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Oil Level ???

burangs

Active member
I concur with the previous post. If you’re waiting 60 minutes for oil to show with the bike vertical 5 minutes after a ride —she’s LOW!
 

buellwinkle

Member
I did add a half quart and that made the difference but it had to sit all night before it showed up in the sight glass... this bike is very frustrating for me....
 

buellwinkle

Member
Actually the first hit for BMW R18 oil level is the on line BMW Owners Manual so it's a RTFM issue as most things are.
Actually, I did not think I was vague, I just wanted to know what you do to read the oil level ???? I was not able to see any oil in my bike until after I added some oil to the engine, then others screamed at me your bike is over filled. ??? I seriously doubt that, I think they did not fill the bike properly at the factory and the dealer did not check the oil level ?? My dealer has a mechanic that I would not trust to do anything on my bike. This is the second new BMW I have bought there, should not have made the purchase PERIOD.... I asked him to change the battery tender connection, my battery tender is a CTEK and uses a special " Comfort connector " So the mechanic decides to hard wire it to the frame of the bike with snap ties, I never use snap ties on my bike. Then after this fatal mistake instead of removing the dam snap ties he cut the cover off the connector, it is put there to keep the connection clean and is part of the connector. Now I have no way to keep track of the cover when the bike is on the tender.... damn fool....
 

BobW

Member
I did add a half quart and that made the difference but it had to sit all night before it showed up in the sight glass... this bike is very frustrating for me....
I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around this. There is a minimal amount of oil in the cooler and the oil added has no impediment to joining the rest of it to see the new level is within the appropriate range. When adding oil we are talking a matter of seconds to see the result. How many miles are on this motorcycle and has a dealer done any servicing on her? In any event, I suggest you ride to the shop and by the time you fetch someone in Service to check the level you will have at least 5 minutes of draining and they can take the few seconds to assess the oil level and you can go from there as to what you should do. I've been riding all kinds of motorcycles for almost 60 years to include many BMWs and dozens of on and off road bikes from many Euro, U.S. and Japanese Brands. While some are more of a pain in the ass than others I have never had such an issue with such a simple task as checking the oil level be it a sight glass, sight tube, dip stick in a dry sump, wet sump, semi dy, premix or whatever. You seem to be talking yourself into not liking the bike and that is fine as that is just how it goes sometimes, but the War and Peace effort to help conduct this simple, but important task has gone beyond Troll Status.
 

nielsm

Active member
I did add a half quart and that made the difference but it had to sit all night before it showed up in the sight glass... this bike is very frustrating for me....
I'm struggling to understand what is frustrating. If you see no oil in the sight glass within 5 minutes of shutting the bike down, you are low on oil. If you add half a quart & it doesn't show immediately, you are low on oil. This is no different than a dipstick. If you show nothing on the dipstick within 5 minutes of shutting off bike, you are low on oil. If you add half a quart and still nothing on dipstick, you are low on oil.

The sight glass is ~1 liter from bottom to top, so keep adding oil in ~200ml increments until you see it at the bottom. At this point you are at minimum oil. You can add up to another liter and still be not overflowing. As long as the oil is visible in the sight glass you are fine. On a dipstick, as long as you are anywhere in between the add and fill range (often a cross-hatch), you are fine.

There is nothing dramatically different about a sight glass vs a dipstick. If you look at the Indian motorcycle oil check videos, they demonstrate it in a wheel chock as well with the bike vertical to get the measurement. Most motorcycles are like this. I think only Harley has models where it can be measured on the side stand.
 

Cheshire Cat

Active member
Site Supporter
Elite Member
I've just checked mine by sitting on the bike holding it level then using the video record on my phone and filming the level. then play it back.
not great but it should me the level
I'm sure I recognise that pic on your avatar. Bike from Williams of Manchester by any chance? I think that was the nicest paint job I have seen on the R18.
 

MengerFan

New member
This came up in another thread recently. I learned I’m not the only one of us who overfilled the oil on their first BMW because they misread the sight glass.
 

R18C

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Funny,all I have to do is warm my R18C up and look in the little window.

On my Indian I have to unscrew the oil dipstick,wipe it off then re-install the dipstick,screw it in then screw it out and read the end of it in the sunlight.

Both the Indian and BMW need to be warmed up and on a level surface when checking oil.
I have a wheel dock for the Indian and a side hack for the BMW.

BMW is so easy and I just say a prayer while I'm down there for you folks having issues,LOL!;)
 
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buellwinkle

Member
Funny,all I have to do is warm my R18C up and look in the little window.

On my Indian I have to unscrew the oil dipstick,wipe it off then re-install the dipstick,screw it in then screw it out and read the end of it in the sunlight.

Both the Indian and BMW need to be warmed up and on a level surface when checking oil.
I have a wheel dock for the Indian and a side hack for the BMW.

BMW is so easy and I just say a prayer while I'm down there for you folks having issues,LOL!;)
So simple if all goes well and you see the oil in the window, mine shows Nothing and my eyes work fine.... this is my fifth BMW and my LAST..... jp
 

Alf

New member
I like the manual way! Get the engine warm, wait 5 minutes. Get somebody to sit on the bike, check the oil level. Job done…..
 

R18C

Well-known member
Site Supporter
So simple if all goes well and you see the oil in the window, mine shows Nothing and my eyes work fine.... this is my fifth BMW and my LAST..... jp
Not to insult though, I am glad you have made a decision you and we can live with.
Good buy and Good luck on your next adventure.
TK
 

buellwinkle

Member
I like the manual way! Get the engine warm, wait 5 minutes. Get somebody to sit on the bike, check the oil level. Job done…..
Job done but what if you see no oil in the window ???? Not even if you tip the bike.. This is where I was when the tread started.... folks could not wrap their heads around the simple fact there was no oil in the window, which tells me no one at the dealership or the factory who checks this stuff..... jp
 

Luis

Active member
Job done but what if you see no oil in the window ???? Not even if you tip the bike.. This is where I was when the tread started.... folks could not wrap their heads around the simple fact there was no oil in the window, which tells me no one at the dealership or the factory who checks this stuff..... jp
In my opinion you should ask BlackDog about your issue…
 

tommymck

Active member
Job done but what if you see no oil in the window ???? Not even if you tip the bike.. This is where I was when the tread started.... folks could not wrap their heads around the simple fact there was no oil in the window, which tells me no one at the dealership or the factory who checks this stuff..... jp
I think that the thing that people are having a hard time trying to "wrap their head around" is the fact that something happens in the sight window over the timespan of hours after shut down. I don't doubt that there was something confusing happening, but it seems more likely that it's something simple such as the possibility that the oil was so clean that it wasn't easy to see. We can't say for sure, but the fact that you are having issues seeing oil even after adding it unless you wait for hours means that there is something more going on than the bike simply being low on oil. Or perhaps we aren't quite understanding the specific chain of events... At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if the bike actually has too much oil and you aren't seeing it because it is completely covering the window.
 
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