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Thread: Distance Between Oil Changes

  1. #1
    HONDARIDER
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    Distance Between Oil Changes

    So I'm considering a cross country run from east to west and back again...something like 6500 miles in 10 days...I'm thinking about doing the whole trip without an oil change...I'll probably burn and replace a quart or more anyway. Anybody routinely going 7000 miles before a change? I've never really gone more than 5000 miles myself, but I hate to waste time on an oil change in the middle of a trip.

  2. #2
    jeepinbanditrider
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    Isn't the recomended servicer interval 6k miles? You'll be fine honestly either way.

  3. #3
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    agreed. long distance riding is the easiest thing you can do for oil. probably totally fine for 10K without a worry, especially if using synth. (that comment based on reports from guys who bother to have their oil analyzed)
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  4. #4
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Smile

    6,500 miles should be fine - especially if you're running synthetic (i.e. Amsoil 20W50).

    However, I wouldn't switch from 'dino' to any synthetic unless at least 12k already on your bike. Otherwise, you risk oil weeping past the seals and leaking out of the bike.

    Good luck and enjoy the trip!
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
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  5. #5
    Ponch ponch1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwald View Post
    6,500 miles should be fine - especially if you're running synthetic (i.e. Amsoil 20W50).

    However, I wouldn't switch from 'dino' to any synthetic unless at least 12k already on your bike. Otherwise, you risk oil weeping past the seals and leaking out of the bike.

    Good luck and enjoy the trip!
    Says who?
    My Motorrad
    BMWMOA 162849 | BMWRA 41335 | VROC 8109-R | VBA 19

  6. #6
    jeepinbanditrider
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    Old school logic. Shoudln't be an issue with any modernish bike.

  7. #7
    Riding where it's hot! AZ-J's Avatar
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    My service manager told me that, as well. No synth until over 12k miles.
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  8. #8
    jeepinbanditrider
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    That's one of those commonly perpetuated myths now days. There plenty of cars that come filled from the factory with full syn oil in the pans.

  9. #9
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    As to seals leaking with synth, that comes mostly from guys on airheads that make the switch-over. those 20+ yo seals don't always like it so much. on a modern machine, no issue at all. Might be some concern about going to a synth too soon regarding ring/cylinder break-in; I would follow BMW recommendations (manual, not service tech. former tends to be more "up to day" than the latter) for a new bike.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  10. #10
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by AZ-J View Post
    My service manager told me that, as well. No synth until over 12k miles.
    Same here - have heard it from more than one BMW Master Tech. Considering that I was going to buy the synthetic stuff from the dealer, which was more expensive (hence more profitable) than the dino juice, their 'delaying' of me forking over extra $$$ to them speaks well to their credibility.

    Tech once showed me seals that, to lack a more refined term, "crud up" a bit over time/miles as well as mold themselves to the nuances of the metal surfaces they are trying to seal. Hence the logic of waiting for about 12k to make the switch to the more slippery stuff.

    I also had some 'break-in leaking' when I was already using syn and had some seals replaced under warranty!

    To each their own.
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
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  11. #11
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerfish1100 View Post
    As to seals leaking with synth, that comes mostly from guys on airheads that make the switch-over. those 20+ yo seals don't always like it so much. on a modern machine, no issue at all.
    Have a '95 Oilhead that did not care for syn as well. 13 years on Dino and then I caused a few leaks in the cylinder base gasket and the FD
    I don't put it in the '99 S either. OK in Wedges and Hexheads we have
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  12. #12
    Ponch ponch1's Avatar
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    I switched to synth at 12K and it hasn't leaked yet.
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  13. #13
    Norm Norms 427's Avatar
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    7000 miles on a trip between oil changes is no problem. Like someone said, highway riding is very easy on oil.

    Beginning in 2010 BMW quietly removed their old prohibition against using synthetics too early in the life of the engine. The camhead manuals don't even have the word "synthetic" in them anywhere that I can find.

    At least with respect to the modern BMWs, some master technicians, dealers, and gurus may not be up to speed with the latest thinking at Motorrad.

    BTW, my 2012 was broken in on synthetic oils and I now consume oil at the rate of about 1 Qt per 12,000 miles. Not too shabby, eh?
    Last edited by Norms 427; 03-08-2013 at 04:57 PM.
    Now: '12 R1200RT Midnight Blue Metallic / '11 Ural Patrol 2WD ridden to Alaska / '09 KLR 650 / '05 HD Heritage Softail / '08 Harley Sportster 1200C / '85 Yamaha VMax bought new. I wasn't ready to say goodbye: www.shaunlunt.typepad.com

  14. #14
    HONDARIDER
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    Thank you all for your inputs. It puts my mind a little more at ease. I plan to spoon on a fresh set of street oriented rubber (not the TKC 80s I usually run), have the FD serviced, change the oil, and hit the road for 10 days or so. I suppose I might do some reading about the best dualsport-ish tires for big highway miles.

  15. #15
    drgnhtr
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ponch1 View Post
    Says who?
    Says me and my dealer. I switched over at about 8K for a short tour. In less than 2.5k I went through a quart of oil. On dino I don't have to add between 6k changes.

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