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(Newbie question alert...)So if you've read a few of my posts, I am a very new motorcycle owner and rider (4 rides so far!!). Tropical storm here in NC killed my first real weekend I would have had to ride. At any rate, I want to change the oil in my 500. I've done plenty of oil changes on cars, so my only question is: What type of oil do you recommend? I assume I can't just go buy some off the shelf 10W-40 I would put in my car for the bike. Should I run synthetic? I read about some other oil type, but I've already forgotten (ah Dino oil, that's it). I'm looking for something I can hopefully pick up at a local big box auto parts store (Advance, Napa, etc) and change later this week/weekend. I attempted to search the 500 forum, but didn't find anything too useful so I apologize if this has been addressed before.
 

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Lots of threads. Use a good quality motorcycle specific oil in the viscosity your manual recommends and change it often.
 

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BOTM Winner, May 2015
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everyone has an opinion, but Romans is correct, motorcycle specific, and change often. if you don't ride much yearly! or before you put the bike to sleep for winter. Enjoy your reading!
 

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oil

Just got my '15 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic LT. However in both my Honda Shadows VT1100s ('94 and '06) I ran what ever was cheap 10w-40 and changed at 6000 miles with oil filter every other oil change. These had 70000+ Mi on both. first one I destroyed the clutch with 10w-30 ( wife said get a new one). second one is still running strong. All this talk about gear shear and stuff to me is just that, talk. When I had my '88 Sportster 883 I wrote to H-D asking about oil and their reply was " Any good quality automotive oil will be usable."
 

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With a wet clutch and shared transmission on a metric, you want to be using motorcycle specific oil because of those peculiarities. At the very least, JASO MA rated oil.
 

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Glad it worked for you. Chances are, most bikes will last longer than the original owner will ride them even if not maintained well. Personally, 12k miles on a filter? I'd rather pay the few extra bucks and change it every time. Well before that 12,000 miles the filter will have bypassed; meaning it's not filtering anymore. But if it works for you, it works for you. Your bike. Stick with the brands you know work with a wet clutch; the only way to know beyond that is a JASO-MA rating on the bottle (meaning it's safe for a wet clutch). Clutches get expensive. Lots of automotive oils have the JASO-MA rating; not just motorcycle oils. But the motorcycle oils will have additives to help protect the shared transmission, etc. But if that's not important, then I get it! Chances are, you won't wear it out with cheap oil. Chances are, anyway. But we know from analyzing data (instead of "it works for me") in a lab from used engine oil that these modern MC specific synthetics will provide more protection and less wear than the cheap conventionals. Whether it will wear enough to actually cause a failure during your tenure with the bike is another question; and whether that matters to you at all.
 

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I have been using Shell Rotella T 15-40 for years in all my bikes. It has all the specific ratings that Kawasaki recommends. Walmart sells it for 13 bucks a gallon, a very good quality oil.
 

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I have been using Shell Rotella T 15-40 for years in all my bikes. It has all the specific ratings that Kawasaki recommends. Walmart sells it for 13 bucks a gallon, a very good quality oil.
Yep!!! :) ;)
 
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