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Thread: How long can oil stay in the bike?

  1. #1
    Registered User barry5k's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Elk Grove, CA

    How long can oil stay in the bike?

    In the last ten months I have only ridden my 07 RT about 3,000 miles. I use full synthetic. I am just wondering if I should change it or wait until the next service. How long should you keep the oil in your bike before changing it if you haven't ridden much lately??
    Into the Wind
    2007 R1200RT
    2007 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Classic

  2. #2
    Registered User toooldtocare's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Lake Saint Louis, MO
    I think this depends upon where you are at as much as how many miles on it. Back here with our temperature swings it needs to be changed more often simply due to the moisture condensing in the motor during those swings. That said, I still would change it at least once a year no matter where I was at. A few years ago I was driving BMW cars, and mine did not get many miles on it each year, but the dealer still insisted on changing the oil once a year (they were paying for it under the BMW new car service program). Hope this helps.


  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Wilmington, NC
    The factory service schedule calls for at least annually but is extremely conservative.

    The reality is that modern oils, especially true synthetics, do an exceptionally good job at neutralizing combustion acids and are equally good at handling typical amounts of moisture.

    The only circumstance in which I ever saw an oil being clearly overloaded with water vapor was on a rotary engine race car running massive boost. Between the high rev/high temp/extreme shear created and the ambient humidity, some bits of oil showing characteristic milkiness from water accumulated around various motor vents and line.

    In the real world, you can leave your bike for a couple years or even more without acquiring engine damage. Worry less..

  4. #4
    Registered User vancamp_b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Lebanon, IN USA
    09 R1200GS. I change my oil every 3000 miles and/ or in the fall when I store my bike for the winter. An oil change is cheap insurance and the best thing you can do for your motor. YMMV.

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