Oil - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-23-2009, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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Oil

I know that there's going to be alot of variables but I just want to know what people think about this question. After an oil change how many miles can you put on your bike and still have the oil look nice and clean in the sight glass? My last oil change was done by the dealer and my oil looks black in the sight glass after only 500 miles. I only got the 1 year warranty so I took it to the dealer before the warranty was up to have the bike checked out. I thought the engine had a bit of a knock. They said there was nothing wrong with the bike except it was a little low on oil. They changed the oil and filter and charged me like $64. It just seemed that whenever I changed the oil it never looked black after 500 miles. It also seems to have a knock like maybe the valves need adjustment. Could the dealer have put somehting in the oil to make it quiet or am I just paranoid. I currently have 13,000 miles on the bike and my warranty is up.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-23-2009, 09:43 PM
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The oil looking black is probably because they didn't fully get all of the old oil drained. I have have that happen to me several times (change my own oil). Sometimes it's black after the first test run to check for leaks. Also, if they didn't change the filter some of the oil left in the filter can cause it to go black quickly.

As far as the knock, the parallel twin is known to have a bit of a lope or knock, but it is very slight. Low oil could cause it to be more pronounced. I don't think they could put anything in the oil that would eliminate a serious knock, especially if it was an issue with the valves being out of adjustment. (I believe the valves being out of adjustment is more of a ticking noise than a knock. Hopefully someone will correct me if I'm wrong on that one.)

My two cents - probably not anything to worry about unless the engine isn't running smoothly or is running hot.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-23-2009, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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It does sound to be more of a ticking noise. I had my brother-in-law listen to it and he said it sounded like the valves. Money, money, money. The Kawasaki dealer gave me a qoute of $150 to check the valves and around $500 if they needed to be adjusted. And, they probably do. I'm pretty heavy on the throttle and ride it hard. I've never adjusted the valves on a motorcycle or I'd do it myself. I just bought new tires and money is very tight.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-23-2009, 09:53 PM
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Agree with the above. I wouldn't worry so much about the color of the oil. Some do turn dark rather quick but doesn't mean the oil is dirty or worn out. I would just watch the oil level and make sure you don't get it low again. I used to have the dealer do my Ninja oil change because of the plastic that has to come off but this bike is so darn easy to change oil and filter just about anybody can do it. Is a very good thread here about doing it yourself. Check it out. Doesn't take many tools. Biggest thing is a filter wrench or a filter strap wrench. I had a heck of a time getting the filter loose the first 500 mile change. Man did they put that thing on way too tight fromt he factory. Is another reason i want to do it myself. The reason your oil was dark was probably as above that they didn't let it drain to the last drop. They get in a hurry. No big deal though as the filter should take care of that. Change the filter every time. Cheap insurance for the engine life. I doubt if it is the valve noise. Dealer would put anything in the oil. Too lazy. Ride it and have fun.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-23-2009, 10:19 PM
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+1 on what Deano mentioned.

If you have the time, DIY is the Best.
For the dealer, it's a business, For you and me, it's a joy.

As the V does not use much oil, IMHO, use the best oil you can find.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-23-2009, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by jimstandinghorse View Post
It does sound to be more of a ticking noise. I had my brother-in-law listen to it and he said it sounded like the valves. Money, money, money. The Kawasaki dealer gave me a qoute of $150 to check the valves and around $500 if they needed to be adjusted. And, they probably do. I'm pretty heavy on the throttle and ride it hard. I've never adjusted the valves on a motorcycle or I'd do it myself. I just bought new tires and money is very tight.
Well, at 13K miles you're not even halfway to the check valves stage (unless yours is a California model ). It's possible, but still seems unlikely to me. Checking the valves isn't exactly easy and it is somewhat labor intensive so $150 to inspect isn't that bad. $500 to repair is high IMO.

Does your brother know how to check them or in any way good with mechanics? You can get the service manual here (see page 2-20) and it walks you through the process. The other issue is the bike uses shims so you'll need the correct shims to adjust them if they are out of spec. A kit can be somewhat expensive, but then you'll have one. (See page 6, Section B-8, of the parts catalog for shim part #'s. Seems the Versys shares the same shims as the ZX-6R.)

Last edited by acinonyx; 03-23-2009 at 10:34 PM. Reason: Added info for shims
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-24-2009, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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I probably just worry to much. I thought the valves needed to be adjusted after 15,000 miles. I just noticed in the service manual that's only for California models. All other model are 26,000 miles. I guess I'll just keep changing the oil and ride it. I change the oil at least every 2,000 miles. The dealer only changed the oil once. I know he didn't lay on the ground waiting for it to stop dripping like I do.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-24-2009, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by jimstandinghorse View Post
I probably just worry to much. I thought the valves needed to be adjusted after 15,000 miles. I just noticed in the service manual that's only for California models. All other model are 26,000 miles. I guess I'll just keep changing the oil and ride it. I change the oil at least every 2,000 miles. The dealer only changed the oil once. I know he didn't lay on the ground waiting for it to stop dripping like I do.
Wow! Every 2000 miles? That might be a bit excessive, but can't really hurt anything either. I use a Syntec blend and change it every 7500 miles, myself. (With the exception of the first 1500 miles where I changed it twice for 'break-in'.) I find it helps to rock the bike back and forth (left & right) after the flow has stopped to get that last bit out.

I'm pretty darn sure the CA models would be just fine going 26K between valve clearance inspections -- I'm sure it's listed as every 13K for emissions reasons.

Well, I hate to think you didn't check the clearance and there is an issue but if the engine isn't doing any thing weird like stalling or missing, dieseling, running hot, backfiring, or anything like that it's probably fine.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-24-2009, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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The bike does run fine. Also, I gave the headlight adjuster a couple of partial twist a few weeks ago when I had the cowling off. The lighting is now much better at night if you have just the low beam on.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-24-2009, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimstandinghorse View Post
The bike does run fine. Also, I gave the headlight adjuster a couple of partial twist a few weeks ago when I had the cowling off. The lighting is now much better at night if you have just the low beam on.

A couple of things. First, the oil you're using is most assuredly a detergent oil, and it will color fairly quickly, because it's doing it's job. Suspending all the garb that the motor creates during the combustion process and through general wear. Not to worry. As far as the tick goes, that's actually a good sign, if it is the tick we are talking about. "Loose valves are happy valves", if they in spec of course. When they are loose, they will tick. When time for adjustment, always set them towards the loose end of the spectrum. It's when you don't hear them I'd worry {more}.
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