Author Topic: is an oil change every 3 months necessary?  (Read 12918 times)

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mikejb1979

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on: February 13, 2008, 11:26:13 pm
HI, I'm a novice mechanic and learning as i go.  i use my Enfield Bullet Classic as a commuter to and from work except in inclement weather.  I'm noticing that it takes much longer than 3 months (7 or 8 months?!) to reach even 2000 miles (its a very short commute).  I plan on changing the oil every 2000 miles just for the heck of it but its been 7 or 8 months since my last oil change.  Is it ok to go that long without changing the oil as long as the mileage is low?  If i remember correctly, the owner's manual only mentions mileage intervals not the standard "3 months or 3000 miles whichever comes first".  Should I be changing the oil every 3 months even though I may have put only 100 or 200 miles on the bike?


Vince

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Reply #1 on: February 14, 2008, 12:37:32 am
They don't hold much oil, and the classic felt oil filter is not much use. With the mileage most people put on you would be safe to change the oil every 1,000 to 1,500 miles. Replace the filter every other change. At the very least, once a year.


birdmove

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Reply #2 on: February 14, 2008, 01:00:54 am
  How often on the trans oil and primary fluid? I've kind of gone by oil changes every 1000 miles on an air cooled engine.I might go 2000 on a water cooled.But on my 2005 KLR650, since I have such a short commute (7.5 miles each way), I've been changing it every 1000 in the colder weather, since it doesn't even get up to temp and burn off the water vapor on that short commute.
    But, of course, the Bullet is different since it uses seperate oil for the engine, trans, and primary (like a HD).Theoretically, that should be a good thing since you can use the best oil in each category, instead of having to use one oil to do everything.

    jon
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mikejb1979

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Reply #3 on: February 14, 2008, 01:29:48 am
I change  the trans oil and primary oil when i change the engine oil.  I think I'll go with the 1000-1500 mile oil change.  Just to get my hands in there and check on every thing (clutch cable, pushrods, chain lube, etc).  I'm just approaching 2000 miles since my last change and I pretty sure the last time I changed it was June/July '07.

And yeah, I checked the oil level today and i noticed some white gunk around the dipstick...that's gotta be water vapor from the cold weather, right?.  I live in Louisiana, so it gets down in the 30's or 40's for my morning commute.  Every once and a while it gets down in the 20's.  So, I'm riding in these temps and the water vapor must be mixing with the oil.  As soon as i saw that, i thought, yep...its been too long since my last change.  i may even lean more towards the 1000 mile interval.  I don't want to overdue it...spend time/money on unnecessary oil changes, etc.


cyrusb

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Reply #4 on: February 14, 2008, 02:14:32 am
Also ,if your commute is really short  you probably never boil the moisture out of the oil ,especially if the weather is cool . That should change in the summer though...
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LJRead

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Reply #5 on: February 14, 2008, 04:46:53 am
My bike has an interesting case of "no odometer".  I may be getting one eventually, but if not, was thinking a four monthly change would be about right.  The weather hardly changes here in the tropics day to night, and with my car, I probably do less than 4,000 miles per year, the bike maybe less.  So until or unless I get an odometer, four months should be about right.


Peter

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Reply #6 on: May 01, 2008, 02:21:48 am
Your commute is too short for a Bullet.
It's probably less than 6 miles one way.
Oil changes are not going to make much of a difference.
Mine takes at least 15 miles to completely warm up.
Ride it once a week for at least 25 miles on the open road to boil the crap out of your oil and change  oil at the factory recommended interval. It'll be a very happy Bullet that way because you ride it regularly.

Peter


geoffbaker

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Reply #7 on: May 01, 2008, 02:31:25 am
In a different thread, I've been testing engine temperature using a cylinder head temperature meter. These engines run hot. - I've seen it at 385 after an hours ride on a warm day. That means you're best of changing oil frequently... at higher temperatures it breaks down more rapidly. Synthetic might be adviseable.
Of course, this does not apply to primary and transmission.


Peter

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Reply #8 on: May 01, 2008, 02:39:55 am
You need to measure head temp somewhere else. With the sensor at the plug you are measuring the temperature of the plug body more than anything else. (colder plug higher temp reading, funny thing)
But about the frequent oil changes because of particle contamination, who am I to argue about that, having spliced an oil filter into the rocker feed line myself.
In any case, inserting one ride of decent duration per week is just fine to keep oil change intervals as recommended.

I will change my opinion if head temps are really that high. 

Peter
« Last Edit: May 01, 2008, 03:00:04 am by Peter »


Thumper

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Reply #9 on: May 01, 2008, 12:25:32 pm
If i remember correctly, the owner's manual only mentions mileage intervals not the standard "3 months or 3000 miles whichever comes first".  Should I be changing the oil every 3 months even though I may have put only 100 or 200 miles on the bike?

You should perform maintenance according to the schedule in your Owner's Manual.

My guess is that it specifies an oil change every 3000kms. It is not a problem for that to take longer than 3months.

Matt


dewjantim

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Reply #10 on: May 04, 2008, 01:13:38 pm
I change the oil  and filter in my RE at the first of every riding season. Seldom change the primary oil in anything, as long as there is enough in there to lube the primary chain is what really matters. Never have to lube the drive chain, thanks to the duck-bill breather tube....... Happy thumpin'........Dew.
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RAKe

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Reply #11 on: October 25, 2008, 05:47:09 am
Many years...many miles...many (good-running) vehicles...I've developed a system over the decades, and applied it to both bikes and trucks.  I change my oil according to the vehicle odometer.  In the days when I used carbon-based oils, every 2500 miles on the odometer (X,000, X2,500, X5,000, X7,500) I change both the oil and filter with high-quality lubricants--the Consumer Reports scientists evaluate Valvoline to be the best, and that works for me.  But a number of other brands are also highly rated.

Now that synthetic lubricants have become readily available, I run them exclusively, but I allow 5000 miles between oil changes.  I focus on the quality of the products I use, and now that my racing (and hellraising) days are over, my vehicles hold up extremely well using my system.  I have also learned that synthetics are vastly superior to carbon-based oils in every possible respect, and definitely worth the extra cash.  Enough said?
« Last Edit: October 28, 2008, 05:03:50 am by RAKe »
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The Garbone

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Reply #12 on: October 25, 2008, 02:42:53 pm
I agree about synthetics.  I am running Mobile 1 in mine and 750 milessince the last change it is just now starting to change color. 
Gary
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ace.cafe

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Reply #13 on: October 25, 2008, 03:19:10 pm
I buy cheap oil, and change it very often.

Most of the "cheap" store-brand oils are the same/similar as the expensive oils, but you don't pay for the marketing costs. They are API rated oils that are good.
In any case, since it's cheap, I change it about every 300-500 miles.
Doesn't really have enough usage to break the oil down in that time, it's always fresh and clean, and doesn't cost much.

My rule is change it often, and avoid any concerns about how long the oil will last in a hot engine. No matter how good the oil is, it gets combustion acids and other contaminants in it, and I prefer to get those out on a regular basis.

So, I do the cheap oil changes often.

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REpozer

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Reply #14 on: October 25, 2008, 10:26:50 pm
I changed oil at 300 miles and 1000 miles later.Since I operate in cool /wet  environment,I noticed that  a vapor oil sludge( white  oily paste) developed on the inside of my rocker covers. I change from 20w-50 fossil oil to 15w-50 synthetic , to see if that makes any difference. If not I may go with the ace.cafe method ,( buy cheap and change often). Ive used that method on my cars for years and have never an oil related problems. All my cars are old with high miles.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2008, 03:20:03 am by REpozer »
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