StromTrooper banner
1 - 20 of 71 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey troopers.

I have a Vstrom 650XT here in India and here the dealer/ Suzuki sells it with a 4000KM service interval. My bike is out of warranty (we only have 1 year warranty here); so I am not worried about what the dealer wants, but rather what the bike actually needs. **Till now I have been following the 4K Kms service intervals religiously.

I just finished a 5000KM ride over the last 12 days and other than chain tightening every 1000 Kms I have done nothing else. The bike already had 2500Kms out of service on it and with this ride I am just over 7500Kms out of service which is basically skipping 2 services.

Now, I know in Europe there is close to 12000Kms service interval on the same bike, in US I believe it is around 7500Kms (if I am not wrong); so can this bike actually do around 12K Kms on a single service? Provided - I use OEM oil filter & a fully synthetic high quality oil (my friend uses the same on his Versys with 15K Kms service intervals - dealer suggested).

Does the limitation lie with the Oil Filter? Will getting a better oil filter, make the service interval longer? I ask, because if my friend can run his Versys for 15K on the same oil, the oil can't be the issue.

The bike actually runs absolutely fine after 7500Kms out of service, I see no issues, it is just about the peace of mind.

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Does the limitation lie with the Oil Filter? Will getting a better oil filter, make the service interval longer? I ask, because if my friend can run his Versys for 15K on the same oil, the oil can't be the issue.

Thanks!
NOTE - all other things that a service requires are being taken care of at the intervals suggested in the Service Manual - like coolant flushing, brake fluid changes, all those things. Just the 4K Kms interval is unreal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,204 Posts
I think you just need to be smart about it, know your bike, the way it's used and what really happens at a service.

Different components of the bike wear out and need maintenance, but for different reasons and at different rates. For some components it's good for longevity to not ride the bike (e.g. chain), while other components actually last longer the more you ride the bike (e.g. oil, that absorbs moisture through condensation if the bike isn't ridden often enough).

What Suzuki has done, and what your dealer did, is average out the expected lifetime of individual components, taken into account average mileage, and set a service interval for all components based on that. Simply because it's too inconvenient to service the individual components at the optimum interval for each component - you'd be dropping your bike off at the dealer every 1000 km for a 10-minute service otherwise.

So don't take the service interval as gospel, but look at the individual maintenance items that make up service:

First, at each service the dealer gives the bike a good look over, looking for missing/loose bolts, deteriorating hoses, tire pressures and other things that go wrong over time. You can do this yourself in just a few minutes, if you don't do this automatically every day anyway.

Then, at each service things are replaced.

Oil changes? There are people out there that run oil for tens of thousands of kms. I have not seen many oil analysis reports from VStroms but the few people who do send in their oil for analysis after a 6000 km service suggests that after 6000 kms the oil is has lots of life in it. If you use a good quality (fully synthetic?) oil it won't break down easily. And if you ride the bike almost every day for an extended distance, condensation and water in the oil won't be an issue as well. If your air filter is in place, if you're using a good quality fuel and if your piston rings are OK (no significant blowby) then there's very little reason for contaminants to make it into the oil, so your oil filter should last for a long time as well.

Hydraulic fluids? The most important issue with them is the fluids absorbing moisture over time. This is not a factor of distance ridden, but of time and climate (temperature and humidity) - and there's really nothing you can do about that. But the two-year interval is probably conservative anyway so if you're half a year late, should be no problem.

Coolant? Mostly the same as above.

Spark plugs? Put some Iridium ones in there and you won't have to worry about them for tens of thousands of kms.

Air filter? This is mostly a function of the environment again (dust). Under certain circumstances (think Dakar-like rally racing) a 4000 km service interval could be too long, and daily changes could be a good idea. In other circumstances air filters could last for 10s of thousands of kms. Suzuki acknowledges this and says "Inspect" at every service, with mandatory replacement at 18.000 km (in case of my '02 Vee).

Most of the rest of the service is checking for wear items (tires, chain, brake pads & discs, bearings, valve clearance) and replace/adjust as required. Stuff that is external to the engine and visible (tires, chain, brake pads & discs), is something that you should keep an eye on anyway. Wheel and steering bearings require a bit more effort to check but still don't require a complete tear-down of the bike. That just leaves valve clearance, and this has a 24.000 km interval, and that's probably very conservative anyway. Not an issue on a long trip.

The very last thing on a service is adjustments of a few things. Idle speed, throttle cable freeplay, TPS, vacuum. Easily done on the road with very limited tools.

Circling back to your question. Why the 4000 km interval? I've never been to India but my gut feeling is that from the list above, given your circumstances, the air filter could be the most critical thing. It could well be that this needs changing more often in India than anywhere else. And the good news is that you can change the air filter yourself. The bad news is that the air box is under the tank, so it requires removal of quite a bit of plastic, then the tank, then the air box lid. Not particularly hard, doesn't need any specialised tools or skills, but it is time-consuming.

So yes, I think that if you're smart about it and perform some limited maintenance while on the road, you can easily extend the service interval well beyond the 4000 km stated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,802 Posts
OIl filters only need to be changed every 3 oil changes. They do need changing as the wet clutch does shed particles into the oil but not frequently.

I know my DL1000 (accidentally) went 16000k's between changes and the oil still looked like oil and had good viscosity at that. Older bikes benefit from more frequent changes (and usually don't get them) - go by the information in the Service Manual and realize that's very conservative. FOr example if I was on a long trip and 2000k's for home I'd do the oil change at home, not when the k's hit xxxx.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
@BackPacker - thank you so much for such a detailed reply! I do check the bike regularly - a cursory check of all things hoses, bolts etc during the weekly cleaning and a thorough check of things hidden under the facade every month during the deep clean.

I live in a tropical, coastal place - GOA, so yes the humidity & heat is high and throughout the year and 5 months of heavy monsoons. The replacement of fluids, hoses, cables etc has been on point too.

Luckily - the dealership is a very scenic 25 minutes ride away and the manager and staff are dear friends, so dropping in for regular checks is never an issue. I sometimes swing by to even get them to tighten the chain and do basic maintenance that is time consuming.

@PeteW - good to know that 16K was fine too. I am mostly looking at around 5-7K between services specially while I am on the road and that is what most of our trips come down too.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
14,579 Posts
@NineCows

The factory filter is very good quality and isn't the reason that Suzuki might suggest shorter service intervals.

My understanding (with over 40 years in the automobile industry) is that the biggest factor is quality of gasoline with climate issues also being a factor.

From what I've read western Europe has the best overall quality of gasoline with consistent high standards. As a result, manufacturers that pay attention to this can give longer service intervals.

..Tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
I’ve had an oil change done on the road in New Mexico.Knew it was near ready when leaving home.Took a filter with me.Dropped in to a dealership,,they drove us to a roadhouse,had lunch.They picked us up when it was done.$10 tip to the shop rooky,who shuttled us about.
Sure don’t get that kind of service here, in Canadastan.
Many other instances,not To hi-jack your thread.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
931 Posts
Give the bike a quick look-over before each ride. Air in the tires, oil in the sight glass, all lights working, brake pads have material left, brake sliding parts not dry or corroding, chain rollers not galling, sprockets not hooking, fork tubes clean and seals not leaking. There are many potential failures you can catch early this way, and being familiar with what you're seeing you'll notice those small differences before they become problems.

Other than that, ride it often and it should last a very very long time.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,063 Posts
I use full synthetic and always double the service interval.
Your biggest issue is battery in the heat ...I was replacing every year until I got a lithium.
I'll go 12,000 km on the CB300F with no maintenance and in theory even with no chain maintenance if Regina's claims work about no stretching.
TPMS is really useful for me as it alarms if pressure drops. They are cheap these days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,562 Posts
Here, US, the oil change interval as per the schedule is 3500 miles = 5600 Km.

I run full synthetic oil and the longest I have done is +8000 miles for along trip out west from NY. The engine (DL1000 2014) consumes no oil it seems, even after so many miles. When the oil get really worn shifting gets affected but not after 8k miles long distance riding.

So back to the original question I would think 7.5k Km with synthetic oil is absolutely no reason for concern. But I would change it now that the trip is over.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
14,579 Posts
Here, US, the oil change interval as per the schedule is 3500 miles = 5600 Km.

I run full synthetic oil and the longest I have done is +8000 miles for along trip out west from NY. The engine (DL1000 2014) consumes no oil it seems, even after so many miles. When the oil get really worn shifting gets affected but not after 8k miles long distance riding.

So back to the original question I would think 7.5k Km with synthetic oil is absolutely no reason for concern. But I would change it now that the trip is over.
On my 2015 DL1000 I did oil changes every 12,000 km. I generally use Top Tier gas so I know it has the higher level of additives. My oil was almost always Rotella 5w40.

Engine was still fine at 235,000 km when I sold it. (Replaced by my 20202 DL1050.)

..Tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,462 Posts
I am going to make this easy........steps -
1) have the bike completely up to date when you leave
2) use synthetic oil and an OEM oil filter
3) check oil level, chain, and tires at the end of each day
4) add oil only to maintain full level

When you get to 15,000 miles, do an oil and filter change.

Put out any fires promptly.
 

·
Premium Member
2016 DL650 bought used w/3600mi now 12000mi. 2004 Honda VTX1300 bought used w/1079mi now 90100mi.
Joined
·
315 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,761 Posts
How dusty are the roads on that trip?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
How dusty are the roads on that trip?
Most of it was driving through tropical forests /coffee plantations - I would say around 3.5K out of 5K was not dusty, but the other 1.5K was on the coastal highways & inner state/national highways though and outside cities. It was also just after the monsoons finished so most of the areas are still over grown.

Also I understand if it is very dusty we are looking at air filter, a few critical bearings, chain etc need extra care. Which is understandable and I wouldn't frankly open my air filter unless I absolutely have to, that is one thing I absolutely hate doing and would prefer that the service centre does it.

I live in Goa, a tropical, coastal place and most of it is quite forested, hence we do not have the dust issue much here - hence I wanted to understand the implication of extending the service interval.
 

·
Registered
2021 VStrom 650 XT
Joined
·
454 Posts
If you're riding in India, dry, hot, dusty conditions, traffic in the cities, some or a lot of off road, that's considered "severe duty" for any vehicle. Your air filter will get dirtier sooner. Your engine will run hotter a lot more. That's why they recommend shorter service intervals. I would replace that air filter & spark plugs every 11k-12k km, change oil every 5k km. Oil filter every other oil change. Why change plugs? You're going to inspect them at 11k-12k km anyway. There's no reason to skimp on replacing them unless you already have iridium plugs, then replace at twice that interval.

There will be folks who will argue the above is overkill. I'm not one of them. Fresh oil is the life blood of your engine. Air filter is where your engine breaths. Extending the use of those under severe duty cycles is fool's economy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,802 Posts
Did you have an oil analysis done on this sample of oil?
Nope, not so easy or inexpensive in Australia, but it certainly wasn't old black and thin. Looked almost like it was freshly poured and still had good viscosity. Change got away from me because pre-covid I was doing long rides (500k's or so) each weekend and checking the k's fairly regularly, during covid I didn't think I was riding as much and didn't check the k's. Checked the k's and "oh". Did a change and was really surprised how good the oil looked.

As a comment, although I did 16,000 k's just doing a lot of relatively short rides (probably 120k's or so) they were a lot mellower than typical - really bad time to end up in hospital ;)
 
1 - 20 of 71 Posts
Top