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Dear MOby,

I just saw your answer regards oil change. My manual says that I need to change oil every 3000 miles. But I only ride about 1000 miles per year (very short commute). By the book, I need to perform oil change every three years. Do I really need to change oil every year? Is it okay to change oil every three years, just because I don’t ride that much?

Thank you
Jay

PS: Just to make myself comfortable, I do oil change once a year.
Read more about Do I Really Have To Change My Oil Every Year? at Motorcycle.com.
 

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It's extremely important to change it at least once per year and especially if stored over the winter.
 

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Change according to service manual (adjusted to driving style/miles covered), less if you don't care, more often if you really, really care about your bike. Easy!

Myself, I change ALL fluids every year. I have a 6 month winter period, and I like working on my bike, so why not? It may be excessive, but I like it and it is not that expensive.
 

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I end up changing it 2 or 3 times a year, depending on how much I ride that year. Twice is minimum, though. By mileage, I change every 5K to 6K miles. I'm in NH, so I do have to store it for the winter, and it does get cold out in late fall and early spring.

I ride a 1993 Ducati M900 Monster, typically about 11K to 12K per year. I change in the fall when it starts getting cold to full synthetic 10W/40, ride for a month or two and store it with that for the winter, ride for a month or two, then change when the weather starts to warm up to the originally recommended full synthetic 20W/50 for the main riding season. If it's a high-mileage year (15K to 18K), I'll do an extra change during riding season. I've got 260K now, on the original engine, so I'll say this is a workable program.

My wife has a 1995 Ducati M900 Monster, very similar to mine, but she rides more like 2K miles a year, and only when it's nice and warm out, so I change her oil once a year, and keep the recommended full synthetic 20W/50 in it all the time.

PhilB
 

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Oil does not go bad just sitting in a crankcase.

A big mistake is to start the bike periodically over the winter without reaching a temperature adequate to remove the water that condenses inside the crankcase. If you are worried about the oil draining from the cylinders, turn the engine over periodically but don't start it. If your commute is only a few minutes, that's the worst scenario and you should change it more often or add some longer rides.

If you had the bike at temperature for a while when you shut it off, and you have low mileage on the oil, changing it is just a waste of time and oil.

Changing the oil on a motorcycle is important because you have a gearbox chopping the molecules up. However, that takes quite a while. Changing it more frequently would only be dependent upon accelerating either the oil wear rate, such as during track days, or increased contaminants, primarily due to worn rings or unfiltered intake.
 

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First, I feel the obligation to address the fact that you only ride 1k a year, you need to ride more my friend :nerd:

When oil is sitting in its original bottle stored it does not go bad, however, while its in the engine moisture and other issues cause the oil to lose its protective components.

Motorcycle, jets skis, boats and car manufacturers as well as oil manufacturers recommend to change oil at least annually to prevent unnecessary wear since the oil begins to go bad.

If you store the bike in the winter, like me, I (and more people here) would most likely recommend to change it before the riding season begins even if you don't meet the mile required under the maintenance book.
 

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I race my 749R exclusively and change my oil prior to every race weekend. A weekend consists of Friday practice (15-20min/hour X6, maybe 50 miles?), Saturday morning practice (20 miles), Saturday afternoon racing (40 miles) and Sunday racing (40 miles). I use Motul 300V and replace the main filter and clean the sump filter every time. It takes an hour and costs $90. I also bleed my brakes and the clutch (and replace the fluid prior to round 1 and after round 3) and media blast the front rotors. Every month. My motorcycle loves me. Don't you want your motorcycle to love you?
 
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