Do I Really Have To Change My Oil Every Year? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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Do I Really Have To Change My Oil Every Year?




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Dear MOby,

I just saw your answer regards oil change. My manual says that I need to change oil every 3000 miles. But I only ride about 1000 miles per year (very short commute). By the book, I need to perform oil change every three years. Do I really need to change oil every year? Is it okay to change oil every three years, just because I donít ride that much?

Thank you
Jay

PS: Just to make myself comfortable, I do oil change once a year.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-02-2017, 12:46 AM
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Its actually 3750 per the manual, but the mechanic at the Kawi shop told me 4k or every year. I guess every year wouldn't hurt if you haven't reached the 4k bar since its pretty cheap to buy oil and filter. Your oil still looked pretty clean though!
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-02-2017, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Lurch71 View Post
Its actually 3750 per the manual, but the mechanic at the Kawi shop told me 4k or every year. I guess every year wouldn't hurt if you haven't reached the 4k bar since its pretty cheap to buy oil and filter. Your oil still looked pretty clean though!
Not, sure where you got your information from but Kawasaki recommends an oil change once per year OR every 7500 miles/12K km in both the service and owners manual. Changing your oil and filter more frequently is just wasting money or a way for dealer to make money from gullible customers.



10W-30 -10C/14F to 30C/86F
10W-40 -10C/14F to 40C/104F (default recommendation for most use)
10W-50 -10C/14F to death valley in summertime
20W-40 0C/32F to 40C/104F
20W-50 0C/32F to death valley in summertime


* Notice motorcycle oil ONLY is available in 10W- and 20W- grades, and never 5W- or 0W- grades. This is because it uses a thicker base oil making it perform better in a combined engine transmission sump and maintain it's viscosity longer. Low starting temperatures a non issue on a motorcycle.

Last edited by twowheels; 03-02-2017 at 06:49 AM.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-02-2017, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by twowheels View Post
Not, sure where you got your information from but Kawasaki recommends an oil change once per year OR every 7500 miles/12K km in both the service and owners manual. Changing your oil and filter more frequently is just wasting money or a way for dealer to make money from gullible customers.



10W-30 -10C/14F to 30C/86F
10W-40 -10C/14F to 40C/104F (default recommendation for most use)
10W-50 -10C/14F to death valley in summertime
20W-40 0C/32F to 40C/104F
20W-50 0C/32F to death valley in summertime


* Notice motorcycle oil ONLY is available in 10W- and 20W- grades, and never 5W- or 0W- grades. This is because it uses a thicker base oil making it perform better in a combined engine transmission sump and maintain it's viscosity longer. Low starting temperatures a non issue on a motorcycle.
I read it in the manual of my of 2017 versys 1000. Its what they recommend; however, there are many forums and threads all over the internet that say different things. It's only a recommendation. I've read where some change every 3k, every 5k, or every 7.5k. I guess I'll see what it looks like at about 4K and evaluate from there. It one of those topics like chain maintenance. It's all over the place what owners do, how they do it, and what they use. It's about what works for you and what gives you longevity on the bike without major problems or costly repair. At the end of the day both or cheap to accomplish and can be done by the owner. Its risk reward. Ride safe!
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-02-2017, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by twowheels View Post
Not, sure where you got your information from but Kawasaki recommends an oil change once per year OR every 7500 miles/12K km in both the service and owners manual.
That's what the owners' manual for my 2014 Versys 650 says also, but it's odd: you'll see people saying 1500, 3000, 3750 and all sorts of numbers are "recommended by Kawasaki". Every so often I have to look back at my manual to be sure I'm remembering correctly. :-)
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-02-2017, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Lurch71 View Post
I read it in the manual of my of 2017 versys 1000. Its what they recommend; however, there are many forums and threads all over the internet that say different things. It's only a recommendation. I've read where some change every 3k, every 5k, or every 7.5k. I guess I'll see what it looks like at about 4K and evaluate from there. It one of those topics like chain maintenance. It's all over the place what owners do, how they do it, and what they use. It's about what works for you and what gives you longevity on the bike without major problems or costly repair. At the end of the day both or cheap to accomplish and can be done by the owner. Its risk reward. Ride safe!

Owners manual for the 1000 is here: OWNER'S MANUAL | INSPECTION SCREEN

Double checked it as I thought 3500 miles was unusually short interval for oil changes. It's on page 119. Recommended oil change intervals by Kawasaki are the same for the 1000 as the 650. That is every 7500 miles (12000 km) or annually, which ever comes first. Maximum chain lubrication interval is roughly every second fill up for any bike unless it has an unusually large or small tank, or after you ride in the rain.

The color of the oil does not really indicate anything. About the only thing you can easily tell looking at oil in the sump, is that if you have water in it, the head gasket is toast, and if it smells like gasoline, the carb has probably flooded, something not relevant to fuel injected engines. About the only way to tell anything useful about used oil is take a sample and send it in for chemical analysis to someplace like Blackstone Labs or another company that provide this service. These companies are normally used by fleet operators.

Last edited by twowheels; 03-04-2017 at 10:33 AM.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 01:49 AM
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Originally Posted by twowheels View Post
Not, sure where you got your information from but Kawasaki recommends an oil change once per year OR every 7500 miles/12K km in both the service and owners manual. Changing your oil and filter more frequently is just wasting money or a way for dealer to make money from gullible customers.
* Notice motorcycle oil ONLY is available in 10W- and 20W- grades, and never 5W- or 0W- grades. This is because it uses a thicker base oil making it perform better in a combined engine transmission sump and maintain it's viscosity longer. Low starting temperatures a non issue on a motorcycle.
It is advisable to change your 2.25 liters of oil in engine, gearbox and clutch at no more than 8,000 kms (5,000 miles) or one year to maintain adequate protection and cleanliness... Motorcycle oils are in fact also available in 0W-40 and 5W-40 grades.

https://www.motorexusa.com/collectio...ng-pro-4t-0w40

http://www.castrol.com/en_us/united-...racing-4t.html

https://www.motul.com/ca/en-US/produ...ad-racing-5w40

Last edited by invader; 03-09-2017 at 01:54 AM.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 11:29 AM
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It is advisable to change your 2.25 liters of oil in engine, gearbox and clutch at no more than 8,000 kms (5,000 miles) or one year to maintain adequate protection and cleanliness... Motorcycle oils are in fact also available in 0W-40 and 5W-40 grades.

https://www.motorexusa.com/collectio...ng-pro-4t-0w40

Power RS Racing 4T 4-Cycle Motorcycle Engine Oil | 4-Cycle Engine Oil, 4 Stroke Oil | Motorcycle Oil, Motorcycle Oils | Castrol - Motor Oil, Engine Oils, Full Synthetic Oil, Transmission Fluid and Lubricants

https://www.motul.com/ca/en-US/produ...ad-racing-5w40
These are all race use oils, none are general use oils. I assume the thinner base oil has some advantages in an environment where the engine is only operated (intensely) for short periods such in a competition based environment and long term durability is less of a concern.

From what I've read: The lower number of a multigrade oil denotes the base oil used. The higher number indicates the oils behavior at 100C. A multigrade oil is a single weight base oil with added polymers. 5W-40 is a 5W oil that will only thin as much as a single weight 40W oil at 100C due to added polymers. Although all oils will thin out viscosity wise with an increase in tempature, polymers added to a multigrade oil will keep it from thinning as much as it will normally do. All multigrade oils also contain an additive pack of chemicals such as dry lubricants and others. Polymers break down with shear however an oil with a thicker base oil requires fewer polymers and will thin less over time. Lots of info on this on Bob's the Oil Guy web site. Since we don't ride in freezing temps a thin base oil holds no real advantage for motorcycles and and a thicker base oil is advantageous for this reason. Most motorcycle manufacturers such as Kawasaki recommend an oil with a base weight of 10 or greater. Also synthetic oil does not contain wax and other impurities unlike regular oil, therefore it will naturally stay thinner at cool temps, meaning it requires fewer or no polymers to act as a multigrade oil, it naturally has some multigrade properties. It also withstands hotter temperatures without oxidizing, which is the reason most manufacturers of turbo charged engines recommend synthetic, the bearing in a turbo gets extremely hot due to the tempature of exhaust gasses and the oil left in the bearing can cook when the engine is shut down. It also has advantages in air cooled engines, which run hotter, for this reason. Part of the reason synthetic lasts longer is it's reduced reliance on polymers for viscosity retention.

The difference between car, diesel and motorcycle oils is the additive pack of chemicals, also motorcycles do not require the thinner base oil of an engine used in freezing weather. For instance diesels require additives to suspend the diesel soot in the oil and do not require extra dry lubricants to the same extent as gas engines due to the fact the fuel is also a lubricant. A diesel engine oil will be black with soot from just it's first run with new oil. Motorcycles require additives that will not interfere with the operation of the oil immersed clutch and assist the transmission, cars have an additive pack that will not interfere with the catalytic converter.

Viscosity is the flow characteristics of the oil and the important number from the lubrication standpoint, however viscosity varies dramatically with tempature, therefore oil manufactures use weight. To be categorized as say a 10W oil the viscosity needs to fall within a narrow viscosity range at 0C and again at 100C and at other temperatures used in the rating system. This rating system is based on non synthetic oils. As stated earlier, synthetic oils thin less at low temperatures due to the fact they do not contain impurities like wax so naturally appear as multigrade oils using this measurement system.

Last edited by twowheels; 03-09-2017 at 12:25 PM.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 07:16 PM
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Way back in this forum's history there was a guy who proudly spoke of the fact that he changed his oil every 600 miles. On the other hand, I change my oil according to what the owner's manual says with the cheapest motorcycle 10W-40 I can find locally. It has now been 9 years and just about 30,000 miles and things are still going well.

I have not heard of any major lubrication-related failures on the Versys. As long as that is the case, then I think that you can be a bit lazy with your changes. On the other hand, some people really like changing oil. The cost difference is not that great either way.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 08:55 PM
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I change my bikes oil every 5k. I have over 168k on my 2001 Concours and it is still running like new. Oil changes are the cheapest engine insurance you can buy.
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