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2006 Burgman 400 - Silver - 8600 miles - and climbing !
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
....using the Valvoline 20w/50 4 Stroke Motor Cycle Oil, Non-Synthetic.

Any who have early, 03-06 Burgman 400s, how does that compare to your experience ?

I'll reproduce my post that was in a different thread (Malossi Air Filter one):

"....Fwiw, I did what some of you suggested and I drained my Synthetic 15/50 Racing Mobil 1.

Now filled with Valvoline 4 Stroke Motorcycle Oil (aka Dino Juice - Non Synthetic) in 20w/50.

I like how it runs - I'd have not thought a Non- synthetic oil to be this good, but it sure seems superb.

I did read 2 lengthy threads hereabouts on which oils best for early Burgmans with the "Oil Consumption Issue" - and a good # of the posters said they'd had great success overall with the Valvoline Motorcycle Specific Oil, so here's my test, in motion...."

Is this 1 quart in 1520 miles super high or average ?

On my just completed STO Ozarks Rally trip - 1,350 miles of that # - I just kept a quart on board with the spout Ketchup squeeze bottle, and if reading low - half dipstick etc, added 4-6 oz more.

This is on level ground, center stand & front tire touching ground.

Thx for your input !!!

David in Texas
 

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2006 Burgman 400 - Silver - 8600 miles - and climbing !
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok appreciate your feedback.

So, converting it that's 10 oz / 1240 miles, correct ?

Yes 20w/50 for heat...Texas bakes for 8 months temperate to mild cold for 4 months.

I noted several Florida riders here say 20w/50 was good there. We have near identical climate as they.

But I'm gonna test that too in the future.

The chart in the manual says 10w/40 or select from various thicker grades based on climate.

They (Suzuki) can't know where their bikes are run of course.
 

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2006 Burgman 400 - Silver - 8600 miles - and climbing !
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The chart says if 10W40 is not available, select an alternative based on chart, not “or”
It wasn't available, so I choose differently.

Is THAT ok with you ?

Suzuki could use any manner of wording, they're Japanese not native English speakers.

If those grades were unacceptable, they'd not be listed as acceptable alternatives.

PERIOD.

MYOB.
 

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One possible concern with thicker oil would be protection on cold starts with thicker oil getting where it needs to be fast. I've wondered how many let the bike warm up. I always let my motorcycles warm up a bit before taking off, especially cold starts. The Burgman with no gearbox/neutral and the side stand kill switch makes it more difficult, but I always let it warm up before twisting the throttle. The oil and viscosity I choose is a secret.

Not from our manual, but accurate.

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes indeed great info & advice.

We roast here in the Deep South, and are seldom under freezing,

Every where is a hot Hi speed Highway trip.

This hardworking engine needs all the lubricant film strength it can get.

And yes I religiously warm it for 3-5 minutes before driving off.

Cheers - David
 

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One possible concern with thicker oil would be protection on cold starts with thicker oil getting where it needs to be fast.
Indeed, thicker oil also disperses heat slower so you can get hot spots/uneven temps during initial warm up and metal to metal contact, more local heat etc. It’s only brief but you can measure it.
There is also mechanical stress from pumping.

A single grade out doesn't really make a difference but 2 grades or more and you are on your own.

OP doesn’t want my input so I’ll butt out and leave you to it.

(edit: long warm ups aren’t good, mine gets a few seconds to circulate and then gentle few minutes ride)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok, thanks for the input so far.

Still I'm wondering if any of the other pre-2007 400 owners here have measured their oil usage, if any ?

So far s-steel has said his Sym usage #s, but that is not an AN400.

TY David
 

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In defense of the 20w/50, it is a popular oil for the Middle Eastern climate.

Even as we enter the cooler season, today we hit 43c / 110 F. Lows of 27c / 80 F.

Sorry David, @BackOnABikeAfter40years! - I don't have the oil consumption data yet.

But gut feeling, a quart for 1,520 miles / liter for 2,400 km sounds a bit much. I mean, that's half the oil in there, right?

You might want to do a cylinder compression test, if it's easy for you to find the gauge. The procedure is within DIY ability, but you'd need the gauge.

Besides worn piston rings, what else would cause excessive oil consumption? Leaky valve seats... there's no drips underneath, from the bolt, yeah? What else?
 

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(edit: long warm ups aren’t good, mine gets a few seconds to circulate and then gentle few minutes ride)
For what it's worth - same.

Best way to warm up an engine is to ride it gently for the first few minutes, not idling.

Now, if you leave the driveway directly into aggressive traffic, different story, granted. Bit like an airplane that needs a thorough warm-up and top throttle to take off :cool:

Otherwise, start, gloves and helmet on, and go :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Prossett:

TY for that.
It's a Hot Climate Oil grade.
Not for places that freeze regularly.

I will do that check eventually.

For now I'm monitoring level closely & will test various grades, Inc 10w/40, especially if this consumption remains.

It could be cylinder / ring wear from no Air Filter (by negligent PO) OR from literally sitting unstarted for years.

My full throttle trip to the STO Rally "broke loose the CRUST" for better or worse.

How soon until your Big Tour ?

Have fun & be safe !

I'm sure you'll have a great opportunity to see if / how much oil consumption you may have.

It's said to be endemic for early Burgmans, esp the 400s, which we both are.

Yours is which exact year ?

TY - David
 

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2008 - and yes, I'll have 30 or so days of constant riding, aiming for next spring, so a very good test of the Burgman 400 in terms of consumption and reliability. I plan to document it all :cool:

How was the STO rally? :) I would have enjoyed that!!! Did I miss your post on that? Or you didn't get around to sharing it on the road travelled forum?

I wouldn't like to have a quart oil gone every 2,500 miles... I hope it's not the piston rings or anything serious. Maybe as you said, it was just shock of riding after a long time parked. Perhaps next oil change will rectify the consumption.
 

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IMO your oil consumption is very excessive and is obvious that your 20W50 oil viscosity choice it's not helping, oil viscosity numbers on a multigrade mostly pertain to its flow characteristics at different temperatures, to get to critical engine parts, etc., very little to do with is ability to lubricate, the lubricity and/or film strength of the oil is based on its chemical blend. Thicker oil lubricates better is "An Old Wives Tale", that usually applies to old/worn plain bearing engines, that loose oil pressure and/or have worn rings, etc. I still use regular Castrol GTX 10W30 on my 22yr truck, 195K+ miles, it uses 1/2 quart in 1k miles, but is a V8 (y), when exactly do I need to switch to "High Mileage" oil :unsure:

The Burgman 400 last two and current generation, use roller bearings on bottom end/engine shafts, besides an oil passage to big end of connecting rod, cams and spray nozzles in some critical/hot areas, the bottom end is splash lubricated. Roller bearing engines typically have low pressure and high oil flow rate, to move oil quickly.

In "Theory" using too thick oil could reduce oil flow and possibly by-pass oil filter relief valve, because pressure is too high, pumping dirty oil thru engine o_O

The 03-06 generation B400 have a history of oil consumption, but very little information on how to fix it :unsure:
 

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Yes indeed great info & advice.

We roast here in the Deep South, and are seldom under freezing,

Every where is a hot Hi speed Highway trip.

This hardworking engine needs all the lubricant film strength it can get.

And yes I religiously warm it for 3-5 minutes before driving off.

Cheers - David
I agree with David here. I'm in Houston. It's hot most of the time. I'm sure a bit thicker oil isn't going to hurt to counteract the sweltering ambient heat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Appreciate your input.

I'd say it's a bit early to say it's helping OR hurting.

I DO believe it's using less than my prior oil but I didn't really precisely record that.
It dropped faster than I'd seen before, esp considering there's no leaks & no smoking exhaust.

So now, I'm trying to establish a firm Baseline.

It does seem to be slowing up somewhat with 20w/50 motorcycle specific oil.


Only way to really tell is to test various grades / syn or dino / record miles / try to ride consistently.

Note too all the guys from HOT 🔥 climates either use or support using the Higher Vis Oils.
Hmmmm

Now, to me, I'll buck convention to see this improve. Meaning I'll grab some 10w/40 MC oil (dino or syn ?) and record the results.
If it's better I'll be clear on that.

I've never had a vehicle that used that grade, before.

It seems the reports of high oil consumption on early Burgman 400s may be despite any change in grade of oil.

I "THINK" one owner modified his PCV system slightly and it helped.

So that will be a further step for me.

To me, it's slightly irritating, but not the end of the world if she uses a few ounces.

But aim to minimize it for sure.

Those of you who may have torn down a 400/ and or have a knowledge of it's oiling system can you theorize how tolerant it may be of a low oil level temporarily, like say is damage imminent if you go just beyond dipstick range or ?

TY - David
 

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....using the Valvoline 20w/50 4 Stroke Motor Cycle Oil, Non-Synthetic.

Any who have early, 03-06 Burgman 400s, how does that compare to your experience ?
I have a 2004 Burgman 400, bought it with 31,000 miles 5 years ago now has 49,000 . With speed driving over 7000 miles I get around 600 +- miles on a quart. Been doing that since I bought it. I have tried 20w50 but went back to 20w40, didn't change with the 20w50 . Also motorcycle oil is not needed as it was designed for a wet clutch which we don't have. I use Rotella T4 non synthetic mostly and runs well.

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Those of you who may have torn down a 400/ and or have a knowledge of it's oiling system can you theorize how tolerant it may be of a low oil level temporarily, like say is damage imminent if you go just beyond dipstick range or ?
The oiling system is very typical of roller bearing engine, running any engine bellow dipstick range is a gamble no one should take, with all that said roller bearings have less friction (less contact area) than plain bearings, roller bearings will tolerate slightly less oil, the problem in the B400 is that oil is used to cool piston and generator, the 06 and previous do not have a crankcase oil cooler, so quantity/type/quality of oil is more critical to control temperature, IMO.

This may not work for everyone, due to emissions requirements/testing, but in Texas (like Florida), you don't have those worries :whistle:, Just run a length of hose from crankcase fitting, up/high above the engine and far as possible, install a breather filter at the end and tuck away from rain, etc. Plug hole in airbox, etc. and see what happens. At a minimum it will serve as a troubleshooting tool. We ran those for years on the old Kawasaki's to keep oil out of airbox, worked great. Any big box auto parts will carry them. Try to use the biggest diameter hose possible to avoid restrictions

I can't see were venting crankcase to atmosphere could be any worse than the emissions created by burning all that oil :unsure:, burning oil will eventually cause engine issues, up to possible failure.

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Thanks both of you for the replies. I'm taking notes.

So your early Burgman goes thru a quart every 600 miles ?

But has lots of miles so it's sure lasted. Mine is a kid in comparison. Just turned 12,000 miles. I've added 3,500 in just over 2 months.

I have a hopeful development:

I've switched out to a 20w/50 Full Synthetic Motorcycle Oil.

(I'll leave the brand out of the discussion for now, until I've done more miles.
It's one of the 3 that I've seen in stores, Mobil 1 or Valvoline or SuperTech.)

I'm at 300 miles on this new oil & level is virtually unchanged - not droppping like before.

Thats a new one !

I suspect it STILL will use some, but less than before.

I leave for my So California Tour in a day or so. That long 1650 mile trip will help manifest where the consumption sits.

My theory is that sitting for years helped the rings & other engine parts to 'gunk up'. This probably sat years in storeage with no running.

Another theory: Engines don't break in well with Synthetic oil, IMHO and in my experience.

I would break in all new engines be they a car, truck, motorcycle or lawn mower, with conventional oil for a decent interval.

Then, ONLY then, go Synthetic.

Well, now that Synthetic oils are SO prevalent - every oil brand offers a version, and they have wide acceptance (I was an Amsoil dealer in 1984 at 20 years of age....I can tell you back then, we were a lone 'voice in the wilderness'...) there are many who will TRY to go Synthetic out of the gate, and I think this also MAY be a factor.

Plus, the old guy who owned it, I was given a 'sketch' of how he used it, I'm wagering he didn't run high highway speeds OR tour interstate.

If he had, he would have NEVER been so neglectful as to keep the same tires since day 1, also they both had full tread - the rear barely worn at all at 8,500 miles - (which is odd, right, shows uber gentle riding) also he NEVER serviced the Airfilter, or changed the belt.

A true Touring rider would have been more jealous of their own bikes condition & their road safety.

So, you add ALL that up and a picture emerges.

My solution: use the non-synthetic oil & renew the Air Filter - New Belt & service the CVT, then head for the Ozarks & hammer it like you stole it.

(The guys at the STO Rally pulled me & Suzi like taffy up & over hill and dale)

This bike is now purring like a Japanese Kitten.,,,Ill be blessed if the low to no oil consumption stays the same, especially once doing true Interstate Cruising.
I'm aiming at around 400 miles per day, or more if possible.

TY - David
 
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