Oil-Syn vs Conventional, plus capacity? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-04-2017, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Oil-Syn vs Conventional, plus capacity?

Hi all, Just bought a 2013 non abs versys. Picking up this weekend. Guy I'm buying from doesn't know what kind of oil is in it. He only owned it for 4 months. My preference would be to go full syn, thoughts?

Lastly, why will the bike only take 2 Q with filter change but capacity is 2.4 Q?
Any insight will be great.

Thanks
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-04-2017, 08:26 PM
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Everyone has their own opinions on oil ...I personally run full synthetic in everything I own. It's been proven to be better than conventional oil , but only you can decide if it's worth the price premium
Regardless of what you decide, use a quality oil and change it regularly...you can't go wrong that way.

I cant help with the capacity question , my bike holds 4 qts..
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-04-2017, 08:35 PM
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Use the search option and you'll find TONS of posts about which oil is better. And after many hours of reading, you still won't know. Personally, I run full synthetic is my Versys and my cars. Like said above, use a quality oil, the correct weight and amount, and change it when you are supposed to and you'll be fine.

My '16 650 takes about 2.5 quarts with filter change. Just make sure it's midway between the marks on the sight glass with the bike fully upright (not on the side stand).

I don't care what you ride, just ride.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-04-2017, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Batmite View Post
Hi all, Just bought a 2013 non abs versys. Picking up this weekend. Guy I'm buying from doesn't know what kind of oil is in it. He only owned it for 4 months. My preference would be to go full syn, thoughts?

Lastly, why will the bike only take 2 Q with filter change but capacity is 2.4 Q?
Any insight will be great.

Thanks
Use whatever you want, synthetic and non synthetic will perform the same when new but the synthetic will maintain it's viscosity and lubricate better over it's entire life and at higher and lower temperature extremes. All my Versys has seen is 10W-40 synthetic motorcycle oil and gets changed every 12,000km/7500 miles as per manual. It does not burn any oil between changes. My high mileage VW diesel gets new synthetic every 16,000km (as per manual) and does not burn oil either. I would however avoid 5W-40 diesel oil and instead use 10W-40 synthetic oil in your bike. The additives in the motorcycle oil are more appropriate for it than 5W-40 diesel oil, and the thicker base oil used in motorcycle oil will work better. There is no reason to use 5W-40 as we do not drive motorcycles in the winter and the thicker base oil used in 10W-40 motorcycle oil is advantageous in the transmission - it will not thin out over time as much as 5W-40 due to less reliance on polymers to combat high temp thinning.

Last edited by twowheels; 07-05-2017 at 12:00 AM.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-05-2017, 06:38 AM
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There is no reason to use 5W-40 as we do not drive motorcycles in the winter .
I ride my bike all winter as long as the roads are clear..

2016 green V1K
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-05-2017, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Batmite View Post
Hi all, Just bought a 2013 non abs versys. Picking up this weekend. Guy I'm buying from doesn't know what kind of oil is in it. He only owned it for 4 months. My preference would be to go full syn, thoughts?

Lastly, why will the bike only take 2 Q with filter change but capacity is 2.4 Q?
Any insight will be great.

Thanks
Go full synth - I (and MANY others) use Mobil1 15w-50 automobile oil, which works GREAT (OVER 100,000 miles on it among THREE Vs), and costs about $25 for a 5 qt jug at Walmart. Your V will shift much better w/ it.... -

The 2.4 qt figure is for a DRY engine (ie = AFTER an engine re-build).

Ed
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-05-2017, 04:42 PM
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I use to use Mobil 10 w 40 synthetic motorcycle oil, friends have used Rotella T6 5W40 (Diesel oil) and swear by it (it is 1/2 the cost of mobil). I decided to switch to the Rotella after lots of reading and looking at different oil mfgs and forum sites. Key point is that oil meet Kawi recommended oil standard which it does.

If I was track racing I would stick with a motorcycle specific oil but most of my riding is back roads at 40 - 60 mph mid range 4-6 K rpms, pretty easy going. I change oil and filter every 4K miles.

On my previous bike (Kawi VN900) I switched from dino oil to synthetic and found the shifting smoother with synthetic. Have only used synthetic on the Versys.

I use a little over 2 quarts when changing oil and filter.

As noted be sure to check oil level with the bike level i.e. on a stand. You will overfill it if you use the side stand and fill to the full mark!

IMO the important thing is to use a quality oil and change it frequently. 7.5K miles seems way too long for an oil change, maybe because I remember having to change my MC oil every 1k miles back in the early 70s!

JoH
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-05-2017, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Batmite View Post
Hi all, Just bought a 2013 non abs versys. Picking up this weekend. Guy I'm buying from doesn't know what kind of oil is in it. He only owned it for 4 months. My preference would be to go full syn, thoughts?

Lastly, why will the bike only take 2 Q with filter change but capacity is 2.4 Q?
Any insight will be great.

Thanks
There is dry bike oil capacity
Oil change with filter change capacity
and Oil change without filter change capacity

You can never drain out all the old oil unless you tear the engine down.

I don't keep bikes long enough for it to matter. I only put between 30,000 and 60,000 miles on a bike before I get bored and find something else. If you plan on keeping for 200,000 miles use the best synthetic oil you can find. Longest I have kept one bike was 6 years. Usually change every 3.

My Versys Travels:


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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-05-2017, 05:14 PM
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A key consideration for the liquid-cooled Versys is that it is liquid cooled. Doesn't experience the wide temperature swings of air cooled bikes. A worn engine with some blow by will contaminate the oil and use up the additives. Or something like that. Lots of slipping the clutch will wear out the VI components. So on an old and suspect bike, I'd be using relatively cheap conventional oil and changing it fairly often. Same if I were slipping clutch in a city all the time. I expect that synthetics are a great thing for engines in good shape that mostly do longer rides. Likely run those for quite a while! 7500 miles seems a bit generous, however!

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-05-2017, 07:05 PM
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I'll just stroll onstage, loudly and proudly announce "BY GOD, I ALWAYS USE Mobil T4 10-40!" and exit stage right....
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-05-2017, 07:47 PM
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I would recommend that you keep the oil level topped up to the upper mark as the stator is oil cooled on the V.

Also, as bottom mark to the top mark is ~500ml, that is nearly a difference of 25% extra volume of cooling oil the engine / stator is missing

Richard


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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 08:28 AM
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I would recommend that you keep the oil level topped up to the upper mark as the stator is oil cooled on the V.

Also, as bottom mark to the top mark is ~500ml, that is nearly a difference of 25% extra volume of cooling oil the engine / stator is missing

Richard
+1 Good point to note!
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 08:41 AM
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I've used Shell Rotella 15w-40 in my last few bikes. A good oil with stout additive package, easy to find and affordable. It's also rated for motorcycles.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 09:25 AM
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use only MOTUL 7100. Nothing else.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 03:36 PM
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I recently did an oil change on my 2015 and used Castrol Power1 10W-40 4T Full Synthetic. With a K&N 303 filter change I used about 2.3 - 2.5 qts.

I had bought the bike used so this was my first change on it, and it seems to run more efficiently and gear changes a bit smoother. Maybe it's the placebo effect but seems to help.

Changing your oil when you need to is significantly more important than what oil you use (conventional vs synthetic), but do get the right viscosity for your type of driving (speed, climate, etc).
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-08-2017, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the input!
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