Coolant in the oil on my 2007 Honda 919 - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 52 Old 02-23-2012, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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Coolant in the oil on my 2007 Honda 919

My 2007 Honda 919 has 5k on it and looks in mint condition.
Back in October I did an oil change and filter replacement. Nothing out of the ordinary and the oil was pretty clean.
The bike was put in cold storage a couple of days later as I was leaving for the next 3-1/2 months.
As soon as I got back (a couple of weeks ago), I started using the bike again for my daily commute. Nothing unusual until last night when I checked the oil level (which I do about every week) and noticed a white residue on top of the oil (through the little window at bottom of crankcase). I checked again this morning after getting at work and noticed a thick layer of what looks like white foam on top of the oil. After thinking about this for a while and talking to a couple of co-workers, it appears that it is most likely coolant in the oil. I checked the coolant reservoir, and indeed the level is lower than the minimum line (was fine back in October).
By the way, I looked but did not see any smoke or steam coming out of the exhaust.
So, I'm afraid that is probably what it is.
This engine has only 5000 miles on it! Ugh...

So, my questions are:
- Do you agree with my prognosis?
- What are the possibilities in terms of the source of the problem? Other than a blown head gasket?
- How involved is this for a repair?
- If it is a blown head gasket, is it possible that the head might have gotten damaged?
- What's the best approach to find the fault? I mean, I don't want to take the whole engine out if I don't have to.

Thanks,

Guy

"Those who ride without helmets don't need them"



2007 Honda 919: commuter.
2006 Kawasaki ZX-6R: track/race bike.
1982 Yamaha XJ550: ex-commuter, now rusting bike.
1966 Honda C110 (50cc): my first bike! I loved it.
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post #2 of 52 Old 02-23-2012, 11:07 PM
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hey guy, welcome!

to answer your question, i HIGHLY doubt you have coolant in your oil with only 5k miles on the bike. this engine is not known for blowing head gaskets, more so at 5k miles. you said you left the oil in the bike for 3 1/2 months and then rode again? my suggestion is to top off the coolant, change the oil, and ride some more. keep an eye on the fluid levels and watch for any additional signs. remember, K.I.S.S. keep it short and simple!

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post #3 of 52 Old 02-23-2012, 11:11 PM
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Why don't you drain the oil for a better look? I also don't think it's a head gasket.

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post #4 of 52 Old 02-23-2012, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pvster View Post
hey guy, welcome!

to answer your question, i HIGHLY doubt you have coolant in your oil with only 5k miles on the bike. this engine is not known for blowing head gaskets, more so at 5k miles. you said you left the oil in the bike for 3 1/2 months and then rode again? my suggestion is to top off the coolant, change the oil, and ride some more. keep an eye on the fluid levels and watch for any additional signs. remember, K.I.S.S. keep it short and simple!
You have no idea how much I hope you are right! :-)

I kind of thought the same thing. What would cause a blown head gasket in such a new engine.
Are there any other source of leaks between oil and coolant (aside from the head gasket)?

"Those who ride without helmets don't need them"



2007 Honda 919: commuter.
2006 Kawasaki ZX-6R: track/race bike.
1982 Yamaha XJ550: ex-commuter, now rusting bike.
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post #5 of 52 Old 02-24-2012, 12:01 AM
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What kind of oil are you using? Check the Circle on the back, make sure it does NOT say "Energy Conserving".

Stick with Rotella T6 synthetic or other non-energy conserving oil.

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post #6 of 52 Old 02-24-2012, 02:10 AM
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I highly doubt it is coolant. Coolant is heavier than oil and would be at the bottom not on top. The easiest way to check is to remove your oil drain plug and watch to see what comes out first. If there is any coolant in your oil the first thing out when you remove the drain plug will be nice green coolant. You need to let it sit for awhile before doing this so the coolant/oil have time to separate. Also when they are mixed together your oil would be the color of chocolate milk. Like this:

coolant.jpg



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post #7 of 52 Old 02-24-2012, 03:15 AM
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white on top of the oil is water and should burn off with a good ride getting bike up to temp....cold storage warm up in days ,,cold at night will do that to oil

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post #8 of 52 Old 02-24-2012, 04:53 AM
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Condensation buildup from moisture. Cars get that too from not running. Nothing to worry about.

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post #9 of 52 Old 02-24-2012, 05:47 AM
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Make sure you dont use watter wetter or any other type of additive. I've herd too many stories of guys who use it and it causes parts to leak, mostly the water pump. Lets hope not the head gasket. Are you the first owner? If not, i'd do a coolant change too. I use the honda stuff.

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post #10 of 52 Old 02-24-2012, 05:48 AM
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+1 on condensation

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post #11 of 52 Old 02-24-2012, 05:50 AM
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Change the oil if it seems like a lot of moisture. Otherwise, make sure you ride it enough to burn it off. I seriously doubt it's a head gasket. In general, motorcycles (not this one) have more problems with leaky water pump gaskets than head gaskets.

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post #12 of 52 Old 02-24-2012, 06:55 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g00gl3it View Post
What kind of oil are you using? Check the Circle on the back, make sure it does NOT say "Energy Conserving".

Stick with Rotella T6 synthetic or other non-energy conserving oil.
I strictly use the oil suggested by Honda.

"Those who ride without helmets don't need them"



2007 Honda 919: commuter.
2006 Kawasaki ZX-6R: track/race bike.
1982 Yamaha XJ550: ex-commuter, now rusting bike.
1966 Honda C110 (50cc): my first bike! I loved it.
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post #13 of 52 Old 02-24-2012, 07:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schrock86 View Post
I highly doubt it is coolant. Coolant is heavier than oil and would be at the bottom not on top. The easiest way to check is to remove your oil drain plug and watch to see what comes out first. If there is any coolant in your oil the first thing out when you remove the drain plug will be nice green coolant. You need to let it sit for awhile before doing this so the coolant/oil have time to separate. Also when they are mixed together your oil would be the color of chocolate milk. Like this:

Attachment 19335
Now I'm in the mood for ice cream...



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post #14 of 52 Old 02-24-2012, 07:17 AM
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post #15 of 52 Old 02-24-2012, 07:21 AM
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1. Top off the water in the radiator. You did pull the radiator cap, not the rez bottle, right?

2. Say the level is low. Top it off. We want to see bubbles as you warm the bike up. That says; blown head gasket, the compression is pushing into the water; causing bubbles >>> Is what you should see. Make sure you keep it low so as to look down there. As the engine warms up, the water will expand and grow out of the neck, so keep it low to watch for the bubbles.

3. I don't see any bubbles. Since I'm on the net and give very little info, I do park my bike next to the washer/dryer. The garage gets all warm and condensation just permeates the air. Somehow it all condensed inside my crankcase and exhaust pipes (why they rot out), I think I rode it, put it away wet and it stayed wet in the garage all this time... Odds #2.

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post #16 of 52 Old 02-24-2012, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guy_ak View Post
My 2007 Honda 919 has 5k on it and looks in mint condition.
Back in October I did an oil change and filter replacement. Nothing out of the ordinary and the oil was pretty clean.
The bike was put in cold storage a couple of days later as I was leaving for the next 3-1/2 months.
As soon as I got back (a couple of weeks ago), I started using the bike again for my daily commute. Nothing unusual until last night when I checked the oil level (which I do about every week) and noticed a white residue on top of the oil (through the little window at bottom of crankcase). I checked again this morning after getting at work and noticed a thick layer of what looks like white foam on top of the oil. After thinking about this for a while and talking to a couple of co-workers, it appears that it is most likely coolant in the oil. I checked the coolant reservoir, and indeed the level is lower than the minimum line (was fine back in October).
By the way, I looked but did not see any smoke or steam coming out of the exhaust.
So, I'm afraid that is probably what it is.
This engine has only 5000 miles on it! Ugh...

So, my questions are:
- Do you agree with my prognosis?
- What are the possibilities in terms of the source of the problem? Other than a blown head gasket?
- How involved is this for a repair?
- If it is a blown head gasket, is it possible that the head might have gotten damaged?
- What's the best approach to find the fault? I mean, I don't want to take the whole engine out if I don't have to.

Thanks,

Guy
Taking the above literally, I see about 0.001 % chance of it being coolant getting into the oil.
If the drained oil was OK, how could fresh oil suddenly being seeing water ?
Head gaskets generally let go under higher engine temps, not cooler engine temps, and not at or near start up.
BUT
If you did not have adequate strength antifreeze, and you garage temp was low enough to cause freezing, you could have cracked a water jacket in a place that ultimately leads to the oil sump.
Anyway, my guess is that it's nothing more than blow-by condensation from the water component of the combustion products.
(If you were using inappropriate oil, standing foam could have been a result and that would sit at the top)
Blow-by condensation will result is some degree of an emulsion that will also sit on top of the oil.
Get the oil out and have a look at it.
Find out whether there really is an issue or not.
Excessive water/glycol content will be visible, but will sink to the bottom.
Take an oil sample in for analysis if you see the need, even if just for comfort, it's cheap, $ 20 -30 depending where you are.
At present, 110% of your focus should be on determining what you are seeing in the oil.
You either have coolant in it, or you don't.
Determine that first.
Save the angst for later truly knowing you have a coolant contamination issue.
Symptoms FIRST
Diagnosis SECOND

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post #17 of 52 Old 02-24-2012, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, Thanks a million everyone! Most of you were indeed right, it must have just been condensation.
At lunch today I emptied the oil into a clear glass container, and I was very careful to look at what came out first, and it was just plain clean (I had done the oil change ~50miles ago) oil. There were a few thin whitish streaks in the oil, and I'm thinking that that must have been that product of condensation.
Let me tell you, this was a HUGE relief for me.
Thanks again for the quick reply from all of you!
Happy trails,

Guy

"Those who ride without helmets don't need them"



2007 Honda 919: commuter.
2006 Kawasaki ZX-6R: track/race bike.
1982 Yamaha XJ550: ex-commuter, now rusting bike.
1966 Honda C110 (50cc): my first bike! I loved it.
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post #18 of 52 Old 02-24-2012, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guy_ak View Post
Ok, Thanks a million everyone! Most of you were indeed right, it must have just been condensation.
At lunch today I emptied the oil into a clear glass container, and I was very careful to look at what came out first, and it was just plain clean (I had done the oil change ~50miles ago) oil. There were a few thin whitish streaks in the oil, and I'm thinking that that must have been that product of condensation.
Let me tell you, this was a HUGE relief for me.
Thanks again for the quick reply from all of you!
Happy trails,

Guy
We love happy endings !!!

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post #19 of 52 Old 02-24-2012, 08:44 PM
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Good to hear!

Not to derail... and this might sound stupid... but the condensation would've normally evaporated through the pair system right? What happens if you blocked the pair system? Or is there a separate breather?

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post #20 of 52 Old 02-25-2012, 01:18 AM
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The CB1300 Honda has a engine that is prone to producing that white stuff in the oil if the bike is only used for short trips a lot.

In fact the oil level sight glass window has a little wiper and a external knob - twist it a the wiper clears the glass!

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post #21 of 52 Old 02-25-2012, 05:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewebay1 View Post
Good to hear!

Not to derail... and this might sound stupid... but the condensation would've normally evaporated through the pair system right? What happens if you blocked the pair system? Or is there a separate breather?
That's a good question...

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post #22 of 52 Old 02-25-2012, 05:44 AM
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My wife has been working at a place that is only a couple mile away. Her van never warms up enough to burn off the condensation, I freaked a little when I saw the "milk shake" substance when I added some oil -

Took it for a nice LONG drive and re-check, everything is OK.

She's going to like riding her bike.

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post #23 of 52 Old 02-25-2012, 05:50 AM
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Crankcase ventilation & PAIRS are completely different systems.


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post #24 of 52 Old 02-25-2012, 05:54 AM
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Quote:
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Crankcase ventilation & PAIRS are completely different systems.

Thanks! I was going to get the manual out later to look into this, saved me (us) the time.

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post #25 of 52 Old 02-25-2012, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanB
The CB1300 Honda has a engine that is prone to producing that white stuff in the oil if the bike is only used for short trips a lot.

In fact the oil level sight glass window has a little wiper and a external knob - twist it a the wiper clears the glass!
That really fits my scenario. I live only 1.5 mi from work, so the bike never really gets a chance to warm up thoroughly.
I wish that I had one of those little wiper too :-)

"Those who ride without helmets don't need them"



2007 Honda 919: commuter.
2006 Kawasaki ZX-6R: track/race bike.
1982 Yamaha XJ550: ex-commuter, now rusting bike.
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post #26 of 52 Old 02-25-2012, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeliMech
Crankcase ventilation & PAIRS are completely different systems.
What are "pairs"?

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2007 Honda 919: commuter.
2006 Kawasaki ZX-6R: track/race bike.
1982 Yamaha XJ550: ex-commuter, now rusting bike.
1966 Honda C110 (50cc): my first bike! I loved it.
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post #27 of 52 Old 02-25-2012, 09:29 AM
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it's an emissions control system. there's quite a few people on here who have removed them, claiming less backfiring. it injects fresh air into the exhaust under certain throttle conditions.

https://www.wristtwisters.com/forums/...tion-5438.html

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post #28 of 52 Old 02-25-2012, 10:03 AM
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History of PAIR:

Back in the Nascar days, a genius tuner was a gifted man of science. His logic was, drill a hole under the exhaust pipe close to the head so the tech inspectors would not notice to look. The idea was to refire the unspent fuel with more oxygen, so the hot air would heat up again to pull blown charger out of the chamber.

He wanted the next incoming charge into that chamber, to have as much of the old charge gone. This is so there was more fresh air to displace with new. It sort of helped the overlap of the cam's position; when both valves are open in so many degrees. This says, PAIRemovers have slower bikes if theory holds.

Fast forward to the modern race trick applied to the emissions. There is fresh air from the clean side of the air filter that is plumed to 1 exhaust valve of a 4-valve engine. What this shows is a hot exhaust port that has burned clean. Removers, now add or close that one port opening with carbon buildup; narrowing that port hole. Slow, if you think your bike is going to be faster without the [closed hole under the header], think again out of 4 ports in a closed loop.

Speaking about closed loops, notice how the PAIR is not part of the crankcase loop? Here is the closed emissions loop(s) as with the gas tank is a closed loop. So too is the 02 as a closed loop system. Are we understanding for racing purposes, we open those loops? But for street, they make pretty fast bikes under that closed loop.

Therefore, the crankcase milk substance is looped into the intake system. This vapor is burned as the throttle body's intake will capture what is suspended. The rest is piped down to a hose with a cap at the bottom of its end? You've seen those, right? Pull that off, that milky stuff is what comes out.

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post #29 of 52 Old 02-25-2012, 10:13 AM
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post #30 of 52 Old 02-25-2012, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
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Ok, Thanks a million everyone! Most of you were indeed right, it must have just been condensation.
At lunch today I emptied the oil into a clear glass container, and I was very careful to look at what came out first, and it was just plain clean (I had done the oil change ~50miles ago) oil. There were a few thin whitish streaks in the oil, and I'm thinking that that must have been that product of condensation.
Let me tell you, this was a HUGE relief for me.
Thanks again for the quick reply from all of you!
Happy trails,

Guy
How's yr heart rate and blood pressure, now?

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post #31 of 52 Old 02-25-2012, 01:16 PM
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in pretty sure when you see creamy white stuff...thats the oil additives at work turning it that color ..so it dosnt remain water and start attacking motor parts

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post #32 of 52 Old 02-25-2012, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeliMech View Post
Crankcase ventilation & PAIRS are completely different systems.

Ahh, so there is a breather.

My classified(s):
Nothing at the moment

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- '01 RC51 SP1 (Sold)
- '03 919

"Security is mostly a superstition, it does not exist in nature: avoiding danger in the long run is no safer than outright being exposed. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."-Helen Keller
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post #33 of 52 Old 02-25-2012, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganktor View Post
it's an emissions control system. there's quite a few people on here who have removed them, claiming less backfiring. it injects fresh air into the exhaust under certain throttle conditions.

https://www.wristtwisters.com/forums/...tion-5438.html
I've done the pair mod, eliminated the popping during deceleration. Makes aftermarket exhaust sound better too IMO

My classified(s):
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- '01 RC51 SP1 (Sold)
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"Security is mostly a superstition, it does not exist in nature: avoiding danger in the long run is no safer than outright being exposed. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."-Helen Keller
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post #34 of 52 Old 02-25-2012, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guy_ak

That really fits my scenario. I live only 1.5 mi from work, so the bike never really gets a chance to warm up thoroughly.
I wish that I had one of those little wiper too :-)
Well short trips will create a condensation build up because the oil doesn't stay hot enough for long enough to evaporate the water.
Now without seeing the foam I am going to guess based on the provided info that it's merely condensation. Take the bike out for a 20 mile trip daily. That will get the oil to temp and may solve your issue.
Short trips are hard on oil too because fuel and combustion gasses get by the rings until the bike is warm and a positive ring seal established. Fuel in the oil impedes the lubrication ability of the oil.
That 20 minute daily ride will also evaporate the fuel in the oil. Win win.

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post #35 of 52 Old 02-26-2012, 08:15 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K1w1Boy

How's yr heart rate and blood pressure, now?
Much better, thanks! :-D
Especially now since i'm about to step on a cruise ship in a couple of hours. Man, I'm going to miss that bike. :-)

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2007 Honda 919: commuter.
2006 Kawasaki ZX-6R: track/race bike.
1982 Yamaha XJ550: ex-commuter, now rusting bike.
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post #36 of 52 Old 02-26-2012, 08:17 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shreddin Rubber

Well short trips will create a condensation build up because the oil doesn't stay hot enough for long enough to evaporate the water.
Now without seeing the foam I am going to guess based on the provided info that it's merely condensation. Take the bike out for a 20 mile trip daily. That will get the oil to temp and may solve your issue.
Short trips are hard on oil too because fuel and combustion gasses get by the rings until the bike is warm and a positive ring seal established. Fuel in the oil impedes the lubrication ability of the oil.
That 20 minute daily ride will also evaporate the fuel in the oil. Win win.
Well, that really sucks. You mean I'm going to have to ride that bike more?

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2007 Honda 919: commuter.
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post #37 of 52 Old 02-26-2012, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guy_ak View Post
Well, that really sucks. You mean I'm going to have to ride that bike more?
The issue is not more often, and more often is worse if the oil temp never gets up high enough.
The key is to get the oil temp up to temperature.
Highly recommended is track days on hot summer days, it's very effective.
So are dyno runs, which get it even hotter.
Seriously though, getting the entire engine system up to normal temp for a period of time is the key.
Short trips never do that, and the cooler the weather the worse it is.
But today's oils are so much better, that they are more tolerant.
As well, modern engines have better cylinder sealing, so there is less blowby, and today's gasolines are much much cleaner as well as being lead free.
If you are doing short trips, just change the oil more often, and be sure to do the filter as well, every change.

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post #38 of 52 Old 02-26-2012, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcromo44

The issue is not more often, and more often is worse if the oil temp never gets up high enough.
The key is to get the oil temp up to temperature.
Highly recommended is track days on hot summer days, it's very effective.
So are dyno runs, which get it even hotter.
Seriously though, getting the entire engine system up to normal temp for a period of time is the key.
Short trips never do that, and the cooler the weather the worse it is.
But today's oils are so much better, that they are more tolerant.
As well, modern engines have better cylinder sealing, so there is less blowby, and today's gasolines are much much cleaner as well as being lead free.
If you are doing short trips, just change the oil more often, and be sure to do the filter as well, every change.
Pretty much perfectly explained. Someone should sticky that.

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post #39 of 52 Old 02-27-2012, 10:02 AM
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I am 6 1/2 miles from work and in the cold season MY bikes barely get to operating temp so to make up for it I take the 30 mile scenic route home - even if it is all hiway.

Her bike (919) barely moves off cold on one of them "occasional" rides to work I take it on.

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post #40 of 52 Old 07-31-2014, 02:32 PM
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Not condensation question

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewebay1 View Post
Good to hear!

Not to derail... and this might sound stupid... but the condensation would've normally evaporated through the pair system right? What happens if you blocked the pair system? Or is there a separate breather?
Someone stole my oil cap today and I was caught in the rain. Had used my pant leg to block the water but a small amount made it through. (Pants and boots were covered in oil.) Will I have to drain my oil or will this burn off just as it would with the condensation?
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