What Oil (brand/weight/synthetic or not) do you use on your VN900? - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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What Oil (brand/weight/synthetic or not) do you use on your VN900?

Hello Everyone,

Winter is almost over here in MI and I am preparing for my first oil change on my 900 Custom (bought it last summer).

I'm just wondering what the users of this great forum prefer in their bikes?

Thanks for replies in advance.
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post #2 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 01:37 PM
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Oh no, not another oil thread!

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post #3 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Lol I tried searching and couldn't find anything. My bad.

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Oh no, not another oil thread!
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post #4 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wassupitaly View Post
Lol I tried searching and couldn't find anything. My bad.
It's all good, just messin' with ya...be ready to hear at least 200 different opinions...

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post #5 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 02:12 PM
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it would be nice to hear at least couple
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post #6 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 02:29 PM
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Yeah, Can o' worms has been opened!

Here's my two cents;

1) Use a motorcycle-specific oil, or AT LEAST one that has the JASO-MA rating. Though, preferably, a motorcycle specific oil! They won't harm the wet clutch like some car oils will, and they will have additives formulated for the shared transmission oil, wet clutch, etc.

2) Use the weight the manufacturer recommends. Don't try to play chemist. Lots of people will tell you some blanket rules like "Always use XW-XX in certain temps" but every bike is different. Being an overhead cam engine, heavier weight oils can cause issues. Stick with 10W-40, which is what Kawasaki recommends for the 900. Stay away from oil additives and intentionally mixing oils (half this, half that). I'm not sure why people do that, but the oils have been formulated to work in a particular way by some well payed engineers. Adding stuff or mixing oils is not a great idea. Note that having a little oil left in the engine when you refill it with fresh oil is not 'mixing oils'. But I've seen a few folks who will use maybe 2 quarts of one brand and weight and a quart and a half of another brand and weight, intentionally, because they think it's better than using just one. Don't be tempted to play chemist. If you want to do that stuff, get a degree and start working for the engine oil companies!

3) Oil change intervals are more important than oil brands, IMHO. I would not exceed Kawasaki's recommended 7,500 miles, though you'd probably be better off to do it much sooner. Note that synthetic oil does not automatically allow you to go longer on oil changes. SOME synthetics are rated for extended drain intervals, but not most. Most synthetic oils are intended to be changed at the same intervals the conventional oils are. However they do offer better protection and better resistance to certain things.

As for me? I run either Valvoline Motorcycle Synthetic 10W-40, or Amsoil. About to switch to Amsoil as I can get it from our forum Amsoil dealer for about the same price as running the Valvoline (Amsoil Dealer Group is his name on here if you want to send him a PM). I change it every 5,000 miles. In theory I also wouldn't go more than 12 months without an oil change; but at 15-20k miles a year, that's not gonna happen anyway.

To dispell a couple common synthetic rumors;

1) You can mix, match, and switch between synthetic and conventional all day long. They are 100% compatible. Certain fluids are not compatible, so people assume ALL fluids are not compatible. Not true for engine oil. So if you're considering switching to synthetic; no- there's nothing you need to do. Just change the oil.

2) Yes, you can run synthetic in your 900. It's just oil. It has some advantages, but it's still oil.

Anything you choose will likely do just fine for the life of the bike. Lots of guys have 100k+ on inexpensive, motorcycle specific, conventional oils changed at reasonable intervals (before the 7,500 mile interval Kawasaki recommends).

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post #7 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 06:29 PM
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Mobil 1 V-Twin 20W-50. No particular reason...I liked the picture on the bottles.
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post #8 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 07:24 PM
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I use Honda GN4 4-stroke Motorcycle oil, SAE 10w-40 SJ. It's at your local motorcycle dealer in 1 gallon containers. Why, the price is rite and fewer miss shifts. Change oil twice a year, or every 3000mi.
Hope this helps.

Last edited by mdsimon80; 03-17-2013 at 12:28 AM.
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post #9 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What Oil (brand/weight/synthetic or not) do you use on your VN900?

Thanks for the reply guys.

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- 2009 VN900 Custom
-Debaffled exhaust.
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- 2010 Ninja 250 (wife rides too)
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post #10 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 08:27 AM
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Roman5.8 is spot on. As long as you are within Kawasaki's recommendations for weight (10W-40 motorcycle specific) and duration (<7.5K miles) you should be fine.

As for me, it's a trip to the dealership. I don't have a lift or garage and don't have any preference or allegiance to any brand. I just schedule a trip every March to the dealership and have it done. Then every 6K miles I make another appointment knowing that I will be between 7 & 7.5K when I finally get there later in the week. It's less hassle for me, they get a few bucks, I can be assured that the right oil is used and finally, I can ride the back roads and get a good 50+ mile ride in on the day of the change.

Side note: Not only do you need the blood, you need the air as well. Oil change time is also a good time to check/clean/replace your air filter. It's a little sooner that Kawasaki recommends, but if you've already got the tools out, why not.
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