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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello -

I have an 85 Shadow VT500 purchased last summer. The previous owner modified it into a bobber style, including shortened exhaust pipes and carb re-jetting / rebuild. I am not sure if he rebuilt the motor.

The motor usually runs terrific, and I ride it hard all the time...wide open throttle to max RPM.

The tips of the exhaust pipes point downward. I noticed that when I have the bike on my lift table, and I run the motor, I see a black-ish patch (discoloration on the lift table) where the exhaust comes out. When I examine this patch, it contains many tiny droplets of oil, black-ish in color.

Further investigation reveals it does this all the time: I start motor on my drive way, rev it a bit, and I see a darkened patch on the pavement.

However, when I ride, there is no blue or black smoke. In other words, the exhaust is clear.

I also noticed in the fall, after putting about 1,200 miles on the bike, that the motor frequently breaks up/sputters when I am at wide open throttle, beginning about 8500 - 9500 rpm.

I believe that the stock motor "red lines" at 9500.

I am not sure which came first - the oil in exhaust or the sputtering, or if they are related.

I am mainly interested in what could be causing the oil in exhaust (piston rings, head gasket...).

Thanks folks -

Mike
 

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Shadow VT700c 1986, ST1300 08
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With all that abuse I'm surprised that that's all you're getting.
Oil in exhaust means possibly one (or more) cylinder in need of new piston rings.
 

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99' Valkyrie/North Central Indiana
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Is the crankcase vent hose still attached/functional?
 

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I suspect it's due to 9500 rpm,,,
 
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'97 Spirit 1100 - Chandler, AZ
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Mike - Are you sure its oil? The principal byproducts of combustion are Carbon Dioxide and Water. Without long pipes to burn off the moisture prior to exiting the pipes, I wouldn't be surprised if its just moisture mixed with exhaust soot. A too-rich mixture will exasperate the problem, generating lots of wet, black sooty exhaust. If it's definitely oil, I agree with the other posts that the piston rings are probably due for replacement. - Kevin
 

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99' Valkyrie/North Central Indiana
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Well if that case, I would look and see if any oil is in the coolant. The two VT500's I've seen in garages, both had blown head gaskets. I'm surprised you're still running with that much oil usage. Most oil I ever used in 5,000 mi. was 4 ounces.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You are 100% correct in that I paid 1500!

It currently runs terrific, save for the occasional sputtering at 9500 ish RPM.

Sounds like my best bet is to not push the motor so hard so frequently and continue enjoying my small investment.

This is my first bike, and the 1500 was very much well worth it, as I had a ton of fun with it and learned a lot.

There is a popular cruising spot just 5 miles from here called Port Jefferson Village, Long Island, NY.

Most of the riding I do on it are those short trips, and occasionally a 28 mile round trip to work.

I have a Suzuki GSX-R600 that I will use for performance, and save the Honda for short cruises.

In the meantime, I built an entire shop for the bikes in my home garage. A dream since I was a teenager.

Folks in this forum have been extremely helpful. Thank you all for that.
 
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