My motorcycle looks like Carlsbad Caverns.

W. T. F.

The Beemer's been running fine for once, which always makes me nervous.

And for good reason! So today, the temperature light went on. "That's odd," thought I, since it was 40F out at the time. I rode the rest of the way to work.

On the way home, no idiot light on the whole commute…until I pulled into my driveway. And when I parked, the bike smelled sorta funny.

I figured I'd check the coolant level just to make sure I didn't have a pinhole leak somewhere or something.

And then, when I took the oil cap off to remove the lefthand fairing, I found THIS:


I admit to shrieking like a little schoolgirl. What in the hell is that?
So against my better judgment, I looked at the hole where you pour the oil. ACK!


Carlsbad Caverns:


My motorcycle:


There are LAYERS of STALACTITES in my oil tank.

At this point I was yelling in my garage sounding like Ralphie's dad in A Christmas Story, FARKINGMUMBLE STUPID BEEMER GOTTA BE KIDDING ME FRICKING ZARKLE CRAPPIN

Here's what the oil sight glass looks like:


Now, to me, this looks like money. Expensive, time consuming, money.

My first thought is a blown head gasket, but the oil inside the tank isn't creamy looking. The bike does smell sweet though (er, not in a happy way) and, well, there's all that crap.

I'm simultaneously pissed off and grossed out….and now I'm off to plug the XT onto the battery tender since apparently I'll be riding that for the foreseeable future.

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11 Responses to My motorcycle looks like Carlsbad Caverns.

  1. RDRIDR (Gary) says:

    This is not a serious problem. You just happen to hit a tempture inversion. Wipe out the crap with a paper towel and change to oil. You will be fine. This use to happen to me all the time when I lived in Virginia.

  2. SRAB says:

    Sorry to hear about your troubles, but that is an excellent macro photo!!

  3. Red says:

    This made me giggle. Thanks.

  4. carolyn says:

    Gary: Hrm. I’ve had condensation in the oil before and it never made that much sludge. Considering that the temperature light was also on, I’m a little wary of just wiping off the sludge and riding the bike.

  5. Stephanie says:

    Sorry to laugh at your troubles, but that picture of Carlsbad rocked. 🙂
    Umm, we all know how much Stephanie pays attention to motorcycle mechanics, but that oil looks like what happened to the oil on Alma when it got a little seawater in it. That required only an oil change to fix (only, ha!) but the first time I saw curdled 90 weight I almost fainted. And the odor was truly something to behold- preferably from far, far away. Maybe it’s the same with your bike?

  6. Linda says:

    Hm, maybe you could make some money from giving tours?

  7. Mike L says:

    Make sure you’re not low on coolant or that your thermostat isn’t sticking. Has most of your riding been of the short-hop variety lately? That lets condensation form and stay, and doesn’t help the sludge situation either. You’ll need to change your oil a lot more often if that’s the case.
    p.s. I kind of miss your posts on the Z750S forum. Glad you’re still into motorcycling.

  8. 1P8RIOT says:

    I’ve seen this before too. Mike L. is right. Check your cooling system but alot of short runs in cooler weather will cause this. My air cooled Harley will do this in the winter if I’m only going back and forth to work. (about 15 miles) The oil doesn’t get warm enough and condensation forms. Look at it as a good reason to go for a nice long ride once a week or so. Keeping your oil changed more often in these conditions helps too.

  9. carolyn says:

    It’s not condensation, sadly. I ride every day, 15 miles each way (mostly freeway), in 40-50F temperatures.

  10. andrea says:

    omg, i thought the carlsbad cavern pic was a close up of your tank. even still, EW!

  11. Daithi says:

    If your engine is the F650 rotax single the pump has two sides. One side pumps oil and the other side pumps water. Between the two is a seal. Either the seal is worn or the shaft it runs on is worn and your coolant is leaking into your oil. Replace seal and impeller shaft and you are good to go for another 50.000 miles.

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