Oily mess!

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So, today I took the Kaw triple out for a ride. Beautiful day, great ride – and once again, my luck held… As I rolled back into the driveway I saw (and smelled) more than the usual quantity of oily smoke. Key off, roll to a stop. Hop off, have a look. There is two-stroke oil dripping all over! The back wheel is coated.  Dribbles oozing down the frame tubes… WTF?

At first I thought the engine cases had developed a bad leak – but it was definitely not 10W-40 engine oil (used in the gearbox). It was purple-black two-stroke oil. And it was coming from the oil tank. The side of the oil tank.  The sight “glass” (it’s plastic) had worked itself loose! This opened a quarter-sized hole in the full tank, allowing the top-third of the oil inside to pour out – and all over everything.

Amazingly, it fell out in the driveway, with the bike barely moving… not 5 minutes earlier, when I was running 70 on the open road!

So, just a clean-up. Not a seize up!


  1. You are very fortunate that you found this in the safety of your driveway. An engine seize up on the highway does not sound good. I am assuming that you could have ruined your motor or worse.

    • Yup!

      I have been running pre-mix, but have dialed it down to almost nothing (whatever old gas-plus-oil is still in the tank, mixed with the straight unleaded) so had the oil tank run dry while I was booking along at 70… could have been ugly!

      As it was, just messy.

      I covered the bike in Simple Green (great stuff for cleaning without staining finishes; very safe to use on almost anything) and gently cleaned her up. Screwed the sight plug back in – and am thinking about ways to secure it extra-tight so it doesn’t shake loose again.

      • RTV in the threads? I am trying to visualize how it works, I am guessing a clear plastic piece that just screws in as a plug.

        • Yeah, it’s a little plastic screw-in top. The threads are such that it’s very hard to really tighten it up. So, I used some “black” RTV on the threads, as well as around the perimeter. It’s sealed tight now!


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