full synthetic oil [Archive] - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums

full synthetic oil

artful52
04-13-2015, 09:23 AM
I own a 2013 voyager and want to run full synthetic oil. On my last bike 2007 Honda vtx 1300R I ran full synthetic but until the bike warmed up the clutch slipped,rather annoying. Is it safe to run full synthetic in my voyager?

mike1957
04-13-2015, 08:32 PM
Your owner manual should tell you the oil you should use.I would stick to that.
On the older kawasaki's they say don't use synthetic.

Inkydoggy
04-13-2015, 09:58 PM
I have a 2003 VN1600 and I run Rotella T6 synthetic in it as I did in many of my bikes. It is a good oil and I have never had any trouble while using it in almost all my bikes. I also use Purolator filters.

rbentnail
04-14-2015, 09:09 AM
I un full synthetic in my bike, no problem. The only way to find out if it's gonna work for you and your bike is to try it.

RoadRunner322
04-19-2015, 10:40 PM
I own a 2013 voyager and want to run full synthetic oil. On my last bike 2007 Honda vtx 1300R I ran full synthetic but until the bike warmed up the clutch slipped,rather annoying. Is it safe to run full synthetic in my voyager?

Are you talking about Motorcycle synthetic or auto synthetic? The motorcycle oils meet the JASO MA or MB spec.

See this.

JASO Oil Specifications - oilspecifications.org (http://www.oilspecifications.org/jaso.php)

Ole Yeller
04-20-2015, 01:40 AM
I have friends who switched to synthetic and experienced some clutch slippage too, but it went away when they switched back to real oil.

BTRart 750
04-20-2015, 10:30 AM
Synthetic oil with the recommended viscosity range and rating (e.g., SAE, SF) should be fine. However, it does need to be a motorcycle synthetic blend versus autos.

As mentioned above, it's best to go with the recommended oil in your owner's manual; then stay with that brand going forward versus changing back and forth between regular oil brands and synthetics. A relatively new engine should run just fine with a synthetic oil, but a wet bath clutch expecting regular oil properties may not e.g., clutch slipping until the engine is warmed up.

Additives to the oil might cause similar cold clutch slipping annoyance too. Easy does it engaging in 1st gear until the bike is warmed up.

Thunderbolt
06-15-2015, 06:06 PM
My 2007 vn1600 has 22,000 miles on non synthethic oil. I'd like to switch to synthetic oil. Any one know of this being a good idea or is 22,000 to many for making the switch?

rbentnail
06-16-2015, 08:09 AM
My 2007 vn1600 has 22,000 miles on non synthethic oil. I'd like to switch to synthetic oil. Any one know of this being a good idea or is 22,000 to many for making the switch?
In some 35 yrs of "mechanic-ing" I've known only 2 people who had some trouble with switching later in life but both had in excess of 40k miles on their bikes. To me it's always a good idea to switch to synthetic but unfortunately there's just no definitive "this" to determine if it's going to be a problem for you.

SgtSlag
06-16-2015, 10:25 AM
Friction Modifiers (Energy Star symbol on the jug), commonly added to automotive oils, are what cause the clutch slippage. Use a synthetic oil which does not have the Friction Modifiers/Energy Star symbol, of the proper viscosity, and you will be fine.

Switching to a full synthetic oil can be done after the initial break-in period -- you want conventional oil for the break-in period, to allow normal friction to seat parts into place properly, then switch to full synthetic oil to prevent wear. I would wait until the third oil change, to switch to full synthetic oil: first oil/filter change at 500 miles, then at 3,000 miles, for the second, and another 3,000 miles for the third, with synthetic, for a new bike (or whatever the manual specifies for the oil/filter change intervals).

The advantages of full synthetic oils are that they tend to break down more slowly, as they do not contain Viscosity Index Improver (VII) chains, which get chewed up by the transmission of the bike. They also withstand heat better, by more than 100 degrees, before breaking down to carbon sludge in your engine -- not really an issue with conventional oils having improved so much since the early 1980's.

A very good synthetic oil to use in your bike, would be Shell Rotella T6 Synthetic diesel oil: no friction modifiers/Energy Star symbol, inexpensive, comes in one-gallon jugs at Wal-Mart, 15W-40 viscosity. It is also safe for cars -- don't let the diesel rating put you off. Read the label, and you will see it meets the API SM standard. I've been running it in my '93 Voyager for several years, without clutch issues. Cheers!

Thunderbolt
06-16-2015, 11:26 AM
In some 35 yrs of "mechanic-ing" I've known only 2 people who had some trouble with switching later in life but both had in excess of 40k miles on their bikes. To me it's always a good idea to switch to synthetic but unfortunately there's just no definitive "this" to determine if it's going to be a problem for you.

Thanks for the response. Do you recall what problems those two bikes encontered?

Thunderbolt
06-16-2015, 11:29 AM
Thanks for the response StgSlag. Any comment about switching to synthentic after 20,000 miles?

RoadRunner322
06-16-2015, 11:31 AM
Oils have come a long way. Some of the old guidelines are no longer true such as a big gap in how much heat they can take. Synthetic is no longer synthetic but a Group III dyno oil with possibly some real synthetic (PAO or Ester) blended in. The oil companies won't tell you what their mix is and there is no way for the consumer to know exactly what you are getting when you buy "synthetic". Just go by the Jaso spec in your favorite brand and ride, ride your bike.

SgtSlag
06-16-2015, 02:03 PM
RoadRunner322 is correct, most "synthetic" oils available are not true synthetics: refineries are now able to purify conventional oils to the point where they act just like a true synthetic. The Shell Rotella T6 Synthetic, API SM (verified), is just such a highly refined conventional oil. I can tell you that I ran it in my car, in Minnesota, in January. The conventional oils (not labeled, "synthetic", 5W-30) I was running, would barely turn the engine over in -20 F temperatures, after sitting in a parking ramp all day; the T6 (5W-40, not 15W-40, as I stated previously) 'Synthetic', however, spun it over like it was 80 F, in July. That sold me on its qualities, in spite of it only being a highly refined Group III oil.

I switched to the T6 Synthetic at around 52,000 on the bike's clock. That was five years ago: no issues, clutch works perfectly, runs perfectly, with 65,000 on the clock, today.

There are full synthetic oils out there. Mobil 1 is a full synthetic, but be careful which version of their oils you buy -- make sure it does not have the Energy Star (friction modifiers) on the bottle! The M/C-specific oils are over-priced, IMO. Look for a full synthetic (if you feel it necessary) without the Energy Star, in the proper viscosity, and then look at the MSDS sheet, to try to verify that it is a genuine synthetic, as opposed to a highly refined Group III oil -- it should be made of mostly Group IV oil as its base (Group V is highly specialized, and rare). Oils which meet the JASO MA standard, are free of friction modifiers; all "diesel" oils are free of the Energy Star/friction modifiers, by default.

Make sure to use a modern API rated oil (http://www.api.org/~/media/files/oil-and-natural-gas/engine%20oil/motor_oil_guide_2010_120210.pdf?la=en): SN (the current standard, backwards compatible with nearly every engine since the 1950's, or earlier). The manual may refer to a prior API standard, but using anything prior to SN/SM (2010)/SL (2004) would be less than ideal, as those oils are not as highly refined as modern oils. My previous, 1979 Honda called for API SF oils (1980?) -- I ran the Rotella T6 (API SM) in it routinely, without issue. Modern API oils run cleaner, and are refined to a vastly higher quality. Cheers!

Thunderbolt
06-16-2015, 07:38 PM
Here's a good question. I'm changing friction plates and steels at 22,000 miles. I also want to switch to synthetic oil. Do I wet the plates in synthetic before I put them in or do I use regular oil for a brake in period on the new cluth parts than swith to synthetic later?

RoadRunner322
06-16-2015, 08:19 PM
[QUOTE=SgtSlag;2647281][B]
There are full synthetic oils out there. Mobil 1 is a full synthetic, but be careful which version of their oils you buy -- make sure it does not have the Energy Star (friction modifiers) on the bottle! The M/C-specific oils are over-priced, IMO. Look for a full synthetic (if you feel it necessary) without the Energy Star, in the proper viscosity, and then look at the MSDS sheet, to try to verify that it is a genuine synthetic, as opposed to a highly refined Group III oil -- it should be made of mostly Group IV oil as its base (Group V is highly specialized, and rare). Oils which meet the JASO MA standard, are free of friction modifiers; all "diesel" oils are free of the Energy Star/friction modifiers, by default.

Auto Mobil 1 is a Group III oil and has been for a long time. I don't know about the Mobil 1 MC oil. Even the vaunted Amzoil for autos is now a Group III with some high dollar synthetic blended in.

kewirider
06-18-2015, 08:55 PM
Your owner manual should tell you the oil you should use.I would stick to that.
On the older kawasaki's they say don't use synthetic.

I agree... You should always follow the manual recommendation to avoid any problem or damage with your engine, plus you are safe with your warranty.

RoadRunner322
06-18-2015, 09:36 PM
Mobil 1 used to be real synthetic, polyalphaolefin or PAO, or Group IV. Castrol started marketing Group III oil calling it synthetic. Mobil sued Castrol. The Judge in his infinite wisdom declared that since the Group III oil Castrol was calling "synthetic" had similar lubricating properties, they could continue to market it as "synthetic". Since PAO was more expensive than Group III, Mobil switched to Group III for their Mobil 1.

I don't know of any auto oil that is called "Full Synthetic" that isn't Group III dino. There may be one, but you won't find it on the shelf at Walmart. Whether all of this matters, I don't know that either. Todays oils are pretty good stuff. But I do think that all of the mechanics stories about what might happen when you switch to "synthetic" don't matter any more cuz it ain't synthetic any more. It's just called synthetic.

flyfan
01-08-2016, 09:48 AM
A lot of good info here.
Motorcycle Info and Accessories (http://motorcycleinfo.calsci.com/)

RoadRunner322
01-08-2016, 11:41 AM
A lot of good info here.
Motorcycle Info and Accessories (http://motorcycleinfo.calsci.com/)

Thanks, an interesting read about the motor oils.

Hot Cruiser
01-10-2016, 01:28 PM
A lot of good info here.
Motorcycle Info and Accessories (http://motorcycleinfo.calsci.com/)


Looks like it hasn't been updated recently, e.g.:


The best synthetics are: (in no particular order)

Shell Rotella-T Synthetic 5w-40 (blue container, not white), $13 / gallon at Wal-Mart

The cost at our Walmart now is about $20 per gallon.

RoadRunner322
01-11-2016, 11:18 AM
Looks like it hasn't been updated recently, e.g.:


The best synthetics are: (in no particular order)

Shell Rotella-T Synthetic 5w-40 (blue container, not white), $13 / gallon at Wal-Mart

The cost at our Walmart now is about $20 per gallon.

Based on what? Your subjective opinion? Everybody has their own opinions. Oil threads always bring out lots of opinions!

Hot Cruiser
01-11-2016, 02:49 PM
Based on what? Your subjective opinion? Everybody has their own opinions. Oil threads always bring out lots of opinions!


That wasn't my opinion - it is the opinion of the writer of the site which I quoted. Unfortunately the forum wouldn't let me separate the quote from my signature. If you had gone to the source you would have discovered that the opinion was from someone supposedly more knowledgeable than I am. My post actually was about the apparent fact that the site hadn't been updated recently and was not about oil.

dumbugly
01-17-2016, 12:37 AM
Mobil 1 is my choice, not because of the advertising propaganda, but because my moto shifts smoother and I feel better about taking it to redline. Use whatever you want and my opinion is just that, I like Mobil 1 but Rotella is probably just as good. Being we have wet clutches we need to use motorcycle friendly oil, otherwise we will have clutch slipage if we have a moto with a wet clutch. Price should not be an issue as our motos are what we are. I drink stuff that is cheaper than my oil. Cheers and ride like a looney bin.

grmf
01-17-2016, 12:34 PM
I've run conventional, Mobile1, Royal Purple & AMSOil in by bike.

I personally like Royal Purple the best and that is what I currently run. Engine runs smooth, shifts fine, no slipping, etc. I switched to synthetic at about the 3rd oil change using Mobile 1 and used that for a while. I was happy with it.

Hot Cruiser
01-17-2016, 01:34 PM
I've used Castrol GTX 10w-40 dino car oil with no problems, but after it was reformulated I switched to Castrol 4 Stroke 10w-40 dino motorcycle oil also with no problems, and after the cost for that locally skyrocketed to about $8 per quart I switched to Shell Rotella T6 synthetic 5w-40 which has the JASO rating and costs about $20 per gallon at our Walmart, and again with no problems and have used that for about five years.

Philippe721
02-18-2016, 07:21 AM
Like Mike1957 said, "read the manual".
I just don't understand this constant need try to beat a system that does not need beating.
I run Kawasaki oil and filter, I change them every 3000 miles on the dot and the machine runs like a clock. I must be a genius!

RoadRunner322
02-18-2016, 03:34 PM
Like Mike1957 said, "read the manual".
I just don't understand this constant need try to beat a system that does not need beating.
I run Kawasaki oil and filter, I change them every 3000 miles on the dot and the machine runs like a clock. I must be a genius!

If the Kawasaki oil and filter cost more than name brand oil and filter at Walmart, I would say you may be wasting your money.

Any oil that meets the spec required should be ok.

Evilwestsidefan
08-20-2016, 09:34 PM
Rotella-T6 Synthetic 5w-40 for Diesel Engines it has no additives that will cause slippage its just oil.

CoffeedrinkerinNC
09-05-2016, 04:55 PM
Unless you're sending your oil off to lab to get tested, nobody knows how their oil is holding up under their riding style.

Evilwestsidefan
09-06-2016, 01:24 AM
Unless you're sending your oil off to lab to get tested, nobody knows how their oil is holding up under their riding style. The only time you really need to do that is if you are not going to change your synthetic oil out on a regular schedule and you want to max out the oil's life. Motorcycles do not hold enough oil to make holding on to it that long worth while.

RoadRunner322
09-06-2016, 12:30 PM
The only time you really need to do that is if you are not going to change your synthetic oil out on a regular schedule and you want to max out the oil's life. Motorcycles do not hold enough oil to make holding on to it that long worth while.

I think his point was that you don't know how it is holding up without testing. Some oils shear faster than others and there is no way to know if you don't test it. Sure, most folks change their oil often and don't worry about it. But, if you really want to know how different brands hold up, testing is the only way to know for sure.

CoffeedrinkerinNC
09-07-2016, 07:16 AM
I think his point was that you don't know how it is holding up without testing. Some oils shear faster than others and there is no way to know if you don't test it. Sure, most folks change their oil often and don't worry about it. But, if you really want to know how different brands hold up, testing is the only way to know for sure.

You are correct....

For most of the testing data that is out on web, like at bobistheoilguy.com, most oils will last longer the most people think. It's seems the standard change time for Dino is 3K miles on a shared sump system, with Synthetic being changed at 5K. This is based on the harshest use data. How you ride your bike has a lot to do with the oil life, do you let the bike reach operating temp, how long do run at operating temp, did the oil overheat, lots of things come into play. With my riding style, I can get 8K miles out Rotella T6 5w-40.

Evilwestsidefan
09-09-2016, 12:53 AM
I just change out with Rotella every 2 years and I use Fram filters, I could probably go longer but the cost is not bad. My Bikes run great and I have over 40,000 miles on my Vulcan.