Recommended oil/clutch slippage - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-30-2014, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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Recommended oil/clutch slippage

My other bike is a GL1800 and the oil recommendations state not to use energy saving oils (listed on the label) because the additives in these oils may cause clutch slippage since the clutch runs in oil. Does this also apply to the Versys?
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post #2 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-30-2014, 10:20 AM
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No. First, all energy conserving labeled oils are 30wt or below. Second, there is no mystery additive in energy conserving oils that isn't in other oils. Most oils contain the same ingredients in varying amounts to include moly.
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post #3 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-30-2014, 10:47 AM
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Always a good question, and guaranteed to be 2 sides to it (and a middle...) EVERY SINGLE TIME it's asked. Nothing wrong with that.

Follow the oil recommendations in your owner's manual, and you'll be fine.

The oil manufacturer's recommendation for your GL 1800 is correct. There are often slickeners, friction modifiers, and specialized lubrication additives in some oils that may be detrimental to the operation of the clutch in some oils.

After 36 years in the oil and fuel industry and the lubrication additives business for the largest integrated oil company in the world, I can state categorically that no matter what one reads on the internet, the truth is that there ARE different additives in oils designed for cars/trucks/stationary engines that can be detrimental to your clutch and cause slipping - and therefore heat, wear, and damage - under certain conditions, that simply aren't an issue with an oil designed to be used in that application!

There's a reason they put - or leave out - different additives in oil designed for motorcycle use.

I've seen the tests and the results. Not many can say that. Doesn't stop them from saying it, though.

This is NOT to say that no one uses these oils in their motorcycles. Lots of them on this forum. And many have had good results, recommendations in the owners manuals notwithstanding.

My point is, the manufacturer has the info one needs to select the correct oil for one's motorcycle. If you follow their recommendations, if you ever need warranty work, you'll be on the good side of the bench. There definitely ARE ways to tell what kind of oil has been used in a failed engine.

You have a computer, you found the forum, you have motorcycles. You can do the research, you don't need to listen to what some nameless, faceless, 'expert' says on some forum. I'm talking about myself here. Make a considered decision!
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post #4 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-30-2014, 10:57 AM
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BS. Motorcycle oil has the same additives that car oil does, sometimes in different amounts. I can post up a few new oil analysis from the bobistheoilguy.com site if you like.
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post #5 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-30-2014, 11:33 AM
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BS seems a bit harsh...

... and what was the name of your oil company again? I'm sure we must have met at some point over our mutually long careers.

Everyone is entitled to an opinion. Everyone is also free to disregard someone else's opinion. Please feel free to disregard any opinions of mine, if you wish. Should you come across any, that is...

- However -

My statement in this thread is Not. My. Opinion.
It is a statement of fact offered as information in an attempt to be helpful.
My statement is 100% true, and undisputed, by the associations that oversee specifications of this sort of thing.
A motorcycle oil, certified, meeting the specifications as good for use in a wet-clutch environment in a motorcycle is a different product than an oil that is not - and it's mostly the additives that make the difference. That's the facts. Period.

I still can't understand how arguing FOR doing something that is mechanically unsupported by the manufacturer, based on anything anyone reads on internet, is a good thing. But everyone is free to experiment, at their own risk.
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post #6 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-30-2014, 11:53 AM
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We probably haven't met unless you are also a mathematician. Didn't I offer to post up the new oil analysis of both car and motorcycle oils. Is there some hidden ingredient in motorcycle oils that isn't tested for? Did you ever notice that some oils like Rotella T6 is certified JASO MA? I have seen anything that has been undisputed in the scientific community since global warm . . . er, climate change.
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post #7 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-30-2014, 12:11 PM
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I used Mobil1 car 10w-30 in my Bandit 1200 for years w/ NO problems, and I use M1 car 15w-50 (or 10w-40 IF that's not available) in BOTH my Vs, and my KLR when I had one, for a TOTAL mileage amongst the three of MORE than 134,000 miles. NEVER had a clutch slip.

I change oil & filter at 5,000 mile (8,000 km) intervals.

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post #8 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-30-2014, 12:17 PM
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Yeah, I use the Mobil 1 15w50 in the KLRs that have more than 110,000 between them, both on original clutch. I'm using the Rotella T6 5w40 in the Versys. Roller crank engines tend to like heavier oil.
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post #9 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-30-2014, 12:53 PM
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Mr Mitty, since you're a "mathematician', here's a metaphor for you. I realize that that a metaphor is more in line with the skillset of someone with a literary bent, but here goes anyway.

Suppose someone came to you and asked you a basic math question, something truly simple and self-evident to you, something that really wouldn't occur to you to be open to debate, given your expertise in the subject - like, "what is the sum of the two real numbers 2 and 2"?
I would imagine, that since mathematics is your stated area of expertise, and that you, being a reasonably competent "mathematician", would use your mathematics skills to provide that person with a well-though-out, facts-based, scientific-method approved, experience-proven, etc, etc, answer of 4. Plus, you have the answer in the back of your textbook.
Although perhaps as entertainment, I doubt you would be very open to a lot of debate, should someone give a reason for coming up with an alternate answer. Plus, again, you have the answer in the back of your textbook.

Please try to imagine what it's like for me, after 36 years in the business, when someone comes to me with a basic question about oil. I couldn't care less about what some "expert" on some internet site says. I have my own resources. Thanks. Plus, I have the answer in the back of one of my textbooks.

I apologize to the original poster for cluttering his thread with this useless exchange. I hope that my answer has provided you with a solid data point to consider. Just trying to help.
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post #10 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-30-2014, 01:16 PM
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It appears to me that using only JASO-MA oil in my V is an easy choice. I would have nothing to gain by doing otherwise.
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post #11 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-30-2014, 03:32 PM
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Well said, visitor zero. Isn't waltermitty the reincarnation of Britmick who was also an old fool that was permanently banned, and rightfully so? Nice try mitty... We're onto you now, pal.

Only engine oils of up to W-30 viscosity can be energy conserving rated. Friction modifiers which are not wet clutch compatible are still found in some automotive W-40 and higher viscosity oils. Motorcycle specific oils are JASO MA certified for high friction applications, as recommended by Kawasaki... You won't find an energy conserving W-40 oil, mainly due to its higher viscosity.

From Castrol; "Note: The low friction characteristics of Castrol Edge 0W-40 make it unsuitable for most motorcycles that incorporate wet clutches in combined engine and transmission systems. Castrol’s prime recommendation for this application is Castrol R4 Superbike."

"Castrol does not recommend using automotive oils in motorcycles. In 1996, the American Petroleum Institute (API) upgraded the performance standards of automotive oil from SG to SJ (currently SM). This upgrade impacted the friction modifiers and zinc and phosphorus levels, to address the fuel economy, catalytic converter and pollution issues of passenger car owners. For motorcycles, the additional friction modifiers can affect wet clutch performance, and motorcycle engines appreciate a higher level of the anti-wear ingredients of zinc and phosphorus. We have formulated our line of Castrol Motorcycle oils to be API SG. This allows us to optimize the formula specifically for motorcycles without being constrained by the specification demands for passenger car engines, which our passenger car oil must meet. All Castrol Motorcycle oils have low volatility to reduce the effects of oil evaporation, and they can be up to 50% lower than many API SL/SJ passenger car engine oils. API SJ engine oils have a minimal shear stability requirement; therefore, some types may lose their viscosity more quickly when used in a motorcycle, due to the stresses of these bike engines."

Also, diesel engine oils are a poor choice for your motorcycle. Shell Rotella oils may happen to be pass the JASO MA test for wet clutch high friction applications, but they're still a diesel engine oil, besides not being formulated for use with combined transmission.

http://speedtalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=32279

-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 the complete ranking list below, 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)...
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post #12 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-30-2014, 03:45 PM
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I love oil threads
+1 for Visitor zero's information. Thanks for taking the time to inform us in this and other similar threads

I'm no diplomat
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post #13 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-30-2014, 03:56 PM
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OMG I'm being watched by an invader. I think I'll wet myself.

Shell Rotella oils have been popular with motorcycle rider for many years. When I bought my first Lotus back in '73 guess what oil they specified. That is the first time I had ever heard of Rotella. Before that I was a Valvoline guy.

There are only a handful of additives used in motor oils, zinc, moly, boron, calcium, phosphorus, barium, etc. They are used in various proportion depending on the application as friction modifiers and to prolong oil life by neutralizing acids, etc. There is no magic ingredient in motorcycle oil. Interestingly enough, moly is a common ingredient in motorcycle oil including both of the Mobil 1 motorcycle specific oils and oil distributed by Honda.

Shell Rotella T6 is probably not the best oil for the Versys. If money was not an object I would probably use Mobil 1 10w40 motorcycle specific. I use it in the ZX-10R. I use the Shell in the Versys because it cost less than half as much and it is easy to find (Walmart). If you only put a few thousand miles a year it doesn't make much of a difference. I put 20,000+ thousand miles a year on motorcycle. I put 5,000 miles in in the last 30 days. For me it makes a difference.
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post #14 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-30-2014, 04:30 PM
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Only a 'handful' of additives?

Please, come and work here. We all need to be enlightened. The Nobel Prize awaits.
Here we are, working away, wasting our time with the hundreds - nay, thousands - of additives and base stock formulations available to our worldwide network of tribologists and chemists who labour every day to create more efficient, less toxic, more cost-effective solutions for our own proprietary use, and special formulations for our contract customers...

Oh never mind.

(Quick question - anyone know how a diesel oil like Rotella came to be JASO-MA certified? How could this be? Why? What reason would a manufacturer have to manufacture an oil that meets 2 such seemingly unrelated specifications? A better question is why would anyone use it anywhere other than a diesel engine, but that's another question, isn't it?)
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post #15 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-30-2014, 05:11 PM
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Only a 'handful' of additives?

Please, come and work here. We all need to be enlightened. The Nobel Prize awaits.
Here we are, working away, wasting our time with the hundreds - nay, thousands - of additives and base stock formulations available to our worldwide network of tribologists and chemists who labour every day to create more efficient, less toxic, more cost-effective solutions for our own proprietary use, and special formulations for our contract customers...

Oh never mind.

(Quick question - anyone know how a diesel oil like Rotella came to be JASO-MA certified? How could this be? Why? What reason would a manufacturer have to manufacture an oil that meets 2 such seemingly unrelated specifications? A better question is why would anyone use it anywhere other than a diesel engine, but that's another question, isn't it?)
I suspect you don't work for Mobil. Can't say why Rotella is JASO-MA. I was told by another oil expert that some other oils weren't because it wasn't worth the money to get them tested for such a niche market.

Have you ever compared the virgin oil analysis of Mobil 1 15w50 to their 20w50 "motorcycle" oil?
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post #16 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-30-2014, 07:37 PM
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post #17 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-30-2014, 10:37 PM
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More with the consumer-grade used oil analysis from some website. And I was the one accused of spouting "BS..." Almost useless. You can't find what you don't know to look for, especially if you start by missing the other 65% of the puzzle.

One would learn a hundred times more by having a sample of used oil pass a standard ASTM or API test that relates to that oil. But that would require an actual understanding of the results in context. Which can't be done on a consumer-used oil in the wild.

Suspect me of not working for "Mobil"? Well, no, no one does, not anymore, since the company ceased to exist... Exxon Mobil, maybe. Already told everyone who I worked for in a previous post. Indirectly.

I and my company have also done work for every other oil company in North America, and many others in other companies. As have they for us. They all share technology. We often manufacture and package other company's brands for them if their plants are shutdown for maintenance. I don't need to compare Mobil virgin anything to anything else, we're not amateurs here. I want data, I pick up the formulary or the phone, or call the yard.

Some might be interested to know that my personal vehicle was one of the first to test the then brand-new to the market Mobil One synthetic oil. In 1974. It was a Pontiac Safari station wagon with a 327 cu. in. engine. I miss that giant car.

Did we analyze the oil? You bet. Many times. We also took the engine out of the vehicle and analyzed that a few times. Over 50,000 miles and 4 years. That provided the majority of the data.

I freely admit anything I post has no more veracity than any other anonymous crap on the interweb. People, use your own smarts, make up your own minds.

vz out.

(hey Gigitt, you be careful with that popcorn. My dentist loves popcorn. Popcorn bought my dentist a 911 Carerra S a couple of years ago )
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post #18 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-30-2014, 10:52 PM
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The JASO MA, MA1 and MA2 ratings guarantee an oil is safe to use in a common sump engine design with an oil immersed clutch. The main difference, as I understand it in layman's terms, between motorcycle and car / truck oils, besides the JASO MA rating, is 10W40 motorcycle oils use a heavier 10W base oil and are more resistant to heat. 5W-40 diesel oils use a thinner 5W base oil which is better for cold starts but not as good in the transmission. Diesel oils also have additives for soot control which are not needed in gas engines.

Last edited by twowheels; 12-30-2014 at 11:00 PM.
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post #19 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-30-2014, 10:57 PM
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I rest my case. Let the senility speak for itself. Funny how it first gave the impression of a rambunctious brat.
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post #20 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-31-2014, 04:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twowheels View Post
The JASO MA, MA1 and MA2 ratings guarantee an oil is safe to use in a common sump engine design with an oil immersed clutch. The main difference, as I understand it in layman's terms, between motorcycle and car / truck oils, besides the JASO MA rating, is 10W40 motorcycle oils use a heavier 10W base oil and are more resistant to heat. 5W-40 diesel oils use a thinner 5W base oil which is better for cold starts but not as good in the transmission. Diesel oils also have additives for soot control which are not needed in gas engines.
Exactly - a layman should be able to pick an oil off the shelf for the intended purpose just by using these ratings. So for a Motorcycle with a wet clutch a JASO MA/1/2 rating is suitable - irrespective of whether the oil is marketed for Car/Truck, Petrol/Diesel.

As the old Valvoline advet goes "Oil's ain't Oils"
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