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How do you know which one is correct?
The one where he did exactly what the manual said to do to check it.

Once it’s on a rear stand, all bets are off. But once you know how reads when on a rear stand, you can go by that.
 

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The one where he did exactly what the manual said to do to check it.

Once it’s on a rear stand, all bets are off. But once you know how reads when on a rear stand, you can go by that.
The book:
Check engine oil level
Check the engine oil level through the sight glass (1)
on the clutch cover.
Oil level must be checked with the motorcycle
perfectly upright and the engine cold.

So I suppose it's how to define "upright". So the question is whether the rear stand is upright vs a shimmed sidestand ?

I usually check mine on the sloping driveway with rear stand, that also has a tendency to keep the bike a little more level front to back. I haven't noticed much difference when I check it in the garage however. But it's always upright.
 

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Oil level must be checked with the motorcycle
perfectly upright and the engine cold.

So I suppose it's how to define "upright". So the question is whether the rear stand is upright vs a shimmed sidestand ?
Ok, but above that you stated

The side stand is shimmed but the bike isn't totally vertical.
Vertical will affect the reading, it’s not upright as stated in the manual, the glass is on one side. If you meant horizontal, Ed’s post shows what I’ve experienced as well, the reading show just a hair higher when on a rear stand with the rear tire in the air then on flat ground. I highly doubt Ducati’s spec is on a rear stand since it doesn’t specify which rear stand and each manufacture will hold the bike at a different level. The bike could also be on a front stand which affects the reading as well.

I think, and I’m happy to be wrong, but I think Ducati is assuming you’ll do it on a level surface with both wheels on the ground. I know most other manufacturers specify level ground and the bike vertical, surprised they don’t.
 

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I agree Mike that Ducati seems to be saying that the bike should be upright with both wheels on the ground.

So now we're full circle with my original inquiry, holding the bike up can't be a one person job and even then, it's still a small guess that the person is holding the bike totally upright (vertically). I was looking for the most reliable way to do it by myself.

You might be right that the rear stand makes the oil level appear high. But if the bike is on the side stand, even shimmed, and not completely vertical (upright), the oil level would appear lower than actual since the oil is running downhill from the sight glass towards the side stand.

So I am not sure which photo is the most accurate but I would logically assume the rearstand shot is best.

So far as the bike being horizontal, I'd prefer the bike stay on rubber side down rather than lying on it's side. I'd imagine that the oil sight glass reading would falsely show the bike has no oil.
 

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I do it on my own. Just stand to the right hand side and raise the bike off the side stand until you feel it balance. Then check the glass. Once satisfied lower the bike 'gently' back onto it's side stand - I always introduce a slight backward motion just to be sure that it doesn't roll off the stand.
 

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I'll try that Keith.

Update: couldn't make the work. I did check it on the rearstand, no visible consumption since 1k oil change. Very impressed with gear oil as chain lube.
 

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You could use an extendable mirror, then you can sit on the bike and see the level on the mirror. I’ve done that on various bikes, works great.
 

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I'll try that Keith.

Update: couldn't make the work. I did check it on the rearstand, no visible consumption since 1k oil change. Very impressed with gear oil as chain lube.
If you're not comfortable putting a block under the side stand so the bike is level you could try using a front-wheel chock, similar to the way the dealer services the bike. The front chock will raise the front by about 10 to 12 mm (half an inch).

There is no way Ducati will specify oil level for a rear (paddock) stand. The bike does not come equipped with a rear stand so if anyone uses one it is a third party stand. Ducati has no control over how high the back wheel is lifted so the results will be different stand to stand. Mine lifts the back by a good couple of inches. As I said, I know where the correct oil level is on the paddock stand because I checked it with the bike on 2 wheels and level before rechecking on the stand.
 

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Thanks Steve, it's difficult to think that an inch from front to rear would make much difference (2%?), particularly given that the slope would be visible in the glass itself. Since, I generally do it on the driveway the slope is largely negated anyway.

But this is a curiosity thing. Next time I can get a buddy over I'll check it hand held and then on the stand with and without a front riser.
 

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Off stand

On rear stand
That's the result I always get. I've noticed most stands lean the bike a little a little to the left or right, highly affecting the oil level reading. I just grab the rear peg bracket, then the front brake, point the wheel straight ahead, and pull the bike towards me until it feels light, all while squatting down on my knees. Bike hasn't fallen on me yet.
 

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That's the result I always get. I've noticed most stands lean the bike a little a little to the left or right, highly affecting the oil level reading. I just grab the rear peg bracket, then the front brake, point the wheel straight ahead, and pull the bike towards me until it feels light, all while squatting down on my knees. Bike hasn't fallen on me yet.
That's exactly how I've been doing it with all mu Ducatis for years.
 

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I guess I'll have to try it with a little supervision. I'm afraid that it might fall on me so I just won't put any strength on it.
 

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I guess I'll have to try it with a little supervision. I'm afraid that it might fall on me so I just won't put any strength on it.
Just take it slowly until you get used to how it feels. Leave the kickstand down so you can set her back down quickly. once you set her back down, double check that the kickstand is fully forward. You got this, man.
 

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I do it on my own. Just stand to the right hand side and raise the bike off the side stand until you feel it balance. Then check the glass. Once satisfied lower the bike 'gently' back onto it's side stand - I always introduce a slight backward motion just to be sure that it doesn't roll off the stand.
How do you check the oil level when you are standing? I tried that, when I got the bike.
 

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How do you check the oil level when you are standing? I tried that, when I got the bike.
Depends on the light. I can see the site glass when I'm standing. But if the light is wrong I have to bend down to see the level. Once the bike is balanced I don't have any trouble keeping it balanced while I bend and straighten. If you're uncomfortable have a friend standby the first few times. Honestly, I find this easier than using a track stand.... which I use to lube the chain.
 

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Ok, I actually had a moment to sort this "how to check the oil level accurately" controversy. Bottomline the rear stand is fine for it.

Standing the bike up manually


Rear stand on level floor




We can plainly see it makes no difference.

Also, no apparent oil consumption in 1300 miles.
 

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Ok, I actually had a moment to sort this "how to check the oil level accurately" controversy. Bottomline the rear stand is fine for it.

Standing the bike up manually


Rear stand on level floor




We can plainly see it makes no difference.

Also, no apparent oil consumption in 1300 miles.
You sure? I very clearly see a difference. It’s dealable, but is different, look at the level in relation to the hole at the top. It’s also opposite of what I’ve experienced: shows higher on the stand than when flat on the floor.
 
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