What oil are you running? - 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 48 Old 08-09-2013, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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What oil are you running?

Seems everyone has favorite. I just bought a 2005 KLR and the guy was running one of the Kawasaki synthetics in it. I see threads here talking about running Rotella and other petroleum oils. Would like to service everything before I put a bunch of miles on it.

Thanks in advance...
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post #2 of 48 Old 08-10-2013, 01:38 AM
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Use the search function and then buy Rotella T.

End of oil thread.

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post #3 of 48 Old 08-10-2013, 04:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigfrank View Post
Seems everyone has favorite. I just bought a 2005 KLR and the guy was running one of the Kawasaki synthetics in it. I see threads here talking about running Rotella and other petroleum oils. Would like to service everything before I put a bunch of miles on it.

Thanks in advance...
Welcome to the forum, bigfrank!

And, welcome to KLRdom!

Kawasaki's oil recommendations (copied below) are rather loose.

Contrary to popular legend, no proscriptions against "friction modifiers," or of "energy-conserving" oils are stated (although tribal myth maintains these properties will turn your clutch/engine into a pumpkin at midnight).

A riding partner (55,000 miles on an '08), whose technical opinions I respect, has stated: The only oil issue he's ever encountered with KLRs is, running with an insufficient AMOUNT of oil (cylinder head camshaft bearing surfaces insist upon adequate oil supply).

Here's what Kawasaki says:



I run FLEET Diesel oil; Rotella T, or whatever 15W-40 is on sale; even Rotella 5W-40 synthetic when on sale (a little beyond viscosity recommendations, but . . . no known adverse effects).

Fear not; just keep your eye on the site glass, and you'll be golden.
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post #4 of 48 Old 08-10-2013, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigfrank View Post
Seems everyone has favorite. I just bought a 2005 KLR and the guy was running one of the Kawasaki synthetics in it. I see threads here talking about running Rotella and other petroleum oils. Would like to service everything before I put a bunch of miles on it.

Thanks in advance...
Hi bigfrank and welcome!

One thing about "synthetics" - they ain't synthetic!

The Kawasaki synthetics, Mobil1, Castrol Superbike, etc. are all petroleum-based oils. They are made from what is known as a Group III base stock. The oil is refined and has a rather massive additive package added. They are legally allowed to be marketed in some areas as 'synthetic oil' because the level of refinement (hydrocracking and gas-to-oil) and the additive package makes them perform similarly to PAO synthetics, but they are still petroleum based. There are countries where they are not allowed to be marketed as synthetic.

True synthetics are made from Group IV base stocks, which are most commonly polyalphaolefin (PAO).

I like a good diesel oil for the KLR, either Rotella or Delo 400. Which one I use depends upon which one is on sale at the local O'Reilly's that week ;^).

The most important characteristic for an oil for the KLR is that it be present in a 2.5 liter quantity. Doesn't much matter what it is, just so long as it's there. Check the oil at every fill-up; the bottom end will survive running out of oil but the head won't.


Tom

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Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 08-10-2013 at 06:57 AM.
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post #5 of 48 Old 08-10-2013, 07:19 AM
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Through some strange alignment of engineering my bikes all call for 10W-40 viscosity oil so I use the same moto synthetic oil in all of them for maximum protection of the transmission gears and corrosion protection when they have to stand in winter storage.
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post #6 of 48 Old 08-10-2013, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info guys. Except for klr3evr, he needs a lesson in forum diplomacy. As a moderator you would think he would know better...
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post #7 of 48 Old 08-10-2013, 10:12 AM
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Welcome Bigfrank. As you can tell by now starting an oil thread has its pros and cons. I'm really surprised no one has recommended olive oil by now, however I prefer canola.

Seriously, I use the RotellaT 15W-40. Relatively inexpensive, available everywhere, and now meets the JASO MA spec called for.

I see Damocles posted a page out of the manual with a torque value listed for the drain plug. Be very very careful with this, you do not want to damage these threads. Personally I don't use a torque wrench here....a short 3/8" ratchet tightened until I feel the crush washer just start to "give" a little. Kind of like tightening a spark plug.

Gray-haired riders don’t get that way from pure luck.

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post #8 of 48 Old 08-10-2013, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Flash!
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post #9 of 48 Old 08-10-2013, 10:33 AM
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I agree with Flash. I also use a drain plug with a head that's drilled for lockwire. I snug it down then lockwire it to a hole I drilled in my metal skid plate so I know it won't work loose.

I used to use a torque wrench, but it seemed like too much torque to me, especially when I change my oil every 1,000 miles or so. Including more frequent changes during break-in, I've already torqued that plug about 15 times. Using the safety wire, I feel comfortable just snugging down the drain plug. It probably wouldn't work loose without it, but it makes me feel better about the whole arrangement.



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post #10 of 48 Old 08-10-2013, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post

One thing about "synthetics" - they ain't synthetic!
Tom, you seem versed in the subject so I'll ask.

One of my bikes calls for Motorex Power Synt 10W-50 synthetic. Impossible to come by locally. One shop here carry's Repsol 4T 10W-50 synthetic and is what I've been using. The question I have is this, how do you know what class synthetic you are getting? Nowhere on the labeling of either gives a hint.

Gray-haired riders don’t get that way from pure luck.

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