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Just an interesting oil story.
My friend (who's been a biker for 30 years) currently owns a Vstrom (1000cc).
He's owned everything from Triumphs to Nortons and everything in between.
He has 55,000 on his Vstrom (awesome bike, and, he runs a trailer).
Anyways, I casually asked him what he runs for oil. To my astonishment he said, and I quote, "whatever is the cheapest". Apparently he changes his oil with anything that is on sale, it is never motorcycle specific, and he has never had the slightest problem with his engines.....ever.
I know that oil is the "life blood of our machines, and the filter is the kidney".....and I couldn't bring myself to be so casual about my oil, but, it does make one think. I'm in the category that treats my machine like a baby.
Having said that, I ADMIRE my bud's attitude. He's saving money like crazy and his machine runs like a new one. GO FIGURE.............
 

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Yeah and he won't either. I've never used anything but car oil in my bikes since I've been riding (About 40 years) and never, ever had any engine failure. Other than potential clutch slippage from using energy conserving oil, and I say potential as I also know people who run it without an issue, have you ever seen proof of an engine failure due to oil? The only failure due to oil is to forget to put some back in after draining. My friend has a BMW and he has only used Castrol 20W50 in it..........guess what, its got 235,000 trouble free miles on it........Imagine if he used moto-specific oil.....he'd most likely get a go-zillion trouble free miles ;-)) Me, I have many bikes and I use Castrol 10W40 car oil in all of them including my track bike which I continuously bounce off the rev limiter (R6 so that would be about 16,000 RPM!) 25,000 + trouble free miles...... just did a valve shim check.....all in spec......there is your real world proof that your motor won't go poof from car oil. Changing your oil more often is the key to longevity. It's your money and your bike so spend and do what makes you feel comfortable.
 

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I'd agree with your friend... almost. I've been riding bikes for 40 years, and like your friend, would put whatever motor oil that was on sale into my bike, as long as it was the correct weight. I've owned Suzuki, Honda, Yamaha, Harley, and most recently my Kawi. Never had any problems either.

Three years ago, however, I bought a new Honda and everyone i spoke to was REALLY adamant that i put only Honda oil into it because regular oil would hurt it's "wet" clutch. BS, i'm thinking... oil is oil. So i did some research on oils to see if there was any real difference and come to find out, there seems to be.

On the oil's back label there is an API stamp that describes the weight (10W-30 for example) and if it is considered "Energy Conserving". That's what the big difference is between what you're putting into your car and what the wet motorcycle clutch seems to need. There are some additives in the "Energy Conserving" oils that will supposedly cause the wet clutches to lose their gripping capability. Although i've never had any problems whatsoever with clutch slippage.

So now, when i get oil for my bikes with wet clutches, instead of just looking for the SAE weight that i want to match the climate i'm in, i also make sure that the "Energy Conserving" area of the stamp is blank. Other than that, i don't care about what brand it is.

By the way... i also found out that the store brand oil at Walmart is made by Pennzoil!
 

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I to used car oil for years because I didn't know better and didn't have any problems. When I bought my 07 900 I did a little research and came to the conclusion that paying a couple of dollars more for the recommended oil (I use Valvoline 10W40 4 stroke motorcycle oil) wasn't going to break the bank and I wouldn't have to worry about the slipping clutch issue.

Here's a good website for everything you wanted to know about oil.

http://www.motorcycleanchor.com/motorcycle/how_to/mc_oil.html
 

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Rotella has ZDDP which is supposed to help with our valves and lifters. Since we have an ohv setup, we need the extra stuff. I run the rotella synth in my bikes and have had no probs.
 

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I use the 5w-40 sold at Walmart in the 4 liter/1 gal containers. 19 bucks
 

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I'm giving the Valvoline 20-50 a try this time around, 4 bucks a quart (so 16 a gallon). I'll probably end up switching to the Rotella at WalMart though, as it's more readily available.

It's funny, but all the guys around here, whether it's the dealership or just some of the local shop monkeys, swear by dino oil. One of the guys I regularly ride with takes IMMACULATE care of his bike, and only uses the dino on his. He's currently got 85k miles on his Venture. By his words, the only thing synthetic does is give ya more grace on the mileage range per oil change, or "racing all the time".

No scientific fact behind these statements, :D just sharing what I've heard here locally, so don't crucify me!
 

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hey...speaking of oil and oil changes, is there an oil filter for the 900 that i can buy at Walmart, or any auto store?
 

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I'm in the office and don't have it available here, but they can look it up on their in-store system. Google tells me its the PH6017A
 

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BTW, I'm not recommending the Fram filter, just answering the question on what's available immediately. I recommend the Purolater or Mobil oil filters if you don't have the time to wait for an Amsoil. DO NOT let the Fram go over 3k miles, EVER! Just me...
 

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DO NOT PUT FRAM IN YOUR BIKE....ITS THE CRAPPIEST FILTER....spend the two or three extra bucks on Mobil 1 M-108....waaaaaay better filter
 

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Don't know how it affects bikes, but in the marine diesel field I've seen several examples of changing oil types seize engines up. But I'm talking specifically of using high-detergent oil after several years of using non-detergent oil. I'll tell ya, the detergents work. To the point of plugging the oil passages solid with crud that they've loosened from other areas and stopping the flow completely.
But really, how much money are you going to save by going cheap? One mod will undoubtably cost way more than using good oil in your engine for the life of the bike.
 
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