Fireblade Fountains

I finally got the carbs sorted on the Fireblade project (sense of achievement!) and when I fired it up they felt very responsive… but then a giant geyser of oily water spewed out of the valve cover exhaust pipe and hit the ceiling (!).  Never seen that before.

Rather than repeat the fountain, I put a pipe on it, ran it into a container and videoed the weirdness…

(it’s a 360 video, you can move the mouse to look around – like at the oily water dripping off the ceiling)

So the fountain happened both times I ran it, and the stuff that came out looked like watery oil rather than oil with some water in it.  Next step:  drain the oil…

… which looks like water.  That’s not good, and it’s something I’ve never seen before.  Why on earth would anyone ever put water or coolant in an engine like that?



I’ve done head gaskets on cars before and I’m pretty familiar with the consequences of oil mixing with coolant.  It usually goes both ways (oil gets in the coolant, coolant gets in the oil, but the coolant looks brand new and the level is good.  When running there is no bubbling in the coolant overflow (usually a running engine will force gas and oil back into the coolant reservoir if there is a blown head gasket).  As amazing as this sounds, I think the idiot who owned this before me filled the engine with coolant instead of oil, but I really can’t understand why.  It’s either gross incompetence or he sold me a bike with a known blown engine, which is a pretty shitty thing to do.  Incompetent or nasty, not a great set of choices there.

Next up is actually putting oil in the engine and running it again.  I’ve got some used stuff out of the Tiger which is the right weight.  If it works, then the guy who owned this thing before me might be the dumbest human in history.  Once I’ve run the old synthetic out of the Tiger and confirmed everything works, I’ll drain it and put some new stuff in.


My first sports bike has been a bit more baffling than the XS1100 (air cooled, nothing weird there other than the ownership) and the Concours sports tourer which had been through hell, but was owned by a guy who knew what he was doing.


The muppet who owned this bike before me will have me going top to bottom on it before I get it out on the road – I can’t trust anything that was done to it.

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