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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got a new (to me) 2004 Vulcan 1600 mean streak (http://www.reedhecht.com/bike). The bike has 6000 miles on it and the owner took really good care of it. The one thing the owner didnt hell me is the type of oil he used. He did a bunch of work to the bike himself, but the dealer did the oil changes...

So, my question is would you put synthetic oil in the bike now? I always use synthetic in my car (mobile 1), but the car came with that from the factory. I always hesitate to switch mid stream cause I did that on an old car and the car started eating oil. Thoughts?!

Also, even though it only has 6k miles, should I change the shaft oil?

I look forward to being part of this community.

Reed
 

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Workin' to ride
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You can find a ton of info on oil by doing some advanced searches on this forum. Also search for user RichLockyer and look at his posts...he's done extensive oil research. I think what he might say is Mobil 1 synthetic 10W-40 or 5W-30 (whatever your owners manual specifies) would be a fine oil at this point. Just make sure you're using motorcycle-specific oil and not oil for autos or anything that says "energy saving". Those oils with mess with your clutch. Can't help you with the shaft question.
 

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You can safely switch to synthetic.

The usual issue that arises with synthetic or dino oil is to watch out for "Energy Conserving" oils (believe they contain graphite). They won't hurt the engine, but the wet clutches won't appreciate the "slipperiness". :D

On the other hand, Amsoil brand oil is very highly recommended. It's just a bit more expensive than other oils. However, the recommended change interval is much higher and so you must figure the cost over a longer period of time.

The shaft should be fine for quite a few more miles. I'm not sure what the interval is, but it's not 6K.
 

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You can find a ton of info on oil by doing some advanced searches on this forum. Also search for user RichLockyer and look at his posts...he's done extensive oil research. I think what he might say is Mobil 1 synthetic 10W-40 or 5W-30 (whatever your owners manual specifies) would be a fine oil at this point. Just make sure you're using motorcycle-specific oil and not oil for autos or anything that says "energy saving". Those oils with mess with your clutch. Can't help you with the shaft question.
I actually have to disagree about motorcycle-specific due to this article I read. Testing Motorcycle Oil It's an interesting read.

I will be using Mobil 1 synthetic 10W-40 once I do the oil change in a month. From all my reading it seems to be the best thus far.
 

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Workin' to ride
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I actually have to disagree about motorcycle-specific due to this article I read. Testing Motorcycle Oil It's an interesting read.

I will be using Mobil 1 synthetic 10W-40 once I do the oil change in a month. From all my reading it seems to be the best thus far.
Go for it man...however, the experience of many others here has shown that your wet clutch will not operate properly with oils that have extra lubricants and additives that are for automobile engines. Let us know how it goes...
 

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Hmmmm...my 01 vulcan never complained about Castrol VTX 10w40. I used it for years......
I don't have any research Dave...just parroting what Rich has posted previously...we've all been here before as you know. Obviously what has worked for you will likely work for others. Maybe Castrol has different properties than Mobil 1, I don't really know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Awesome guys... thanks...

Forgive the newbie-ness on bikes. I am new to them (but a car guy for a long time)...

Another question that's related: Is it safe on a bike to jack the bike by the motor? The manual makes reference to it, but it sounds like a really bad idea. I have a bike jack and was using wood to support my old vulcan 800 on the frame, but this new bike that appears to be tougher to do (and heavier)... Does anyone have a picture of how they jack up their meanstreak? This is obviously so I can get a pan underneath it.

Thanks!

Reed
 

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Army Strong. Ride Long
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Awesome guys... thanks...

Forgive the newbie-ness on bikes. I am new to them (but a car guy for a long time)...

Another question that's related: Is it safe on a bike to jack the bike by the motor? The manual makes reference to it, but it sounds like a really bad idea. I have a bike jack and was using wood to support my old vulcan 800 on the frame, but this new bike that appears to be tougher to do (and heavier)... Does anyone have a picture of how they jack up their meanstreak? This is obviously so I can get a pan underneath it.

Thanks!

Reed
Most posts on here say it's okay as long as the supports run across the engine and not support it in one specific spot; ensuring the weight is distributed across it. I have a fabricated adapter the goes on the frame tubes and brings the jack supports just under the engine. You can make one easily with tube steel from the big box hardware stores. Others have anchored 2x2's on the jack supports spaced enough to rest on the tubes, but I don't know if I'd trust that.
 

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I don't have any research Dave...just parroting what Rich has posted previously...we've all been here before as you know. Obviously what has worked for you will likely work for others. Maybe Castrol has different properties than Mobil 1, I don't really know.
Well, mobil 1 synth is really good stuff, so it may be too slick. The castrol is only dyno lube. :)
 

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Most posts on here say it's okay as long as the supports run across the engine and not support it in one specific spot; ensuring the weight is distributed across it. I have a fabricated adapter the goes on the frame tubes and brings the jack supports just under the engine. You can make one easily with tube steel from the big box hardware stores. Others have anchored 2x2's on the jack supports spaced enough to rest on the tubes, but I don't know if I'd trust that.
..and don't forget to put most of your weight on your left foot while jacking the bike up too!!! :biggrin: :wink:
 

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Mobile makes a 10W 40 Racing T Motorcycle oil. I don't see any reason to use the car oil instead. We're talking little $ over the course of the number of oil changes per year.

That is for those who choose Mobile 1 synthetic. If someone wants to use dino oil, that obviously doesn't apply.

As far as 6K, that is not too much to switch to synthetic.
 

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That article is from 1994, oils have changed a lot since then.
ok, I did some more reading after your post (need to get back to studying for school instead... but that's another story) and searched through RichLockyers posts, let me tell you, that takes a while. Anyways, I came up with a thread he was involved in and it addresses the topic of car or MC oil. Figured I'd post it for people to read through on this topic so things don't need to be typed up again ;P

http://www.kawasakimotorcycle.org/forum/kawasaki-cruisers/116220-mobile-1-10w-40-last-call.html

Based on all that, I stand corrected.
 

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For what it is worth, I switched to synthetic (Amsoil) at 3000 miles and did not notice any difference in performance...

I change the rear end fluid every other oil change.

I will stick with the synthetic oil only because eveyone seems to agree that it is safe to lengthen the change interval when using synthetic oils.
 

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Pass Me Safely!
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For what it is worth.

I use dino juice, no synthetic here, and have no problems. I use the oil that my owners manual recommends.

The final gear oil, I changed it every time I changed my rear tire. I used the gear oil from Kawasaki.
 

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Every day is a good ride
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I recently (17K miles) went to Rotella T and find it very good. I run 5K before changing the oil and it is only 11 bucks a gal. No tapping or clutch sticking and Shell does list it as a motorcycle oil. The best thing to do is use what you feel most comfortable with. My experience with Mobil 1 or Amsoil vs Castrol is twice the price and twice the mileage.

Now when it comes to filters I am still in the dark with no convincing evidence that Pure 1 is safe. Just me freaking out.
 
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