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Discussion Starter #1
After changing the engine oil for the first time my oil light is on. MY oil level is where it should be, is this something to be worried about, or will it go away? My bike is the 900 custom. Thanks for any advice.
 

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Patriot Guardian
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Just checking to be sure, because others have overlooked this....

Is the engine running and the light is still on?

If not, the oil light being on when the engine is not running is normal.
If the engine is running and the oil light is on, then you have a problem.
A lot of times, owners adjust the idle too low, which can cause this, but it would not make sense for it to happen at the same time as an oil change.
 

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Brian, did you fill the new filter with oil before the install ? I have no experince with your bike but my last sportbike, a 12R, would at times need the oil filter to be purged of air to avoid the OP light. A simple yet somewhat messy fix is to slightly loosen the oil filter while the bike is running. Put a rag under the filter and loosen until you see a bit of oil leaking, then tighten and clean up the excess. It's always best to pre-fill your oil filter before you place it on the bike. The media in the filter soaks up the oil, you will drip very little on the install.
 

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Patriot Guardian
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Can't pre-fill on the Vulcans... the filters are horizontal.
 

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Can't pre-fill on the Vulcans... the filters are horizontal.
Hey Rich, I always pre-fill mine. I fill it about half way and let the medium soak up most of the oil before I put the filter on.
I realize its not a complete pre-fill but it makes me feel good....:lol:
 

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Patriot Guardian
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Hey Rich, I always pre-fill mine. I fill it about half way and let the medium soak up most of the oil before I put the filter on.
I realize its not a complete pre-fill but it makes me feel good....:lol:
I hear ya', and it's probably better than a dry-fill, but if the issue is purging air from the loop, it's not enough.

Air should not be a problem anyways, as the pump is on the intake side of the filter. If the pump has lost it's prime, pre-filling the filter will not help it.


Now thinking about Aifwikir's comment....

If the sediment screen was reinstalled backwards, that could be the problem.
The 900 screen installs REVERSED from how it goes into the 1500/1600 engines.... the opening goes toward the cap, spring and washer go in first.
On the 1500/1600, the screen goes in first, closed-end outward, then the washer and spring go in.
 

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Have heard of 900's failing to quickly prime, after oil drain. One guy said he leaned the bike at a steep angle to the right, then started it while straight upright, with success.

The oil screen does go with the open end facing out, as mentioned.

The new oil filter may be stuck in the open by-pass mode.

If the oil looks to have air bubbles, let it set awhile before trying it again.
 

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If there was enough pressure in the filter to bypass the medium via the bypass valve I don't think that would trigger the low pressure light. Even if it was stuck open, I doubt it would go. On older bikes the red oil light means "there is NO OIL PRESSURE AT ALL" and is usually followed within a few seconds by catastrophic noises. ;)

I dunno if the fancy smancy 900 has a more accurate oil pressure system in place. It'd be nice though.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The light stays on while the bike is running. I did adjust the idle prior to the change. Also, I did not remove the oil screen, is the sediment screen the oil screen? I will try it again tomorrow and post, thanks for the replys!
 

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Patriot Guardian
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Okay, ya, if you lowered the idle to make it sound like a Harley, bring it back up.
Vulcans are overhead cam engines, Harleys are pushrod. Rocker arms can handle a few minutes of oil starvation at the top end while sitting at a light, but that will destroy the cam bearings in a Vulcan.

Idle spec for the 900 is 1000rpm +/- 50 (1600 is 950 +/- 50).
Honestly, 1,000rpm sounds high, but not as high as my dirtbike.... idle speed for my Yamaha 250F is around 1900!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I will bring the idle back up, After the change I let it run for about 3 minutes and then checked the fluid level it was good,then I rode it up and down the block, no funny noises. thanks everyone, I will check it tomorrow and let you guys know.
 

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Did the light go off while you were riding, only to come back on at idle?

If it didn't go off at all, then the idle isn't the problem.
 

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Once I lowered my idle without a problem.
Changed the oil a couple days later and the oil light came on during idle.
Slight twist of the throttle and the light went off.
Raised the idle and things were back to normal.
 

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Okay, ya, if you lowered the idle to make it sound like a Harley, bring it back up.
Vulcans are overhead cam engines, Harleys are pushrod. Rocker arms can handle a few minutes of oil starvation at the top end while sitting at a light, but that will destroy the cam bearings in a Vulcan.

Idle spec for the 900 is 1000rpm +/- 50 (1600 is 950 +/- 50).
Honestly, 1,000rpm sounds high, but not as high as my dirtbike.... idle speed for my Yamaha 250F is around 1900!
hey rich there seems to be a $hit load of 900 guys setting their idles too low. I read this on delphi also! and each person that does this writes in about the oil light. lol I think there should be a newbie 900 warning on forums. (before you post read this). btw is it true that in the past alot of HD rod and bearing issues were from customers setting their idles too low and HD oil pump require (i think 750rpms) to start to get oil.. i cant remember it all its been years...i remember something about looping an HD was asking for death of the engine.

chris
 

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hey rich there seems to be a $hit load of 900 guys setting their idles too low. I read this on delphi also! and each person that does this writes in about the oil light. lol I think there should be a newbie 900 warning on forums.
Ya... and a good reason that Kawi should put a TACH on every bike. The rider may or may not care about it in operation, but it can save $65 at the dealer, or $20 and the time to hook it up for a cheapie diagnostic tach, which won't read correctly on the 900 anyways due to the single-fire system.

Never heard of this problem with the 1600, and I can idle mine down to the point that it will stall out. Could be the 900's sensor is set higher than the 1600's, or the 1600 may have a stronger oil pump?
btw is it true that in the past alot of HD rod and bearing issues were from customers setting their idles too low and HD oil pump require (i think 750rpms) to start to get oil.. i cant remember it all its been years...i remember something about looping an HD was asking for death of the engine.
I haven't heard of that, but the Harley owners I hang around with don't run the idle too low.
 

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Rebel Rider
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I hear ya', and it's probably better than a dry-fill, but if the issue is purging air from the loop, it's not enough.

Air should not be a problem anyways, as the pump is on the intake side of the filter. If the pump has lost it's prime, pre-filling the filter will not help it.


Now thinking about Aifwikir's comment....

If the sediment screen was reinstalled backwards, that could be the problem.
The 900 screen installs REVERSED from how it goes into the 1500/1600 engines.... the opening goes toward the cap, spring and washer go in first.
On the 1500/1600, the screen goes in first, closed-end outward, then the washer and spring go in.

Yes it will. Some 800's also had the same problem of loosing prime. Pre-filling the filter helped. But you have to fill, start, remove, fill again several times to get it to work.


The reversed screen could be the problem though. He definately should check it first.
 

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Make sure that the oil is at a good level and then I would just give a few days. If you're still good on oil then you might want to find out what is wrong. I usually try not to jump to conclusions to quickly.
 
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