THE TRIPLE THREAT
I have a 1985 Honda ATC200 that is smoking pretty badly. The color of the smoke is white, and it smokes more when it’s already warmed up. I looked at the oil, and it doesn’t seem like the previous owner put the correct oil in. It looks pretty thick, and the smoke smells like burnt gas or something. Help!
The look and smell of the smoke certainly suggests the engine is burning oil, suggesting that you probably have some worn top end parts. A handy diagnostic would be a leakdown test, which will give you an indication of the condition of your piston rings, your valves, and valve seats. An easier test is a simple compression check. Make sure the engine is warm and you’re holding the throttle open when you crank it over. Anything less than, say, 110 psi suggests very worn rings, which would allow oil into the combustion chamber.