I don't have a Stratoliner, I have a VS 650. I'm pretty sure there are no oil pipes or lines coming out of my crankcase, so I'd be interested in learning exactly what it was that leaked. I'm assuming the bike has an external oil cooler or oil filter?
Also on what other Vstar bikes is this engine used?
I can address some of the questions about the engineers that designed the bike. Every part and component on a system has a Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) rating in hours, which gives a very good projection of how long that part will last before it fails. Things that are going to be difficult to replace are required to have a very high MTBF. But its still an average over all the bikes that are made. Its possible to get a few parts that were not made correctly, like an O ring with a defect. When a part fails way before it should they even have a name for that: Infant mortality. Usually those things fail within the first 10 to 100 hours the bike is run, so after you have put 4000 miles on a bike, you have gotten past all those, and the bike is broken in, and should be good for 80 to 100k miles.
There are reliability engineers who track all the failures and repairs of all the bikes sold, and keep a running track record of the MTBF of the entire bike for every model sold. That information is used for the next generation designs, so they know what parts are causing problems. Some companies like Yamaha and Honda do this like a religion, others... not so much.
Also in many companies the engineers that designed a system actually do go into the factory and build the first 10 to 100 systems, to make sure they have not missed anything, or designed a system that is difficult or error prone to build and test. Its called the pilot line assembly. Then they document the assembly procedure, fixing any issues they found, and "throw the project over the wall" to the industrial engineers and production department.
After that if something goes wrong with that product things get really exciting for the design engineers. If there is a problem and the production line goes down, its almost like an alarm goes off: LINE DOWN! LINE DOWN! LINE DOWN! and all the engineers have to drop what they are doing and work 24/7 to find the problem and find a way to resolve it. A production line that is down is like shoveling money into a furnace.
EDIT: when I refer to the system the engineers have designed, I'm referring to the entire thing, the motorcycle, computer, aircraft, car... in this case we are talking about motorcycles.
Last edited by KCW; 02-03-2018 at 08:51 AM.