interesting observation on engine oil - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-14-2012, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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interesting observation on engine oil

Short:
I proved to myself wrong, JASO (motorcycle) certified oil does make the transmission shift smoother


Long:
I've always used Castrol 5W-40 synthetic car oil in my bikes over the last few years and never anything else. This is not a JASCO certified oil though. My choice in oils was because I drive a VW diesel turbo diesel, which has very specific additive requirements, and the Castrol Synthetic is one of the few oils available that has these and carries the VW approved certification for turbo diesel use. Because of this I buy the 4L jugs when ever it goes on sale. Always seem to have lots around so it gets used in the bike as well. My thinking was this is premium priced oil so how bad can it be for the bike? Never had any issues with clutch slipping either which can apparently be an issue with some car oils labeled "Energy Conserving". The castrol synthetic 5W-40 is not labeled "Energy Conserving" BTW.

So tonight I changed the oil and for the first time used a no name JASO (motorcycle certified) 10W-40 mineral oil. It made a noticeable improvement in shift lever smoothness. I don't know the reason for this but the bottle said it had a Teflon additive for the transmission. My guess is this had something to do with it. Do all JASO certified oils have this?

I think I will be sticking to JASO certified oils from now on in the bike. Anyone have similar experience or know the reason for this?

Last edited by twowheels; 06-15-2012 at 11:20 AM.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-14-2012, 09:16 PM
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http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ad.php?t=19624

and many other threads.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-14-2012, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerpawed View Post
I read this but I don't think it has anything to do with "synthetic" since I used a non synthetic motorcycle oil and the previous oil I was using was a synthetic, just not JASCO certified.

Oops, posted this in the wrong section, should be under Technical discussions.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-14-2012, 09:34 PM
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"shift lever smoothness" ?

You mean JASO (Japanese Automotive Standards Organization), specifically JASO MA/MA2 for high friction applications (wet clutch). JASO also has other specs which are not for wet clutch applications.

http://www.jalos.or.jp/onfile/jaso_e-2.htm

All engine oils of SAE W-40 viscosity or higher (such as 5W-40) are not Energy Conserving rated. However, some may still contain friction modifiers.

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."

Last edited by invader; 06-14-2012 at 09:54 PM.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-14-2012, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twowheels View Post
I read this but I don't think it has anything to do with "synthetic" since I used a non synthetic motorcycle oil and the previous oil I was using was a synthetic, just not JASCO certified.

Oops, posted this in the wrong section, should be under Technical discussions.
Sorry, didn't mean to come off as snotty. Point is, yes, don't use energy conserving automotive oils in motorcycles that have a wet clutch that is bathed in engine oil. Yes, it can affect your shifting and power transfer.

Plenty of threads where folks are using automotive oils that are not labeled energy conserving, and are happy with results. I prefer synthetic motorcycle oil, but that's just one guy's preference.

At least on the V, it's super easy to do an oil change yourself.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-14-2012, 10:13 PM
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Like I said, you won't be able to find any W-40 oil that is Energy Conserving... W-40 or higher viscosity oils may still contain friction modifiers that are not wet clutch compatible if not JASO MA/MA2 certified.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-15-2012, 09:47 AM
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Oh man, another oil thread. I don't think it matters significantly if the oil is JASO certified or not. I suspect that's just the Big Four conditioning you to buy the Honda or Yamaha or Suzuki or Kawasaki oil sold by their dealers. (Yamahas I've owned specified using either 10W-40 or 20W-40. Guess the only place where you can buy 20W-40.) Just make sure its at least 40W. Oils under 40W automatically contain the friction modifiers that would not work well with a motorcycle's wet clutch. They're meant for modern cars anyway, which is a much, much larger market for Big Oil. Whether you use a motorcycle-specific oil is up to you. They sure cost more. I use Castrol Syntec synthetic for the once a season oil changes. The transmission does shift better, the engine revs faster, and overall seems "happier".
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-15-2012, 07:33 PM
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I just put in some synthetic oil that was meant for a car. So far so good. I really don't think the transmission needs smoothing out to begin with. I like having a positive feel when changing gears, and it is by no means rough or excessively difficult to shift to begin with.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-16-2012, 11:44 AM
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When I had my Suzuki B1200S Bandit (104 hp), I ran Mobil1 car 10W-30 oil (WITH friction modifiers) in it for around 30,000 kms with NO clutch problems, ever.

I run Mobil1 car 15W-50 oil in my Vs, and did in my KLR.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-16-2012, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
When I had my Suzuki B1200S Bandit (104 hp), I ran Mobil1 car 10W-30 oil (WITH friction modifiers) in it for around 30,000 kms with NO clutch problems, ever.

I run Mobil1 car 15W-50 oil in my Vs, and did in my KLR.
So, what are you trying to say? That you baby your bikes and never do full throttle accelerations, or that all the science behind friction modifiers and wet clutches is wrong and we should all just put whatever we want in our bikes?

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-16-2012, 09:36 PM
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Just use engine oil specified by the manufacturer. Viscosity depends where you ride.

Type: API SE, SF or SG
API SH, SJ or SL with JASO MA

Good idea to do an oil analysis after use if affordable. http://www.blackstone-labs.com/

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-17-2012, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twowheeladdict View Post
So, what are you trying to say? That you baby your bikes and never do full throttle accelerations, or that all the science behind friction modifiers and wet clutches is wrong and we should all just put whatever we want in our bikes?
On the Bandit site (Maxzuki) there's a drag-racer named "Fast Larry" who's modded his B12 to run in the 9s, and swears by using Mobil1 car 5W-30. After some back-and-forth e-mails with him I decided to go that route, but used the 10W-30 M1 as I already had several cases of it for my 'cages'.

I DO baby my bikes, but they HAVE seen WOT!!!



Incidentally, WOT on the B12 lead me towards sticking with 650s rather than 1200s. LESS chance of going to jail...

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-17-2012, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invader View Post
"shift lever smoothness" ?

You mean JASO (Japanese Automotive Standards Organization), specifically JASO MA/MA2 for high friction applications (wet clutch). JASO also has other specs which are not for wet clutch applications.

http://www.jalos.or.jp/onfile/jaso_e-2.htm

All engine oils of SAE W-40 viscosity or higher (such as 5W-40) are not Energy Conserving rated. However, some may still contain friction modifiers.

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."
This post confirms my thoughts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
On the Bandit site (Maxzuki) there's a drag-racer named "Fast Larry" who's modded his B12 to run in the 9s, and swears by using Mobil1 car 5W-30. After some back-and-forth e-mails with him I decided to go that route, but used the 10W-30 M1 as I already had several cases of it for my 'cages'.
Buels and Harleys use a separate gear box and transmission. The gear box and clutch have their own separate oil supply from the engine and run heavier weight gear oil in the transmission so the do not have the issues a bike like the Versys has that uses the same oil to lubricate both. Also drag racers don't care about longevity, all they care about is the engine lasts long enough to make one run and the thin oil will sap less HP even though it might cause increased wear. They can also afford to change it after every run or race. Also the lower volatility of a car oil vs a bike oil is a non issue if you are only running the engine long enough to run the quarter mile and get yourself back to the pits but is a big issue when you are running on the highway in hot weather for several hours.

Last edited by Sprocket; 06-17-2012 at 04:01 PM.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-18-2012, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprocket View Post
....They can also afford to change it after every run or race. Also the lower volatility of a car oil vs a bike oil is a non issue if you are only running the engine long enough to run the quarter mile and get yourself back to the pits but is a big issue when you are running on the highway in hot weather for several hours.
IF "Fast Larry" had ever had a clutch-slippage issue, he would have stopped using the M1 5W-30. The fact he continued using it in his 'common-sump' Bandit, certainly indicates that he had NO slippage.

And my experiences mirror HIS!

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-18-2012, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
IF "Fast Larry" had ever had a clutch-slippage issue, he would have stopped using the M1 5W-30. The fact he continued using it in his 'common-sump' Bandit, certainly indicates that he had NO slippage.

And my experiences mirror HIS!
As I read it there are other issues with automotive oils besides just clutch slipping, read previous posts. I know using a lighter weight oil than the manufacturer recommends would reduce parasitic losses to generated engine power but would probably reduce long term engine durability. There are no JASO certified 5W-30 oils and probably why Motorcycle Larrry has to uses a non JASO oil in a drag bike.

Last edited by Sprocket; 06-18-2012 at 03:15 PM.
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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
IF "Fast Larry" had ever had a clutch-slippage issue, he would have stopped using the M1 5W-30. The fact he continued using it in his 'common-sump' Bandit, certainly indicates that he had NO slippage.

And my experiences mirror HIS!
"Fast Pretbek" accidentally used the wrong oil with friction modifiers (Mobil 1 from the Walmart) in his Honda ST1100 a few times and he absolutely did have problems!

I needed to change the clutch plates to get rid of the slipping.
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 11:43 AM
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If you're using the proper weight oil, whether conventional or synthetic, and having clutch slippage, it means your clutch is going, not that the oil is harming it.
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