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I have always run and will probably run good old Honda Oil. I've run it in six of my seven machines (not in one because it has no oil bath clutched). Some are put put machines, others are 11.2/1 compression, high rpm screamers. It just always works...and the funny part....I only own two Hondas and they're ATC 70's....ahhh yeah.
 

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So is the Rotella T6 good to go? seeing as it's A 5W-40 and manufacturer recommended is 10W-40? Reason I ask, is I use the Rotella T6 in my STI and love it, it'd be great to share the oils across the board for all my vehicles.
 

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To paraphrase the manual, other weights are fine just make sure you are using one for your temperature range and never use "energy conserving" oil. I will be going to Rotella T because I loved it in my other bikes, but I am waiting until 1000 miles just to get everything broken in nicely.
 

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I did a change at 100 miles and 600 miles with Valvoline 10w40 conventional motorcycle oil. There was a marked improvement in shifting after each change (the bike is still breaking in).

I will change over to AMSOIL 10w40 fully synthetic motorcycle oil around 1000 miles.
 

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A whole lot of motorcycle owners change their engine oil at very low mileage, especially when their bikes are still newer. Primary factors in motor oil life are:
- Long-chain polymer break-down from heat and/or shear (and moisture with Synthetic oils)
- Additive package depletion
- Corrosive acids build-up
- Build-up of particulates too small for the filter media (though tiny enough not to cause much wear either)


Petroleum oil life is roughly halved for every 10-degrees F that it gets above 270-degrees F. Synthetic oil handles higher heat really well (up to 500 degrees F) BUT it breaks down in the presence of water condensation. Synthetic blends offer a combination of heat-resistance and water tolerance. I used an infrared temperature gauge on my Z125 engine after an extended high-speed run and the hottest part of the engine (exterior surface) was on the head near the spark plug at 259 degrees. The exhaust port area should be the hottest part when running but the header pipe causes this area to cool quickly as soon as you shut off the engine.


Over the course of a dozen motorycles in 42 years I've rarely used more expensive motorcycle oils since they carry the same SAE grades as automotive oil. I did have one phase buying Golden Spectro but I got over that. Newer Mazda's prefer an oil with high molybdenum disulfide content (as an extreme pressure additive) but I'm not going to buy expensive Mazda oil unless it's required (it isn't). I have seen a couple incidents of clutch slip in motorcycles using full synthetic oil but a lot of people run synthetic in their bikes without any problems at all. If your oil is TOO slippery for YOUR clutch, then reverting to regular oil fixes the issue. Show me a clutch that slips under power, THEN install stiffer racing springs. People often install clutch kits because it says "racing" on the package but sometimes heavier springs just makes your left hand sore.


Anyway, if your oil is still within grade, and the add-pack hasn’t had time to be depleted, and corrosives haven’t had time to form, why change the oil? What do you accomplish besides wasting money? And if you're really THAT serious about protecting your engine, why aren't you using the most expensive and high-quality oil filtration available along with a big oil cooler? In contrast, what makes many of those same people think their fork oil is good for ten years and 30,000 miles? Fox Racing wants their mountain bike forks to have the oil changed every 200 hours or annually. Same for their shocks but they specify shocks be serviced only at factory-authorized service centers - ANNUALLY!


Another fun thing - I love seeing clapped out bikes advertised for sale noting that the engine oil was changed every 1,000 miles with Mobil-1. Really? The drive chain is dry and rusty and the bike has never been washed let alone waxed but they DID do expensive oil changes at short intervals? And they don't have any receipts or maintenance logs and those dents in the tank will "buff right out". Seriously.
 
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Oil: Mobil 1 motorcycle blend, 20W-50.

My theory is, the smaller an engine, when used in transportation, the harder it works. A little car engine is revving faster, doing more full-throttle, than a big old pickup V8 would. And while my V-Strom 650 would run around town, or even on the highway, at part throttle, often cruising at under 5000rpm...that's slow traffic on this little bike.

It's air-cooled so there's going to be wide variations in temperature, and with high heat in traffic, idling with little air circulation over the engine.

So, to me, synoil is essential. Since it's summer, a high-vis is essential.
 

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For some reason the QUOTE feature is not working, tonight.

A whole lot of motorcycle owners change their engine oil at very low mileage, especially when their bikes are still newer. Primary factors in motor oil life are:
- Long-chain polymer break-down from heat and/or shear (and moisture with Synthetic oils)
- Additive package depletion
- Corrosive acids build-up
- Build-up of particulates too small for the filter media (though tiny enough not to cause much wear either)


Petroleum oil life is roughly halved for every 10-degrees F that it gets above 270-degrees F. Synthetic oil handles higher heat really well (up to 500 degrees F) BUT it breaks down in the presence of water condensation. Synthetic blends offer a combination of heat-resistance and water tolerance. I used an infrared temperature gauge on my Z125 engine after an extended high-speed run and the hottest part of the engine (exterior surface) was on the head near the spark plug at 259 degrees. The exhaust port area should be the hottest part when running but the header pipe causes this area to cool quickly as soon as you shut off the engine.


Over the course of a dozen motorycles in 42 years I've rarely used more expensive motorcycle oils since they carry the same SAE grades as automotive oil. I did have one phase buying Golden Spectro but I got over that. Newer Mazda's prefer an oil with high molybdenum disulfide content (as an extreme pressure additive) but I'm not going to buy expensive Mazda oil unless it's required (it isn't). I have seen a couple incidents of clutch slip in motorcycles using full synthetic oil but a lot of people run synthetic in their bikes without any problems at all. If your oil is TOO slippery for YOUR clutch, then reverting to regular oil fixes the issue. Show me a clutch that slips under power, THEN install stiffer racing springs. People often install clutch kits because it says "racing" on the package but sometimes heavier springs just makes your left hand sore.


Anyway, if your oil is still within grade, and the add-pack hasn’t had time to be depleted, and corrosives haven’t had time to form, why change the oil? What do you accomplish besides wasting money? And if you're really THAT serious about protecting your engine, why aren't you using the most expensive and high-quality oil filtration available along with a big oil cooler? In contrast, what makes many of those same people think their fork oil is good for ten years and 30,000 miles? Fox Racing wants their mountain bike forks to have the oil changed every 200 hours or annually. Same for their shocks but they specify shocks be serviced only at factory-authorized service centers - ANNUALLY!


Another fun thing - I love seeing clapped out bikes advertised for sale noting that the engine oil was changed every 1,000 miles with Mobil-1. Really? The drive chain is dry and rusty and the bike has never been washed let alone waxed but they DID do expensive oil changes at short intervals? And they don't have any receipts or maintenance logs and those dents in the tank will "buff right out". Seriously.
It's fair to assume that many owners change oil "too soon." No harm in that, aside from additional cost. Much greater the harm in not changing oil often enough...where the sludgy oil, black with blowby, is circulating through the clutch and transmission as well.

And it's fair to assume that with such a small oil sump, less than a quart, lubricating engine as well as clutch/transmission, there is not a lot of leeway. One quart, and all that abuse, and 8000rpm operation.

This machine is still new to me; but other bikes have let me know, quickly, when it needed fresh oil. Shifting and clutch and/or valve or other mechanical sounds. I am not kidding. I don't understand WHY a Honda PCX with valves set to specs would have valve clatter with dirty oil but not with fresh, but that's how it was. At least this, my first change cycle with it, second crankcase filling.

On my 1982 Honda GL500, just bought a month ago (12,000 miles) the owner told me the oil was "just changed." Probably true - changed before he put the machine in storage, five or more years back. The oil was amber but also full of milky sludge. And it was obvious he NEVER changed the filter, which was black with gunk.

And the clutch and shifter both worked better once Mobil 1 went in.

Synoil for cars, doesn't work with motorcycles. Mobil 1 has a 4T blend for cycles, that's to work with wet clutches. I've never had a problem with it. The issue is the high-tech oil-wetter compounds (make oil more oily, if that makes sense) to reduce internal friction in engines.

Works well, in cars, in lawn tractors, even in motorcycles with dry clutches. NOT with wet clutches.

I think the selling bit you hear, of the owner who claims he "always" changed the oil 1000 miles, is a LIE. Often-times, I'll bet, the first oil change the poor damaged machine got was the one the owner did just before selling it.

I've seen a few such abused machines out there. Best place for them is the boneyard.
 

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What kind of oil weight is recommended? I live in central Ohio and have only been riding on 50°+ days, and will ride more as it warms up. Temps are typically 75-90° tops for Ohio in the summer with higher humidity (50-80%), which will be my typical riding conditions. I was recommended to use Amsoil 10w-40 Synthetic small engine oil. On their website, they only sell 10w-40 and 10w-50 though.

1. What weight oil would be better suited for me and my conditions?

2. Any specific labels, certs, stamps, etc. I need to know about that is appropriate for this bike and/or motorcycles in general?

3. I've seen other recommendations for 20w-50 and others. What's the difference? Essentially, what exactly do the numbers mean? How do the numbers affect the engine and riding?

Thanks.
 

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Using the chart below , for your 50 to 90 degree temp' riding range . you could run any of the top 3 .

But best to run 10W/40 as per the Kawasaki recommendations
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# 2
If your un-easy about the all the different spec's with other oils ,maybe best to use the official Kawasaki motorcycle synthetic brand oil for now just for peace of mind.
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# 3
The first number 10W is related to the viscosity of the oil at cold temperatures, and the second number 40 relates to the viscosity at 100 °C. The 10W40 designation means that the oil is a multigrade oil. It has the viscosity of SAE 10W oil when cold and the viscosity of SAE 40 oil when hot.
 

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