Oil Change Frequency?

Discussion in 'Triumph General Discussion' started by ChessNibbler, Jul 6, 2022.

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  1. ChessNibbler

    ChessNibbler Member

    May 29, 2022
    21
    8
    Orange County, NY
    Hello My Fellow Triumph Lovers,

    The manual for my T120 states the service intervals at ~600 miles for 1st service and then the next at 10,000 miles. Am I to believe that if I drive 5,000 miles within a summer I should not replace the oil?

    10,000 miles seems like a long distance between oil changes. Anyone ever change their oil at 3,000 miles? 5,000?

    Anyone ever drive their bike so much that reaching those miles makes this question a concern??

    I go on "short" 20 minute trips 2 or 3 times a day, no extended rides, and I'm shocked that I've already put on almost 2,000 miles on this beautiful Bonnie in just under two months! The more I drive the smoother it gets and the better I get at riding, and it's exciting and fun and awesome so I'm concerned about dirty engine oil.

    So, what say you?
     
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  2. Aaron Brown

    Aaron Brown apprentice mad reclusive genius

    Mar 8, 2021
    394
    113
    Austin, TX, USA
    #2 Aaron Brown, Jul 6, 2022
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2022
    Replacing the oil more frequently does not cause any issues (except, perhaps, to your wallet).

    My Tiger 1200's service intervals were the same, and I live in Texas (100F+ for most of the summer). I followed the service intervals and changed the oil annually or every 10K miles, and never once had an issue with it.

    Oh, and for the record, I put 18K miles on that bike in 18 months (including a 3000 mile long haul tour) before I traded it in on a new Tiger 900 Rally Pro.
     
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  3. Eldon

    Eldon Elite Member

    Nov 14, 2018
    3,973
    800
    North Yorkshire
    I personally do a minimum of one annual oil and filter change irrespective of mileage.
    If I do more than 3-4000 ish on a bike in one year I usually do an additional change but I swap my bikes around during the seasons (priviledged to have more than one bike) so don't usually do a lot of miles on one specific bike.

    For the cost and inconvenience element, by doing it diy at my leisure, I find this is no real problem, good practice and ensures longevity.
     
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  4. Aaron Brown

    Aaron Brown apprentice mad reclusive genius

    Mar 8, 2021
    394
    113
    Austin, TX, USA
    Yeah, I do the same, though it's very rare that one of my motorcycles gets ridden so little that a year goes by without passing through a manual-specified service interval. :)
     
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  5. Aaron Brown

    Aaron Brown apprentice mad reclusive genius

    Mar 8, 2021
    394
    113
    Austin, TX, USA
    @ChessNibbler I definitely hope you did the initial 600 mile service and changed the oil at that point. That change is possibly the most important one of all, as it's the initial flush out of your engine post-factory.
     
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  6. Armando Morales

    Armando Morales Noble Member

    Mar 29, 2021
    721
    443
    Mexico
    My 2021 Tiger 900 has a service interval every 10,000 km / 6,000 miles
    or yearly, whatever comes first
    I did notice other models have a 10,000 miles service interval.
     
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  7. Aaron Brown

    Aaron Brown apprentice mad reclusive genius

    Mar 8, 2021
    394
    113
    Austin, TX, USA
    Yep, the tiger 900 service interval is 10k km, whereas others (including the tiger 1200) have up to 16k. I was a little bummed about that increased frequency when trading the 1200 for the 900, but the 900 is such a fun and capable bike that I swallowed the disappointment in trade for the huge smile on my face every time I ride it.
     
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  8. andypandy

    andypandy Crème de la Crème

    Jan 10, 2016
    4,083
    1,000
    Shaw
    I've known of people that have changed the oil every 1,000 miles. That's a bit OCD I think but I do find it satisfying to drop the dark dirty black stuff and replace with nice new shiny golden oil.
     
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  9. ChessNibbler

    ChessNibbler Member

    May 29, 2022
    21
    8
    Orange County, NY
    @Aaron Brown, Yes! I did. Paid about $335 for it. So hopefully they really did it and didn't just sweep the curtain closed for a few minutes. :)
    And to all the rest thank you as well. So what I did was go out and buy the filter from my dealer but they didn't have oil. So I bought Honda oil, MA rated, from the Honda dealership and changed the oil but couldn't get the filter off. So I feel better that the oil is changed but I'll have to do it again soon in order to change the filter once I get the correct filter wrench. I'm going off the deep end here but there it is.
    So soon I'll have Castrol oil and a new filter. I've decided I'm going to go ahead and change it based on sound. I believe I can hear it. I hear you laughing right now. See??? I really can hear.
    Anyway, thanks all. Very nice of you to help me.

    PS: I LOVE this Bonneville. What a beautiful machine in looks and performance. Every time I get off it I'm so damn happy.
     
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  10. Aaron Brown

    Aaron Brown apprentice mad reclusive genius

    Mar 8, 2021
    394
    113
    Austin, TX, USA
    No laughing, I swear :)

    learning the right way and all of the steps of oil changing on a new bike is always a process. I’ve had more than one bike that took me a few tries to get the oil change worked out right.
     
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  11. joe mc donald

    Dec 26, 2014
    13,843
    1,000
    slough / burnham
    Yes me its every year irrespective.
    Joe
     
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  12. Mark9

    Mark9 Noble Member

    Jul 13, 2020
    564
    343
    Derby
    I do wonder if the increasingly long service intervals we see are driven by engineering advances or by the marketing departments of various manufacturers?
    Here’s my take on it, if you’re keeping the bike for say 25k miles you may as well just stick to the manufacturers recommended service intervals, the amount of wear at that sort of mileage is negligible, if you intend to keep the bike for 80k+ miles then halve the service intervals for oil changes to keep cumulative wear to a minimum.
    Changing the oil on a yearly basis regardless of mileage is pointless, riding the bike sympathetically goes a long way to preserving engine internals, things such as warming the engine before using the upper Rev range, not lugging the engine in 6th at low speeds, not stamping on the gear lever, riding smoothly, using torque & short shifting rather than revving the nuts off it in 2nd & 3rd, no need to be overly gentle most modern engines are strong but being brutal can accelerate failures.
     
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  13. ChessNibbler

    ChessNibbler Member

    May 29, 2022
    21
    8
    Orange County, NY
    @Mark9
    I've wondered the same thing about the interval extension. Seems contrary to an engineer's standpoint unless they're being pressured by marketing. I would imagine an engineer would prefer more frequent service. So in pondering this I've decided to exceed the recommendation. A good reason for this is I do not follow you sane, sage advice.... I do ride as you describe with calm warm-ups, gentle but firm pressure etc. but then... but then...well I can't help it. Sometimes I rip that throttle in 3rd gear, sometimes starting low about 2200 rpm and shifting at 3000 and other times I let it rip high, but both ways I kill the throttle. It feels so good. And the bike just doesn't seem to care, it gives me whatever I ask. So in the end I figure I'm going to pay for the abuse some day. Excessive maintenance might help, but the main reason I will keep up high level of maintenance is because I do want to abuse the poor little beast. I can't help it. :)

    Thanks for your feedback.
     
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  14. BLKWND

    BLKWND Member

    Nov 17, 2020
    34
    18
    HOUSTON
    If I’m wearing out and changing tires every 6-7K miles, that’s going to be my oil change/maintenance interval.

    My owner’s manual says 10K miles, or once a year, whichever comes first.

    It is not the “marketing departments”, nor the engineers calling for extended service intervals! It’s the New World Order or the Green New Deal! Whatever you want to call it. The manufacturers could really care less as long as it’s out of their warranty period! Why would they care?

    If you understand anything about variable valve timing, you’ll know that it works via oil pressure. Hydraulics. And the tiny capillary tubes and passages the oil has to travel through to make that work by necessity have to be clean and clear of any debris - AND OIL SLUDGE!

    A 10K mile oil change interval isn’t the end of the world, but try doing that over many miles, and many oil changes, and it has a cumulative effect. The sludge from the old oil tends to build up inside the engine. Question: How long do you let the crankcase drain after you drop the drain plug?

    I’ve seen Range Rover engines jump time with less than 50K miles on them - BECAUSE THEY HAD ONLY HAD 3 or 4 OIL CHANGES!!!

    Using a flushing agent is a good counter measure to poor maintenance habits, if you’ll do it. BG (Bearing and Gear company) makes a good product, and there are others, some fancy, some basic, but the idea is to get a good clean drain.

    Another thing I do, as I enjoy reading the reports, is that I send in an oil sample at every oil change for an Oil Analysis. I use BLACKSTONE Labs here in the states, and it costs $25. They can tell me by the sample how I ride, and even if my air filter is dirty.

    One sample doesn’t tell the story in and of itself, but over many miles and many oil changes, it’s the trends that matter. Wear metals present in the oil. It’s peace of mind.

    If you’re going to do it yourself, you’ll need a Dealer Tool or something to reset your service reminder (the wrench) on the display.
    If I’m taking it in, to have the tires changed, I don’t want to have to take it again in another 3-4K miles to have the oil changed. I’ll do it all in one trip.
     
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  15. ducano

    ducano New Member

    Feb 22, 2023
    1
    1
    Vallecito CA
    For regular riders, like those who ride dirt bikes for fun, it's recommended to change your dirt bike oil every 5 to 10 riding hours
     
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  16. Wishbone

    Wishbone First Class Member

    Nov 4, 2018
    861
    643
    Essex UK
    Take manufacturers recommended interval and divide by two( or yearly) thats what my bikes and cars get but I do it myself so its pretty cheap and good insurance.
     
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  17. Pegscraper

    Pegscraper Elite Member

    Jun 12, 2020
    2,870
    800
    Yorkshire
    #17 Pegscraper, Oct 9, 2023
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2023
    Thats because dirt bikes generally hold a very small amount of oil so it works harder. My FE570 holds 1.35L compared to the 3.4L of the SS and 4.6L of the ZZR.
    Husaberg specify 15hr oil changes which I've stuck to for the last 13 years and it still runs fine.
    I change the oil every year on the ZZR which last year did under 1000m and is shaping up this year to do even less but they are always longish runs of at least 100m.
    The SS is most used as a general runaround and I changed it at 6000 after the dealer service at 600.
    The 25yr old diesel LandCruiser holds just over 10L with changes specified at 6000 but I usually change it at 4000 as it gets mainly town use and being an old diesel with no fancy electronics, DPF or other emissions crap the oil gets dirty comparatively quickly.
     
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  18. RickM46

    RickM46 Active Member

    Oct 12, 2023
    40
    28
    US
    #18 RickM46, Oct 31, 2023
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2023
    On my Bonneville T120, I will do my first oil change at 600; after that, will have to make a decision; I am thinking at least at 5000.
    Forgot about resetting the oil reminder; anyone know the process and tool???

    Update: Have made up my mind; will keep the zip in my engine healthy at any cost to preserve that burst of throttle at 3K rpms to throw your axx off the bike if you don't hold on; will change oil at 3000-4000 or annually.
     
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  19. RickM46

    RickM46 Active Member

    Oct 12, 2023
    40
    28
    US
    Bought DealerTool OBD; shipped from UK; impressive module; per their instructions, I downloaded their software to my Windows 11 laptop; that took a little bit of effort but you can wade thru their instruction PDF to get their drivers and laptop GUI installed; only glitch I ran into is that Windows 11 made me install .net 3.5. Once you get their software downloaded, you have one extra step: acquire a software license KEY from them to plug into their GUI - took 1 day to get. After that, the OBD module had no problem reading my T120's ECU and showing me its settings.
     
  20. Pegscraper

    Pegscraper Elite Member

    Jun 12, 2020
    2,870
    800
    Yorkshire
    Can't really fault the Dealertool software, very easy and intuitive to use. I even managed to install it on an old laptop running W7 32 bit despite the minimum requirement on their website being W10> 64bit. So far I've used it to reset the service interval and investigate a Mil light engine fault that got thrown up a while back so it's already payed for itself IMO.
     
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