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I ride a Honda Stunner CBF 125 CC daily for approx 30 kms, with an average speed of 45 km/hr. I noticed that my motorcycle has been consuming too much engine oil like it not used to few years ago.

Now what I do, I purchase engine oil and fill it up on my own. But before that I have to check engine oil is there or not. Sometimes I checks on time, sometimes late and sometimes early. Question is :

  1. I checked on time: Why I cant feel anything, I mean how come motorcycle doesn't show symptoms of low engine oil. I never felt pickup, whitesmoke, smooth ride issues when engine oil was low.
  2. I checked early: what are the risks filling it more often. Mechanic at workshop always says engine oil should be changed in 2 months or after a run of 2000kms, but I think I am changing it after 1000kms (because it goes empty)
  3. I checked late: What are the risks of keep running a motorcycle without engine oil, and for how long I can run it?

Other Details of motorcycle :

  1. Purchase date: May/2009
  2. Total Run: 52052
  3. Run only in City with nice roads, less clutch break usage
  4. Filter was changed once at 15,000 kms
  5. Regular service at authorized service station after every 2000kms
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    52k on an engine that small without a rebuild is a lot. You've really gotten a lot of use out of the bike. Not an answer, just a comment. Don't be disappointed if the bike needs a rebuild. – Chris McCall May 1 '15 at 17:58
  • @chrisMcCall To be honest with you those bikes have a reputation for doing that sort of milage easily. Those bikes are really common in 2nd and 3rd world countries and mostly used commercially (packet delivery etc). You can find listings claiming they have 60k kms under their belts which is probably 60k reduced from something between 90k to 120k :) – Baran Zadeoglu Mar 11 at 16:33
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If you are checking on time, so the oil is low, but not too low, there should be no adverse effects on the engine - the 'min' mark on the dipstick marks the lowest you should ever let it go.

There is nothing wrong with topping it up too early - better early than late. Remember to only top it up to the 'max' line, don't put too much in!

If you did let it run dry, the moving parts would no longer be lubricated, and would be rubbing directly against each other - causing much more wear and heat, and probably leading to the engine seizing up and failing catastrophically. Don't drive it at all with no oil!

It is worth trying to find out where the oil is going - is it leaking from somewhere, or is it being burnt? Leaks should be fixed as soon as possible as oil leaking onto the road can be very dangerous, both for you and other road users.

It is always advisable to check your fluid levels regularly, and even more so if you know it's burning oil - weekly, and before any long journey...

  • you are all right about it, but I wanted to know"how long my engines can bear it w/o engine oil"? and I would really appreciate if you shows(elaborate) the mechanics (working) of engine oil behind the scene. And for your question, I am 100% sure that it getting burnt not leaked, so I am really concern about it, your advice would be appreciated. – paul Apr 30 '15 at 8:44
  • The answer to "how long it will bear it without oil" is zero. The wear will start instantly - even in normal operation, the vast majority of the wear of an engine occurs in the couple of seconds it takes for the oil to start circulating properly. – Nick C May 1 '15 at 8:40
  • The oil sits in the engine sump, and is picked up by the pump, which forces it, under pressure, around the various moving parts of the engine, such as bearings and camshaft – Nick C May 1 '15 at 8:42
  • If it is being burnt, it means the oil is getting past some of the seals, into the combustion chamber (cylinder). This means the seals are worn out. It's usually the valve stem seals that go first. Whether these can be replaced without dismantling the engine depends on the engine. – Nick C May 1 '15 at 8:43

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