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Trialling two controversial maintenance practices

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jchesshyre
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Trialling two controversial maintenance practices

Post by jchesshyre on Mon 01 Jun 2015, 3:28 pm

As some may know I retired my last CB at 145,000 miles. It was using a bit of oil but was otherwise fine. I'd changed the oil every 4,000 miles with Castrol Power1 semi-synthetic. 

On my new CB which I got with 13k on it and now have 39k, I've decided to adopt two practices which I believe will save me money whilst potentially prolonging the life of the parts involved. 

Firstly, I'm switching to fully synthetic (Castrol Power1 Racing 10W30) but increasing the interval at which I change it to the Honda-specified 8,000 miles, with a new Honda filter at the interval as well. I avoid short journeys etc. and ride at least every other day - both good things for engine life - and am hoping to see how the engine fares with this treatment over the next 100,000 miles / few years. If it turns out to be fine I'll have saved around £500 on oil - enough for a new engine if it doesn't turn out fine!

Secondly, although lubing my chain frequently with 90W gear oil has allowed me to get on average 25,000 miles from a chain, I've read enough reports of people using only a light application of WD40 on a cloth after each ride to clean it and condition the O-rings that I'm also trying this myself. Don't try and persuade me to stop - I'm not doing so unless this chain lasts less than 25,000 miles! So far I've put 7,000 on it with only WD40 and since the initial bedding-in adjustment after a couple of hundred miles I haven't needed to adjust it once. It also looks new and cleaner than my previous ones ever did - the latter also is true of my swingarm and rear tyre. I'm also running the chain a bit looser than I used to, more at the upper end of the freeplay spec, as what caused me to replace chains before has been the appearance of binding links which I know can be caused by over-tightness. So this won't be an entirely fair test, but I'll post my results as and when appropriate.


Last edited by jchesshyre on Mon 01 Jun 2015, 4:54 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : mis-typed oil weight as 10W40)
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Beresford
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Re: Trialling two controversial maintenance practices

Post by Beresford on Mon 01 Jun 2015, 4:16 pm

Interesting.
I too am experimenting with an oil regime. The difference is that I'm changing my conventional 10-40 at 4000 miles but using a K&N filter only changed at 8000 miles. I'd done some research on filter quality and the only two that were rated for decent performance were K&N and Mobil ! filters. The Mobil ones are only available in the USA but it turns out that they are made by the same factory that makes the K&Ns anyway. I don't think that the filter is anywhere near its' sell-by date after only 4000 miles so we'll see how it goes.
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Celt500
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Re: Trialling two controversial maintenance practices

Post by Celt500 on Mon 01 Jun 2015, 7:37 pm

Hmm... I wouldn't even lube a bicycle chain with WD40. Certainly not if you ever ride in the wet.
We are talking standard WD40, not the WD40 brand chain lube?

Interested to see how you get on with the fully-synth though.
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jchesshyre
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Re: Trialling two controversial maintenance practices

Post by jchesshyre on Mon 01 Jun 2015, 8:05 pm

No, I mean normal WD40. I bought a 5L container which came with a spray bottle. 


The point is that you're not really using it as a lube. The theory is that the grease sealed inside the chain is lubricating the parts that take the vast majority of the load. You're mainly using the WD40 to keep the chain clean, disperse water and prevent corrosion, and most importantly keep the O-rings clean and supple (and no they are not made of a type of rubber that is damaged by WD40!) so that they can do their job sealing the grease in. 


Anyway the point of my experiment is to see if this is true so watch this space... 
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stormbringer
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Re: Trialling two controversial maintenance practices

Post by stormbringer on Tue 02 Jun 2015, 6:23 am

jchesshyre wrote:The point is that you're not really using it as a lube. The theory is that the grease sealed inside the chain is lubricating the parts that take the vast majority of the load.
...
Anyway the point of my experiment is to see if this is true so watch this space...
I will - watch this space. Interesting.
Yes, WD40 isn't much of a lubricant, and yes, the O-rings should in theory do just as you write. But I can't help but have my doubts if this will do any good to the rollers themselves - you know; the ones that come in contact with the sprockets. Contact wear on the sprocket-roller surfaces and wear on the roller-inside leading to a rattling chain.

But I'm a fan of your project! I like the test-to-destruction approach and killing off myths with cold, hard facts.
February this year had this fun little project to see if OKO On-Road puncture prevention did what it said on the tin:




It does. It manages to clog 4mm holes drilled in the thread with a powerdrill. Quite convincing; as the drill pierced the thread, I got a compressed-air-driven spurt, increasing as I withdrew the drill, then a flow, a drizzle and finally the drizzle ebbed out. Wouldn't want to do any mile-munching after that, but if it will slow down the puncture enough to let me bring the bike to a controlled halt, that'll do too.

So, let's see what your WD40-test brings. With pictures if possible; I like to see the metal carnage - it gives me a visual reference for future use.

BTW: Why not use ACF-50 for your chain? WD40 isn't much of a rust-preventer either. Read here  to learn more:
Test


Last edited by stormbringer on Tue 02 Jun 2015, 6:33 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added comment on rust-preventing traits of WD40)
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eternally_troubled
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Re: Trialling two controversial maintenance practices

Post by eternally_troubled on Tue 02 Jun 2015, 1:18 pm

If you are going to do this properly you'd need to test a similar chain with no lube as a control :)

I too will be interested to see the results.

I wander if the key point to this is the 'after each ride' bit?  I use 80/90W gear oil on my chain, but I don't clean/oil it after every ride, unless it has been particularly rainy.  It is quite thick so a fair amount stays on the chain.

WD40 is quite thin and also has quite a large volatile (evaporative) content, however this may be counteracted by more frequent application (every ride!), surface tension (in my experience WD40 seems to 'flow' quite well onto things) and the fact the chain will be cleaner.

One thing I know will cause it all to go wrong:  if the WD40 soaks past any of the O-rings and washes the lube out then it will all be over pretty quickly.

Whatever the result, this is all good stuff and it is commendable you are doing it. Good on you.
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wornsprokets
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Re: Trialling two controversial maintenance practices

Post by wornsprokets on Tue 02 Jun 2015, 9:51 pm

i be weary leaving oil change to 8k( i know honda recommend) and same with extending oil filter life too, these bikes are more revy that 4cylinder bikes and there reved hard alot. Would u not be better buyin oil in bulk like big drums and save that way .buy bulk oil filters too . if u got 145k in first place  u were doing it rite anyway. Just my opinion:)
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Re: Trialling two controversial maintenance practices

Post by eternally_troubled on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 12:52 pm

wornsprokets wrote:... if u got 145k in first place  u were doing it rite anyway. Just my opinion:)

I agree, but I'm still interested to see what happens :)

I actually think it won't make much difference (ie. the bike will be fine) - I don't think it is the people who change the oil at 8k who do the damage, it's the ones that *never* change the oil ("'cos they only do 1000 miles per year") - they forget that the oil does break down over time (a little bit) and that 10 years x 1000 miles is 10,000 miles!

Plus some people just don't care and "can't be arsed" to get it changed. When you buy a bike second hand you just have to hope that the previous owner wasn't one of these.
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wornsprokets
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Re: Trialling two controversial maintenance practices

Post by wornsprokets on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 5:35 pm

Think most cb owners got no service history with theres, in ireland no mots for bikes so u cant even check that, yes ur rite if u never change oil asking for trouble my cousin a mechanic and he says its common enough cars he gets in with little or next to oil in them. I use hiflo oil filters seem to be gud.
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wornsprokets
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Re: Trialling two controversial maintenance practices

Post by wornsprokets on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 6:03 pm

Dont know  anything about k&n oil filters, but one of fireblade forums were giving out about k&n airfilters saying they didnt give fireblade (older ones) no power increase and were letting a lot of dirt tru! And that standard worked best? I have standard in my fireblade so i dont know?

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Re: Trialling two controversial maintenance practices

Post by muttley1 on Sat 06 Jun 2015, 10:59 pm

I've had 4 or 5 cb5's over the years in various states from all good to in-those-boxes-over-there-mate.  Various other bikes too, some have been in use, some stored by the prev owners.

All have had service history and all got a new oil and filter, its straightforward and a good check on if the engine has had any tlc. None have used much if any oil.

As to costs, Hein Gericke used to do an oil/filter deal, you got both for £20. Halfords occasionally do a motorcycle oil deal (I use the 10/40 semi synthetic), it comes in 5 litre containers unlike the usual 4.

I'd say oil every 3k if the bike is for thrashing around on backroads or 4k if its constant speed commuting, too keen I know but peace of mind and I look after them. I do the filter at the same time (usually). New sump washers too.
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wornsprokets
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Re: Trialling two controversial maintenance practices

Post by wornsprokets on Sat 06 Jun 2015, 11:21 pm

Yes i agree with u muttley1  with oil changes , ive never had bike with any service history at all, luckly ive never had bike that had major problems , just minor ones, wear n tear,any problems i fixed them.
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jchesshyre
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Re: Trialling two controversial maintenance practices

Post by jchesshyre on Sun 07 Jun 2015, 11:13 am

The reason I'm trying the 8k oil change interval is because I refuse to believe that Honda would recommend it if it wasn't OK. They designed an engine that revs to 10.5k rpm, produces peak torque at 8k rpm, etc. etc. and then knowingly (or unknowingly) specified a far-too-long oil change interval? I don't buy it.

The Internet contains thousands of forum posts about cars and bikes that say something along the lines of 'I know Honda specify xxxx miles oil change intervals but'...b u t  w h a t?
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Re: Trialling two controversial maintenance practices

Post by stormbringer on Mon 08 Jun 2015, 6:39 am

jchesshyre wrote:b u t  w h a t?
Exactly. And as the manufacturers of oil hopefully become ever better at their job, I assume 'modern-day' oil to surpass the kind of oil quality used back in 1992 when Honda set the 8k-cycle for the CB engine.

Engine oil does two things:

  • Lubricate the moving parts.
  • Absorb sludge & soot created by the combustion process.


Rumour has it, engine oil wears out not so much in the 'lubrication' department as in the 'absorption' department. It simply gets filled up with chemicals and crap.
Now, looking at the oil in my engine I can't help but notice that it seems to *not* get black and sooty like the one in the missus' Toyota*. I've got no idea why this is, but the lack of blackness makes me think the CB engine puts less 'soot pressure' on its oil - which would translate nicely into a longer service interval Smile


* Warning: Don't get yourself a Toyota Avensis! The designers of this automobile clearly had in their minds a devious plan to bore anyone driving it to death...
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jchesshyre
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Re: Trialling two controversial maintenance practices

Post by jchesshyre on Tue 09 Jun 2015, 2:23 pm

Incidentally, even the CBR600RR and and CBR1000RR have an 8,000-mile oil change interval specified.
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jchesshyre
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Re: Trialling two controversial maintenance practices

Post by jchesshyre on Wed 10 Jun 2015, 12:29 pm

** WARNING: SARCASM **

I've been thinking about the notion that Honda's 8,000-mile oil change recommendation is incorrect or unwise, and have come to the conclusion that it is the result of a conversation along the following lines:

MR HONDA: Have you finished the service schedule for the new CB500 [/CBR600RR/CBR1000RR, etc.]?


BLOKE WRITING MANUAL (BWM): Yes, nearly sir, just need to put the oil & filter change in. I'm thinking every 3 or 4,000 miles would be sensible. Does this sound OK?


MR HONDA: That sounds ideal, and any more than that would undoubtedly result in long-term engine damage. But stop, before you write that down. Despite our years of experience and knowledge, and our international reputation for reliable car and motorcycle engines, I should like you to double that figure and make it 8,000 miles.


BWM: Why, if you don't mind my asking?


MR HONDA: I don't know really, I just feel like wrecking some engines over the next few years. It seems like a good marketing technique. 


BWM: OK, I'll put down 8,000, if you insist. You don't think people will question this though?


MR HONDA: Of course not. All of our customers are idiots, and assume that we know best and would never provide erroneous information for our vehicles. Then when they go wrong after a few years, they'll come back with more money and buy another Honda, for which I intend to also provide a stupidly long oil change interval, and so the cycle will repeat and I will be ever richer.
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Re: Trialling two controversial maintenance practices

Post by eternally_troubled on Wed 10 Jun 2015, 12:47 pm

ho ho ho Smile

I was going to write something very similar in response to your 'Honda say it's 8000 miles' post.

I don't know on bikes, but on cars the oil-change interval (certainly on utility cars, like a Ford Mondeo or Vauxhall Astra) is often set/influenced by fleet owners and/or hire companies - they don't want to have to do it too often, hence a lot of the work that has gone in to making 'long life' oils and engines that will stand the abuse for a bit. Suffice to say that a better informed owner who wants to do the best for their engine (and keep the car more than 2 years!) would take the manufacturers guidance with a pinch of salt.

It isn't normally as bad as a 'divide by 2' thing, but if you wanted to be safe it's not a bad margin.
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jchesshyre
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Re: Trialling two controversial maintenance practices

Post by jchesshyre on Wed 10 Jun 2015, 1:27 pm

I'll stop being cocky until I've got to 145,000 miles with this schedule and find that the bike's using as little or less oil than the last one was by that point. 

Although I think there could be something in the idea that the specified oil change interval is a compromise between reliability, costs and environmental concerns, at the same time I would have thought that Honda would include a fair margin for user laziness/incompetence/error when coming up with their service schedules. 

Something worth noting is that I will be consistently using one of the highest quality motorcycle-specific oils on the market, with OEM oil filters. If I was using car oil I'd definitely not want to go longer than 4,000 miles. The shearing that bike gearboxes inflict on their engine oil makes me a total non-believer in using car oils with their lower zinc etc. content. 

Before I last changed my oil, I racked up 7,000 miles on the Castrol semi that I had in there - the longest I've ever left before changing oil -  as a sort of pre-experiment test, and the engine and gearbox still felt great. The oil was dark when it came out as it always is and as you'd hope it would be, but it didn't seem thin or to have otherwise degraded significantly. I should reiterate that I religiously avoid short journeys and cold engine abuse. 

I have actually provided some slightly erroneous information which makes this 'experiment' even less fair than it already is - I'd forgotten this but despite saying that I used Castrol semi-synthetic throughout the life of my last CB, I actually switched to Halfords' own semi-synth (made by Comma) around the 80k mark. Make of this what you will. Rather than a real comparison with my experience with my last bike, I really just want to see what happens after 100,000 miles of following Honda's specs using top-quality oil. My suspicion is that it'll be just fine, but if it's not it'll be interesting and perhaps quite telling as I'm otherwise treating my bike as well as I did my last one.
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Re: Trialling two controversial maintenance practices

Post by stormbringer on Thu 11 Jun 2015, 6:50 am

jchesshyre wrote:... there could be something in the idea that the specified oil change interval is a compromise between reliability, costs and environmental concerns, at the same time I would have thought that Honda would include a fair margin for user laziness/incompetence/error when coming up with their service schedules. 

Before I last changed my oil, I racked up 7,000 miles on the Castrol semi that I had in there - the longest I've ever left before changing oil -  as a sort of pre-experiment test, and the engine and gearbox still felt great. The oil was dark when it came out as it always is and as you'd hope it would be, but it didn't seem thin or to have otherwise degraded significantly.



Compromise & margin: Agree completely. Meaning it's no bad idea gauging the situation rather than blindly trusting given info.

Oil degradation can't be seen. Think of your car-gearbox/differential-oil. It lubricates the gears for a ridiculous number of miles, yet comes out clear and seemingly unscathed by use. Yet it's worn out. All the little invisible 'slippery molecules' have now been used up. If you neglect changing differential-oil it'll turn silvery - and your gears/diff will no longer be the same...
To my knowledge, neither oil viscosity nor colour will change significantly as it wears down. And the colour change happening with engine oil is no indicator of wear-down; rather it's an indicator of fill-up. If you could remove those soot- and sulphur/whatever-contaminants from the oil, it would be perfectly good for another go.

So, yes, provided your particular CB-engine does not foul up its engine oil with black sludge (mine doesn't), I'd think it could easily go the full interval and still be fine.
Yet, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

Edit: It turns out engine oils DO get re-refined: Read here


Last edited by stormbringer on Thu 11 Jun 2015, 6:55 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Add link)
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jchesshyre
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Re: Trialling two controversial maintenance practices

Post by jchesshyre on Tue 07 Jul 2015, 8:07 pm

Update re. WD40-only chain maintenance:

Approaching 10,000 miles on this chain which has had WD40 applied every 100 miles or after any ride in the wet. In this time, after the initial expected stretch, I have had no need to adjust it. Before, using gear oil, I'd have had to adjust it once or perhaps twice by now. 

Will update in another 10,000!
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jchesshyre
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Re: Trialling two controversial maintenance practices

Post by jchesshyre on Thu 03 Sep 2015, 10:40 am

I know I said I'd update in another 10,000 miles, but what the hell...


Chain on WD40 only (frequently applied) is approaching 13,000 miles and I've had to adjust it once now. Sprockets look fine. Maybe a hint of shark toothing on the front one but I expect to replace that once within the life of a chain and rear sprocket. 


My current sumpful of Castrol fully synthetic is approaching 8,000 miles and the engine sounds and feels great, in fact it seems happier than ever, as does the gearbox with no hint of notchiness or other dodginess. I should reiterate though that I ride the bike almost every day and never do a journey that doesn't allow the engine to get up to temperature. When it has warmed up though I am always sure to give it a good spanking, naturally. 
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wornsprokets
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Re: Trialling two controversial maintenance practices

Post by wornsprokets on Thu 03 Sep 2015, 7:10 pm

Wd 40 on chain seems to be working well ,  watching with interest the oil change mileage Smile
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Ayrton F
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Re: Trialling two controversial maintenance practices

Post by Ayrton F on Fri 04 Sep 2015, 1:14 pm

Only seeing this now! Thank you for doing this! Aside from tyres probably two of the most frequent consumables! 

I've only every semi-s, Would it be crazy to try that interval with it ? Is fully-s  a must ? Not sure how Id feel about using WD40 in the Irish climate!
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jchesshyre
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Re: Trialling two controversial maintenance practices

Post by jchesshyre on Thu 08 Oct 2015, 2:23 pm

Update: chain has now passed 15,000 miles on its WD40-only diet, and I have only needed to adjust it twice. Just replaced the front sprocket though as it was a tad hooked and noisy.
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jchesshyre
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Re: Trialling two controversial maintenance practices

Post by jchesshyre on Thu 08 Oct 2015, 2:26 pm

Ayrton F, I would have thought that WD40 would be ideal in the Irish climate, if by that you mean lots of rain. Its principle function is water displacement (W.D.) and commercial chain lubes in the rain attract grit and turn into an efficient grinding paste. You do need to apply it every 200 miles though or after any ride in the rain. This bothers me not a jot though.

I would have though semi-synthetic would be fine for the 8,000-mile oil changes, providing you use a good one and don't do lots of short journeys. I'm using fully synthetic to maximise the likelihood of these oil change intervals still allowing the engine to well exceed the 100k mark, and because fully synthetic every 8,000 is still way cheaper than semi every 4,000.

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