Oil sticking to cylinder walls and oxidation resistance (edit - MOD)

May 5, 2013
I’ve been around the “oil” forums and conversations enough to know that 99% of the conversation lays around “what does the manual say.” Which in my opinion is completely oblivious to the whole intent of this forum.

With that said I have a ‘fancy’ European bike that truthfully just sits sounds 99% of the time. With that being said I don’t care about your “what does the manual say?” posts. I understand where these conversations come from and the argument of it, and truthfully it’s not for me because I feel that we can do better.

What I do care about is, realistically, how long are engines good without running? Well as you’d imagine this is not that uncommon issue. Okay I get it, this is not that interesting and per Google let’s run it once a month to lube everything up just to be safe.

Part 2 of this question. Euro brands of quart/liter of oil are pretty pricey. Pricey enough that getting a used oil analysis might be cost effective, even despite running alternatives such as Redline or Amsoil. Let’s says you started said motorcycle one a month and let it idle or you rode it around one month. However every 6 months you ran a UOA and the numbers came out great. With your intuition you drained 1qt/liter every 6 months and topped it off with a fresh bottle, since you’re a BITOG member, would you look any further? The engine is getting a dose of top tier synthetic oil. A dose of fresh oil with anti-whatever/oxidative additives while running once running once a month to coat everything and the UOA come out great.

Do you think sticking to a 1 quart changed every 2 months + UOA is enough or would you blatantly stick to oil change every 6 months because they manual says do?
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If you do the UOA's and they come back with good news.....let the oil stay in there. You should get a sense of the degradation after a year or so. If you are worried about the cylinder walls, get a borescope that hooks up to your smart phone and have a look in one of the cylinders every once in a while. I would be more worried about the filter media breaking down after an extended time but that's just me, it may be fine too. Many vehicles in Europe are approaching 20k mile OCI intervals. Amsoil advertises about its oil life....

The above video may relate to your monthly startups. With your bike I personally would do a light marine engine fog on storage or planned long time down time, then pull the spark plug wires and hit the starter for 4 seconds before starting after a couple month down time. This will lessen a dry start scenario. As far as oil, as long as it is somewhat fresh I would think you don't need to be nuts on changing it as the oil chemistry if lightly used here and there should not let the acids attack your bearings/rod ends/mains. No need to go nuts on UAO's ( I myself would stop doing them after say 2) as you might as well just change the oil twice a year and call it a day. It's a small sumped motorcycle, it is not a 12 qt GT 3 Porsche. I would be far far more worried about the fuel.
I would stick to changing the ENTIRE oil every 6-12 months, not because the manual says to, but it would be the most practical, efficient, and economical way to go. Skip the 1qt/liter drain-top up and do a full change, otherwise you are just constantly mixing in fresh oil to a majority of used oil in the sump. Not really a good plan IMHO. Skip the UOAs too after you get a baseline trend. That would save you more $$$ for the oil and filter you REALLY need.

I have had many motorcycles over the years that were only ridden in nicer weather, and always did a winter lay-up. Always filled the tank with stabilized fuel, drained the float bowls (before F/I), changed the oil and filter, Shot some fogging oil in each cylinder, removed the battery and put on a trickle charger inside, lubed the chain, rolled into a large garage "bag" with desiccant packs, raised the tires, then closed the bag and let them slumber for the next 5-6 months. Spring comes and put the battery back in and take it for a nice long ride to get the juices flowing in it and ME. Only had to do another oil/filter change about mid-summer after several thousand miles. Winter rolls around again and it all gets repeated.