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Old 14th March 2011, 03:53   #1
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Unhappy Piston slap and oil leak in the Apache RTR

It's back to the lemon of a bike which I have Had taken it to a 300kms spin last weekend and while returning, I noticed a strange metal gurgling noise when I tried to hit 3 digit speeds. As I slowed down, it reduced drastically and stopped when hovered around 60kmph.

The next day, I observed that there was engine oil leakage and I hadn't taken the bike for a ride at all. I decided to observe if this would continue since I had seen a drop of oil after a service earlier and didn't recur. Now, there is continuous leakage, after the ride, albeit very very slowly, probably 2 drops per day. I couldn't take the bike to the service center since I was in the city and it was unused as well. Checked the oil level in the dip stick and it is full. The leak is not directly dripping from the drain nut, but rather from the side as per the stains created on the paper which I have laid below the bike. I still haven't ridden the bike not knowing what exactly the issue.

I'm wondering if there is anything to do with the thrust bearing change where a new gasket has to be placed in the engine. It's very, very depressing :(

Last edited by rdna : 14th March 2011 at 03:54.
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Old 14th March 2011, 10:05   #2
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Default Re: Piston slap and oil leak

i am sorry after reading the post again and again. i can smell anger, dissatisfaction. but what bike is it?
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Old 14th March 2011, 10:19   #3
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Default Re: Piston slap and oil leak

I suspect its the RTR 160, based on previous threads started by rdna.
Confirm please.
When was your last oil change.
Check the oil filler cap and the oil drain bolts for leaks, they are the usual suspects. If the drain bolt is loose, get it tightened.
After a full wash and dry, leave the bike overnight and look for any oil smears/leaks around the oil sump and the drain plug.
Leave the bike on the side stand overnight and you will surely see a smear of oil wherever its leaking from. (Lessons an old bullet teaches you!)
Lastly, check your front forks oil seals and forks from the bottom to the T joint themselves. They could also be the cause.

Cheers,
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Old 14th March 2011, 15:01   #4
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Default Re: Piston slap and oil leak in the Apache RTR

Quote:
Originally Posted by desideep View Post
i am sorry after reading the post again and again. i can smell anger, dissatisfaction. but what bike is it?
Quote:
Originally Posted by sriku View Post
I suspect its the RTR 160, based on previous threads started by rdna.
Confirm please.
It is indeed the RTR160.

Not pleased to read about issues again man. Has this started after the PG driven was changed or has it undergone any more replacements since the last time we spoke?
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Old 14th March 2011, 19:19   #5
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Default Re: Piston slap and oil leak in the Apache RTR

Quote:
Originally Posted by sriku View Post
I suspect its the RTR 160, based on previous threads started by rdna.
Confirm please.
When was your last oil change.
Check the oil filler cap and the oil drain bolts for leaks, they are the usual suspects. If the drain bolt is loose, get it tightened.
After a full wash and dry, leave the bike overnight and look for any oil smears/leaks around the oil sump and the drain plug.
Leave the bike on the side stand overnight and you will surely see a smear of oil wherever its leaking from. (Lessons an old bullet teaches you!)
Lastly, check your front forks oil seals and forks from the bottom to the T joint themselves. They could also be the cause.

Cheers,
Sriku
Thanks for the checklist. I'm sure that there is no problem with the forks. Double checked that. The drain nut is one that needs better inspection. How will the side stand help in identifying the source? I've gotten it on the mainstand now. I will not be using the bike this whole week until I get it checked at the service center.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhinav.s View Post
It is indeed the RTR160.

Not pleased to read about issues again man. Has this started after the PG driven was changed or has it undergone any more replacements since the last time we spoke?
This problem has come up only after I took it on a short speed run on the highway. I think managed to stay in 100kmph only for a second or two throughout the whole trip. The first signs of knocking showed up when climbing a hill on the return journey. Though I downshifted, the feel of a stress-free ride on the bike was not there. No problems with the flat roads, though. No more replacements are done after the PG Driven.
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Old 14th March 2011, 19:32   #6
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Default Re: Piston slap and oil leak in the Apache RTR

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdna View Post
The first signs of knocking showed up when climbing a hill on the return journey. Though I downshifted, the feel of a stress-free ride on the bike was not there. No problems with the flat roads, though. No more replacements are done after the PG Driven.
What time of the day did you ride out? Surprisingly, when I went to Coorg last weekend on the bike, I was also able to maintain 3 digit speeds only for a short time. It was not piston slap in my case but the bike was struggling to go past certain speeds in certain gears. This was in the peak afternoon heat.
Once i entered the city at night, i was able to revv it all the way till about 115 on the speedo in top gear without any of the problems i noticed thru out the ride. Hence a little confused what the issue is. Will need to call Joel soon and get it fixed as I have to travel again this weekend and planning to do it on the bike this time too.

Time to get the RTR180 (ABS) eh??
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Old 14th March 2011, 19:40   #7
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Default Re: Piston slap and oil leak in the Apache RTR

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhinav.s View Post
What time of the day did you ride out? Surprisingly, when I went to Coorg last weekend on the bike, I was also able to maintain 3 digit speeds only for a short time. It was not piston slap in my case but the bike was struggling to go past certain speeds in certain gears. This was in the peak afternoon heat.
Once i entered the city at night, i was able to revv it all the way till about 115 on the speedo in top gear without any of the problems i noticed thru out the ride. Hence a little confused what the issue is. Will need to call Joel soon and get it fixed as I have to travel again this weekend and planning to do it on the bike this time too.

Time to get the RTR180 (ABS) eh??
I thought this question wouldn't come up This was in peak afternoon and it was very hot that day. Initially, I suspected the oil becoming thin due to the heat and revving, but I am not sure about that.

RTR? No more TVS please.
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Old 14th March 2011, 20:27   #8
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Default Re: Piston slap and oil leak in the Apache RTR

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdna View Post
I thought this question wouldn't come up This was in peak afternoon and it was very hot that day. Initially, I suspected the oil becoming thin due to the heat and revving, but I am not sure about that.
RTR? No more TVS please.
Even I am not sure of the cause dude! Just had a hunch that it might be in the afternoon since the symptoms were somewhat similar to mine. And I know you will not touch a TVS bike with a barge pole even if they offer a 600cc bike for the price of a Ninja!!

Back to topic, when are you planning to get it checked at the SVC. Try riding it in the city during the night and see if its doing ok. Since its been quite sometime since you have last used the bike, no harm in testing it. Is it still leaking oil?
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Old 15th March 2011, 16:22   #9
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Default Re: Piston slap and oil leak in the Apache RTR

I think it is time you opened up the engine and had a look at the condition inside. I will ask around at my garage if any other RTR's have seen similar issues.
This is a long shot, but get the front disc assembly checked, and check if there is any resistance when you turn the front wheel(when its off the ground). I have heard instances where the front disc assembly was grating away on the RTR, while the owners complained of lower acceleration and mileage.
There is nothing better than a specialist mechanic who understands these bikes. Look for one. Perhaps people on this forum might know such guys near your location.
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Old 15th March 2011, 22:00   #10
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Default Re: Piston slap and oil leak in the Apache RTR

Quote:
Originally Posted by sriku View Post
I think it is time you opened up the engine and had a look at the condition inside. I will ask around at my garage if any other RTR's have seen similar issues.
This is a long shot, but get the front disc assembly checked, and check if there is any resistance when you turn the front wheel(when its off the ground). I have heard instances where the front disc assembly was grating away on the RTR, while the owners complained of lower acceleration and mileage.
There is nothing better than a specialist mechanic who understands these bikes. Look for one. Perhaps people on this forum might know such guys near your location.
Opening up the engine is the last thing I would do. The leak has stopped, but I still am not taking it around. I have a strong feeling this is because of the crappy oil which TVS uses. During my 3rd service, I had switched to Castrol semi-synth(same recommended grade) and during the 4th, I was forced to use the TVS oil since I was stuck with the gears and warranty. When I saw that the oil which they are using is also semi-synth, I was kind of relieved. I really don't think it is really a semi-synth oil.

I'm absolutely sure that there is nothing wrong with my disc brakes. My bike has been a guinea pig for all the mechanics and I don't want them to touch parts which are working normally.

A bit busy for this week. So, I will have the bike checked with the service center later.
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Old 15th March 2011, 22:32   #11
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Default Re: Piston slap and oil leak in the Apache RTR

Could you post some pics of bike and where you suspect the leak is from?
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Old 18th March 2011, 02:59   #12
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Default Re: Piston slap and oil leak in the Apache RTR

Here are the pics, but it is low res. Will upload the better quality ones soon. Since the leak has stopped, checked the oil level again. I think it's kind of low. The dip stick in one of the pics show full level, but trying it again, by screwing it all the way and taking it back showed a lower level. Will try again during the better quality pic

Also, decided to take the bike out, but when I started and idled for couple of minutes and try to rev a bit, there was strange smell. Not sure if it is of oil, but it definitely wasn't smelling normal. Shut down the bike immediately and didn't ride. The engine also seems to struggle now. When I revved a bit hard, it struggled to go beyond 4k RPM.

What should I be looking for now? A busted oil gasket/seal? If so, where is this? Could this be from the change in the thrust bearing which needed the removal of engine? I was never told that it would involve the engine when it would be changed.
Attached Thumbnails
Piston slap and oil leak in the Apache RTR-17032011073.jpg  

Piston slap and oil leak in the Apache RTR-17032011074.jpg  

Piston slap and oil leak in the Apache RTR-17032011079.jpg  

Piston slap and oil leak in the Apache RTR-17032011080.jpg  

Piston slap and oil leak in the Apache RTR-17032011081.jpg  

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Old 18th March 2011, 14:47   #13
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Default Re: Piston slap and oil leak in the Apache RTR

Oh boy! Oil level in the last pic is looking way too low for comfort.

Why dont you try and drain out the oil and replace it with fresh oil. Since there was leakage of oil, i suspect it would have led to the low oil level but the pic is showing way too low.
Wipe the surface where the oil might have leaked on the engine case etc. to prevent it from burning and fire up the bike again. See if you are getting the smell still. Else take it to the SVC as soon as and get them to check it.
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Old 18th March 2011, 21:25   #14
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Default Re: Piston slap and oil leak in the Apache RTR

^Right, I guess I'll wash the bike once thoroughly and also get the oil changed. Now, the question is which oil? I want to switch to Motul(same grade as recommended) and stick to it. Do you guys suggest any particular dealers in Bangalore? Castrol has a lot of fakes out there, so want to make sure that I get the right one.
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Old 18th March 2011, 21:32   #15
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Default Re: Piston slap and oil leak in the Apache RTR

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^Right, I guess I'll wash the bike once thoroughly and also get the oil changed. Now, the question is which oil? I want to switch to Motul(same grade as recommended) and stick to it. Do you guys suggest any particular dealers in Bangalore? Castrol has a lot of fakes out there, so want to make sure that I get the right one.
If its Motul Synth that you are looking for, I am not sure of the dealers. But my neighborhood oil stockist has the original Motul Mineral oil with the JASO MA certificate and the number etc as outlined in the engine oils thread. So you will get the Motul mineral easily with most stockists. The synth is a big challenge as the shop guy also said that the dealer is not supplying to them and there is a lot of demand for that oil.

Another option is Agip Synth which is a good alternative but again a little hard to find. This is supposedly very good and recommended by Joel for RTR's and also by the mechs.

I would stay away from Castrol at all costs as my experience has not been good with it anyways!!
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