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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys I have been racking my brain about my first oil change on my Vulcan 900 classic.

I purchased this bike with 12,000 miles on it from a dealer that bought it from an auction.

I'm not sure what oil the previous owner used, and I am debating on whether or not I should go with amsoil.

What is racking my brain the most is that I don't plan on riding more than 3,000 miles per year. I understand Amsoil is good for 25,000 miles a year although the filter is only rated for 15,000. What my problem is, does the oil simply breakdown after one year? Is it important to change the oil every year even if I only put 500-3000 miles on the bike in the entire year?

I am thinking it's not really important to spend 70 bucks for oil and filter if I am only riding 3k or less.

I was hoping to get some opinions. I want to take good car of my new ride, but I want to cover all these questions before I put amsoil in the bike, and am stuck continuing with amsoil for the foreseeable future.

Is there a way to tell if the bike has synthetic oil in it already, maybe the previous owner already used amsoil, I just don't have any of these answers due to how I purchased the bike.

I have put about 100 miles on the bike as is. The battery is strong, and it runs great. But I don't know how long it has sat. 2006 Vulcan 900 Classic. 12,000 miles.

Open for advise or opinions. :dont-know:
 

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Hey Tommy, take a sample of that oil thats in your machine aprox. 1 oz. about 30 milliletres in small see thru container like liquid medicine dispencer, stick in the freezer for 20-45 minutes. If it gets thick (viscosity) dino oil,if it pours smooth its syn...
 

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Use any motorcycle oil you feel happy with, and one of the forum members wrote AutoZone now has four quarts of full synthetic MC oil; your choice of Mobil1, Valvoline, or Castrol motorcycle oil AND a Fram MC filter for $34.99+ tax. Always change your oil and filter before putting it up for the winter every year.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hey Tommy, take a sample of that oil thats in your machine aprox. 1 oz. about 30 milliletres in small see thru container like liquid medicine dispencer, stick in the freezer for 20-45 minutes. If it gets thick (viscosity) dino oil,if it pours smooth its syn...
Great advice, and if it is synthetic than I want to keep using synthetic right?
See I was worried about this when I was thinking about bringing it to our local stealership, they use the standard oil that the manual recommends, I don't think they would tell me if it had synthetic in the bike already they would just change it out. IMO

Use any motorcycle oil you feel happy with, and one of the forum members wrote AutoZone now has four quarts of full synthetic MC oil; your choice of Mobil1, Valvoline, or Castrol motorcycle oil AND a Fram MC filter for $34.99+ tax. Always change your oil and filter before putting it up for the winter every year.
I unfortunately don't have a Autozone in my town, there is a Oreilly, and Napa. Small town.
 

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Tommy, ya should be able to run complete syn or a dino-syn. blend with no problem or straight dino. I have been a grease monkey seen alot of engines that used both syn. and dino.The only problem that I have noticed is some engine weeping on older bikes, that syn. can find its way around gaskets (weeping) I think todays machines can handle that extreme slip factor that only a quality syn. has. 20 wieght mobil one comes to mine...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Tommy, ya should be able to run complete syn or a dino-syn. blend with no problem or straight dino. I have been a grease monkey seen alot of engines that used both syn. and dino.The only problem that I have noticed is some engine weeping on older bikes, that syn. can find its way around gaskets (weeping) I think todays machines can handle that extreme slip factor that only a quality syn. has. 20 wieght mobil one comes to mine...
I want to change my oil this weekend. But that means I have to buy locally and prices are terrible locally. Small town. What do the stealerships usually use?

I can get the 10w40 Mobli 1 for 11.00 dollars a quart locally. Seems prices are really high right now. I could get amsoil online oil and filter for under 70.00 dollars.

Decision, decisions.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Found some prices:

Local O'reilly:

Mobil 1 on sale 8.99 a quart x 4 = 36.00

Then I have a choice of filters:

Fram 5.99
Wic 11.99

Total oil change with Wic and Mobil 1 = 48.00 dollars.

And I can do it today. So I think I will go with that, unless someone deters me.

Or I could order amsoil right now and have it by the middle of next week for around 67.50 total.

Are the Wic filters any good?

You know I think I figured this out for myself. I only plan on riding in the 1-3,000 mile range all year. So I cannot imagine why I would waste my money on amsoil. If I were to ride 15,000+ amsoil all the way. But Mobil 1 for my mileage seems logical. Thanks guys
 

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I want to change my oil this weekend. But that means I have to buy locally and prices are terrible locally. Small town. What do the stealerships usually use?

I can get the 10w40 Mobli 1 for 11.00 dollars a quart locally. Seems prices are really high right now. I could get amsoil online oil and filter for under 70.00 dollars.

Decision, decisions.
The dealer is most likely going to put in the OEM-branded oil. Mineral/dino oil, unless you specify synthetic. I think most bike OEMs brand a synthetic these days too.

Bear in mind that my VN2K isn't your VN900, but the oil change spec for the VN2K is 7,500 miles or 12 months, which ever comes first, and that is with plain old dino oil. Manufacturers typically do not give extended service interval numbers for using synthetic, but I do know of at least one that does. Allison transmission. In fact, with Allison transmission, you can't get their extended warranty unless you use synthetic fluid meeting their spec.

For 1000-3000 miles per year I'd probably just stick with dino oil.
 

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If you're unsure whether the oil has been changed in recent history, I'd probably do a cheap oil flush before putting in the good stuff.

Get some Shell Rotella or whatever, put that in, drive it long enough to get good and warm and circulated, then dump that and put in the Mobil and new filter.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The dealer is most likely going to put in the OEM-branded oil. Mineral/dino oil, unless you specify synthetic. I think most bike OEMs brand a synthetic these days too.

Bear in mind that my VN2K isn't your VN900, but the oil change spec for the VN2K is 7,500 miles or 12 months, which ever comes first, and that is with plain old dino oil. Manufacturers typically do not give extended service interval numbers for using synthetic, but I do know of at least one that does. Allison transmission. In fact, with Allison transmission, you can't get their extended warranty unless you use synthetic fluid meeting their spec.

For 1000-3000 miles per year I'd probably just stick with dino oil.
Thanks for the comment, I chose to go with Mobil 1 10w40. I figure what the hay, I want my bike to feel good too. ;)
 

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Ams MC oil last twice the recommended manufacturer's interval - SERVICE LIFE
For “on-road” use in engines and transmissions, change AMSOIL MCF and AMSOIL engine oil filter at twice the motorcycle manufacturer change interval or one year, whichever comes first. Change other brand oil filters at standard intervals http://www.amsoil.com/storefront/mcf.aspx.

For the Vulcan 900, this means 15,000 miles on the same Ams oil and filter (Kawa's recommendation is 7,500 http://www.kawasaki-techinfo.net/showOM.php?view_lang=EN&spec=US&book_no=99987-1703&lang_code=EN page 93). The 25,000 is for cars; the 15,000 is for specific filter applications which have known sludging problems (primarily Toyota vehicles).

When I drained my oil at the end of last season after 8500 miles on my V9D, my son noted that the old oil didn't look that different in color than the new oil. My 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If you're unsure whether the oil has been changed in recent history, I'd probably do a cheap oil flush before putting in the good stuff.
I'm just going to drain remove filter, and put the good stuff in. I already drove it 100 plus since I bought it. I have never personally flushed a motorcycle are you talking about some type of additive?
 

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No, no additive, just inexpensive fresh clean oil on a really short interval. 25-50 miles.

If you're fairly certain the dealer changed the oil before you got it from the auction then I wouldn't bother with the flush fill I suggested.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Does anyone have any ideas on how to remove the oil filler cap? The one that is on there is chrome plated and has like a large screwdriver slot. I see the last person that tried to open it kinda damaged the cap trying to remove it with a smaller size flat head screwdriver. I too tried but used like a tshirt to soften the sides or avoid scraping. It seems pretty tight. The oil filter was very tight looks like the same one the factory put on it, kawasaki black oil filter. I got it off smashing it somewhat. I only hope I can hand tighten the new one enough. Looks like my filter wrench may cause some damage on or off.

Help cannot get the oil filler cap off. I am sure I could but it wont look as pretty when I am finished.
 

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All I use to get the Oil Filler Cap off is a really large flat screwdriver and a small piece of towel in the slot so the chrome doesn't get scratched and the cap slot doesn't get enlarged/gouged.
 

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If you still have the factory tool bag under the seat, use the shock adjustment tools. The handles on those fit the oil cap near perfect, and you can adjust the angle to get the torque you need. Go slow, though. Hurry too fast and that handle will bend.

If not, a wide bladed chisel will work in a pinch, then you can grip the handle of the chisel with channel locks or something similar instead of the cap itself.
 

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My first oil change on my 06 Vulcan 900 Classic.

Thats what I went with cept I put the larger mobil1 filter on and shimmed out the reg. bracket. Don't be getting too down on the mobil 1 it is a very good quality oil. Lincoln used to and may still put it in right from the get go, the Vette's and high perf. caddy's come with and recommend it. I have never ran a side by side test or read an unbiased study of the two head to head. Both Amsoil and Mobil1 to me are two brands to can't go wrong with. If you have any small cycle shops in town they prob have amsoil in stock ours here do.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
All I use to get the Oil Filler Cap off is a really large flat screwdriver and a small piece of towel in the slot so the chrome doesn't get scratched and the cap slot doesn't get enlarged/gouged.
I ended up borrowing a very large flat head screwdriver from a neighbor and it worked a charm. There are a few little scratches and knicks in my cap but not too bad.

If you still have the factory tool bag under the seat, use the shock adjustment tools. The handles on those fit the oil cap near perfect, and you can adjust the angle to get the torque you need. Go slow, though. Hurry too fast and that handle will bend.

If not, a wide bladed chisel will work in a pinch, then you can grip the handle of the chisel with channel locks or something similar instead of the cap itself.
Very good info for my next bout of removing the cap. If of course I havn't purchased a new cap that removes a little bit easier.

Thats what I went with cept I put the larger mobil1 filter on and shimmed out the reg. bracket. Don't be getting too down on the mobil 1 it is a very good quality oil. Lincoln used to and may still put it in right from the get go, the Vette's and high perf. caddy's come with and recommend it. I have never ran a side by side test or read an unbiased study of the two head to head. Both Amsoil and Mobil1 to me are two brands to can't go wrong with. If you have any small cycle shops in town they prob have amsoil in stock ours here do.
Yeah, I checked out a few charts and the Mobil 1 was right up in the top oils. I am pretty happy with my decision. Thank you all for the comments and suggestions. I love these Vulcan forums. :D

I had bought my bike with a little dent, and some deep scratches in the gas tank from the people at the auction(they dropped it). I removed the tank and got it repaired picked it up today about the same time I was doing my oil change. And boy oh boy I was proud to ride today. Looking good.



 
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