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Thread: How long can oil stay in the bike?

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    Registered User barry5k's Avatar
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    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

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    Registered User toooldtocare's Avatar
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    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.

    Wayne

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    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..

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    Registered User vancamp_b's Avatar
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    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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    K Bikes Complex by Choice cjack's Avatar
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    At 10 months, there's no rush to change the oil, but I would change it at least every year. I usually go 6 or 7 thousand miles with synth, and at least once a year. That's easy to do.
    BMWMotorcycles, fun when they're running...
    My other bike is a BMW.
    Jack Hawley MOA and RA #224, KE9UW ("Chuck")

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    Quote Originally Posted by vancamp_b View Post
    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.
    3K mile change is a TOTAL waste of resources- time, money and oil.

    40 years ago with an airhead this probably made some sense. With a modern bike and modern oils, it makes none.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

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    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    I think the answer depends on how the 3,000 miles were put on the bike. If it was short trips, you will have moisture in the oil because the oil did not get hot enough long enough to evaporate the moisture out of the oil and I would change it annually. If it was mostly longer trips, the oil should be moisture free and the time is not as much of an issue and I wouldn't worry about it.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vancamp_b View Post
    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.
    What a waste.
    Marty Hill
    12 GS black/Boxer Cup Replika

    ride till you can't

  10. #10
    Registered User wyman.winn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barry5k View Post
    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??
    if the motor was put away hot....like after a 50+ mile ride i would not worry about it....and i would only change the oil about every 6000 mile or so.....BUT, if the motor was put away cold....like a warm up in the garage or very short rides, i would change it before letting it sit for too long....moisture (turns to acids) from not cold/short runs will ruin the motor if not evaporated out of the oil...

    wyman
    2013 R1200RT - Sassy - Fluid Grey Metallic
    2002 V-Strom DL1000 - sold
    2008 KLR650 - sold

  11. #11
    OldBMWMaster JDOCKERY132445's Avatar
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    It is all good

    I bought a bike on ebay that was in Atlanta, K100RS. .I hitched a ride to get it. Inflated the old cracked tires, put a new battery in it and rode it home to Wilmington, NC. I did a complete service after I got home. No damage.
    Jerry Dockery
    309 N. 3rd. Ave.
    Kure Beach, NC 28449
    1996 R1100RT main bike & 1985 K100RS...too fast to believe.

  12. #12
    OldBMWMaster JDOCKERY132445's Avatar
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    Sitting

    Quote Originally Posted by JDOCKERY132445 View Post
    I bought a bike on ebay that was in Atlanta, K100RS. .I hitched a ride to get it. Inflated the old cracked tires, put a new battery in it and rode it home to Wilmington, NC. I did a complete service after I got home. No damage.
    sorry, it had been sitting for 3 years with old fluids in it.
    Jerry Dockery
    309 N. 3rd. Ave.
    Kure Beach, NC 28449
    1996 R1100RT main bike & 1985 K100RS...too fast to believe.

  13. #13
    BMW is Boxer-Boxer is BMW GregoryT's Avatar
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    Oil change.

    Quote Originally Posted by vancamp_b View Post
    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.
    I totally agree, all my vehicles with synthetic and mineral oil get the change at every 3K miles, (the ONLY exception I make is if I travel from coast to coast - then I change it at 6K).
    Some people say that this is a waste, what waste?
    Used oil is recycled and reused.
    G.T.
    BMW MOA # 71371
    Everett, WA

    2013 R1200RT

  14. #14
    BMW is Boxer-Boxer is BMW GregoryT's Avatar
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    G.T.
    BMW MOA # 71371
    Everett, WA

    2013 R1200RT

  15. #15
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDOCKERY132445 View Post
    I bought a bike on ebay that was in Atlanta, K100RS. .I hitched a ride to get it. Inflated the old cracked tires, put a new battery in it and rode it home to Wilmington, NC. I did a complete service after I got home. No damage.
    Living on the edge!
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

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