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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay Gentleman, and gals,
Here we have pictures of the oil lens and oil cap. I want to know if you folks can point me into the directions of a culprit here. This is my first V-Strom, although not my first bike. I have owned her for almost 6 months. She’s a DL650 non-abs 2008. I bought her with 42,000 miles. I have put just about 1,500 miles of city commuting here in Portland Oregon. When I bought her, I changed her oil, filter, spark plugs, air filter, coolant, brake fluid, and gave her a can of seafoam everywhere she could take it. That was just about 1,500 miles ago. Oil was semi-synthetic, now it’s fully synthetic, Castrol 10W-40. Filter is WIX.

Within the last week or so, this film has started showing up on the lens. The oil cap might suggest that there is foam being produced. There are no other symptoms. The bike runs like a champ. I thinking water(but from where), coolant(how would know), or maybe gas(I swear I smell it in the oil cap). I have since changed the oil and filter today, but there seems to still be a little white residue on the lens.

Anyone have any ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I can’t seem to figure out how to edit a post....

I need to clarify, that the seafoam went into the original owner’s oil, and was promptly changed out. It’s not still in there.

Thanks everybody.
 

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Newbies can't edit. It's an anti spam feature. You need to figure out whether it's coolant or condensation. If you are doing short trips, it could be condensation and it just needs to be heated up more for a longer time. Check the coolant level at the expansion tank under the rear of the fuel tank. There are high and low marks cast into the plastic on the side toward the front. See if your coolant level is getting lower after some more riding.
 

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White milky is water trying to mix with oil. Hard to say where it is getting into contact with the oil though. If you have foam in your coolant, then compression is getting into the coolant, thus sucking water back into the oil. That would be classic head gasket. How many other places could water and oil get in contact?
 

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If it is coolant rather than condensation, the water pump gasket is another though less likely place.
 

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When your oil starts to look like a chocolate milkshake... its water.
 

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It is most likely condensation not being driven out because of rides too short to get everything up to operating temperatures for an extended period..... I suspect your short commutes are contributing......
 

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I think the short commutes in the Pac northwest may be a culprit. you said you changed the oil, did you change the filter?

How far is your commute and do you warm up or drive off?

Where abouts are you in PDX?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks everyone. Those are great suggestions.
I do very much hope it’s just condensation. The foam in the oil cap seems pretty alien, and honestly, it kinda scares me. If it were just condensation, am I doing and damage by riding around on it?

If it were to be a head gasket or water pump gasket, how would I know definitively, and how could I minimize potential permanent damage?

Thanks again for all of your input.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Check the coolant level at the expansion tank under the rear of the fuel tank. There are high and low marks cast into the plastic on the side toward the front. See if your coolant level is getting lower after some more riding.
Other than noticing loss of coolant, will a head or water gasket failure cause any other symptoms? With 40K on the clock, how realistic is this as a possibility, and how much will it cost to fix/replace. Is this something I can do myself?

How far is your commute and do you warm up or drive off?

Where abouts are you in PDX?
I try my best to give her a few minutes to warm up. I try for a single bar before I take off. I'm only going a mile and a half for my commute. I'll usually land three bars of temp by the time I get to the office. I'm close-in NE Fremont and MLK.
 

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I think your commute is the problem,,,,too short,,,,Three bars says your coolant is at operating temp, not the oil. Bike needs to be run at least 15min to get oil up to operating temp. I've got a short commute too so I get up earlier so I can ride a little longer. Also there's less traffic to contend with.
 

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Another vote here for short commute / not enough warm up time. I've seen this before with many bikes. Sometimes, looking at the oil in the inspection window freaks you out because it looks really foamy, like a milkshake, or there's condensation in the window.

Easiest way to set your mind at ease is don't immediately jump to overhauling the engine. Take it for a GOOD, LONG ride on the order of 30 minutes or so. Get the oil hot. I'll bet that's the issue.
 

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Idling won't help. The engine heats too slowly with no load for a few minutes of idling to make much difference. Taking longer trips is the key. Engines heat faster under load. Wee and Vee riders might try zip tying some cardboard over the oil cooler if they have a short winter commute. The plastic filler cap and sight glass don't get hot as fast as the engine metal either. Center stand parking to get hot oil on the glass may make a difference.
 

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Sent you a PM, I'm going to be in your area in about an hour if your available. Phone # in PM.
 

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Your commute is too short

It will take several rides of 40 minutes at least to get that sight glass cleared up. A mile & 1/2 isn't enough time for the crankcase to purge itself. There are more gases in there that need to purge than just water vapor.
I don't think you have a problem, but you might want to change the oil more frequently than me. I seldom take short runs, so my sight glass remains clear.
 

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Yellow/white oil = water

Often, on cars/trucks anyway, the oil cap may have a bunch of yellow crud from water-vapor. Also, if you've ever been dirtbiking and swamped your bike.. your oil would turn yellow or even white-ish. Change the oil and check to make sure the oil cap is on tight or if a crankcase vent hose is missing.

Brown/chocolate oil = coolant
Time to do some serious searching. Hopefully just a blown gasket and not a crack somewhere.

Looking at your first pic I'd say you have a bunch of water in there. I've seen that a fair bit on my dirtbike and friends quads. I'd say, for troubleshooting, change the oil.. might require several changes to get it all out. Ride a bit and keep an eye on both the oil and coolant levels.
 

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I've had a coolant leak into the oil that was yellow, almost white. You can't tell for sure from the color.
 
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