When is it too late to switch to Synthetic? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 08:04 AM Thread Starter
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When is it too late to switch to Synthetic?

YES, another oil question...sorry... but I have been searching around the many existing oil threads and can't seem to find my answer.

I have a 2010 Versys with almost 18,000kms on it (about 11,000 miles). I have been using OEM filters and oil. My question isn't if synthetic is better, but whether or not it is too late to make the switch. (Yes, I am not a mechanic or even very experienced in bike maintenance...)

From what I understand, switching "older" engines to synthetic is a waste of time but I am wondering, if I do switch, what differences does synthetic oil really make?

Help a rookie out...Any insight is very much appreciated.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 08:17 AM
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In short I don't think its ever too late, but you can do it too soon.
11,000 miles seems like nothing on these bikes, you have many more miles left.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 09:09 AM
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You could probably run on "ordinary" oil 'till your speedo reads 100k mls with no problems, it's one of those "never to be fully answered" situations.
I did however swap to synthetic when l bought my Versys 2nd hand at around 10k miles.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 09:13 AM
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once you have leaking seals and gaskets with conventional oil synthetic will generally leak even more. if you change it before anything leaks then usually it won't be a problem.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by kohburn View Post
once you have leaking seals and gaskets with conventional oil synthetic will generally leak even more. if you change it before anything leaks then usually it won't be a problem.
DUDE!!!!!!He's talking about his Kawasaki Versys!!

...............They don't leak!!!!...............
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 09:28 AM
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DUDE!!!!!!He's talking about his Kawasaki Versys!!

...............They don't leak!!!!...............
leaks can be internal also, like burning oil, blowing past the valve guides and into the intake. etc.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 10:30 AM
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It's not a problem. It's never too late to switch to synthetic oil.
Note: It could be too early (during break-in), but not too late.

I still have a full deck.
I just shuffle slower.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 11:17 AM
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As I understand it, the main benefit of synthetic oil is it wets the metal even after engine shutdown. So there is still some oil on the surfaces when you restart your engine later. Dino oil can drip off and leave unprotected metal for the start up.

Some engines even have a pre-oiler which is an electric oil pump to send oil throughout the engine before startup. So I do believe it is a real problem. How much? Dunno. If your bike sits days or weeks sometimes between starts, maybe it is something real for you. If you ride it several times every day, maybe not so much?

The other issue may be the ability of synthetics to suspend contaminants better than dino. You may get less wear during the life of the oil, and you can extend the change interval which reduces the cost/mile of the oil.

Btw, there was an extensive test done in NYC taxis a while back. They found there was no benefit to semi-synthetics (a blend of dino and synthetic) over plain dino oil. But the synthetic did do a better job of preventing engine wear. So don't bother buying the semi-syn. Either go with cheap dino or a fully syn oil.

For me, I've only run fully syn oil in all my engines for the last 25 years (except a piston aircraft engine, but that is an oddball situation). The slight additional cost seems worth it.

I change out my oil once per year regardless of miles driven. Historically it is about 7500/yr on my car, about half that on my motorcycles.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 03:12 PM
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Switching now that it's just fully broken in would be perfect... It'll offer better protection in the long run, especially in temperature extremes.

Mystik synthetic 10W-40 synthetic is an excellent oil, often on special at $8, down from $10 per quart.

Mystik Synthetic 10W40 ATV Oil | Canadian Tire

http://docs.mystiklubes.com/msds_pi/M20080.pdf

Last edited by invader; 03-22-2016 at 03:17 PM.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 03:27 PM
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I'm going to the other extreme, when it should be changed to synthetic in the beginning?
I only have 60km on mine .....

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 04:56 PM
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I have an 2010 with similar mileage. Run Amsoil synthetic motorcycle oil 10W-40. I find I can feel the difference between 10W-40 motorcycle oils and 5W-40 diesel truck oils at the shift lever. Change it every 12K km as per manual.

If you have old seals in a high mileage engine, which you probably don't in a 2010 bike with only 18K km/11K miles, dino oil can create sludge which will prevent these old seals from leaking. Putting synthetic in an old engine like this will clean out the sludge and clause the old seals to start to leak. In your case this is a non issue. Synthetic is better and lasts longer.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 06:19 PM
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A major advantage of synthetic oil is FILM STRENGTH. I seem to remember from an engineering paper I read (from AMSOIL) that dino oils have about 350psi FILM STRENGTH, while synth is on the order of TEN times as much - 3500psi.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chid View Post
I'm going to the other extreme, when it should be changed to synthetic in the beginning?
I only have 60km on mine .....
I break mine in on the ride home from the dealer (about 60 miles) using the Motoman Method (Break In Secrets--How To Break In New Motorcycle and Car Engines For More Power), change oil and filter, then continue w/ the Motoman, changing again at 500 and 1,000 miles, going to Mobil1 SYNTHETIC 15w-50 at 1,000, then changing each 5K miles.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by quexpress View Post
It's not a problem. It's never too late to switch to synthetic oil.
Note: It could be too early (during break-in), but not too late.
I don't buy it. My Ducs came with Synth from the factory. Nothing terribly special about synth except that it maintains its viscosity a little longer.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 10:53 PM
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I'm 57 years old and do all my own service. I've been riding bikes and driving cars all my life without engine parts failure. How? There is one secret ingredient to protecting your engine: Change the damn oil and filter based on actual use. That's it. No high tech oil required. The problem with synthetics is some people leave it in for years because it's claimed 'good' for so many more miles, and that's true IF you always get the engine up to full operating temps, and burn off condensation and other impurities. If you leave any grade contaminated oil in the case, that's hard on parts. If you buy synthetic and change it every 500 miles, you're throwing good oil away along with your money. Buy cheap oil, change it based on actual use... because that's what preserves engine components. For the V, going into Spring and Summer, I decided to run the Shell Rotella dino 15W40 on the advice of many here. It's really a stout truck oil sans the Energy Conserving modifiers that can cause clutch slippage. I also chose an oversize Bosch oil filter for a little added oil in the system.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-23-2016, 12:58 PM
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I don't buy it.
No problem! I have nothing to sell.

I still have a full deck.
I just shuffle slower.
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-23-2016, 07:25 PM
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I'm 57 years old and do all my own service. I've been riding bikes and driving cars all my life without engine parts failure. How? There is one secret ingredient to protecting your engine: Change the damn oil and filter based on actual use. That's it. No high tech oil required. The problem with synthetics is some people leave it in for years because it's claimed 'good' for so many more miles, and that's true IF you always get the engine up to full operating temps, and burn off condensation and other impurities. If you leave any grade contaminated oil in the case, that's hard on parts. If you buy synthetic and change it every 500 miles, you're throwing good oil away along with your money. Buy cheap oil, change it based on actual use... because that's what preserves engine components. For the V, going into Spring and Summer, I decided to run the Shell Rotella dino 15W40 on the advice of many here. It's really a stout truck oil sans the Energy Conserving modifiers that can cause clutch slippage. I also chose an oversize Bosch oil filter for a little added oil in the system.
Years ago, Consumer Reports did a test that mostly echoed this. They tested oils NY cabs. Basically, they found that they could run either conventional or synth at 6k mile intervals, tear down the engines and find that all engines using either were pristine.
Oil is the new snake oil...
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