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Discussion Starter #1
Since spring is about a month or so away I have been thinking more about the KLR.
Today at WalMart I was looking at the Rotella oils. The standard dino T4 15W40 and the full syn T6 5W40 are JASO MA certified. Does anyone know why the Semi Syn is not?
Also, for the more experienced than I , would the 5W40 be OK in warmer weather or do I need a min of 10W40?.. I'm pretty sure the 5 would be OK, but soliciting opinions anyway.
I'm confused why the semi syn is not motorcycle certified when the other two are though.
 

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A modest proposal: E-mail Shell with your question; I'm certain you'll receive an answer!

Been there, done that, myself!

---------------------------------------------

Regardless, to the best of my knowledge and belief, you'll have an oil problem ONLY from the lack thereof! Factory recommendations/suggestions remain BROAD; basically: If it flows from a bottle or a can, fear not!

:)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
A modest proposal: E-mail Shell with your question; I'm certain you'll receive an answer!

Been there, done that, myself!

---------------------------------------------

Regardless, to the best of my knowledge and belief, you'll have an oil problem ONLY from the lack thereof! Factory recommendations/suggestions remain BROAD; basically: If it flows from a bottle or a can, fear not!

:)
Email sent.. Hopefully they actually respond with an answer.
 

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I have been using the T6 5W 40 in my Gold Wing for the past 50K miles without any problems. Bike shifts great and I do 8K mile oil changes per Honda. I will switch my KLR over after a few more miles.
 

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I use Rotella T4 15W40 and buy it by the gallon (or sometimes the 5 quart jug) because it's good and "cheap" oil. I change my oil probably twice as often as most other locations due to air quality issues...and that's my dealer's standard recommendation. I can get the T4 at around $3 a quart. Having said that, I'm definitely glad to hear any issues anyone has with this oil.

*snip*
Also, for the more experienced than I , would the 5W40 be OK in warmer weather or do I need a min of 10W40?.. I'm pretty sure the 5 would be OK, but soliciting opinions anyway.
*snip*
The 5W and the 10W are the cold weather (W=Winter) viscosities, so I don't see what reason there would be to use a lower-than-spec (10W) viscosity. A lower "W" number would generally be called for in a colder, not warmer, environment. However, the manuals don't provide any specs of below 10W in the range tables...only 10W, up to 20W.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Still waiting to hear back from Shell as to why the T4 and T6 are JASO certified yet T5 is not. I'll probably just use the T4 as I can afford to change it almost anytime the mood strikes me. Can't believe an oil that good is priced so cheaply.
 
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Still waiting to hear back from Shell as to why the T4 and T6 are JASO certified yet T5 is not. I'll probably just use the T4 as I can afford to change it almost anytime the mood strikes me. Can't believe an oil that good is priced so cheaply.
I actually question how 'good it is' (Rotella T4 15W40) or isn't for use in a unit construction motorcycle engine/transmission.

Because if I'm not mistaken the BSL Universal Averages of ppm per 2000 miles average travel are adversely affected by the popularity of its use.
Example #1,
https://www.klrforum.com/467801-post57.html

Verses the use of what I feel are Higher Quality Motorcycle Oils,
Example #2,
https://www.klrforum.com/438425-post48.html
Notice the 3000 & 5000 mileages.

Example #3,
https://www.klrforum.com/437105-post44.html
Direct comparison 2000 to 2000 mileages.


But yea I recon that it is "good enough engineering", just like the KLR.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I actually question how 'good it is' (Rotella T4 15W40) or isn't for use in a unit construction motorcycle engine/transmission.

Because if I'm not mistaken the BSL Universal Averages of ppm per 2000 miles average travel are adversely affected by the popularity of its use.
Example #1,
https://www.klrforum.com/467801-post57.html

Verses the use of what I feel are Higher Quality Motorcycle Oils,
Example #2,
https://www.klrforum.com/438425-post48.html
Notice the 3000 & 5000 mileages.

Example #3,
https://www.klrforum.com/437105-post44.html
Direct comparison 2000 to 2000 mileages.


But yea I recon that it is "good enough engineering", just like the KLR.
A marked difference between the Rotella and Kawasaki oil Thanks for that.
 
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A marked difference between the Rotella and Kawasaki oil Thanks for that.
It might not hurt to try to find more BSL reports which used the Rotella T4 15W40 or any other oils.

There is a BSL report in that thread which used one of the Mobil 1 oils 7500 miles, that even blows the Kawasaki petroleum 10W40 used in my engine out of the water!

But these are only 3 individual bikes. I wish we had access to all of the BSL reports that are used to make up the UA for KLR650's.
BSL Does Not use Abnormal reports to average into the UA. So any reports with BOLDED numbers would not affect the UA for any engine. But I for one would like to read the top 3 Highs & Lows for each type/brand of oil included in the UA for any engine of interest.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Currently, I have Motul Ester 10W40 in my KLR and have a Blackstone kit waiting for when I drain it. It needs a few hundred more miles yet though. When I get the sample tested I'll try to post up the results to see if it's actually worth $40 gallon.
 

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Currently, I have Motul Ester 10W40 in my KLR and have a Blackstone kit waiting for when I drain it. It needs a few hundred more miles yet though. When I get the sample tested I'll try to post up the results to see if it's actually worth $40 gallon.
Just generally, can anyone QUANTIFY in OPERATIONAL TERMS (e.g., comparable miles to major overhaul, hours between malfunctions) the DIFFERENCE between using the WORLD'S BEST MOTORCYCLE OIL and the cheapest, Kawasaki-recommended API Service Code and ambient temperature viscosity oil, in a KLR650?

And . . . has anyone ever suffered the heartbreak of maintenance disaster caused by friction-modified, energy-conserving motor oil (again, within the recommended API service codes and viscosity), with a KLR?

A controversial premise; I doubt the "quality" of lubricating oil (within manufacturer recommendations) is critical on KLR650 engines; don't think it makes much difference, as long as no oil starvation occurs. Granted, I may be thoroughly in error, harboring this notion, and everyone using non-pedigreed oil commits engine abuse with every crankshaft revolution.

Now, PaddyD, as to Motul! True confession, I use Motul ONLY in my KTMs. Why? Because, KTM essentially TELLS me to; has a Motul sticker on the engine case cover! Why, then, can I be so irreverent regarding oil for KLR650 consumption? The KTMs engines, I believe, are built to exceedingly fine clearances and tolerances (my big 'un has three (3) oil pumps, I'm told). With love and respect for KLRs, I doubt they are designed and manufactured to the same high-performance racing specifications of the KTM mills.

Further, I may be buying a little insurance, at least mentally, with the KTMs. KLR650 engine blows; no biggie. KTM engine blows, TAKE OUT A SECOND MORTGAGE!

Now, Motul (at $ 40/gallon) for a KLR650? I'd like to see the QUANTIFIABLE, OPERATIONALLY INTELLIGIBLE maintenance consequence DIFFERENCE between Motul and WalMart's "cheaper spread" before feeding it to mine; YMMV! :)

:)
 

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Just generally, can anyone QUANTIFY in OPERATIONAL TERMS (e.g., comparable miles to major overhaul, hours between malfunctions) the DIFFERENCE between using the WORLD'S BEST MOTORCYCLE OIL and the cheapest, Kawasaki-recommended API Service Code and ambient temperature viscosity oil, in a KLR650?

No. No one person has more than two KLRs. I don't think most reasonable people would claim any difference.

And . . . has anyone ever suffered the heartbreak of maintenance disaster caused by friction-modified, energy-conserving motor oil (again, within the recommended API service codes and viscosity), with a KLR?

Doubt it. KLR hs an overly robust clutch for the pitiful horsepower it produces.

A controversial premise; I doubt the "quality" of lubricating oil (within manufacturer recommendations) is critical on KLR650 engines; don't think it makes much difference, as long as no oil starvation occurs. Granted, I may be thoroughly in error, harboring this notion, and everyone using non-pedigreed oil commits engine abuse with every crankshaft revolution.

That's by no means a controversial premise. One would have to be unreasonable to argue otherwise.

Now, PaddyD, as to Motul! True confession, I use Motul ONLY in my KTMs. Why? Because, KTM essentially TELLS me to; has a Motul sticker on the engine case cover! Why, then, can I be so irreverent regarding oil for KLR650 consumption? The KTMs engines, I believe, are built to exceedingly fine clearances and tolerances (my big 'un has three (3) oil pumps, I'm told). With love and respect for KLRs, I doubt they are designed and manufactured to the same high-performance racing specifications of the KTM mills.

Further, I may be buying a little insurance, at least mentally, with the KTMs. KLR650 engine blows; no biggie. KTM engine blows, TAKE OUT A SECOND MORTGAGE!

Now, Motul (at $ 40/gallon) for a KLR650? I'd like to see the QUANTIFIABLE, OPERATIONALLY INTELLIGIBLE maintenance consequence DIFFERENCE between Motul and WalMart's "cheaper spread" before feeding it to mine; YMMV! :)

Wish in one hand, spit in the other, seems to me.

:)
dot dot dot
 
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Please keep in mind the Shell Rotella is made for truck diesels.....not motorcycles. Because it is JASO MA it will work in wet clutches, but it is not designed for the motor. Spend the extra money and get a good motorcycle oil.
 

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Please explain what is in a "good motorcycle oil" that is not covered under the JASO MA. JASO MA means more than 'wet clutch compatible'.

Bear in mind, though, that irrespective of all the hype, bullshit, and advertising talk that appears on the outside of the bottle, in ads, or on websites, the only thing you really know about the oil is what is inside that little emblem on the back that list the spec the oil conforms to. Other words, like "4-Stroke", "Racing 4T", "V-Twin 4T" don't mean diddly. In fact, "V-Twin 4T" probably means it's ordinary engine oil.

The spec is the spec.

Oil. It's a marvel, it's a mystery.
 
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You are right, oil is a marvel and a mystery. JASA MA is specified for motorcycles using the same oil lubricating the engine and wet clutch.

I'm not a chemist, but here is a good quote from Motorcyclist magazine.

"It’s possible to find automotive oil with the appropriate API service type and viscosity range in a non-energy-conserving formulation, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s appropriate for use in your bike. There are some key differences between motorcycle engines and car engines, most notably the fact that motorcycles have shared sumps. The meat grinder that is the transmission is tough on the viscosity index modifiers and calls for high-pressure and anti-wear additives that aren’t part of the normal automotive-oil package. Add to that the fact that motorcycle engines make more power per liter, spin faster, and run hotter than car engines and it’s pretty clear that picking motorcycle-specific oil is important."
 

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You are right, oil is a marvel and a mystery. JASA MA is specified for motorcycles using the same oil lubricating the engine and wet clutch.

I'm not a chemist, but here is a good quote from Motorcyclist magazine.

"It’s possible to find automotive oil with the appropriate API service type and viscosity range in a non-energy-conserving formulation, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s appropriate for use in your bike. There are some key differences between motorcycle engines and car engines, most notably the fact that motorcycles have shared sumps. The meat grinder that is the transmission is tough on the viscosity index modifiers and calls for high-pressure and anti-wear additives that aren’t part of the normal automotive-oil package. Add to that the fact that motorcycle engines make more power per liter, spin faster, and run hotter than car engines and it’s pretty clear that picking motorcycle-specific oil is important."
Exactly my point. If an oil is compliant with JASO MA then it meets all of the requirements necessary to survive in the environment described above. If it also happens to be an oil originally formulated for diesel use, or as a mouthwash or a cure for aphids on your rosebushes, so what?

JASO created the MA categories to define the minimum required characteristics of engine oils in order to meet the special needs found in motorcycles, largely the engine and transmission sharing the same lubricant and the use of a wet clutch. There's more, but those are the big two.

If a given oil meets those specs then it is suitable for use. The content of the ads, the word salad on the websites and labeling on the jug mean nothing. Only the certification tells you what, at a minimum, is in the jug.
 

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By the way, I'm not a fanboy. I don't use Rotella.
 

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Reading and amused.

Oil is not a mystery. Engineers publish a spec and if the oil meets or exceeds that spec, it is safe to use in that specific engine. End of story.

Many many people run rotella for tens or hundreds of thousands of miles without issue. I don't but many do. It meets the spec. It's fine.

As far as designer oils that FAR exceed the spec, it is unnecessary and likely amounts to money down a drain. Unless it makes one feel better at which point it serves that purpose at the very least.

Clean oil changed on time is more important than brand any day. As long as it meets the spec.

I personally run synthetic "Castrol 4T" as it is priced well on Amazon. But would run anything else that was jaso certified without concern. Heck is even run that non synthetic stuff. I must be crazy !

And everyone else should do what ever makes the voice in your own head happy. She must be kept happy and this I understand.

For me, running oils like motul in a KLR is like pouring 30 year old scotch into a beer can. But hey who am I to judge. Your money, your bike.

KLR puts out 38 HP out of 650 CC's. Hardly enough to demand any premium consumables.

Now, a KTM 1290S (oh the humanity !!!), Now that girl would get the good stuff.
 

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Been there, done that, myself!
And their response was?
"Been there, done that," referred to e-mailing a specific question to an oil refiner.

Don't remember the exact question or its answer, but . . . I do remember I received a credible response from an oil company representative. I think I asked Shell why some Rotella oils were JASO-MA, and some were not. I THINK the answer was, the non-JASO-MA oils simply had not been tested to those standards (although I think the inference was the lubricants would meet or exceed them).

Just my own perception: I think the Kawasaki recommendations in my 2007 Owner's Manual (API Service Codes/ambient temperature-related viscosities) fully adequate for KLR650s. Further, ain't never seen nothing in KLR literature (that I recall) cautioning against, "friction-modifying," or "energy-conserving" oils, in the KLR650 context.
 
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