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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Last oil change on my M796 was back in April 2014, but I only put 200 miles on the oil (15-50 OEM-recommended Shell) (I know that's ridiculously low mileage, but my 999 got all my attention this year). What's the opinion du jour on whether oil life is time dependent, like change at least once a year, or mileage dependent? Thanks!

Edit: FWIW, I just found in the owner's manual that oil changes are at 600 mi, 7500 mi and every 7500 miles thereafter or once a year, whichever comes first. So perhaps that's the gospel as it's OEM recommendation. I'd still be interested to hear opinions though.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Secondary part to the question: I'm about to buy Motul 300V 4T 15-50 for my 999 track bike, and it got me wondering if the same "racing" oil is appropriate for my air-cooled 2-valve commuter? I suspect the answer is no, but it's near impossible to find the OEM-recommended Shell oil, so I need a locally sourceable option suitable for my M796's wet clutch.
 

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It depends upon where you live.

If one is inclined to winterize their machine then it's a given that it will be changed just prior to winter.

With the low mileage on the oil in your machine it shouldn't be a problem with what ever is currently in it.
Some high quality (real) full synthetic oils will last a very long time in the sump due to the quality of the additive pack. Especially in regard to high concentrations of anti oxidants and corrosion resisting additives, as they are designed specifically to counter all the effects of prolonged storage on the machinery and oil.
Amsoil and Mobil 1 come to mind, as reference points for further investigation on your part.
They have the potential to last a couple of years or more in the sump without degradation.

The Motul 300V you are planning to purchase will be fine in both applications.
However there are other oils like the Amsoil motorcycle oil, which are better suited to longer term storage applications like with your Monster.
 

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I would be careful about regarding OEM recommendations as gospel .
I think your oil will be fine for at least another 12 months.
But then again , getting riders to agree about anything to do with oil is like trying to herd cats.
 

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Read the manual is good advice, but if the bike is more than a few years old, then the manual will not have any references to the more modern oil specs. You can still use the older specs, as the manual says, but more protection could be gained from a more modern oil.
I compare this situation with what some motorcycle manuals tell you to use for tyres. I would not use the types that a 10 year old manual tells me to, but fit the more modern versions.
 

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I change oil at least once a year regardless of mileage. I have 11 bikes all of which get ridden, but quite a few of the collectible bikes get ridden under 500 miles a year and only see short trip use. I change the oil because I don't want these bikes sitting around with oil contaminated by condensation or combustion blow by. I'm also particularly sensitive to this because these bikes sit long enough between rides to be "dry" on start up. Oil gets changed in the fall when everything gets winterized. After winterizing, some of the bikes might not be started again until 9 or 10 months later. My only cheat is I don't always change the filter when I change the oil in these bikes.

I would also consider shorter than typical mileage change intervals if any bike was subjected to hard use. (e.g. lots of short trip, lots of heavy loads, lots of high rpm). This type of use is hard on oil with respect to contamination and/or shear.
 

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I change oil at least once a year regardless of mileage. I have 11 bikes all of which get ridden, but quite a few of the collectible bikes get ridden under 500 miles a year and only see short trip use. I change the oil because I don't want these bikes sitting around with oil contaminated by condensation or combustion blow by. I'm also particularly sensitive to this because these bikes sit long enough between rides to be "dry" on start up. Oil gets changed in the fall when everything gets winterized. After winterizing, some of the bikes might not be started again until 9 or 10 months later. My only cheat is I don't always change the filter when I change the oil in these bikes.

I would also consider shorter than typical mileage change intervals if any bike was subjected to hard use. (e.g. lots of short trip, lots of heavy loads, lots of high rpm). This type of use is hard on oil with respect to contamination and/or shear.
So, what do you do in your spare time?
 

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I change oil at least once a year regardless of mileage. I have 11 bikes all of which get ridden, but quite a few of the collectible bikes get ridden under 500 miles a year and only see short trip use. I change the oil because I don't want these bikes sitting around with oil contaminated by condensation or combustion blow by. I'm also particularly sensitive to this because these bikes sit long enough between rides to be "dry" on start up. Oil gets changed in the fall when everything gets winterized. After winterizing, some of the bikes might not be started again until 9 or 10 months later. My only cheat is I don't always change the filter when I change the oil in these bikes.

I would also consider shorter than typical mileage change intervals if any bike was subjected to hard use. (e.g. lots of short trip, lots of heavy loads, lots of high rpm). This type of use is hard on oil with respect to contamination and/or shear.
Excellent advise:)
 

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I try to change yearly. I have several bikes which I rotate into service because of high insurance , and just transfer insurance and plates. None of my bikes get a lot of miles per year. I know this isn't optimum but I don't feel like spending all my time maintaining them.
 

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Read the manual is good advice, but if the bike is more than a few years old, then the manual will not have any references to the more modern oil specs. You can still use the older specs, as the manual says, but more protection could be gained from a more modern oil.
I compare this situation with what some motorcycle manuals tell you to use for tyres. I would not use the types that a 10 year old manual tells me to, but fit the more modern versions.
The 796 isn't that old.

I had a Monster 1100 EVO prior to my Multistrada and I ran Spectra Platinum 15-50 full synthetic in it. Manual recommended Shell 15-50 but you can't find that here even at the dealership and Spectra was the premium brand my local Ducati dealer sells. I ran that in my Monster for a few years and almost 16,000 miles. Wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone running an air-cooled Ducati with wet clutch.
 

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Simple answer is fit an O/P gauge then you can actually see the viscosity decrease over time and make an educated assessment of when to change the oil.
It's surprising how fast some oils drop when they get thrashed in hot conditions.
 

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Simple answer is fit an O/P gauge then you can actually see the viscosity decrease over time and make an educated assessment of when to change the oil.
It's surprising how fast some oils drop when they get thrashed in hot conditions.
Educated was the "key" word, good luck with educated, smart responses :D

Couldn't agree more Davey, but I change roughly when it becomes tough to find neutral, I have found this to be a good indicator.

Craig

White International | National importation and distribution company servicing Tools, Hardware, Power Tools & Pump Industires (My new employer) :D
 

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Simple answer is fit an O/P gauge then you can actually see the viscosity decrease over time and make an educated assessment of when to change the oil.
It's surprising how fast some oils drop when they get thrashed in hot conditions.
This perceived viscosity drop (I have never seen it!) would be more likely in mineral oils where viscosity additives are used to make the oil fit for purpose. It is well known that oil change intervals for mineral oils are specified to happen before the additives start to break down. In days past we used to be able to buy additive packs to boost them and delay an oil change, these were marketed by Wynns and STP to name two companies.
Synthetic oils are formulated to not need these additives (commercial diesel trucks can do 150,000 miles without a change on synthetic) so there is nothing to break down and the viscosity will be stable over a much longer period of time.
Don't fret over different makes of oil as long as they are of the same viscosity and type and meet the same API standards then there will be very little difference between them.
 

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Commercial trucks don't chew their long chain molecules up with their gearboxes like Ducati's do so not really relevant.
I see it on the bike but then I have always used oil gauges and do record the readings. One particular well knows specialist bike oil is notorious for it.
Trucks do lose viscosity over time as do marine engines (which I spent a great deal of time driving and monitoring but that's more to do with oil dilution that cutting.

Craig, thanks for the pre warning but it didn't stop them did it... maybe they think I came down in the last shower rather than spending a lifetime in both the automotive and marine industries so what would I know.
Many vessels I worked on we could see the o/p drop almost on cue at the 200 hour mark.
 
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