Oil Colour - Triumph Bobber Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 03:28 AM Thread Starter
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Oil Colour

After being a bit lazy with checking the oil level on my Bobber, I was alarmed to see the level right at the bottom of the sight glass.


After topping it up and running the engine I saw that instead of a clear golden colour, the oil was a murky brown. What is this indicative of? Is the engine doomed?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 07:19 AM
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Did you check it with the bike at operating temp (i.e checking the oil level 5 mins after turning off the engine)?
When was your last service?
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 07:53 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, I checked it at operating temperature.


My last service was about two years ago. I know I should have had it serviced yearly, but I've only done about 4000 miles since the last one and being a miser, skipped it.


I have booked it in for a service next week however.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 08:10 AM
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4k miles is plenty of time to get carbon particulate buildup, oxidation etc. and change the colour.
I wouldn't worry provided you are using a good synthetic oil or even semi-synthetic you'll be fine. If you are getting it changed anyway you have no need to worry. You could always suck out a small sample and send it off for analysis, but in all honesty that colour change at that mileage is not unexpected.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks all!
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 08:28 AM
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Garage
I and most if not all manufacturers call for annual oil changes regardless of mileage. Moisture and some engine byproduct/gas blow by contaminate the oil and can lead to engine damage as small as it may be! My motorcycles and sports car get only limited mileage annually, but I change at riding/driving season end to remove those contaminations before winter storage and the oils are always still fairly clear and golden as when installed. If you ride all year round, you wonít have the storage time, so you wonít have contaminants sitting idle in the engine, but Iíd still go with annual service. IMHO

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 10:02 AM
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Exactly what the others stated.
Oil should be changed yearly regardless of use.
My guess is that its nothing new oil and a service wonīt fix.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 12:26 PM
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Not much to add but I think the term often used is emulsion?
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kilyung View Post
Not much to add but I think the term often used is emulsion?
I donít think itís that. Iíve seen coolant contaminated oil and itís a more ďmilkyĒ colour.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guffer View Post
I donít think itís that. Iíve seen coolant contaminated oil and itís a more ďmilkyĒ colour.
Pretty unlikely unless your thermostat wasn't working. My old oil in frame 650 Triumph would get oil like that through condensation buildup, but on a modern water cooled bike with a properly functioning thermostat its shouldn't happen. For what its worth BMW specify 2 year oil changes with up to 18k miles and VW on long life service is the same. What do they know eh? 4k miles with a good synthetic oil is nothing.
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