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Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear? Anything to do with the bikes equipment, saddlebags, etc. Questions on repairs and maintenance of the bike itself belong in the Brand Specific Tech Forums.
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Old 5 Jun 2003
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Groningen, The Netherlands
Posts: 48
Europe to India: Synthetic oil availible on route?

Dear Travellers,
Planning a overland trip from Europe to India by Africa Twin next autum I am wondering if there will be any synthetic oil availible on route. Due to expected hard conditions I would like to change oil before the oil change interfalls are reached. For example eastern Turkey. I am planning to do a great maintenance in Nepal.

Now I am adressing to you anyway, will a octaan booster be usefull in Iran, Pakistan and India?

Any experiance will be appreciated,

Kind regards,

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Old 5 Jun 2003
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Zaandam, Holland
Posts: 119
Hi Guido,

I don't have answer on your question, but I would like to give a personal opinion about oil and oil change on long travels.
An engine wears the most on the first kilometers of every ride. It is said that if you ride 500 kilometers the wear in the first 20 km's (when the engine is cold) is the same as in the next 480 (when the engine is warm). This means that the oil gets polluted less (per km) when you ride longer distances.

On long travels you ussaly ride much longer distances than you do at home. As the oil change intervals are based on 'normal' use this would mean that when you ride longer distances at once all the time, the oil change intervals can be longer as well.

On the other hand oil does desintegrate under heavy load more than under light load. But my experience is that when travelling you ussaly take it easy on the road, not riding fast or accelerating hard. My bike is usually very fuel economic while travelling. Especially compared to comuting. The only times the engine really get pushed is while going low speed and high rev's through sand. But that is very rare on most travel (expect when you really looking for it in the desert).

So I think that, as long as you have good oil (not alway available) an your engine is properly maintained en healthy, you can safely take longer intervals.....
But I'm very interested to hear more opinion on this:-)


And about octaan booster: my experience in Africa is that these days (especially compared to, say 10 years ago) fuel usualy is of reasonable quality, also actane wise. Except may be for really remote places. Taking it easy on the throttle may help as well as een octane booster....
Peter Kik
Zaandam, Holland
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Old 8 Jun 2003
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Location: London, England
Posts: 192

Yeah you can generally get fully synthetic oil in iran, Pakistan, India and Nepal, although it is substantially more expensive than you may expect and you will have to really search it out at times. It took me nearly a day to locate some of the right quality in Quetta at the end of last year for example. As for octane boosters, probably would be good although how many can you actually carry, not enough i suspect, my KTM ran fine on the fuel available throughout the trip, although i have heard of others having some problems.

Hope this helps and have a good trip.


Some day so soon....
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Old 11 Jun 2003
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Does it have to be fully synthetic? This limits your options.
Some of the big multinational fuel companies operate in Turkey and Pakistan. I found Caltex oil plentiful and pretty good in Pakistan. But Iran was a headache. My advice would be to do a change in Turkey that will see you through Iran.
Simon Kennedy
Around the world 2000-2004, on a 1993 Honda Transalp
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