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Discussion Starter #1
The 2019 SDGT service interval is 15,000km. My previous bike had 12,000km but I still changed the oil every 6,000km.

What's everyone's thoughts on 15,000km? Is it realistic? Are you changing the oil at 7,500 (or less)?

Thanks in advance.
 

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I do 5,000 Miles (8000km) oil changes. I can feel it in the transmission when it's time to change, it usually starts shifting roughly. I believe the factory recommended oil change to be excessive.
This is with the Motorex Power Synt 4T.

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I agree - I'm using Motorex Top Speed 15w50 (dealer mech uses this in workshop) and I just changed mine yesterday just short of 6000kms and it was very black and the gearbox was a bit notchy. I had my 15k service done at 14340kms hence the extra kms to the 20,000 change...... and I was looking to go to the 7500 halfway mark but I noticed how dark the oil had gone after 5k kms....... I'm off on a 3k trip in October so the maths just didn't work anyway and I reverted to the 5k km change interval I have been on since new.

If you go 15k kms you will risk engine damage...... no oil can sustain that mileage in a bike engine that uses the main oil supply to lubricate a gearbox. Only Harley now has separate gearbox oil like a car, so they can run their engine oil for much longer intervals.

Also be warned - I only recently discovered that all the racing formula's (double esther) aren't "the best" for road riders...... those FS double esther blends do not have any longlife polymers and are knackered by 4-5000kms because they are intended for track only applications, not high mileage road riding. (most race bikes don't do 4000kms a year).

I'd say the Top Speed FS is about equivalent to Motul's 5100 which was described as a 'mid strength' Full Syn and I found over decades that it was good for 6000kms and not much more before it turned to SAE water viscosity.

I think if you want to go 7500kms (ie halfway) you will need a 100% FS like Pablo uses...... but nothing, not any oil on the market will maintain it's SAE rating for 15,000kms...... it will be broken down with contaminants and moisture and fuel to something like a 0w10 rating . Remember the oil has to help cool the motor and lube the gearbox as well as the bearings..... so it's gonna struggle to make it to 10k kms - halfway is an easy change point for a 100%FS.

It's cheap insurance (and cheaper than bothering to pay for oil testing) to just change it at 5k kms or 7500kms when it turns black and feels notchy...... use motorcycle oil (not car oil) as we have wet clutches running in the oil so car oil friction modifiers will cause the clutch plates to slip in a bike engine ;).

(y)
 

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https://www.ktmforums.com/threads/15-000km-service-interval-really.130432/post-967730


If you go 15k kms you will risk engine damage...... no oil can sustain that mileage in a bike engine that uses the main oil supply to lubricate a gearbox. Only Harley now has separate gearbox oil like a car, so they can run their engine oil for much longer intervals.-Dave

I disagree on both points. No way KTM would set a maintenance schedule that would risk an unnecessary warranty claim. How many of those have you heard of? Lots of folks seem to think they are smarter than the engineers who design and build these things

And Harleys have had separate lubrication since their origins, nothing to do with "now". A dry sump engine MUST have separate lubrication and normally uses different lubes in the tank, gearbox and primary drive (unless it's a belt.) The unique semi-dry sump design of the KTMs seems to do just fine at recommended service intervals but if it makes you feel better pouring out your $18US per liter Motorex Power Synt before it's time, well, it's your money.
 

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Thanks HH,

BMW changed to one sump does all with a wet clutch in 2016(?) and Ducati have wet clutches nowdays too..... errr, so that leaves only HD (to my knowledge - and they may have changed with the latest 114 motors) - maybe Guzzi (?), with separate oil/gearbox/transfer case lube systems nowdays......... sorry if I confused anybody.

I have read posts on forums from owners who stated they followed the KTM E5 15K intervals, yet suffered top end damage ........ whatever was the cause, it is still 'cheap insurance' to keep the oil fresh in a high performance motor........ The engine tells me when it is unhappy with degraded SAE levels.

I use Motorex Top Speed - not Power Syn..... it costs me $70Au a bottle vs $130 for 4L of 100%FS. I know it won't last as long as the 100%FS so I'm happy with 2 self changes before an official KTM service - maybe as i get to know Motorex's oils better I might have confidence to go longer on a change (ie: 7500kms).

I'm not trying to be a smartarse ...... just setting the record straight...... what I have written is what I have done for ages, and it works - I never have engine failures and my bikes feel like new at high mileages compared to ones I have ridden that have only had oil changed at car like intervals.

I reckon KTM engineers are most likely overruled by the marketing executives who think we will only buy their product if we can save money on fewer services...... my KTM dealer mechanic advises more frequent oil changes than the book spec 15K. (he is an enthusiast and owns an 1190..... not just a Company spruiker..... he tells customers they can change oil themselves if they are skilled enough to do so.) (y)

;).

:LOL:PS If somebody can afford a 1290SDGT then they should be able to afford servicing costs..... and yes Mr Hendrix with no posts..... try reading my posts properly before jumping to unwarranted conclusions eh..... I'm fair minded and educated and have been riding+maintaining bikes for 45yrs (and pit crewed for a racing team), so if you stick to facts and tell the truth and read posts thoroughly, I'll listen....... o_O.
 

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Believing German engineers get overruled by marketing types is a bit of a stretch, too. A certain American motorcycle maker suffered from hanging on marketing too long and NOT letting their engineers control the quality and modernity of their product. I believe they may have learned their lesson.
As a sage once said. "In heaven, the police are British, the chefs are French, the engineers are German and the designers are Italian. In hell, the police are German, the chefs are British, the engineers are French and the designers are Italian."
 

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PS If somebody can afford a 1290SDGT then they should be able to afford servicing costs.-Dave

Does this include the cost of the recommended oil?
 

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My first bike Honda CBR929RR I ran the finest motor oil in it Motul Full syn (the red stuff) changing every 3,000 mi religiously, just because of the whole 3000 mile rule of thumb oil change interval of years past. Then I realized it was overkill, the stuff was still red when I drained it.
I'm all about preventing waste, especially when I have multiple vehicles I maintain myself.

On my Toyota Tacoma 4.0 V6 I tried the mobil one full synthetic "guaranteed protection" 15,000 mile oil and filter combination (Toyota 10k Rec. OIC) , I got to about 7500 miles and the power was way down and my gas mileage went s#it as well and only got worse. Swapped out the oil at 10K and it was good as new. Dialed it in 5,500k Miles seems to be the sweet spot for my truck.

Back to the Super Duke with the Motorex, around 5,000 miles (summer temps, weekend warrior canyon runs) my gearbox became really hard to shift especially finding neutral at a stop. Oil really didn't cross my mind bled the clutch master cylinder, slave cylinder adjusted in my chain,cleaned the clutch oil jet with no improvement changed the oil and everything's back to normal. I didn't notice any power loss though, as torquey as this engine is, it probably masked it.

I just did an oil change with Motorex power synt 10 60, I already noticed a difference especially on cold starts, less valve train noise and sustained shift quality in higher temps. I'm going to run it for as long as I can until the shifting starts breaking down or I start losing power, then I'll change it. My last oil changes were Motorex 10 50.

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Discussion Starter #11
Mmmmmm Thanks everyone for your input.

Sadly, it seems to be about 50/50 on how realistic 15,000km is. As an engineer myself, I do find it difficult to believe that a manufacturer would recommend a service schedule that is all but guaranteed to cause damage. Having said that, I am acutely aware of how powerful marketing departments can be.

I suspect I will fall somewhere in the middle, in fact as I am currently on just over 4,000km, I might get my rear sprocket replaced with one with 2 more teeth and get them to do an oil change while they're at it, say, at 5,000km. I will ask them to show me the oil they take out (I haven't got the time, space, tools to do it myself). Cheers!
 

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Cheers RobbyKTM,

There are so many variables complicating our decision's, so it's very much 'each to their own', as it always should be.

I just dumped my Top Speed 15w50 at 6000kms (not sure if it's called that in other countries so we are probably unable to compare apples with apples, it isn't 100%FS like Power Synth..... only a "Synthetic Performance", with JascoMA2, which I take to mean 'mid strength' FS) ..... it came out black but still had some 'body' to it's texture but the gear changing was becoming notchy.... I had noticed it turning darker after the June trip where i flogged the Gt over out best biking raceway's, errrr toured our scenic mountain highways;)...... but I held off until it was more fully 'black' .... but I wasn't game to run it to 7500kms - maybe I chickened out prematurely, but the bike sounds nice and quiet again. I'll probably try a half interval change after the 30k km service later this year. If I was running Power Syn, I'd expect it to easily make it past halfway or even to 10/12k kms, so it all comes down to the oil you choose (for the change point).

Marketing is king in the new car world. Dealers shoot for fleet market sales, competing by offering longer service intervals and extended warranty insurance packages .... I weakened after turning 60 and bought a sexy new 18Tucson (it was heavily discounted, so time to update from 24yo tech). The new car has 12month/15000km scheduled services tied to a roadside assist package...... so I am chained to my dealer (luckily they do great work) just to keep my roadside assist discount (which is considerable) valid for the next 5 years...... unfortunately I don't fit the fleet vehicle usage expectations and struggle to do 10,000kms a year (too many bikes to ride :LOL:)........... so it gets an early oil change too....... but the oil is very black on the dipstick at 12mths.

I can see the marketing parallel's creeping into the bike world. I don't know if it's true but I read a post on a forum that explained Euro bike manufacturer's had to offer 15,000km service intervals as part of Euro5 accreditation.... that's why I suspect there's more marketing than engineering involved...... either way Pablo has the solution - let the bike tell you when it's unhappy....... just be sure to 'listen' to the bike and take notice.

PS the 40t will make life a bit easier........ i'm using 16/40 and that works really well in heavy traffic without affecting open road revs (130kph in 6th is 5k rpms) but I think when it's time to put a new chain on I'll go to 17/42 with a longer chain....... but that'll be 12 months away....... your 40T will slip on in 15mins with no change to the chain length.

If your oil isn't very black in the sight glass you probably will make 7500kms depending on what they put in at the 1000km change.

(y)
 
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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Dave, a great way to "sum up" this discussion. I'm sure it's been done to death in the past, but for me, 15,000km is very new. Hell, when my Ducati came out with 12,000km I was skeptical, so 15 was pure madness! Ducatis sound like a toolbox full of broken spanners shaking on the back of the ute at the best of times (when idling) so I will have to get used to the different sounds of the 75deg 1290! Thanks again.
 

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You're very welcome RobbyK - I too have had to do some re- learning in recent years with new engines (V2's instead of 4cyls) and new oil's and specs....... nobody over here seems to 'know' anything (as usual for a new generation of bike engine).Oil company's info sheets are just as confusing as ever, making comparisons with known oils (ie Motul) difficult..... but I'm slowly gaining confidence in Motorex.

Pablo mentioned he gets 8000miles on Power Synth (12,000kms) before it feels knackered, so I reckon that sets a benchmark for 100%FS blends. I know my mid strength Top Speed is good for 6000kms, maybe 7500kms is achievable, but with a big trip coming in 3 weeks I'll live with a shorter interval this time to stay neatly in the KTM schedule for the 30k major service.

Maybe others have recommendations ....... it all depends on how a bike is used and what climate or conditions it is used in (commuting/sports/track/touring etc etc ), but I don't personally know of anybody who doesn't change their oils more often than the book recommended intervals (even the dealer recommends it) - no matter which brand of bike they own....... all part of the fun eh?

I think your's would be fine to go to halfway kms this time - 1000km service + 6500km = 7500 halfway mark..... assuming your oil isn't looking very black and feeling watery with notchy gear changes (I don't know what they put in it at the 1000km change - Power Syn 100%FS or Top Speed mid% FS... maybe it's on the invoice...;)).

?
 
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On my 15 SDR I replaced the Top Speed 15W50 that the dealer put in at about 8000K. So with about 7000k on the oil it still looked pretty good, not particularly dark and I wasn't having any shifting troubles. I did the filter and cleaned the screens at the same time and there didn't seem to be anything to worry about there. I'm now up to 15000K and it is going in for a service on Monday. Still no shifting issues and from what I can see in the sight glass the oil still looks OK to me.

I guess the only real way to tell how your oil is holding up is to take a sample and send it off for testing. As I've not had any issues from oil I can't see myself doing that at the moment. I'll continue to change filters and oil at about 7500K unless something happens to change my opinion.

I know some people don't change filters when they do in between type oil changes. Each to their own but if I'm draining the oil I'm changing the filters.

Iain
 

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If anyone could show one iota of proof that the 15,000Km service intervals had anything whatsoever to do with marketing taking precedence over engineering, I'll give it to ya.

Some people change their spark plugs every year.

My 2012 F-150 is approaching 200,000 miles with oil changes done at the recommended 10,000 miles. Runs like a sewing machine. Only issues have been electronic; sensors, switches, the radio.
It has a nanny warning that comes on when service is due. Does any of this sound familiar and tell me at which door marketing enters the room?
 

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I'm with you @Hammerhead I have heard for years the benefit of half service interval oil changes and never seen the evidence. I have always changed oil and filters with the recommended oil type and viscosity at the recommended intervals and never had an issue. Old, new, air cooled, water cooled it hasn't mattered. It probably helps that my riding is almost entirely long day trips or multiple day runs, so the fluids all stay at a pretty constant temperature. Oils have advanced over the years, but it seems the "old wisdoms" hanging over from 1000 mile service intervals of the 1950s haven't. Manufacturers are not going to expose themselves to warranty claims and litigation by quoting service intervals outside the operating range of the recommended oil. In reality they are likely being very conservative to cover that.

I don't care that other people are happy to spend their money any way they want, but there really is no benefit in it. It is just insurance you don't need. But whatever floats your boat. House, contents, life, car, bike, income - insure these for sure.
 

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I guess I am in the camp of taking advantage of the extended service intervals and much improved life of modern oils to a certain extent.

Of course, I have no professional expertise or scientific chemical knowledge.

On my personal vehicles I use Mobil One extended performance (currently annual protection, previously 15k mile protection) and change every 10k miles.

My work truck (Mitsubishi Fuso, diesel) has a 10k mile service interval and I follow that and have the dealership’s mobile service complete the work.

On the SDGT, after completing the break in oil change I did change it at 8k miles so I did do it a bit early. Will probably continue every 7.5k-8k miles.
Not based on any “special” knowledge or reasoning but just because it is a high revving, high performance engine that I don’t necessarily take it easy on (at least for street riding, I ride pretty aggressively on back/country roads).
The oil was definitely dark but didn’t seem to offer any difference in engine/shifting smoothness and power as compared to new oil.
 

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Early oil changes are fine for your engine-just not for your wallet. Using cheaper oil and changing it more often is not a wallet-saver either, especially if you place any value on your time.

Years ago, I old my boss go quit buying cheap carborundum chopsaw blades because although they cost half of what good ones went for, they didn't even last half as long and if you figure in downtime changing blades twice as often, you really go in the hole and don't save a cent. Just the opposite.

Buy the best oil and change it according to factory recommendations. Or light cigars with $100 bills. As I said before, it's your money.
 

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:p:cool: My Duke only holds 2 qts of oil, so no mater what after 1000 miles , I'm changing it. I did the first at 300 miles and the second at 600 miles and then every 1000 miles, switched to syn at 2600 miles, Screens checked every time and filters at 600 miles and every 1000 miles, always drain when hot and warm her up before starting a ride, just my 2cts,ride safe....
(y)
 
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