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Saxman
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68 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Does it really matter which one to use in a 1500 Nomad? The manual says to use 10w40, but I only ride when it is above 60 degrees F.

The first number indicates the performance of the oil at or below the temperature of freezing water, and the second number indicates the performance at the temperature of boiling water.

How many people really ride when it is below freezing?

Is there anything else to consider??

I have been using Rotella T 15W40 dino but since I am planning longer rides this summer, I am considering switching to 5W40 Rotella T synthetic. I can only find 5W40 at Walmart.
 

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Giant Biker
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2,323 Posts
No problem with the viscosity. It won't hurt a thing.

I used to use the 5w-40 in my 1600 MeanStreak, but I had some clutch slippage with it. Others report no issues.
 

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'06 V2K, Baby!
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2,325 Posts
Why so low? The warmer it is, the higher the first number can be.

Rich, back when he was here being the oil guru, used to recommend 20w40 if you only ran above freezing and 10w40 if you operated your bike below freezing. Above 100 degrees (F) he'd recommend only running 20w40 if I recall correctly.

..and yes. It's been below freezing all this week and I've ridden every day but yesterday. (Yesterday I had to take my wife's car to the shop.)
 

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Nobody Home
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1,768 Posts
Why so low? The warmer it is, the higher the first number can be.

Rich, back when he was here being the oil guru, used to recommend 20w40 if you only ran above freezing and 10w40 if you operated your bike below freezing. Above 100 degrees (F) he'd recommend only running 20w40 if I recall correctly.
The lower "first number" means you'll get more oil flow at any temp less than the ~ 210 deg F the higher "second number" refers to. When you do a cold start (where much wear occurs) you're oil temp is much closer to 32 F than 210F.

Rich did a good job of ignoring the different (film strength and thickness) characteristics of synthetic vs dino oil. A good 40 wt synthetic has greater film strength and thickness than a 50 wt dino oil at the 210+ F temps the oil runs in the engine.
 

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BACK ON TWO WHEELS
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13,542 Posts
5W-40 rotella syn runs great in the 14
 

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Life Saver
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496 Posts
I tried th 5-40 Rotella in my 1600. Shifting was more clunky to me. I actually drained it at 600 miles and replaced with a 10-40 that worked better. Seems like different bikes run differently with the same oils. Not a knock against the 5-40, i actually use it in my truck with no complaints. I know there is a big debate on oils, but i generally prefer synthetic over Dino...just preference.
 

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Registered
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10 Posts
My question is why change from 15W40? Longer rides meaning what? How often do you change your oil? if you do 2000 miles or less why bother spending more. These oil threads crack me up and so do the self proclaimed oil guru's that frequent them..........what exactly makes a forum guru anyway? He's he a shell or exxon mobile engineer or scientist? For what its worth, I only know as much as the next guy who can read. I've used mostly Castrol GTX 10W40 for the last 40 years of riding in a variety of motorcycles and never had an engine failure that could be attributed to oil. Lately I have been using mostly dino 15W40 rotella. It is cheap and readily available. I can afford to change it often, comes in 2 gallon jugs and it now has a JASO MA rating if that kind of thing makes you feel better. I have seen evidence that the 15W40 actually shears out of grade at a lesser rate than the 5W40 Rotella does which makes sense to some extent as it starts with 15W base rather than 5W. Also, if you log onto the Blackstone Labs website, one of the tech stated that everyone there just runs dino in their personal vehicles.....that sort of speaks volumes to this "Non-Expert" moto-sickle rider......... If it were me, I'd stick to 15W40 (Unless you planned on riding in temps under 20F) Rotella and change it between 1500-2000 miles.....changing often is cheap insurance.
 

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My hat is made of tinfoil
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20,826 Posts
If your already using the rotella 15w40 why switch?

Its a great oil, and what I use in most of my own stuff, and recommend to my customers.

thinner oils lack the ability to protect vital bearings under high loads as well as the thicker oil does IMHO.
 

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Slow Guy on a Fast Bike
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25,224 Posts
If your already using the rotella 15w40 why switch?

Its a great oil, and what I use in most of my own stuff, and recommend to my customers.

thinner oils lack the ability to protect vital bearings under high loads as well as the thicker oil does IMHO.
So forgive me if I'm out to lunch here, but isn't the difference between 5W40 and 10W 40 only relevant at startup. I was under the impression that as the oils (these two in question anyways) come up to the standard operating temperature their are no differences in them?

I put Amsoil 10W40 in both our bikes and pretty much forget about it until it's time to be changed. Too much oil talk gives me a headahce.........unless we're talking extra virgin olive oil drizzled over fresh cut tomatoe's with some basil and cracked sea salt on them.....:p
 

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Registered
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10 Posts
+1 on the olive oil over tomatoes. Also correct that at operating temps they both protect the same 40 wt. 5W flows better at colder temps. The big caveat is the spread. 5W starts with 5 weight stock and fortified with vitamins n crap to make it perform like a 40W at temp. 15W starts as a 15W base and obviously needs less of the polymers n stuff (Pretty scientific huh) to make it perform at temp as a 40W oil. Now the conventional wisdom is that the smaller the range the better resistance to breaking down running through gears and such (ie 15W40 vs 5W40). And some oil analysis I've read about in high performance 4 stroke off road bikes has shown that 15W40 rotella held up better to shearing out of grade better than 5W40. Personally that evidence, as anecdotal as it may be convinced me to just use the dino and change it before 2000 miles in my street bike. I use 15W40 in my CRF450 race bike also and change it every 2 rides.
 

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My hat is made of tinfoil
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20,826 Posts
So forgive me if I'm out to lunch here, but isn't the difference between 5W40 and 10W 40 only relevant at startup. I was under the impression that as the oils (these two in question anyways) come up to the standard operating temperature their are no differences in them?

I put Amsoil 10W40 in both our bikes and pretty much forget about it until it's time to be changed. Too much oil talk gives me a headahce.........unless we're talking extra virgin olive oil drizzled over fresh cut tomatoe's with some basil and cracked sea salt on them.....:p
I can only share my opinion from a guy that used to sell oil, and has been a rider and mechanic most of his life, and who has a father thats also a mechanic ( automotive) and who has many friends, and relatives that wrench for a living.

A thinner oil sounds good on paper, but unless the temps are too cold for say a 15w40 oil to flow okay at initial start, the 15w40 oil protects better.
It just seems to leave a better oil layer on bearings etc. to protect them over time.
Also bikes that have the oil shared by the motor, clutch and tranny has a different need than a car or pickup.
the extra gears etc. break the oil down quicker, causing it to get thinner and thinner as you ride.
And the larger spread of say a 5w40 as compared to a 15w40 makes it have additives in greater amounts, that are suceptable to viscosity breakdown.

Almost every bike I have seen that has suffered say cam shaft bearing failure was due to the owner running a thin oil.

After rebuilding their engine, i tell them to only use say 15w40 or 20w50, and change it regularly....the exception being if they ride in temps below freezing, and the bike is not always started in say a heated garage.

I just fixed a KLR650 actually that suffered severe bearing damage due mostly I suspect..and I say I suspect as I do not have iron clad proof, just an educated guess.......from the owner using 5w30 oil in it.
it had low mileage, and was severely damaged.
the bike was a 2006 KLR 650 with just 17,000 kms on it.

I tore down my old KLR650 engine with 62,000 kms on it, and the engine was fine.
It was ran on nothing but rotella 15w40 from about the 100 km mark until i tore it apart to look at it, and then make it a 685 cc engine.
 

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Registered
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2 Posts
Change Interval

I switched to the 5-40 syn last year after reading many positive reports.

The real question I have is how often do you change your oil?

If I'm using dino I always change every 3-4k miles. Do you guys run with the synthetic longer? I'm feeling that if I change it in the spring... it should be good for the season... although my 'season' may be year round with some riding on 'warm' (40+) days in the winter.

I changed my oil in June of last year and have a little over 3k miles since then. I plan on changing it soon. But feel I'll hit 3k by mid summer early fall. Should I let it go again till spring?
 

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I'm your Huckleberry
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3,317 Posts
How many people really ride when it is below freezing?
Uh...I do...all the time actually. :tongue:

Anyway, I think the differences have been covered pretty well. I use 10-40. 10-40 is good from about 14 F to 104 F...which is pretty much the range I ride (haven't ridden in single digits yet).
 

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My hat is made of tinfoil
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20,826 Posts
I switched to the 5-40 syn last year after reading many positive reports.

The real question I have is how often do you change your oil?

If I'm using dino I always change every 3-4k miles. Do you guys run with the synthetic longer? I'm feeling that if I change it in the spring... it should be good for the season... although my 'season' may be year round with some riding on 'warm' (40+) days in the winter.

I changed my oil in June of last year and have a little over 3k miles since then. I plan on changing it soon. But feel I'll hit 3k by mid summer early fall. Should I let it go again till spring?
yikes.......i would change it every 2500 miles or 3 months myself...whichever comes first.
 

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Saxman
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68 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
As stated before in this thread, I have used Rotella T 15W40 and change it at 2,000 miles. I was only considering switching to the 5W40 Rotella synthetic because I'll put more than 2,000 miles on my bike on one ride this summer and don't really want to try to find a place to change it away from home. I just cringe at the thought of going over 2,000 miles without a change.

I just assumed I could get more miles out of the synthetic. But I've been reading that some go 3,000 miles using the dino. My 1500 only takes 3.3quarts when changing the filter. It doesn't seem like there is that much oil circulating to go 3,000 miles.
 

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My hat is made of tinfoil
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20,826 Posts
As stated before in this thread, I have used Rotella T 15W40 and change it at 2,000 miles. I was only considering switching to the 5W40 Rotella synthetic because I'll put more than 2,000 miles on my bike on one ride this summer and don't really want to try to find a place to change it away from home. I just cringe at the thought of going over 2,000 miles without a change.

I just assumed I could get more miles out of the synthetic. But I've been reading that some go 3,000 miles using the dino. My 1500 only takes 3.3quarts when changing the filter. It doesn't seem like there is that much oil circulating to go 3,000 miles.
personally i would rather do 3,000 miles on 15w40 rotella, than do say 2,000 miles on a 5w40.

If your worried about going to synthetic my choice there is Mobil 1 V-twin 20w50 syn oil.
 

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900 LT
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1,135 Posts
A good 40 wt synthetic has greater film strength and thickness than a 50 wt dino oil at the 210+ F temps the oil runs in the engine.
I disagree what do you have to back that claim up?
 

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My hat is made of tinfoil
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20,826 Posts
210 degrees F will not break oil down.......Dino oil can handle 210 F just fine.

Its the extreme temps that kill it.
 
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