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Currently i'm running 10w-40 in my kawasaki zn1100. After warm up it starts to tick a little in the top end. I was wondering if i could run 20w-50 in bike to see if it would quite the tick down? Any suggestions!!!
thanks for any and all advice, scott
 

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Best Oils To Use In Your Bike (Just My Opinion)

Engine oil : The commercial grade oils are clearly superior to the mass market oils. For the best protection in your bike or car, use Shell Rotella Synthetic, available at Wal-Mart in blue containers . For the best petroleum oil you can buy, get Shell Rotella T, Mobil Delvac 1300, or Chevron Delo 400, available at any auto parts store. On the back of most oil cans is a circular stamp with the certification. Avoid oils that say "energy conserving" in the bottom half of the donut. These oils contain friction modifier additives that could cause clutch slipping over time. The EPA mandated certain gas mileage, so the auto makers turned to the oil manufacturers who came up with friction modifiers of the oil to meet these new standards. All XXw-20 and XXw-30 oils are energy conserving, and should not be used in your motorcycle. Don't buy any oil additives like STP or Slick-50. Here's several listings on all about oil justifying these conclusions.

The Recommended Synthetic Oils :

Shell Rotella Synthetic
5w-40 Delvac 1 Synthetic
5w-40 Mobil-1 SUV/Truck Synthetic
5w-40 AMSOil AMF Synthetic (pricey, but it’s your money)
10w-40 Golden Spectro Synthetic
10w-50 Motul 5100 Synthetic
10w-40 Mobil-1 Synthetic
15w-50 Mobil-1 MX4T Synthetic

The best synthetics are: (in no particular order)

Shell Rotella-T Synthetic 5w-40 (blue container is synthetic, not white which is dino), gallon at Wal-Mart.
Mobil Delvac-1 5w-40 (grey container is synthetic, not black which is dino), gallon at Petro stations, gallon at Farm and Fleet.
Mobil-1 SUV 5w-40, qt anywhere.
AMSOil AMF 10w-40 synthetic motorcycle oil. (again, pricey)
Golden Spectro Supreme, (no price).
Motul 5100 Ester, (no price).

Mobil-1 automotive oils all contain small amounts of moly - about 100 to 200 ppm. This can cause clutch slippage in some motorcycles. I've only heard of this being a problem in Honda Shadows.

For temperatures below -40, I strongly recommend either Mobil-1 0w-30 or the Canadian Shell 0w-40 Rotella. At these temperatures, your car is your life. Using cheap or incorrect oil is risking your life.

For temperatures below -55c, -65f, stay home. Really.

The Recommended Petroleum Oils

Chevron Delo 400 15w-40
Delvac 1300 15w-40
Shell Rotella 15w-40

The best petroleum oils are: (in no particular order)

Chevron Delo 400 15w-40 (blue container) gallon at any auto parts store, gallons at Costco.

Mobil Delvac 1300 15w-40 (black container) gallon at any auto parts store, gallons at Sam's Club.

Shell Rotella-T 15w-40 (white container) gallon at Wal-Mart or any auto parts store, gallons at Sam's Club.

Castrol 15w-40 (Green container) gallon at Wal-Mart or any auto parts store, gallons at Sam’s club.
 

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Biker Chef
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From what I understand, you want to hear that slight tick from the top end, if were talking valve train. When you don't, it means the valves are getting tight. I know my Gpz is the same, quiet as a church mouse when warming up but when warm very slight tick from the top end, and my valves are well with specs.

If the ticking is louder than you think it should be, chances are you are in need of a valve adjustment.

And a thicker weight oil won't stop the ticking..I've tried it in the past when I didn't know better!

And lastly, Shell Rotella is the oil you want to be using. Cheap, and you can really notice how the engine likes it!
 

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Hi Mfolks

I am certain others appreciate you as much as I do. You are a tremendous credit to this forum and an endless resource. This thread is interesting to me as I was raised with a heavy emphasis on maintenance, especially automobiles (too poor for bikes) and most especially the oil quality and the changing of it. I recently completed my restoration of a 1982 KZ1000 CSR with 22,000 miles from the original owner and have changed the oil three times and I have riden it once for eleven miles. One, when I first bought it in February, once again after letting it run for 8 minutes two weeks ago and third when I returned from the first ride. These were done to hopefully remove the rust and other bad stuff that might be in the engine from having set for several years in a garage. I think now is time for me to decide what the best oil will be for my motorcycle's motor. It sounds like the Shell Rotell synthetic is your best recommendation but it is important to me to know for sure and that you know what bike and what specific condition it is in so that I can have confidence and be sure that I am providing the best oil for my bike. So, thanks for being there and for the help you give and when you have time, maybe you can for sure tell me that the oil is the best choice for me.

oldkawboy

P.S. While I 'have you' I want to ask if you will take the time when you have it to help me with the most over-riding problem I have with the bike. I installed new brake pads, replaced the piston seals and dust seals, thoroughly cleaned all parts of the calipers and splitter, rebuilt the master cylinder with new lid-diaphragm and had custom stainless brake lines made. I have bled the system five times, tied back the lever four times overnight. Last night, at someone in the forum's suggestion, I removed the two calipers , put wood "blocks" between the pads and hung them higher than the fuel tank (from the turn signals) and tied back the lever again over night. (lid still on m/c). this morning, I installed the calipers and the lever is semi-firm at about half-way applied. The rear brake system is rock hard and works great but I am baffled and need to find an answer. ( the only other thing I can add to the scenario is that the master cylinder's threaded hole for one of the lid screws had the threads messed up some and I still am able to get a nice and complete 'seal' but I only mention it because it is not perfect in terms of it accepting the screw until it gets about 2/3 scewed in and I have to hold the lid firmly in place until the screw is 100% in)

When riding my 'maiden' ride, it was un-nerving because I had to pump the lever once each time to get a hard feel but twice while squeezing the lever to keep stopped at a traffic light, it slowly went almost all the way back although the brakes work remarkably well in terms of stopping the bike. I think it should be a great system due to all that has been done but the lever just goes about half-way back and is not as firm as it should be. Other than tires, I am most concerned about having good brakes to be safe. Please help me if you can. Thanks. (if there is an award for long-winded threads or replies, I'll bet I win. haha)
 

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Sick Puppy
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..........while squeezing the lever to keep stopped at a traffic light, it slowly went almost all the way back................
One of two things causing this, either there is a leak externally, or your are leaking internally in the master cylinder.
 

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I would not ride the bike until the braking problem is fixed, as brakes are your life. Have you tried using a "Mity-Vac" to remove any possible air bubbles? Any air in a brake system is compressible, allowing pedals or lever to move without generating a feeling of control
 

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Okay, I beleive what Ricksza says so I guess, MFolks, I will go buy a Mighty-Vac and see if that sucker will work. (pun intentional). No, sir, I have not used one but heard that name bantered around. Both of you are, I hope, are correct and it all sounds very logical. I may as well add this to my tool inventory plus, I pray fix my safety problem. BTW, how would I check for leaking in the m/c? I want to learn and eliminate all comers.

You should see my new Plexifairing. I ordered it Sunday for $184 and it got here at noon and I installed and adjusted it and I am so excited and anxious. It is a 21.5" tall windshield and 31.5 width and I am 5'10" average proportions and with two or three adjustments and moving the turn signal ( I didn't actually HAVE to as it turned out but I did not want it to touch under any circumstances) When I point from my nose it is absolutely perfect and the clamps at the forks turned out where I wanted them to (almost 'resting' on the word "kawasaki" cross-piece). For grins, and my adrenalin was pumping, I took it off and put it back and it was 9 minutes. So, I am phsych'd.

Where do I buy the Mighty Vac, MFolks? That is tomorrow as I already cut up my cheddar and poured the wine for my little treat of the day.

Thanks again.
oldkawboy
 

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Thank you. I will get one tomorrow and see what I can do to alleviate what is going on regarding the brake system. I am really anxious to determine why I cannot get a steady and consistent brake reaction to my applying the lever. I am ready to go to Carlyle, Pa. and meet my best friend from Long Island to the Corvette Show. ( He collects them). I just want to get it to work as per the design and start going on longer trips while my health, and weather and the stars, permit. That's all. I guess the system comes with directions and I can see if there is a bubble in there which is the culprit. Is there anything elsr I can do to check any other possible things causing the symtoms?

oldkawboy
 

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Nothing I can think of other than an air bubble I believe could cause this, all new brake line connections tight? Did you use new crush washers on the brake lines?
 

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That makes sense to me. I used new crush washers originally. When I decided to go to stainless lines, I re-used them. They have been crushed and re-crushed probably three times. Should I replace them?
 

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You know, it should be easier for me to say which of the two it is. I guess I would have to say it is a hard-then-sinking feel. When I walk up to the bike and grab the lever, it is very firm. If I hold and squeeze it, it will 'sink'. I guess as I describe it, it does sound like it it losing (leaking) pressure. There is no sign of fluid going anywhere that I can determine. MFolks ask if I used new crush washers and I HAVE re-used them to the extent that they have been crushed and re-crushed at least three times. Could that cintribute to or even be, the problem?

oldkawboy
 

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Hi MFolks

I visited the sites (you) listed, thank you, and found that there are several models available. Which should I buy? At this point, I will spend any amount to get good brakes. That really has always been the goal and that's why I had the stainless line made, etc., so let me know what I should buy, please. Thank you once more.

oldkawboy
 

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Sick Puppy
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You know, it should be easier for me to say which of the two it is. I guess I would have to say it is a hard-then-sinking feel. When I walk up to the bike and grab the lever, it is very firm. If I hold and squeeze it, it will 'sink'. I guess as I describe it, it does sound like it it losing (leaking) pressure. There is no sign of fluid going anywhere that I can determine. MFolks ask if I used new crush washers and I HAVE re-used them to the extent that they have been crushed and re-crushed at least three times. Could that cintribute to or even be, the problem?

oldkawboy
With brakes on other vehicles, if you compress the master cylinder quickly, the seals will expand and hold. If it is compressed slowly, the seal won't have that expansion and a faulty (worn/hard) seal or bore can leak down. As for the crush washers, I prefer to use new, but if they're not leaking, I wouldn't worry about them.
 

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Okay, I went to the garage just now and squeezed the lever like I was beginning to slow down to stop and the lever just slowly sank back almost all the way. I also noticed the fluid level is down from yesterday and oddly, looks darker for some reason. I felt each junction and they are all feeling dry. What do you think?

oldkawboy
 

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You know, waiting for your reply, I am just thinking my way around the brake system and your last comments and I wonder if the actual bore inside the master cylinder is worn enough to cause the loss of holding pressure. It has 22,114 miles on it but as I mentioned, I will buy a new m/c or whatever it needs to fix this. I still wonder where the fluid goes/went though. (?)

Congrats on being a grandfather! You can teach her/him a whole lot about cars, bikes, life and all sorts of stuff. My grand kids go from 21 to 5 yrs and in between and there is something special about being with them. My youngest son is the father of the 5year-old and she is a princess but he and I are estranged for a reason still-unkown to me and I hardly see her. Yhey live 3 miles from me and it kills me but life goes on. I am afraid someday he will realize too late what a mistake to use her as a pawn is. Life!

oldkawboy
 

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Sick Puppy
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Okay, I went to the garage just now and squeezed the lever like I was beginning to slow down to stop and the lever just slowly sank back almost all the way. I also noticed the fluid level is down from yesterday and oddly, looks darker for some reason. I felt each junction and they are all feeling dry. What do you think?

oldkawboy
If you sqeeze it quick, does it have a hard/higher feel?
 

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Try this brake bleeding procedure(obtained from the HEL USA wesite):


HEL Performance Brake Doctor - Bleeding The Braking System

Experienced bike owners and mechanics will tell you that brake bleeding is easy. It is, but there is plenty of potential for error. Reading this guide will not turn you into an expert overnight. We have made every attempt to be accurate and easy to read but we cannot impart the gifts of skill, experience and common sense. If after reading this page you feel inclined to carry out bleeding to the braking system of a bike we will not accept responsibility for what happens next. You are responsible for your own actions and this page has been placed online to only offer an introduction into bleeding. We will obviously be happy to answer any questions you may have via brake doctor.

What you will need...

Even though it is possible to bleed bike brake systems on your own it's advisable and much easier if two people do it. You will need clean, fresh brake fluid which has been allowed to settle over night - do not shake the bottle before starting as this will put air bubbles into the fluid, a length of plastic tubing which fits tightly onto the bleed nipple and a glass container so you can see the air being expelled from the system.

It's a good idea to cover any areas around the master cylinder and the bleed nipples to protect from accidental spillages. The area around the master cylinder and the bleed nipples should be as clean as you can get them as there is no point getting dirt into the system.

Firstly you need to remove the old lines so attach the plastic tubing to one of the bleed nipples and open slightly so you can pump most of the old fluid out before you take the old hoses off. It's not unknown for the bleed nipples to be seized in the calipers - mild steel nipples and alloy calipers will suffer electrolytic corrosion naturally and winter salt in the UK will only increase the effect. You may want to take the opportunity to replace the mild steel nipples with stainless steel ones.

Assuming that you have been able to undo the bleed nipples make sure the brake reservoir has plenty of fluid in it and then rest the cap back on top to stop fluid squirting out when you begin bleeding.
Priming (Filling) The System

If you have a twin disc system bleed one caliper at a time. Attach the tube to the bleed nipple and place the other end in the clean glass jar. Poor some clean brake fluid into the jar so the end of the tube is submerged so you don't pull air back in to the system.

Then open the bleed nipple, squeeze and release the brake lever slowly to give the master cylinder enough time to suck in fresh fluid from the reservoir.

Keep an eye on the master cylinder reservoir and make sure the fluid level does not fall below the minimum mark else you will start sucking air into the system. Fluid may be being pulled into the system from the jar and you may see the level drop - this is fine but again make sure the end of the tube is always immersed in fluid. It shouldn't take too many lever actions to fill the system. Tighten the bleed nipple when finished.

Bleeding The System

Open the bleed nipple slowly - you should only need half a turn and at the same time slowly and smoothly squeeze the brake lever in (or push the brake pedal down). Hold the lever in and you should see air bubbles or fluid being expelled into the jar. Old brake fluid looks foul and can be any colour from dirty white to brown or black. Movement of fluid and/or bubbles will continue for a second or two, close the nipple and then release the brake lever. Check the fluid level in the reservoir and top up if necessary. Repeat this operation until no more bubbles appear and the fluid coming out is clear.



If you have a twin system repeat this process with the other caliper (it's best to do the furthest away from the master cylinder first) If everything has gone okay you should now have a brake system with a good solid feel to it, the lever will travel a short distance and then a solid resistance will stop it moving any further.
If when you continue to apply pressure you get a slow movement or spongy feel to the lever it's a good sign that there is still air in the system. There are a number of possibilities not least that you didn't get all of the air out of the system so you should start bleeding again. Tighten all parts to the correct torque setting and then check the whole system to see that the lines are not trapped on full lock, no fluid leaks from anywhere etc.


Troubleshooting

Not all calipers have there bleed nipples at the highest point on their anatomy. This means that if there is a small pocket of air trapped above the nipple it will be hard to remove (air always goes to the highest point of the area it is in) and make the system spongy. You can get around this by taking the caliper off and making sure the nipple is at the highest point but remember to put a spacer in between the pads to stop the pistons popping out and making it easier to refit the caliper.

A similar problem occurs with some racing bikes which have steeply angled handle bars - the brake hose arches up above the master cylinder and a small pocket of air can get trapped here. Again you can rearrange the layout or you could inject brake fluid using a syringe very carefully and slowly in through the bleed nipple in the caliper bearing in mind that the fluid in the reservoir may overflow. Fitting a banjo bolt which incorporates a bleed nipple to the master cylinder and bleeding this first before the rest of the system is another way to fix this problem.

If you are unable to remove the sponginess no matter how carefully you bleed the system you may have a sealing problem which you will need to consult your local dealer about.

The master cylinder is fed from the reservoir by a tiny hole and this hole easily gets blocked which is why cleanliness is so important when bleeding brakes. If you cannot bleed your brakes yourself make sure you talk to your local dealer and get them to do it for you.

Don't be tempted to use any of the 'self bleed' gadgets unless you really, positively, nothing else for it, have to. These things allow the nipple to be kept open as they incorporate a non return valve to stop air re-entering the system. But the bleed nipple has a threaded end which screws into the caliper - air can be sucked into the caliper along this route if the nipple is loose in the threaded part of the caliper - it will only be a small amount but why do it in the first place as we are trying to remove air...

When you have successfully bled your brakes make sure both bleed nipples are done up tightly, all banjo bolts are done up tightly and top up the reservoir. Do not overfill the reservoir as this can cause hydraulic locking of the system preventing the pistons in the caliper from fully retracting - this causes binding of the brake.


Re check the system visually before test riding - and we mean test riding. Just go forward a few feet slowly and apply the brakes then bring the bike back into the workshop to check that their is no fluid leaking from the system, everything is done up correctly and the brakes have a good solid feel to them. Do not ride your bike until you are certain you have bled the brakes correctly - If in doubt get your local dealer to bleed the system for you.


Troubleshooting And Trade Secrets!!!

Bleeding brakes like many things is a skill and with some modern master cylinders being mass produced sometimes rough areas within them can catch and air bubble which you simply can't remove with normal bleeding procedures. In these cases you can use our handy 'trade secrets' which may well help.

1 Tying the lever back overnight

One way to rid any last remaining air from the system is to tie back the lever over night. Firstly remove the master cylinder reservoir cover BUT then balance it back on top of where it should be fitted so that moisture in the air does not contaminate the system overnight. Then pull the lever in as hard as possible and cable tie it in the ON position (brake lever pulled right back to the bars). Leave this overnight and in the morning release the lever and your brakes should feel fantastic - basically the back pressure caused by tying the lever back overnight will have forced any last remaining air out of the system out to the atmousphere and leave you with sharp brakes the next day. Replace the reservoir cap correctly and you are ready to ride.

2 Priming the system the easy way

You will have read above the normal way of priming the system but another way (used by many professionals) is to connect the hoses to the master cylinder as per normal but instead of fitting them to the calipers you simply put the caliper end or ends of the brake lines INTO the reservoir at the top so that the banjo holes or fitting hole is beneath the surface of the brake fluid. Make sure you have towels etc covering all areas around the master cylinder in case of spillage etc. SLOWLY pump the system in and out (not fast as brake fluid will squirt out over paintwork etc) as this 'circuit' will completely fill the hoses with fluid making bleeding much easier afterwards. On the final 'squeeze' of the lever leave it on (fully pulled in) and tie it back. Remove the hoses from the reservoir and wipe off all excess fluid. Then connect them to the calipers at the correct torque and then release the lever. Bleed as normal but with the added benefit of the lines and master cylinder being air free to start with!!!

3 Reverse Bleeding

Although we aren't fans of this type of bleeding I do include it here as many bike shops use this themselves - the only thing I would say is if you push the fluid in too quickly you can pop brake caliper seals etc so slowly and low pressure are the key words here!!!

For this you will need a large syringe filled with new fresh brake fluid and a tube which fits the bleed nipple and the syringe. Connect the syringe tube to the bleed nipple and open the bleed nipple - SLOWLY push the brake fluid in through the caliper up to the master cylinder (which is bleeding in reverse) Do the caliper furthest from the master cylinder first and then the other one. Repeat if necessary and keep checking the reservoir level so you do not overfill the system. This way ALL AIR IS PUSHED UP AND OUT OF THE SYSTEM meaning bleeding is much easier than trying to push air DOWNWARDS and out of the system in conventional bleeding BUT please do not exert massive pressure at the caliper as this can pop seals etc.

Ride Safe.
 

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If you sqeeze it quick, does it have a hard/higher feel?
To answer your question, "yes". Meanwhile I went down and checked each and every fitting and they are very tight. Each bleed valve is very tight. I re-bled the system again and now I think I have the answer. I watched the top of the master cylinder as I sat on the bike (after bleeding) and sqeezed the lever. Fluid was seeping from the corner where the screw was messed up but I thought it was okay. I had noticed that when I tightened that screw after bleeding, that a tiny bit of fluid oozed out the top of the screw hole. At that second, I chalked it up to "maybe a tad too much fuid in reservoir.....". But that is also why I watched the corner as I sat on the bike and squeeze the lever. Does that solve the mystery? I am cautiously optimitstic that it do, but...... I mean, I will be happy to buy a new one if that is the problem. I saw some "new" after-market ones for $79.95 ( available for many bikes) and OEM are $200-240. Which would YOU buy? I have heard of Brembo......do I want one of those? Thanks for your help.

oldkawboy
 
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