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Discussion Starter #1
After three (3) years of reading about using Diesel oil in motorcycles, it finally took owning a Kawasaki cruiser to nudge me in the Rotella direction. I had a hard time with the "Kawi tick" and just couldn't get used to it. The final straw was last time I fueled up a guy came over and said "nice bike, why is it ticking like that"?
This is the second VN900 I have owned and both ticked like CRAZY when started. Sometimes they tick when riding. Putting Cobras on to "cover the tick" seemed ridiculous.
I have several friends that own that other nice V-TWIN cruiser and the manual states to use a high quality heavy-duty diesel oil if HD oil isn't available. Bearing that in mind (no pun intended), I drained my bike and filled it with 5w-40 Rotella synthetic. It isn't energy conserving (won't harm our wet clutches), has excellent UOA (used oil analysis) data posted all over the net, and it's the correct viscosity for our bikes( the 5w refers to the winter designation, the 40 is the viscosity), it has an excellent additive package and last but not least I bought a 4 liter jug for less than the cost of 2 quarts of Amsoil (my favorite oil)!
Guess what? No tick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!and the bike runs as smooth as butter.
I can't believe the difference. The oil must have excellent film strength because upon start-up the bike PURRRRRS!
The Shell/Rotella site has a motorcycle forum. Some guy who races bikes just posted pics of his internals (his bikes, ahem) and the engine looks like new...after 65,000 miles!
Now, this ISN'T MC specific oil and Shell refuses to put a picture of a motorcycle on it, but, it passes Jamo certification (finally due to it's newest formula and lower ash content). The latest formula does have moly in it, but it's 180-200 ppm (far less than the 900 ppm that MIGHT cause clutch trouble). I guess if clutch trouble was a risk...it would be popping up, and it isn't.
I guess convincing myself to put Diesel oil in my bike was the hardest part. It is either the best kept secret....or the biggest sham in town. I guess I'll finally see first hand. The Shell 5-40 synthetic was 22.00 for a 4 liter jug (compared to my fave oil which is 19.99 a liter here in Canada).
The Shell 15-40 dino oil (purportedly just as good) was a ridiculous 12.99 a jug.
Time will tell, but based upon my first impressions, I'm excited!
 

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I agree with you on the cost of synthetic oil. In the 17 month I've owned my ride, the Kaw synthetic went from 9.97/qt to $13/qt. Mobil 1 went from 8.97 to 10.97 for the 10-40 (can still get 20-50 VTwin at WalMart for 8.97). I wish you luck with your switch and hope it continues to work well for you. As for me, I'll be sticking with my Mobil 1 and it's corresponding filter. I just changed it yesterday at 4K miles and yes, it looked like it was due. My indy mech said that he changes his HD at 3K, but if he's on a trip and runs over, he knows he's good for xtra miles w/o worry. I may do the same.
 

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I have been using Rotella for 2 years now in both bikes. I have other friends who have been using it even longer. when you change it next, look at the color difference. It will look more like new than dino oil.
 

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Shell is a great marketer of oil that is for sure. Way better at advertising than anyone else. Oils that turn dark fast are designed to do that as they grab the carbon molecules and keep them from contacting metal. Oil designed for a diesel is formulated differently but ill have to call my buddy at Mobil about it as I cant remember what the differences are exactly.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Shell is a great marketer of oil that is for sure. Way better at advertising than anyone else. Oils that turn dark fast are designed to do that as they grab the carbon molecules and keep them from contacting metal. Oil designed for a diesel is formulated differently but ill have to call my buddy at Mobil about it as I cant remember what the differences are exactly.
Shell doesn't market Rotella for Motorcycles......
They won't even sponsor racing applications.
UOA'S don't lie. There is data all over the web.
I guess the clincher for me was where I bought my bike. I asked all the questions about oil, ya know, synthetic for wet clutch applications etc.... I was looking around the shop waiting for my first service to be done when the part owner (who holds several National championship titles) called me over to his desk. He told me conventional wisdom suggests not to use synthetic for the first 1000 miles, to let the rings seat properly)...which is still debated because several manufacturers send their machines out of the factory with synthetic....anyways, he said, after break-in.....he uses .....u guessed it, Rotella. He went on to say he rarely admits that to anyone as he sells Kawasaki oil exclusively. He chuckled and said he'd deny it if I told anyone....lol.
I guess an oil that protects million dollar rigs must have something going for it, just make sure you use the correct weight.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Just came back from a 30 mile ride.
My bike is a completely different machine. Engine noise is reduced, no clunk in the shifting (which is freaking me out).
Seriously, I only hear a click when shifting.
Engine breaking has been dramatically reduced! Don't know if I like that, but, surely it's an indication of less stress of engine internals.
Above all, no "ticking like crazy" upon initial start-up.
I'll keep everyone posted about my Rotella experiment. So far, so good.
Btw, I rode through town in second, doing 60 kph. I have never done that before. The engine was barely working. Regardless what happens, I'll never run oem dino oil again. Period.
I am and always was a huge fan of Amsoil. If I can save huge money running this diesel oil I won't hesitate to switch.
 

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Well all I know is my friends (bikers) swear by it and that was all it took for me to make the switch. The stuff is magic...and has ZDDP which some engines need to keep the valvetrain happy.
 

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I had to go look at those pictures... pretty impressive.

http://tinyurl.com/ntjyon

I am picking my new LT up tomorrow :D and I think this might be a good way to go. So far, I have only used 15W-40 Rotella dino in my VN 750 for the past six years, and always been happy with the smoothness, etc.

Can 15w-40 dino be used safely in the 900? Or do you all really suggest the syn. I have a couple of gallons of 15w-40 Rotella dino left over in the garage I might as well use up.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I had to go look at those pictures... pretty impressive.

http://tinyurl.com/ntjyon

I am picking my new LT up tomorrow :D and I think this might be a good way to go. So far, I have only used 15W-40 Rotella dino in my VN 750 for the past six years, and always been happy with the smoothness, etc.

Can 15w-40 dino be used safely in the 900? Or do you all really suggest the syn. I have a couple of gallons of 15w-40 Rotella dino left over in the garage I might as well use up.
You sir are probably more experienced with Rotella than I.......EVERYTHING I have read suggests the dino version acts like a synthetic as it is a group 3 oil. I chose the synthetic version because of the 5 w designation, it's gonna get mighty cold here soon, and I wanted an oil that would be thin at start-up. I'd be interested in hearing your opinion on the Rotella 15w-40 as you've been using it for six years! Wow, how many miles does the 750 have, any trouble (oil wise) etc...?
 

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I'd be interested in hearing your opinion on the Rotella 15w-40 as you've been using it for six years! Wow, how many miles does the 750 have, any trouble (oil wise) etc...?
Just traded in the old 750 (many fond memories!!) and picked up the new 900LT yesterday. Rode it home with x-treme caution at first, but gradually got used to the feel and slightly different riding position than I'm used to. By the time I got home, I was brave enough to take my wife for a cruise around tha lake and out for a bite of dinner to celebrate!

But to answer your question, I had well over 48K miles on it and really no problems that I can think of. I used it for commuting (in the warm season) which caused me to put on avg 100 miles a day, much of it at Interstate speeds (70-80mph). It went through some oil, I had to keep the level checked and top it off about once a week, and I changed it every 2-3k miles, but otherwise no problems that I could identify.
 

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After three (3) years of reading about using Diesel oil in motorcycles, it finally took owning a Kawasaki cruiser to nudge me in the Rotella direction. I had a hard time with the "Kawi tick" and just couldn't get used to it. The final straw was last time I fueled up a guy came over and said "nice bike, why is it ticking like that"?
This is the second VN900 I have owned and both ticked like CRAZY when started. Sometimes they tick when riding. Putting Cobras on to "cover the tick" seemed ridiculous.
I have several friends that own that other nice V-TWIN cruiser and the manual states to use a high quality heavy-duty diesel oil if HD oil isn't available. Bearing that in mind (no pun intended), I drained my bike and filled it with 5w-40 Rotella synthetic. It isn't energy conserving (won't harm our wet clutches), has excellent UOA (used oil analysis) data posted all over the net, and it's the correct viscosity for our bikes( the 5w refers to the winter designation, the 40 is the viscosity), it has an excellent additive package and last but not least I bought a 4 liter jug for less than the cost of 2 quarts of Amsoil (my favorite oil)!
Guess what? No tick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!and the bike runs as smooth as butter.
I can't believe the difference. The oil must have excellent film strength because upon start-up the bike PURRRRRS!
The Shell/Rotella site has a motorcycle forum. Some guy who races bikes just posted pics of his internals (his bikes, ahem) and the engine looks like new...after 65,000 miles!
Now, this ISN'T MC specific oil and Shell refuses to put a picture of a motorcycle on it, but, it passes Jamo certification (finally due to it's newest formula and lower ash content). The latest formula does have moly in it, but it's 180-200 ppm (far less than the 900 ppm that MIGHT cause clutch trouble). I guess if clutch trouble was a risk...it would be popping up, and it isn't.
I guess convincing myself to put Diesel oil in my bike was the hardest part. It is either the best kept secret....or the biggest sham in town. I guess I'll finally see first hand. The Shell 5-40 synthetic was 22.00 for a 4 liter jug (compared to my fave oil which is 19.99 a liter here in Canada).
The Shell 15-40 dino oil (purportedly just as good) was a ridiculous 12.99 a jug.
Time will tell, but based upon my first impressions, I'm excited!


I've been using Rotella for over 60,000 miles and getting great results. I've been suggesting it as a less expensive alternative to high priced MC oils. I've tried other oils, including MC oils and always go back to Rotella. There are also many riders on VROC and Delphi that use it with great results, some with 75 thousand or more miles. Yes, there is lots of good UOAs on Vulcans, Hondas, etc., even the Goldwing riders are using it. Shell has done friction requirement tests and it does meet JASO-MA requirements. They also recommend it's use in motorcycles on their website. The spec is not on the label bascially because they would need to pay a licensing fee for using it, and 99% of the market use is truckers.
 

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Just my .02, which is probably worth even less... until my bike is out of warranty, if it doesn't have every label/certification/designation/rating/weight etc. that is recommended by the MOM, it ain't goin' into my bike. :)

After that... who knows? I still have until next April to make up my mind. Unless I opt for the "extension", in which case, please see the aforementioned statement. :D

Having said all that, I'd like to add...

HAVE A GREAT DAY! And let us know how the testing goes, Silent! I'm eager to hear, as are many, I'm sure.
 

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Quote from Shell:

We recently ran the JASO MA friction test on Rotella T with Triple
Protection 15W-40, Rotella T Synthetic 5W-40 (CI-4) and our soon to be
introduced (within the next 2 months) Rotella T Synthetic 5W-40 CJ-4.
All three oils passed the wet clutch friction test. Rotella T Synthetic
5W-40 (CI-4) has more than 1.2% ash (JASO MA spec limit) so it can not
be classified as JASO MA. However, Rotella T with Triple Protection
15W-40 and our soon to be introduced Rotella T Synthetic 5W-40 CJ-4 do
meet JASO MA."

If you have any additional questions please call us at 800-231-6950.
Thank you for your interest in Shell products.

Richard Moore
Staff Engineer
Shell Global Solutions (US) Inc.
Westhollow Technology Center, PO Box 4327, Houston, TX 77210, United
States of America
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I have come to the conclusion that I will change the Rotella after 3000 miles. I'll switch to Amsoil next. It will be interesting to compare the two, as, Amsoil was the only oil I used in my previous bikes. It's just it's been a long time since I owned a bike that required so much oil.....and the price of Amsoil has gone through the proverbial roof here in Canada.
This oil thing is becoming a compulsion. Bob(who has always been a gentleman, even when debated) must have a very rewarding job. Discussing this never- ending topic is fun.
Thanks to all who have shared their Rotella stories.
Regards, Silent.
 

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Wellll... I was at Wally World this morning and decided to take the plunge. $19 for a gallon of synthetic ain't bad. I changed the oil (using a K&N filter). My previous oil was a Motul synthetic blend that I paid twice as much for. I had 3700 mile on the oil and it still had some clairity to it. I was impressed. Anyway, I put the Rotella in and took Eljay for a spin. If ever a bike said "thank you" out loud for doing something, it was at that moment. I was instantly impressed with the improvement of shifting, sound and feel. Now we'll have to see how it holds up for awhile.

As a side-note, I stopped by the dealer where I adopted Eljay and talked with the service manager. The owners manual states to change the oil and filter every 7500 miles. I asked him if that was appropriate and he told me it was. I asked about the fact most bike manuals call for it sooner and he told me that in general, every 3000 miles is the industry standard. I don' plan to go 7500 and with the price of the Rotella T (blue jug), 3000 miles is affordable, even with the K&N filter (I really like the hex nut on the end to help get it off). Say Amen brothers and sisters and keep those nickels, dimes and quarters coming in!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Wellll... I was at Wally World this morning and decided to take the plunge. $19 for a gallon of synthetic ain't bad. I changed the oil (using a K&N filter). My previous oil was a Motul synthetic blend that I paid twice as much for. I had 3700 mile on the oil and it still had some clairity to it. I was impressed. Anyway, I put the Rotella in and took Eljay for a spin. If ever a bike said "thank you" out loud for doing something, it was at that moment. I was instantly impressed with the improvement of shifting, sound and feel. Now we'll have to see how it holds up for awhile.

As a side-note, I stopped by the dealer where I adopted Eljay and talked with the service manager. The owners manual states to change the oil and filter every 7500 miles. I asked him if that was appropriate and he told me it was. I asked about the fact most bike manuals call for it sooner and he told me that in general, every 3000 miles is the industry standard. I don' plan to go 7500 and with the price of the Rotella T (blue jug), 3000 miles is affordable, even with the K&N filter (I really like the hex nut on the end to help get it off). Say Amen brothers and sisters and keep those nickels, dimes and quarters coming in!!!
I had the exact same "thank-you" experience.
It's a completely different bike! I swear the rpm's have even gone down....it's so bloody smooth. In fact, I've noticed the engine breaking even changed, for the first time the bike seems to "coast" when you let off the throttle.....it's hard to believe the nine could get so quiet.
 

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I was doing some research last night and came accross this on the Kawiforums (mostly sport type of bikes). The dicussion includes a rep from Amsoil chiming in about using non-motorcycle specific oil in bikes. As for me I may give this stuff a shot and see how it works. Also found someone who swipped my Avitar...

http://www.kawiforums.com/oil-lubrication/109849-shell-rotella-t-full-synthetic-6.html


As far as cost.. If you run Rotella, without using analysis, you are limited to the OEM change interval. With AMSOIL, and the AMSOIL Filter, you can safely go 2 times OEM Interval or one year without Analysis, effectively cutting the cost by 1/2. Using Analysis I am well over 9000 mile intervals. So now, I literally cut the cost of AMSOIL to 1/3.

I also ride with the bags and Tour Pack loaded, Pull a trailer usually loaded with oil and ride two up. Talk about hard on oil and I can still go over 9000 Safely

By the book, you should not store your bike on used oil due to acidity and not start your engine once the new oil has been installed. This has been tested many times and Briggs and Stratton was huge on this back in the 70's already. Then, you are suppose to change the oil and filter again in the Spring. All $$$ adding up not to mention time.

With AMSOIL, you can safely store on the same oil.

Other additives AMSOIL has that Rotella and many oils do not... Anti-Wear additives for the transmission, Anti-Rust and Corrosion Inhibitors which are effective for both short term (2 weeks) and long term (Storage) plus additives to give AMSOIL a JASO MA 2 Clutch rating, the highest rating available.

Is Rotella a good oil ? Yes... Are there better oils on the Market ? Absolutely.

As far as comparing a "Rig".. Except for Soot (gas eng. do not produce) they are actually quite easy on oil. A "High Revving" diesel is 3600 RPM. That is why a Diesel oil can be produced for less $$. And all Rotella is a Group III Base which is less expensive as well.



Regardless of Brand, Synthetic or Petroleum, I always recommend a Motorcycle Specifc oil with a JASO MA Rating, better yet, MA 2, but never MB.

Oil, is the Life Blood of your engine. The oil filter, is the Kidney that keeps it clean.
 

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I saw the postings over on the Kawasaki forum (and the dude who swipped my avitar). I didn't do this light heartedly, certainly. I fully understand the life blood part. I'll give this a try and see how it works out. I really don't "store" my bike, being in Sacramento. I ride year round so that part's not an issue with me. Amsoil doesn't seem to be all that readily available in these parts and if it is, what can I expect to pay for a gal/quart of this liquid gold you speak of.
I don't doubt the quality of your product (I expect your position in part as an agent of the product). If I knew my bike was going to run as well as it did yesterday using your product, I'd seriously consider it. I was given a lot of lip service with the Motul, but there was no differance between that and the stock dino stuff they put in it at 600 miles. I feel hesitant running a filter for 9000 miles (though I was impressed with how well the old oil looked at 3500 miles). I don't think I could "comfortably" run any oil or filter any further than the OEM recommendation of 7500 miles.
The bottom line is no matter what I use, someone is going to have a different idea about how I should take care of Eljay with some form of proof as to why. Life isn't always "this is the only acceptable way to go". So who am I to believe what is best at an affordable price...
 
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