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Discussion Starter #1
Ok - this isn't actually as dumb as it sounds, so stick with it.

When I rebuilt my engine (some 27 miles ago, and still going strong!), I put in the manufacturer's recommended amount of oil (3.x litres, IIRC). Then, due to a 'build bug', I had to remove the clutch, and out came a load of oil (onto the floor, tools, but not the drain can - typical). As I didn't know the amount of oil that was 'lost', I've been chucking another few hundred mls in every now and again, in order to try to get a reading on the dipstick. I have replaced the best part of 2 litres now (I don't think 2 litres came out), and I'm still struggling to get a 'good' reading on the dipstick, unless I screw the stick in first.

I seem to remember that you should use the dipstick to check the level when it is NOT screwed in ... can anyone confirm this?

Cheers.
 

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Correct.
The dipstick should not be screwed in according to the haynes manual. Not sure though if the bike is supposed to be verticle (on its centrestand) or not (on its sidestand).
 

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Yep, vertical and on level ground, and having had the engine run for a while to get the oil circulating. I usually leave the bike for five minutes before checking to let it drain back. I also 'bed' the dipstick by screwing it anti clockwise to make sure it's in as far as it goes without actually screwing it in.

Suprisingly this running the engine before checking really seems to make a big difference; I forgot to after an oil change and stupidly decided to drain oil off when the level was (apparently) too high. It certainly dropped after it had been run for a while and then checked, leading to head (mine, not the bike's) scratching as to where the oil went..........

Hmm!
 

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As of difference between measurement on side stand and on main stand:

I installed a Honda centre stand a couple of days ago. When checking oil first time with recommended procedure, i.e. on the main stand I found out the oil level was good bit above the max. The previous method was "screw in" on side stand :)

How on earth did Honda think we check our oil levels without the non-standard main stand?

Anyway, there appears to be quite a leeway in what is a correct oil level. Too high oil level probably isn't a problem until it's so high that the crankshaft starts to hit it at it's lowest point. I definitely haven't had any trouble over the last 10 K miles with apparently too high oil level. Maybe the extra hundreds of ccs even gave increased protection against oil thinning and allowed increased service intervals
 

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Umm I haven to confess to worying one jot about my oil level.
When I got the bike 2 years ago, new, I spent the first few months checking oil, but then it never moves. So in the end I don't bother.
It goes in for its service every 4K miles when they change it anyway and any time I've ever checked it its been fine.
 

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Having to much oil in the crank case could cause problems with over pressure and blow oil seal, the AT is approx 50 psi. Oil is best checked after a run withe the bike vertical and the dipstick not screwed in. I have found very little difference checking the oil hot or cold before or after a run. As for changing oil mine is done every 4K. one reason for this is that I only work 4.5 miles from home. The other is I don't like dirty oil in a engine that runs camshafts straight in ally, without bearings.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, I drained my engine (using the drain plug - didn't remove the filter), and got out about 2.25 litres. I would have expected to get something around the 3 litre mark - allowing for .5 litre to lurk in the various nooks and crannies.

The oil leak that I had was to do with oil being blown into the air filter (ie via the carbs), and coming out of the filter housing. Without a replacement filter, I have turned the existing one around by 1 third. Took it out for a good run this afternoon, and there are no signs of any further leaks, but that might be becaue I've tightened the air filter assembly up tightly.

I don't really understand how oil gets into the carbs (should oil get into the carbs?) and make its way to the filter, as the filter unit is an 'intake' surely, rather than an exhaust (ie, a sucker, and not a, erm, blower).
 
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