Why did all the oil in my KTM 500 EXC leak out during a ride? Because I lost the oil drain bolt.
Why did I lose the oil drain bolt? Because, like a dummy, I failed to tighten it down after completing an oil change.
We were riding the Lincoln National Forest around Cloudcroft, New Mexico when one of my riding buddied, Mike, noticed that I was losing oil at an alarming rate. He quickly rode up next to me and indicated I needed to make an emergency stop. Upon inspection, I discovered my oil drain bolt was missing. I had done an oil change on the KTM right before this last minute trip to Cloudcroft and, in my haste, failed to fully tighten the oil drain bolt.
Thanks goodness Mike noticed the problem as soon as it happened, before all the oil was gone and the engine seized.
We searched but were unable to find the missing bolt. So Mike rode back to Cloudcroft, got his truck and trailer, and returned for my bike. I loaded the bike in the trailer and then headed to Alamogordo to find a replacement bolt while the rest of the guys continued to ride.
By the end of the day I had a solved the issue and was able to rejoin the guys for more riding, with no further bike problems. Lesson learned – don’t rush an oil change.