Hi, new here, and new to biking. Just bought a v star 650 (2003) I'm an old guy and have bad legs, so didn't want anything too heavy. Bike seems fine to me. Here's my question, I have found the sight glass to check the oil, bike must be upright, I can't see an oil level in the glass, even with a flashlight. Is there ANY other way to check the oil? It's kinda hard to lay on the floor and have the bike straight up,too. Thanks,,,,,,,,,,
Use a small hand mirror the type that has a handle. Sit on the bike and hold the mirror down where you can see the sight glass. If the glass is clear either you are low or the bike is leaning to the right. If the glass is amber to black you are leaning to the left or the oil is too full. Clean oil to dirty oil. there is only a small window where things are right.
Be careful it is easy to over fill and that can be bad. You might just slowly lean the bike left to right and get a feel for it. If you changed the oil and measured the oil you added you should be OK. The sight glass is actually not a good system.
I agree,Dave, the sight glass is a very poor system, I use a telescoping inspection mirror, works fine. Yamaha has different little quirks that I really wonder what their design people were thinking, not the least being having to take your front pipe loose just to change the oil filter on the 1100 vstar. Got an old 750 Virago (82) the sight glass there too, but a least it has a center stand to make it a bit easier to check, also starter motors on the old Viragos were for sure a weak point. I guess they improved on that over the years, my 1100 starter seems so much stronger. Ride Free, Ride Safe
I just use the idiot light. The oil light on the 1100 is for low oil level not pressure. From past experience it shows the oil to be about 1 qt low. Maybe that is why Yamaha installed this, for us lazy old guys that don't want to stand on our heads.
Be aware that right after you change your oil, if you have not started the bike, you won't see any oil. This is because the oil is still very clean and clear, you really have to look hard to see the oil level. Once it is started even for a little while and stopped, the clean oil goes the places where the dirty oil has pooled, and it becomes slightly discolored and easier to see.