Ok, I have to make a confession: I am an ignorant helicopter-motorcycle-parent. What, you might ask yourself, can be so difficult about controlling the oil level of a motorcycle? If an expert like me is working on it, there are lots of things that can go wrong:
My trip to the Turkish city of Eskişehir was very windy. Although I was driving with a maximum of 120 km/h obediently, Cleo was so hungry for fuel, that it made me wonder. In deep sorrows I sent out a help-message to my trusted Triumph mechanic Pit.
Pit, the bike is broken.
I: “Pit, the bike is broken. It needs a lot more fuel than usual. “
Pit: “This is due to your driving style. Just make sure that the bike has enough oil for the engine and everything will be fine. “
After a restless, almost sleepless night, I immediately checked the oil level before the scheduled departure of my more than 500 kilometer trip to Cappadocia. And I turned gray: the window where you normally see the oil level was completely empty. I filled in the small amount of spare oil I carry with me, but it did not have any effect on the empty window. How could all the oil been gone so fast? I had controlled it in Munich before departing to my world trip. During breakfast (I hardly could eat) I googled and in the end was sure: the engine failure was imminent. After that short while my world trip would be over because I had not checked the oil level every day! I besieged the barely English speaking staff of the hotel (no, I can not ride the motorbike to the next gas station because that will damage the engine!) until they instructed one of the poor waiters, to guide me by foot (a very silent walk of 20 minutes because we did not share any language). Due to the motor that in my opinion needed lots of oil, I went for a four liters canister to save Cleos life. Quickly I sent a message with the oil data to Pit, who replied with a peace of mind that nearly made me cautious in my very precarious situation:
Bike in upright position!
Pit: „You fill in oil to the highest mark. After 1000 kilometers you tell me, how much is gone. And you check the oil level of the bike with it in a upright position!“
In deep doubts that I will even make 100 kilometers more I jacked up Cleo on her center stand – armed with a hopper and my 4 liter canister to get her properly oiled. Lo and behold, suddenly the oil was back to the top mark of the window.
Note to myself: If it says so, don’t be lazy and do check the oil level in an upright position. Kickstand is NOT an upright position.
Note 2: Due to violent wind fuel consumption may rise to unimagined heights.
Swap oil for alcohol!
Since Pit demonstrated to be incredibly good in solving my (nonexistent) problems, I sent him one more question:
I: “Pit, what do I do now with the four liters of oil?”
Pit: “Swap them for alcohol.“
How can you not listen to his wise advices.