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  #1  
Old 23 Sep 2008
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XR400R, are ridiculous oilchange intervals true ?

On thumpertalk, I read about oilchange intervals of 1000-1500km max. That will be a lot of work and money when going f.x. from Europe to South Africa.

And people say that 2-strokes are not suitable for long distances, but the XR will be exactly as expensive as buying 2-T oil for a 2-stroke !!

I was always told that 2 strokes are unreliable and break down easily, and "diesels" just go on and on. Why are 4-T drivers then so nervous of a breakdown that they change oil that often ?

The XR is not even highly tuned,a 400cc with 30hp on the wheel? My trackbike a Honda NSR250 has 65hp!!

Surely these short intervals must be for enduro racing/offpiste driving etc.

For a transport distance on paved road,what would be the oilchange interval ?
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  #2  
Old 23 Sep 2008
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The oil change requirement has stopped a lot of people buying the smaller XRs.
You should be able to get much longer mileage if just on pavement as the engine will be used mostly at a constant rate. ie not so much harsh accelarating and braking
Buying a "better" oil such as a fully synthetic oil is meant to be bad news for BMW boxer engines longevity. However there are VERY mixed opinions on the subject. So I would buy the best available oil taking close note what is recommended for the temperature range.
I think you can safely say that the short oil change regime is meant for the worst case scenario.
1 Harsh use off road
2 Dusty conditions
3 Poor or water contaminated fuel (less lubrication)
4 Low grade oil and very hot
5 Altitude = low power and using more of upper rev range
6. Weak mixture - hot engine (again)
7. General abuse in maintenance of rest of engine
8 Run with low oil level for part of time. eg upside down after a spill

So you can certainly double the distance between oil changes. But examine the bike closely daily. You should though definitely change the filters. This is because the frequent oil changes are probably to prevent the oilways being blocked by cruddy oil and causing a seizure.
Go for it. I would.
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  #3  
Old 23 Sep 2008
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The handbook says 600 miles (1000km) because the XR400 was originally designed as a race bike (don't snigger, this was back in 1996 x), as you surmise, more gentle 'trail' use is not going to be as hard on the engine...

However, do bare in mind that it only takes around 1.8 litres of oil in total, and is air-cooled - so that oil is working hard, especially at higher (highway speed) revs and in hot climates particularly.

I tend to change my oil and filter every 1000 miles (1600km) when general trail riding - but on a longer trip you could possible go to around 2000km... but I would be wary of this as the oil is likely to be black and thin when it comes out (ie, not much use). This summer around Europe I waited until 2800kms to change the oil on my XR650R which has a similar oil capacity, and it was like water...

As the XR400 has a dry sump engine, it is feasible to increase the oil capacity by adding some kind of extra oil tank in line with the plumbing perhaps? Even an additional oil cooler would offer a useful capacity increase, although you are limited for mounting options if using a bigger tank...

Personally I would try to change your oil and filter every 1500 miles (2400kms) as a very maximum, and keep an eye on the level each day as wildbeeste suggests...

xxx
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  #4  
Old 24 Sep 2008
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My present XR400R get's the oil changed every 1000 mile's and the oil filter every other oil change.

This is because I intend to keep this one a long time,
it's just covered 19,000 miles in the last 2 years and runs and starts perfect.

So I will keep to this system.

That said I have in the past gone 4000 miles between oil and filter changers on a xr400.

This bike did over 32,000 miles and was still running perfect when I sold it to a friend.

He then ran it 2 years and never changed the oil once,or did any maintenance at all to it

But it was still running ok when he sold it
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  #5  
Old 17 Nov 2008
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Worth noting as someone pointed out to me that oils in 2008 are better than 96 technology also.
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  #6  
Old 25 Nov 2008
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I've been speaking to a guy who rode his to South Africa from Spain with only 3 oil changes.

Apparently Still running like a dream.

Id keep it within 1000-1200 miles if ridden kindly. A high quality full synthetic oil lasts way longer than a mineral or semi oil did 12 years ago.

Depends on your riding style and the temperatures really.
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  #7  
Old 26 Nov 2008
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I tend to change my oil and filter every 1000 miles

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 01:27.
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  #8  
Old 27 Nov 2008
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before you get an off the shelf sump look into having one made, it might be cheaper.
its quite a simple milling job to knock up a 1"/1.5" spacer then all you will need would be two sump gaskets and longer bolts. the most expensive bit would be the block of alloy but shop around.

this is assuming the XR sump is a simple tray of course, and you could lower it by that much without fouling something.

and 30hp from a 400 trail bike is not bad, my xt600e doesnt give a lot more than that, these bikes are all about torque not whizzing around a racetrack.

err.....and its only had one oil change in 5 years, but thats neglect, not some wondrous new oil
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Old 28 Nov 2008
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Good call Dave!

5 Years?

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 01:28.
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Old 28 Nov 2008
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no im afraid not, although it was the good stuff
2 yrs ago i had some mobil1 race synthetic to put in my triumph but sold the bike before i changed the oil. i wasnt going to waste the oil at £11 per litre so i bunged it in the scab, (she's like Vikki Pollard, she doesnt care what goes in her) and before anyone says thats still too long ive only put 35 miles on her since then and the oil is still brand new like thick pee, i give her a warm up and a blat round the estate every couple weeks, to turn the tyres and exercise the fork seals but the rest of the time she hibernates sat on my carpeted centrally heated garage under a duvet plugged into an optimate while i depreciate a £7K varadero.

something not quite right there but i cant put my finger on it........
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Old 28 Nov 2008
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Deep sumping will surely take away valuable ground clearance (thats why you getting a dirt bike surely)...

Also, you would probably have to lengthen the scavenge and who knows what the extra oil would do to the crankcase pressure...

You extra oil might just end up in your airbox !!

I reckon it would work fine on a simple engine like the XR's though but who knows !
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  #12  
Old 28 Nov 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedmagnum View Post
Deep sumping will surely take away valuable ground clearance (thats why you getting a dirt bike surely)...

Also, you would probably have to lengthen the scavenge and who knows what the extra oil would do to the crankcase pressure...

You extra oil might just end up in your airbox !!

I reckon it would work fine on a simple engine like the XR's though but who knows !
Surely as the XR has a dry sump (oil reservoir in frame), all you would need to do is create an extra capacity 'tank' in-line with the send/return pipes and that would give you the extra capacity?

I recall there was a guy on Thumpertalk (or it might have been ADV rider) who put an XR250 engine (bored to 300cc) into a CRF frame, and used the spare space where the radiators would have gone to mount an oil cooler on one side and a larger oil tank on the other (the CRF not having having the facility for oil in frame of course)...

If you could find space on the downtube area, you could do something similar (the 400 having the oil cooler around the headstock already of course - just an idea?

xxx
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Old 28 Nov 2008
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wouldnt just putting in an oil cooler give a useful capacity boost?
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Old 29 Nov 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAVSATO View Post
wouldnt just putting in an oil cooler give a useful capacity boost?
It would, but (as I said above) the XR400 already has an oil cooler - around the headstock, so a fabricated 'tank' (say cylindrical, alongside the downtube) would offer even more capacity than a second oil cooler?

xxx
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Old 29 Nov 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMo (& piglet) View Post
It would, but (as I said above) the XR400 already has an oil cooler - around the headstock, so a fabricated 'tank' (say cylindrical, alongside the downtube) would offer even more capacity than a second oil cooler?

xxx
It would just be easier to carry a litre of oil in a bottle and change it more..

If you cant change the oil on an XR400 in under 5 minutes, you need to get practicing !
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