This whole oil analysis thing seems kind of backwards to me. Sort of like having a dental exam to tell you when its time to brush your teeth (OK - so I'm exaggerating a bit..)
Why not just change your oil and filter every 1500-2500 miles or so? For most people here that means two or three oil changes per season - hardly a huge burden of either time or money. I've got enough things to worry about, without fretting over the levels of various minerals in my drain oil. You "oil analysis" junkies better tell me you send your blood and urine off for regular tests too - because if you don't then you've got some strange priorities going on.
vroddrew, I thought the same way when I was running the dinosaur stuff. It makes sense if you are running that type of oil, as you must change it more than with synthetics.
I am not trying to sell you or anyone else on the use of synthetics, but, my riding season is year-round, and I run in tropical temperatures. The hot summer months see the temps above 85 and much of the time at 90+. The benefit is the motor runs cooler with the synthetics by as much as 10 to 20 degrees. In my Sportster it ran 25 degrees cooler, which means added motor life.
It is less of a burden to send the samples out, than running to the dealer or buying a number of filters, buying a case of oil, and then spending the time changing the oil that frequent.
I use a small tube used for the refer for making ice cubes. Insert it into the fill/dipstick hole, when the motor is hot, and siphon out 3 or 4 OZ. Send it out, a week later the report tells you what is up in the motor.
My previous post explained lightly about metal content. When the metal content goes out of wack, there could be problems internally with the motor that might not be apparent when running the motor. It is a forward warning that lets you know in advance of a bigger problem waiting to happen.
And by the way, after cat scans of my heart and blood vessles and brain, no problem was found either. At 54, your priorities do tend to change, and if my personal oil content starts screwing up, I want to know well in advance before major damage occurs. At least I can hand the V-Rod keys to my son, and tell him I love him before I go, if it turned out that bad. I better say something about the wife and daughter too while I am at it. Honey, you get the bills, and my daughter, she can get the Sportster.
Okay, lighten up a bit!!
Maybe to put it into another lite, it is like a game, you see. If you can get away with doing things so frequently, like oil, filters, hot stuff on the skin, disposal etc, that is one reason. The motor health is the other. The gas tidbit that has been much discussed, where injectors might be leaking down can be bad news for your motor, and if these tests come out clean, no sweat. If not, there is a problem. With my motor out of warranty, the tests are not a pain to me.