How Do You Check Your Motorcycle Oil Pressure?

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Your motorcycle needs constant checking and servicing to ensure that everything is running smoothly. A well-maintained motorcycle is a symbol of pride to the owner.

Also, a bike in good condition can last longer while serving the owner in full capacity. After all, these two-wheelers are too expensive to be neglected.


Motorcycle Oil Pressure

Taking your bike for service should be one of the most important routines on your schedule. Even though the services might cost you a few coins from time to time, you can get rewarded through using your motorcycle for quite a long time.

And one area of great concern is the oil pressure which needs checking frequently to ensure that your motorcycle engine remains in a good working condition. This is actually part of the maintenance routine that you must take seriously if you want your motorcycle to last longer.

Checking your motorcycle oil pressure is a relatively easy task that shouldn’t give you sleepless nights. Also, its kits and oil pressure gauges are cheap (check prices on Amazon), making the whole process affordable for you. Needless to say, you can diagnose and establish any potential issues that might cause your motorbike to underperform.

Much to your amazement, the bikes come with indicators on their dashboard to help you monitor everything including the oil pressure. These indicators can give you constant updates about the oil pressure to help you in making the correct diagnosis.

Depending on the magnitude of the problem diagnosed on your motorcycle, you can decide whether to service it by yourself or take it to a professional for advanced servicing.

Generally speaking, the whole procedure from diagnosing to serving is very simple and you can do it with the help of a service manual. But ensure that the information in the manual is based solely on the model of your motorcycle.

Nevertheless, the whole procedure is almost similar across all motorbikes found on the market today. So, how do you go about checking your motorcycle oil pressure? Read on to find out more about this important procedure.

How to Check Your Motorcycle Oil Pressure

First things first. Start by testing the oil indicator light to see how it behaves. You can do so by simply starting your motorcycle engine as part of this procedure.

If the oil indicator light remains glowing after a couple of seconds of your motorbike running, take drastic measures as soon as possible. But before you proceed to the next stage, check the oil indicator light to ensure that its circuit is working normally.

You should find that the connection to the light is perfect you can now go ahead with diagnosing the oil pressure in your motorcycle.

At the onset of the oil checking routine, your motorbike needs to be on the paddock stand or center stand so that you may move around freely while carrying out this important procedure.

Check the level of oil in your bike before carrying out any test or top-up. Then inspect the whole motorcycle for any oil leaks instead of wasting your time checking the oil pressure.

Sometimes the problem can arise from oil leakages as a result of a faulty gasket or seal and end up affecting the oil pressure. To an inexperienced person, this can be confusing and frustrating at the same time.

What happens when you find no leaking oil or fault? Do you just assume that your bike is in good condition and carry on with your daily activities?

When you find that there is leaking oil or any related fault you should proceed with testing the pressure. Let your motorbike cool down first before locating the oil gallery plug. Use the drip tray to hold the oil while removing the bolt to connect the pressure gauge.

You can choose to carry out this exercise alone or look for someone to lend you a hand unless you are pretty sure about the exact size of the adapter you require to attach the gauge on.

Otherwise, you will have to ask the other person to help you hold the finger over the hole as a way of minimizing the amount of oil that is being lost while trying to find and match the right adapter.

At this stage, the service manual comes in handy to save the situation. The manual has all relevant information on almost all the problems you are likely to encounter and their remedies.

For instance, the manual should be able to tell you the correct oil pressure that your motorcycle should have. Besides, the manual should explain in detail all the bolts and their sizes that are needed to fasten all the parts that make up your bike.

Make sure that the oil gauge and adapter are all fitted just before running the motorbike. With the gauge connected turn on your motorcycle engine to make it warm up in the idle mode. If you are doing the routine check-in summer you can let the engine run for only 10 minutes.

But if it is in winter you can extend the running time to about 20 minutes utmost. Adjust the engine to operate at around 3000 to 4000 rounds per minute (RPM). Refer to your service manual so you may know the time your bike needs to warm up and at what speed you should test the oil pressure or temperature.

When starting the engine you are required to note the readings on your motorcycle gauge. This is to enable you to assess the working condition of the oil pump on your bike.

Normally an oil pump in good condition should generate between 30 and 60 pounds per square inch (or psi) at the startup. Then the same pump should drop gradually as the engine warms up while the oil thins out.

After the engine has warmed up, your bicycle oil pressure must go beyond 7 psi when it is at the idle. The same engine should rise steadily and fall every time you increase and reduce its rounds per minute (the RPMs).

When you notice that your motorbike pressure oil has dropped below 7-psi, you should know that there is a serious problem that needs to be solved as soon as possible.

After successful testing for the oil pressure on your motorcycle, the next thing to do is to take the reading. Your reading should be in pounds per square inch (psi) or Kilopascal (KpA) and need to be taken from the pressure gauge to compare them with those in the service manual.

If the readings show that the oil pressure for your motorcycle is out of range (either higher or lower) then there is a problem as stated above. Failure to solve this problem could lead to higher expenses that you will have to incur in order to repair the damaged engine.

This is not something you should wake up to if you value your motorcycle. Therefore, you must take action immediately before your motorcycle engine fails.

Reasons for Oil Pressure Problems in Your Motorcycle

There are quite several reasons why your motorcycle oil pressure is becoming problematic. While most of these problems are easy to fix, others are not and they may require an expert to handle them.

Below are some of the causes of a motorcycle oil pressure problems that you need to have at your finger-tips:

  • The Problem of Oil to the Engine: It is logical that when you notice less oil getting into the motorcycle engine then the pump will not be able to generate the required pressure in the engine system. In other words, lower oil levels mean that the pump will have nothing to work on. This manifests into low oil pressure in your motorcycle.
  • Wrong Oil Viscosity: It is good to know that the current engine models are designed to run multi-viscosity oils in all seasons. This means that these engine oils flow thin in winter and thicken in summer to maintain proper lubricant properties. So the problems arise when wrong oil viscosity is used in the motorbike. If that happens then there will be cases of low oil pressure and damage to the engine.
  • Electrical Fault: More often than not faulty oil pressure readings are caused by electrical problems. As a result, the oil pressure sensors tend to fail from time to time leading to erroneous warning lights or wrong meter readings. Another issue comes about as a result of a short circuit or open circuit in the engine system, causing erroneous pressure warnings.
  • Engine Problems: The flow of oil in the engine can also affect the oil pressure of your motorcycle. This is evident especially when there is increased bearing clearance that lets the oil to flow faster. And when oil flows faster, the pressure goes down across the system. Perhaps this could be a problem that you may encounter most of the time when using your motorcycle.


Checking your motorcycle oil pressure should not be a problem anymore if you know what you to do. With the right tools and relevant information, you can easily carry out this routine checking of your bike’s oil pressure to find out if there is a problem that needs your attention.

Also, you may use your motorbikes service manual to make everything easier for you. In case of any problem regarding your bike oil pressure, you need to find a solution as soon as you can to save your motorcycle engine before things get out of hand.

Josh Berry - MotoShark Editor
Josh Berry
I'm a off-road enthusiast, extreme sport fan and the editor of MotoShark. If you have any questions or suggestions regarding this article, please leave a comment or contact me.

1 Response

  1. Paul Ormston says:

    Would using the wrong oil cause this

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