Oil observation - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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post #1 of 12 Old 11-05-2006, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
 
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Oil observation

So is the wrenching and mods area where we talk about oil? :lol:

I just thought I'd share my observations after my last oil change. I have been wanting to switch to Amsoil because from what I've gathered, i feel it is probably the best oil. I also decided that I don't mind spengin $10-$15 more per oil change to get the good stuff. It seems expenfive when you see $7-$10 a quart, but when you're only buying 2-3 quarts 2-3 time a year, it's really not much more than a few beers or a dinner with the loved one(s).

I had a hard time locating Amsoil, and didn't feel like waiting for it to ship, so I bought what I consider the next best thing: Mobil 1 Fully Synthetic motorcycle oil. I went with he 20-50 because I believe that the heavier oil will better survive the stress of the tranny, etc. I was a little hesitant, though, because I plan on running the oil for at least 2500 miles, maybe 3000, and that will put me into the colder weather. I live in Tucson, which is not thought of as a cold place, but in the winter it is regularly in the 30s in the mornings, sometimes colder. I considered it and figured that a high quality synthetic 20-50 should still flow at colder temps.

But I noticed something: the past few mornings it has been in the 40s and when Ifirst start up I can hear a definite knocking coming from the engine that was not there before the oil change. It goes away once the bike warms up, so it makes me think that the thicker oil is not getting up where it should be fast enough.

Am I being paranoid?
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post #2 of 12 Old 11-05-2006, 03:45 PM
 
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G-unit, I don't think there is much difference really between the 40 or the 50 weight oil in terms of colder flowing characteristics. I realize there will be some. I have run several brands and grades of oil in mine over the past 7 years. I do know that a "paint shakin, single lunger" has more noises and vibration than other engines and just seems to be the way it is. You will experience more resistance to flow when cold upon startup, but a good oil will not leave your engine unprotected during this startup period.

I finally settled in on Amsoil a couple of years ago and have been very happy with it. Like you I had a heck of a time finding it. Knew an aircraft mechanic that could get it for me until he retired and moved away. Since then I just paid Amsoil $20 bucks a year to be able to order it myself plus there is a major distribution center in my area. I can drive over and just pick it up. Now a days Amsoil is even stocked in alot of NAPA parts stores, marine boat outlets ect... so it getting easier to find it.

I change my oil and filter once per year unless there is something unusual going on. This engine has almost 36K on it. I have had no problems and I don't add oil between changes. I rode maybe 5-6K this year. Alot of V twins are now running 10K or one year on a fill. I use the 20-50 motorcycle oil and when I have used up my stock of it I'm gonna switch over to the Advanced Motorcyle 20-50 that recently came out by Amsoil. Like you said its only 2+ quarts.

When I did the doohickey upgrade I did an extra oil change just to be sure it didn't get contaminated by having the case off. Other than that I keep an eye on the oil level and for leaks. The oil takes care of the rest of it. That and having a high quality air filter in good condition.

The closest distribution center to you is Dallas. I'd just order an air strike from UPS and have it on hand. When you get ready to change it you have plenty in the garage.

I'm planning on doing a Tombstone area ride one of these days combined with photography and camping. I'll give you a shout when it starts firming up date wise. Not sure when it will happen right now due to schedules ect.
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post #3 of 12 Old 11-05-2006, 04:02 PM
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I switch to a 10W-40 during the cold months, and back to the 20W-40/50 in the warm months. I also use Castrol oil now. I started out with the Kawasaki oil, until the owner of our Kawasaki shop told me I could use regular car oil, so I switched to the tech 2000 from wally world. Somewhere around 20 K I decided to switch to the synthedic stuff, but as soon as I did I started getting "seepage" around some of the gaskets. So then I switched back to the Castrol, and go from 10W to 20W depending on the weather.

I do change the oil and filter every 1500-2000 miles. I think changing it more often and using the cheaper oil is better that streaching out the changes and using the high $$ oils. The KLR has almost 28,000 miles on it now. (it is an A-18)

Eagle Mike had said something about tearing down a motor that had be using the high $$ oil, but not changing it as often, and the results were NOT good for the high $$ oil.

I use the tech 2000 oil in my 1998 ranger, sometimes I will use the synthedic mix, and once every other year I'll splerge and use the full synthedic in it. I do change the oil every 3000 miles, and the truck has 197,875 miles on it now.

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post #4 of 12 Old 11-05-2006, 05:42 PM
 
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Your dealer is incorrect. You might get away with running car oil in your motorcycle and you might not. Some car oils contain "friction modifiers" and its "possible" this additive will adversely affect a wet clutch causing slipping and other permanent damage to the clutch plate (s).

I have talked to some that when they noticed the slippage went back to a proper oil for wet sump applications and the slippage went away. A couple of guys had to rebuild the clutch. They were not happy.

When it comes to oil and specifically oil for wet sump applications there are "urban legends" and "old wives tales" galore out there.

If you believe something... it should be because you have scientific data to prove it. Not because of well I've done it this way all my life and I ain't gonna change now. I used to be that guy. No way would I waste money on synthetic oil. I finally did my homework and was amazed at the difference it makes especially in smaller sump engines that work hard and run hotter. If you run Mobil 1 or Amsoil or any of several good synthetic oils you are miles ahead of the guys that run regular oil much less $1 a bottle crap off the shelves. You might get away with it changing it every few weeks but why bother. You can't possibly get the protection you could get with a good full synthetic motorcycle oil.

Used to be you could get oil that was recycled and rebottled under an oil distributors brand name for .50 cents a quart. If it doesn't matter.... get some of that. Good luck. Hey... its got an API seal on it.... right? Why not use it?


And to anybody out there changing your Amsoil every 1500 to 3000 miles.... you need a shrink.
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post #5 of 12 Old 11-05-2006, 10:44 PM
 
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I also believe in a good synthetic oil and its benifits but a good motorcycle dyno oil is also good when changed often enough. The same go's for a good synthetic also. Although a good synthetic will not breakdown as quickly as a good dyno oil. Dirt and acid buildup are still a problem for both. Conditions that you run your bike in also make a differents in change intervals. I run 15w40 Rotella because the PO ran it. I change it every 1500 miles or so. If I were running a synthetic I would change it every 2500 or 3000 depending on conditions. X6 is right on about keeping an airfilter clean that go's a long way in keeping dirt out of an engine.
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post #6 of 12 Old 11-05-2006, 11:53 PM
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Quote:
If you believe something... it should be because you have scientific data to prove it. Not because of well I've done it this way all my life and I ain't gonna change now. I used to be that guy. No way would I waste money on synthetic oil. I finally did my homework and was amazed at the difference it makes especially in smaller sump engines that work hard and run hotter. If you run Mobil 1 or Amsoil or any of several good synthetic oils you are miles ahead of the guys that run regular oil much less $1 a bottle crap off the shelves. You might get away with it changing it every few weeks but why bother. You can't possibly get the protection you could get with a good full synthetic motorcycle oil.

All I am saying is this is what I use!! I have almost 200,000 miles on my ranger, and almost 30,000 miles on my KLR, And I wouldn't be afraid to ride/drive either of them across country right now. ( I would have to change the rear tire on the KLR, 270's wouldn't last for a long trip)

Some people can take "sciemtific data" and prove, or disprove anything, I use what works for me!

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post #7 of 12 Old 11-06-2006, 08:17 AM
 
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I can understand Daddyjoe's point, but I'm with X6 Hustler and Deerhuntr on this one, 100%.

My experience with cheap oil cost me an engine on a 1988' Mitsubishi Montero many years ago.
The story is short: I was using Valvoline 10-40 in the Montero for years. But while going through a real bad financial period, I switched over to some elcheapo oil. Three days later, the main bearings started screaming for help, and the engine started it's rapid death, sounding like a UZI firing full auto. Two weeks later and I ws installing a rebuilt engine in my Montero. If I hadn't found a good deal on a Mitsu engine and wasn't mechanically inclined, I would have been walking. The fact that I was changing engines in my apartments carport is another story altogether.

Anyway, I was not happy, flat broke, and learned a valuable lesson.

-------> Don't buy cheap oil. Never, Ever.

On my KLR, I use Mobil 1 MX4T full syn and change it between 2500 and 3000 miles.
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post #8 of 12 Old 11-06-2006, 08:43 AM
 
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Daddyjoe I'm with ya on the scientific data in most cases. I used to read the oil bottles and try and sort out facts and figures from all of the "scientific" hype that Madison Avenue paints the product with. I finally gave up. Many years later after using one brand or another and sticking with it until I was swayed by some new commercial I began to seriously study lubrication and engines from a laymans standpoint. The only data I trust is from an independent laboratory and not the manufacturer. If Mobil or Amsoil claimed xyz.... without independent sources... I would discount is as you said. In fact some "independent" reports are bought and paid for. I can think of two major companies right now that have hung their rear ends out to dry if someone calls their hand on it.
Anecdotal stories are ok... I have some myself but for the most part I want the engineers and the labs to back up claims with honesty and proof. Not involved with any financial ties to the company involved.

Case in point for fraud would be the many many engine additives pushed over the years that contain caustic chemicals just waiting for your engine to overheat then eat your engine. They all have claim to scientific tests. Of course they were not independent tests.... bought and paid for by the advertising departments of course.

I was a big Castrol fan for years until Mobil exposed them for the "cheats" they are. Still a good oil as far as conventional oils go... not the best but ok.

Before that I was well.... I don't even want to admit the brand or tell my age.... lol!!!!!
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post #9 of 12 Old 11-07-2006, 12:16 AM
 
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Here's an unscientific test I tried one time. In 01 I rode out to Sturgis with some friends. The day we rode the badlands it was 112 F. At a stop I mentioned that I was sure glad I was running Mobil 1 Vtwin syn oil with the temps being so hot. A buddy said that oil is oil and I was wasting my money. He was running Valvoline 10w40 automotive oil. I had a temp. dipstick on my bike so I told him lets run about halfway back to Sturgis stop and check my temp then put the dipstick in his bike and run the rest of the way and check his. Our bikes were both 01 Heritage's with FI. At the stop I checked mine and it was at 250 F at the second stop his was at 260 F. Thats enough data for me to know that synthetic oil is better. I have to say though that my buddy still has his 01 Heritage with over 60,000 trouble free miles. He is good about changing his oil. So you can run either oil and get good service from it. The real test would be on two super high mile bikes to see which one starts to have engine trouble first.
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post #10 of 12 Old 11-07-2006, 09:16 AM
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I Changed my oil the other day.
I didnt have enough Delo 400 15-40, only 1 1/2 quarts. I had 3/4 quart of the old "red cap" syn, and from one of the tech days someone left 1/2 quart of "motorcycle oil" I dont remember which brand. it said oil.. :lol:
yep, you guessed it. :mrgreen: I got the oil changed.
I now notice that the clutch really sticks in the morning and the trans shifts a lil bit harder now.
I usually run the Delo 400 15-40 all year.

- Joe

HighSpeed Hiker- DV o5'
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