How to check a BMW oil level sight glass

Updated July 19, 2017

BMW motorcycles feature a sight glass as opposed to the more traditional dipstick to check the oil level in the engine. A sight glass is a small circular glass window that allows you to see into the engine case and determine the level of oil in the engine. Always remember to follow the guidelines on oil selection listed in your BMW motorcycle owner's manual when adding oil to your engine. Monitoring the oil level, and regular oil changes, are important maintenance procedures that can help your BMW motorcycle live a long and healthy life.

Ride the motorcycle for 15 to 20 minutes.

Park the motorcycle and place it on the side stand. This will allow oil to drain out of the oil coolers and provide a more accurate measurement. Let the motorcycle sit on the side stand for at least 10 minutes.

Put the motorcycle on its centre stand.

Look through the oil level sight glass. You should be able to see the oil halfway between the top and the bottom of the glass.

Add oil if the level is below the sight glass.


If your BMW motorcycle is not equipped with a centerstand, have an assistant look at the sight glass while you hold the motorcycle upright.


Do not overfill the engine with motor oil. Never add oil above the level of the sight glass.

Things You'll Need

  • BMW motorcycle oil (as needed)
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About the Author

Jeffrey Caldwell has been a freelance writer for over five months and has published over 250 articles on websites like eHow and Caldwell writes articles on a wide range of topics including travel, camping and automotive mechanics. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Millersville University.