All right here it is. I am a new rider and not mechanically inclined. Got a 07' V-Star 1100. Yamaha keeps pushing thier oil claiming if you don't use Yamalube your gonna go thru clutch plates. Obviously they have a vested interest in selling their own oil. Especially at $7.00 a quart. They claim theirs has special additives others don't. Frankly i think they're full of ****. Of course i have an inherent distrust of dealers anyway. As you know there are designations on the back of a quart of motorcycle oil that show it meets certain criteria for use in motorcycles. There are other brands available in places like Walmart ect. ect. that sell motor oil that meet these standards and are a hell of a lot cheaper. Of course, not being an expert they have me a little spooked with all the talk about special additives and replacing clutch plates. Soooooooooooo........I'm looking for the advice of an expert out there on whether or not its safe to use other brands of motorcycle oil other than $7.00/ qt. Yamalube.
You can run any motorcycle blend. Most all motorcycle blend oils have additives not legal in automotive oil. They are there to deal with the gearbox and clutch running in the same oil as the engine. If the engine is separate, like the big Harley, car oil is pretty much no problem. Heck, Yamalube is blended by one of the major oil companies. Honda GN4 used to be blended and private branded for them by Kendall.
On the other hand, they are also covering their butts in case someone uses some car oil that has friction modifiers that screw up the clutch - they're not on the hook for the cost of warranty. All they'd have to do is run an oil sample to tell if the wrong additives are in the oil.
As long as you run oil without a friction modifier in it, you shouldn't have any problem. But it's easier to spend an extra buck a quart for some motorcycle blend and not even have the slightest of concerns. That's pretty much what I do. I figure the petroleum engineers that make the blend know more than I do, so why try and outsmart them to save two bucks. I run Honda GN4 10w40 in my Kawasakis with total confidence that it's going to work fine, no checking any labels or such. For the extra money I spend, I just extend my run time between 4000-5000 miles since I virtually always get the engine to full operating temperatures (no short hopping) so the oil is hot enough to "cook off" any moisture or the like. Those same manufacturers you think are trying to screw you on the price of oil are the same ones who tell you that you can run as much as 8000 miles on an oil change. Go figure.