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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I own a Vulcan 900 / 2009 (32,000 km). Until December the bike was in South Africa and the previous owner was using Castrol Actevo semi synthetic 10W40. I'm in Tanzania, I can't find this type of oil here. My question is, I want to change the type of oil and I don't know if is better to go on full synthethic oil or to stick on semi synthetic.

My choices are:

Synthetic
1. Bel-Ray EXS Synthetic Ester 4T 10W40
2. Motul 7100 4T 10W-40

Semi synthetic
1. Bel-Ray EXP Synthetic Ester Blend 4T 10W40
2. Motul 5100 4T 10W-40

Thank you !
Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Now, Kawasaki specs are 10W40. But here in Tanzania the weather is only hot, between 29-35 degrees throughout the year. I'm thinking to switch on 20W50... !?
 

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I don't recommend 20W-50 in the Vulcan 900. It's too thick during cold starts. For high temps,the manual recommends 10W-50. I use this in my bike here in Texas. Not too many oil companies sell that weight for motorcycle oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I don't recommend 20W-50 in the Vulcan 900. It's too thick during cold starts. For high temps,the manual recommends 10W-50. I use this in my bike here in Texas. Not too many oil companies sell that weight for motorcycle oil.
Ok. Then what do you think about 15W50 from Liqui Molly !?
 

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Jim, after more research 10w40 should be fine, if the temp does not get above 40C outside, which is the limit for 10w40 on the Vulcan 900. Also do not use an oil with an API higher than SM. For higher APIs than SM, there is not enough phosphate (reduced for catalytic converters) to lube the camshafts properly. Also JASO MA, MA1, or MA2 will work, but I prefer MA2 because the clutch has better bite.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Jim, after more research 10w40 should be fine, if the temp does not get above 40C outside, which is the limit for 10w40 on the Vulcan 900. Also do not use an oil with an API higher than SM. For higher APIs than SM, there is not enough phosphate (reduced for catalytic converters) to lube the camshafts properly. Also JASO MA, MA1, or MA2 will work, but I prefer MA2 because the clutch has better bite.
In Tanzania the temp is between 29-40C all over the year. Because the humidity is very high almost all the time, you feel like 50C.
Liqui Moly is available on the market with 4T oil. Castrol and Total they are also on the market but they don't have 4T oil.
Liqui Moly they have this oil on stock:
1. MOTORBIKE 4T 10W-40 STREET
2. MOTORBIKE 4T 15W-50 STREET
 

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I checked the specs for both oils. ZDDP (zinc phosphate) does not exist in high enough quantities to properly lube the mechanical (solid lifter) camshafts in the Vulcan 900. Both oils are API SN, the highest API level recommended in the owner's manual is SM. However, I stand corrected on the viscosity. According to the owner's manual, 20w50 is acceptable, as long as you do not run it when the outside temp is below 0C. 0C is the low temp limit for 20w50. An oil that starts with 10w is good down to -10C, according to the manual.

I use Castrol Power 1 4T 10w50 in my bike, but I understand that is probably not available in your area. This oil is API SL, JASO MA2.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I checked the specs for both oils. ZDDP (zinc phosphate) does not exist in high enough quantities to properly lube the mechanical (solid lifter) camshafts in the Vulcan 900. Both oils are API SN, the highest API level recommended in the owner's manual is SM. However, I stand corrected on the viscosity. According to the owner's manual, 20w50 is acceptable, as long as you do not run it when the outside temp is below 0C. 0C is the low temp limit for 20w50. An oil that starts with 10w is good down to -10C, according to the manual.

I use Castrol Power 1 4T 10w50 in my bike, but I understand that is probably not available in your area. This oil is API SL, JASO MA2.
The temp here is not going bellow 24C never. For the moment I have 2 options, 10W40 or 20W50.
 

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If it can get to 40C, then I would go with 20w50, in spite of my earlier objection. If it does not get below 0C, then that is within spec, according to the owner's manual.
 

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If it can get to 40C, then I would go with 20w50, in spite of my earlier objection. If it does not get below 0C, then that is within spec, according to the owner's manual.
Hi!

Now, I can bring this oils from another country, but still I don't know on which one to go:
1. BEL-RAY EXP SYNTHETIC ESTER BLEND 4T 10W-40
2. BEL-RAY EXS FULL SYNTHETIC ESTER 4T 10W-40
3. BEL-RAY EXP SYNTHETIC ESTER BLEND 4T 15W50
4. BEL-RAY EXS FULL SYNTHETIC ESTER 4T 15W-50
 

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The BelRay ester blend 15w50 looks good except for one thing, it is API SN. This oil is designed for the latest catalytic converters and does not have enough zinc phosphate to properly lube the cams. Of the oils you listed in this thread, I would go with Motul 5100 synth blend 15w50. Meets all specs. API SM (good enough for cams), JASO MA2 (excellent wet clutch performance), semi synth (which the bike had been running previously). I remember a Kawasaki tech with many years experience said the Vulcan 900 likes semi synthetic best. As long as it doesn't get below 0C outside (if it does don't start it) then the Motul 5100 4T 15w50 is your best choice.
 

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Remember, there is an automotive and a motorcycle version of this oil. Make sure it is Motul 5100 "4T" 15w50, which is the motorcycle oil. Only the motorcycle oil says "JASO MA2" on the bottle.
 
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