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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
(Mods: This post duplicates a reply I made to another thread. I thought is was worth sharing with a broader audience. If this violates the rules, please let me know and feel free to delete my post.)

When I read this thread, I thought about how I could measure my K5 DL1000 E-28's oil consumption between top-ups. Through experimenting, I discovered that the oil window can be used to precisely measure oil volume. Using your phone, take a close-up picture of the oil window and make measurements with imaging application such as Photoshop or GIMP. By using the "measure" tool to count pixels, you can precisely measure the oil surface's position between the Full line and Low line. In my case, the gap between Full and Low can exceed 300 pixels. This means measuring oil volume between the lines to within 3-5 percent of its actual volume should be no problem. What I ended up with is this:

Rectangle Font Material property Parallel Pattern

The first row was entered after topping up to the fill line with a measured amount of oil (280 ml in this case), from which we derive a Full line to Low line oil volume of 820 ml (will refine on subsequent top-ups). The remaining rows show measurements taken since top-up.

The columns:

  1. Date
  2. Odometer (km)
  3. Distance (for the interval)
  4. FL: (F)ull to (L)ow distance is the distance (in pixels) between the centers of the Full and Low lines;
  5. Dc: (D)istance (c)onsumed is the distance (in pixels) from the Full line to the sump oil surface, measured to the bottom of the meniscus;
  6. Oil consumed since top-up, as a percentage of the Full line to Low line volume;
  7. Oil consumed since top-up in milliliters(ml);
  8. Oil consumed in the last interval, as a percentage of the Full line to Low line volume;
  9. Oil consumed in the last interval in ml.
  10. Oil consumption rate in ml/100 km.
  11. Oil consumption rate in km/ml.
  12. Volume of oil remaining until empty;
  13. Volume of oil remaining until Low Line;
  14. Travel distance remaining until oil reaches the Low line at the last interval's measured oil consumption rate.
The data yielded these results:

Rectangle Slope Plot Font Parallel

For each measurement I put the bike on its centre stand in the same spot in my garage. I attribute variation in Volume/Distance to oil temperature. The first and last measurements were taken from a cold engine. The second and third measurements were taken about 20 minutes after shutdown while the engine was still warm. I noticed an anomaly in oil levels when I took the measurement for the final reading within three minutes of shutting down the engine after a day's riding and the oil level was clearly higher than that of the previous measurement where the engine was warm, but not hot. After two hours, the oil settled to the level shown in the image above (the final measurement).

What's great about this method is I am able to deduce oil consumption without having to top-off the oil every time I take a measurement.

From data collected so far, I can say my bike consumes between 30 ml and 40 ml of oil per 100 km. As long as the oil consumption rate remains steady(ish), I see no reason for concern, as long as I carry a little oil with me on longer trips.


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One day I got an "error code" right in the oil window.... must have been low on oil :rolleyes:

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