Hey Old Bike Guy,
What's the capacity of the VN2000 and what weight are you using?
I'm thinking Mobil-1 15w-50. What do you think? I have an '07 VN2000 LT Classic.
When you drain it completely, all 3 drain plugs, and replace the filter, it will take 5.6 to 5.8 quarts. There are 2 drain plugs underneath on the oilpan, and 1 under the clutch on the bottom of the chrome clutch cover. Be VERY CAREFULL with the plug under the clutch, it is soft material, and can be stripped very easy if you over torque it.
I used to run car oil too
, but since the new EPA and CAFE standards that were implemented in 2006, car oils with SL and SM ratings do not meet the standards for JASO-MA rated motorcycle oil.
The VN2000 Owner's Manual States,
Recommended Engine Oil
Type: API SE, SF, or SG
: API SH, SJ, or SL with JASO MA
Viscosity: SAE 10W-40
If you can find car, or heavy duty diesel oil that is API SE, or API SF, or API SG, with no other ratings after that, you would probably be fine. The JASO MA standard started at the time that API SH was the latest oil on the market. Any Motorcycle oil starting with that rating, and anything after that, (API SJ, SL, and SM, or CF) must have the JASO MA rating to make it compatible for motorcycles.
Now for the oil, Mobile 1 15w-50 is a newer car oil with a API SM rating, and has lower levels of ZDDP, (zinc and phosphorus). It also has additives that could cause clutch slippage, and has a Sulfated Ash level of 1.21 , which is higher than the maximum level of 1.0 that JASO MA standards dictate.
ZDDP is the last line of defence in a motorcycle engine to prevent metal to metal contact. Some people think this is never going to happen because they keep an eye on there oil level, and the only way this could happen is if the oil leaked out while riding. This is not true, there can be metal to metal contact during cold starts, even if it sets overnight. Also during high heat conditions, and oil run too long before changing that has sheared down to a lesser weight that could be squished out between things such as gears and bearings.
The bad effects of running the improper oil in a motorcycle may not show up right away, unless you experience clutch slippage, but accelerated wear in your engine can happen. Like I say, you may not see or feel it happening unless you do regular oil analysis, and track your wear metals, but I can assure you that it will happen over time, if your oil does not have the right additive package for motorcycles.
Better to be safe than sorry. I will pay the premium for the RIGHT
oil for my V2K any day, even if it only helped a little bit. But I can assure you that after many oil analysis's, there is a big advantage to running motorcycle oil verses the newer car formulations.
The top 2 oils for motorcycle that I have tested, and many others have reported on are, Mobile1 motorcycle oil, and Amsoil motorcycle oil in 10w-40 , and 20w-50 weights, with JASO-MA ratings. Also, you should never run a base weight less than 10, unless your owner's manual calls for it, such as 5w-40, or 0w-40.
Sorry for the long post, but this is important information that has been ignored or not known by way too many people on the net.
If you can find a car or diesel oil that meets JASO MA standards, by all means use it. Otherwise, be safe and use motorcycle oil.