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Discussion Starter #1
I've got a 2005 DL650 with 85000km on the clock and its started to smoke on startup. I rearly ride the bike, maybe once every 3 months as I mostly just use it for long adventure rides. Last time I took it out I noticed the oil was down a bit so I topped it up but haven't really ridden it enough to see if the level drops again.

I started it yesterday to give it a run and it was smoking a fair bit, after about 5 minutes the smoke was completely gone even when revving it hard. I started it 2 hours later and no smoke, I started it this morning and the smoke is back on start up.

I'd love to get some thoughts.
 

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If the smoke is bluish then that is a classic sign of leaky valve seals. When it sits oil from the top end leaks down the valve stems and into the cylinder but it is quickly burned off. My K7 with 86K miles (aka 138K kilometers) does this if it sits but I ride it often enough that I don't see it. It burns about 1-2qts of oil between 3000mi oil changes depending on how hard I thrash it. I wouldn't worry about it as it is normal with that many miles on the clock and the motor can run a long time with leaky valve seals. Keep an eye on the oil level and the spark plugs which might get fouled a bit from burning oil. I get about 5000 miles on my rear plugs before they foul (I think due to the vertical orientation of the rear cylinder, front plugs seem to be less of a problem). At some point I am planning on replacing the rear valve seals using the rope-in-the-cylinder trick but haven't had the time. I probably do the fronts next time I have to crack the coolant system for something else.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Cheers, I just started it again and it looks like blue smoke, when I rev it there is a lot of smoke coming out. It sounds like valve seals from what I nknow and whats been said above. I don't know the service history of the bike, could checking the valve clearance help?
 

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Smoking on startup on a bike that sits around a lot isn't too much of a concern. It could be valve seals ( adjusting valve clearance will have zero effect on that ) and if so just running the engine and warming them up can allow them to seal better and work properly on a trip. Sit around for a long time and you will see the same result. It could also be piston oil rings. These can sit around and if they have some buildup on them sort of stick. Once again as they warm up and are in motion they free up and start working better. That really isn't all that many miles/kms to show much real wear unless there is a lack of maintenance. If it were me I would do a fresh oil change with a 10-40 oil and add part of a bottle of oil additive that is supposed to help with older engines. Most are probably similar. I have seen improvement using them in a couple engines that have set around. Cheap, so nothing lost in trying! If you don't like running that stuff, simply put some miles on the oil and then drain it. I would add that heavier oils ( 20-50 wt ) will cause piston rings to bypass worse than the 10-40 will under these circumstances.
 

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with my sv650, by the time I had symptoms, it was well beyond valve seals, the guides were worn way beyond tolerance, surprisingly, even with about 130k on the engine, compression was still like new
 

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with my sv650, by the time I had symptoms, it was well beyond valve seals, the guides were worn way beyond tolerance, surprisingly, even with about 130k on the engine, compression was still like new
I think the service life of the top-end for these motors is probably around 120K miles (with some variance) but most motors start burning a bit of oil around mid-life due to aging valve seals. The OP's motor is near mid-life but sitting around for months is probably accentuating the startup symptoms thus making it more noticeable. He can probably run that motor for a long time before he needs a top-end rebuild as long as he keeps an eye on the oil level. The compression on my 86K mile motor is excellent and I don't want to do a top-end rebuild (I'd just do a motor swap instead) so I am hoping some fresh valve seals will cut the oil consumption and stop the plug fouling.
 

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... its started to smoke on startup. I rarely ride the bike, maybe once every 3 months ...

I started it yesterday to give it a run and it was smoking a fair bit, after about 5 minutes the smoke was completely gone even when revving it hard. I started it 2 hours later and no smoke, I started it this morning and the smoke is back on start up.

I'd love to get some thoughts.
Smoking on startup on a bike that sits around a lot isn't too much of a concern. ... and add part of a bottle of oil additive that is supposed to help with older engines. Most are probably similar. I have seen improvement using them in a couple engines that have set around. Cheap, so nothing lost in trying!
As far as trying some oil additive, I agree with RealShelby. I have become a firm believer in Marvel Mystery Oil over the years. I've used it on various barn-find motorcycles and even "unstuck" the pistons on a old bulldozer.

Also I'd be curious if your bike gets left on the side stand during those long naps.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks guys,

Yes NVDucati it is left on the side stand, how does this affect it?

Thanks RealShelby, great info. I'll take it out a couple of times this week and see if that helps to clean any oil build up out, then I'll change the oil as you've recommended and try the additive if needed.
 

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Yes NVDucati it is left on the side stand, how does this affect it?
Only insomuch as over a long period of time the oil that drips off the internal surfaces eventually puddles in various places. It doesn't all make it to the crankcase. Oil can weep down the into the cylinder. Our older 750 roundcase Ducatis and my '02 BMW smokes at startup if left on the side stand. With our electric-only-start bikes its not easy to park them on TDC compression stroke. So I mention it only as a peace of mind item. If you have a center stand try that / if you don't leave it leaning against a wall, etc. Won't fix anything beyond your worry gland.
 

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Smoking on startup on a bike that sits around a lot isn't too much of a concern. It could be valve seals ( adjusting valve clearance will have zero effect on that ) and if so just running the engine and warming them up can allow them to seal better and work properly on a trip. Sit around for a long time and you will see the same result. It could also be piston oil rings. These can sit around and if they have some buildup on them sort of stick. Once again as they warm up and are in motion they free up and start working better. That really isn't all that many miles/kms to show much real wear unless there is a lack of maintenance. If it were me I would do a fresh oil change with a 10-40 oil and add part of a bottle of oil additive that is supposed to help with older engines.
Motor Honey!?
That stuff was incredible, and probably not recommended here, is my guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I took the bike out for a good ride and there was no smoke during the ride, even when I pulled over and revved the engine out of gear. I let the bike sit for three days and strated it up, no smoke at idle but when I increased the rpm to 4000 it started to smoke. There is a video att he following link, I'm realy not sure if it indicates valve stem seals or something else.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZa0HjK1YWQ&feature=em-share_video_user
 

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Many of the old BMWs suffer the same affliction when stored on the sidestand - the "down hill" cylinder catches more of the oil drain-down and works its way past the rings / valve guides. Smoke upon start up but otherwise a strong performance. Nature of the beast.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
It never used to have this issue so I'd love to get some ideas from those mechanically minded as to what might be going on. I've been considering upgrading within the next year so just wondering if I should be fast tracking that decision or not.
 
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