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Discussion Starter #1
So I’m not sure what’s going on with my oil. I changed the oil, started it up, then it looks like a mocha frappe. I can’t tell whether it’s just air getting into the mix somewhere, or fuel maybe. But any insight would be appreciated. I’m thinking whatever is causing the problem is gonna be bad. It’s an 01 Sportster 1200.



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South GA Redneck
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If fuel is getting in the oil, you should be able to smell it. Some bubbles or foaming is normal with these bikes. If the only problem you’re having is a few bubbles in the oil tank, I wouldn’t worry about it.


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weird member
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Oil normally looks like that when running (kind of foamy). After it sits a little while and cools off, does the oil still look frothy?

I dunno how frothy is normal though, I never look that deep in.
 

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Make sure you follow the directions for checking the oil on a Sportster . . . oil has to be checked hot after the bike has been running otherwise you may not get a correct oil level reading. Run your bike, wait a couple minutes, and check the level to make sure it's not overfilled.
 

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The scavage side of the oil pump is much higher volume than the pressure side. It is this way to be sure the engine sump contains as little oil as possible - a dry sump. It will pick up air. A properly designed oil tank will act as a separator and keep air from entering the pickup for the pressure side.
 

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2004 Ultra Classic
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I do not know but awesome picture.
 

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Retired citizen
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If there's also white mayonnaise like stuff on the oil cap seal it could just be condensation buildup. A lot of H2O whipping up in the oil.
 

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Pretty sure this is due to condensation in the engine. Happens during winter month where you don't ride it a lot. Driving short trips doesn't allow the engine enough time to burn off the water vapours. Over time, this milky sludge builds up and accumulates. Change the oil or go through a few hour long rides..
 

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What already been said about some moisture. I get some when doing short hops around town. Will get some even after coming off frwy 30-60 mins. That is some healthy looking mocha oil. Post it to Starbucks see what kind of reaction you get if any.
 

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If this was MY bike ---
I would take a hefty sample ( a pint - when the oil is HOT) , out of the oil tank & place it in a clear glass JAR and allow it to COOL and to settle down
Then you will have a better idea of if there is any SEPARATION, Condensation, etc Etc ETC (OIL floats on water / condensation)
I'm not sure if it is FUEL contamination that the thinning will separate - but if GASOLINE is getting in the oil, your OIL LEVEL may INCREASE in the tank
are you using Genuine H-D oil in the proper viscosity ?
 

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It could be moisture, but since you said you just changed the oil, I would believe that the return pump picked up air when you re-started , after the chance. Check the oil, after riding for a day and see if the foam clears.
 

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Retired citizen
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OP can also contact Blackstone Labs. They'll send a special sample bottle free then you fill the bottle with oil and send the bottle back to them. In turn they do a complete oil analysis and send the results back via snail mail and email. Only $25.00 !
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hey everyone. Thanks for all the helpful feedback. I’ll be going back to the garage this weekend to check the oil, see if the foaming dissipated. I’ll make sure the oil levels are good, and top it off if needed. I’ll run it for a bit and check it out after.

It’s a little too cold to take it for a ride, but the next chance I get, I will. It sounds like the general consensus is that it’s not a big deal. The oil didn’t smell of gasoline, but I’ll double check that just to be certain.

Also, Blackstone Labs is something I’ll have to check out. The bike is getting up there in age, so it’s probably a good idea to check the oil out. Thanks for the tip!


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I'm not sure if it is FUEL contamination that the thinning will separate - but if GASOLINE is getting in the oil, your OIL LEVEL may INCREASE in the tank
Have that much fuel in your oil fumes would be very noticeable. Little spark wont have to worry about issues with foaming anymore. Just need a another bike after being released from hospital.
 
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