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sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
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Old 13 Jan 2007
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Smile (Decent) Oil Availability - West Africa

Hey chaps & chapesses,

I'm off on a trip from the UK to South Africa in 6 weeks and I've got to that stage where I'm trying to find things to take back out of my luggage. As such, I'm wondering if I've got any chance of getting decent quality (ideally synthetic) motorcycle oil in any of Burkina/Niger/Nigeria/Cameroon. My current plan was to take a couple of litres with me for a change round about mid-trip, having started out on fresh fully synthetic but I could do with losing an extra couple of kgs (both from myself and the luggage!).

I now you get get car-spec mineral oil in these places, but I've (personally) always found that using the right oil for your wheels pays dividends - at least in the long run.


(04 KTM 640 Adv 'Naartjie'/11 KTM 990 Adv 'Tsumeb')
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Old 14 Jan 2007
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Personally, I´d run regular dino oil and change it as needed.
Why do you think your bike needs synthetic oil? Is that what the moto mfgr suggests?
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Old 15 Jan 2007
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Originally Posted by andybee
I've got to that stage where I'm trying to find things to take back out of my luggage. As such, I'm wondering if I've got any chance of getting decent quality (ideally synthetic) motorcycle oil in any of Burkina/Niger/Nigeria/Cameroon.
Or how to over load your vehicle?

I'd not carry a change of engine oil with me .. that extra weight means more fuel, more likely to fall, heavier to pick up, more work for teh suspension/frame/wheels/tires ..

If the state service interval is say 5,000kms .. them I'df be looking for oil at 3,000 km .. and buy and change when avalible .. if all you can get is not the best .. change it anyway .. and keep looking for the good stuf and change it again as soon as that becomes avalible ..

Should be able to get good stuf in Togo .. KTM dealer ...
Regards Frank Warner
motorcycles BMW R80 G/S 1981, BMW K11LT 1993, BMW K75 G/S
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Old 27 Jan 2007
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In all West African capital cities, you will be able to find synthtic motor oil these days. Whether it be Shell's, Totals, or if you're lukcy enough...Mobil.
The Dino/mineral oil you'll find is either made by SIFAL from Cote d'Ivoire or CSL in Senegal in Wes Africa. It doesn't matter if its Total or Mobil or Shell...their Dino is made by one of the two and written on the side.
The sysntetic is imported into West Africa and costs about $5 USD per liter when you find it.
Hope this helps.


PS I don't carry my own oil but change it when the opportunity presents itself..and it usually does.
93 BMW K75s
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Old 31 Jan 2007
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Togo Toni's in Lome

As you are on a KTM, I would recommend you to plan a visit to Lome into your trip. The only KTM dealer in W.Africa along with nice staff and clean workshop make it an essential visit.

They also have tyres, synthetic oil and some spares in stock. You can even buy cans of chain lube....

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Old 31 Jan 2007
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my thoughts...I would run the bike on mineral oil as that is by far the most common. When I asked for synthetic/semi synthetic not many people knew what I was talking about. The bottles I used didn't even say whether it was mineral or synthetic but i assumed that meant it was plain old mineral (it was multigrade though - there were oils that werent multigrade as well). Just makes life easier if you decide to go with mineral and you can top up or change oil anytime...don't carry an oil change though, just carry some top-up oil for just-in-case.
Africa Trips web journal
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Old 1 Feb 2007
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Talking cheers!

Hi chaps,

Thanks for the tips and perspectives. I reckon I'll set off on synthetic and switch to mineral on my first change, then change it fairly often. I hadn't planned on going via Lome, but the lure of 'the only KTM dealer in W.Africa' makes it a practically irresistable proposition! If they have any 990's in stock, I might even chop my 640 Adv in for one. I can just imagine the fun that would cause with my carnet and V5 :-)

cheers the noo.

(04 KTM 640 Adv 'Naartjie'/11 KTM 990 Adv 'Tsumeb')
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Old 5 Mar 2007
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I'm probably late with my reply, but:

In Nigeria you can get quite easily the 20W50 oil (either Total or Mobil brands). I'm almost sure it was mineral, though.

Cheers. L.
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