Who does long oil change intervals?

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yticolev

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Blackstone report is in! 12,500 miles and 3 years since my last oil change. Based on their report, I believe I could have easily gone 20,000 miles (they suggested trying 15,000 miles). For what it is worth, I used a Pure One filter.
NC700forum.jpg
 

670cc

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Thanks for sharing! I suspected the oil could safely go longer than Honda’s recommended interval.
 

Jt105

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Thanks for posting your results!

I have 3000 miles and 15 months on my current fill. I’m considering leaving it in longer to get more miles out of it. Maybe change it at 24 months? Dunno.

JT
 

yticolev

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Thanks for sharing! I suspected the oil could safely go longer than Honda’s recommended interval.
It appears that all modern engine oil change recommendations are too conservative for almost all owners. I'm probably in the middle of all NC owners: I do enjoy accelerating from stop, but I only do it when it gains me such as getting me the front dog view, and only moderately 90% of the time (some passes require more). Other than that, I try to limit my speed to 65 and keep a steady speed. So neither the best owner nor the worst one.

I don't know what the real deal is with paper oil filters and how long they really last, but it just feels icky to use one for extended oil change intervals. And as far as I know, T6 is the best oil out there for our bikes as the only full synthetic motorcycle certified oil - could be very wrong. I also would find it wrong to have extended oil change intervals with non-synthetic oils. I'm not an engineer, but as a disclaimer, using other oils and filters may not have similar results.
 

yticolev

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One other bit of useful information about Blackstone: I used their shipping label and I didn't get results for close to two weeks. They do warn you that it can take one to two weeks, but as I tracked the shipment, it was parked in Cincinnati for a full week! So it took over a week to go one state over. This is not the way to go if you insist on immediate gratification. I don't, but was certainly worried that it had gotten lost in Cincinnati. I was curious and emailed Blackstone about it. Response:

Yes, those labels are printed and sent to us by the USPS. They are coded to advise them that the container contains Petroleum based fluids coming to our facility. Therefore, they do not travel as fast as a standard piece of mail because it has to go through different protocol than the regular mail. They tell us it can take anywhere from 1-2 weeks for a sample to be returned back to our facility. Once we receive the sample we are at a 4-5 business day turn around to get the results emailed to you.​

So if you are in a rush, you could mail it yourself I suppose and tell the PO that it is not hazardous (it really isn't).
 

MZ5

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Thanks for posting the report. You have WAY too much fuel in that oil. Blackstone doesn't measure fuel content, they 'extrapolate' it from the flash point, and they don't do a very good job. Your viscosity is WAY out of grade, and a significant part of the reason is all the fuel in there. Your actual fuel content is probably double what they're reporting to you. Change it, and do NOT extend your drain interval.
 

yticolev

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Thanks for posting the report. You have WAY too much fuel in that oil. Blackstone doesn't measure fuel content, they 'extrapolate' it from the flash point, and they don't do a very good job. Your viscosity is WAY out of grade, and a significant part of the reason is all the fuel in there. Your actual fuel content is probably double what they're reporting to you. Change it, and do NOT extend your drain interval.
I sent this quote verbatim to Blackstone for response. Here is their reply:

A couple points I'd clarify.

On fuel: We use the flashpoint temperature to arrive at a rough estimate of how much fuel is present (the more fuel you've got, the lower the flashpoint will be). This sample had a flashpoint low enough to indicate fuel, but not the 2.0% or more we deem cautionary. You can get less than 2.0% just from normal use or the engine not being fully warm at the time of sampling.

True, the viscosity was pretty low for the grade, but that is only due in part to fuel. These engines will normally lower the viscosity and it's not uncommon whatsoever to find a viscosity similar to yours, with no fuel being present.

When it comes to extending the oil change interval, it's key to not just look at the oil's physical properties. Engine wear matters a lot, and your Honda is wearing very well compared to what averages show as typical. Given that, neither the viscosity nor the mild fuel dilution look worrisome on our end. If any other questions come up, feel free to give us a call.​

Since I actually paid oil experts for their recommendations, I'm inclined to take their advice.
 

dduelin

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I sent this quote verbatim to Blackstone for response. Here is their reply:

A couple points I'd clarify.

On fuel: We use the flashpoint temperature to arrive at a rough estimate of how much fuel is present (the more fuel you've got, the lower the flashpoint will be). This sample had a flashpoint low enough to indicate fuel, but not the 2.0% or more we deem cautionary. You can get less than 2.0% just from normal use or the engine not being fully warm at the time of sampling.

True, the viscosity was pretty low for the grade, but that is only due in part to fuel. These engines will normally lower the viscosity and it's not uncommon whatsoever to find a viscosity similar to yours, with no fuel being present.

When it comes to extending the oil change interval, it's key to not just look at the oil's physical properties. Engine wear matters a lot, and your Honda is wearing very well compared to what averages show as typical. Given that, neither the viscosity nor the mild fuel dilution look worrisome on our end. If any other questions come up, feel free to give us a call.​

Since I actually paid oil experts for their recommendations, I'm inclined to take their advice.
I had heard that Blackstone doesn't actually do the analysis and doesn't actually possess analytical knowledge and now I know for sure. He doesn't probably know what viscosity would be of concern, only that it's "pretty low". Pretty low compared to what? Honda's reference point or the anonymous expert's reference point? Nor does the paid expert tell him that the oil sampled is no longer certified for gasoline engine use.

Honda's oil experts give a recommendation as well. It's free.
 

yticolev

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I had heard that Blackstone doesn't actually do the analysis and doesn't actually possess analytical knowledge and now I know for sure. He doesn't probably know what viscosity would be of concern, only that it's "pretty low". Pretty low compared to what? Honda's reference point or the anonymous expert's reference point? Nor does the paid expert tell him that the oil sampled is no longer certified for gasoline engine use.

Honda's oil experts give a recommendation as well. It's free.

Honda does oil testing for owners? If you are talking about the manual recommendation, that is pretty global for all owners under all conditions.

What do you mean, "no longer certified for gasoline use"? Certifications were on the new bottle of oil I bought a month ago.

I'm not sure what viscosity would be of concern either. This is my first sample, but whether you like Blackstone or not, they have certainly seen a lot of oil samples.

If you want to examine Blackstone's credentials, here is a bit from the email I didn't post earlier:

If any other questions come up, feel free to give us a call (260-744-2380) for any additional clarification.

Best,
Joe Adams
Analyst
Blackstone Laboratories​

I used them based on recommendations of forum members in this very thread. If you thought they were crap, you could have said something then. Basically you are telling me that I shouldn't have used them, and their analysis and recommendations are crap. Doesn't get much harsher than that online.
 

MZ5

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Blackstone’s commentary seems to be one of the main reasons people are willing to pay their prices, which are very high for the testing you get. It is unfortunate that said commentary is often useless or even plain wrong. They are well known in internet consumer circles. Industrial users are generally not impressed by their price-performance balance. I use LabOne for most of my fleet and facility. I’ve used another lab for a stationary generator some, too. LabOne is local to me and they do good work. Polaris labs does a good job, too. Dyson Analysis will cost you quite a bit more, but that analysis is actually useful in terms of commentary.

You pays your money and you takes your choice.
 

yticolev

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Blackstone’s commentary seems to be one of the main reasons people are willing to pay their prices, which are very high for the testing you get. It is unfortunate that said commentary is often useless or even plain wrong. They are well known in internet consumer circles. Industrial users are generally not impressed by their price-performance balance. I use LabOne for most of my fleet and facility. I’ve used another lab for a stationary generator some, too. LabOne is local to me and they do good work. Polaris labs does a good job, too. Dyson Analysis will cost you quite a bit more, but that analysis is actually useful in terms of commentary.

You pays your money and you takes your choice.
I didn't know I had a choice. Only Blackstone was recommended in this thread, and I see their name come up often on forums but have never seen negative comments.
 

Xavez

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Food for thought: on the old NC700 service manual, the stated interval for oil filter change is 8000 miles. On my newer 2018 NC750X user manual, the interval is increased to 16000 miles, or every 2 oil change.

Honda found out that it's not necessary to replace the oil and filter so frequently? Given their conservative nature, I reckon they would have done their research and homework.
 

Jt105

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Food for thought: on the old NC700 service manual, the stated interval for oil filter change is 8000 miles. On my newer 2018 NC750X user manual, the interval is increased to 16000 miles, or every 2 oil change.

Honda found out that it's not necessary to replace the oil and filter so frequently? Given their conservative nature, I reckon they would have done their research and homework.

They did that because the oil filter is installed by a 1000 lb gorilla and is so hard to remove! LOL!

JT
 

yticolev

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Food for thought: on the old NC700 service manual, the stated interval for oil filter change is 8000 miles. On my newer 2018 NC750X user manual, the interval is increased to 16000 miles, or every 2 oil change.

Honda found out that it's not necessary to replace the oil and filter so frequently? Given their conservative nature, I reckon they would have done their research and homework.
That's interesting, thanks. Perhaps my bias against paper filters long term is misguided.

In the 1970's and 1980's, I reversed that NC750X protocol. I changed the filter (in cars) every 10 or 12,000 miles, and oil every other filter change. My theory was that if the oil filter actually worked, it would become loaded and eventually the bypass valve would be activated rendering the filter useless.
 

MZ5

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I believe Honda is simply moving to a corporate-wide policy of filter changes every other oil change. Their cars have been that way for some years. Even so, I would seriously doubt their oil filters would be loaded up to the point of bypassing constantly after 16,000 miles (or two years, whichever comes first, right?). I think their recommendation is sound.
 

Jt105

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I guess the engine doesn’t really produce contaminates very quickly.
It turns at a relatively low RPM, is only two cylinders and uses very little gas. Compared to a car or truck, the NC has only a fraction of combustion cycles. Not much to fill up an oil filter.
The 8,000 mile OCI is probably more to do with shear due to the gearbox than contamination from combustion.

JT
 

yticolev

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I had heard that Blackstone doesn't actually do the analysis and doesn't actually possess analytical knowledge and now I know for sure.
Just so this random opinion doesn't dissuade any readers against Blackstone, I've recently run across independent articles of visitors to Blackstone who got a tour. They get 200 to 400 samples a day, test and analyze them in house.
 

670cc

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Careful. Let's not turn this into an oil thread. 'Round here the typical oil thread usually gets closed.

Just as a reminder, the topic here is:
Who does long oil change intervals?
 

TheIronWarrior

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I currently have 2 bikes, though until recently did not have winter storage facilities accessible so would store them at my parent's place a 3 hour drive away in the off season (Nova Scotia, Canada has some pretty not-bike-friendly winters). Because of this, I would effectively select one bike to take out each season and leave the other in storage due to convenience and lack of parking spaces.
Regardless of kilometers ridden, I change the oil on the "active" bike at the end of the season. This leads to some very short intervals, but knowing the bike could be in storage for a full season (and two off-seasons) I'm happy with spending the ~$60 in consumables per year. It's extremely (probably unnecessarily) conservative, but if I'm going to have an engine sit unused for 16 months, I like the idea of sitting with fresh oil. Nothing to back this up but a warm fuzzy feeling in the sub-cockle area of my heart.
Now that I have a house with a large parking area and a walk-out basement (for winter storage of motorcycles) that may all change, as I will be able to select which bike on a whim each ride. Even then, though, ~$120 per year on oil and filters isn't much of a drain on resources...
 
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