have"? In other words, make a good show of it.
 
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My bike was fine on oil level. I was just illustrating to the OP to not rely on the dealer. Take it home check everything and lube up those dry bearings. My ties did have 10 psi in the tires though.
 

StromXTc

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My bike was fine on oil level. I was just illustrating to the OP to not rely on the dealer. Take it home check everything and lube up those dry bearings. My ties did have 10 psi in the tires though.
Sorry, wrong quote. I was talking about this thread owner
 
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Well, I have not heard from the service manager like they promised. Not good! I did slide a small wooden dowel down the hole and struck oil at 8 1/2 inches from the top of the threads. That's about 2 1/2 lower than the dip stick reaches.
 

mitchntx

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That's part of the problem, the oil's cooling function. If it was low on oil, it seems like the engine might have overheated. Could this cause premature wear on internal parts?
You would have known if the engine overheated.

But the heat to which I was referring is engine oil temp which would lead to lubrication breakdown and then, yes, damage internally.
At 100 miles, I doubt you got the temps too terribly hot.

In my race car, I never knew how hot the engine oil got.
The gauge only went to 325*!
Oil is a lot "tougher" than it used to be.
You have dry sump system on your side.

I see now that you have discovered oil.
You are OK ... again, at 100 miles, easy break-in miles.
Had you spent a week covering the NMBDR ... different story.

But don;t let the dealer off the hook.
Let them check it and note in the service history the sump was a quart low.
Insist on them checking the health of the motor till the warranty runs out.

And don;t be afraid to call Honda customer care.
 

JT

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The frame may be a quart low when the engine is stone cold, but when it fires up, it may be full. There are pages of info on this in the ADV 650L thread. This is a gravity fed dry sump system. When the engine is shut down, the secondary pump stops moving oil into the frame. Over time, some oil will drain past the pump gears and fall into the engine sump. As soon as the engine starts the oil will be transferred back to the frame reservoir. The only time you can accurately check the level is when the engine is full temperature and just after shutting down.
 
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You would have known if the engine overheated.

But the heat to which I was referring is engine oil temp which would lead to lubrication breakdown and then, yes, damage internally.
At 100 miles, I doubt you got the temps too terribly hot.

In my race car, I never knew how hot the engine oil got.
The gauge only went to 325*!
Oil is a lot "tougher" than it used to be.
You have dry sump system on your side.

I see now that you have discovered oil.
You are OK ... again, at 100 miles, easy break-in miles.
Had you spent a week covering the NMBDR ... different story.

But don;t let the dealer off the hook.
Let them check it and note in the service history the sump was a quart low.
Insist on them checking the health of the motor till the warranty runs out.

And don;t be afraid to call Honda customer care.
Good information to know, and thanks for the post. By "let the dealer check it" are you talking about checking the oil level, or checking the engine? I assume engine, so how would they go about keeping a check on the engine's health? Sorry for so many questions. The service bro did not call or show up yesterday and I did not hear anything from him today. I will contact Honda customer care tomorrow. I'm not playing with this. I have too much invested. Thanks again.
 
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The frame may be a quart low when the engine is stone cold, but when it fires up, it may be full. There are pages of info on this in the ADV 650L thread. This is a gravity fed dry sump system. When the engine is shut down, the secondary pump stops moving oil into the frame. Over time, some oil will drain past the pump gears and fall into the engine sump. As soon as the engine starts the oil will be transferred back to the frame reservoir. The only time you can accurately check the level is when the engine is full temperature and just after shutting down.
That makes sense. I'll go read some on ADV forum. Thanks for the info.
 

mitchntx

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Good information to know, and thanks for the post. By "let the dealer check it" are you talking about checking the oil level, or checking the engine? I assume engine, so how would they go about keeping a check on the engine's health? Sorry for so many questions. The service bro did not call or show up yesterday and I did not hear anything from him today. I will contact Honda customer care tomorrow. I'm not playing with this. I have too much invested. Thanks again.
Engine.

At a bare minimum, a valve check at a reasonable interval ... say 1000 miles, maybe?
That is assuming there are no odd noises, shifts smooth and the clutch operates smooth.

Here is the oiling system.

P8240337.jpg


If you follow the oil stream, flow from the pump goes to the trans and to the motor via two separate channels.
The flow to the motor splits immediately post filter ... one side to the crankshaft and the other to the valve train.
The valve train will starve first because of the location and channel length. without oil, it would be clacking, ticking and banging.

If there is no unusual wear on the cams and valve train, it's probably not an issue.
 
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At the back of the pack and out of the dust
I'm with Gary that the likelihood of a real problem generated in 200 miles is pretty small. Even on a new bike. I've ridden lots of miles on bikes that were below the recommended levels plus killed a couple of engines with low oil issues. My experience is that too little oil results in immediate failure. Get what you can out of the dealer in terms of future service and don't sweat it too much if the bike is still running like new.

Remember the old Brit Iron joke: As long as it's leaking I know it still has oil in it.
 
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Jeff S

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As an XRL owner, I'm interested in the outcome here. Did you re-check the oil level when the bike was hot? Did ya add oil until it was full? How much did it take?
 
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As an XRL owner, I'm interested in the outcome here. Did you re-check the oil level when the bike was hot? Did ya add oil until it was full? How much did it take?
I have not added any oil to it at all. This is strange, but I rode it yesterday for about 15 minutes, then checked the oil immediately after shutting down. It showed halfway up on the stick. I waited about 2-3 minutes and check it standing straight up, and it was still half. Today, I warmed it up for about 3 minutes, waited 2 minutes and checked it. No oil on the dipstick. Could I be doing something wrong, or could it be a malfunctioning pump or something else?
 

Vec

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its a Honda thing. :trust:

in 1999 I bought a brand new XR650L and sold it in 2015, this is how for all those years i checked the oil.

run the bike till its at normal operating temp, shut it off, keep it upright not on the kickstand for about three mins... then unscrew the dipstick and check it.
 

Windmill

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I have not added any oil to it at all. This is strange, but I rode it yesterday for about 15 minutes, then checked the oil immediately after shutting down. It showed halfway up on the stick. I waited about 2-3 minutes and check it standing straight up, and it was still half. Today, I warmed it up for about 3 minutes, waited 2 minutes and checked it. No oil on the dipstick. Could I be doing something wrong, or could it be a malfunctioning pump or something else?
Me I would drain oil out both plugs put plugs back in and measure oil drained in clean container. . Should be little less than two quarts. Then take a funnel and carefully real slow (it will overflow if poured too fast) back into frame. This way you at least know how much oil you have. You don't need to tell Mr. Honda what you did if your worried about it. I would be like the old Discount Tire commercial with the old lady and the tire and the show room window. But then again jail ain't fun or cheap and they won't let you out to ride on warm days :rofl: If Honda ain't coming change the filter and oil per manual. May be crap in filter but I doubt it. New oil is hard to see on a dip stick. good luck bro and hoping and betting nothing is wrong.
 
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Engine.

At a bare minimum, a valve check at a reasonable interval ... say 1000 miles, maybe?
That is assuming there are no odd noises, shifts smooth and the clutch operates smooth.

Here is the oiling system.

View attachment 227588

If you follow the oil stream, flow from the pump goes to the trans and to the motor via two separate channels.
The flow to the motor splits immediately post filter ... one side to the crankshaft and the other to the valve train.
The valve train will starve first because of the location and channel length. without oil, it would be clacking, ticking and banging.

If there is no unusual wear on the cams and valve train, it's probably not an issue.
Thanks Mitch. That helps me a lot. I appreciate you taking the time to send that diagram. I've ordered a service manual.
 

mitchntx

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Zee ...

It sucks that you've been put through this much stress.
There is no excuse for the dealer in allowing the bike to be delivered to you in that condition.
And you've been pulled through a wringer upon discovery.

Getting a new bike should be like Disneyland to a six year old.
Instead, it's been a kick in the balls.

But ... I think you've experienced what TWT is all about.
Someone here has been down all the paths at some point.
We got your back ... even you foreigners. :lol2:

So dwell on that and enjoy the heck out of the XR.
 
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This is definitely a great forum. I have lurked here some in the past because TEXAS caught my eye. My grandfather was a preacher/farmer in Texas and Lousianna so I have a fondness for your beautiful state and people. Everyone has been very gracious with their time and advice. Thanks.
 
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OK guys. Here is the story. I'll go ahead and say that I feel fine about my bike now in case some of you don't want to read further. Took it to the dealer and they drained the oil. It looked good, and it was a little low. They admitted that it was low, and went ahead and did an oil change. The mechanic, who I feel good about, said there is no difference between the oil that comes in the engine, and the regular Honda oil. The service manager mentioned that there could have been an air pocket that was keeping the oil from registering on the dipstick, or that the oil pump/valve (I'm not positive what the part was) could be 'breaking in'. I called BS on this, but I'm not a Honda tech., so I did not argue. The tech was friendly and took the time to explain things and answer my questions. He adjusted the carburetor also, and it seems to run a little better. It is going to continue raining for about a week, so when I ride it again, I'll see if I notice any difference. Thanks to all who posted. Many were right in saying it would be fine, just add oil and ride it. That's what I plan to do-lride it. Heck, at my age, I'll probably never see the day it needs rings or anything else for that matter.
 
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