Issue when changing oil - Kawasaki
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post #1 of 16 Old 08-22-2016, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Issue when changing oil

I know that some of you are going to think that I'm a real dumbass for what I have been ignorantly doing, so please be gentle...

My 2013 ZX-10R was purchased brand new off the dealership floor, on a closeout special, in February 2015. This was definitely not my first motorcycle or even sport bike, but it was my first Kawasaki brand.
Upon changing my oil the first time, I followed all the steps that I had taken in my numerous other motorcycles in the past -

Put the bike up on stands to get it off the ground and level
Run it for a little while to get it at operating temperature and the oil warmed up
Unscrew and remove the drain plug, and begin to let the oil out
Unscrew and remove the oil filter, and let it drain out
(sometimes I'll let the bike drain for 24 hours, as it's just in the garage and am not needing it ASAP)
Put a new oil filter on, with a bit of oil on the rubber seal, and tighten to appropriate tension
Put the drain plug back in and tight to appropriate tension
Fill the oil level to just the top of the glass window (as I have found this is just about the perfect measurement to have the oil end up back in the hash marks, after running and filling the oil filter

So, everything is ready to go for a start of the engine
Started the engine and found that no oil was draining out of the glass window....

Called the dealership where I purchased the bike from, as I had never seen this happen before....
The tech tells me that perhaps some type of vacuum occurred in the engine, and that a quick way to resolve that, is to release the oil filter from its fully tightened position, with a small amount of space, so that there's a release on that vacuum lock. Then to start the engine, and when I see oil start to push out of the hole for the oil filter, to shut the bike off and re-tighten the oil filter.
Did that, and it worked, the oil started to properly flow and not be locked at full height in the glass window/level.

The next time that I changed the oil, the same thing happened with the glass window... Hmmm, ok, I'll just duplicate what the tech told me to do, and chalked it up as some type of bizarre behavior with the Kawasaki.

Thus far, perhaps I've been super-fortunate that the bike continues to operate and perform great (you can see in videos), but this oil change issue / behavior has plagued every time that I've performed the activity, but perhaps only one time (and I change my oil after every track weekend, and that's all the bike is now, is a track bike, after 350 miles on the street for break-in).

Recently I brought this up to someone whom I trust very much, and he looked at me like I was nuts/foolish for doing this, for so long, and that I'm in jeopardy of ruining my engine....
So, I'm ashamed that I was so ignorant, but it wasn't that big of a deal to me, just something of an extra step in changing the oil.

Has anyone heard of this?
Are there other people out there with similar issues and their ZX-10R's Gen 4?

I called Kawasaki customer service, and asked if there'd be leniency on a potential warranty claim (since I only have about 2500 miles on the bike, with no engine modifications, just suspension and such for the track), and they said to take it into the local shop, and have a review by the tech. So, it's been up there for a week, and haven't heard jack-squat from them. Perhaps when they open back up tomorrow, after the weekend, they'll get me some real answers as to what this bizarre behavior is about.

Again, please be kind and don't flame on me too much for being a nit-wit!
I'd very much appreciate if anyone who has true mechanical knowledge of the bike, would share their thoughts on what this bizarre behavior might be (wrong with the bike).


Current bikes: 2008 Honda GoldWing, 2013 Kawasaki ZX-10R (track only).
Over 112,000 miles on two wheels since Feb 2003.
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2012 Novice season: Formula 40, Champion // Formula 1, Second Place // Superbike A, Third Place // Modern Classic, Third Place
2013 Expert season: Rookie Expert, Third Place // Modern Classic, Third Place
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post #2 of 16 Old 08-22-2016, 06:58 PM
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I've changed the oil 6 times myself on my 2013 and that was after the dealer did it for the first time. Never seen this problem before. I change my oil in the same process that you've described, the only difference being that I remove the oil fill plug first. On the other hand, I've never looked at the sight glass after draining my oil. Once a reasonable amount drains out and the dripping slows almost to a stop I plug it and fill it again.

2013 ABS, Bridgestone T30 Evo, Woolich, Danmoto shorty & link, Rifleman's 1/5th turn, K&N, GP shift, Gen5 shock/links/dogbone, JT (-1/+0), EK, Shorai, EBC HH, AllBallz roller steering, heated grips, shorty levers, MotoDynamic signals & relay, plasti-dipped and vinyl wrapped (all green to black), Bestem carbon, PUIG Pro sliders, solo cowl, modded sprocket cover, TST fender elim. w/LEDs. 45,000km+ and going strong!
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post #3 of 16 Old 08-22-2016, 06:58 PM
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I go by what the manual states in regards to oil with or without a new filter!Ive never done a oil change by sight glass!I also put oil in the filter(not full to the top)and quickly fit it!I only use the sight glass as a reference not fact
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post #4 of 16 Old 08-22-2016, 07:11 PM
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I think there's a sticky about this. I've had it happen as well. I fill my filter 2-3 times and use the marks on the sight glass to gauge how much oil the bike needs. Even then it still runs for a few seconds with the oil pressure light on.
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post #5 of 16 Old 08-22-2016, 07:44 PM
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There is indeed a sticky thread about this. I wrote it, years ago, because of how common the issue was. But the original poster perhaps didn't see it, because it is in a different forum section. Common situation - Oil changes "Oil pressure warning lamp"

It looks like this issue affects the 2011-on models as well ...

Do what the thread says. Don't leave your engine to drain out overnight ... you're filling your oil pump with air, and they don't like pumping air.

P.S. dricked - get yourself healed up well. Still in the hospital? (For those not aware, he had a big crash at CSBK Mosport, err Canadian Tire Motorsports Park this past weekend, but I suppose that discussion doesn't belong in this thread)

Helibars, MRA screen, Ohlins damper, reversed shift pattern, sorted suspension, braided lines, Michelin Pilot Power, all else stock 'coz it's fast enough!
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post #6 of 16 Old 08-22-2016, 08:02 PM
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Issue when changing oil

It's called "burping" the oil filter. The oil pump looses its prime when the sump is dry and the filter is removed and has trouble getting the flow started upon restarting the first time. It's fairly common for people to experience this. It will be worse if you were to let it sit for 24 hours though. That's not something I would recommend doing in the future.

Things you can do to help prevent it from happening are to pre-fill the filter before putting it on, draining and refilling the sump beefier changing the filter, or burping it each time you do a change.

As for engine damage, yes it does damage your motor. Some 90% of all engine wear occurs during start up when there's no oil to the main and rod bearings. The bearings wear a little bit on every start. Over time they can wear to the point of complete failure. Running the engine for awhile like this waiting to prime the pump is bad. The more you do it, the quicker it will wear the bearings. I think this very thing contributed to me spinning a rod bearing myself.

Nothing you can do at this point other than follow the tips above and be prudent about it in the future.

I may not be perfect, but at least I don't ride a Suzuki.

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post #7 of 16 Old 08-22-2016, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by peterd10r View Post
I go by what the manual states in regards to oil with or without a new filter!Ive never done a oil change by sight glass!I also put oil in the filter(not full to the top)and quickly fit it!I only use the sight glass as a reference not fact
hey, you're back!
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post #8 of 16 Old 08-22-2016, 08:21 PM
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I have changed the oil a couple times. It is tricky. I just drain it and take off the old filter and dump oil into the new filter and dump about 3.5 quarts into the engine; start; check for leaky filter; stop and read for awhile; check the oil window and usually add a bit more oil. Ride the loop and check it again if I remember.
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post #9 of 16 Old 08-22-2016, 10:18 PM
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Hey Scout I am lol!nothing like 4 weeks to recharge the batteries!looking forward to positive and informative coversations!also with the oil discussion you can allways crank the motor a few times just to try and build up oil pressure before it fires.
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post #10 of 16 Old 08-23-2016, 02:39 AM
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I read somewhere to fill the sump with oil BEFORE screwing the oil filter back on. I used to "burp" the filter, but this method worked last time i did an oil change, so i think ill stick with it

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