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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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With apologies another oil question.

With the long mileage synthetics and the improved additives does anyone go much beyond the 3k mile oil change ritual. After all the oil is much improved and many of the modern filters are designed for longer life.

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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 05:46 PM
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The 3k oil change routine was a product of poor oils and filtration in the oil days. Today it continues a product of marketing. With modern oils and filtration, you're throwing your money away with 3k changes.
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 06:12 PM
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I adhere to the 3000 mile rule ONLY because the majority of my riding (time wise, not mileage) is commuting 1 mile back and forth to work. That's pretty tough on the oil and engine since its only just getting warmed up by the time I shut it down. The short commute certainly has its advantages, but I wouldn't mind living a bit further away. Back when I lived in WV and was commuting 25 miles one way it was more like 5k miles.

Honestly, since moving to Tucson and not having a very long commute, I usually do a 6 month oil change instead. I've been so busy working after graduation that I've only put around 2000 miles on my bike since I got it a year and a half ago -- and I HATE it.

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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lurch77 View Post
The 3k oil change routine was a product of poor oils and filtration in the oil days. Today it continues a product of marketing. With modern oils and filtration, you're throwing your money away with 3k changes.
How many miles do you go?

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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 08:48 PM
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I base my changes on time. I use a high quality synthetic and a premium filter. I typically change the oil yearly just before I park them for the winter. With our Ultra I can have 8-10,000 miles on it. I'm sure that may sound crazy to some. I think with a conventional oil I'd go 5000, as I'd be afraid of it breaking down.

My other bikes might be a little as 500 or 1000 miles for the season, as they are not ridden as much. But I don't like to leave used oil change in the engines while they sit for the winter.

If a person likes to adhere strictly to the manufacturer recommendations, my '07 and '06 HDs list 5000 mile intervals in the manual. My '76 Honda has the book under the seat, but it's still in storage. I'm sure it says 3000 miles. My '94 Yamaha doesn't have the book anymore.

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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-14-2017, 08:57 AM
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Just do the oil changes by the bike manufacturers recommendation, or once a year if you don't ride the mileage they state. The three thousand mile or three month recommendation was done by one of those oil change chain shops to get more business and money.
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-14-2017, 09:03 AM
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My manufacturer (BMW) recommends every 6k. That's what I go with.

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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-14-2017, 10:59 AM
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I always just follow the manual and the specifications for the oil given etc. All the bikes in the garage are 5k~ intervals if I recall. Since we have 4 bikes, we don't always put 5k on all of them in a year, but I change it yearly anyway, usually this time of year.
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-14-2017, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by primalmu View Post
I adhere to the 3000 mile rule ONLY because the majority of my riding (time wise, not mileage) is commuting 1 mile back and forth to work. That's pretty tough on the oil and engine since its only just getting warmed up by the time I shut it down. The short commute certainly has its advantages, but I wouldn't mind living a bit further away. Back when I lived in WV and was commuting 25 miles one way it was more like 5k miles.

Honestly, since moving to Tucson and not having a very long commute, I usually do a 6 month oil change instead. I've been so busy working after graduation that I've only put around 2000 miles on my bike since I got it a year and a half ago -- and I HATE it.
Your oil is NOT warm after a 1 mile commute; my commute was almost 3 miles and, after a couple of years, I had to open the engine, and found the recesses filled with what looked like peanut butter - oil and water mixed like mayonnaise. After that, I started going the long way - all of 5 miles - and it helped; that was on my air/oil cooled CB450. The service manual for my Valkyrie says it takes 10 miles to reach full temperature, but then, it is water cooled.

To the OP, I change oil once a year, whether I reach over 3000 miles or not. Since I divide my annual mileage among 2 bikes and one roadster, 3k is often the mileage reached on each. That said, I would go 5k or 6k between changes, if only one vehicle were used.

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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-14-2017, 03:52 PM
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Your oil is NOT warm after a 1 mile commute; my commute was almost 3 miles and, after a couple of years, I had to open the engine, and found the recesses filled with what looked like peanut butter - oil and water mixed like mayonnaise. After that, I started going the long way - all of 5 miles - and it helped; that was on my air/oil cooled CB450. The service manual for my Valkyrie says it takes 10 miles to reach full temperature, but then, it is water cooled.
Oh, I know, which is why I even mentioned anything in the first place. My point was that my engine wasn't warm, so I change the oil sooner to compensate. To be fair though, in the summer I'm starting out with my engine and oil at a nice 105-110 F -- not that it makes much of a difference with such a short commute. I try to go on a longer ride at least once a week to get the bike up to full operating temps.

I do wonder how much of an effect living in such an arid environment has on the oil since condensation mixing with oil isn't as much a problem as it was back east.

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1984 Honda Gold Wing GL1200 (stripped) - Project

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2005 Suzuki Bandit 1200 (faired)
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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 01:00 AM
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Suzuki recommend 8000 km (5000 mile) for my bike but I change at 5000 km (3000 mile) because its easier to remember when to change the oil, every 5 and 10 thousand kms. Don't think I could handle 8, 16, 24, 32, 40 thousand km, I'm sure I'd confuse myself by the third oil change.

I also change the oil filter at the same time as I change the oil and use a full synthetic SAE 5W-40

I've never encountered a piece of machinery which didn't appreciate regular oil changes and I believe an oil and filter change is the cheapest maintenance you can do.
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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 05:50 AM
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Oil is cheaper than parts.
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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 09:49 AM
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The problem with me and expensive synthetic's is that I can't seem to get over the ingrained 3,000 mile oil change interval programmed into my feeble mind, since I was very young!

So it gets old paying $10-15 per quart for engine juice made out of who knows what

I used to manage a small fleet of over the road Semi's for Ford Motor Companies parts division and always read our oil testing results religiously and one thing was apparent and that was that SHELL ROTELLA T easily surpassed all other lubricants in all catagories for engine maintenance. The additive package is heavily fortified with all of the good stuff

I have used and still use non-synthetic Shell Rotella T in everything that I own, aside from my newer pickups that use special oil for their multiple displacement systems and on my new F150's because of their special oils required for the Eco-boost/ dual turbo engines, especially while they are still in factory warranty

****** I have never heard of engine oil causing an engine problem in 54 years and 82 bikes unless it was a LACK of oil. Earl is Earl (Okiespeak) in the end I guess

Using incorrect oil in 2 stroke dirt/ streetbikes can really ruin engines in very short order!

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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 10:59 AM
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People tend to over think oil. Go to any motor vehicle forum of any kind and do a search for oil. Next to politics and religion it might be the most controversial forum topic in existence.
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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 03:09 PM
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Oil, tires, and ATGATT seem to get folks really wound up.
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post #16 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 06:58 AM
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I tend to extend my oil change intervals somewhat on all my vehicles, the oil usually stays clean anyway and it comes out looking pretty much the way it went in. I think part of that is because i do very few short trips, most of my mileage is my 70 mile highway commute so it's very easy service, not a lot of the cold starts/ short trips/ never warmed up issues that ruin oil quickly. Probably this is why my vehicles live long lives, current record holder is my Subaru, 320,000 + miles and still going, and going, and going..
My wife has a 1.2 mile commute, her car has 1/10 the mileage mine has but the oil is dirtier in 2000 miles than mine is after 10,000.
My last few cars all went over 250,000 miles, previous record was a Civic with 298,000 when the camshaft end broke off at 90 mph on the interstate. I gave it away, my friend stuck in a $500 engine from a junkyard and it went over 500,000 mileson the original clutch too, mine was much better than the one that came on the engine with 50k miles that he bought so he used it. 500k miles is pretty good life for a clutch :-)

I haven't worn out a bike yet but I'm trying, my Vision has almost 66,000 miles...
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post #17 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 07:05 AM
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Yeah, there are days I want to ride naked, with truck tires on my bike and peanut oil in the engine, just to stir up trouble :-)

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Oil, tires, and ATGATT seem to get folks really wound up.
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post #18 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 07:58 AM
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With the long mileage synthetics and the improved additives does anyone go much beyond the 3k mile oil change ritual. After all the oil is much improved and many of the modern filters are designed for longer life.
On the newer Harley I go the factory recommended 5,000 for engine oil and filter, 10,000 for the primary oil, and 20,000 for the transmission oil. Other bikes get changed at about 5k miles, or once a year, whichever comes first.

I don't extend those much because, even though most modern oils will last longer without breaking down, I don't like the idea of riding around for longer periods with more by-products of combustion suspended in the oil.

Harley's have nice big beefy filters, and it's true that newer filters are better than those of years ago but they ain't all that good. Also, the bypass feature starts operating at about 10 psi and is fully open at about 20 psi whenever the filter starts to get dirty and restrict oil flow. That means during hard acceleration or on long hauls at highway speeds much of your oil isn't even going through the filter, and the longer you extend your filter change, the dirtier it gets and the more often the bypass valve opens. So basically the longer you leave the filter on, the less and less it is working.


Lurch is right in that a lot of people get really spun up about oil when in fact there's not much reason to. I usually don't use synthetic because there is no real benefit to me for the added cost. I change the oil and filter regularly because that's cheaper than the potential injury from not doing so. I don't worry much at all about any of it.
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post #19 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 10:18 AM
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Local Wal-Mart very recently had 15W-50 Mobile 1, which I use in my cage, and Mobile 1 V-Twin 20W-50 on sale for $5.99 per quart. K&N filters for $7.99... I picked up a few.
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post #20 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 10:12 PM
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6 bucks for the oil and 8 for the can is hard to beat.
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post #21 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 03:31 AM
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Quote:
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I don't extend those much because, even though most modern oils will last longer without breaking down, I don't like the idea of riding around for longer periods with more by-products of combustion suspended in the oil.
Finally!
Eye just stated the reason for changing your oil sooner rather than later.
Today's quality oils don't breakdown, they get contaminated....
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post #22 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 09:35 AM
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Someone should tell those truckers about this, what with their 25,000 mile intervals and million mile engines.

5-10K on bike oil is not a big deal. If we really want to see, we would need to send the oil in for an oil analysis. I don't get an analysis every time, but I will this fall. Regardless of where my mileage is, it'll be interesting to see.
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post #23 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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On the newer Harley I go the factory recommended 5,000 for engine oil and filter, 10,000 for the primary oil, and 20,000 for the transmission oil. Other bikes get changed at about 5k miles, or once a year, whichever comes first.

I don't extend those much because, even though most modern oils will last longer without breaking down, I don't like the idea of riding around for longer periods with more by-products of combustion suspended in the oil.

Harley's have nice big beefy filters, and it's true that newer filters are better than those of years ago but they ain't all that good. Also, the bypass feature starts operating at about 10 psi and is fully open at about 20 psi whenever the filter starts to get dirty and restrict oil flow. That means during hard acceleration or on long hauls at highway speeds much of your oil isn't even going through the filter, and the longer you extend your filter change, the dirtier it gets and the more often the bypass valve opens. So basically the longer you leave the filter on, the less and less it is working.


Lurch is right in that a lot of people get really spun up about oil when in fact there's not much reason to. I usually don't use synthetic because there is no real benefit to me for the added cost. I change the oil and filter regularly because that's cheaper than the potential injury from not doing so. I don't worry much at all about any of it.
This is pretty much the conclusion I came too, but I do go longer on the tranny. I appreciate the info on the bypass, I didn't know that.

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post #24 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 10:34 AM
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Some of the newer Diesel truck technology is absolutely amazing:

Cummins powered dump trucks have had the option for many years to never, ever change oil at all, at the sump/ oil pan, this being especially important for vehicles that may be ran 24 hours at a time, hardly ever shut down and are crucial to be kept in top shape;

A large, remote oil reservoir tank that holds multiple gallons of engine oil, with its sophisticated sensors, samples the sump oil frequently at a test determined point and if the oil is getting contaminated according to the parameters established, it DRAINS enough oil and sends it into a highly efficient cleaner system and if I remember correctly, it injects the very clean oil into the diesel fuel tank to be burned with the fuel or back into the oil reservoir. Any oil taken from the sump is automatically added from the large oil reservoir to replenish any used by the cleaning system. Huge oil filters can be "Hot swapped," without shutting the engine down and are accessible at ground level as are one way drains to completely purge the oil if need be and then a one way connector allows new oil in at pressure to pre-lube the engine.

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php...ecial%3ASearch

"Lurch is right in that a lot of people get really spun up about oil when in fact there's not much reason to."

How true I am a member of a Motorcycle site where the Admin allows absolutely no discussions or comments on oil whatsoever. He refers Folks to a "Sticky" that just list the applicable factory recommendations regarding type and quantity.

The guy reminds me of the "Soup Nazi," of Seinfeld fame

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post #25 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 11:44 AM
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No oil for you!
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post #27 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 05:52 PM
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Years ago a guy was trying to sell a bike.

His sells pitch."This bike is so good it still has the break in oil in it, never needed an oil change".

So of course I jumped at the opportunity to buy that bike. Lol
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post #28 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
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Someone should tell those truckers about this, what with their 25,000 mile intervals and million mile engines.

5-10K on bike oil is not a big deal. If we really want to see, we would need to send the oil in for an oil analysis. I don't get an analysis every time, but I will this fall. Regardless of where my mileage is, it'll be interesting to see.
Yeah, but there's a huge difference between a large over the road diesel engine and a motorcycle engine. Just as there's a huge difference between a heavy-weight motorcycle engine such as an Indian or Harley, and a light weight metric engine such as in a sport bike or a lighter street bike.

I was looking at another board once where guys were arguing about the oil analysis(s?) they had done. It was interesting, and I'm always tempted to get one myself, but I don't see what the actual benefit for a motorcyclist is. For a truck fleet? Sure! But that's an entirely different concept. But for the average rider that won't likely exceed 100,000 miles on his bike it seems to me the only real benefit is to make money for Blackstone Labs. I mean, I can't see one of those guys saying, "Oh Crud! My phosphorus levels are up! Time to break 'er down and rebuild the lower end."

On the other hand, I'm one of those anal type fools that, had I been getting one done every oil change. I'd likely be recording and tracking the changes and making up spread sheets and graphs and all sorts of things.
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post #29 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 10:35 PM
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For us, it would be strictly for curiosity's sake. A guy could run the bike for 3000 miles, then again for 10,000. See what difference is, if any.
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post #30 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
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For us, it would be strictly for curiosity's sake. A guy could run the bike for 3000 miles, then again for 10,000. See what difference is, if any.
I'm all up for that, and the gear-geek in me would love to see the results.

(I am too cheap to do it myself though.)
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post #31 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 08:04 AM
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I am also too cheap. I did a sample on my new-to-me 1993 Ford diesel a few years back, to get a baseline on wear and such. I'll do the same with the Ultra this year since it is the first oil change cycle that I am in complete control of. I doubt I'll do a mileage comparison.
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post #32 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 08:30 AM
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I change the oil twice a year. Full synthetic, Rotella T6 and a K&N filter. Never had problems with it. I ride 5 to 10k a year, maybe more. But up north the season is about 6 months at best..
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post #33 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 08:48 AM
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I try to ride March or April until November. One of my bikes I affectionately call the beater, and it gets winter ride time now and then. I like to change oil right before storing the bikes for the winter. Drains off any contaminates instead of letting them sit in the bikes all winter.
Lurch77 is offline  
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