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Discussion Starter #1
My transmission is exceptionally whiney. :mad: Is anyone running Shell Rotella 15W40 Motor Oil in a warm weather climate? If so, has it's use had a positive effect on reducing the 900 noises? I have read some good things, but I wanted to hear from my fellow Vulcan riders before changin the oil out. I look forward to hearing from those that have experience in this matter.

The temperatures where I live are frequently over 100+ F, so I believe going over 10W40 is appropriate. The coldest I can expect to see this winter is probably 20 F or so. A little chilly for 20W50, but still useable per the manual.
 

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My transmission is exceptionally whiney. :mad: Is anyone running Shell Rotella 15W40 Motor Oil in a warm weather climate? If so, has it's use had a positive effect on reducing the 900 noises? I have read some good things, but I wanted to hear from my fellow Vulcan riders before changin the oil out. I look forward to hearing from those that have experience in this matter.

The temperatures where I live are frequently over 100+ F, so I believe going over 10W40 is appropriate. The coldest I can expect to see this winter is probably 20 F or so. A little chilly for 20W50, but still useable per the manual.
Ya know, everything used to have its own oil supply and used a specific lubricant. On a motorcycle, you have an engine, transmission and even the clutch all thrown in together. The makers of motorcycle specific oils take all this into account when developing oils for bikes. I don't know what the attraction is to a diesel engine oil like Rotella, but I hear of guys using it. Probably best to just use a motorcycle specific oil, in my opinion.
 

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I have been using rotella 15-40 all summer it does whine 1st gear .Plan to try some amsoil next .figure instead of changing every 1500 with the rotella ,change every 6000 to 10,000 with amsoil.
 

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My transmission is exceptionally whiney.

.
There are several places that a 900 can whine that sound like it is transmission related, but is not. That is why I asked.
Also, the likelyhood that going up 5 or 10 points in oil viscosity will fix an
"exceptionally whiney" transmission (your quote, not mine) are slim to none.
 

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I was VERY sceptical about ANY changes in my bike when I switched to motorcycle specific Amsoil but was pleasently surprised at the noise level and performance.
 

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With metric bikes sharing the oil for engine and tranny, it would be hard to do much about an tranny whine with an oil... syns would be better I suppose... I know they are better for the engine side. On most Harleys they have seperate engine and tranny oil, and in that case the tranny oil can make a huge difference (been there and done that)...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, sounds like I need to stick with good old fashioned motorcycle oil. Thanks for the info fellas. I guess I'll just wear my full face to muffle out the sound.:)
 

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Well, sounds like I need to stick with good old fashioned motorcycle oil. Thanks for the info fellas. I guess I'll just wear my full face to muffle out the sound.:)
Either that or invest in loud pipes :D

I think we all hear noises from our bikes from time to time... more so than we would from a cage.. some are just normal bike noises :eek:
 

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I was VERY sceptical about ANY changes in my bike when I switched to motorcycle specific Amsoil but was pleasently surprised at the noise level and performance.
The Amsoil is well worth the price IMHO... and a syn will make a bike a tad quieter, among helping other things like engine wear... but there are those that deny this :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
sfair,

I have read on more than one occcasion that some choose Rotella over conventional oil due to supposedly improved performance and reduced drive train noise. I was asking those who have tried this particular brand of oil to see if their experiences were similar.

My viscosity relates to the machines operating environment. We just broke 27 straight days of 100 + F. For the next week daytime temperatures are to reach 97-98 F. Per the owners manual, SAE 10W-40 is not suited for these temperatures. However, that is what the dealer provides. 20W50 is not suited for temperatures lower than 32 F, and it does occasionally freeze here. 10W50 should work year round, however 15W40 seems more popular. My riding conditions would be different than that of someone riding in Montana or NY or Canada. Therefore, I targeted my question to those who ride in similar temperatures on a regular basis.

Per 2009 VN900B maintenance manual, page 583, abnormal drive train noise may result from the following.

Abnormal Drive Train Noise:
Clutch noise:
Clutch housing/friction plate clearance excessive
Clutch housing gear worn
Wrong installation of outside friction plate

Transmission noise:
Bearings worn
Transmission gear worn or chipped
Metal chips jammed in gear teeth
Engine oil insufficient

Drive line noise:
Drive belt adjusted improperly
Drive belt worn
Rear and/or engine pully worn
Rear wheel misaligned

The belt is adjusted to the correct tension and shows no abnormal wear.
The clutch functions correctly and I have no reason to suspect damage.
The bike has less than 3500 miles on it.
Oil levels are sufficient.
I thought changing oil brands might be worth a shot.

Have a good night.
 

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I don't know what the attraction is to a diesel engine oil like Rotella, but I hear of guys using it. Probably best to just use a motorcycle specific oil, in my opinion.
Sure... but just for the record, while Rotella is not specifically and uniquely made for motorcycles, it is JASO-MA rated which is one of the main requirements for motorcycle usage. So in my opinion, Rotella also qualifies as "a motorcycle oil" and that's just one of the reasons I've continued to use it so far (three oil changes).
 

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My transmission is exceptionally whiney. :mad: Is anyone running Shell Rotella 15W40 Motor Oil in a warm weather climate? If so, has it's use had a positive effect on reducing the 900 noises? I have read some good things, but I wanted to hear from my fellow Vulcan riders before changin the oil out. I look forward to hearing from those that have experience in this matter.

The temperatures where I live are frequently over 100+ F, so I believe going over 10W40 is appropriate. The coldest I can expect to see this winter is probably 20 F or so. A little chilly for 20W50, but still useable per the manual.
Ken, I have used 15-40 rotella (dino).....5-40 rotella (syn)...which is really dino, but, that is another story lol......and Amsoil. Tranny whine was consistant across the board. Straight cut gears I'm afraid. I found the Rotella seemed to "wear out" quickly. This is just a seat of the pants observation that is by no means backed my engine oil analysis. I have read MANY forums that suggest Rotella stays within grade at sufficient drainage intervals. I found the tranny to get a little clunky after 2 thousand kms with the Rottela, regardless of grade. I have been running the Amsoil for 3000 kms now. It behaves like the Rotella did when I first put it in. The most important thing I did for the nine's drivability so far was change my grade of gasoline. It took me 7500 kms to realize that MY 900 absolutely HATES premium gas. I usually ran two tanks of premium to one tank regular. I always had an intermittent "ticking" issue. It came and went, seemingly at will, however, a pattern began to emerge. Everytime I put that one tank of regular in the tick went away. I put back to back tanks of regular in and n0 tick.....went back to premium and lo and behold......tick. Seems like the anti-knock flash point of the higher octane gas wasn't suitable for my bike. Anyways, to summarize, Rotella, Amsoil did nothing for the whine....but regular gas cured my tick....lmao.
 

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I don't know what the attraction is to a diesel engine oil like Rotella, but I hear of guys using it. Probably best to just use a motorcycle specific oil, in my opinion.
ZDDP in the oil; stuff the engine likes and EPA doesn't (zinc, phosphorus, sulfur). Better anti wear and corrosion resistance.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Update

I dropped by Walmart after a four hour ride and immediately ran into a large display of Rotella 15W-40 on sale for $12.00 a gallon :cool: It must have been a sign! I picked up a filter for an additional $2.84. So, for less than $15.00 I changed the oil and filter, then went for a test ride. Strangely enough, the noise that has been bothering me is reduced. The only thing I hear now is a little wind (very little), some clicking, the generator, and the exhaust. :D Thanks for all of your input fellas. I just can't justify the extra cash on Amsoil, even if it does last twice as long.

P.S.-The dealer overfilled the bike. I drained almost 5 quarts from her. I can't give full credit to the brand change.
 

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Rotella

I dropped by Walmart after a four hour ride and immediately ran into a large display of Rotella 15W-40 on sale for $12.00 a gallon :cool: It must have been a sign! I picked up a filter for an additional $2.84. So, for less than $15.00 I changed the oil and filter, then went for a test ride. Strangely enough, the noise that has been bothering me is reduced. The only thing I hear now is a little wind (very little), some clicking, the generator, and the exhaust. :D Thanks for all of your input fellas. I just can't justify the extra cash on Amsoil, even if it does last twice as long.

P.S.-The dealer overfilled the bike. I drained almost 5 quarts from her. I can't give full credit to the brand change.

Thank you for the update. I just started using Rotella Triple protection in my V Star 1300 after 30K of Mobil 1 20W50 and noticed a significant difference in engine noise. I am going to use it in the wife's 900 this time around too.
 

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Need some info. Purchased a 09 900D Vulcan LT, have 1100 miles on it, Would now be the right time to change to synthetic oil?, If not then when? Want proper break in. Wanting to use synthetic ASAP. Only have bike about five weeks. Thanks, H. This forum has been a very great help.
 

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I use Amsoil and am extremely satisfied

I switched to Amsoil sythetic 10W-40 at the 600 mile service and have no complaints about valve tapping, transmission whining or any other click or clack. The only time I've noticed any tap is when I start it up after refueling and it's really hot out, above 90. But in a second or two it quiets right down. Then funny thing is this doesn't happen during start it up when the engine is cold or after I've run it and it sits for awhile. My brother-in-law has a Gold Wing with 150k miles and has used Amsoil since it was new and has never had any engine failure and goes double what Honda recommends for oil change intervals. I think you should have no problem switching to synthetic since you're past the initial break-in period.
 
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