Seriously dark oil - good, bad or indifferent?

Hey all-

'05 WR450, living and riding in Saudi Arabia and have a question-

I change my oil every 3 rides, about every 6 hrs or so and change the filter every 5 oil changes. I also clean and re-oil the air filter using Castrol Foam Air Filter oil fairly regularly.

Here's the issue-I've noticed that the oil coming out during the change is really dark, almost black. Doesn't smell 'burnt' and I'm not a super aggressive rider but it is really hot here and the motor spends a fair amount of time at relatively high rpms since all the riding is in sand, hence low traction. Using Castrol 20-50.

Is it normal for the oil to be so dark so soon? I know it only holds a quart or so, but my street bikes (in the States) with 4 qts will go 3000 mi between changes and still look pretty clean. Should I be worried, or just have another *illegal* drink and not worry so much?


It might be the way that bike runs and maybe the climate :banghead: or mayeb ur just gettin alot of dirt in the oil somehow. I dont really know id haft to read a bit. Good luck fixing it (if anythings wrong)

I would think the oil filter change interval should be more frequent. It may be storing some dirty oil that is being processed with your clean oil change.

Yes it's normal. That's why we change it so often.

Mine is always dark at oil change time.

I change the filter at every 3 oil changes.

I recommend changing your oil every 10-15 hours, and changing your filter every other oil change... i think your bike came with a service manual that strongly suggests using these intervals, probably even more frequent then i am suggesting.... I dont know what grade castrol oil you are using, but perhaps you should try a better oil... I used to run Bel Ray Thumper Oil 20w50, and would find that every oil change my oil seemed to be burnt also, and the Thumper Oil was only rated at API SG... I decided to try Maxum 4 Syn Blend 20w50 which is rated much higher at JASO-MA, API SG/CC... now when I change my oil it comes out looking new.... Try switching...

I don't think Jim Anchower should ride a dirt bike.

(Please ignore if you don't know what i am talking about)

Thanks for the info. Since I'm alredy changing the oil every 5 hrs or so I will up the frequency to maybe every other ride-every 3 hrs. I'm hoping that the blackness is caused by the everpresent haze of dust and burning petrochemicals here rather than the internal parts of my motor grinding themselves into paste.

The only oil I can get here that is not camel-piss is the Castrol 20-50, and filters are 70 Saudi Riyals each (about 20 US!) if/when I can find them. Going on a safari tomorrow to try to stock up since I'm down to my last one but it's Ramadan here which means the normally impossible to figure out opening and closing schedule due to prayer times (I could not make this up) is even wackier.

I don't think Jim Anchower should ride a dirt bike.

(Please ignore if you don't know what i am talking about)

Hola, mousemeat. Been a while since I rapped at ya, but things have not been so good at Casa Anchower...

I was in Jiddah for 2 months. That heat is oppressive and the dust is blinding. Combine that with the sand riding, I would consider it extreme conditions, requiring more frequent oil and filter changes, as well as cleaning the air filter after every ride. You also might consider using whichever filter (re-usable stainless or paper) provides finer filtration (I'm not sure which one does).

I'm using Mobil 1 15w50 and changing the oil every 100 miles or so, and the filter every 3rd oil change. My oil comes out almost as clean as it went in, but my conditions aren't the same. I would do it more often if I were you. Also, when you do your next full change, make sure to remove all the plugs and lines so you get as much old oil out as possible. Removing the screen in the frame is controversial, but I do it once a season, it's easy enough.

Now relax and go enjoy some sidiki (sp?), sheesha, turk coffee, or whatever else you do over there to pass the time. :banghead:

Hola, mousemeat. Been a while since I rapped at ya, but things have not been so good at Casa Anchower...

I hope the next post isn't about your vehicle letting you down, as is usually the trend. Keep your stash well hidden in S.A. otherwise they'll cut off your hands.

I noticed that when I put in heavy-duty clutch springs that my oil stayed cleaner and less dark. I think mine was discoloring due to clutch friction material wear.

The Onion rules!

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