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The 4,000 mile oil change is approaching for my YZF600R, so I began looking around for oil to use. Went to the local Yamaha dealer and got a long lecture about the difference between motorcycle oil and automotive, expecially their different effects on wet clutch operation. According to the guy at the shop, automotive oil could cause the clutch to slip and its viscosity was severely degraded by the shearing effect of the transmission.
Well, I bought it hook, line, and sinker and bought four quarts of Yamalube 20W40 and a filter. Oops. I began to read up on the difference between automotive and motorcycle oil and found out there is not much difference. All contemporary automotive oil with an SG rating and is not energy conserving can be used and gives just as good or better performance than the motorcycle oil.
According to Motorcycle Consumer News, in a February 1994 report, Castrol GTX 10W40 outperformed Honda HP4 and Spectro 4 motorcycle oil. The Castrol degraded to 72.2% viscosity at 800 miles and then to 68% viscosity at 1500 miles, while the Honda HP4 degraded to 69.2% viscosity at 800 miles and then 65.6% viscosity at 1500 miles. The Spectro 4 degraded to 68% viscosity at 800 miles and then to 63.9% viscosity at 1500 miles.

Obviously, I should have read up on motorcycle oil before I went out and bought some. Live and learn.

I am not much impressed with 72.2% viscosity after 800 miles though. Maybe I should go with synthetic oil. The same test showed the Mobil 1 degrading to 86.6% viscosity at 800 miles and then to 83% viscosity at 1500. Maybe that's what I should use.
 

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I heard the same thing that you did at the dealership. So that is interesting to hear that car oil is better then motorcycle oil. For all the experiened riders out there what is your take on this matter? What is the best oil to use and why.
 

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My take on it is when was the last time someone YOU know had an engine failure that was due to oil failure?? I've never had nor heard of a engine failure based on oil breakdown. So,:2cents: , just change it at recommended intervals and keep the level adequate. Buy name brand, non-energy conserving oils and NEVER use automotive additives in a motorcycle as the clutch will be trashed.

For the price of mobile one every 4k miles I could change castrol syntec every 1000miles and save money!!
 

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According to the report Castrol Syntec degraded to 78.1% viscosity at 800 miles and then to 74.5% viscosity at 1500 miles. It is not much better than Castrol GTX, which degraded to 72.2% viscosity at 800 miles and then to 68% viscosity at 1500 miles.

In 1994, the Castrol Syntec went for $3.99, while the Mobil 1 cost $3.48 a quart.
 

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cleerje said:
According to the report Castrol Syntec degraded to 78.1% viscosity at 800 miles and then to 74.5% viscosity at 1500 miles. It is not much better than Castrol GTX, which degraded to 72.2% viscosity at 800 miles and then to 68% viscosity at 1500 miles.

In 1994, the Castrol Syntec went for $3.99, while the Mobil 1 cost $3.48 a quart.
Go ahead and use regular engine oil and give us the report on your findings......that is if you want to take the risk.
 

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You want a good motorcycle oil, cheap?

Shell Rotella-Synth (CI-4) is a commercial diesel oil, meant for big-rigs.

Many racers I know are using it, and I've seen a few websites where long-distance tourers are using it, too.

Available at Wal-Mart for like $13/gallon.

FWIW, I still use Motul 5100 in my bike.


cdma2k
 

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uh oh...another oil thread...

Amsoil here...probably overkill, but what the heck...I probably go a bit longer than most of you between oil changes (and the bike is ridden hard)...so I buy the best synthetic (IMHO) available. 20w/50 in the twin. Oil change and filter about every 4K mi.
 

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Actually I meant to suggest castrol gtx not syntec , just use name brand cheap stuff and change regularly. Contamination from use is a far more important ingredient than oil breakdown.

You don't exactly mention what 72% viscosity means though and I doubt the article does either. My point being that oil is EXPECTED to break down to a degree and there is a wide margin of acceptable breakdown. Also, there is an obvious plateau in the degredation. This is shown by the the steep decline to 72% @ 800 miles and then it only degrades another 4% in the next 700 miles right. It's okay that oil looses some viscosity, it's still going to keep metal from touching metal way past 4000 miles even in bikes.

Long story short here, the oil doesn't NEED to maintain near 100% viscosity to do it's job. Not even close.

People obsess about the oil and octane they put in their bikes because it's one of the few things they have control over in the attempt at longevity.
 

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http://motorcycleinfo.calsci.com/Oils1.html#Oil

Info on oils and filters including open market replacements for OEM filters.
Written towards motorcycle owners so all the little bits of info you need to know are in there.
Synthetic oil, no additives such as Molybdenum (makes your clutch slip) and change it every 4000 miles. You will never have problems stemming from the oil and the brand wont matter.
 

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UglyAngelX said:
Go ahead and use regular engine oil and give us the report on your findings......that is if you want to take the risk.
Yea as uglyangel said if you want to take the risk. I just hope you dont end up like RSVRICKS's picture:
:twofinger
 

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