Milky Oil, But very foggy this weekend

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by timspong, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. timspong

    timspong Been here awhile

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    I just noticed that my oil is very milky today, however, it was very foggy all weekend so I am wondering if it is anything to worry about? I ride a new 2012 vstrom 650.

    Cheers
    Tim
    #1
  2. JAB

    JAB Unsprung Weight

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    If your bike is new, I would call the dealer now and let them tell you it's the fog. A little condensation inside the cases is normal, but probably not enough to make the oil look milky.
    #2
  3. Wasser

    Wasser Spilt my beer

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    If your oil is milky on a fairly new 2012, I'd get it to the dealer ASAP.

    And, I don't think I would attempt to ride it to the dealer with milky oil. :eek1
    #3
  4. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod I want to do right, but not right now

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    What's the situation?

    You just walk out there and see milky oil in the sight glass, cold motor?

    Is the bike warm? Did you start it and let it idle for 5 minutes and shut it down?

    Is this after a long highway run or a hot motor?

    How about posting a photo of the sight glass.
    #4
  5. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    Agreed, we need more details. Did you notice this after a series of short rides where the bike didn't get very warm? Was the bike sitting? Etc. I agree you might want to give the dealer a call...
    #5
  6. yuu

    yuu Been here awhile

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    This has been something that appears time and again on a Monster centric board I'm on. 99.9% of the time it's just condensed water vapor. Of course extra easy to point at that on the air cooled bikes.

    Cool weather and short rides where the bike does not get up to temp for a significant period promote this milky appearance.

    I'll recycle a little write up I did there - Here goes:

    What the hell is that milky crap in my oil sight glass?! OMG is my bike going to blow up?
    - Don't freak, you'll be fine (well you hope). That milky stuff is just moisture. Lots of short rides where the engine never really gets above 100 deg C can promote the appearance of this milky stuff. Lots of wet weather, cooler temps etc will also bring it on.

    If you have an air cooled Monster, your worries are over as it's not a sign of anything bad happening with your bike. If you want to get rid of it, simply ride you bike until it's nice and hot, say 30min+. Then when you stop for gas/lunch/nose pick simply remove your oil filler plug for 30 seconds give or take. You'll probably see water vapor escape from the open filler port. Do this a few times and the milk should disappear.

    IF you have a water cooled Monster follow the steps above - but also keep a close watch on the coolant levels in your over flow tank. Make sure to do any measuring under that same conditions - like bikes cold and parked the same way in the same spot, to prevent mis reads because of fluid expansion, tilt of the bike etc. If you coolant level is mysteriously going down, and you have a persisting milk issue, that's a good sign of a coolant leak and further investigation will be needed.
    #6
  7. timspong

    timspong Been here awhile

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    The bike had been under a cover outside all weekend and it was very foggy all day yesterday. Everything was wet everywhere just from the fog. I didn't notice anything until I got to work and put the bike on the centerstand and had a look at the window. It was completely white and so was the inside of the oil filler hole.

    Anyhow I had to ride a few miles to the auto parts store to get oil but by the time I got there it had cleared up some. Then I took a chance and blasted it down one of my favorite roads for about 45mins and now the site glass is completely back to normal.

    Cheers.

    Tim
    #7
  8. yuu

    yuu Been here awhile

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    I see you're another NoVA resident - this cool damp weather we've been getting can promote 'the fog' especially on an outside bike.
    #8
  9. 1P8RIOT

    1P8RIOT Been here awhile

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    Short trips in cold weather can cause this. Especially on air cooled bikes.
    #9
  10. timspong

    timspong Been here awhile

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    Well just thought I would post this follow up. I went for a 175 mile ride yesterday through 4 states and it didn't clear it up. In fact the site glass became completely white and I couldn't see the oil at all. I changed the oil as a precaution and it was absolutely fine. Apparently, the condensation loves the site glass and builds up to a layer of white gunk. Following the advice of a Ducati mechanic, as Ducati's suffer from this, I just put a heat gun on low and heated the glass and it cleared it right up. Apparently, there is no regulator on the oil cooler so in cold weather the oil doesn't heat up enough to clear the condensation. I guess it's the same with the new v-strom.
    #10
  11. 1greenmachine

    1greenmachine Long timer

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    Have you looked to see if your losing coolant, if the oil got milkier the longer you rode then I'd lean towards coolant in the oil
    #11
  12. timspong

    timspong Been here awhile

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    No loss of coolant, as I have been checking it daily. The oil was absolutely clear as it was also quite new when I changed it. It seems that the hot glass attracts the condensation in cold weather and goes white on contact with the oil.
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  13. 1greenmachine

    1greenmachine Long timer

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    Okay just would hate to see something happen, I would figure that long of ride would got the oil hot enough to burn out the condensation.
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  14. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    Tape a piece of cardboard over half (or more) of the oil cooler for winter riding. Experiment, and only cover what is necessary to get the oil hot enough to burn off the vapor.

    175 miles and 4 states? Sheesh -- ride 175 miles in the southwest, and you barely clear one county...
    #14
  15. timspong

    timspong Been here awhile

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    Yea good idea. I hadn't thought of that. Thx
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  16. timspong

    timspong Been here awhile

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    Guess what? there is no oil cooler on the 2012 vstrom:eek1. Basically the oil filter housing is water cooled :huh so I guess it's back to the drawing board.
    #16
  17. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod I want to do right, but not right now

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    The oil cooler is integrated into the radiator.
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  18. 1greenmachine

    1greenmachine Long timer

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    What's your coolant temp when riding? You could try blocking off part of the radiator and see if that helps with the milky oil, just keep a eye on the temp gauge.
    #18
  19. timspong

    timspong Been here awhile

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    The coolant temperature is pretty well regulated as it is always 3 bars (? temp) no matter what the conditions are and I have ridden in the teens to over 110 degrees.
    #19