What Oil do you use? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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What Oil do you use?

I am a new owner, so my first change is coming soon. The manual says 10W 40, but I am wondering what type the other Versysians prefer. Also, does anyone know whether it is preferred to use a "motorcycle" rather than automotive type? My previous little scooter recommended motorcycle oil to lubricate the clutch, but it was a semi auto 4spd. It is pretty expensive, so I don't want to waste my money if it isn't necessary. The specs say the Versys has a "wet clutch", so is this extral lubricant in motorcycle oil a good thing to have.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 05:22 PM
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Use the motorcycle oil

I use 10W40 synthetic. I'd been dreading doing the change, since on my Vee, it means loosening the engine guards and bash plates. Turned out not to be much of a chore - it took about 30 minutes with most of that time being spent waiting on the old oil to drain out completely.
It's important to use oil that is specifically designed for motorcycle use. Bikes rev so much higher than autos that auto oil probably wouldn't provide the protection that is needed. However, it's not necessary to buy the oil at the dealer - most outlets, including Wally World, have good quality MC oils available. Something else that will save you money is to cross-reference the oil filter - the one that I got from Advance Auto sells for about $3.50.
I don't agree with the oil change intervals that kawasaki lists in the manual. The bike might be OK if you go from 600 miles to 7,500 miles before changing the oil, but I would rather be safe than sorry. A filter and 3 quarts of oil is a lot cheaper than a re-build. I do my changes at half the recommended intervals or even more often if I'm doing a lot of slow dirt riding.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 05:36 PM
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Amsoil synthetic motorcycle specific 10W40, 'JASO MA' as recommended... You can get it for over 20% off US prices from http://www.woodsbrosracing.com/amsoil-online-store.htm with secret promo code. I save even more through them from Canada. I also change it more frequently; about 3 times more often than recommended, but I don't have to touch my Happy Trails skid plate or Hebco&Becker crash guards.

Last edited by invader; 05-23-2009 at 05:38 PM.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 06:53 PM
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Do a search on oil. You will find tons of opinions and end up more confused that ever. Just buy a motorcycle oil and filter and don't scimp a few cents trying auto oils. Change oil and filter regular 2-3,000 miles and you will be fine. Isn't that much money and is cheap and easy to do it yourself on this bike.

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
A filter and 3 quarts of oil
DON'T try and get 3 quarts of oil in the V, 2 quarts with a filter change puts the oil in the middle of the site gauge for me. Warm engine helps get more of the old stuff out.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 07:43 PM
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Not much of an option

Quote:
Originally Posted by Machog View Post
DON'T try and get 3 quarts of oil in the V, 2 quarts with a filter change puts the oil in the middle of the site gauge for me. Warm engine helps get more of the old stuff out.

Machog
Unless you know of a place where they will sell two quarts and part of another, I'd advise buying 3 - that way you will have enough to fill the reservoir. Mine took right at 2.5 to bring the level up to the proper spot. That included what I put into the filter before I put it on. The main thing is to drain it well, put some in the filter before putting it on, and then add the rest gradually until the level is at the upper mark with the bike level. I added mine with the bike on the paddock stand. Once it reached the level I wanted, I cranked it, let it idle for a minute or so, then cut it off and checked it again. It was dead on the money then. The mention of having a warm engine is a good one too - the old oil just won't drain easily if the engine is cold.
I saved the extra just in case I need to add some at some point, but I doubt that I will.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invader View Post
Amsoil synthetic motorcycle specific 10W40, 'JASO MA' as recommended... You can get it for over 20% off US prices from http://www.woodsbrosracing.com/amsoil-online-store.htm with secret promo code. I save even more through them from Canada. I also change it more frequently; about 3 times more often than recommended, but I don't have to touch my Happy Trails skid plate or Hebco&Becker crash guards.
Does the HepcoBecker crash guards mount using the rear engine mount? That's where I have the problem with the Happy Trails guards. The one on the right side of the engine runs directly beneath the oil drain plug. It's a pretty big flaw in an otherwise good package. I really like the panniers and the engine guards are plenty strong. I just wish that HP had put a little bend in the bars to allow for removing the plug without having to loosen all the bolts on that side of the bike for the guard. Still though, now that I've done it, it's not that big of a deal. You just have to make sure that you have a long enough extension on the wrenches to be able to reach both sides of the motor mount at the same time. I also remove the front bash plate to get to the filter, but that only takes a minute or so to do.

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 08:08 PM
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The Happy Trails skid plate's engineering and assembly is very crude and needs a lot of tweaking to align properly, even without crash bar. I ground down the mounts to better fit over H&B crashbars. Mine gives plenty of oil drain clearance. I also made a better front plate out of checkered aluminum plate... I'll get pics.
By the way, let the oil drain back down for several minutes after stopping engine to verify oil level. With the oversized filter, mine take about 2-1/4 quarts to fill after draining and tilting back and forth a couple times for at least a day. A blip of the starter gets more out. Upon refilling, I bleed the lubricating system and fill the oil filter by turning the rear wheel in 6th gear a bit before starting engine... Do not overfill. If level is too high, let some out and check level again. My new 2007 was actually delivered with almost 1/2 quart too much in last year, so I adjusted it before the first ride.

Last edited by invader; 05-23-2009 at 08:16 PM.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
That included what I put into the filter before I put it on.
How do you get oil into the filter and then put it on?

Its not a bad idea to have a 3rd qt lying around agreed. In the 5-6 oil changes I've done, always including putting new filter every time and letting it drain hot for about 15-20 min on a paddock stand, I've never had to top up after adding 2 qts. Must have one of the early V's with smaller capacity.

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 09:50 PM
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Oil in the filter & the HP guards

I fill the filter about 3/4 full and it's pretty easy to get it on without spilling any. I have the 2009 model Vee, but I don't think that there has been any changes in the capacities. I read about the filter pre-filling somewhere here on the forum and it made a lot of sense. One thing that helps is that the design of the filter itself keeps the oil from sloshing when you move it into position for tightening.

The HP site says that the design of their bash plate and guards allow for easy oil and filter changes, but I think that the other setups are a lot better. The ALGARD bash plate looks like it would be bombproof. I may end up switching over. I liked the idea about changing the bash plate design. I'm having to make a modification anyway to keep the fender extender from snagging the top of the bash plate - that's getting to be a real PITA at high speeds on dirt.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machog View Post
How do you get oil into the filter and then put it on?
Machog
You just pour.

Just kidding. I've been doing this with all my engines for decades. Even on a horizontal filter, it will hold a good bit of oil without spilling. Try it. Fill the thing almost full, let it sit for a minute, and the filter media will absorb most of it. Significantly reduces the amount of time it takes to fill the filter on start-up.

2 quarts has been working for me on changes; didn't touch the extra quart. I'll be going to a 15W50 semi-synthetic on my next change. Maybe Motul. It'll be full synthetic 15W50 after that.

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Last edited by potus2012; 05-23-2009 at 10:19 PM.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 10:12 PM
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Getting ready to put in Rotella Synthetic 5w-40 tomorrow.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 10:25 PM
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I run Mobil 1 15W-50 car oil in my "V" and KLR. Works great and NO problems!
Ed
PS "V" has 8150 miles, KLR 32,000...!
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 08:51 AM
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Read through
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...read.php?t=836

The engine oil thread is like a can of worms for any auto/bike forum.

As for me, using only JASO MA approved oil.
Viscosity like 10W-40,15W-50 depends on your average climate you are and not the engine working temperature.

As for dino or synthetic oil, syth last longer, more expensive and IMHO, shifts better. Changing oil is like changing his/her blood.
However, whatever it is dino/syth, regular interval changing of the oil preserves the cleaniness of the engine. Clean oil is better than dirty oil. Followed by dirty oil is better than no oil. I use syth because the V does really need much oil.

IMO, avoid putting additives. It changes the characteristic of the engine oil. A lot of R&D had been put into the final oil package. Only way to be really satisfied, test one brand each time every oil change. You be the Judge.

What I do after draining my oil is to blow in some air to purge out the dirty oil more. As VeeWNC pointed out about the oil filter, putting oil in the filter before screwing in is good practise. It prevents air locks in the lubrication system.

Warm up your bike ncely before you rev her up. Complete oil circulation and prevention of thermal shock helps a lot to reduce excessive wear and tear.

and
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 06:41 PM
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I put the Purolator Pure One oil filter on my bike at the last oil change (PL14610). I bought it at Advanced Auto Parts for around $7.00 or $8.00 at the most. The filter is suppose to be 99.9% efficient. It's also longer than the Kawasaki filter. I also switched to Mobil 1 synthetic car oil and my bike shifts so much easier now that it's like I'm riding a different bike.
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 08:20 PM
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do you have the part number on the Purolator filter?
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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-25-2009, 08:59 AM
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Remember not to fill to the top line at an oil change,the proper level is in Between the two marks,over filling creates foaming,less lubrication and carbons up the cyl from smoking off the light end of the oil.2 Quarts is the correct amount with filter, the other listing is for an engine which has been completely disassembled ,not an oil change

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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-25-2009, 09:17 AM
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I have changed the oil twice now, and both times I had to put more then 2 qts to have it above the minimum line on the glass. I'm afraid that 2 qts make the oil level to low.
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-25-2009, 09:22 AM
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I use Motul 5100 10w/40, it's a synthetic blend & OEM filter.

This is the same combo I've been using on my ZX12R and I recently split it's cases for inspection & install a big bore kit. The engine had 30,000 hard miles and looks great inside.......I mean almost perfect including the transmission.

I'm staying with what works for me but any and all the above mentioned will work just fine.

Dan
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-25-2009, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhedges View Post
I have changed the oil twice now, and both times I had to put more then 2 qts to have it above the minimum line on the glass. I'm afraid that 2 qts make the oil level to low.
Is the bike LEvel when you check it ,not on the stand??I have done mine 4 times now,2 qts puts it in the center and the owners manuel and Service manuel both of which I own states 2 quarts

. Also you need 10 good minuets after running it for it t drain back(while Level)

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