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Old 18 Dec 2001
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Arnhem, Netherlands
Posts: 35
To take or not take motorcycle oil?

Honestly, i haven't looked around for anything on this topic, but does anyone take motorcycle oil with them?

Ofcourse, the bike uses oil, and i don't expect to find any motorcycle oil in e.g. Mauritania. Or do you just fill up with 'normal' car-engine oil? (but then how does the clutch handle this?)

Thanks for your advice!

Planning to travel from the Netherlands to Maroc / Mauritania / Senegal around april 2002.
The best planning is to go!
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Old 19 Dec 2001
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: the netherlands
Posts: 269
when on a trip to marrocco with my tdm850 needed some oil but couldnt find any specific for a motorbike (only some dodgy mineral oil) so ended up with some good quality semi synthetic shell oil for a car. clutch went fine, no slipage and using shell car oil ever since... so best to take some with you i will save you a wander..

perhaps someone can explain the difference between motorcycle- and car oil?

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Old 19 Dec 2001
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Location: Vancouver BC Canada
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Choosing oil for a bike depends mainly on which bike - BMW and Moto Guzzi use ordinary automotive oil, and the rest, which have the clutch in the same oil as the motor, should use motorcycle oil, but can normally use auto oil ok.

There has been a lot of discussion re what mc oil really is, and the main conclusion is that they are designed with the presence of the clutch in mind, and the higher rpms that bikes run.

SOME oils, particularly synthetic, have been reputed to cause clutch slip, but this is mostly anecdotal, and has never been reported to be serious.

You will generally find that any decent quality oil will work fine. The better quality/brand the oil, the better of course. I would not recommend carrying oil, unless you use a lot, and you should then fix the problem asap.

Generally if there is some semblance of a road and petrol/gasoline station, there will be a useable oil. I may not choose to change oil with some of the weird stuff I find off the beaten path, but topping up with it should be fine. Plan oil changes in larger cities.

Grant Johnson

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Old 19 Dec 2001
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Arnhem, Netherlands
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Thanks for your replies!

Have used car oil some times in my Yam XJ600 i used to have, which did give me problems with the clutch.

Now i'll take my xt600z tenere and will follow your advice. Just couldn't imagine anyone taking oil with them, nor finding motorcycle oil around the desert (crude oil would be more likely...), so come figure.

And my beloved TDM will stay at home.

Planning to travel from the Netherlands to Maroc / Mauritania / Senegal around april 2002.
The best planning is to go!
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