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Back in Aug I posted here http://www.kawasakimotorcycle.org/f...14876-vn900-amsoil-4-928-mile-oil-report.html my latest oil test report. At that time I was seeing excessive copper and lead wear that indicated bearing wear. The oil had 4,928 miles on it and Blackstone recommended that I do my next oil change at 2k miles which I have done. As they state the readings are much better and I will follow their advise and again change it at approx 2k miles. After that I want to push it back up to the 4-5k miles again and see what happens. It the reading again go out of spec I might as well just use dino, change the oil at 2k miles and save the bucks. With the extended mileage the oil is holding its viscosity and the insolubles are in spec but apparently my bike does not like extended oil changes....at least not yet.
 

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I've only sent mine in once to Blackstone, but I had almost same results you did, high copper, aluminum and lead. But I held out until 7500 miles. I've changed my oil at 1000, 2250 (started using Amsoil here), 7500, 15000, 22500.

My copper was 61, one of your highs was 96, my lead was 9, yours was 8, aluminum 39, yours 28.

But they told me their averages were from 2500 miles intervals, not 7500 or even 5000. So wouldn't these numbers (their avg's) be tripled? More time for those items to build. Now, looking at properties, everything is within norm, meaning the oil held up. So, do we need a better oil filter?

Basically I thinking if they want me to change oil more often, that i'll go back to original and not spend money on synthetic. I'm not paying $7 a qt to change it every 3000.

What filter are you using?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Gene using Mobil1-108 filter, as I said the insolubles are fine and if the filter was not doing its job they would be high. They are saying that "when using the oil too long causes the metals to build up and makes it abrasive which in turn causes excess wear." So I have the same Amsoil 20w-50 in the bike since I started using a synthetic oil. It looks like it is going to take me a year to get this figured out. Will change it again in 2k miles and if the report is better will go about 4k the next change and see what happens. It is comforting to know my 900 is not the only one to get a "bad report card".
 

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I use a 'longer' oil filter. You can get bushings (looks like a extra thick washer) and longer bolts to relocate the electronic thing for oil filter clearance.
 

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So I'm between 2000 and 2500 now. Maybe I'll take a sample without changing oil and see what I get, then again around 5000, again with out changing oil and see what happens. I'm willing to bet on the 2500 I have the same results as you did (improvement). Maybe someone else out there has had better results at longer intervals, anyone (especially 900's)??

Roger, I've already discussed this with my regional service rep and he was concerned enough to ask for the report after I drop some after 2500 miles. I told him my concern was that Kawasaki's intervals (in manual) are 7500 miles. And with me using Amsoil at those intervals I shouldn't be seeing those numbers (or any of us). By the way, I use 10W-40 in mine.
 

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Gene using Mobil1-108 filter, as I said the insolubles are fine and if the filter was not doing its job they would be high. They are saying that "when using the oil too long causes the metals to build up and makes it abrasive which in turn causes excess wear." So I have the same Amsoil 20w-50 in the bike since I started using a synthetic oil. It looks like it is going to take me a year to get this figured out. Will change it again in 2k miles and if the report is better will go about 4k the next change and see what happens. It is comforting to know my 900 is not the only one to get a "bad report card".
So Roger, why are you using 20w-50 when you most likely don't ride in 100 degree heat most of the time? I would be curious to see what the lab results would be running the recommended viscosity (10W-40) for the 900 in the air temp range here in Washington.
 

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I don't believe in these charts my self. I go by what I see (when I do my oil change), ear and feel.
From regular oil I went to Mobil 1 and didn't see any diff so back to Castrol EVO @ $5 per quart every 3k. I have tried 20-50 and we do get those 100 degree days down here and 20-50 was too thick and made the vn900 to noisy and clunky.
 

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I don't believe in these charts my self. I go by what I see (when I do my oil change), ear and feel.
From regular oil I went to Mobil 1 and didn't see any diff so back to Castrol EVO @ $5 per quart every 3k. I have tried 20-50 and we do get those 100 degree days down here and 20-50 was too thick and made the vn900 to noisy and clunky.
Your eyes must be better than mine if you can SEE those contaminents that are just microns in size!! You mentioned hearing them, too.....do they talk to you?
What is it about the charts that you don't believe in?
 

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Your eyes must be better than mine if you can SEE those contaminents that are just microns in size!! You mentioned hearing them, too.....do they talk to you?
What is it about the charts that you don't believe in?
See - I don't see the microns but I don't go by some chart that states something is better than others. I go by how the machine/engine reacts to that product. (this would be a diff story if it was drinking water)

Hear - no, I don't hear them talking to me either but what I hear is my bike screaming for a oil change especially when I tried that Valvoline mc oil. With Valvoline my bike became really noisy and clunky. (am sure Valvoline chart shows really good results too)


My vision is not out of the ordinary, I just use common sense that's all.
 

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Here's mine, hope you can read it (click to open).

To me, I "hear" it saying the oil is fine after 7500 miles, it's just the dang filter not getting all those particles. But my question is how do we know that those amounts are bad? All engines have particles in them, right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So Roger, why are you using 20w-50 when you most likely don't ride in 100 degree heat most of the time? I would be curious to see what the lab results would be running the recommended viscosity (10W-40) for the 900 in the air temp range here in Washington.
The reason I use 20w-50 is that when I first got my bike and was researching oils one guy was saying that he believed that any bike using the same oil for engine/trans should (given proper temp conditions) use 20w-50 due to the shear factor. It holds it viscosity better under the extra stress. And my reports confirm that the Amsoil is maintaining its viscosity. Our owners manual shows this can be used at 32 degrees and up. I usually don't ride below that, although last week it was about 28-29 degrees when I left the house. The garage is heated so the bike is in a 55 degree environment. This week it has been in the mid teens so it is sitting there waiting for the weather to warm up.

Gene yes I was able to read your test report, very similar to mine.

Last night I went on the Amsoil web site under support and asked about this issue of high readings of copper and lead. This morning I faxed them my test report and much to my surprise this afternoon received an email from them with their take on the situation. I will paste it here for your reading. As you will read they are assuming normal Kawi recommended oil changes are 3k miles. As we know the manual has them at 600, 7500, 15000, 24000 and 30,000 miles. Of course very few of us go that long. I will be responding back to Amsoil to clarify some points with them around this and the universal averages shown on the BkStone report. And will also contact Blackstone Labs to get their take on Amsoil's position.

I have to say I was somewhat impressed with the quick and pretty complete response from Amsoil:

"Thank you for contacting AMSOIL.

In response to your inquiry, we have reviewed the oil reports from Blackstone Labs that you faxed. While we cannot tell you what they used for the basis of their comments, we can discuss the two most important items required when interpreting analysis results: the limits of what is acceptable and what is not, and the number of miles these limits are based on.

For the limits of what is acceptable and what is not, the independent laboratory we often work with gives the following values for gasoline engines as the upper limit of the “Normal” range – 72 ppm for copper and 50 ppm for lead. These values are for oil that is changed at the manufacturer’s recommended drain interval, which according to our local Kawasaki dealer is 3000 miles.

The column of the Blackstone oil reports labelled “Universal Averages” does not explain what the numbers are averages of. Checking the Blackstone website for oil report examples given for motorcycles shows each report showing different Universal Averages, as do both of the reports you faxed to us.

The part of the Comments section that advises shorter oil change intervals will result in lower readings of metals in the oil is logically correct. What is not correct is that the build up of wear metals makes the oil abrasive. The size of the particles measured in oil analyses is smaller than the size required to cause abrasive wear. The particles large enough to cause abrasive wear are the ones removed by the oil filter.

Since the amount of wear metals will increase with extended drain intervals, it is important to know the parts per million per mile. For example, using the upper range of normal limits for copper at 72 ppm, dividing 72 by the number of miles (3000 for regular drain interval) results in 0.024 parts per million per mile. That is the upper recommended limit. Now lets take the highest result you had for copper, 92 ppm at 4928 miles. Divide 92 by 4928 and that gives you 0.019 parts per million per mile, which is less that the upper recommended limit.

Put another way, at 0.019 parts per million per mile, the oil would have accumulated 57 ppm at 3000 miles, which is still well within the normal range.

In conclusion, AMSOIL recommends always using laboratories that have met ISO Certification requirements to insure a high level of experience and procedural performance.

As always, please feel free to contact us again if we can be of further assistance."

So all for now....
 

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Glad you got that response from Amsoil. Just curious about what you are going to do. I'm thinking about staying around the 7500 interval, but with a better filter. Can I share this info with Kawasaki regional service manager? I just want kawasaki to say whether the ppm are acceptable or not. What do you guys think?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Gene I would think there is no issue in sharing this with whoever. I will be getting back to Blackstone Labs to get their take on the PPM also and clarification on "Universal Averages". I have been on the go all weekend so hopefully will do it this week. Hard to say with the holidays how soon they will respond. I was very surprised when Amsol got back to me the very next day....good for them. It seems to me the big issue is the amount of insolubles in the oil which according to Amsoil is what causes wear. BkStone says <.6 is good. My highest two readings were .4. The past two were .2 and .1 respectiviely. Gene I see that yours was .3 so I think we are really not in that bad of shape in that regard. I will post when I hear back from Blackstone Labs.
 

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Thanks for the post Rod, this has been very helpful to me. I'll post my next (going to drop a sample at 2500) report from Blackstone.

I asked Blackstone about mine, but they wanted more samples (or at least one at 2500).

Curious about others on Forum, especially our 900 brothers and sisters.
 

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I use regular Kaw 10w-40 and change it between 2500 to 3000 miles and use a new Kaw filter and don't concern myself with the worries of stretching a few miles. If I change to synthetic, I'm still going to change it at 2500 to 3000 miles. If I'm just going to stretch the mileage and get the same wear by using it longer then whats the point?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I use regular Kaw 10w-40 and change it between 2500 to 3000 miles and use a new Kaw filter and don't concern myself with the worries of stretching a few miles. If I change to synthetic, I'm still going to change it at 2500 to 3000 miles. If I'm just going to stretch the mileage and get the same wear by using it longer then whats the point?
I guess for the me the point is that synthetic should provide better protection than dino and it should do that for more miles and a longer time. That is the point of getting it tested to verify what is going on with the bike. The issue we are have at this point is determining what is acceptable levels of copper/lead in the VN900. From this thread we see a difference of opinion between Amsoil and Blackstone Labs regarding that. I would love to see a lab report from BkStone from your bike to see how it compares to ours. But so far I don't believe any have been posted.

Amsoil states:

Recommended for use up to twice the motorcycle manufacturer change interval (miles/hours), or one year, whichever comes first, in engines, transmissions and primary chaincases.
Synthetic oils are made to protect and perform better than petroleum oils at both high and low temperature extremes.

I was looking at the website of the lab Amsoil uses: Oil Analyzers, Inc. - Oil Analysis, Oil Testing Services

In their FAQs I thought this was interesting regarding high copper readings:

My sample has a high copper number. Where is it coming from?

A: If only the copper is high, but no other metals such as lead, tin, or aluminum are elevated, it is mostly an oxide of copper from the oil cooler. As the oil cooler is exposed to the heat from the engine oil, it can sometimes oxidize the copper, which will show up in the analysis report. This is considered a normal condition and no corrective action is required. This process usually will taper off or stop occurring over time.

Anyway, all this is nothing more than food for thought while the bikes mostly sit over the winter in most of the US of A.
 
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