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Discussion Starter #1
Oh No!!! I’m not sure how, but somehow my 2018 RGS (with Stage IV 114 kit) was about 3 quarts low on oil...

The wife and I cruised from Charlotte NC down to August GA and back yesterday. I click the info button often and the oil pressure showed “OK” all day. I never got any engine or other lights, but when I cranked the bike up at our last gas stop about 50 miles from the house I heard a loud knock. I shut her down immediately, and checked the oil... WAY low!

I knew it was toast and I had made a $5K+ mistake, but it was what it was at that point.

Now I’m faced with the question of what to do. The options I’m considering are:

1) Pull the motor; completely tear it down; see what is broken; replace parts and rebuilt it. I haven’t torn into the lower end of a Harley engine, so I can chalk it up to an expensive and time consuming learning experience, but I’m skeptical of the return on investment. When it’s all done, it will still just be a 114 and I’m not sure it can ever be the same.

2) Pull the motor and replace it. S&S has a 124 crate motor for about $7K; and Harley has the ST120 crate motor. I’ll have to check with my dealer on the price tag of the ST120 today. I’m sure there is a stock 107 or 114 option for it too, and of course there are used 107s on eBay.

3) Take the bike to T-Man Performance in Kernersville or Kendall Johnson in Winston and have them rebuild it for me. Kendall has a 124 rebuild setup on his website (http://http://kendalljohnsoncustoms.com/product/m8-124-kit) for $6.5K. I’m not sure that a rebuild will be any cheaper than a crate motor, but the numbers would match if that matters.

4) Take it to my friendly local dealer, take a huge hit on the trade; get a leftover 19 or a new 20 and start over.

I’m sure that none of you are dumb enough to have ever tried to ride in 95 degree weather with no oil, so you can’t speak from personal experience, but I’m interested in thoughts on what I should do with my beautiful custom rod knocker.
 

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I have a 2010 RGcustom main bearng went at 27 k I opted to rebuild just because I wanted # to match 7k out of pocket no regrets I asked Darkhorse who did the blue print & balance about 124 crate motors they said they come in all the time for welded cranks really! Ride safe
 

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Hard to say which way to go. Maybe compare warranties between the different choices. Good luck in deciding which way to go.
 

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Im with Dmerch. Where did the oil go? It had to be smoking pretty bad or puddling under the bike. Maybe the dealership will warranty it. I would have them do a diagnostic on it and go from there...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Where did all of that oil go??
That is the million dollar question. I wish I could tell you. I just put the Stage IV kit on about 4,500 miles ago and of course changed all the fluids then. It was fine all the way down to Augusta and most of the way back. You’d think I would see obvious oil puddling at a stop or sprayed all over the bike, but nothing.
 

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Who did the stage lV build ? Where did the noise come from and will the motor start ?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Im with Dmerch. Where did the oil go? It had to be smoking pretty bad or puddling under the bike. Maybe the dealership will warranty it. I would have them do a diagnostic on it and go from there...
I’m completely puzzled. It was 95 degrees out yesterday with very high humidity. We made the 200 mile trip from Charlotte NC to Columbia SC to Irmo SC to Augusta GA, then over 100 miles back with no trouble. No oil puddles anywhere, I didn’t notice a dark cloud of smoke in the mirrors, and oil isn’t sprayed all over the bike.

I also road it about 300 miles on Wednesday and had not problems.

At no point did any engine warning lights come on, and the info button on the handlebars said the oil pressure was “OK” every time I clicked over to it.

If it leaked out, I would think it would have been quite noticeable, but if it burned out I would think I would’ve seen quick a dark cloud behind me all day. I really don’t know where 3+ quarts of oil could’ve gone in less than 4,500 miles (Stage IV kit installed around 4K miles; changed all fluids at 5,000 miles; bike hit about 9,300 on the trip yesterday). Makes no sense to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Who did the stage lV build ? Where did the noise come from and will the motor start ?
I did the Stage IV kit install (so no dealer warranty).

I’m not sure where the “knock” sound is coming from, but it does start and run. I put 3 quarts of full synthetic oil in it and road it home about 50 miles. I’m sure that wasn’t the smartest thing to do, but I figured the motor was shot anyway so I’d see how much closer I could get to the house before having to Uber the rest of the way. I know how dumb that sounds, but it was late, my wife was with me and the kids were home with a babysitter that couldn’t stay all night, so I pushed it knowing full well I was most certainly doing more damage and risking complete ceasing up.

The strange thing is that the knock is pretty loud at start-up; idle and low rpms in first gear. Above about 2000 rpm in 1st gear and any other gear and I couldn’t hear it anymore. The bike made it all the way home. I parked it and came inside. I haven’t rechecked to see if the “premium pens oil” from the truck stop is still in it.
 

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Any chance it's in the primary? The noise going away is odd at best. Only low rpm? Just a thought. I'm usually way off base.
 

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Sorry to hear your issues brother.

I'm scratching my head on this one.

Something just doesn't sound right to me.

No visible oil on the ground or all over the bike.

No black smoke.

Oil plugs are in place.

So where did the oil go.

If it were me I would purchase a new crated HD 120.

I'll be following this thread for your followup.

Swomack
 

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2000 rpm and up = oil pressure

Big end bearings will knock like the dickens. The slightly higher oil pressure above 2000 rpm will mitigate that a bit.

I'd go aftermarket on the engine.
The HD version already went junk on you.

Check oil levels weekly. Check tire pressures while you're down there.
You might have caught this a quart down.
 

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Most likely you are a victim of the sumping issue and the missing oil is in the crank case. Pull the CKP sensor or the pipe plug on the bottom of the case and see how much oil comes out. If the engine is damaged your only option for a crate motor for an M8 is from HD and they only have stock M8 crate motor at this time. The S&S 124" and the HD 120ST are twin cam engines. You're better off building it from the crank up anyway. Do a purpose build and have everything blue printed and balanced. No crate engine on the market will compete with that. Sorry to hear of your misfortune but if you have the means this is an opportunity to make it something special that a new 2020 couldn't even come close to without a lot more money into it.

I take it your warranty is no longer applicable?
 

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I did the Stage IV kit install (so no dealer warranty).

I’m not sure where the “knock” sound is coming from, but it does start and run. I put 3 quarts of full synthetic oil in it and road it home about 50 miles. I’m sure that wasn’t the smartest thing to do, but I figured the motor was shot anyway so I’d see how much closer I could get to the house before having to Uber the rest of the way. I know how dumb that sounds, but it was late, my wife was with me and the kids were home with a babysitter that couldn’t stay all night, so I pushed it knowing full well I was most certainly doing more damage and risking complete ceasing up.

The strange thing is that the knock is pretty loud at start-up; idle and low rpms in first gear. Above about 2000 rpm in 1st gear and any other gear and I couldn’t hear it anymore. The bike made it all the way home. I parked it and came inside. I haven’t rechecked to see if the “premium pens oil” from the truck stop is still in it.
Broken engine noises usually don't go away when changing gears. Are you sure it's even in the engine ?
Did the engine run well, plenty of power ? Could be sumping ?
 

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Drain the sump and measure what comes out. As they collect oil in the sump, they run hot. And when they get hot they start to push oil out the breathers and past the rings. All of this gets burnt. Only other place the oil could be is in the primary, but that usually works the other way around.

If you get a lot of oil from the sump, or if after warming the scooter up, the pan is over full, you'll need to address the issue. You can change to the new oem pump cover or you can replace the pump. IIWY and needed to address sumping, I'd go straight to S&S. Three stage pump and a billet plate. But before you open the motor, correct the oil level and run it long enough to get it fully warm. Then check the oil pressure with a service gauge. After that, run a compression test. Then a leakage test. That'll tell the tail on cylinder damage and give you some insite as to the condition of the oiling system. You might even want to take a peek with a bore scope. Past that, you might want to swap out the tappets while the cam chest is open.

Your only option if it needs a repair is to buy an oem replacement or fix what you have. Nothing special in the bottom end. Some blind hole bearings that will need to be pulled. Its all set up to be slapped together by unskilled labor.

That knock you heard when you shut it down was probably a hang fire. It cooked some of that oil off and fired late.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Dealer has it

I ran it up to the dealership and green lit a 3-5 hour tear down to see what is broken. They are going to tear it down Wednesday. I’m tempted to tear it down myself, but I’m assuming that I made a mistake of some kind when I installed the Stage IV kit 5,400 miles ago, so I’m going to defer to the professionals this time.

They said the oil didn’t leak out, it burned out. Something had to break to make it burn all that oil, then clearly more broke to create the “knock” OR whatever broke to burn the oil is what is knocking.

I created this (horrible) 1 minute video to capture the sound if you are interested.


I’ll update this thread Wednesday after I learn more.

What a bummer!
 

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If the bike is still under warranty let the dealer deal with it as long as the stage 4 kit was installed by the same dealer you took the bike to. HD may not honor the warranty because of the stage 4 kit but you have nothing to loose. I did a stage 4 kit on my bike once and it was the worst thing I could do, I had nothing but problems. IMO the best thing anyone could do to their bike is leave the engine stock at least until the warranty runs out and then if you want more power get a bigger engine. JMO. The oil could also be going into the primary, from what I understand that is a common problem with the newer bikes. Good luck
 

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If your bike has a warranty I'd let the dealer look at it first. As far as swapping out the engine, I don't believe anyone sells a crate M8 yet other than the MoCo. The 124 is a twin cam and won't be interchangeable with a M8. The 124 however is a great motor. I just swapped my 96" from my 09 for a crate 124 from S&S and bot is that a fun motor. I'd wait to see what the dealer says first before you dive into a rebuild or motor swap.
 
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