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Oil smell


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I have enjoyed my 02 1150 Rt now for almost a month after so many of you helped me with your posts to check it out before I bought it. Thanks again.

I have put close to 1000 miles on it since and learned a lot about riding and the bike. Since the PO could not recall what weight of oil he used for the engine I figured I would change the oil. I used 4 q Mobil1 15/50 after letting the engine drain for a good hour. I also changed the filter. There are no leaks anywhere but ever since this oil change I occasionally get a quick smell of burning oil. Not always, just every now and then. Did I mess something up? Use the wrong oil? It did not have that smell before I changed it.

Thanks in advance.

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Start by checking everything you opened or removed/replaced in doing your oil service. Take special note of the oil drain plug and the filter as any drips from there will fall on the converter or other exhaust giving the burning oil smell. Check the filter you removed to be sure that the filter gasket is still on it. Sometimes they will stick on the engine - you end up with a double gasket and that will cause a leak. Same deal with the drain plug where a poorly fitted drain plug crush washer will drip too. Have a look at the O Ring on the filler cap to ensure it seals properly too.

If it started after the oil change - start there. If you spilled on filling the engine it sometimes takes a while to leak down onto the exhaust.

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Thanks for the response, I checked for leaks and can't see any. The area around the drain plug is dry, and around the oil filter as well.

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More likely to get oil burning from something you spilled when filling or from a leaking oil filler cap than from the drain plug. Be sure to check your oil level as well. If you put in all four quarts, you're likely a little overfilled.

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Morning Duncan1


As mentioned above, possibly just from a spill while servicing.


OR-- just because no leaks showing don't discount a slight seep that drops a drop of oil on the exhaust or cat converter once in a great while (I have seem many of these).


Using a clean white glove, or paper towel, or light colored cloth reach up on the rear of engine (on the top rear of crankcase porch) to see if ANY signs of oil there. (It takes very very little leaking/seeping from the rear area to make an oil smell while riding & especially stopped at a stop light)


If you find oil there then maybe switch back to a good quality 20w50 dino oil (non synthetic) as standard oil usually has more

engine seal conditioner in it.


There is also a drain valve on the L/H lower portion of the air box that allows draining oil from the air box lower chamber. It's possible your lower air box chamber is full of oil so you might (carefully) drain that.



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What does you oil sight glass show?


Or above the top?

That is a clue.

My guess you overfilled if you just poured 4 qts in.

And, like DR, the type of oil.

Not a biggie and fixable easily.

Next fill, put 3 1/2 in and check oil sight glass, add more slowly while you check.

Best wishes.

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Based on a sample population of...one, so take it with a small grain of salt, but I had a very similar experience when I started using M1 15W50. I started getting a whiff of oil at every stoplight. I even drained the stuff at one point and went back to whatever I was using prior. The real culprit was my oil fill plug assembly (this is a common problem). I started noticing a light film on the top of the fill cap. Imagined or not, it did seem to be worse with the M1, but that was not the root of the problem. I replaced the two plastic parts (maybe not absolutely necessary) and the two o-rings in this assembly and have been happily running M1 ever since. For your '02, THIS DIAGRAM shows the parts - items # 5, 6, 7, 8. Maybe not your issue, but a quick wipe of your fill cap area will tell you.

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Thanks everybody for the ideas. I have checked the old oilfilter which still has its gasket, I have checked the fill plug which was a little wet and cleaned it and the surrounding area. I checked underneath and wiped it alle super clean in case there is a tiny leak I am missing.

D.R., how do I get to the drain of the airbox????

I did fill 4 qts of oil when I changed the oil and the fill window is completely full. But why would that still create a burning smell 570 miles after the oil change???

Thanks again

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Take a look inside the airbox by means of removing the air filter and shining a torch (flashlight) into the mesh eare below it. If there is oil in that sump you should be able to see it.


If there is oil, you can drain the air box:

Remove the left-hand side panel

Look along the underside of the airbox and you will see / feel a plastic thumbscrew (which is vaguely similar to the kind of fitting which you remove when you add oil to the bike).

Rotate this fitting 1/4 turn and give it a good wiggle downwards. It should then come out.

Refitting is the reverse procedure.

If there is oil in there, make sure you are ready for it when you remove that thumbscrew fitting.

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I'll add that there is a thick o-ring on that cap from the air box drain. Make sure it's there and doesn't fall away. If the o-ring is missing the cap will not seat or seal in the air box opening.

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But why would that still create a burning smell 570 miles after the oil change???

Thanks again


I realize this is a different scenario, but, I once ran over a deer carcass (at night w/audible SQUISH) and I smelled dead animal odors for MONTHS!

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Just to update: airbox is dry, fillercap is dry and clean, I will keep an eye on the oil filter, even though it is tightened to specs I am suspicious that it might be the tiniest bit wet. Oil level is now visible at the very top of the window. Thanks for all the input.

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