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  #1  
Old 21 Jun 2006
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Question XR250 oil change frequency

Planning our next trip on XR250's (dry sump) and from the haynes manual and other websites I have read, it seems the recommended oil change frequency for these bikes is approx every 600miles and changing oil filter every second oil change.

This would mean a hell of a lot of oil changes and filters for a long trip! Obviously they are recommending this for a reason but I was wondering if anyone has ignored this and gone for longer intervals whithout any problems?
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Old 10 Aug 2006
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These bikes hold very little oil so the oil wears out VERY quickly. The engines are also highly tuned which doesnt help matters.

The 600 mile recommendation is what you should do if riding the bike how it was meant to be which is fast trail and off road riding.

If you just touring, you should be ok for 1000 miles using high quality oil and having the motor is good order in the first place.

Any longer than this and your going to wear the engine out considerably faster than you should be.

How long is your trip and how old are the bikes ?
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Old 11 Aug 2006
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My '03 XR250 in Baja last year

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Old 30 Aug 2006
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Smile

hmm thanks for the answers. My bike is the XR Baja which is not sold in UK. Imported from Japan...I have tried to attach an image but not sure if it's going to work. Like you pics by the way...but you should have had an XR Baja in Baja!!

I think the gearing is lower than the std XR250R it is a 13:40 ratio and I think the XR250 is 13:48 or something like that. They also come with a more comfy seat and a 14L tank and the word BAJA scrawled across the tank

We are taking the bikes across Africa and I won't have access to really good oil...multi-grade mineral at best I would say. I am thinking of stretching to 1500 miles between changes - we won't be thrashing the bikes - at least not all the time.
Going to add a magnetic drain bolt as an extra cleaner but hoping it's not going to damage the bike too much.
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Old 30 Aug 2006
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I have a 1996 XR250R and I use it mostly for street riding. I use semi-synthetic 20W50 and change the oil every 3500-4000 km. The bike is at 3200 km since the last oil change, and the oil on the dipstick is still golden yet dark.

Far more important than the oil change frequency is checking the oil properly. Checking the oil on thse bikes is a b*tch and if not done properly might give you either a near-empty reading, leading you to overfill the oil.

Also, when used at high revs for extender periods (on the highway, for example) I believe they use a little oil.

If you don't have access to semi-synthetic then I'm not sure what a good oil change interval is. Probably less than 3000 km, and probably more than what the service manual states, which, as others have pointed out, is aimed at a competitive off-road regime, where you ride less distance for the same time period than on the road.

Hope that helps.

d.
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Old 30 Aug 2006
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Have a great trip, hope you'll post some pics on HU or a ride report!

Last edited by mollydog; 24 Mar 2009 at 20:38.
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Old 28 Sep 2006
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Talking

thanks for responses!
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Old 28 Sep 2006
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oil-changes? think of all the things that can go wrong!
1) you round-off the sump plug
2) you lose the sump plug
3) you over-tighten the plug
4) you can't get the filler cap off (or back on!)
5) you over or under fill it

its all a nightmare so avoid the aggro ...
yes, its a dry sump and yes the good book says 600 miles and no you don't want to blow it up, but you'll hear it tinkling before it gets damagingly low. my friends and I have done hundreds of thousands of km on Honda singles from 400-650cc with oil changes from 4000 to 15000miles
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Old 2 Oct 2006
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All in the interest of longevity on a long haul you understand.

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Old 2 Oct 2006
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I admit I was being a bit of an a#se, but my point is to relax and add a big margin to recommended oil changes. not least cos you can't always find suitable oil.
Martin, Tim and I have thrashed and crashed XR400s, XR650L and XR650Rs all over Oz and Africa including the Sahara - often having to negotiate deep, soft sand/dust on steep climbs in fierce heats and with huge loads (we had 50 litres of fuel and 15 of water on the Canning in Oz) at depressingly load speeds (10-20kmh on the steep, deep stuff). and we barely got over 30kmh (not my choice!) in the soft stuff around lake chad after I dislocated my collarbone - neither I nor the bike had much fun, but the oil was still good for another 5000km(?) to Mali. it was opaque/dark because of normal clutch wear rather than because it was "burnt".

PS FWIW I think I recall problems with early XR250 heads cos the camshaft runs direct in the head
PPS my ZX6R runs terribly in our damp weather so I'd happily have some of your SoCal sun!
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Old 2 Oct 2006
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Couple pics from last weekend, Black Rock Desert.

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Old 4 Oct 2006
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Wow, nice pics Mollydog!

yes I was taking RichLees comments with a pinch of salt. But good to know they can take quite a thrashing if they need to...thats why I got Honda! So yes I will not be sticking to the recommnened oil change frequencies (600miles)...probably stretch it to 1500 to 2000 miles. I have been stretching it here is UK to 1500 miles and the oil is looking pretty tired when it comes out...very opaque, not grey though.

I also agree that semi or fully synthetic oil is the way to go because it holds it's properites better but that stuff ain't around in Africa much...lucky to get multigrade mineral oil.
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Old 4 Oct 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichLees
I admit I was being a bit of an a#se, but my point is to relax and add a big margin to recommended oil changes. not least cos you can't always find suitable oil.
Martin, Tim and I have thrashed and crashed XR400s, XR650L and XR650Rs all over Oz and Africa including the Sahara - often having to negotiate deep, soft sand/dust on steep climbs in fierce heats and with huge loads (we had 50 litres of fuel and 15 of water on the Canning in Oz) at depressingly load speeds (10-20kmh on the steep, deep stuff). and we barely got over 30kmh (not my choice!) in the soft stuff around lake chad after I dislocated my collarbone - neither I nor the bike had much fun, but the oil was still good for another 5000km(?) to Mali. it was opaque/dark because of normal clutch wear rather than because it was "burnt".

PS FWIW I think I recall problems with early XR250 heads cos the camshaft runs direct in the head
PPS my ZX6R runs terribly in our damp weather so I'd happily have some of your SoCal sun!
You cant judge an oils performance on its colour, there's way more factors involved in how oils work... You can stretch the change frequencys by 2 x times if you know you are riding 2-3x less than a hard ridden bike over 600 miles but its not clever and theres no need unless your stuck in the middle of nowhere.

Im guessing the 250's prob hold about a litre or less of oil so if you think thats fine after 15,000 miles then remind me never to buy a bike you have had !!

I guess you going extreme with 15,000 miles but even going 2000 miles on a 250 single is taking the piss, ridden hard or not.

If you want to keep this bike any length of time, change the oil before 1500Miles. Keep spare sump washers and a plug in your toolkit and make sure threads are clean before tightening up
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