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I'm not going to ask what kind of oil to use but about when to do it.
As a kid growing up, I always heard my father talk about changing the oil in the lawn mower first thing in the spring because of condensation that happens from having the mowers stored away all winter in the cold shed. So he changed the oil every spring. Now my car and truck gets driven all year round so I change their oil according to mileage.
So, If I store my bike away for the winter just like my lawn mower, does it make sense to change the oil each spring before I take it out on the road or change it based on my mileage which I've read here to be about every 5000-8000 miles?
 

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I change my oil according to the manufacturers recommended schedule (as stated in the manual) and don't account for winter storage. If it's close to the time it should be changed, I'll go ahead and do it before storage. If not, I simply put the bike away for the winter and in the spring, pick up where I left off. Never had a problem yet!

But it also depends on how long it's stored and where. Mine gets put up for about 5-months and is stored in my garage. Nothing fancy, just a canvas tarp and a full-time battery tender.

If storing outdoors or for an extended period of time (a year or longer) I'd probably change the oil before storage and drain the gas tank too.....

Don't make too big of a deal about winter storage unless it's stored in an extreme condition or for an extended period of time.
Phil
 

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Most modern oils especially fully synthetic can be used up to 20,000 miles, but, and this is the big :arrow: BUT, once you have change the oil and started the engine (or ridden), it then should be changed every 12 months no matter the mileage. All oils have a recommended time frame for use once placed into the engine.
Check the owners/workshop manual, and also look at the manufactures site of the oil you are using, and you will see that this is also stated.

So why not make that yearly oil change the day you decide to ride after the winter break...!!!
 

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Whether the oil is fresh or used you will have some condensation after storage but that will burn off in the first 20 minute ride. If you are going to change the oil right after storage you may as well put in the fresh before storage so the engine is run a bit with the cleanest and freshest oil. If you are sticking with the recommended oil change interval and the mileage is between the 5-8k at the end of the year then do it then. Otherwise wait until the 5-8k mark.

G.
 

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The dealer told me to change it every 8000 miles or once a year, whichever comes first. That being said, I have been doing it at about 5000 miles....oil is cheap.
 

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I used to change mine every 7-8k miles (as the book said) , but I noticed that as the oil got older..say after 4k miles or so...It smelled very "acidy" and I started to burn some..so I now change every 3k miles or so...and replace the oil and filter before winter storage (appox. 3 months)..and then replace just the oil after my first ride of the season..cheap insurance...
 

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...It smelled very "acidy" and I started to burn some...
Depleting oil happens 2 ways: it leaks out or it burns with the fuel. If you are "burning" oil ie can either see excessive smoke or are having to refill oil, that will happen whether the oil is fresh or not and indicates there is an issue with the engine: usually rings or valves. Changing the oil will not affect the oil depletion cause. Oil may smell "acidy" as soon as you change it and is not an indication the oil is contaminated and requires changing. How much oil were you burning at 4k?

G.
 

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Depleting oil happens 2 ways: it leaks out or it burns with the fuel. If you are "burning" oil ie can either see excessive smoke or are having to refill oil, that will happen whether the oil is fresh or not and indicates there is an issue with the engine: usually rings or valves. Changing the oil will not affect the oil depletion cause. Oil may smell "acidy" as soon as you change it and is not an indication the oil is contaminated and requires changing. How much oil were you burning at 4k?

G.
I used to think that too...actually, as oil get old (used) it breaks down - particularly in bikes- and will more readily burn through the rings..even if there is no real problem with the rings..you don't always see any smoke at all... when the oil is changed every 3-4k miles- no "acidy" smell at all.....
 

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I noticed that as the oil got older..say after 4k miles or so...It smelled very "acidy" and I started to burn some
Have you done any modifications like exhaust and/or re-jetting? An engine that's running too rich will cause the oil to become contaminated sooner.

Also, oil burning isn't directly related to old or contaminated oil (although it could contribute to creating the damage that causes oil burning.)

Something is definitely going on that's not quite right, changing your oil early isn't the fix though, you're just masking the problem.

Phil
 

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I'm not going to ask what kind of oil to use but about when to do it.
As a kid growing up, I always heard my father talk about changing the oil in the lawn mower first thing in the spring because of condensation that happens from having the mowers stored away all winter in the cold shed. So he changed the oil every spring. Now my car and truck gets driven all year round so I change their oil according to mileage.
So, If I store my bike away for the winter just like my lawn mower, does it make sense to change the oil each spring before I take it out on the road or change it based on my mileage which I've read here to be about every 5000-8000 miles?
Here's a novel idea.....follow what the owner's manual says as far as miles / time interval. One thing to think about that may vary from that is if you are going to park it for a few months, consider changing the oil at shut down so it sits with fresh oil in it rather than oil that has already been cooked.
 

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I change my oil according to the manufacturers recommended schedule (as stated in the manual) and don't account for winter storage. If it's close to the time it should be changed, I'll go ahead and do it before storage. If not, I simply put the bike away for the winter and in the spring, pick up where I left off. Never had a problem yet!

But it also depends on how long it's stored and where. Mine gets put up for about 5-months and is stored in my garage. Nothing fancy, just a canvas tarp and a full-time battery tender.

If storing outdoors or for an extended period of time (a year or longer) I'd probably change the oil before storage and drain the gas tank too.....

Don't make too big of a deal about winter storage unless it's stored in an extreme condition or for an extended period of time.
Phil
I pretty much do the same as Phil but I dont drain the gas I fill it up for winter storage as I dont want the tank to rust. Just my 2 cents. :)
 

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Somewhat related .... I rarely check the oil level, but just happened to check the oil level the other week. Yikes, it was down below the low line on the dip stick. Never ever happen before. The moral to the story, make it a point to check your oil level every now and then.
 

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I spend maybe 30 bucks on an oil change including filter, so for how cheap it is I cant see why you wouldn't.
im in AZ so I ride year round and go by the 8k mark
 

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As a professional wrench turner, I've always thought of it this way. "Oil is cheap, motors are not". After a while the oil will get dirty, and have many dark particulates is it from the oil seal rubber and wet clutch material. I still cringe when my dealer tells me that I don't need to worry about changing oil till 6- 8K miles. On older bikes with dyno oil 3-4K is enough for me. Remember clutch life depends on the right oil, and clean oil. If you get the burned or acid smell stop and change it. You will only shorten your engine and transmission life.
 

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I pretty much do the same as Phil but I dont drain the gas I fill it up for winter storage as I dont want the tank to rust. Just my 2 cents. :)
I wasn't talking about regular winter storage..... I do the same as you, fill the tank just before putting away for winter.

I was talking about putting the bike away for a long time (a year or longer.) At that point, I would drain the tank because even with fuel stabilizer, the gas would eventually go bad and gum everything up.

Phil
 

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Sh!t. Do we really have to do this again?
First off, unnecessary oil changes are not "cheap". Anything unnecessary is a waste of a finite resource. Do you buy a bottle of beer/soda/milk/etc, drink some of it and then dump the rest out? That is exactly what you're doing when you do needless oil changes.

The United States goes thru roughly 1.5 BILLION gallons of motor oil a year. That's billion...a 1 and a 5 followed by 000000000. All of that oil is NOT cheap, and neither is getting rid of it all. It takes 42 gallons of crude oil to make 2 1/2 quarts of new high quality motor oil. Do the math, that is a butt load of crude.

Used Motor Oil a Potential Source of MTBE in Ground Water

The above link is mostly about used oil, but there are links and info on new oil as well.

When you change your oil too often you are doing nothing good. Not for your engine, not for your wallet, and certainly not for the environment. If you really want to know what kind of shape your oil is in, for just about the same cost as one oil change, you can do a UOA.

A Used Oil analysis is the best/only way to know for certain how much of the additive package is left in your oil and how dirty it is. Remember, oil does NOT wear out. It gets dirty and the additive package gets depleted, but the oil itself stays as it is.

Blackstone labs will send you a sample bottle for free. Their basic UOA is $25. They will tell you not only how your oil is doing, but how your engine is wearing as well.

Blackstone Labs

3000 mile oil changes are a thing of the past. Modern oil technology now lets us extend that number way out. Listen to your MOM. The manufacturer is not going to tell you to do a 6/7/8000 mile oil change interval if his engine can't take it. His reputation would go quickly to h3ll, and he doesn't want that.
 

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As a professional wrench turner, I've always thought of it this way. "Oil is cheap, motors are not". After a while the oil will get dirty, and have many dark particulates is it from the oil seal rubber and wet clutch material. I still cringe when my dealer tells me that I don't need to worry about changing oil till 6- 8K miles. On older bikes with dyno oil 3-4K is enough for me. Remember clutch life depends on the right oil, and clean oil. If you get the burned or acid smell stop and change it. You will only shorten your engine and transmission life.
Please don't take offense to my comment, but being a professional wrench turner doesn't necessarily make you an expert on oil or a how a vehicle manufacturer comes up with its service intervals.

The reality is: If your dealer tells you that 6k to 8k miles is the manufacturers service interval, you can probably go 10k to 12k. (unless of course you're operating in extreme conditions, that's a whole different story)

My 1999 Mercury Sable had a 7000 mile oil change interval, I changed it faithfully at 10,000 miles. Sold it to a family member with over 200k on the odometer and it's still running strong, doesn't burn or leak oil.

Shorter oil change intervals (than recommended) make the owner feel good, but really does nothing to extend the service life of the engine. Nothing wrong with that. If if makes you feel good, that's a good thing. But if you think you're making your engine last longer, you're fooling yourself!
Phil

EDIT: I see gat beat me to the punch. WHAT HE SAID ^
 
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