Oil change how long you guys go between?

Just wondering what most of you guys put on your bikes between oil changes.I just dumped my first batch of the 15/50 Mobil it was pretty dark.I put about 300 miles in the woods on it.I usually go 4 rides before an oil change most rides are 50 to 75 miles each outing.I will also add no clutch slippage at all with the synthetic switch.

The mobile 1 15/50 is dark after maybe 30 miles. Maybe it is a good scrubber with all those additives and all. Mobile 1 has been tested in automobile engines and it lasts 20k or more with filter changes at 5k intervals. 500 miles on a water pumper motorcycle would be extremely generous to the engine. Most dirt riders think because it is harder on their bodies when riding dirt is also harder on the engine but the engine does not know much more than RPM and cylinder pressure. A street bike gets way more of both and their oil changes are in the thousands of miles.

I also go about 4 rides with Mobil 1. I'm more worried about the clutch and tranny debris than oil breakdown.

I think I'm finally ready for new clutches.

A comment about street versus dirt miles:

One mile of climbing 100 foot sand hills in second gear wide open isn't the same as a mile cruising along through town. I think hours are a better indicator of use. The best would probably be fuel consumption but that would involve strict accounting.

From what I have read on this forum people are changing their oil at intervals ranging from one ride to 1000 miles.

I have a Pan-O-Ram computer that tells me hours so I arbitrarily picked 25 hours as my interval. It seems to be about 600 miles with my riding habits.


Another reason why I feel like my dirt bike wears out oil faster than a car is the excessive clutch use and all those clutch particles in the oil. Can you comment on that? You have been riding bikes probably since before I was born so I really want to know what you think. What is your interval?

Alex: you are right about a motorcycle being harder on oil than a car. The transmission shears on the oil and the clutch adds debris.

That is why we change oil and filters so often so frequently. For sure if I was atacking sand hills wide open all day long I would change it every two rides 100 miles max. That is not trail riding or even dirt riding to me.

The average trail ride for me is less than enduro speed. My typical ride is 12 to 20 MPH for 100 miles. Some clutch work but mostly 1/4 to 1/2 throttle getting to the next technical section. 40MPH is about all out in the sand washes as something always pops up just when ya seem to get going well. A typical street ride on my ZRX is a lot harder on oil as that thing is WFO and at high RPms a lot more often and for longer periods but I do not see the street guys changing their oil every 50 miles. Maybe 500 miles.Dr Bills 300 miles on Mobile 1 is a great example of good maintenance.


Keith, I waited until 750 miles to switch to synthetic.I used Honda HP4 for break in and now and now use the Mobil 1 15/50 synthetic.The Mobil is costing me 4.50 a qrt as opposed to 3.70 for the Honda and I feel its worth the extra money.I also use a stainlees steel filter but waited until my third oil change (about 350 miles) to switch from the paper.I have changed the oil at least three times since and have not noticed any difference in the amount of metal trapped in it.At 11 dollars and change for a paper filter the 65 dollar steel one is worth every dime.

I use mobil 1 15-50 or castrol 20-50 or 5-50 synthetic. I change it every 2-3 month.

strictly paper filter only, I don't believe that stainless steel can filter out that fine graphite looking stuff that deposits on the magnetic drain plug, I believe paper has a better chance of holding on to that stuff, were as with the metal screen type filter, that crap will just pass right through.

As far as gear shear in the trans, honda cars use conventional motor oil in their manual transmission, changing intervals are 30K miles.

it is the clutch debris that need attention. :)

2 rides on the oil, I alternate on the filter change. Bel Ray EXP 10-40 Semi Synthetic. :)

I go about 200 miles between changes. Use Mobil 1 15W50 with X1R. Not sure that the X1R is doing anything though. Next change I'm not using it, to see if I can tell it's not there. I changed the oil last night and had some pretty good shavings on the drain plug.


I agree with you about the stainless filter. Paper fibers are small and rough, while stainless steel wires are smooth. I just don't see how it could do as good of a job removing particles as the paper filter. I bought five paper filters from Chaparral for $2.99 each. At $70 for a stainless filter that would be 23 paper filters, or about 14,000 miles with my change interval. Plus I don't have to clean it.

The Stainless Filter seems like a super idea. My concern lies in the fact that if a paper filter is faulty, it will be in my bike (working improperly) for only 500 miles. But, if a stainless filter has a defect, the defective part will remain in there forever.

Paper for me.

2000 DRZ-S

Mobil 1 15-50

I go 500 mi. between changes, and change the paper filter every 1000 miles, except for break in, when I changed the oil and filter at 75 mi. and 300 mi. I use Honda 4-stroke oil, standard grade. No problems to speak of yet with 2500 mi.

I change mine after ever weekend of racing.Its just a quart and I use havoline 10\40.Less than a dollar.If its a practice saturday race sunday weekend,I'll change it saturday evening in both bikes.Auto engine oil will make some clutchs preform different than the highdollar oil but I never had problems.

Filter once a month.

Oil once every week or 2 weeks depending how hard and how far I have been riding the bike.. :)

I change every 5-7 hours if it's hot and I've done alot of hard riding.Yeah,it's probably over kill. :)

[ November 22, 2001: Message edited by: Tennessee Thumper ]

i have 205 miles on my z i have changed the oil once and metal shavings were quiet abundant. so i figure since there were so many shavings on my drain plug that means they went throught the filter, so i just orderd me a scott stainless filter. i chanded my oil after 100 miles and went to mobil 1 15/50 i hope it was not to soon. i am hoping that the scotts is magnatized some how.

When I first got my bike it had about 5 miles before I dumped the oil.Metal shavings galore.DEANRZ I would wait till the 750 mile mark before switching to synthetic.The motor needs to be broken in fully before you switch.The Mobil will hinder the "wear in" process.The Scotts filter works well.I clean mine on a white rag with carb cleaner and there is always a grey fine residue along with the larger particles left behind.As for the wich filters better the only sure fire way to know is have the oil examined after use with each filter.I dump my oil often enough not to worry.

Metal shavings stucked to your magnetic drain plug has nothing to do with paper or metal filter, most metal shaving comes from your trans/gears. If your bike is new you get more at the begining, that is why they call it break in,

so the metal shavings will stick to your magnet and stay ther till you remove it.

paper filters are being used on car engines and transmissions since day one, and today.

The only advantage I see with the stinless is that you can clean it and reuse it, you don't have to go out and buy a new one.

A warning i like tell you guys about reusable filters.

My ex- WR400 had a metal screen type filter, I cleaned it a bunch of time with brakecleaner only , and believed that it will last for ever, but not so, one time I found a 1/8 inch cut on the screen mesh. In to the garbage it went.

If you don't believe me ask on the yamaha site if any body had such experience.

I would like to add my two cents worth on oil and filters. take a good look at your stock filter the next time you change it. One side is open the other side has a little peace of tin covering it. Now take something small like a ink pen and push on it. It goes right in! That is your built in bypass valve. When your oil is cold or when you rev it up quick and keep it there this little trap door opens and lets the oil bypass the filter. That is a fact! You can not filter 100% of the oil 100% of the time. You would starve your bearings. Engineers figure dirty oil is better than no oil. Most desighns include a releif valve also which dumps oil out of the loop at high RPM. Oil pumps are direct drive and will over pump. So personely I don"t think it matters what kind of filter you use as long as you change it often. Notice how the book even says to change the oil while it is hot! That is to get as much of the debris out of the system while it is in suspension. I always take a sharp pocket knife and cut around both sides of my little filter. Then pry it out from the metal and tear it away. Now take it out in the sun and stretch it out. you will see all kinds of stuff. The oil flow is from the outside going in so that is where the junk is down in the folds of the paper. After I get the new filter in I take the oil from the pan and dump it quickly to a recycle container and then take the pan outside and look at whats laying in the bottom of the pan. Roll it around like a gold panner and you will see more stuff. It is normal to see some. But the more often you change it the less you will see. Base your oil changes on what you see and your personnel riding style. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. Don't let it freak you out the first time you see it.

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