Kawasaki Vulcan Forum banner

So what's your preference?

  • I change it in the fall before storing it for the winter.

    Votes: 11 47.8%
  • I change it in the spring after taking it out of storage.

    Votes: 6 26.1%
  • I change it both before and after storage.

    Votes: 4 17.4%
  • You're supposed to change the oil?

    Votes: 2 8.7%

  • Total voters
    23
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
427 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
For those of you who only put on a couple/few thousand (or less) miles on your bike per year (and store it in the winter), when do you do your annual oil change -- right before storage in the fall, or when taking it out of storage in the spring?

I've never really been too clear when the best time is, if there even is a definitive answer. I do mine right before putting it in storage for the fall, with the belief that it's best not to store it for what can be up to six months or more (in these parts, anyhow) with dirty oil. But I can also see how changing it right before riding it for the spring/summer, to give it fresh oil before a half-year of riding, could also be beneficial.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
I would not run oil that long. I used to change it when I took it out and when I put it away. Spring was oil only (not the filter).

Now that I no longer drive a company vehicle, I'm on my second change of the season.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,273 Posts
I change mine in the Spring before riding and a little more than halfway thru the season; around 6-7k miles. That way I start the season with fresh oil and filter and put it way with reasonably clean oil and filter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
I'm just feeling sorry for anybody who has to store their bike part of the year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
I ride year-round here in Texas (gotta love the Lone Star State) so I just kind of settled on every 4th of July weekend to do it.

However, when I lived up in the Pacific NorthWET (LOL, Everett, WA), I changed it in the fall just before I banished the poor thing to the shed for the winter. I liked it to sit in clean oil.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
292 Posts
I put all my bikes into hibernation with clean oil and Sta-bil.

AtlAggie, oh HUSH!!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
427 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
From the comments so far and the poll numbers above, it looks like most change it before storage, so it looks like I'm in good company. :) That always seemed to me the best way to handle it (along with, as King43 mentioned, Sta-bil), but after a friend of mine mentioned they do it after storage I thought I'd better doublecheck and make sure I wasn't missing some key issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
222 Posts
You can't ride year round?????? We don't have issues with that here in Wyoming.

Doing a change this weekend. I've done a couple this year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
224 Posts
I ride year round,only days that have snow/ice on the ground or a good downpour keep me off.....Here in NC the snow/ice usually goes away within a week. I use Amsoil 10/40 and just do an oil change after 9-10,000 miles or once a year(whichever comes first) Usually the mileage does! Kawi recommends changing every 7,500 miles with conventional oil, Amsoil guarantees their oil for twice the manufacturers recommendations which would make it 15,000 miles with Amsoil....but I think thats a bit to much even if there is lab/scientific proof of their oils...which by the way they send out to third party labs for testing.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,670 Posts
i have mine changed every 5000 kms / 3000miles, usually twice a year, full synthetic, i do pull a trailer a lot so i like it fresh. After all, it is the life blood of the bike. My last (3rd) change this year will be before its stored in the late fall.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,122 Posts
i used to change the oil on my bikes both when the weather got cold and when i started to ride again. in winter i would just change the oil not the filter but in spring i would change both. in winter time i just used any oil on sale from autozone and in spring i used what i felt was right. but both of the time i use fully synthetic. but now i just do a fresh oil and filter change when i get ready to do some riding. but then again i have went from not riding in winter to riding at least 3 times a month in winter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
224 Posts
To each their own,whatever they feel more comfortable with....but to change a fully synthetic oil every 3,000 miles is a waste of money and use of the oil to me. I am not here to judge or critisize,and like to do things my own way as well as to what I feel is best for me and my bike, but to change oil before you store it is a waste of money...after all,the oil just sits in the pan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
427 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
To each their own,whatever they feel more comfortable with....but to change a fully synthetic oil every 3,000 miles is a waste of money and use of the oil to me. I am not here to judge or critisize,and like to do things my own way as well as to what I feel is best for me and my bike, but to change oil before you store it is a waste of money...after all,the oil just sits in the pan
The concept behind it would be getting rid of the dirty, worn oil so that when it does "just sit in the pan" over a span of possibly six months, the deposits don't turn the sitting oil bad/sludgy and screw things up as it sits (and when you start it up in the spring). That's my thought behind the practice, anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,223 Posts
Even if i have changed my oil during the riding season and have only put 1000 miles or so on since the last oil change, i'll still change the oil prior to putting it away for the winter.

Washed and waxed, fresh oil, full Sta-Bil-ized fuel tank, battery on tender, and impatiently waiting for the winter salt to be washed off the road by the spring rains.

I really miss being in the Arizona desert where i didn't have to worry about 'winter storage'. Sheesh.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
782 Posts
The poll doesn't give an option that fits me. In North Carolina I only have to store it for a couple months at most. And even then, I ride her on a Sunday morning to church about every couple weeks. Also, I commute an hour to work on my bike as soon as I can stand the weather. So I put 10000+ miles on her every year. I always just change the oil at 7500 miles. I run Castrol Full Synthetic. My next change is at 30000 miles which I should hit either late this winter or early next spring.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Here in the PNW I don't "store" my bike, it stays in the garage with a dust cover on it and I just start it up once every week or so and let it run till it gets hot then shut it down. I move it around a bit to avoid flat spots on the tires and that's about it. I just keep following the maintenance schedule.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,223 Posts
Here in the PNW I don't "store" my bike, it stays in the garage with a dust cover on it and I just start it up once every week or so and let it run till it gets hot then shut it down. I move it around a bit to avoid flat spots on the tires and that's about it. I just keep following the maintenance schedule.
A word of caution using this technique, DarkCruzer?

Periodically starting up an engine to heat it up, and then shutting it down could actually cause you more harm than good in two respects.
1 - the cooling down process could cause condensation to accumulate, and the relatively short period that you run it may not be enough to burn it off; particularly in a humid environment. Just running the engine until it's hot isn't the same as taking it out for a 20-30 minute ride.
2 - the greatest engine wear is routinely at start-up when the lubrication has all settled down into the crankcase. I'm not saying starting your engine routinely is going to destroy your motor, but i do believe it will cause excessive wear.

Just my thoughts, i hope you don't think i'm trying to be an ass.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
941 Posts
I don't think you are trying, you just are:skeleton:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
376 Posts
Helek 52 is correct. Better to let the bike sit than start up and run for short periods.

Change oil before storing and just start up and ride in the spring. Storing with dirty oil allows the contaminants in the oil to do damage over the winter.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top