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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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  #1  
Old 28 Mar 2011
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Question Engine oil available?

Hey,

Well, I'll be starting my first "real" motorcycle trip end of this week: Holland --> Zambia. As I have a bit of spare time now, and time to think, some nerves are breaking the surface (mostly though because people keep approaching me as if this trip is way BIG). I'm doing quite okay with countering these nerves (I will be so happy to finally leave and have no time to worry anymore); however, there is one concern that I don't really want to address, but okay, I guess I will now:
I ride a KTM Adv 990, so I need 10W50 engine oil. Unfortunately I've recently been told this type of engine oil isn't available in Eastern Africa. I can hardly believe this though, so if you would be so kind to sooth my mind by telling me it will be available somewhere, I'd appreciate it!!
Besides, I really cannot pictures myself taking along 6-8 liters of engine oil... I don't need to, do I.

Happy travels,
Sjarelke
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Old 28 Mar 2011
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Hi you will find engine oil in every big citty along the way. Even if its not 10W50 you will be ok with the usual 10W40 as well. If you have too much money to spend you can asl Chris in Nairobi @ Jungle Junktion to order something specialy for you. He is a nice guy and can even do aluminium welding wich is rare in africa

Travel sava, Tobi
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Old 28 Mar 2011
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You can get good quality oil from every large town/city in Eastern Africa.

You probably won't find motorcycle specific oil (I couldnt) but you will find good quality semi-synthetic oil designed for high performance cars..

Everyone uses it with no problems... It's only the posh car oil that has the friction modifiers that affects the clutch on some bikes. I never had a problem nor has anyone I heard from, rode with etc etc.

I needed oil changes every 2000 miles on my DRZ400 so as you can imagine, I became quite good at the Africa oil search lol.

There are lots of BP, SHELL and others "BIG" petrol stations who stock good oil. The most common is 20/50 which is perfect for East Africa IMO.

Oil is graded SG, SH, SJ etc... Thats what you want to look for on the bottle and also check that the foil is sealed on the top of the bottle because a smaller garage tried to sell me "refills"



P.S. Whatever you do.. Don't put Diesel oil in !
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Old 28 Mar 2011
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Much imported Castrol around? Oils with the same name/type aren't always made to the same spec. Some shell oils differ a fair bit.
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Old 28 Mar 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmotten View Post
Much imported Castrol around? Oils with the same name/type aren't always made to the same spec. Some shell oils differ a fair bit.
True !

I just stuck to buying oil from the large garage chains in foil sealed bottles.

I just put in the best (highest SA rating I could find) oil in... Never had any issues...

Nothing else you can do unless you wan't to carry it...

New oil is still better than old old and any oil is better than no oil...
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Old 29 Mar 2011
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True. I was thinking of places that carry decent tyres like the few KTM dealers etc. Surely they have imported oils? I don't care about the extra few tenners for a bottle personally.
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Old 29 Mar 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmotten View Post
True. I was thinking of places that carry decent tyres like the few KTM dealers etc. Surely they have imported oils? I don't care about the extra few tenners for a bottle personally.
The further the you get south on the east coast route, the easier and easier (closer to South Africa) it gets..

I think the first place you're likey to find good imported oil is Ian Duncans (KTM) place in Nairobi.

I bought a tyre from him (180 Euros for ONE Sahara 3) so theres an idea of the import taxes and mark up.

In Egypt there was a KTM dealer but it sold nothing but stickers and a few spares. Everything had to be ordered.

I carried two litres of oil from Europe for my first 2000 mile change in Egypt but I wish I hadn't bothered.

The oil in Africa mostly comes from Saudi and the UAE so it's good quality..

Good enough anyway.
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Old 29 Mar 2011
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Hey you guys, thanks for the quick replies. I'm pretty confident there's engine oil to be found somewhere. I'll probably visit Ian Duncans place in Nairobi, and find some place in Egypt; i heard some guy does desert trips on KTMs, so he'll be able to provide me with adequate oil.
Thanks, and happy travels!
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Old 3 Apr 2011
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I don't agree with the previous posts that good oil is available from the petrol stations in East Africa. The oil at the petrol stations I have seen is always mono grade mineral oil. Suitable for an old XR of XT. But not very suitable for a high performance KTM.
I live close to Nairobi and it took me quit some time to find a desent syntetic oil for my landrover. Fortunately according to the label that oil can also be used for a wet clutch. So now I throw it my KTM 525EXC as well.

For sure in Nairobi Ian can help you with the correct oil. You can also try the supplier of Shell oils in the second streed behind Toyota East Africa.
In other coutries you can look for a 5W40 A3B3 syntetic oil to be used in modern cars but in countries like Sudan and Ethiopia it can be difficult to find.
Or maybe you have to compromise on the quality. But if the correct oil is not available I would prefer to extend the service interval a bit.
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Old 3 Apr 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joost Z View Post
I don't agree with the previous posts that good oil is available from the petrol stations in East Africa. The oil at the petrol stations I have seen is always mono grade mineral oil. Suitable for an old XR of XT. But not very suitable for a high performance KTM.
I live close to Nairobi and it took me quit some time to find a desent syntetic oil for my landrover. Fortunately according to the label that oil can also be used for a wet clutch. So now I throw it my KTM 525EXC as well.

For sure in Nairobi Ian can help you with the correct oil. You can also try the supplier of Shell oils in the second streed behind Toyota East Africa.
In other coutries you can look for a 5W40 A3B3 syntetic oil to be used in modern cars but in countries like Sudan and Ethiopia it can be difficult to find.
Or maybe you have to compromise on the quality. But if the correct oil is not available I would prefer to extend the service interval a bit.
We obviously went to different petrol stations...... It's not available at EVERY one for sure, but It never took me long for find multigrade 20-50 oil with SJ, SH or higher grading.

Using old spent oil is far worse than using clean, fresh (slightly) lower quality oil....

Ted
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