Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Motorcycle Maintenance Tips: Oil!

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Do just about anything to your motorcycle, but forget the most basic and fundamental additive - Oil - and your wallet could be hanging loose for a long time.

How often you change the oil, the level you fill it up to and the kind of oil you use all make the difference between a bike that lasts and a bike that doesn't!

These are a few of the most basic tips when it comes to oil and motorcycles…

When do you change your bike's oil?

Over time and with prolonged use the integrity of the oil breaks down. Varies forces at work within the engine actually tear away at the very molecules of the oil, so the old oil must be periodically replaced every 2-3 thousand kilometres.

Smaller motorcycles run hotter than bigger bikes, so their oil needs to be replaced more frequently.

Motorcycle Maintenance Tips for Changing Oil:

· It's best to drain the oil when the bike is properly warmed up, this thins the oil and makes it drain out faster.

· Remember to park the bike on it's centre stand on level ground.

· Oil gets everywhere when the sump plug is released, so make sure to have a big enough container before hand.

· Remember to check the oil filter and change it if need be!

Running in a New Motor

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New motorcycles require a little more care when it comes to oil. The surfaces inside of the new engine are quite rough and require time to wear smooth. The particles of metal released during this process need to be flushed out of the engine, so halve the normal oil change intervals for the first two changes.

Additives that are Supposed to Prolong!

The benefits of oil additives sound good, especially when you've bought a used motorcycle…

· Better performance

· Lowered fuel consumption etc.

The stories mechanics tell you vary. Some good, some bad! However, never use additives on a new motorcycle as this will prolong the running in process.

That's about all. These are only a few of the basics when it comes to oil and your motorcycle. Know your bike and you'll discover its exact requirements.

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7 Reasons To Use Synthetic Motor Oil In Your Car, Truck, Motorcycle, Or Chainsaw

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A few years ago, it was difficult to find synthetic motor oils, and equally difficult to find someone who admitted to using them. Nowadays, however, you can find synthetic motor oils on the shelves of Wal-Mart, and other retailers, and the number of people turning to synthetic motor oils, particularly in light of the recent events affecting fuel prices, has risen greatly.

So why do people use synthetic motor oils rather than sticking with the old petroleum based stand-bys which are admittedly cheaper?

1. Let's start with the cost per quart issue. Synthetic motor oils ARE more expensive at purchase. However, these oils last longer, requiring fewer oil changes. As a synthetic motor oil outlasts several changes of petroleum based lubricants, the ultimate out-of-pocket cost of the lubricant is less. This cost savings becomes even greater if you have someone else change your oil for you rather than doing it yourself!

2. Synthetic motor oils have a higher initial viscosity index and less viscosity breakdown as compared to coventional lubricants. They also have more uniformly sized molecules. This means that over the period of life of the oil, more lubrication, hence less heat and more protection is being provided to the engine. In other words, longer engine life.

3. Petroleum based oils may contain ingredients not found in synthetic motor oils. These ingredients often have nothing to do with the lubrication of the engine, but exist simply because it is too expensive or too complicated to remove them. The breakdown of these ingredients can result in sludge and other contamination. This not only affects the perfomance of the engine and its components, but contributes to pollution as well. While petroleum based lubricants are, as the words imply, "refined" from a "crude" product, there is a certain level of variability of product as well. Synthetic motor oils, on the other hand, are engineered to be of consistent quality. Additionally, they can be designed for specific purposes. For example, synthetic varieties can be found for the family car, race cars, motorcycles, chain saws, and diesel trucks.

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4. Because of their ability to lubricate better and last longer, synthetic motor oils help your engine operate more efficiently and easily, therefore requiring less fuel to accomplish a given amount of work. This is money in your pocket, and, since the benefits of the oil's effectiveness extend longer, this is the gift that keeps on giving.

5. Regular use of synthetic motor oil means lower maintenance costs across the board, not just in terms of the oil changes themselves. Engines and engine components simply tend to last longer. It has long been known that one of the most important acts a car owner could perform to prolong the life of his or her car while lowering overall maintenance costs was to perform regular oil changes. When synthetic motor oil is used and changed on a regular schedule, the synergistic affect of lower lubrication costs, plus lower fuel costs, plus lower maintenance costs, plus longer engine and component life adds up to a tidy amount, not to mention the sales or trade value of the vehicle that has been kept in this manner.

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6. Due to the lack of ingredients such as wax or parafin, which may be found in conventional oils, synthetic motor oils begin flowing effectively throughout the engine much more rapidly in cold weather. Again, this results in lower engine wear and longer engine life.

7. Less dependence on foreign oil. If all cars in America switched to synthetic motor oils, gear lubes, and drive train lubricants, billions of gallons of oil could be saved every year.

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So, use of synthetic motor oils can save you money by making your engine and other components last longer, require less maintenance, and use less fuel. Repair costs will be reduced, your vehicle will last longer and perform more effectively. You will be contributing to the environment while reducing America's dependence on foreign oil.

The author is retired from the Army after 21 years of service, has worked as an accountant, optical lab manager, restaurant manager, over-the-road longhaul truck driver and truck driving instructor. He has been a member of Mensa for several years, and has written and published poetry, essays, and articles on various subjects for the last 40 years. His experiences as a longhaul truck driver who owned his own truck led him to follow-up on various methods of saving money on operating costs while prolonging the life of his equipment. You may learn more on this subject at http://lube2005.com

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