Idled bike on lowish* oil

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12/26/2019 5:11 PM

Hey guys,

First oil change on my 2019 KTM 250sx-f. Super annoying as the drain plug hex is not actually 12mm but closer to 13mm.

Anyways after changing oil, I'm pretty sure I let the bike idle for 2 mins with about 800-850ml of oil in it. No revving etc. Any chance I was starving the pump pick up? Basically filled it up with 1100ml (incorrect I know, s/b 1000), and took a bit too much out. After the initial idle, I let the bike cool down for a minute and checked the oil sight. There was barely any oil showing in the sight even with it leaned a bit towards me. That is when the panicking ensued.

Any issues idling with lowish oil? Trying to sleep tonight.



12/26/2019 5:14 PM

Gonna need a rebuild bud.

In all reality chances are you’re totally fine. I would make sure it has the proper amount in it and forget about it. Remember, bikes usually end up on their side sooner or later and that doesn’t blow them up, so they’re pretty hardy as long as you’re in the ballpark.


12/26/2019 5:21 PM

Wouldnt worry about it.


12/26/2019 5:26 PM

Go back and check it in an hour. By then all the oil will have drained back down and you’ll see it in the window.


12/26/2019 5:28 PM
Edited Date/Time: 12/26/2019 11:01 PM

Your bike is probably fine. The pickup is at the bottom of the sump.

Also, go ahead and toss that 12mm to the back of the drawer because 13 is the new 12. Austrian bikes aren’t built to JIS standards.


12/26/2019 5:36 PM

I ran my 06 Honda 250f out of oil once. Put probably 40 more hours on it before selling it years later and never blew up haha. You should be dialed.



12/26/2019 9:06 PM

I know for sure Team Green Kawasaki would run 500cc of oil in their riders race bikes back in 07-08. Probably did for many years after as well, but I know for sure those years they did. Kawi recommended 1100cc those years in the manual.

With all that being said, with 800 in your bike, you’re fine!!


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12/26/2019 9:57 PM

Is there a bolt on a KTM that a 12mm wrench actually fits on?

Euros and Japanese do things differently.


Go for it! Don't let a little thing like fear, or common sense hold you back.

12/26/2019 10:08 PM

The drain plug is 13mm. All M8 bolts, with hex heads, are 13mm on the Austrian bikes....Throw your 12mm in the garbage.

I am sure your bike is ok. The oil pumps are easily accessible on KTM's...take the cover off and look.


Tomac and/or Anderson for 2020.....

12/27/2019 9:08 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/27/2019 9:10 AM

So, I used to work at a motorcycle dealership that had a dyno. At one of our big open houses, we partnered with an oil company to demonstrate the importance of good oil by running an old beater bike (some '70s Honda... maybe a 400 or something,) on the dyno without ANY oil in it. We figured it would blow up within seconds. It actually held on, going full-throttle on the dyno, for about 5 full minutes. It was kind of embarrassing, actually, because we were trying to tell people to buy the expensive oil to avoid tragedy! When the thing finally started to go, it lost a lot of power and started smoking, but still kept running for at least 15 seconds before it finally locked up.

In any case, your oil pickup will probably continue to work even at very low oil levels, so you probably never even starved your engine for oil. If you did, idling is probably OK for a short while.


Braaapin' aint easy.

12/27/2019 9:14 AM

If you’re really worried about it you could pop off the valve cover and cam cap to inspect the journals and cams, but like others have mentioned, I wouldn’t worry.


12/27/2019 9:21 AM

It's fine for FS. They pick up with 250 ml of oil.


If the glass is half full it's twice as big as it needs to be.

12/27/2019 9:24 AM

Totally fine. Some bikes will burn off 100-300ml of oil between oil changes and their owners have no clue. This was especially common in the early 4 stroke days. Things are better now and bikes don’t drink oil as much.


12/27/2019 8:26 PM

monti248 wrote:

I ran my 06 Honda 250f out of oil once. Put probably 40 more hours on it before selling it years later and never blew up haha. You should be dialed.

I’d fire your mechanic.


You’re gonna love this neighborhood, every house here recycles.

12/27/2019 10:23 PM

Engine is probably destroyed. Will need a full rebuild.