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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
does anyone have any idea why Yamaha replaced the oil dip stick with a glass peep hole? it had to cost them more to put a port hole in the side case than it cost to put a little piece of plastic on the oil fill plug. I miss the dip stick, I have a tough time trying to make sure the bike stays vertical while almost standing on my head trying to see oil in a little hole. on top of that, now I can't smell or feel the engine oil so it is hard the stay in touch with any engine problems:confused:
 

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My 2 cents on the issue... Sight glass is used on many things from motorcycle engines to tractors and so on instead of a dipstick for the main reason of preventing contamination. The less you have to open the case, the smaller the chance of mud, dirt grime, lint from your rag, etc getting in there and messing stuff up.
 

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More likely it has to do with the position of the stick itself. Doubtful there is a straight run where the cap with the stick could go through to reach the sump for an accurate reading.

GaryL
 

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For the most part on a TW, if you see oil and air above it in the sight glass, weather the bike is perfectly verticle or not, you are good to go. Makes it easy to check everytime you get on. Need to touch and play with the carcinogen called oil? Change it every 1000 miles. It is only a quart.
 

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With a dip stick, I'm always trying to remember if I'm supposed to screw in all the way or let it rest on top of the threads when I check the oil. Sight glass takes away that guess work and introduces the "is it vertical" question. I just hold it by the right handlebar with the wheel straight and feel for the balance point while looking at the sight glass. It helps with the eye hand coordination. :p
 

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I think a little of this has to do with the age of our tech. Back in the seventies all my DT's had sight glasses. That said I bought one of these when they quit putting centerstands on bikes. Use it quite a bit. It has earned its space in my tight garage.

1000 Lb Capacity Motorcycle Swingarm Rear Stand
 

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Agree with Irppcer . Also , sight glass is more effective , IMO . On checking oil for TW : Put bike in 1st gear , push forward until bike stops.....due to being in gear . Kneel down by rightside of bike ( keep the kickstand down btw, incase the bike "gets away from you " during this procedure . Now , IF you have the balance and physical strength , gently lean bike vertical.....towards you ( I usually grasp the least widest part of the seat.....just prior to the seat going up the tank )......your left knee can also be used as support against the bike while your right knee is on the ground . Your right hand is also on the ground for support . You can now peer into the sight glass .
AGAIN , the aforementioned is only for riders who possess the balance and strength abilities..... no liabilities on my part mind you . If my rambling makes since , I've found this to be quite effective.
 

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Agree with Irppcer . Also , sight glass is more effective , IMO . On checking oil for TW : Put bike in 1st gear , push forward until bike stops.....due to being in gear . Kneel down by rightside of bike ( keep the kickstand down btw, incase the bike "gets away from you " during this procedure . Now , IF you have the balance and physical strength , gently lean bike vertical.....towards you ( I usually grasp the least widest part of the seat.....just prior to the seat going up the tank )......your left knee can also be used as support against the bike while your right knee is on the ground . Your right hand is also on the ground for support . You can now peer into the sight glass .
AGAIN , the aforementioned is only for riders who possess the balance and strength abilities..... no liabilities on my part mind you . If my rambling makes since , I've found this to be quite effective.
Just don't put your knee or hand down in dog poop in the yard like I have before checking...the oil. :worked_till_5am:
 

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I have a KTM with a dipstick, and the oil is supposed to be checked warm. Damn thing never reads the same twice, give me a sight glass any day!
 
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Discussion Starter #11
yah TWilight, wouldn't a center stand be nice, that's another of my bitches
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Larry, your answer made me remember a lack of oil pressure problem I had on a 1967 cl175 Honda back in the 60's. a small piece of plastic got stuck in one of the check valves in the oil pump, man that was had to find. so I guess your 2 cents is worth a quarter thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I guess they both have their +'s I just find the sight glass awkward
 

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It seems that with bikes without a center stand that a sight glass is the best way to go. Think about checking the oil with a dip stick and a side kick stand; one hand to hold the bike vertical, one hand to remove the dip stick and wipe it on your pants and reinsert the dip stick and remove again all while still holding the bike vertical. Then think about a sight glass, hold the bike vertical and look at the window. Really simple compared to a dip stick.
Jim
 

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The bike is light and easy to center with one hand. Just - first, this is important - have it in gear so it doesn't roll. Standing on the sightglass side, pull the handlebars or fork tube (locking the steering fork is good here) and center it. Pull it towards you until it feels weight balanced. Lean down a little bit and you should be able to see the oil in the window. If the oil is fresh and not so dark, lean it back on the stand - and you'll see the oil run away from the glass.

Once you get used to it, it takes about four seconds - a LOT easier than screwing around with a dipstick, trying to read the oil level on a black plastic rod...
 

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It seems that with bikes without a center stand that a sight glass is the best way to go. Think about checking the oil with a dip stick and a side kick stand; one hand to hold the bike vertical, one hand to remove the dip stick and wipe it on your pants and reinsert the dip stick and remove again all while still holding the bike vertical. Then think about a sight glass, hold the bike vertical and look at the window. Really simple compared to a dip stick.
Jim
I'd say that of any motorcycle.

The ONE exception I would make is on my recently-sold Suzuki Burgman 650. A great ride in a lot of ways; it did have its quirks. It had a sightglass - and on the LOW side, so you couldn't use it without the centerstand. AND...the plastic cowling meant the sightglass was deep in a peephole. You really did have to get on hands-and-knees after centering the bike, before starting it.

HOWEVER...it also had a very-useful Low Oil warning light when the engine was running. It was accurate and gave indications of when the oil was reaching that warning point - coming on on cold starts on a parking pad that was nose high, for example. That was my warning - I'd be okay for a few hours but it was time to get out the oil bottle.

The TW is infinitely better.
 

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My Solution

As a newbie I wondered how to get an accurate reading of the sight glass. I figured there was some trick the old hands had mastered, that I hadn't learned yet. This was my solution:

000 My Solution.jpg

These levels are a few bucks at Home Depot or Harbor Freight or most any hardware store. They have a magnetic strip on one side to make them stay put (no, it's not a new permanently installed item!). You need to have the front wheel straight. Using this you could cut some wood pieces to put under the kickstand to make the bike level, but then you have to hold it, lest it fall over on you while you're checking the sight glass.

If you have a wife, or other riding mate, who will level with you when needed, while you check that glass, that's another easy way.
 
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