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Old 05-23-2010, 03:45 PM
Tattoo30 Tattoo30 is offline
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Red face How do I check the oil?

I apologize for having to ask this. I just bought a '79 xs special. Its my first bike ever and I don't even know how to check the oil nor what oil to use. Some help would be great. Thanks
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Old 05-23-2010, 03:52 PM
Geezer Geezer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tattoo30 View Post
I apologize for having to ask this. I just bought a '79 xs special. Its my first bike ever and I don't even know how to check the oil nor what oil to use. Some help would be great. Thanks
Put the bike on the center stand and get down on your hands and knees on the right side of the bike and look for a tiny porthole on the side of the engine toward the back. The oil should be between the upper and lower marks.

I'm not going to tell you what oil to use since that would cause a jihad here...

Geezer
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Old 05-23-2010, 04:56 PM
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draketrumpet draketrumpet is offline
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baby oil
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Old 05-23-2010, 05:04 PM
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draketrumpet draketrumpet is offline
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Sorry, couldn't resist.

Welcome to CH11! Mandatory checklist for new members:

pictures
find a post by member CatatonicBug and follow the link in his signature to download service manuals
Pictures
check your tires' age
pictures
change all your fluids (there are 5 places: main engine oil, middle gear oil, final drive oil, fork oil (2, left and right))
pictures
check your brakes from master cylinder to pads
pictures
if it works, ride
pictures
if it doesn't, take some pictures, post them on here and describe your problem and watch magic happen as you somehow start to understand a 30 year old hunk of mystery metal.
oh, and post some pictures of your bike

as to what oil to use in a more serious nature, try some, if it works, use it and change regularly, if it doesn't try something else. Do a search, you'll see all sorts of oil discussions around. In mine, I have 15w 50 mobile1 synthetic, but I'm going to try a flavor of 20w 50 next time.
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Old 05-23-2010, 05:32 PM
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DGXSER DGXSER is offline
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Only thing to embarassed about is if you did not ask!

Geezer covered you on the oil sight glass just above the footpeg on the right hand side.

As to the oil, as indicated, pick your favorite flavor, check the manual for what weight to use in your area, and run it. The only issue I am aware of is that for alot of people, synthetic causes issues with clutch slippage, some report not having the issue.

I will add to the suggestion to change ALL oils, to say, do ALL of the maintenance items suggested in the manual. And yes, GET A MANUAL. It will save you alot of questions here and may save you from fubaring costly parts on your bike.
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Old 05-23-2010, 07:00 PM
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3Phase 3Phase is offline
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Welcome to the forum, Tatoo!

I can't tell you what kind of oil to use but I can tell what kind of oil you should not use. The XS1100 has a wet clutch. That means the clutch is cooled and lubricated by the engine oil. If you use the wrong oil it can make the clutch slip.

Look on the back of the bottle for the API logo that shows the viscosity range like 10W40 or 20W50 and the current grades like SJ, SL, SM, CI or CJ.

If the API logo has "Energy Conserving" printed on it then it has friction modifiers that are great for car engines but bad for motorcycle clutches.

Here is a Tech Tip: Oil and the XS1100. There are more Tech Tips under the "XS11 Info" menu at the top of the page, have fun and welcome to XS11!
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Old 05-23-2010, 07:25 PM
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CatatonicBug CatatonicBug is offline
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Welcome aboard! If you need a manual, you can download one (or two) from the link in my signature.

Oh, and as Draketrumpet mentioned, we like pictures!
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Old 05-23-2010, 09:25 PM
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TexinMaine TexinMaine is offline
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I recently changed the oil in my SG and the Yamaha shop owner suggested Yamalube 20W50 semi-synthetic. So far has been fine, starts great and no clutch issues other than some clunking when shifting but that was present with the old oil. This is mine.

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Old 05-23-2010, 11:27 PM
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fredintoon fredintoon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tattoo30 View Post
I apologize for having to ask this. I just bought a '79 xs special. Its my first bike ever and I don't even know how to check the oil nor what oil to use. Some help would be great. Thanks
Hi Tattoo and welcome,
a detail that the previous advisors seemed to have missed.
Undo the downward-facing special bolt that holds the oil filter cover on. That'll put the cover and the oil filter in your hand. But that ain't the end of it, most of the oil is still in there.
There's been more than one post to the effect that
"I changed the filter, the jackass PO musta let it run almost out of oil because only a small amount came out.
I put the recommended amount back in and now it won't start."

There's a forward facing bolt head on the vertical wall of the crankcase.
Remove the bolt to let the rest of the oil out.
BTW, your first bike ever?
Fer Chrissake take a riders course, eh?
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  #10  
Old 05-24-2010, 09:44 PM
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Sgriger534 Sgriger534 is offline
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if you go to any parts store they will have a couple different grades of oil made just for motorcycles with a wet clutch. I work at a oreillys and i know we carry castrol and lucas. the castrol is conventional, and the lucas is a synthetic oil. I belive castrol also makes a synthetic blend.
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  #11  
Old 05-24-2010, 09:48 PM
ninjajim ninjajim is offline
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I'm using Klotz 20W50 Synthetic in my 81 Midnight.
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  #12  
Old 05-24-2010, 10:01 PM
ninjajim ninjajim is offline
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Also, gotta agree with Fredintoon. Take a rider's course! No matter what age you are, it's gonna help you, your passenger, and all the other drivers. An 1100 as your first bike is just as dangerous as starting out on a crotch rocket. Take the course. It'll save your life!
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Old 05-26-2010, 10:53 AM
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Lamric Lamric is offline
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Hi Tattoo, good choice of bike check this thread out too.....

New Owners - List of jobs before running and riding
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  #14  
Old 05-26-2010, 12:19 PM
mstic2000 mstic2000 is offline
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Also, make sure it's on the center stand on level ground. On mine, anything off level will cause a discrepancy in the oil level sight glass. JAT My first riding lesson was, "Here's the throttle, here's the brake........now Go!"
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Last edited by mstic2000; 05-26-2010 at 12:22 PM.
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