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2001 zx6r issues after filling with too much oil, help please

1116 Views 74 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Zx6r 01 rider
Hi guys, I bought myself a 2001 zx6r a few weeks ago and I noticed while I was out that the oil was low. I topped it up and drove home with no issues. When I got home i checked the bike and l noticed the oil level was a lot higher than it should be (yikes) im guessing the bike was still warm when I filled it. I removed the oil and put fresh back in but 4 days later the bike just doesn’t feel right. It starts and rides as it should but I did smell some sort of burning the day after and now im worried I’ve done some damage. There might be a slight loss of power but with it being a new bike I’m not really sure. Only thing I’ve noticed is theres a lot of white smoke during the start up and the neutral light stays on but very dim if that has anything to do with it. I’m currently using it for work and I don’t want to do anymore damage than I possibly already have so any help would be appreciated
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You flooded your air box with oil. Lift the tank pull the air box out clean all the oil. While you are there stick a new air filter and plugs in it.

how over full we talking here? If the motor isn’t knocking then you prob dint foam it up enough to oil starve. But your crankcase breather tube probably filled the box.
It was well above the top line of the sight glass unfortunately. There was also foaming on top of the oil but I removed and changed it as soon as I noticed hoping I hadn’t done any damage to the bike. I’m no good with the mechanical side of things I usually let my local garage sort any problems I have not that I’ve had many. I was just wondering if it would be ok to ride the bike in this state? I have work tomorrow and I need to use the bike to get there but don’t want to ruin it anymore than I already have. And thank you for answering it’s been stuck on my mind since it happened kinda hoping nothing would come from it
Well top of the line isn’t a crazy amount over. You are checking with bike level right?? . Not ideal to ride it but prob want destroy it (if it’s what I’m thinking is your problem) It’s really hard for me to know how much oil it puked into the air box. It’s only a few bolts tho to Check. Pop the side cover on the tank lift the tank and remove the air box lid. Clean the oil out of the air box and throttle openings as much as you can. Hopfully the filter isn’t to drenched but dap it with a towel. Filters should have oil anyways so prob be fine to reuse the filter.
The smoke is just the oil getting sucked in with the air and mixing with the gas. So it’s not great on your plugs. Everything else I’m sure will recover. If it’s not knocking or rattling then you’re good to go. You’re just basically running two stroke (premix) gas in a four stroke. Prob why it feels underpowered. You could prob keep riding it and it will eventually burn all the puked oil out and stop the smoking. Your plugs should probably be changed soon tho. They may start fowling with all the oil in there.

keep in mind there is a lot of “probably” in that.
I filled the oil just under the top line while the bike was upright but I’m guessing she was warmer than I thought because the oil level was well above the top line by the time I had got home let it cool properly and checked it again. Thanks for the info hopefully the weathers a little nicer tomorrow so I can give it a good clean up before taking it to a garage. I’m thinking a service would probably be the best thing to do they can at least tell me if there’s any damaged to the bike or not. Thankfully there’s no rattling or knocking and the white smoke from the exhaust wasn’t half as bad this morning but it’s definitely a bit slugish in 2nd and 3rd but not to noticable. I’m hoping there’s just a bit of oil in the air box as you mentioned. Appreciate the help buddy I’ll come back here and let everyone know the outcome so there’s at least a post for someone to check in future if they have the same problem I had. Thanks again
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If you're not doing any stunting, the tolerance for an overfill is pretty stupendous. I wouldn't want to go long term +1 quart, but anything less than that is unlikely to have long term impacts. Scumbag is spot on. Cleaning out the air box and swapping the plugs is relatively simple maintenance and something anyone should be able to do at home with simple hand tools..... or you can pay the shop rates (>$100/hr) and wait for them to get around to doing it for you.
I use the bike everyday but definitely not for stunting so I should be safe gents lol the issue I have is the weather is terrible here (been snowing for days and now we have a lot of rain) and I don’t have a garage so doing the work myself is a little difficult for me right now but I do plan on getting my local mechanic to have a look asap. I was reading up online on what damage I might of caused and I was a little worried when I seen things like the head gasket might have gone etc. I know it’s hard for you guys to say without actually seeing it but what are the chances I’ve caused real damage? Would there be tell tale signs by now? I’ve been riding the bike to work 4 days straight and the only thing I’ve noticed is a slight loss of power and a lot of white smoke coming out of the exhaust on start ups but it goes after the bike has warmed up. Oh and there was a pop (bang) that came out of the exhaust when I started it up earlier, I was assuming it was rain water because she was sat outside my work for 12 hours but I thought I’d mention it just incase it was related to the oil problem I have. Once again thank you for taking the time to help me I really appreciate it gents
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All the symptoms you are describing is from oil puking in the air box. Check and make sure the oil doesn’t have coolant and coolant doesn’t have oil and your temps are staying normal. Very good chance you have no head gasket issues. Like RJ said it takes a decent amount of overfill and riding to start catastrophic damage. The biggest issue is the oil lever is too high and being sloshed around by the crank and foaming it up. Foamy oil want pump and lubricator the upper part of the motor.
so if your oil is clean and staying at the same level. Coolant is clean as staying at the same . Temps low. No ticking or rattling now that you have the oil level fixed you are probably 99% just fine.

with the white smoke at start up does it smell “sweet”. I’d probably check that coolant level asap and make sure it’s not loosing coolant. There is likely hood you do have a leaky gasket and that smoke is coming from burning coolant
but Hopefully
the reason it does the smoking first thing is while it sits there that extra oil in your air box has time to drip and run down into your throttle body openings so on first start up you are burning a bunch of oil with your gas and then as you get going it’s then just mostly burning fuel and air.
The coolant level is definitely something I haven’t checked and don’t know how to check. How would I do this please? I’ve been keeping an eye on the oil and it looks fine and staying at the same level so that’s a good sign. Once again I have no idea how to check the temps of the bike I’ve only had a it a few weeks and I can only a see a temperature light on the dash and that only comes on when I first turn the electrics on. There was a weird smell (unsure if it was sweet) coming from the bike the day after I put to much oil in but seems to be fine ever since. I’d like to add the bike has made a ticking noise since I purchased it. I just assumed this was the same issue I had with my 05 r6 sounds like it’s coming from the dash area but never had any issues. Would the ticking come from the engine? Sorry for all the questions I’m just trying to learn more about the bike. As you are probably aware I’m no mechanic or anywhere close I just love riding them. thanks again
Everything ticks. If the temp light isn’t coming on then you’re good. It’s called a “dummy” light it will only come on when it reaches unsafe temps. If it does you need to shut it down and let it cool. . I can’t remember if your year has a digital read out. Someone in here may. You may scroll through the dash settings and see if one pulls up. To check the coolent tho ya just simply remove the radiator cap make sure it’s still full and stays full. I get my years mixed up till I’m looking at it. 99% sure yours is on the right side below the left clip on. You may have to pull a push pin and lift that side of the dash filler plastic to actually see the cap tho. Then it’s just simply taking it off and looking. Should be full. Your overflow jug should be half full ish. It will have min and max fill lines on it. You can usually get to the overflow jug without lifting the plastics so just seeing that it’s got some would be a decent start. Don’t confuse the overflow with the radiator. If it’s a plastic screw on lid. (Like a soda bottle) then That’s your overflow. The radiator will be aluminum and be more of a wing shape than round and will just turn a half a turn or so to latch. Make sure it’s latched back tight. They can be a little tricky being there a little hard to get your hand down. If it’s not tight it’s gonna steam and leak coolant.

this being a older bike and new to you. It would be a good idea to have a mechanic look it over good. Give it a fresh go over. Coolant flush. Spark plugs,filter, brake pad wear and brake fluid is always a good idea to flush and bleed. Every year is recommend i usually don’t stick to that honestly but least every 2-3 tops on my personal stuff. Check your chain slack. Just a good visible inspection by a guy who works on bikes for a living. It may cost you a little now but that could save you a ton in the future. That or get you a service manual and give it a go yourself. But I’d recommend having it all done first by someone who knows what they are doing and then you be aware of how it is and when you do routine look overs you will notice anything that’s changed or not performing as it was and address those as you get to them.

You never did answer if you are checking the oil window with the bike level and not on the side stand? If it’s full on the stand you are still a decent amount over filled
After hearing what you guys have said im definitely going to get it serviced just to make sure everything is working as it should. I know the guy I bought it off was top notch at looking after his motorcycles and fixing them, but with this oil issue god knows what damage (if any) has been caused. Hopefully the mechanic won’t mind sharing some knowledge about the bike so I can stay on top of everything in the future. And yes the bike was upright when I refilled it not on the side stand so im assuming the oil is fine buddy. Can I ask what should I order for the bike before taking it to the garage? Air filter, spark plugs anything else? I’d rather get them before I get it serviced it’s just a matter of them changing them for me and not having to wait for them to get the parts ordered which would take even longer. I can’t thank you enough for this man i appreciate it so much!
Be careful on the ordering. Lots of shops. Me included really hate that. It’s hard to stand by your work when using parts you arnt familiar with or recommend and chances are you want save anything . With that said 99% of everything. Plugs, oil, oil filter. That’s stuff every shop keeps in stock. You could ask the old owner what oil he has been using and maybe just a stick with that I typically like running whatever oil an engine has always ran or whatever quality brand the shop uses will be fine. Now the air filter. That’s something you could research see what you want. I’d honestly stick with oem if you arnt trying to squeeze every ounce of power you can. Oem is going to filter better than a strictly race filter. Some guys love K&n I want use them anymore. I did about 3 days riding at the beach with one and had sand by pass it and the other bike we took had a bcm race filter and it stopped 100% of the sand. So idk. That just scared me away from K&n.
Brake pads. I’d also stick with street or oem. Race pads sound like an upgrade but it’s hard to ride hard enough on public street to get them heated enough to work as well as they should. And they don’t come with much pad life so I’d avoid that. Spark plugs id run ngk cr9e and that’s plugs any motorcycle shop will have on the shelf.
The garages near me are always busy and usually take extra time when ordering parts so I was going to buy them online next day delivery hoping they could squeeze me in if I already had what was needed. By the way this is not to save money I work 12 hour shifts with a 4 on 4 off shift pattern and I really need to get the bike ready for Friday. If they can’t do it at least I’ll have the parts I need to do it myself because realistically I need to use it for work. So even if I mop up the excess oil, change the air filter and spark plugs and do another oil/ filter change at least I’ve done something to not make matters worse that’s how I’m looking at it. Kind of a shitty situation to be in but it’s my own fault. With a bit of luck the garage will save my ass but it’s not looking good. Thanks gents
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The garages near me are always busy and usually take extra time when ordering parts so I was going to buy them online next day delivery hoping they could squeeze me in if I already had what was needed. By the way this is not to save money I work 12 hour shifts with a 4 on 4 off shift pattern and I really need to get the bike ready for Friday. If they can’t do it at least I’ll have the parts I need to do it myself because realistically I need to use it for work. So even if I mop up the excess oil, change the air filter and spark plugs and do another oil/ filter change at least I’ve done something to not make matters worse that’s how I’m looking at it. Kind of a shitty situation to be in but it’s my own fault. With a bit of luck the garage will save my ass but it’s not looking good. Thanks gents
Forgot to mention the coolant which I will check in the morning. If I’m really stuck I could take it over my farthers garage and have a crack at it myself which is probably what I’ll end up doing if the garage can’t fit me in
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I’ve been watching videos and gathering as much information as I can online and it definitely seems like a lot to ask, not just fitting the parts but actually getting them as quick as I need them. Knowing my luck I’d probably end up making the whole situation worse so I think my best bet is to ring a few mechanics/garages and see if they can help me before I even attempt it. Still can’t believe how many people are sharing their knowledge to try and help me you guys are legends
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I’ve been ringing garages all morning and I’ve finally managed to squeeze it in on Thursday (thank fuck lol) I’ve ordered myself air and oil filter along with 4 spark plugs they should be here tomorrow or Wednesday so it’s all falling into place for me. I’ll report back to let you know how it goes but fingers crossed she’ll be sweet.Thank you all so much! my mind can finally be at rest knowing I won’t be doing anymore damage to the bike
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The shop may ask you to keep your parts rather than use them. If so, no worries. Next time you will be set up to do the work yourself.
I understand and I’d be absolutely fine with that buddy but a lot of the garages near me usually have to order the parts in (depending what was needed) hence the reason I took matters into my own hands, but the main reason for that was if the garages were to busy like they normally are I could at least do it myself. But after two hours of phone calls someone managed to squeeze me in and he seemed quite happy that it was just the labour needed. If I had more time and wasn’t in my current situation I would let the garage advise me on what parts to get and let them order/fit them but with me needing the bike for work by Friday I had to order them asap so that leaves me more time to install them myself if that makes sense. Thank you
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Got the bike back today and it seems like I was a little worried for nothing, it definitely needed the service because the air/oil filter and spark plugs hadn’t been changed for years but there wasn’t much oil sucked up into the air box like i originally thought, the thing that surprised me the most was the price he charged me it was astronomical but the main thing is she’s back running sweet! Thank you for the help gents I really do appreciate you sharing your knowledge with me. For anyone in the same position the best bet is obviously taking it to a garage but they can also take advantage so if you have more confidence and better weather conditions I’d recommend doing it yourself as the parts aren’t cheap and the labour certainly isn’t depending on who you go to. I really hope this forum helps someone in the future because I had no luck finding information on it, and most importantly I hope you learn from my mistakes I know I certainly have. Safe riding everyone!
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With the prices of everything rising I’m definitely gonna start doing the same thing myself as long as this horrible weather allows me to anyway lol one last thing gents, when I first had the bike it would start as soon as I pressed the electric start in but now I find myself having to give a little bit of throttle just to get her fired up. I assumed it was because of the oil situation at the time but now everything’s been sorted and the issue is still there I was just wondering what it could be? When she’s warmed up to operating temp it’s fine but on a cold morning I need to pull the throttle back a touch for her to start up I’m assuming this isn’t normal
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You should never have to hit the throttle on this 23 to get it to start regardless how cold it is. I’d have a different dealer look it over.
Just wondering if this is something that should of been taken care of or at least flagged up during a service? My initial thought was perhaps the carbs need cleaning but as you are probably aware i have no idea. This is only my 3rd 600 with my first being an 08 cbr 600rr, then and 05 r6 and never had any issues with any of them until I got this zxr6. The bike definitely wasn’t having these issues when I first bought it so I’m wondering if it’s something I’ve caused or if they’ve masked the issues just to sell it
you are turning on the "choke" which is actulaly an enrichening circuit........
01, you are carbureted...........

and What did the shop say the ended up doing for your service with the astronomical price.... as you put it.....
This is my first carbureted bike and still don’t have a full understanding of how everything works hence the reason I’m asking for help, but just by your blunt answer im guessing I need to. The shop basically put on the parts that I purchased, that included air and oil filter and 4 spark plugs. They also greased my locks and that’s about it by the sounds of it. I know oil isn’t cheap and neither is the labour but I wasn’t expecting it to be expensive as it was even if I was happy to know my bike didn’t have any damage caused
Btw thank you for the help I just don’t understand what half of it means sorry, I have very basic knowledge and I definitely need to start learning not just riding
Oh it’s a 01. I was confusing this with another thread with the guys 23. But yea like riverz said the enrichment is all that should be needed if it’s setup properly

And fyi. For non mechanic people an enrichment knob and choke is the same thing lol.
Thanks for clarifying that lol I just went and tried starting the bike and it just doesn’t want to start, but with a little throttle (which I know is bad) helps the bike start up so what sort of indication does that give? When I first bought the bike I had no issues. I put in a new battery and as you know i just got it back from the garage yesterday after having almost a full service. Shouldn’t the start up be something they would of picked up on and should of mentioned?
I’d imagine if a bike came in my shop for anything and I had to hold the throttle to get it to start I’d address it.

once it’s started and warmed up what is your idle set at? Normal running without the enrichment turned on.
Yeah that’s exactly what I thought man but not a single thing was mentioned, but the guy I was speaking to seemed like he had a lot of knowledge when it comes to ninjas in general. Im not to sure I’ll go and check but I’m assuming it’s lower than what it’s suppose to be
There should be a lever on one of control pods, that enriches the mix manually when the engine is cold. If that is stuck 'on' then your bike will always run rich even after it warms up. If it's clogged up, it will be hard to start when cold, even if you try and use the enricher.

Carbs gum up on the slow, low volume circuits, first.
Where can I locate the lever on the control pod please I’ll check it
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