IF your bike has a wet clutch and the same oil reservoir serves the engine and clutch, do what QKEN says. If not, you can use the automotive types that contain the dreaded "friction modifiers" that raise cain with clutches (read this as slipping, sometimes not totally detectable but damaging). My take is use what your manual recommends, unless you have a VN2000 that takes 6 quarts on a change, it won't break the bank to use Kawachem at $11-$12 a gallon. And if you can afford the VN2000, you can afford the oil!
I dont like using automotive oil. Cars dont have wet clutches. Also, I dont believe in using synthetic oil. While it may cut down on friction in the engine, friction is what you need for the clutch plates. Synthetic oil may be too slick for the plates and cause slippage. Best to stick with Kawa-chem. Im sure they have the best balance of lubrication and friction.
Synthetic Oils Contain Chemical Additives To Make Them More Slippery Thus Cutting Down On Friction. Friction Creates Heat And Heat Causes The Destruction Of, In This Case, Moving Engine Parts. So Using Synthetic Oil Reduces Friction And Reduces Heat Making Engine Parts Last Longer But As Far As The Clutch Is Concerned, That Same Synthetic Oil That Cuts Down On Friction In The Engine Is Also Cutting Down On Friction Needed To Get The Clutch Plates To Engage Tightly And Not Slip. So You Need An Oil That Has A Good Balance Of Lubricating Engine Parts And Not Being Too Slippery For The Clutch To Grab And Hold. It Is My Personal Opinion That Synthetic Oil Does Not Give That Balance. I Feel It Could Cause Premature Wear Of The Clutch Plates Due To Excessive Slippage. It All Boils Down To This. Metal To Metal Parts Need The Least Amount Of Friction, Requiring Synthetic Oil To Cut Down On Friction. Clutch Plates Need Lubrication But Still Need A Certain Amount Of Friction To Function Properly.
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