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-   -   Is this just condensation in oil? (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/yamaha-tech/is-this-just-condensation-oil-63214)

TheBaldReverend 14 Mar 2012 20:38

Is this just condensation in oil?
Hello chaps,

I'm hoping you can help me out with something.


That was the state of my oil last month after doing lots of 2 mile journeys over the winter period. I dropped the oil out and changed the filter but there was no white gunk and the oil wasn't milky at all.

I put fresh oil in and today when I opened the filler cap again today I was faced with similar but not as bad as the picture above. I assumed it was condensation before but something confused me - would there really be that much to raise the level that high. Also, it looked like the oil was "fizzing" with lots of tiny bubbles with the occasional big bubble.

The bike is running fine.

Any ideas?

*Touring Ted* 14 Mar 2012 21:13

That can happen around the filler cap but if ALL your oil is like that then that's not good.

Drop your oil and see what it's like in a large container.

TheBaldReverend 14 Mar 2012 21:15

Hi Ted,

Last time it was like this I dropped the oil and the oil was fine - it had less than 1000 miles on it and looked absolutely fine.

Tony P 14 Mar 2012 21:56

Condensation emulsification occurs when the engine regularly does not warm sufficiently to evaporate off initial condensation forming of cold surfaces - and previous condensation.
It tends to form and remain on colder part of the engine not fully imersed in oil (like rocker covers and tops of reservoirs) sooner than in the circulating oil itself.

Your 2 mile trips probably are not enough. Go the long way and have a regular longer ride!

I heard a standard type car engine needs between 10 and 20 miles to get all parts to optimum working temperature.

*Touring Ted* 14 Mar 2012 22:07

If you're sure the rest of the oil is fine then I would do what Tony P says and take it for a really good long ride. Get the oil right up to working temperature and keep it there. It shouldn't take long on these air cooled bikes in slow traffic :cool4:

Obviously, make sure the oil level is correct and it's not leaking out of anywhere obvious and all that blaah blaah blaah.

You could invest in a screw in Oil temperature guage. I had one on mine. IT replaces the oil filler cap.

You can also get oil looking like this if it were water cooled and it is weeping in (it isn't) or maybe if your head gasket is sucking in air/condensation.

Mezo 14 Mar 2012 22:33

Let it sit warming up for 15 mins, seems nobody warms up there engines anymore.


bacardi23 15 Mar 2012 01:40

Did you mix semi-synthetic oil with fully synthetic oil?????????

TheBaldReverend 15 Mar 2012 08:07


Originally Posted by Mezo (Post 371360)
Let it sit warming up for 15 mins, seems nobody warms up there engines anymore.


I do warm my engine up by riding it gently for the first few miles. Sitting for 15 mins idling won't do it many favours.


Originally Posted by bacardi23 (Post 371387)
Did you mix semi-synthetic oil with fully synthetic oil?????????

No, but there's no reason why you shouldn't.

Mezo 15 Mar 2012 09:51


Originally Posted by TheBaldReverend (Post 371407)
Sitting for 15 mins idling won't do it many favours.

Wont harm it though will it? take the advice or leave it its up top you.


Jens Eskildsen 15 Mar 2012 16:03

I wouldnt leave my bike to sit 15min just idling if I could help it.

AliBaba 15 Mar 2012 16:41

It's most likely condensation from your short trips.

On the other hand I had the same problem on my car and it turned out to be a splitted hose for the crankcase-ventilation.

Timus 16 Mar 2012 07:32


Originally Posted by Mezo (Post 371360)
Let it sit warming up for 15 mins, seems nobody warms up there engines anymore.


Dont think I'd leave my bike ticking over for 15 minutes. A water cooled engine will have the fan on after about 10, from stone cold.

Thats a long time with no air flow.

Maybe doesnt apply here, but older engines with worn oil pumps dont make the pressure at tickover, they need a few revs to force the stuff round. My old man had an old tractor that seized after being left ticking over for only about 10 minutes

Would really piss the neigbours off at 7 in the morning, and some little git will probably ride away on it while your not looking.

I'm sure I read, in Performance Bikes, years ago, that as the best way to warm it up is to ride it gently. Give it long enough to get the oil pumped round, then go. As soon as its warm enough to pull away, then pull away.

Mezo 16 Mar 2012 08:17

Horses for courses, ive snapped bolts in wintertime through "gently riding" and i learned an expensive lesson (an air cooled Ducati expensive lesson) and i wont make that 2k mistake again.

Mind you here now where i live i no longer need to worry about that as the temp doesn't get down as low as when i was living up top.

Now whats the temp in sunny surrey right now? zero to plus ten? i miss the UK i really do. :freezing:


Timus 16 Mar 2012 09:51

A balmy 18 degrees in the south east this week.

What bolts snap? Never heard of that before.

-ralph- 16 Mar 2012 10:11

No, don't tick over your engine to warm it up, start the bike, stick your helmet and gloves on, your engine should be idling smoothly at above 2k revs by this point, push your choke in a touch to settle it down and ride away. Take it easy for the couple of miles, or at the very least until the bike is warm enough to tick over with no choke.

On any bike oil circulation is not optimal at tickover, getting oil circulation on a cold engine is essential, and on an air cooled bike for 15 minutes it's going to get way too hot.

As for the OP, if you are worried (you were worried enough to post this thread) then drop the oil again, it doesn't cost much. If all seems OK, then just make sure you are warming the bike up properly, 2 miles is not enough.

Is the bike garaged? If so, is your garage dry or does it suffer from condensation or damp generally?

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