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Checked my oil today for the first time, 2700 miles, and realized how difficult it is to check the oil on a black dip stick. I have seen a chrome dip stick for a '13XCT, pg. 17, '13 Victory catalog(#2874825). Does anyone have this and is it easier to see the oil on a chrome dip stick? There is a dip stick with a thermometer on it, pg. 17 (#2858110), looks cool but the dip stick is still black. This is the first time I have had a black plastic dip stick on a bike, most are bare metal.
 

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the chrome are even harder to see than black.
 

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EZ PZ.
Blue towels and a slow hand.
Take a blue paper shop towel and (after you have pulled the dipstick, wiped it off, reinserted it and withdrawn it with enough care to minimize picking up extra oil from the sides of the tube) then while holding the dipstick pointing down pinch a dry spot on the towel around the stick high enough to be out of the oil and pull the stick slowly through the pinchpoint. Watch that paper. The towel will wet as soon as it oil contacts it. This method in use by a guy who has had one cataract cut out and is due to get the other one done next Wednesday

or

if you are manic compulsive obsessive, drill dimples up the dipstick. The oil will settle into them and read as little dark dots

or

if you are dexterous and have reasonably good eyesight hold a flashlight behind the dipstick at an angle that doesn't aim the light right in your face and the oil will show up pretty good.

Hijack alert...
Oil dipsticks are not perfect. They read within a range and heat, time since engine ran, angle of the machine, a whole list of factors will affect what they read.

Here's my manuals directions
1. Warm the engine for several minutes until operating temperature is reached.
2. Stop engine and wait for 3-5 minutes.
3. Place the machine on a level area and hold it in an upright position.
4. Remove dipstick (A) and wipe it clean. (in the manual there is a picture of a dipstick and it is labeled A. If you need a picture of a dipstick buy your own manual.)
5. Screw dipstick in until seated.
6. Remove dipstick and view oil level.
7. Oil level should be between ADD and FULL lines on dipstick. If oil level is low, add Victory 20-40 Semi-Synthetic engine oil to raise level to FULL mark. DO NOT overfill.

In shadetree speak that means
1. Check oil level hot.
2. Let the oil drain back into the mill before checking.
3. We put our hashmarks on the dipstick to reflect where the oil lays in the pan when the motor was sitting on a table. You need to imitate that condition at the gas station.
4, 5 & 6. No translation necessary.
7. First sentence. Your motorcycle will forgive you if you are a little light on the volume of oil in the mill.
Second sentence. This is what we put in the bike when we made it and we want you to put it in the bike now that you own it. If you disagree take it up with your buds on the interwebs.
Third sentence. If enough oil is good then too much oil is better. Not! No good comes of too much oil.

The manual also states elsewhere that the engine takes four and a half quarts of oil during an oil change if you change the filter too. Half a quart less, that's 4 quarts straight up if you choose to leave the filter. Odd direction maybe but apparently somewhere is a guy who does not see the point in changing his oil filter when he changes his oil. Could be polyester guy with the dragon head on his Vison but that's another thread. Again, the manual bases the volumes during oil change on running the motor first (hot oil draining) and draining on the kickstand (drain is at low point so most old oil expunged).

So you do the oil & filter change, dumping 4 and a half quarts of oil in and then go for a short putt, maybe five or ten minutes and then put the bike on the kickstand and check the oil. But it's low you say. No, no it's not assuming you did your part and tightened the appropriate tightenups and plugged the appropriate plugees. It's on the kickstand and that is what the dipstick of a motor with the right amount of oil in it reads when the machine is on the kickstand like it normally is when normal riders at normal gas stations check the oil. Learn that oil level indication on your dipstick, know it, mark it if you feel the need.
 

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I look at dipsticks for a living (and work on their cars), and plastic of any color is generally a pain to check oil on. +1 on the shop towel and a slow hand. I don't find it too objectionable myself, my gripe is the location. If you try to check the oil after any period of riding, you're basically begging for a second-degree burn. I keep my gloves on when I pull the stick to check if the bike's warm.
 

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EZ PZ.

4. Remove dipstick (A) and wipe it clean. (in the manual there is a picture of a dipstick and it is labeled A. If you need a picture of a dipstick buy your own manual.)
Great post Pop. Especially "If you need a picture of a dipstick buy your own manual".
 

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Checked my oil today for the first time, 2700 miles, and realized how difficult it is to check the oil on a black dip stick. I have seen a chrome dip stick for a '13XCT, pg. 17, '13 Victory catalog(#2874825). Does anyone have this and is it easier to see the oil on a chrome dip stick? There is a dip stick with a thermometer on it, pg. 17 (#2858110), looks cool but the dip stick is still black. This is the first time I have had a black plastic dip stick on a bike, most are bare metal.
do this put kickstand on 2x4 now check oil. I drilled a very small hole in my full line to help me.

Thermometer ones are all looks and are not very accurate. Yes chrome is easer.
 

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Go to the buywitchdoctors.com website. They have a replacement dip stick that allows you to remove the dipstick portion from the threaded portion without unthreading. It operates just like the dipstick in your car. Seems to be pretty cool. I planning on getting one for my XR in the near future.
 

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Great write up, Pop.

BUt I am a little confused. Am I supposed to be checking the oil while its on the side stand? Because I always just check it while I am sitting on it and the bike is standing straight up... Or were you just saying that the best thing to do is to learn where the full line would be when its laying on the side stand, and check it that way?
 

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Great write up, Pop.

But I am a little confused. Am I supposed to be checking the oil while its on the side stand? Because I always just check it while I am sitting on it and the bike is standing straight up... Or were you just saying that the best thing to do is to learn where the full line would be when its laying on the side stand, and check it that way?
bike has to be straight up an down. Putting the kick stand on the 2x4 puts the bike pretty straight up and down and makes it easier.
Now you will not half to sit on bike.
Make sure you screw dip stick in till it just bottoms out then unscrew it.
Flashlight might make it easier to see oil level
 

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U could paint the dipstick white to make it easier to read
 

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U could paint the dipstick white to make it easier to read
Given the high oil temperatures it will see, that paint will make its way into the engine in no time.

If you can't read it on black, get the chrome dip stick, and ride happily ever after. cheers
 

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I find that I can see the level easier on the side without the words on it. I end up twisting the dipstick around with the end pointing down until I can see where the line is.

Another recommendation is to check your oil normally to make sure it's full. Then put the bike on the stand, clean off your dipstick, recheck and mark the oil level. Still doesn't help seeing oil on a black plastic dip stick but at least you won't have to worry about holding your bike up while checking the level.
 
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