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Forgive me for this stupid question, however I have noticed that a lot of folks are using Shell Rotella T4 15W-40 diesel oil in their KLR's and not the recommended 10W-40 motorcycle oil. My question is does the extra weight of the oil matter at all? 15W Vs. 10W?? That is the end of my stupid question…
 

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Not a stupid question at all!

I do not believe you will be punished in any form for using 15W-40, versus 10W-40 all.

Maybe in the winter north of Fairbanks, but . . . not in more temperate climes.

The "W" notes the viscosity when cold, a very short time (especially for you Thermo-Bob users, right? :)) overall in the service life of an engine.

My opinion only above; correction and clarification welcomed from those with opposing views!
 

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For the 1st ten years of life of my 1987 KL650-A1, Kawasaki only sold a 20W50 engine oil in the USA. I continued to use the 20W50 Kawasaki engine oil until 2012 when I started my lubrication modifications so I could show consistency with oil pressure specs in the service manuals.

I even rode many a day & miles at 35f temps with the 20W50 engine oil.

Your good to go with 10W40, 15W40, 20W50. Best to confirm for the JASO MA motorcycle approval on the back labels.
 

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A little more info.....
In addition, lots of bikes, including the KLR650, have “wet” clutches, which run in engine oil. Generally, only lighter-viscosity oils such as 5W-20, 5W-30, and 10W-30 are labeled as “energy conserving.” Heavier viscosities such as 5W-40, 5W-50, 10W-40, 15W-40, 15W-50, and 20W-50 oils are not “energy conserving” and can be used for most four-stroke motorcycle engines. Read the container and avoid the “energy conserving” oils. All oils have friction modifiers, but energy conserving oils typically contain more, which may cause clutches to slip under normal use. Most quality non-energy conserving automotive oils should work if your clutch is in good condition.
 

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I run a cocktail in my KLR: One quart of Valvoline 20W-50 VR1 and the rest Rotella 15W-40.

For reasons I cannot explain, this combination eliminates the sometimes clunky shift between 1st and 2cnd gear.

Best,

Jason

P.S. More important than brand selection is keeping the oil level full.
 
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