I've been smelling a burning oil my motorcycle, a 81 Suzuki gs450l. If I sit long enough at a light it can smoke.

I finally spend some time gave her a bath and proceeded to let run in neutral long enough to find the source of the smoke. It's coming from the crossover in the exhaust, which is under the frame of the bike. It is the lowest spot, so I'm thinking oil is pooled inside?? I spent some quality time with a flashlight looking for any signs dripping from the oil pans or gaskets above and didn't see anything new.

How do I diagnose or treat further?

1 Answer 1


A bike of that age probably has some engine wear and no doubt has exhaust soot and oily gunk in the pipes. The cross over is a great place for gunge to rest. Its normally the lowest point on the bike.

The lazy option would be to repair the join so it doesnt leak. New flange gasket, rubber ring seal, clamp etc. A bit hard to say without seeing it.

The more expensive option is replace the exhaust. A quick google shows replacement 2-into-1 exhausts with welded joins. It'll probably save you a few kilos too.

The lengthy option would be to remove and clean out your exhaust then refit with new seals and maybe some exhaust tape or cement.

If youre not afraid of having a go, remove the exhaust and inspect all of the joins. See if you can clean them and refit them.

  • Perfect, thanks. The crossbar had a clamp on it that rusted off a while back, but the pieces were so tight I couldn't work them loose.. Guess it's time. Commented Jul 2, 2019 at 13:46

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