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Discussion Starter #1
I have 2,600 miles on my 2010 Vulcan 900 Custom and have made the decision to switch to synthetic motorcycle oil and a K&N 303 oil filter. I would like to make the change by 3,000 miles so, I ordered two K&N KN-303 Motorcycle/Powersports High Performance Oil Filters and a case of six quarts Mobil 1 Racing 4T 10W-40 Motorcycle Oil. It cost me just over $90. for the order through Amazon.com. I will pick up a couple extra quarts of Mobil 1 from my local Auto Zone and have just enough for two oil changes.

I had the the dealer change the oil at 425 miles and did my own oil change just before 1,400 miles. I will keep records and do my own oil changes because I like knowing it is done right. Only time will tell if I am doing the right thing changing to synthetic oil and aftermarket oil filter.
 

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I have 2,600 miles on my 2010 Vulcan 900 Custom and have made the decision to switch to synthetic motorcycle oil and a K&N 303 oil filter. I would like to make the change by 3,000 miles so, I ordered two K&N KN-303 Motorcycle/Powersports High Performance Oil Filters and a case of six quarts Mobil 1 Racing 4T 10W-40 Motorcycle Oil. It cost me just over $90. for the order through Amazon.com. I will pick up a couple extra quarts of Mobil 1 from my local Auto Zone and have just enough for two oil changes.

I had the the dealer change the oil at 425 miles and did my own oil change just before 1,400 miles. I will keep records and do my own oil changes because I like knowing it is done right. Only time will tell if I am doing the right thing changing to synthetic oil and aftermarket oil filter.
Wow... Looks like I probably wont be switching to synthetic purely based on cost unless I can find an automotive based synthetic that is JASO MA approved. I'd be hard pressed to tell my GF I spent over $70 just to change the oil myself. 4 qts at $15 plus a filter can get expensive over the course of a few oil changes a year.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wow... Looks like I probably wont be switching to synthetic purely based on cost unless I can find an automotive based synthetic that is JASO MA approved. I'd be hard pressed to tell my GF I spent over $70 just to change the oil myself. 4 qts at $15 plus a filter can get expensive over the course of a few oil changes a year.
Yes, it does seem a little over the top but my dealer charges $130. for conventional petroleum oil change. That may not be justification enough to change to synthetic but it helps. lol I take a lot of pride in my bike and if changing to synthetic will help like many on this forum have experienced, I feel it is worth a try.
 

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I just did my first oil change on the 900 today. I used the K&N 303 and Amsoil synthetic.

$12.99 for the K&N oil filter and $35 for the Amsoil Synthetic oil for motorcycles.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I just did my first oil change on the 900 today. I used the K&N 303 and Amsoil synthetic.

$12.99 for the K&N oil filter and $35 for the Amsoil Synthetic oil for motorcycles.
You best me by about $20. and some say Amsoil is #1 synthetic . Good on you!:eek:
 

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wont be switching to synthetic purely based on cost unless I can find an automotive based synthetic that is JASO MA approved.
Shell Rotella T6 in the blue jug, $22 per gallon at Walmart.

I agree, $70 for an oil change is crazy.
 

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Are you sure the $130 was just an oil change? I paid $125 a few years ago for a valve check w/ oil change.
 

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I now have ~10,500mi on my '09 Custom SE and have done two oil/filter chgs myself, at 6,200 right after I bought it, and at 10,000, used Castrol Actevo 4T Semi-Synth 10W-40 (~ $6.50/qt from Cycle Gear) and K&N 303, plan to keep using both.

On my first oil chg, I found all previous commmentary about the filter being king-konged on by the previous mechanic to be predictably true, filter was OEM, probably dealer installed, and would NOT come off ... I tried a strap wrench, then a three-armed compression type filter wrench from Harbor Freight, which turned out to be a POJ, it did nothing but slip along the filter can surface, so I returned it for a refund. I ended up using my largest Channellock pliers to twist the filter cartridge off near the base, destroyed it but it finally came off. I hand-tightened the new filter (K&N 303) about 1/3 turn past first contact (don't forget to wet BOTH sides of the gasket w/ oil!), no leaks and it came off no problem with moderate torque on the K&N "hex cap" at the 10K change.

Bike runs just fine on the Castrol, it hums like a little turbine engine; shifting is a bit clunky right after startup, but smoothes out once oil is warmed up. I don't think it's worth the money to put full synthetic into the low-revving, relatively low output motor on my 900, esp. when I plan to change my oil every 3-4K miles for the rest of its service life. Synthetic may remain effective as a lubricant for 10-15K miles due to it's superior chemistry and molecular composition, but all oil becomes contaminated just as fast in our hard-working little motor/tranmissions, and should be changed just as frequently as non-synth, IMO. I like to think I'm getting some of the high-lubricity/low wear benefits from the semi-synthetic mix, at a much lower cost. Anyway, I'm liking the Castrol Actevo and plan to stick with it... just my $.02. SH.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Are you sure the $130 was just an oil change? I paid $125 a few years ago for a valve check w/ oil change.
Perhaps I was being a bit facetious. This is what I paid for my 600 mile service.
The bill only showed an oil and filter change in which I have legitmate reason to believe they did not change the oil filter. I can't believe they did much more than change the oil. I hope!
 

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My dealer is quoting me $180 for the 600 mile checkup. Of course they also wanted to sell me the 3 year service maintenance plan for $995 and I've seen others say they only paid $595 for it, so maybe I need to be looking for a cheaper dealer.
 

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My dealer is quoting me $180 for the 600 mile checkup. Of course they also wanted to sell me the 3 year service maintenance plan for $995 and I've seen others say they only paid $595 for it, so maybe I need to be looking for a cheaper dealer.
Check your IM

Rod
 

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Been changing my own oil & filters for years. I like the Castrol ActEvo semi-synthetic oil. The best prices for it are at Cycle Gear stores. Unfortunately, we don't have Cycle Gear up here in Alaksa, so I've been using Shell Rotella T/6 full synthetic. Get it at Wally World.

Personally, I don't think you need to pay what they want for the K&N oil filters. NAPA sells their NAPA Gold series, Carquest's oil filter is good. Both are Wix filters which are top filters and half the price of a K&N or Amsoil filter. The Puraltor Pure One filter is also a very good filter, and is very reasonably priced.

On a side note, up here, they don't pick up your used engine oil when they pick up your trash, but I got tickled at the guy from the trash service. He grabbed that gallon of used motorcycle oil in a heartbeat. Said it works great for chainsaw oil!! :) Saves me a trip to the recycle center to pay to get rid of the oil, and him the price of a gallon of chainsaw oil.
 

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I have a sure fire test to insure the filter gets changed out from a dealer. Take a scribe and scratch an initial or a symbol in the paint in plain sight ! If the mark is still there after the service then scream and holler your complaint and point out your mark to there red faced manager.
Also, when you pick up your bike, park it right in front of the service doors and go over all the paint looking for any signs of blistering, dents or scratches. On multiple visits, when I had the extended warranter and service agreement, Mine came back to me with blisters on the paint from "CARB DIP" Twice I missed it due to rain. Once I caught it and they bought me a new fender. I still have spots on rear fender and tank from them. I wonder why they are going out of business ?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Does this look right?

Approximate cost per oil change with discount prices and tax.

Mobil 1 4T with K&N Filter.... $60

Amsoil with K&N Filter...........$50

Rotella T6 with Wal-Mart supertech filter.....$30.
 

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I've used Rotella T6 synthetic with the local dealers filter from the time I put about 10k on her. My last oil change I went with the Rotella T 15W40 and dropped in a set of NGK Iridium plugs (CPR7EAIX-9) As of today my bike has 34200 miles and it's running great and i've never had any problems what so ever with my bike. $50-$60 oil change vs my $25 oil change. I guess i'm just trying to make a point thats Rotella is good oil at half the cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I hope I an not doing a Alonso Quijano ( Don Quixote ) fantasy .....tilting at windmills with this synthetic oil notion :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Got it done at 2,735 miles! This was oil change number three. One by the Dealer and two by me. My oil was delivered last Thursday evening and I spent a good part of the day (Saturday 18th) changing over to synthetic oil and K&K filter. The oil change didn't take long but I took my time and checked the bike over good for a little TLC.

Let me say, the synthetic oil made a huge difference in the way the bike runs. I can cruise at 105 mph now and never feel the need for fifth gear until I bump it up to around 130 mph. :D ;)

I started taking the electrical connectors apart and cleaning with CRC QD Electronic Cleaner. After cleaning I packed them with CRC Di-Electric Grease. I didn't get them all done today but I am off to a good start. I hope to make it rain proof.
 
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