Monday, December 9, 2013

39. Oil and filter change

Before leaving Thailand for Cambodia in a few days, I had to do an oil change. I was not sure whether my preferred oil would be available in Cambodia. Here in Thailand you can get it at the many auto parts and maintenance stores which typically line the major roads through towns, and at all CALTEX gas stations.

The oil I use since some 20 years in all of my motorcycles from day one (to be precise: After the first oil change is due and the factory oil provided for the break-in period is to be removed) is CHEVRON Delo 400. It is a heavy-duty diesel engine (truck) oil, which major fleet owners in the U.S. use in their vehicles. 

Here in Asia Delo 400, or the new Delo 400 LE (Low Emission) which is available at an U.S. Walmart for around $2.00/quart (for comparison: BMW Oil around $12.00/quart)  is marketed as Delo Silver, or the multigrade Delo Gold. The price is about the same as the U.S. price, however it can be purchased much cheaper in a 7 liter container, which comes with a free one liter can. But that is much more than I need, and more than I am able to carry around on the bike.

Delo Gold/400LE has several advantages:

1. It does not contain so-called "friction modifiers" typically added to car oils (to get better gas mileage), in other words, it doesn't "lubricate the clutch" in motorcycle engines.
2. The oil has a high amount of added phosphorus with high anti-wear characteristics, not typical in car oils;
3. It is an oil with high resistance against high-temperature break-down, typical in heavy-duty truck or machinery applications; common in air-/oil cooled motorcycle engines;
3. Last but not least: It is very inexpensive compared to motorcycle oils, especially full synthetic ones.

And yes, according to the CALTEX spec sheet it is NOT RECOMMENDED for the use in motorcycles! Go figure.

I would not want to have a local shop do an oil change on the BMW, I prefer to do it myself. However I had to go to the nearest shop to bring them the used oil, and their new and free plastic tray which I bought at the grocery store for $1.
I walked with the used oil in the pan down the little street until I found a shop. I knew that there would be one, on each street corner one can find one. Funny. 

Motorcycle oils and an aquarium.

In other words:
"It is good for the motorcycle engine, and good for the pocket book." (Quote from the Asian Youtube racing video, link below)

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