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Thread: oil change in the fall or do it in the spring

  1. #1
    Registered User f14rio's Avatar
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    oil change in the fall or do it in the spring

    i have maybe 1000 mi on my oil. i'm thinking i might store the bike for the winter and put fresh oil in next april.
    any inputs appreciated.
    thx
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    ABC,AMA(LIFE),MOA,RA,IBMW MANICMECHANIC's Avatar
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    Despite your bike's engine might not be consuming any oil, which would infer that your piston rings seal well, there is some minute amount of blow-by, which means that combustion products do get into the oil, which in turn will form acids with water vapor and then sit in the sump. doing whatever it is that acids can do to metals. Sounds ominous, but the recommendation is, if you're going to put the machine away for months, do so with fresh oil, precluding any troubles later. Also, you will have a fresh oil change already making your Spring preps that much less.
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  3. #3
    advrider.com
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    So, ride it 2000 more, change the oil, and park it.

  4. #4
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    SO2 and H2O combine to make H2SO4 = shorthand for sulfer dioxide and water, both products of combustion combine to make sulfuric acid. I don't want that in the oil trapped between the bearings and the crankshaft. I'd change the oil.

    If you decide not to then just before you put it away make sure it is ridden until the engine is completely warmed up - oil temp above 212 so any moisture is boiled away before storage.
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazydrummerdude View Post
    So, ride it 2000 more, change the oil, and park it.
    it's not an airhead. he would really prefer to ride another 5K miles, then change the oil. 3K oil changes are nonsensical on modern bikes that have double the oil capacity of an antique.

    Hey, what about this option- change the oil, but keep the 1K stuff to use for the following oil change? He has containers to put it in, that he just drained the new oil out of, and it would be no different than running the existing oil to a full 6K change during the season anyway, right? Or am i missing something?
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  6. #6
    dhgeyer
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    Partially dissenting opinion here. Ideally a vehicle should be stored with fresh oil in it. I don't disagree. But, I know of lots and lots of cases where this has not been done, and have never heard of a documented case of any damage being done. One dealership around here offers Winter storage service. They change the oil in the Spring as part of the service. Don't know any better I guess. The bikes they store probably average a lot more than 1000 miles on the oil. I've stored bikes with a few hundred miles on the oil and never had a problem.

    Nowadays I do change the oil and filter before storing my bikes, if I do store them for the Winter, which I don't always. Just saying, it may be more of a theoretical problem than a documentably real one.

  7. #7
    hack'd chiba13's Avatar
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    Oil is cheap, engines are not.

    Change it & don't look back.

    --chiba
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    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiba13 View Post
    Oil is cheap, engines are not.

    Change it & don't look back.

    --chiba
    Haven't changed the oil at the end of riding season in my motorcycles since I got back into riding in 1974. Don't change oil in my 22 year old John Deere with an Onan engine or my 13 year old John Deere with a Kawasaki engine. Never had a problem of any kind.

    My bought new last winter Ariens snowblower recommends changing oil at the start of the season and not the end.

    My motorcycles and other equipment is normally used for a good while after they are started so most contaminates like moisture have evaporated.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  9. #9
    Bluenoser
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    If your going to change the oil, I'd also take the plugs out & spray in some oil and then turn the engine over by hand or if you can get some of the spray stuff for storing engines into the combustion chamber that would work as well.

    There's really two camps on your question. Those that leave it in & start the bike once and awhile through out the winter & those that lay it up and don't start it. I don't think there really is a wrong answer.
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  10. #10
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by chiba13 View Post
    Oil is cheap, engines are not.

    Change it & don't look back.

    --chiba
    Forget about your mileage - any bike going into long-term storage: change oil and filter.
    Last edited by Greenwald; 11-09-2010 at 01:47 PM.
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  11. #11
    BUDDINGGEEZER
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    Unless you have used racing oil, there are probably enough anti-corrosion additives in the oil for a 2 or 3 months storage with only 1,000 miles on the oil. Chances are it won't hurt a thing.

    The local motorcycle dealer was telling me about using Valvoline Racing oil in a car. He had around 3K miles on the oil and when he checked the oil his dipstick was discolored and pitted. Said it looked like it had been dipped in acid. He had never heard of anti-corrosion additives to neutralize the sulfuric acid in oil, and that racing oil has very little. The acid ate away in his engine.

    The sure thing is to change the oil before storage. Your choice.

    Ralph Sims

  12. #12
    Mars needs women! 35634's Avatar
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    Oil is cheap, but just because a resource is cheap is no reason to squander it. If the oil is changed at reasonable intervals, say 5000 miles or yearly, don't worry about it. I have yet to see an engine ruined that was treated as such. On the other hand, I have seen plenty of ruined brake and clutch systems from the fluid being neglected. Strange we don't see as many brake fluid threads as oil threads.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 35634 View Post
    Oil is cheap, but just because a resource is cheap is no reason to squander it. If the oil is changed at reasonable intervals, say 5000 miles or yearly, don't worry about it. I have yet to see an engine ruined that was treated as such. On the other hand, I have seen plenty of ruined brake and clutch systems from the fluid being neglected. Strange we don't see as many brake fluid threads as oil threads.
    yeah, brake fluid is the Rodney Dangerfield of the automotive & motorcycle world.
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  14. #14
    Registered User robsara's Avatar
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    This topic gets batted around a bit, I have a follow up question.

    I have a K75, live in Michigan, I plan to change the oil, trans oil, rear drive oil and brake fluid soon. I have already been adding stabil to the gas as I fill it up.

    Now, once I change the oil, am I not supposed to ride again until spring? I was hoping to take it out a time or 12 when the weather isn't TOO nasty.

    Or is it better for the bike to just sit with the cover on it in the garage with that new shiny oil in it until spring?


    Ideally I'd like to get it ready for storage, then take it out a few times through winter. Especially if it's a mild one. The winter before I bought my bike I saw quite a few on the road well into December. The following spring I bought my bike.


    rob
    Rob R
    1994 K75 My first bike.

  15. #15
    dhgeyer
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    I've never let fresh oil stop me from riding if I wanted to ride. I personally don't think there's enough chance of it doing any harm.

    One thing I have found out the hard way is that, if there's salt on the roads and enough wetness that the front tire sprays salt on the bike, if you don't hose the whole thing down when you get back, you can get corrosion on steel and aluminum parts. Bare steel, like fasteners, rust. Aluminum just kind of ages - gets that patina that bikes get if they're not garaged.

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