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Old 11-07-2009, 01:30 PM   #1
Motorbreath
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Default Motorcycle oil

I have a 1980 Honda CM400E. 12,000 miles. First bike. Picked it up off of craiglist for a grand this summer. What type of oil should I use? I picked up some 4 stroke Honda motor oil from the powersports shop. Can I use regular motor oil as well? Like maybe some 10W-30? Or do you guys recommend sticking with the specially made 4 stroke motor oil? The motorcycle oil is like twice as expensive. Thanks.
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Old 11-07-2009, 02:05 PM   #2
benny hedges
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isn't the cm400 an auto box????
i seem to remember the uk model was automatic and was the first belt drive bike over here?

if it is auto transmission it might be worth checking cos the oil might be a special
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Old 11-07-2009, 02:20 PM   #3
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No, it's not an auto and it's chain driven.
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Old 11-07-2009, 02:30 PM   #4
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oil grade for mineral oil is 10/40w
for fully synthetic its 5/40w

standard oil is mineral - don't mix synthetic with mineral or it will turn to treacle when the engine warms up!!

*it's good practice to change the filter as well

not sure on the sump capacity???
# might be worth some research or ask another owner who has a manual for the bike

some info here from honda manual:

Engine Oil
Recommended Oil Viscosity SAE 10W-40
Temp above -10C (15F) SAE 20W-40, 20W-50
Temp above -20C (-5F) SAE 10W-40
Temp -20C (-5F) to 33C (90F) SAE 10W-30


Oil Change Information
Drain plug torque 2.5-3.5 kg-m (18-25 ft-lb)
Oil filter bolt torque 2.8-3.2 kg-m (20-23 ft-lb)

Last edited by benny hedges; 11-07-2009 at 02:47 PM.. Reason: Oil Capacity 1.6 qt (1.5 lit)
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Old 11-07-2009, 07:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benny hedges View Post
don't mix synthetic with mineral or it will turn to treacle when the engine warms up!!
Really? Ever heard of synthetic blend? Its mineral oil mixed with synthetic. Mixing the two is perfectly fine, though I'm not sure why you'd do so voluntarily.

Quote:
Oil Change Information
Drain plug torque 2.5-3.5 kg-m (18-25 ft-lb)
Oil filter bolt torque 2.8-3.2 kg-m (20-23 ft-lb)
Don't torque your drain plug! Get it snug, then turn it 1/4 of a turn! You can very easily strip the threads on your crankcase if you torque the drain plug (go ahead, ask me how I know that!). The torque specifications are for DRY assembly. When you drain your oil, the threads are covered with oil. That's why it will strip the threads.

People who ride older bikes tend to recommend using mineral oils due to the old gaskets in your engine. I've read numerous reports of guys filling their vintage bikes up with synthetic oil only to find oil leaks springing up from various gaskets. I haven't read any good reasons as to why this is, but why risk it? Use a good quality 10W-40 (NOT 30) mineral oil.
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Old 11-07-2009, 09:08 PM   #6
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I recommend Amsoil. There are several on the forum who sell it, OilDoc or others.
The best.
If you want to treat your bike the best.
dc
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Old 11-07-2009, 09:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by primalmu View Post



Don't torque your drain plug!..
agree! take care taking the drain plug out too - i had an old suzi 125 years ago and the oil drain plug also contained the detent ball & spring that held the bike in gear!
i lost it & had to keep my foot under the gearchange in top gear

agree on semi-synthetic oils - but don't make your own lol!
in the last few weeks ive had to completely rebuild 3 vane compressors due to people mixing synthetic oil & mineral.
maybe the issue with older bikes is that their seals are nitrile and not viton & not resistant to synthetics?
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Old 11-13-2009, 12:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motorbreath View Post
I have a 1980 Honda CM400E. 12,000 miles. First bike. Picked it up off of craiglist for a grand this summer. What type of oil should I use? I picked up some 4 stroke Honda motor oil from the powersports shop. Can I use regular motor oil as well? Like maybe some 10W-30? Or do you guys recommend sticking with the specially made 4 stroke motor oil? The motorcycle oil is like twice as expensive. Thanks.
Motorcycle oil is expensive. The oil you got was a great choice. Some of the better motorcycle specific oils out there are top notch and no doubt one of the best oils you could buy.

.....but there are millions of miles logged on bikes with "lesser" oils with no issues. Im not racing nor hot rodding my bike 24/7 so I dont buy $10 a quart oil to put into it.

In reality any decent NON ENERGY CONSERVING oil will work in your bike......regular car oil is often used. Make sure you check the star burst logo and that the words ENERGY CONSERVING are NOT on it.....these friction modifiers will mess with wet clutches.

Personally I use Rotella T 15w40 HD oil in my bikes. The oil is a diesel oil made for heavy duty trucks. LOTS of guys run these in bikes of all types......and while its not advertised as a MC oil it meets all the criteria,

It also $10.......A GALLON. I also use DelaVac, again a HD diesel oil.....bought it the other day for $5 a gallon.......hell of a sale.
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Old 11-13-2009, 01:23 PM   #9
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I use Mobil 1 car oil in my track bike (non energy conserving). haven't noticed any problems.
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Old 11-25-2009, 01:04 AM   #10
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I use castrol oil in my motors for 30 yrs with no problems at all.
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Old 11-25-2009, 05:53 PM   #11
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I've always used "car oil" in all my bikes and have never had any problems. I recently switched the ACE to HD diesel oil. No synthetics for me.
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Old 12-03-2009, 01:59 PM   #12
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Regular motor oil should be fine, but I've heard that JASO-MA is good.
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Old 12-13-2009, 03:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motorbreath View Post
I have a 1980 Honda CM400E. 12,000 miles. First bike. Picked it up off of craiglist for a grand this summer. What type of oil should I use? I picked up some 4 stroke Honda motor oil from the powersports shop. Can I use regular motor oil as well? Like maybe some 10W-30? Or do you guys recommend sticking with the specially made 4 stroke motor oil? The motorcycle oil is like twice as expensive. Thanks.
Without any debate on quality, there is one good reason to run motorcycle oil in any engine where the clutch/gear box share the oil. Based on Superbike Planet's testing, there is some chemical difference in the motorcycle and automotive oils and you are virtually guaranteed the manufacturer will NOT have any additive that will not be compatable with your engine/clutch/gear box. It just eliminates any concern what so ever. And your bike only uses maybe two and a half quarts, so it isn't that big an expense.

Whether you buy the oil at a dealer or at a discount store, it is simplest to buy a motorcycle blend. Just run it out a bit longer. I've done 3000-5000 miles between changes on my KLX dual sport and it's held up for the past 43,000+ miles and going for more.



For the guy that asked about the "automatic", that would be the CM400/450A which simply has a torque converter in place of the clutch on a two speed manual gear box.
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