Is Synthetic Oil Worth It? YES - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Is Synthetic Oil Worth It? YES

I changed my bike over to synthetic oil this season and it is running much cooler than last year. My temp. gauge was always 1 bar above the middle, but now it rarely goes above the middle bar. It's got to be good if the temp has gone down that much.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by sailorman3 View Post
I changed my bike over to synthetic oil this season and it is running much cooler than last year. My temp. gauge was always 1 bar above the middle, but now it rarely goes above the middle bar. It's got to be good if the temp has gone down that much.
Right. Doesn't break down from heat or get as dirty, lasts twice as long or 3x conventional. K&N oil filter works better too. I use Royal Purple for motorcycle, helps clutch. I go 5k miles between changes @ 1 per year. I put magnetic plugs in last time, anxious to see them - next month! Run about 8k per year. 27000 & counting.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by warrbucks View Post
Right. Doesn't break down from heat or get as dirty, lasts twice as long or 3x conventional. K&N oil filter works better too. I use Royal Purple for motorcycle, helps clutch. I go 5k miles between changes @ 1 per year. I put magnetic plugs in last time, anxious to see them - next month! Run about 8k per year. 27000 & counting.

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I've been using synthetic oil for the last 15K (Castrol Power RS), also using the K&N filter. Yes I feel it is a little bit cooler and smoother. But the oil still gets nasty. According to the manual the oil has to be changed every 7.5K, I feel it is too much. I'm changing mine every 5K, at that point shifting gears gets clunky. Last time I rode 5K in 6 weeks, mostly highway doing 70-85 MPH. The oil got really dark, maybe because most of the time I was at +3000 RPMs in 6th gear, I don't know.
I also wanted to put the magnetic plugs but didn't find that size in Amazon, I believe it is M17, right?
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 10:19 PM
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Doesn't the thermostat control the engine temperature?
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-02-2017, 04:14 AM Thread Starter
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No the thermostat controls the fan switching on and off. With synthetic oil you have less heat so therefore the fan just doesn't have to switch on or off as much. The bike runs cooler always.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-02-2017, 07:30 AM
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Good point on rougher shifting. Mine is due, just past 5000 miles. I got the plugs from bike bandit, looked at the package & thought they were too small. Heads are smaller, but turns out they fit. Simply ordered for the '12 Nomad.

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-02-2017, 08:00 AM
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I used these magnetic plugs from amazon. Work good.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-02-2017, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfair View Post
Doesn't the thermostat control the engine temperature?
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Originally Posted by sailorman3 View Post
No the thermostat controls the fan switching on and off. With synthetic oil you have less heat so therefore the fan just doesn't have to switch on or off as much. The bike runs cooler always.
The "thermostat" controls coolant flow thru the cooling system, that is all it does. It does not control any operation of the fan.

The "thermostatic switch" provides a voltage signal to the ECU which, according to the internal programming of the ECU will switch the radiator fan on and off as needed.

It is very true that good synthetic oils can lower engine temps, thru a few different ways. First is in friction reduction. A by-product of friction is heat and synthetics have the ability to reduce friction, thus heat. A good thing. Also synthetics have more consistent molecular shapes which allows for better "heat flow" thru the oil which allows better heat dissipation.

ALL engines are oil cooled and some have used oil to "target" hot spots in the engine's internals, like the early GSXR Suzukis with their SACS system, piston oiling jets found in many engines, and the system H.D. has in the new 107 M8 engines.

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-02-2017, 10:03 AM
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But if the engine is running cooler, will the thermostat just close and bring the coolant temperature back up to the thermostat rating? Should have no bearing on oil temperature as oil can take a while to warm up whereas the coolant temperature can climb quite quickly to thermostat opening temperature as I am sure your gauge will prove out.
The coolant temperature is what shows on the gauge.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-02-2017, 10:12 AM
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True sfair. but the time between fan cycles should be a bit longer because the rate of heat generation due to friction is lower.
Heat due to combustion is the same.
Bottom end bearing surface temps should be lower too independently of top end temp and coolant temp.
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