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I recently bought an 2003 xvs650, and on a 400 mile trip from Houston to Austin I noticed I had lost quite a bit of oil. My bike was full to the top of the window before the trip, and when i got home I barely saw any oil in the window.

Oil overflowing from the crankcase into the airbox seems to be a
common issue on these bikes, after doing some research i learned that you should keep the oil below the half waymark to try and remedy the situation.

Eitherway, I rerouted the crankcase breather to spill out by the swingarm. I didn't want to deal with another oily airbox, carbs, and filter (even though my filter stayed dry)

not very earth friendly i know, also removed the AIS system and pluged the ports with 45ACP casings... I just had a second thought though. Does the engine need that oily vapor recycled back? Or is it mainly for evironmental concerns?

Another thought. Im currently running 15w-20, i thought maybe a 10w-30 would help keep that oil i the engine where it belongs.
 

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I think the 15w-20 might be your problem

Owners manual for the 650 says 10W30 for riding down to 10F, and 20W40 for riding the bike above 40F.

I use the 20W40 and use the 40F lower temp limit as my sanity check for not riding in the winter.

The lower number is the viscosity reference for when the engine is cold, the higher number for when the engine is hot.

I have 36k miles on my bike, and never have to put oil in between 4000 mile changes. The oil never comes off the high mark in the window for the entire 4000 miles.
15W20 is like water compared to 20W40. You might be burning the oil off blowing past the rings or the valve seals, or it may be foaming up like bubble soap and getting sucked out of the oil breather hose into the carbs.

Pretty much anywhere in the US you should be good with 20W40 from now till the end of fall. I would change it over, just the oil, the filter is good for 8000 miles, and put the breather hose back on the air box.

Having it off the airbox will let it suck outside air, rain, moisture, dust.... into the crankcase. It doesn't just blow oil fumes out, it pumps air out and back in as the pistons move up and down in the cylinders. That's why its connected to the airbox, its behind the air filter.

Its funny, you subconsciously answered your own question with your "another thought". That happens a lot, its like something is simmering on the back burner till it boils over... Ive learned over the years to always listen to that little voice in the back of your head.

BTW, how many miles are on the odo? Until you get well over 60k miles I would not expect the bike to be burning (using) oil at all, well... unless you are riding the bike over 90mph...
 

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... Im currently running 15w-20, i thought maybe a 10w-30 would help keep that oil i the engine where it belongs.
15W-20... is that a mistype? I use 5w-40 synth year round in my 650 filled to the upper limit, not beyond, and don't have issues with oil blowing out of the breathers... no noticeable loss of oil on my >31K motor.

BTW, if you route the breather to 'outside air' I would attach a breather filter for the reason KCW mentioned.
 

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thanks Dio, I was just thinking about the breather filters. You can pull the hose off the air box, or use an air intake that does not have the breather connection, and get a little filter for the breather. You still have to protect it from ingesting water, unless you never ride in the rain.

Whatever you do, do not block off the oil breather hose - you will blow the seals out of your engine.
 

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As many have said, the 15-20 is too thin of an oil for our bikes. Just do a quick oil change to appropriate oil and you should be good to go. I would venture a guess that over 95 percent on the people here use a 15-40 or 20-50 either Dino or synthetic oil.



 

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Discussion Starter #6
Okay. Yeah, I confused it with the 5w20 I use for my F150.

I am currently running 15W40 Shell Rotella T4. So, i guess ive got the heavier weight oil in it already...

I did pick up a breather filter, so I can install that to the line i extended to my swingarm.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I lost quite a bit on that 400 mile trip, all out of the breather too... no other leaks. I guess i should check compression cause it sounds like i may have some bad rings. No noticeable smoke out of exhaust.

Ill probably run it and carry a pint of oil around in the toolbox, until i get around to doing the topend if thats the case.
 

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Just out of curiosity, how hard were you pushing your bike and for how long. Higher RPM for an extended time would cause the oil to foam up more than normal and the mist be sucked up through breather hose. There is nothing wrong with adding filter but I would use caution putting it back by the swing arm. The filter will get water sprayed by rear tire and the water can be sucked in. Also, even a small amount of oil dripping out will land on rear tire that could cause a very bad situation. Follow the link below, past middle of read is: Make your own crank case vent collection bottle. Just an other idea for you that had been tried and tested.

https://sites.google.com/site/vstar1100kb/home/5-modifications/4-intake-modifications

Good luck and keep us informed.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the input guys. Good points i hadnt thought of. I may end up sticking a filter on it and moving it to the inside of the toolbox. Should stay dry in there, and it will be in an easily accessable area i can monitor.
 

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BTW, IMO it doesn't really matter too much how hard you push the XVS650 for extended periods. I normally maintain 70-75mph on the highway between fuel stops. This weekend just for shirts&giggles I maintained 80-85 mph for about 200 miles (and as paranoid with my eyes peeled for cops as if I was transporting illegal substances) and the 650 just kept going without missing a beat. But then I shouldn't be surprised... first off it's a Yamaha and secondly it basically shares the same bore and stroke as sport bikes like the Suzuki SV650 and Cagiva Alazzurra 650SS and with it's low compression ratio this thing is able to rev. Seriously, the XVS650 motor is like a mid-displacement sport bike twin motor stuffed into a cruiser chassis.
 

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I was going about 65mph for about 3+ hours...
At that speed it should not have caused any issues. I would do a compression test. You stated that you were going from Houston to Austin. Do you live in Houston?
 

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how many miles are on the bike? If you are using or losing that much oil I would suspect rings or valve seals are leaking.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
At that speed it should not have caused any issues. I would do a compression test. You stated that you were going from Houston to Austin. Do you live in Houston?
how many miles are on the bike?
Currently living in The Woodlands, Tx.

The Bike has about 14,000 on it. I registered it for the first time since 2008 this year.

I weight about 160lbs and had trouble keeping it above 65mph. It was "boggy" above that
 

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At 14k thats just bearly broken in. Sounds like you have dirty carbs from sitting. Did it just sit for 8 years. If so, what did you do to get it started? I live in Katy. There are several members here in Houston.
 

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Currently living in The Woodlands, Tx.

The Bike has about 14,000 on it. I registered it for the first time since 2008 this year.

I ... had trouble keeping it above 65mph. It was "boggy" above that
Just to get this all clear, you just got the bike and it has not been run since 2008.

With only 14k miles on the odo its unlikely the rings are worn out.

One thing that is possible, if the oil return path in the rear head is blocked by gunk or bees or anything else that might have gotten in there and died, then the oil that pumps up to the cam bearings would have no way to flow back down to the crankcase. It would pool up there and then blow out the breather tube. There is very little flow to the cam bearing in the head, so it would take a while for a whole quart to drizzle out.

A 650 should have no problem completely stock hitting 100mph on level ground. If you have a big windshield or fairing then at least 85mph.

If the bike was not run for 10 years, the carbs may be gummed up or some of the jets may be blocked.

I'm sorry if you just got the bike and this is all bad news. With only 14k miles on it, the bike should have a lot of life left if you can get these issues resolved.

There is also the possibility that it has 114,000 miles on it. That would account for worn out rings.

We are throwing a lot of possible cause/effect things at you, Its most likely only one thing wrong, but we cant see the bike so all we can do is cover all the possibilities.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Welp. Its okay, im used to spending more time working on my bikes that riding them ?

I guess a compression test will tell me where im at on the oil issue.

As far as the bogging down above 65mph, im guessing my carbs have got some junk in em'. The first 20 miles or so i noticed a gas smell, only to see gas dumping out the carbs! Stuck floats... got home ran some seafoam in it and didnt have that problem anymore.

Guess it didnt solve the issue completely....?
 

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Welp. Its okay, im used to spending more time working on my bikes that riding them ?

I guess a compression test will tell me where im at on the oil issue.

As far as the bogging down above 65mph, im guessing my carbs have got some junk in em'. The first 20 miles or so i noticed a gas smell, only to see gas dumping out the carbs! Stuck floats... got home ran some seafoam in it and didnt have that problem anymore.

Guess it didnt solve the issue completely....?
Seems like you have a few nuts to work out. Carb rebuild pretty easy if you are handy with tools. Here a copy of 650 repair manual if you need it.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://braindump.donfick.com/media/9d/Yamaha%20v-Star%20650%20Shop%20Manual.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwiT9-TF69baAhWSA3wKHTJjDeIQFjAAegQICBAB&usg=AOvVaw2PwqYYtju1c6ZiIW6p1YpQ

Keep us informed.
 

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ok this might be a simple test or it might be really stupid...

if you open the oil fill cap, and you pull the breather tube to where you can blow thru it, if the return passages are open you should be able to blow air (with your mouth, not a 100psi compressor) into the breather tube (into the rear head cover) and it should come out thru the oil filler cap.

If that seems to be restricted and your cheeks puff up, then the oil in the head is not flowing back to the crankcase.

A compression test is a good indicator too for the condition of the rings.

I'm not sure what would be the best indication of a Vstar 650 that has rolled over its odo. With 14k miles there would be very little wear on the bike, the seats, the gas tank, the insides of the fenders... unless its been parked outside it should look... well not new, but not worn and beat up.
 
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