Oil change- am I reading the manual right? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-23-2013, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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Oil change- am I reading the manual right?

I know there have been several postings regarding oil changes, but I was checking the maintenance schedule on the service manual and it says replace the the oil at .6K miles and the next one is at 7.5K miles. I thought it was every 3K just like a car... Currently, I have 2,122 miles and the oil is somewhat dark already. I have a 2013 V btw. Am I missing something?
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-23-2013, 07:06 PM
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600 miles, then 7500 miles according to the manual. You can't really go wrong if you follow that, unless you really drive under "severe conditions". Take it to the track a lot? I probably wouldn't extend the intervals then.

Oil color is a poor judge of condition, unless it's actually sludge, which shouldn't be an issue if you use a high-quality synthetic oil. Even in cars, 3000 mile changes are a complete waste of money these days, pretty much only advertised by quick-lube places. 5000 is more the norm even with regular oil, and most manufacturers even recommend 7500. Most good synthetics can easily do 10K or more. I've done several 10K changes on my Volvo with Mobil 1 High Mileage and it's running very well at 205,000 miles.

I'll admit that I've changed my bike's oil a bit more than necessary, but buying 3 quarts isn't that bad compared to the 6 my car takes.

2012 Kawasaki Versys 650 - 20,500 miles
2000 Volvo V70XC 2.4T - 258,000 miles

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-23-2013, 07:12 PM
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I saw that to. But i change my oil at every 3000 miles with synthetic oil. Maybe overkill but i look at it as cheap insurance. With the car Infiniti recommends 7500 and thats what i've been doing.

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-23-2013, 08:25 PM
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I change oil every 5,000 unless I'm beating the bike to death off road. I thing 3,000 any more is over kill BUT can't come to wait to 7,500.

The old 3,000 was back in the old days when oil wasn't as refined as now and Synthetic oils really do last longer as the don't shear down as fast.

BUT Oil's cheap...motors cost big money! So go with what you feel is right.

Or was that look THEN leap?
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-23-2013, 10:26 PM
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I change my oil at about every 3,000 miles. It takes barely more than 2 US quarts, and that's for the engine, transmission and clutch. Waiting 7,500 miles between oil changes would be neglectful, not to mention ridiculous... Up to about 4,000 miles is acceptable with good synthetic oil.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-23-2013, 10:45 PM
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I change my oil at about every 3,000 miles. It takes barely more than 2 US quarts, and that's for the engine, transmission and clutch. Waiting 7,500 miles between oil changes would be neglectful, not to mention ridiculous... Up to about 4,000 miles is acceptable with good synthetic oil.
How can following the manufacturer's recommend service schedule be neglectful?

Do you think Kawasaki engineers would recommend something that was not safe for the bike? Those guys are pretty smart.

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-23-2013, 10:53 PM
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It just is.

Kawasaki engineers sure are smart... It's the almighty Environmental Governance which don't have much mechanical sympathy.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-23-2013, 11:01 PM
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It just is.

Kawasaki engineers sure are smart... It's the almighty Environmental Governance which don't have much mechanical sympathy.
Yeah. Engineers do not write the manuals. Certainly they contributed information. But some of it is policy or politics, and some of it seems to be detritus from old documents.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 01:49 AM
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When I first saw that oil change interval, I was kind of shocked too. I usually ride between 15,000 and 20,000 miles a year, so the long service intervals really attracted me to this bike--is there another bike made with a valve adjustment interval longer than 26,500 miles? I've trusted the manual before... When I took my bike in for its very first valve adjustment, it had almost 28,000 miles on it...and NOT ONE valve was out of spec (yes, most were on the tight end of spec, but EVERY one still IN SPEC). The Kawi guys have been at this game for a good while now: I could see this bike easliy going to 100,000+ miles with 7,500 mile oil changes and 26,500 mile valve adjustments without any serious engine problems....

Anyway, I think a lot of it has to do with how you accumulate your mileage. Motor oil likes to get up to operating temperature and stay there for a while to burn off some contaminants. If you just do a few short rides once in a while, changing the oil at least once a year might be a good idea even if you put in less than 3,000 miles. Same thing in reverse; if you ride fairly long periods (I've always thought at least 35-45 minute periods) and regularly, you can stretch the intervals. I also believe it has a lot to do with how important shift quality is to you as well.

Since break-in and the switch over to syn, I have been regular at oil and filter changes every 5K miles. My bike is approaching 45K miles and once I put the filler cap on after an oil change, I still don't have to take it off again until the next full change. I ride somewhere between 75-100 miles a day, 5 days a week, most weeks. When I change my oil at 5K miles, the oil (full syn Rotella T6 5w-40) definitely shows "use," but it is in no way what I would call completely used up. It still smells okay (unburned) and even has a hint of a (darker) honey color left...I can clearly see how someone could say that oil had another 2,500 miles left in it. By the looks of my 5K oil, I am sure it would cause no extra harm or wear to any part of the motor running to 7.5K with it.

The main thing I wonder about with Kawi's long oil change recommendation is shift quality.... My experience has been the shifting is "super slick" for the first 2K miles after an oil change (assuming syn oil), then goes to "pretty slick" from 2K to 4K, and then "semi-slick" from 4K to 5K. I can only imagine it would go to "less than semi-slick" from 5K to 7.5K. That's my main reason for changing it at 5K (and, as others have said, it IS cheap insurance--I only go 2/3 of what they say I can...). If someone really valued "super slick" shifting, I could see them changing the oil every 2-3K just for that reason alone!

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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 07:06 AM
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I compromise, change the oil around the 3500 mark, change the oil and filter around the 7500 mark. Seems to work well. As for oil, I only use Mobil 1 or Motul - both full syn.
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 08:08 AM
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you can stop the guessing just send an oil sample to

www.blackstone-labs.com

they will be able to give you an answer.

from Blackstone's web site

Ok, now for the technical questions. What is a TBN?

A TBN (total base number) measures the amount of active additive left in a sample of oil. The TBN is useful for people who want to extend their oil usage far beyond the normal range. To learn more, click here
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 08:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invader View Post
I change my oil at about every 3,000 miles. It takes barely more than 2 US quarts, and that's for the engine, transmission and clutch. Waiting 7,500 miles between oil changes would be neglectful, not to mention ridiculous... Up to about 4,000 miles is acceptable with good synthetic oil.
+1 Even with syn oil change it 3-4k. Keep it clean and it will run and run!

When I talked to Kawi they said please do the first oil change with regular oil for breakin than go to the syn if you like. So that's what I did and the bike has ran great!

Why they wanted regular oil for breakin I don't know!





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Last edited by onewizard; 11-06-2018 at 10:49 PM.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 08:20 AM
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from my report from blackstone labs using rotella 5w40 changed at 3000 mile intervals.

The TBN was strong at 6.5 so you had more than enough active additive left for a longer
oil run. A TBN of 1.0 is too low. Universal averages are based 2,000 miles. You could try 4,000 next time
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 08:29 AM
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from my report from blackstone labs using rotella 5w40 changed at 3000 mile intervals.

The TBN was strong at 6.5 so you had more than enough active additive left for a longer
oil run. A TBN of 1.0 is too low. Universal averages are based 2,000 miles. You could try 4,000 next time
How much does blackstone labs charge you?





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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 08:44 AM
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I follow manufacturers specs in bikes and cars. I replace at the specified interval with the specified oil and viscosity. I use Mobil 1 4T racing on all the bikes and also Mobil 1 for the cars. No additives.

The only additive I use every couple thousands miles is Techron on the gas.

I replace the oil filter with a OEM one, and kept my factory air cleaner.

Never have had a problem.

This doesn't mean every body can use the long schedule, it depends were and how you ride. The extreme conditions schedule say to do it in less time Just follow the user manual.




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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 08:44 AM
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How much does blackstone labs charge you?
I think it was 25.00.(they will send you the kits for free) It pretty much helped me sell a motorcycle . I had a Harley sportster with 55000 miles on the bike. The mechanic that came and looked at the bike was a little concerned about the mileage till I showed him the oil analysis. He bought the bike that night.
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 10:28 AM
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from my report from blackstone labs using rotella 5w40 changed at 3000 mile intervals.

The TBN was strong at 6.5 so you had more than enough active additive left for a longer
oil run. A TBN of 1.0 is too low. Universal averages are based 2,000 miles. You could try 4,000 next time
What was the cSt 100 C? I'd be very surprised if it wasn't in the 30 weight range. Some don't think that's a problem. Others do.

TBN is important. Viscosity too. Can't tell you at what level you need to get alarmed with our bikes or how thick the oil must be to protect the transmission.
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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 10:51 AM
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What was the cSt 100 C? I'd be very surprised if it wasn't in the 30 weight range. Some don't think that's a problem. Others do.

TBN is important. Viscosity too. Can't tell you at what level you need to get alarmed with our bikes or how thick the oil must be to protect the transmission.
it was , I think it was 9.83 .
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 01:53 PM
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Someone here said that the Kawi engineers are smart. Yet they are the guys that designed an uncomfortable seat (that corbin just loves to replace) and inserted it at an angle that slides the jewels into the gas tank. They also designed that sorry excuse of a windshield. We have to hang the handlebars from the rafters in the garage to change the front tire.

Exactly how smart are these guys???
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 02:15 PM
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I have an '08 that I bought new and it only has about 8K on it, as I only use it as a commuter. What I do, is change the oil every fall, regardless of the miles that summer. It's the last thing I do before I put it away for the winters here in CT. Probably silly, but I like the idea of having it sit in new oil for a few months.
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