Living with Yamaha's Virago motorcycle can be relatively pain-free. With maintenance chores kept to a minimum, thanks to the Virago's reliable 750cc motor, the bike's owner can concentrate on the road ahead. However, one of the basic skills every Virago owner should have under his belt is knowing how and where to check the motor's oil level. A simple yet vital maintenance skill that does not require tools, checking your Virago's oil level should be done before every ride.
Shift your motorcycle into "Neutral" and start the motor, allowing the oil to warm by letting the motor run for five to 10 minutes. Once the motor has warmed up to operating temperature, stop the motor and turn the ignition switch to the "Off" position.
Stand to the left of the motorcycle locate the oil sight glass on the side of the motor. The sight glass is positioned below the front cylinder on the engine case.
Crouch down slightly and grasp the left handlebar with your left hand. Place your right hand on the seat and carefully push the motorcycle into an upright position.
Watch the oil sight glass as it fills and compare the oil level with the oil level indicator marks on the sight glass. Properly warmed oil levels should be as close to the middle of both marks as possible. If the oil level is closer to the lower mark, add oil slowly in through the oil filler cap to raise the oil level. A high oil level may be lowered by draining small amounts of oil from the motor with a hand pump.
Lower the motorcycle slowly onto its side stand.
- "The Professional Motorcycle Repair Program;" The Professional Career Development Institute; 2000
- "1992 Yamaha Virago Owners Manual"; Yamaha Motor Co.; 1992
- Enlist the aid of a friend if you don't feel confident enough to hold the motorcycle steady by yourself.
- Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images