Breather tank filling with oil

Hi all.

The breather tank on my vf1000re is filling with oil! The bike had not been run for 24 years before I bought it a few months ago, everything else seems fine power is good not losing water sounds great but was going through too much oil, about 1 litre in 100 miles without any leaks or smoke. Found oil in breather tank. Checked pipe at back of head cover and not blocked so removed rear head cover and found that unlike my FE it had no plate in the top of the cover, had a spare cover so have fitted plate out of that one. Is it possible this could be the cause or could it be that due to not running for so long the piston rings may be gummed up in piston and causing a pressure increase in crank case because of blow past, have not done a compression test yet but it is my next plan of action. The bike has only been run short distances, to work and back about 4 miles so has not been up to temperature for any length of time or high revs. do you think a good run out for 50 miles or so may do the trick? Any advice appreciated.


Lets think about this. Oil in the breather catch tank must mean 1 or 2 thinks. 1 - heavy breathing which is taking oil mist with it to the tank & / or too much oil in the system which is looking for a way out.
As you have already said, you need to eliminate the breathing side of things which a compression test will do. How does the engine perform in general ?


hi gary,
i think the missing oil baffle plate in the rocker cover will have contributed to a certain amount of oil in the breather tank,
It’s quite possible for the rings to be stuck in, i had a similar situation this year when i recommisioned the boldor engine that had been unused for a number of years, on initial starting with the old oil in the bike ran perfect with no smoke and good compression, when i changed the oil for new the engine started smoking, but still had good compression… because of the good compression readings i decided to inspect the valve stem oil seals,on removing the exhaust and looking up the exhaust ports i could clearly see oil running down the valve stems, so out with the engine, heads off and new stem seals in, engine back in, start up, still smoking… downer.
So after sulking for a few days i decided to remove the engine and split it, when the pistons came out the oil scraper rings were stuck in, full set of new rings fitted and the engine now runs clean ALTHOUGH it still uses a little oil…
In hind sight i think i was getting a false compression reading because the scraper ring was allowing oil past which was then sealing the rings…
If i was you i would try running the bike now you have oil baffle plate fitted and see what happens before you start thinking about pulling the engine to pieces…

Thanks marmite, engine runs fine only problem is clutch slips on heavy acceleration at about 6k so will fit new plates when I do next oil change. In work for next few days so will do compression test on thursday and go for a longer ride and take oil and funnel with me just in case. The only time I had any smoke come out was when breather tank was full and the oil was starting to get to the airbox this is how I dicovered where the oil was going. Not sure why anyone would remove baffle plate but am hoping it is the cause, will let you know how I get on on Thursday.


News is all good! Took for a blast for 60 miles, emptied breather tank before I left and there was only a couple of teaspoons of oil in it after the run so the baffle plate seems to have worked. Even the clutch slip improved now at 8k not 6k, rest of bike worked really well and I really enjoyed the ride, a new shock and a paint job and all will be great. Thanks for your help and I will still do compression test tomorrow in case there are any problems but engine felt good so don’t think there is a problem.


Good news Gary.

Thanks marmite, any suggestions on a rear shock, was thinking of a wilbers with the remote reservoir but could do with it being a bit longer to raise back end as im 6 foot 6 and could do with a higher seat does anybody know the ratio of shock length to seat height. If im going to fork out £650 I want it to be right! Also any recommendations on who to buy off, german ebay looks best bet.