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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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Old 4 Nov 2006
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Service intervals - do you "stretch them"

Well? Whats the general consensus on this?

Manufacturers want us changing the oil and servicing the bikes every week at their dealers. Great money making idea for them. So do people generally follow these guidelines or stretch them a bit?

For example, KTM say service the bike every 3000miles. Now thats a lot, if the bike has not been stressed (say easy highway riding) then surely it will not do any harm to do the service later?

But you see some of the bikes running in parts of Africa for example and they look like they havent seen a new spark plug in decades, and oil is something they get once a year or two...
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Old 4 Nov 2006
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Sounds like you want somebody to say it's ok.....
We all do what we have to to get by when traveling.
Which bike would you trust more - regularly serviced or ridden to some limits?

I'm not anal about it, but do try to change the oil when spec'd.
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Old 4 Nov 2006
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Yes, I have stretched my services. My last BMW service was done some 23,000 miles ago. I look after the bike though, and have never exceeded 6,000 miles without changing the oil. Here in Africa, I changed the oil and air filter at 4,500 miles due to the dusty/sandy conditions I encountered. The only real service I've had done on the bike since leaving the US was in Buenos Aires, at Dakar Motos (there is a good doctor there who will give your bike a thorough check-up!). Two awesome Brits (Mike and John) were kind enough to give me a BMW shop manual (simply downloaded on my laptop) which has helped me a great deal. The manual lets me know what should be checked, and when. It also offers specific info with regards to all the basic maintenance required- just great. Don't leave home without a good manual, it does help. See you somewhere, Dave.
"And I think to myself, what a wonderful world..." L.B. Armstrong. www.davesgreatescape.net

Last edited by hook; 4 Nov 2006 at 15:34.
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Old 4 Nov 2006
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do the oil/filter changes as specified, but add a little common sense. airfilters clog quicker in very dusty conditions, but if you riding about northern Europe in winter can last longer. oil cable pivot points, check chain as you think. Keep a check on your mpg, when this starts to deteriorate investigate and fix. keeping a check on your mpg is usually the first measurable thing when something is changing. Also service it with what is to come in mind....
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Old 4 Nov 2006
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Definitely. I usually double the intervals. Spark plugs I only check and adjust the gap, hardly ever replace them. When you are travelling you do mainly long distances, which is est for the motor anyway. If you ride around town in winter you need to halve the oil change interval, water will accumulate in the engine.

As others have already said, in dusty/muddy or wet conditions anything that moves and the air filter require additional attention.

Europe to NZ 2006-10
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Old 4 Nov 2006
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Some things get done when needed, sparkplugs etc. But stuff that effects longevity of engine like oil changes? I do it more often than specced. Say 60-70% of the reccommended interval.


*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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Old 5 Nov 2006
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The record so far i've done is 17,200kms on mine w/o any maitenance at all, and i don't hesitate with my right hand much indeed - it was rather kicking it under the full load, altough BMW specifies 10K max service interval. The bike didn't miss a beat throughout the trip, taking bad quality iranian fuel, over +40C temperatures and potholed roads. But i find separate gearbox oiled, dry clutched machine is well capable of it twice easily - transmission oils are all relatively clean after such mileage, just some minor traces of wear-dirt.

I sure wouldn't recommend going over manufacturer specs on wet clutched and if the gearbox flotes in the same oil as engine bikes. They dirty the very same oil and sure it affects the longetivity of the bike as stated before.
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Old 5 Nov 2006
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something elso to think about is the new bikes, mine requires the services for the warrenty, although they can be done by myself and just keep oli/filter recipts and a diary ish thing, although the OD reading and date etc written onto the recipt should do..
being a 2 year warranty covers quite a few services, however when I hasd the first bike stolen the insurance company required copys of all the service's history. # this is in Aus and the policy provided a new bike from the dealer if the old one was stolen in the first 24 months of ownership if purchased new.
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Old 5 Nov 2006
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A warranty won't mean squat if you're in BFE.
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