How to Check The Oil on Bikes

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

Scooters can be ideal for light urban travel, but they need to be maintained just like any other vehicle. According to the Buddy scooter manual, the oil tank takes about 800 milliliters of oil and should be changed every 1,000 kilometers, or about 620 miles. Checking your oil only takes few minutes of your time. It is especially important to check your oil levels if you suspect you have a leak in the oil tank or other issues while riding your Buddy scooter.

Under The Hood:

 How to Check the Oil on a Honda CBR

Start the CBR's motor while the motorcycle is parked on its kick stand. Let the motorcycle idle for three minutes, allowing the oil to warm to its operating temperature. Stop the motor after it has warmed.

Kneel to the right of the motorcycle and locate the round oil level gauge on the right crankcase cover. Certain CBR models, such as 2004 through 2007 CBR1000RRs, have the oil gauges behind the lower fairing. On these models, a small window cut into the lower fairing is used to view the gauge.

Grasp the right handlebar and the right passenger foot peg and pull the motorcycle toward you until it is in a completely vertical position. Hold the motorcycle in place to fill the oil level gauge.

Take note of the oil level in relation to the upper and lower marks etched into the sides of the oil level gauge. Ideally, the oil level should be centered between both marks. Lower the motorcycle onto its kick stand.

Add a small amount of 10W40 motor oil through the right crankcase cover's filler neck if the oil level is closer to the gauge's lower mark. Check the oil level again, following the same method, and add more oil as needed.

Items you will need

  • 10W40 motor oil

 How to Check the Oil in a Honda Shadow 1100 V-Twin

Start the motorcycle and let it idle for at least five minutes to allow the engine and the oil to warm up. Turn off the engine.

Unscrew the oil filler cap from the right side of the motorcycle. Wipe the oil dipstick, which is attached to the oil filler cap, with the clean rag.

Reinsert the dipstick into the oil filler hole while an assistant holds the motorcycle in an upright position. The motorcycle must be upright to get an accurate oil reading.

Pull out the dipstick from the oil filler hole to check the oil level. The oil level must be between the "maximum" and "minimum" markings on the dipstick.

Pour oil into the motorcycle's oil filler hole to increase the oil level if needed. Screw the oil filler cap back into the motorcycle's oil filler hole. Lower the motorcycle onto the motorcycle's kickstand.

Items you will need

  • Assistant

  • Clean Rag

 How to Check the Oil in a Honda Shadow Motorcycle

Start the motorcycle and let it idle, allowing the engine and its oil to warm up. Stop the engine after five minutes and turn off the ignition.

Unscrew the oil filler cap from the right side of the motor and pull the cap and its integrated dipstick out of the oil filler hole. Using a clean rag or towel, wipe the dipstick clean.

Lift the motorcycle into an upright position; it must be upright and level to obtain an accurate reading.

Insert the dipstick completely into the oil filler with your left hand. Pull the dipstick back out of the oil filler. Look at the oil level in relation to the "maximum" and "minimum" level marks inscribed into the dipstick. The oil level should be between the marks.

Lower the motorcycle back onto its kickstand. Add oil as necessary to adjust the oil level. Pour just a little oil into the oil filler hole (to avoid overfilling) and check it again. Do this several times--do not fill above the "maximum" level.

Items you will need

  • Rag or towel

  • Oil

 How to Check Oil on a Virago 1100

Turn on the engine and allow it to run for a few minutes. This will help provide a more accurate reading of oil levels.

Turn off the engine and place the bike on the center kick stand. Locate the site glass. It is under the starter and above the shift lever. If the reading shows at halfway or above, then you have enough oil. If not, you may want to follow the following steps to change the oil.

Turn on the motorcycle again and let it run for a couple of minutes. This will help the oil drain more quickly.

Turn off the engine. Place a drip pan under the oil drain plug. The plug is near the engine.

Remove the filler cap and take off the drain bolt with a socket wrench. The oil may be hot, so use caution.

Let the oil run into the drip pan. This may take about 15 minutes. Wipe the drain plug clean while you wait.

Replace the drain plug when the oil is done dripping. Securely tighten the plug but avoid overtightening.

Place the funnel into the hole where the filler cap was removed. Pour in the recommended amount of oil according to the manual for your Virago.

Replace the filler cap and restart the engine. Look for leaks from the drain bolt area. If you notice leaks, turn off the engine right away.

Items you will need

  • Drip pan

  • Socket wrench

  • Towel or rag

  • Funnel

  • Oil (See your Virago 1100 manual for amount needed)

 How to Check the Oil on a Yamaha Vino 125

Park the scooter on a level surface and lift it onto its center stand. Start the motor and let it idle for three minutes, allowing the motor oil to warm up. Stop the motor and turn off the ignition.

Locate the oil-level sight glass on the left side of the motor, positioned just below the air filter cover. The oil sight glass should be partially filled with oil. Ideally the oil should fill up to three-quarters of the sight glass.

Raise the oil level by adding small amounts of oil at a time into the oil tank under the scooter's seat. Place a funnel into the oil tank's filler neck to prevent spills. Lower the oil level by siphoning excess oil out of the oil tank with a hand pump.

Items you will need

  • Oil

  • Funnel

  • Hand pump

 How to Check The Oil on a Buddy Scooter

Run your engine for about a minute. This allows the oil to run through the system and gives you an accurate reading on your dipstick.

Remove the dipstick from the oil tank on the back right hand side of the scooter.

Wipe the dipstick on the clean rag to remove any oil. You cannot check the oil right away because oil may have splashed in you tank while the motor was running.

Screw the dipstick back into the oil tank and remove it again. This will give you a true reading.

Check the dipstick for the oil level. The oil level should be between the top two lines on the stick. If any oil is on the thick part of the dipstick, your oil will need to be drained as too much oil is in the tank. Below that amount and you may need to change your oil or top it off if you cannot change it right away.

Items you will need

  • Clean rag

  • Gloves

 How to Check the Oil in a Scooter

Start the motor and let it warm up to provide an accurate reading of the oil level. Turn the motor off once the scooter has warmed up.

Lift the scooter into an upright, vertical position. Place the scooter on its center stand, if it is equipped.

Remove oil filler cap and wipe the dip stick clean with a clean towel or rag. Take note of the oil level indicators marked on the dip stick, these will be used to tell if the oil is correctly filled or if more oil is required.

Reinsert the dip stick into the oil tank and pull it back out immediately. Take note of where the oil level is in relation to the indicators on the dip stick. In most cases, the oil should be half- to three-quarters of the way up the dip stick.

Add more oil as necessary, using a funnel to slowly pour oil into the engine. Check the oil level again and repeat as necessary.

Replace the oil filler cap, tightening it securely to prevent it from vibrating loose.

Items you will need

  • Towel or rag

  • Engine oil

  • Funnel

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.