Why is it so hard to check the oil on a Honda?
On the 2018 Honda Africa Twin DCT when the bike is cold after a few days, the dipstick shows oil on the top bar (full). After staring the bike and letting the motor idle for more than five minutes, I stop it and wait. After 10 minutes, the oil level on the dipstick shows barely over the low bar.
How do you know what is the right oil level on a Honda Motorcycle?
By following the guidance in the owners manual.
Checking the oil level on a cold bike is pointless.. it seems to have only succeeded in confusing you.
Its also pointless to compare the method for this bike with any other.
The manual for my 2018 bike says the following:
Idle the engine for 3-5 minutes.
turn engine off and wait 2-3 minutes.
place bike upright on a firm, level surface.
remove dipstick and wipe clean.
insert dipstick so it seats, but dont screw it in.
check the oil level is between the lower and upper level marks.
securely install the dipstick.
I have made this easier by doing two things.
1. I had a centre stand installed when the bike was brand new.
2. rather than doing this check after idling the engine, i do it after a ride. Put the bike on its main stand, go inside, get changed, make a drink and after 10 minutes or so. check the level.
by making this my 'habit' there is a lower chance of getting it wrong by doing it in one way and then in another. Doing it consistently in the way i do it means there is a consistent result that i can rely on. I even do the oil check in the same place. The place where my bike is parked when not in use.
So far the oil level has not moved from the upper 1/3rd in any meaningful way.