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I'm about to change the oil in my Ninja 500. I was told that it had Mobil 1 synthetic in it now. I was just going to replace it with some Castrol Syntec 10-W40, but a motorcycle buddy of mine told me that automotive oils shouldn't be used in bikes due to foaming properties (I guess from the gearbox foaming up the oil?).

Is this true? What should I be using. He knows a lot, but he is also super anal about his bikes, so I dont know.

Thanks,
**** newbie.
 

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It's sort of true. Some automotive oils have friction modifiers added that help cars. But on a motorcycle, the clutch fluid is the engine oil, so you don't want any extra slippery stuff on your clutch. It would make it slip. It is my understanding that if the automotive oil has friction modifiers, it will be labeled SE or SG or SJ or whatever the current specification is (it gets upgraded from time to time). Certain weights tend to have friction modifiers, and others tend to not have them. I don't remember which is which, but it will be clearly labeled on the bottle.

Lots of motorcyclists use automotive oils (as long as they don't have friction modifiers) without any trouble. I use Castrol Act Evo fully synthetic motorcycle oil. I'm probably throwing away some money, but I figure that I want the very best for my baby, and it's really not much money difference.

A month or so ago I read that Castrol Syntec is a Type III oil, whereas most other brands are a Type IV. I'm now more than a little suspicious of Castrol, but I still have more than a gallon on hand, so I'll use that up before I switch, if I switch.
Curt
 

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Curt said:
It is my understanding that if the automotive oil has friction modifiers, it will be labeled SE or SG or SJ or whatever the current specification is....
z289t6 you should try a search. You will get answers in great detail.


Curt----I am no expert on oils, but I believe that the SE, SG...etc. rating has nothing to do with friction modifiers. It is more of a guage of thermal breakdown properties, etc.

You are correct that IF the oil has friction modifiers it will be clearly marked as such. Also, that using same oil in motorcycles can lead to clutch slipping. Many folks use auto oil in their bikes with great success.

For me, I will stick to motorcycle specific oils. As soon as I get several thousand on the new ride it will get fed Mobil 1 Motorcycle oil, as the old one did.
 
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