Shell Rotella T6 5W-40 vs. 15W-40 For Warm Climates - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Shell Rotella T6 5W-40 vs. 15W-40 For Warm Climates

Hello all.

I have been using Shell Rotella T6 5W-40 for a while now and only now considered changing to the 15W-40 weight. I know OEM Kawasaki oil is 10W-40 but Shell doesn't make T6 in that weight. Would there be any benefits or need to use one weight over the other? I live in California and the temps rarely go under 50 degrees and for most of the year it's around 70 and during the summer months which are about 4-5 months long temps can range from mid 80's to a hundred.

I did some poking around and no one asked this particular question and I think someone can definitely lead me in the right direction. Also, T6 is very hard to beat for the money especially at Walmart with a rebate you can get the gallon for about $16. So I definitely want to stick with T6 and do changes every 3k miles.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 12:25 PM
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Oooooh ... an oil question ... this should be interesting !



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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 01:01 PM
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A fellow rider and friend informed me that the Dyno Rotella 15w40 stood up to shearing forces better and thinned out less than the 5w40 syn, verified through oil testing at I believe Keystone labs.

Maybe the 15w40 syn would be better(???) at this.

I would guess that there is discussion about this at Bob is the oil guy.
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And most of Canada too, eh?
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 01:48 PM
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I run 15w-50 in BOTH my Vs, ALL temps, summer and winter, using Mobil1, changed each 5k miles (8k kms) along w/ the filter.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
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I run 15w-50 in BOTH my Vs, ALL temps, summer and winter, using Mobil1, changed each 5k miles (8k kms) along w/ the filter.
15-50? What's the benefit of going to 50weight?
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-23-2020, 02:57 AM
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Beside having a high sulfur content, diesel oil doesn't provide the same level of protection, particularly for higher revving gasoline spark ignition engines.

"The poor overall wear protection performance of all but the one particular top ranked Diesel oil, makes it very clear that in general, Diesel oils are a poor choice for wear protection in High Performance gas engines.

When you look at the onset of thermal breakdown of these Diesel oils, you see the following. On average, for synthetic Diesel oils, the onset of thermal breakdown was 269*F, and on average for conventional Diesel oils, it was 255*F. Overall, these Diesel oils fell victim to heat 13-17*F lower than gas engine oils. So, that is even more reason that using Diesel oils in High Performance gas engines, is a poor choice.

BOTTOM LINE:

High Performance gasoline engines are far better protected against wear by selecting from the much more capable gas engine oils. The only exception is the excellent synthetic 5W30 Amsoil Series 3000 Heavy Duty Diesel Oil, which is also SL rated for gas engines. In the past, I have never recommended using Diesel Oil in a High Performance gas engine. But, this top 10 ranked oil, out of 101 motor oils tested so far, is the only Diesel oil I’ve tested that is actually worth considering for High Performance gas engines, if you just have to run a Diesel oil in your gas engine.

SUMMARY

Thermal Breakdown BEGINS SOONER with Diesel oil, than with gas engine oils, which is not desirable for High Performance gas engine usage. And as you can see by looking at this short list of “high zinc” gas engine oils, or by looking at my complete Wear Protection Ranking List, there are many, many gas engine oils available that are FAR SUPERIOR to the best Diesel oils in terms of wear protection. Therefore, using Diesel oils in high performance gas engines is NOT the best choice, if you want superior wear protection with plenty of margin of safety (extra reserve wear protection above what the engine typically needs).

For those who have used Diesel oil in High Performance gas engines for years without issue, you were able to do that only because the wear protection required by the engines, never happened to exceed the oil’s capability. But, you were clearly running a MUCH LOWER margin of safety than you would have been, if you’d used a much more capable gas engine oil instead. So, if you’ve been using Diesel oil in High Performance gas engines, you may want to rethink what you’ve been doing and consider upgrading to one of the far better gas engine oils.

CONCLUSION

The bottom line is that the end user does NOT know more about motor oil than the Oil Companies’ Chemical Engineers and Chemists. So, the BEST choice is to use only quality gas engine oil in High Performance gas engines. These oils offer MUCH HIGHER wear protection capability and can withstand somewhat higher temperatures before the onset of Thermal Breakdown. Leave the less capable Diesel oils for use only in Diesel engines, where they are meant to be used."

“WEAR PROTECTION RANKING LIST”

7. 0W40 Mobil 1 “FS” European Car Formula, ACEA A3/B3, A3/B4, API SN, synthetic = 127,221 psi (FANTASTIC wear protection)

I also went on to test this oil at the much higher temperature of 275*F. At that elevated temperature, any hotter and thinner oil is expected to experience a drop in Wear Protection Capability. This oil did have a 16% drop in capability. But, even at that elevated temperature, it produced an impressive 106,876 psi, which put this much hotter and thinner oil in the INCREDIBLE Wear Protection Category.

182. 15W40 “NEW” SHELL ROTELLA T Diesel Oil conventional, API CJ-4, CI-4 Plus, CH-4, CF-4,CF/SM = 72,022 psi (MODERATE wear protection)

191. 15W50 Mobil 1, API SN synthetic = 70,235 psi

203. 5W40 SHELL ROTELLA T6 Diesel Oil, synthetic, API CJ-4, CI-4 Plus, CI-4, CH-4, SM, SL = 67,804 psi

https://540ratblog.wordpress.com/

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Mobil-1-A...-5-qt/23636902

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-23-2020, 05:57 AM
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It's been a while since the oil thread raised its lizard head.

My take on oil is to use what the engineers who designed the engine recommend. But second-guessing is a universal sport these days. "What the hell do scientists and engineers know, anyway? I read on the internet that...."

I use motorcycle oil that has the JASO-MA rating. Non-synthetic, I'm on a tight budget.

Rock on.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-23-2020, 02:43 PM
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15-50? What's the benefit of going to 50weight?
It works WELL when the temperatures go up.

I began using this particular oil after "jdrocks" recommended it, YEARS ago....
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-24-2020, 05:09 PM
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33. CAN WET CLUTCH MOTORCYLES USE AUTOMOTIVE MOTOR OILS?

The controversy about whether or not wet clutch motorcycles really require a special motorcycle oil, is a commonly debated topic on Internet Motorcycle Forums. And questions about all that have come up in this Blog’s Q&A Section a number of times over the past year or so. It has to do with claims that wet clutch motorcycles can experience clutch slippage if 5W30 Automotive “Resource Conserving” motor oils are used. But, the problem with that claim is that many motorcyclists use a variety of 5W30 Automotive “Resource Conserving” motor oils in their motorcycles with no problem at all.

I have an extensive background with motorcycles. Before College, I spent the early part of my technical career first inside the Japanese Motorcycle Industry at the Dealer level in the Service Department, then later, inside at the Corporate level, in the Motorcycle Service Division. Because of that experience inside the Industry, I do NOT trust the Japanese Motorcycle Industry nor the Japanese Automotive Standards Organization (or JASO for short), to do the right thing. One of the reasons I don’t trust them, is because they made a huge, completely unnecessary change many years ago, that created the reason we are even talking about all this in the first place.

Motorcycle clutches used to be properly Engineered with the correct amount of spring pressure for excellent performance and trouble free operation. But, later the Japanese Motorcycle Industry decided that they wanted the clutch lever pull to be lighter, to make their bikes seem “nicer”, in order to appeal to a broader audience to increase sales and profits. So, they violated proper Engineering design in order to follow that Marketing goal. In doing so, they reduced clutch spring pressure so much, that the clutch lever pull became light enough for an 85 year old Great Grandmother with arthritis to operate it. Now, all this discussion about what oil is required, is nothing more than a “work around plan” to deal with that Marketing driven mistake.

If motorcycle clutches had continued with sufficient spring pressure, as proper Engineering calls for, there would be no talk about a supposed need for so-called motorcycle oil. But, the Japanese Motorcycle Industry and JASO came up with the idea of “motorcycle oil” to address the newer poor clutch design they created just for Marketing reasons. How convenient for them. Now they can increase their profits by selling their own motorcycle oil, to try and cover up what they did, rather than lose face and go back to proper clutch design. They obviously believe that two wrongs, make a right. Nothing is ever what it appeared to be at first glance. And once people know what actually went on in the background, they really have their eyes opened.

And adding to all this, is the fact that JASO does not post any specific test data showing the actual “difference” between so-called Motorcycle oils that they want you to buy, and Automotive oils that they don’t want you to buy. All they post is a list of oils that supposedly meet their requirements. There is no transparency at all, for people to actually know what is truly going on. All that secrecy regarding hiding their test data, makes many people think that the whole motorcycle oil requirement is nothing but a scam, especially since no problem shows up in the real world in most cases. As a comparison, I post “ALL” the data that comes out of my Engineering testing, for the whole world to see.

So, what is a motorcycle owner to do? Investigation reveals that reports of motorcycle clutch slippage with 5W30 Resource Conserving Automotive motor oil, comes from high mileage motorcycles, that have old worn clutches, which are glazed, hardened, and have lost their normal gripping capability. “High mileage” is the common thread between all clutch slippage complaints, but the particular oil being used is not. You don’t come across reports of slippage with wet clutches that are new or are in good condition.

Here are a couple of examples that I am personally familiar with, of using far superior 5W30 Resource Conserving Automotive motor oil in wet clutch motorcycles:

A Mechanical Engineer Colleague of mine has a wet clutch 2006 Suzuki GSXR 1000cc Sport Bike with around 7,000 miles on it, at the time of this writing. He is running 5W30 Quaker State Ultimate Durability (often abbreviated as QSUD) synthetic, Resource Conserving Automotive motor oil in it. And he has NOT had any problems at all with the clutch or shifting. At this time, that oil ranks 4th in my Engineering Motor Oil Torture Test, Wear Protection Ranking List, out of 229 motor oils tested so far.

And as a matter of fact, he was so happy with that 5W30 Quaker State Ultimate Durability synthetic, Resource Conserving Automotive motor oil in his Suzuki wet clutch motorcycle, that when he got a new 2018 Yamaha XSR900 Triple wet clutch motorcycle, he used that oil in it as well. So far, his Yamaha has fairly low mileage on it, but he has NOT had any problems at all with the clutch or shifting. He highly recommends using that or similar 5W30 Resource Conserving Automotive motor oil in wet clutch motorcycles.

Simply put, it is NOT true to say that wet clutch motorcycles cannot use 5W30 Resource Conserving Automotive oil. The fact is:
Virtually any wet clutch motorcycle will work just fine with most any automotive oil, including 5W30 Resource Conserving oil, as long as the clutch is in good condition.

However, those who wrench on their own motorcycles, can easily improve their clutches for even better performance, to the way they should be when properly Engineered. For motorcycle clutches that use coil springs, those springs can be changed to stiffer springs, if any are available. Or the stock springs can be shimmed at their base, with proper sized washers, if there is enough clearance to still avoid clutch spring coil bind, when the clutch lever is pulled all the way in.

You can easily check that by doing a test assembly of the clutch, with the shimming washers in place. Then pull the clutch lever to see if the lever pulls all the way to the handlebar with no binding. If there is no binding due to clutch spring coil bind, you are good to go, and will have a much better clutch. I did this a number of times, when I used to own motorcycles. And the small increase in clutch lever pull effort was never an issue for me. In fact, I actually liked it better than the weak limp feel of the factory setup.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-24-2020, 05:12 PM
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A NOTE ON THE POTENTIAL FOR HAND FATIGUE WITH STIFFER CLUTCH SPRINGS:

Depending on just how stiff, the stiffer clutch springs might be, that people upgrade to, it may be possible to experience hand fatigue, if the bike is ridden in traffic with a lot of stop lights. However, even many stop lights in your ride, do not have to cause hand fatigue in most cases, if you are smart about the way you operate the clutch. I have observed countless times, that motorcycle riders, especially younger riders who are not technically savvy, will sit at a 2 minute stop light, HOLDING THE CLUTCH IN, the entire time. WOW!!! That is just asking for hand fatigue. You should NEVER do that in the first place. So, if you stop that ill-advised behavior, it could eliminate hand fatigue that those riders may experience.

The reasons you should NEVER do that include:

• It causes hand fatigue
• It puts totally unnecessary and excessive side-loading on the clutch disengagement bearing, and other bearings on that shaft
• It adds heat to the oil as the clutch plates slide over each other
• And though not a technical issue, it makes you look like a total beginner who doesn’t even know what you are doing, which in this case would be true

Consider this: If you click the transmission into neutral as you come up to a stoplight, it takes only 1 second’s worth of a clutch lever pull. That compares to 120 seconds worth of a clutch pull if you sit there and hold the clutch in for a full 2 minute stop light. If you encounter say 10 stop lights on the way to your destination, and 10 stop lights on the way back, for a total of 20 stop lights in a single day. That equals 2,400 seconds of holding the clutch in per day, vs 20 seconds if you simply put the transmission in neutral each time and let the clutch back out while you sit there.

In a 5 day work week, that equals 12,000 seconds, or 200 minutes, or 3.3 hours PER WORK WEEK that you sat there holding the clutch in. PER MONTH, that equals more than 13 HOURS of holding the clutch in!!! You can see how crazy that is. So, you do NOT have to be a Medical Doctor or have a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, to see that holding the clutch in when it is not needed, is a TERRIBLE IDEA. So, if you are guilty of doing that, do your hand and your bearings a favor, and STOP DOING IT. And of course it only takes another 1 second’s worth of a clutch pull, to stab the transmission back into gear, to get rolling again.

The same thing applies to holding the clutch pedal down on cars and trucks at a stop light. You are putting unnecessary wear and tear on the clutch’s throw out bearing and on the crankshaft’s thrust bearing. If you are guilty of doing that, you should do yourself a favor, and STOP doing that as well.

On a related note, you can also further improve the clutch action of a motorcycle by carefully bending the clutch lever end further outward away from the handlebar, so the clutch lever to handlebar contact point, is about 10 mm or 3/8″ further away from the handlebar, when the lever is released to its resting position. This provides a little extra clutch disengagement, which makes it easier to find neutral, and allows for easier shifting. I also did this with the motorcycles I used to have.

The way to do that without damaging or breaking the clutch lever, is to wrap the lever in a couple of layers of rags. Then use a large box end wrench for leverage to carefully, controllably, slowly, and repeatedly bend the lever forward a little at a time. For that bending operation, position the box end of the wrench over/around the lever, at several places along the lever, for a little bending at each location, between about a third of the way out from the pivot, to about two thirds of the way out from the pivot. You don’t want to try and bend it too close to the pivot, or too close the tip. I have done that many times with no problem.

Even if people don’t want to deal with changing or shimming clutch springs, they can still run a quality high performance 5W30 Resource Conserving Automotive motor oil that provides FAR BETTER engine and transmission wear protection than all but one Motorcycle oil I have tested. And high performance automotive oils will also typically provide more HP and better MPG, compared to low performing motorcycle oils.

When motorcycle clutch discs do eventually become old, worn, glazed, hardened, and have lost their normal gripping capability, they can be more prone to slippage with 5W30 Resource Conserving Automotive motor oils than with poor performing motorcycle oils. But, by then the clutch discs are due for replacement anyway. And it is far better to replace the clutch then, rather than compromise their bike’s engine and transmission wear protection for years, from using poor performing motorcycle oils.

Under anything near normal bike riding conditions, any eventual old worn clutch slippage issue will be a gradual thing over time. It will not just suddenly slip completely and leave you stranded. And if push comes to shove, you can always change back to poor performing motorcycle oil, to stretch out the use of an old worn clutch, for a little longer.

Just below is a comparison between the top High Performance Automotive 5W30 oils and the motorcycle oils I have tested (the higher the psi, the better the wear protection). Keep in mind, that my Engineering Motor Oil Torture Test determines every oil’s “film strength/load carrying capability/shear resistance value”, which all mean the same thing and exactly apply to motorcycle conditions with the transmission gears sharing the same oil with the engine, and are represented by the psi value posted in my Wear Protection Ranking List.

Therefore, my testing DOES take into account a motor oil’s capability to withstand with the higher levels of mechanical shearing found in most motorcycle engines. Oils marketed as “Motorcycle Oils” sometimes make claims about their better ability to deal with the higher levels of mechanical shearing found in most motorcycle engines. But, my Engineering Testing shows that those motorcycle oils are only making false advertising claims that do NOT stand up when actually put to the test.

* 5W30 Amsoil Signature Series synthetic “automotive oil” = 134,352 psi, ranked 3rd out of 229 motor oils tested so far.
* 5W30 Quaker State Ultimate Durability synthetic “automotive oil” = 133,125 psi, ranked 4th out of 229 motor oils tested so far.
* 5W30 Motul 300V motorcycle oil = 112,464 psi, ranked 25th
* 10W40 Mobil 1 Racing 4T motorcycle oil = 93,661 psi, ranked 90th
* 20W50 Mobil 1 V-Twin motorcycle oil = 75,855 psi, ranked 163rd
* 10W30 ProHonda HP4S motorcycle oil = 66,852 psi, ranked 205th
* 10W40 Valvoline 4 Stroke motorcycle oil = 65,553 psi, ranked 210th
* 10W40 Spectro Motor-Guard High Performance Motorcycle Oil = 57,977 psi, ranked 224th

As you can see, the best High Performance Automotive oils provide FAR BETTER engine and transmission wear protection than most “motorcycle oils”. And as mentioned above, automotive motor oils also typically provide more HP and better MPG, compared to the lower performing motorcycle oils.

Most motorcycle engines:

* Make far more power per cubic inch, than car engines.
* Rev far higher than car engines.
* Typically get run much harder than most car engines.
*Share the same oil for both the engine and the transmission, which subjects the oil to considerably higher levels of mechanical shearing.

Therefore, I recommend using High Performance Automotive oils in motorcycles, wet clutch or not.

So, at the end of the day, motorcycle owners have to ask themselves if they really want to run a poor performing motorcycle oil in their beloved bike, or if they would be better off using a FAR SUPERIOR High Performance Automotive motor oil? The choice is theirs.

540 RAT

https://540ratblog.wordpress.com/
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Last edited by invader; 05-26-2020 at 06:49 PM.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-25-2020, 12:57 PM
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invader - THANKS for posting those two onto this Forum!

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Despite all the jokes about oil threads it really is one of the most important components of a motorcycle engine, which can rev very high and would qualify as a high performance engine. Think of it, the oil has to also serve as transmission fluid and facilitate the operation of a wet clutch for us. I read the 540rat blog a while ago(maybe Invader posted it before) in a big "Oil showdown". So for me, the science,the tech is my farkles. This is good winter reading over a few days and breaks down what we are looking for by an expert. This guy knows his stuff. The how and the why, it can be consumed by us average joes with a little reading. Alot of people swear by what they have been using for years without problems. Thats okay, kind like "proclaiming". But understanding the 2020 science of it is the demystifying part that is worth a bit of study!
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-25-2020, 03:55 PM
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I've noticed my '15 650's clutch is slipping more once warmed up good I don't normally rev it and dump the clutch, but did yesterday for whatever reason, after a hot 100 mile ride. I was shocked that I had to actually let up on the throttle for the clutch to finally catch. I thought I was in 2nd, but may have been in 3rd. Regardless, it never should've slipped like that. Running Mobile 1 now, which I rarely have, on any of my past rides. I think I'll switch it back to Walmart's cheapest 10-40 dyno oil just for shiggles. Yes, I've been wrong before. I went for a quick ride this morning, and it was fine, but again, seemed to slip a lot more when hot. I've always said: "oil is oil" and avoided synthetics. The Mobile 1 was in a weak moment. I'm going back to the dyno squeezins, even if it doesn't fix it. But, I'll get some more miles on the M-1 Syn' before I drain it.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-25-2020, 04:09 PM
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I've noticed my '15 650's clutch is slipping more once warmed up good I don't normally rev it and dump the clutch, but did yesterday for whatever reason, after a hot 100 mile ride. I was shocked that I had to actually let up on the throttle for the clutch to finally catch. I thought I was in 2nd, but may have been in 3rd. Regardless, it never should've slipped like that. Running Mobile 1 now, which I rarely have, on any of my past rides. I think I'll switch it back to Walmart's cheapest 10-40 dyno oil just for shiggles. Yes, I've been wrong before. I went for a quick ride this morning, and it was fine, but again, seemed to slip a lot more when hot. I've always said: "oil is oil" and avoided synthetics. The Mobile 1 was in a weak moment. I'm going back to the dyno squeezins, even if it doesn't fix it. But, I'll get some more miles on the M-1 Syn' before I drain it.
I have run 15/50 Mobil 1 for over 40,000 KM on two bikes. I now have a slipper clutch and over 1000 KM this year on that.My money says your clutch cable isn't adjusted right, also you may have damaged your clutch riding while slipping. A good way to double check is at the clutch , at least 12 hours after riding, there should be free play at the clutch actuator of about 1/8 inch.

This photo is one I used for a quick way of releasing the clutch cable for doing a Valve shim.When hot there is oil between the plates, so travel is greater to release the clutch plates,when cold it is less. So if you set the clutch cable while hot, there will be no slack when cold, and then there goes your clutch , nothing to do with oil.

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-26-2020, 01:47 PM
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Free play is fine, had actually given it a bit more after the slipping incident, even tho' I thought it was fine as-is. The bike has 96XX miles, only 450 or so were done by me. The previous owner could have been inexperienced and overheated/glazed the plates, but I guarantee it wasn't done by me. lol I've always avoided synthetics, so that seemed like the easiest guess. I'll ride it as is, now that the weather is finally cooperating. (It's been a very weird spring around here.) I'll still switch to dino oil when I do the change. It has served me well for 50 years of riding, and I'm stubborn like that!
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