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2008 Nomad 1600 - 7500 miles. I always run 93 octane because it's hard to find 91 here in Virginia Beach, Va.

I replaced the plugs this past weekend with stock plugs (actually, the substitute for NGK, but the same ratings). When I pulled the new plugs out of the box to check them, those suckers were at .025! I gapped the new ones for the open-end of the range, or .035. Lessons with new plugs - always check the gaps!

I've had moderate pinging when accelerating hard since the bike was new, and I thought it was the standard 1600 "ping" everyone talks about. I wrenched the old plugs out carefully, and inspected each one with a magnifying glass. They looked almost perfect. I checked the gap on them because I was curious - all of the stock plugs that came out were gapped at between .020 and .021!!!!!!! HOLY CRAP!!!!!! No wonder I was pinging!!!!! Unbelievable! Anyway, I put the new plugs in and took her for a "robust" test ride. NO PINGING! I couldn't even make it ping, and believe me, I tried to force it. Power also seemed better, but that is always subjective.

Real happy with those results! OK, I next changed the oil again (yes, I over-maintain: bike has had 5 oil changes counting this one). I tried Red Line full synthetic, 10W-40. Another test ride - another HOLY CRAP! Bike is noticeably quieter! It also definitely had more power this time, not just by seat of the pants. Here's my theory on this one. Could be the oil, but probably not. Here goes: Normally, I have always filled to the very top line (when standing the bike straight up, checking per the manual). This time, I filled to about 1/4 inch below the absolute "full" line, or just above the mid-range mark in the sight glass. I think that when you fill right up to that full mark, the oil pressure is too high or the oil can "foam"????? Anyway, I'd swear there is a huge difference just by not filling all the way up.

What say you "official" wrenches out there? I'm not a "wrench", but I like to play one at home. I'm an oil-changer, shaft oil changer, air-filter and spark plug changer. Anything more complicated, like adjusting valves (thank goodness I don't have to worry about this with the Nomad), I leave to the experts.

Comments please!
 

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Nobody Home
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I tried Red Line full synthetic, 10W-40. Another test ride - another HOLY CRAP! Bike is noticeably quieter! It also definitely had more power this time, not just by seat of the pants. Here's my theory on this one. Could be the oil, but probably not. Here goes: Normally, I have always filled to the very top line (when standing the bike straight up, checking per the manual). This time, I filled to about 1/4 inch below the absolute "full" line, or just above the mid-range mark in the sight glass. I think that when you fill right up to that full mark, the oil pressure is too high or the oil can "foam"????? Anyway, I'd swear there is a huge difference just by not filling all the way up.
You're right. Running the oil at the high mark isn't good. It gets the oil up into the spinning parts and churns it up and aerates it and throws it on the cylinder walls so you tend to use oil and pump it out the breather. It also creates parasitc HP loss. It takes power to churn up the oil. Realisticly not enough for your "seat of the pants" dyno to notice. But by running the level lower and not throwing it on the cylinder walls the oil rings can better keep it out of the combustion chambers which you can notice. On mine (MS) it's set just above or at the low mark. Kawasaki has run excessively high levels since the early Z-1's which would flicker the oil pressure light under hard braking. Didn't matter, didn't hurt a thing, but customers *****ed. The fix was to run the oil level higher. Seems they have ever since so "that won't happen again".

I found the same about viscosity. I run 5w-40 Shell Rotells T synthetic. I put some old "red cap" 15w-50 Mobil 1 in (it was summer) and the engine got noisier. The 15w-50 got carefully drained and gets used in my mower which likes it. Makes me think the 1500/1600 Vulcans like the increased top end oil flow you get with lighter viscosity oil vs the usual "more is better", 15 or 20w-50 is better than the lighter oil mentality. Some times you're protecting less with less oil flow with more viscosity. Particularly in light of the synthetics greater film strengths/thicknesses with less viscosity.

Red Lines oil is expensive (and hard to find "on the shelf") but probably the best you can buy.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I got the Red Line 10W-40 Full Synthetic at my local cycle gear for $12 / QT. I know it's expensive, but I'm one of those guys who believes the "motorcycle oil" thing, and figure it's a small expense to ensure my engine stays healthy.
 

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:mrgreen: Because I'm probably obsessive compulsive I guess. It's a hobby - changing the oil
 

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Custom '07 1500 Classic
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All I know is that is about $250 worth of oil and filters in the first 7500 miles.... Obsessive/Compulsive... maybe just a little...
 

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OK, you've convinced me to let up a bit. But there's just something about synthetic oils turning dark so quickly that makes it seem like I need to change it more often.
 

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Do not feel bad. You are not alone. I changed mine about that often at the start. Every 3000 now.

Brian
 

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I change the oil a little more frequently than I do the cage only because of the transmission is shareing the same fluid, so depending on the miles I ride its only changed at the end of the riding season, as I only put on about 5 k a year.
 

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Do you guys remember a few months ago when a member did 300 mile ride on his 63rd birthday, and rode untill his odomitor rolled over to 250k??? he posted a pic of his odomitor and was excited to share his secrete. I sent him a PM about the maintance and was suprises as others to find that he always ran stantard dino 10- 40. ???? I feel better changing a less expensive oil more often than running longer on the high dollar specily "MC oils"

my 2cents
 

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Nobody Home
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I sent him a PM about the maintance and was suprises as others to find that he always ran stantard dino 10- 40. ????
Fine, but how often was it changed? You left out the part that was at issue. No-one here was advocating stretching the intervals to 20,000 miles, just saying that changing every 1,500 was OCD.
 

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Vegas Vulcan
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For the last 20,000 miles I have always used Rotella dino 15w-40, now have 34,000 miles. Wal-mart is selling 2.5 gallon jugs of Rotella for $24 plus $3.00 for the SuperTech 7317 filter. $11 complete oil changes every 2000-2500 miles. Life is good!
 

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I did some research and found that dino oil absorbs moisture which produces acid that etches the bearings and can lead to engine failure that is why the 3000 mile 3 month oil change rule came about it not the miles so much as it is time synthetic oil isn’t prone to absorbing moisture and has better film strength then dino oil but for normal use I doubt it really offers any extra protection for the engine.
It’s the dirt and carbon blow by that raises hell with the moving parts.
I run Mobil 1 in my cages I change the filter every 5000 miles and the oil once a year and have for the last ten years on one rig with out a single problem in 150k miles.
But like many things oil will be debated till we run out….
 

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enjoying the ride
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thanks for the spark plug tip. I will be pulling mine to check the gaps. as far as your oil change intervals, I was about as bad when my bike was new, first change at 50, 250, 600, 2000, and then every 2,500 after that. I used rotella 15-40 until the 2,000 mile change, then switched to amsoil 10-40.
 

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There are three subject you do not bring up in a crowd. (1) Religion: everybody has there own path to heaven and don't try to change the mind set. (2) Politics: There is right and wrong and what may work best for the individual may not work for the neighbor. (3) Oil changes: type and frequency again is holy to the individual. Again, Don't try to change the mind set.
 

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Custom '07 1500 Classic
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OK, you've convinced me to let up a bit. But there's just something about synthetic oils turning dark so quickly that makes it seem like I need to change it more often.
If you don't look at it for 4-5K miles it never changes color until you change the oil... And trees don't make any sound when they fall in the woods when nobody is around....
 
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