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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,
So as the title indicates, I have an oil leak but it’s puzzling as I can’t figure out where it’s coming from. So to elaborate, it only leaks the first time I cut the motor. Meaning if it’s been parked a week it will not leak the whole time it’s sitting there, but if I take it to work which is about a 4 mile stop n go type ride, it’ll leak when I first park it. I’ll see 2-3 drops under the side stand area and that’s it. It’s been doing this for a while so my thinking is that a drop here and a drop there eventually adds up so I decided to check the oil level today.

I hate to admit it but getting the damn bike on the center stand is an anxiety inducing experience for me. Even though I did it I always feel like I’m going to drop the bike.
But anyway, I look at the site glass and it’s pretty impossible to see, So I’m guessing the site is just dirty. I start the bike and run it a little bit at various RPMs for a few minutes trying my best to replicate normal use for a short ride and then I shut it. I dropped back to the sight glass with my phone lit and I can see the oil making it’s way back down. I noticed it’s quickly making its way to the “H” mark. So here’s my first question, How quickly should it settle back down? I assumed oil would be slower.

My next thought is, if it’s full then how is it staying full because it leaks. I understand a small drop of oil spreads on the ground but this is consistent and I haven’t added oil so I’d expect some change. The other things I considered is it was overfilled to begin with from the shop and it’s being forced out so where or my petcock leaks but living through that before I’d expect to see a lot more seeping out and in a different area. The drops don’t smell like fuel to me.

So I toss it to you Vulcan gods, what say you?
 

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See if the vacuum port and it's hose on the petcock is wet after a ride.

Touch the bottom of the shifter shaft, along the bottom of the side case and stator cover, check for oil. Check around the oil filter and oil switch. A full bottle of baby powder can puff clouds of powder and it will stick to oil. Check the drain plug and the oil screen cap .

It takes a bit for the sight glass to fill up, but hot oil runs quicker. It can take a while to be low on oil if it's only leaking a couple of drops.

You can also dab around with a paper towel.

Thought you were going to say you dropped the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
See if the vacuum port and it's hose on the petcock is wet after a ride.

Touch the bottom of the shifter shaft, along the bottom of the side case and stator cover, check for oil. Check around the oil filter and oil switch. A full bottle of baby powder can puff clouds of powder and it will stick to oil. Check the drain plug and the oil screen cap .

It takes a bit for the sight glass to fill up, but hot oil runs quicker. It can take a while to be low on oil if it's only leaking a couple of drops.

You can also dab around with a paper towel.

Thought you were going to say you dropped the bike.
Ha, no I gave myself a little “stop being a punk” speech and got it on the 3rd try. I think I finally realized it’s more about putting my weight down on the stand down as opposed to pulling it back.
So after I posted, I went through a half roll of paper towels to wipe the grime off the bottom and all the spots you mentioned. I ran it again and put it in gear a couple times. I left towels down but couldn’t get a drop out of it. So I let it cool and then started dabbing around with a clean towel. I think I may have it narrowed it down to either the drain plug or around one of the bolts on the dreaded stator case. If it’s the case then it’s staying that way for now. I think I need to give it a deep cleaning so I can see if it’s coming from higher up for sanity.
I find it odd that it didn’t drip at all though. I’m curious if leaning over on the side stand has anything to do with it.
 

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Side stand could make a difference.

Sounds like you've got it right for getting the center stand down. It's definitely about weight on the pedal, a little steadying with the right hand, and a little rearward momentum if you need it. But it is possible to just stand it up without moving the bike backwards much. On smooth concrete it usually just slides anyway.
 

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All my bikes are 'classic/vintage' so I use AT-205 reseal in the oil to condition the seals. Works great! Before using it with a wet clutch, I contacted the manufacturer. They assured me there would be no issues with our clutches because the product doesn't contain any friction modifiers. It really works
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
All my bikes are 'classic/vintage' so I use AT-205 reseal in the oil to condition the seals. Works great! Before using it with a wet clutch, I contacted the manufacturer. They assured me there would be no issues with our clutches because the product doesn't contain any friction modifiers. It really works
I’d consider trying this, I going to try and clean the bike up some more and try to figure out where it’s coming from.
 

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How does this stuff affect orings and gasket leaks.I'm afraid more than one of my "drops" are coming from either a bad oring or spot on a gasket that has failed to completely stay sealed over time. I really need a nice looking diaper to slip under the motor as opposed to the cardboard I slide under her when I remember in the garage.
 

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How does this stuff affect orings and gasket leaks.I'm afraid more than one of my "drops" are coming from either a bad oring or spot on a gasket that has failed to completely stay sealed over time. I really need a nice looking diaper to slip under the motor as opposed to the cardboard I slide under her when I remember in the garage.
AT-205 works on rubber O-rings and seals. Not with gaskets. My 83 Goldwing had the typical smoking after start-up. I used AT-205 once about two years ago and she hasn't smoked since. It also stopped a main seal leak at the front of the engine.
 

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Actually, as long as I can count the drops and they are not "puddles" I am not to concerned. I have seen puddles in the old days and yes, especially under some Harleys. Although in truth I think their problems were occasionally exaggerated. But then they were bought by AMF and almost seemed to be oil dispensers.

I seem to be plauged by leaky orings at the drain plug. Usually after about 2-3 weeks following a oil change. Maybe I should stop using Harbor Freight o-rings there and get one from Kawasaki.
 

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My brother had a AMF 1200 Super glide. It spent more time in the shop for warranty repairs than on the road. But, it would be worth done serious cash in today's market if he would've kept it.
 

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My brother had a AMF 1200 Super glide. It spent more time in the shop for warranty repairs than on the road. But, it would be worth done serious cash in today's market if he would've kept it.
Earlier HDs had a drip system to keep the rear chain oiled. Designed to drip oil! ...and mark it's territory.

Back in the day people really cussed about the AMFs.
 

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I knew I probably shouldn't have read this thread. I go back and forth between acceptance and frustration when it comes to my oil leaks which sound basically identical to yours mmart.

I park my bike right next to my MG so between the two of them, I've got oil-dri mats pretty much covering my entire garage floor!

I've at least made a valiant attempt to chase down the VN's leaks (the MG would be futile). I've replaced the spark plug sleeve o-ring, replaced the oil filter and drain plug o-rings and pressure washed that whole part of the engine to see where the newest drips are coming from. It seems they're generally coming coming through the RTV sealant around the stator case (applied by PO). And like mmart's, mine only drips after it's been ridden.

I like your idea, Dirtrack, about the AT-205. Do you know if it'll help re-seal red RTV?

Oh yeah, and about dropping the bike when deploying the center stand: I experienced my first drop a couple of weeks ago while changing my oil. (Hey, better than at a stop light right?) In my case, it was the reverse procedure. With nice oily hands, I grabbed the bars to lower it from the center stand to the side stand to drain that last bit of oil. Wobble, wobble, oh %$#! And down it went. Thankfully it landed away from the MG. Also thankfully, all that got damaged was the rear turn signal. And it screwed the right-hand mirror in really tight.

Speaking of which, is there any adjustment in that lower part of the mirror mount? At the mirror end, there's a stop nut which allows some adjusting of the mirror. At the perch end, there's a similar spot to slide a wrench onto but there doesn't seem to be any equivalent nut to make adjustment for the position of the arm relative to the perch. How would I go about adjusting that position?
 

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I knew I probably shouldn't have read this thread. I go back and forth between acceptance and frustration when it comes to my oil leaks which sound basically identical to yours mmart.

I park my bike right next to my MG so between the two of them, I've got oil-dri mats pretty much covering my entire garage floor!

I've at least made a valiant attempt to chase down the VN's leaks (the MG would be futile). I've replaced the spark plug sleeve o-ring, replaced the oil filter and drain plug o-rings and pressure washed that whole part of the engine to see where the newest drips are coming from. It seems they're generally coming coming through the RTV sealant around the stator case (applied by PO). And like mmart's, mine only drips after it's been ridden.

I like your idea, Dirtrack, about the AT-205. Do you know if it'll help re-seal red RTV?

Oh yeah, and about dropping the bike when deploying the center stand: I experienced my first drop a couple of weeks ago while changing my oil. (Hey, better than at a stop light right?) In my case, it was the reverse procedure. With nice oily hands, I grabbed the bars to lower it from the center stand to the side stand to drain that last bit of oil. Wobble, wobble, oh %$#! And down it went. Thankfully it landed away from the MG. Also thankfully, all that got damaged was the rear turn signal. And it screwed the right-hand mirror in really tight.

Speaking of which, is there any adjustment in that lower part of the mirror mount. At the mirror end, there's a stop nut which allows some adjusting of the mirror. At the perch end, there's a similar spot to slide a wrench onto but there doesn't seem to be any equivalent nut to make adjustment for the position of the arm relative to the perch. How would I go about adjusting that position?
About the mirror... I think you can loosen the nut then pivot the mirror stem to the desired position, hold it in place while you tighten the nut.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yes, you need to position the stem first then tighten that nut. Both my mishaps resulted in right hand mirror damage so I’ve done it a few times.
Before I rode home tonight I felt around a few spots with my hand, looked like a touch of clean oil was on the outside stator case. This appears to be the highest point I’ve found so far. If this is the cause then I'm to blame for my own insanity because I’m the last to replace that seal, at least it’s an easy fix. I’ll still try the AT-205 first.
 

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Ok, makes sense. That's how it's been with the mirrors on other bikes I've owned too. I just wanted to make sure before I put these in a vise and try to free that nut up. Both are so stuck that it's going to take some significant force to free them up. I didn't want to break them in the course of trying to budge something that wasn't meant to budge.
 
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