Possible oil leak? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-30-2014, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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Possible oil leak?

Hi folks. I could use some advice from the more technically-savvy folks on the board.

I was cleaning the bike today, and noticed quite a bit of dried oil on the left front (shifter) side of the engine (see attached pic), going from the oil filter to the exhaust header. In looking more closely, it was freshest by the oil filter, and spread up and back from there. The plastic lower on that side was covered in oil on the back as well.

I last changed the oil in April, and have put about 1000km on it this season (shameful, I know). The oil level doesn't seem to have dropped significantly (see 2nd pic). I had filled it to the upper fill line, and haven't added any.

I cleaned it up and ran it until the fan came on, and it stayed dry. I'm wondering if the filter could be slightly loose and weeping under pressure. Seems odd that the oil would travel that far up the engine, though. I'm using an Algard, so I'll check the mounts for that to see if they've backed off at all, and I'll re-tighten the filter (I used the hand-tight + 3/4 turn method...), but is there anywhere else on that side of the engine I should check that might be prone to leaks?

Thanks,
Dave
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-30-2014, 08:41 PM
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Was the valve cover ever removed to adjust the valves?
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-30-2014, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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No. The valves haven't been touched yet.

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-30-2014, 09:23 PM
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OK well, look at the top of your engine. Oil leak appears to be up at valve cover gasket area. I need to see what's up there.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-30-2014, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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I'll take the fairing off sometime tomorrow and take a few pictures. I appreciate your input.

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-30-2014, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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Took a look between the frame and the radiator on the right hand side. This doesn't look promising. I don't have a good angle to look at the left hand side, though. Hopefully removing the plastic on the left hand side will give a good enough view. I really don't want to remove the radiator just to get a decent look at it.

Days like this make me wish I still had the 'C' KLR...it was rare to remove plastic. It seems like you have to remove the windshield and fairing on the 'V' to do anything...
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-31-2014, 12:19 AM
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? Can't you see your valve cover from the side without removing anything? You certainly don't have to remove the radiator. Can you show me the top of the engne from both sides?

Last edited by invader; 08-31-2014 at 12:35 AM.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-31-2014, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry. For some reason i thought you wanted to see the top front of the engine. Pics are the left side, and then the right side.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-31-2014, 04:18 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveC View Post
Hi folks. I could use some advice from the more technically-savvy folks on the board.

I was cleaning the bike today, and noticed quite a bit of dried oil on the left front (shifter) side of the engine (see attached pic), going from the oil filter to the exhaust header. In looking more closely, it was freshest by the oil filter, and spread up and back from there. The plastic lower on that side was covered in oil on the back as well.
Oil does not dry so if it is dry it is not oil. I would clean the engine thoroughly and just wait and see what happens. As long as the engine has oil there is no danger.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-31-2014, 06:20 AM
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Yeah, sorry Dave. I also suspected it could be a coolant leak. Have a good look at your radiator hose connections. It could be just a loose hose clamp. Check your coolant level in reservoir. Was your coolant ever replaced?
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-31-2014, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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That was another thought. I did flush and replace the coolant in April. I'll check the level.

When I'm troubleshooting stuff at work, I usually ask the programmer "what was the last thing you did?". I should follow my own advice...

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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-31-2014, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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Checked the coolant level, and it was lower than it was after the change, but still between the "L" and "F" lines. I've topped it off at the"F" line, and will keep an eye on it.

Twowheels: The stuff on the front was definitely oil. It may have been dirty due to exposure, though, which made it look dry. It was "fresher" by the filter, which is why I thought it might have been the filter. Came off like an oil paste. Closest I've seen to it is the build-up you see by the front sprocket over time if you over-oil the chain.

Thanks for your help, folks. I've cleaned it up, and I'll keep an eye on it over the next week or two.

Cheers,
Dave
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-31-2014, 07:26 PM
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Oil filter may have leaked if not tight enough, especially upon cold starts when the oil is still cold and thick. Besides that, some residue running down from where the exhaust header is mounted to the engine may be from a loose/leaking header copper gasket, although I wonder if it could be just oil leaked from the filter that migrated up there in the wind and turbulence.

Last edited by invader; 09-02-2014 at 01:13 AM.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-01-2014, 02:18 PM
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OK well, look at the top of your engine. Oil leak appears to be up at valve cover gasket area. I need to see what's up there.
I'm kind of wondering whether it MIGHT be leaking from the "Air suction valve" which is up there. (I know that thing is called something else on other engines....)

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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 01:12 AM
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I considered that too... All of the visible migrated oil would appear to have originated from the loose oil filter.
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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 05:01 AM
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If it's coming from the filter could you possibly have doubled the gasket by accident? The old one never came off with the other filter?
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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
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Anything's possible at this point. Haven't had an opportunity to ride since my last post, but I should get in some riding this week. I'll follow up on Sunday.

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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-03-2014, 03:53 AM
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Have you taken a good finger picking and licked it yet?
Might be some awesome road kill goop flicked up and cooked on the engine.
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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-03-2014, 08:14 AM
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I don't think I would start taking stuff apart without FIRST doing a complete cleaning of the suspect oil (or whatever it turns out to be.) AFTER you've completely cleaned it (and made sure the oil filter is on tight - and considering oil filters are only a few dollars I'd probably put a new one on just because it's the cheapest ingredient) make sure the whole area is clean and dry, you know the exact level of oil in the engine, then ride it. Monitor frequently . . . THEN . . . if needed, start dismantling.
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-03-2014, 11:01 AM
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Have you taken a good finger picking and licked it yet?
Might be some awesome road kill goop flicked up and cooked on the engine.
i had that happen, hit a bird and thought my forks were leaking...... went wait i didnt know fork oil was pink " poke sniff and licks" nope bloood......
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