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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am currently using Mobil 1 V Twin 20-50.

I am considering either Mobil 1 T4 or Rotella T6 next time.
 

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I see so many think shell rotella t6 5w40 is full synthetic, it is group III oil and synthetic is a group IV base
 

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I see so many think shell rotella t6 5w40 is full synthetic, it is group III oil and synthetic is a group IV base
"Synthetic" oils vary quite a bit in formulation and it is very hard to find out exactly what any particular oil is made of since they are not required to say. In my professional opinion (I am a CPA, not a petroleum engineer) the first things you look at are pour point and flash point to get an indication. I understand most of the Mobil 1 oils are actually Group III, not Group IV like they used to be. Price is an indication and at $ 12 or more per quart, Kawasaki Full Synthetic and Mobil 1 4T, among others, ought to be very good oils. (or, very well marketed)

I agree Group III base oils should be labeled "Semi-synthetic," but I have been overruled by those in authority. So, you go by what information you can get and the recommendation of others based on experience. I will not use Castrol oils because:

1. They are the ones who got Group III labeled full synthetic.

2. When I bought my 05 VW Jetta TDI, they sold a 505.01 VW spec oil that pretended to be synthetic and turned out to be a blend of Group I, Group II (dinosaur oils) and Group III oils. It is my belief that is why so many PD TDIs had cam problems. That and trying to go the recommended 10k miles on a substandard oil. I only used Group III or better oils in my TDI and at 212k miles it is still going strong.
 

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I am sure the Rotella T6 is not the "best" synthetic oil out there, but for me, I change the oil and filter every 2500-3000 miles anyway. In my application and opinion the Rotella T6 is by far better than the Factory 10w-40 oil, and cheaper to boot.

Most if not all mileage based shedueles are given "under ideal conditions". I don't know about you but I start and stop, ride in dusty/wet conditions/rev the engine, etc.
 
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Amsoil here. Getting it from the right sellers and it's as cheap as anything else (Mobil 1 or Valvoline that is). I buy it by the case for that much more of a discount. My personal opinion is that a motorcycle-specific conventional oil will offer much better protection of the wet clutch, transmission and overhead cams than diesel engine synthetic oil. JASO-MA is the bare minimum for wet clutch operation; but has nothing to do with the other unique properties of our engines. Oil designed for slow moving, high compression engines is going into bikes with very fast spinning overhead cams. It's certainly no skin off my nose; but I think that marketing has sung people to sleep with the notion that 'synthetic' (which is just a word slapped on a bottle anymore) is so much better, that it's somehow better than a motorcycle specific conventional. When in fact, the MC specific conventional oil will offer much much better protection. (And MC specific synthetic even better; but if we're talking like-for-like pricing).

One thing to note. Some are ALSO sucked into marketing gimmicks for "V-Twin Oil" and buy heavier weight oil than what the manual recommends. Our metric cruisers actually have a lot more in common with sportbikes than Harley-Davidsons. Shared oil between the engine and transmission, overhead cams, most Vulcan engines have a fairly high top end RPM too (the VN900 hit's 8k, and the 1700 revs faster than a Harley-Davidson 106"). The V2K is a little closer; being a slow revving lumbering engine; but the rest really would be better off with the oil marketed for 'sportbikes', with those additive packages. And running what the manual recommends; which on most bikes is 10W-40. Some misread the manual and think because it sometimes, once in a while, during the hottest part of the summer gets 'that hot', they run the oil for those conditions. But ultimately they are sacrificing protection to run the oil that's ideal for 2 or 3 days a year instead or running the oil that's best for the other 360+ days of the year. (Except, of course; for those in truly very hot climates; like Death Valley or southern Florida/Texas).

Just my $0.02. I'm happy with Amsoil but I was happy with Valvoline and Mobil 1 too. Any of the premium synthetic motorcycle specific oils will offer excellent protection.

I just did a used oil analysis on my wifes bike (for the fun of it). She has 9k miles on her bike. I change the oil in hers once a year (she only rides a couple thousand miles a year). After about 4,000 miles and a little over a year; the oil came back (Amsoil) still in grade with the additives still plentiful. They said I could've easily gone much longer; and the metal in the oil (which helps determine wear) was well below average from a 750 Honda with that many miles. So it appears to be doing its job!
 

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Amsoil here. Getting it from the right sellers and it's as cheap as anything else (Mobil 1 or Valvoline that is). I buy it by the case for that much more of a discount. My personal opinion is that a motorcycle-specific conventional oil will offer much better protection of the wet clutch, transmission and overhead cams than diesel engine synthetic oil. JASO-MA is the bare minimum for wet clutch operation; but has nothing to do with the other unique properties of our engines. Oil designed for slow moving, high compression engines is going into bikes with very fast spinning overhead cams. It's certainly no skin off my nose; but I think that marketing has sung people to sleep with the notion that 'synthetic' (which is just a word slapped on a bottle anymore) is so much better, that it's somehow better than a motorcycle specific conventional. When in fact, the MC specific conventional oil will offer much much better protection. (And MC specific synthetic even better; but if we're talking like-for-like pricing).

One thing to note. Some are ALSO sucked into marketing gimmicks for "V-Twin Oil" and buy heavier weight oil than what the manual recommends. Our metric cruisers actually have a lot more in common with sportbikes than Harley-Davidsons. Shared oil between the engine and transmission, overhead cams, most Vulcan engines have a fairly high top end RPM too (the VN900 hit's 8k, and the 1700 revs faster than a Harley-Davidson 106"). The V2K is a little closer; being a slow revving lumbering engine; but the rest really would be better off with the oil marketed for 'sportbikes', with those additive packages. And running what the manual recommends; which on most bikes is 10W-40. Some misread the manual and think because it sometimes, once in a while, during the hottest part of the summer gets 'that hot', they run the oil for those conditions. But ultimately they are sacrificing protection to run the oil that's ideal for 2 or 3 days a year instead or running the oil that's best for the other 360+ days of the year. (Except, of course; for those in truly very hot climates; like Death Valley or southern Florida/Texas).

Just my $0.02. I'm happy with Amsoil but I was happy with Valvoline and Mobil 1 too. Any of the premium synthetic motorcycle specific oils will offer excellent protection.

I just did a used oil analysis on my wifes bike (for the fun of it). She has 9k miles on her bike. I change the oil in hers once a year (she only rides a couple thousand miles a year). After about 4,000 miles and a little over a year; the oil came back (Amsoil) still in grade with the additives still plentiful. They said I could've easily gone much longer; and the metal in the oil (which helps determine wear) was well below average from a 750 Honda with that many miles. So it appears to be doing its job!
I just wonder why so many folks say that 20W-40 or 50 is too heavy for the 1700s and that we should use what the manual recommends. Well, the manual recommends both for certain temperature ranges. The pic below is from the service manual for the Voyager. The general recommendation is for 10W-40, but is followed with advise to adjust according to conditions:

"Although 10W-40 engine oil is the recommended oil for most conditions, the oil viscosity may need to be changed to accommodate atmospheric conditions in your riding area. "

I do agree that 20W-X is too heavy for winter riding and I change to 10W-40 before the temps get anywhere near freezing. However, according to the pic from the manual, I shouldn't ride at less than 14° F, even with 10W-30. Oops! I rode at 10-12° (with 10W-40) on multiple occasions (also shown at down to 14°).

Amsol touts their own 20W-50 as "providing superior performance and protection" for motorcycles. They don't even suggest that it should not be used in colder climes.

https://www.amsoil.com/shop/by-product/motor-oil/gasoline/premium-protection-20w-50-synthetic-motor-oil/
 

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The manual recommendation IS 10W-40. The 40 weight oil offers the best lubrication for the top end and gets the oil up there sooner.

There's also a range of other oils that can be used if conditions demand it, as it says. 10W-40 offers the most protection. My comment was more to those who believe "thicker is better" (which isn't often the case with OHC engines). If the bike is overheating (I've not had that happen in even 109F a couple weeks ago, but some do report it) then the 50 weight may be necessary. But the best protection is the 10W-40. The latter comment was about what that chart "means". Folks living in a climate with average summer temps of 85, but occasionally hit 95+ once in a while, are not who the chart is talking about.

Nobody knows a bike like its owner. So, as I said; no skin off my nose. But running 20W-50 often means sacrificing a little bit of protection in order to run the bike a little cooler. One should really examine whether they actually need the bike to run cooler and whether that is worth the trade off. We've had a really hot summer this year (almost everywhere has), and even on big time triple digit temps I don't see the needle go beyond the middle hash mark except in traffic. And I've never seen it exceed the range specified in the manual nor have I ever seen the temperature warning light. Given that it takes a few seconds even with 10W-40 to get the oil to the top end, I wouldn't want to run something heavier. But that's me.

What others do with their bikes is their business. I just want to share any information I can, so folks are doing what they think they're doing (I.e., if the belief is "thicker oil is more protection", you might find you're doing the opposite. If you're running thicker oil to keep temps down, then you're probably accomplishing what you set out for!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Currently Mobil 1 V Twin. Will probably switch to Mobil 1 Regular Cycle oil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just switched to Castrol RS 4T 10-40
 

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Previous owner had Castrol 15W50 and now did my first change. Decided to go with Liqui Moly 10W 40 although it is mostly above 30 C here in the summer but rarely, if ever, goes up to 40 C. Filter is Kawasaki brand.
Drain plug gasket was absent but no leaks whatsoever so left it as is.
 
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