Warranty Time - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 01:38 AM Thread Starter
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Warranty Time

I think my bike has a bad head gasket or something so I'm going to have to take it to the shop. I've been starting it up a couple of times a week even though I can't ride it here with the snow. The oil in the sight glass looked a little watery one day and I thought it was just condensation. The next time it looked even more watery so I changed the oil. Then after starting it the next day it looked watery again. So, I'll see how good this warranty is. I have over 13,000 miles on it and thankfully the warranty isn't up yet. The coolant level was a little low so I know I have a leak somewhere. I only hope the shop doesn't want me to pay anything when I take it in. I'm going to try and get it there this weekend.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 12:38 PM
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I also have condensation in the sightglass but I don't believe it is a headgasket,my bike has only 1500 miles on it,condensation has always been there,let me know what you find out,,,oldman65
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 12:55 PM
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yeah I found a little "condensation" in that window too, but my coolant level is fine and no leaks anywhere.. Im not worried but I would still love to hear what they find..

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 01:21 PM
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Jim,

Accept my apologies if you already know the following, and I don't know how much water you're seeing in the oil, but here goes anyway.

It is possible that you have a bad head gasket, but my "long distance and never have seen your bike" guess is no.

A certain amount of the combustion gasses get past the piston rings into the crankcase, and this can be worse on a cold engine. Because water is a byproduct of combustion you are putting water into the crankcase every time you run an engine. If the engine is cold that water vapor condenses and gets into the oil. You need to get the engine hot to vaporize any liquid water entrained in the oil. And a hot engine will not condense water vapor.
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Originally Posted by jimstandinghorse
I've been starting it up a couple of times a week even though I can't ride it here with the snow.
This may be working against you. I would only start the bike every 2 to 3 weeks, not 2 or 3 times a week, and every time I started it I would let the engine get good and hot. If I couldn't ride the bike I'd let the engine run long enough for the fan to come on a few times. This way you drive out any water that might have gotten into the oil from the cold start.

Perhaps I shouldn't add this bit because I don't know how much your coolant level has dropped, but it is possible that you haven't lost any coolant at all. Coolant, like everything else, contracts when cold. And it contracts more than the engine metal. Before I assumed there was a leak I'd get the engine hot, and then check the coolant level when the engine cooled down to warm.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 01:27 PM
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I would think that when you tilt the bike right far enough to submergethe glass totally then when you tilt back to rest on the kickstand if the moisture is on the crankcase side it should clean the sightglass on mine it does not do that,this is with the bike cold,possibly the sightglass is double pane and the outer glass is not that well sealed,,,just a thought...oldman65
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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I guess I'll find out for sure what is up if I can get the bike to the shop this weekend. I don't have a truck so I'll have to get a ride from a relative to get it there. What has me worried is that I took the bike for a ride a couple of weeks ago and drained the oil afterwards. I then put in new oil and it looked like crap after one engine start. I haven't ever had it in the shop so I guess I better take it in because my warranty is up Feb. 15th. I probably should have just brought the bike inside. I live alone and have 2 empty bedrooms. Next year it will be brought inside for the Winter.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 11:20 PM
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This is JUST my opinion, based on many years of experience:
it is EXTREMELY hard on your engine to start it up and run it awhile now and then over the winter.
IF you feel the need to do it, let it run long enough so it gets to FULL operating temp with HOT oil - then you'll get rid of the water (condensation) you've been putting into it by running it "now and then"!!!
Ed
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 12:13 AM
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Everything I've read about winter storage (we don't get winter in SoCal... had the A/C on today), suggests you do 3 or 4 things:

1-put it on a Battery Tender (or the like)
2-dump a fuel preservative in the tank and run it for a bit to make sure it gets through the system then either empty the gas tank or fill it up completely
3-put it up on stands so that it's not resting on one part of the tires for an extended period of time
4-put a cover on it

Pretty simple, nyet? I'd wait until it warms up until I started freaking out about what may well be an optical illusion. Generally when there's coolant/water in the oil (as would result from a blown headgasket), you get "frothy" oil (think of a beer with a head) when it's been run. You didn't mention whether or not there was any indication of any water when you changed the oil.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 07:15 PM
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Well, being from Saskatchewan Canada, that just had a month of -30 C and lower straight through!! I can say that I have wintered a few bikes, and the number one rule is NOT to start the bike during storage...as others have stated all it does is add condensation to the oil...also the reason most around here put in fresh cheap oil in the fall, and then drain it in the spring to replace with the real stuff.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-17-2009, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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I just dropped my bike off at the dealer today and it's pretty cold here. It was -17F this morning at 7am. The mechanic asked me everything that I thought might be wrong with the bike to check out. When I get it back I'm going to just bring it inside until it's warm enough to ride it at least once a week. The majority of people say it's not good to start it up a couple of times when it's really cold outside. So, I guess that it's live and learn from your mistakes. I'm just happy that my warranty isn't up yet.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-17-2009, 12:43 PM
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Mine is garage kept and still gets the fogged up sightglass. I was worried at first too. We had a warm Saturday about a month ago, so I checked all fluid levels and took the bike out. After about 15 minutes of riding I pulled off and checked the sight glass and it was clear. Long story short, I think it's just normal condensation that occurs with temperature changes - it happens in all engines, we've just always been used to pulling a dipstick to check the oil and not had the benefit of a sightglass...
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-17-2009, 05:29 PM
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Unless I'm missing something, what's the point in starting up the bike at all in the middle of winter?
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-17-2009, 09:51 PM
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Did I not see a limit of five minutes of idling
in my owners handbook? Almost all the wear
occurs in the first several seconds of operation,
especially if the bike is cold. Listen to Gorilla;
he's right on. (Kinda ironic getting cold weather
storage advice from SoCal, isn't it? Ha ha)

The only other thing I do when storing engines
is squirt some Marvel Mystery Oil through the
spark plug holes. Afraid that might not be kind
to the cat tho...
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-18-2009, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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I start my bike up in the Winter because I ride in whenever I can. If there's no ice on the road I'll take it for a quick spin. I didn't get over 13,000 miles on it by having it sit in the garage. The dealer was pretty good about me taking the bike back. They asked me everything that I think might be wrong with the bike. I think everybody should take their bike back to the dealer before their warranty is up if you think it might have something wrong with it. I also told him how I've never been happy with the clutch and the one front fork seems to be stiffer than the other side.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-18-2009, 10:19 AM
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Just out of curiosity, how did you determine
one fork was stiffer? And have you ever
adjusted the rebound setting on the right fork?
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, I've adjusted the rebound setting. The bike just doesn't feel right turning corners at slow speeds. It feels like one side is stiffer than the other. I also have over 13,000 miles on my bike and ride it pretty hard both on road and off road. I'm not easy on a bike and never have been. I noticed it awhile ago and it has got worse.
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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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The warranty on my bike is up in February so I took it to the dealer to make sure that it didn't have anything wrong with it. The oil looked like it had water in it sitting outside in the cold weather here. I changed the oil and it looked the same way again after a start up. I then took the bike to the dealer. The dealer changed the oil and filter and said they couldn't find anything wrong with the bike and charged me $58. Now I have my bike inside and the oil looks fine. I guess the oil just looks funky when you live in an area that goes below 0 degrees F and you have highs in the 10 degrees F. Now I'm cleaning all of the grease and dirt off all those hard to get places. I'm also going to change the air filter and spark plugs and maybe put an ampmeter gauge on the bike.
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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I also forgot to mention that I have my bike inside now and I'm going to give it a good wax job.
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 05:52 PM
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I got the extended warranty 4 years i think.
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