How to check engine oil level in a motorcycle?

What is engine oil and why does it need to be changed?

Engine oil refers to the oil that is filled in the engine, in order to help it run smoothly. Since there is a lot of friction and heat inside the engine, the engine oil is needed to lubricate the internal parts and reduce wear. Furthermore, engine oil protects the engine from rust, corrosion and other pollutants, thus keeping it in top shape for a long time. Thus, engine oil is essential for the proper functioning of the bike’s engine

Over time however, the heat in the engine can cause the engine oil to break down. The pollutants accumulated in the oil can make it dirty and grimy. All these factors hamper the functioning of the oil. When engine oil gets older, it also causes the oil levels in the engine to drop. When the engine oil level is too low, it can cause a lot of damage to the engine. Thus, it is essential to change and refill engine oil frequently, to keep your bike well maintained. 

What are the symptoms of low oil levels?

Unusually low levels of engine oil can cause a lot of damage to your bike’s engine. This is why it is important to keep an eye on the oil levels in your engine. There are certain signs that you should look out for, that can warn you that the engine oil needs to be changed. 

Some symptoms are:

  1. Warning light or beeping of the oil level indicator, if present
  2. Loud, metallic noises being emitted from the engine while braking or accelerating
  3. Increased vibrations coming from the engine
  4. Overheated engine
  5. Engine seizure

How to check oil levels in the engine using the oil gauge?

Most modern bikes have an engine oil level indicator near the handle, which alters the rider to the level of engine oil in the bike. However, if this indicator is absent or not working properly, there are other ways to check oil levels in your engine too. The easiest method to check oil levels in a bike is using the oil gauge. Here is how you do that:


  1. Park your motorcycle on a flat surface, since parking on a slope or incline will affect the oil levels. You can also park your bike on the main stand, to make it simpler to manoeuvre around it. 
  2. Read the owner’s manual to find out where the oil gauge of your bike is located. This is important since different models may have oil gauges in different parts of the bike. It will ideally be near the engine itself, easy to spot.
  3. Once you have located the oil gauge, remove it from the bike. If the gauge is fixed too tight, you can use pliers to do this.
  4. After the gauge has been removed, you would need to clean it since the gauge will generally show oil levels as full when it has just been removed. This is because oil inside the engine flows at high pressure, thus making the entire gauge wet. 
  5. At this point, you will notice that the gauge has two marks on it. These marks indicate ‘full’ and ‘low’ levels of oil. 
  6. Once the gauge is clean, place it back in the motorbike. However, do not screw it on tight, simply place it in and allow it to get wet by the current level of oil in the engine. 
  7. After a bit, remove the oil gauge again and take a look at the marks on it. If the wet mark of the oil falls nearer to the ‘full’ indicator, then your engine oil levels are fine. However, if the wet mark of the oil is nearer to the bottom or is higher than the top one, then that means you either need to refill the oil, or drain some of the excess. 
  8. You can also examine the colour and consistency of the oil on the gauge to understand how clean your oil is. If the marks on the gauge are dirty black or brown and the fluid looks cloudy, then it might be time for an oil change. 



Engine oil is essential to the functioning of your bike, since it lubricates the engine and protects it from pollutants. Over time, with heat and contamination, the oil gets dirty and the oil levels in the engine can decrease. Low oil levels can damage the bike and cause it to emit noises or overheat the engine. Riders can keep an eye on the oil levels of the bike from the oil level indicator near the handle, if it is present. If this indicator is absent, bike owners should use the oil gauge in the bike to check the oil levels as well as the oil quality in the engine. 



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