I'm not asking anyone about what brand or weight of oil they use. I'm asking do you use motorcycle specific oil and are you noticing any actual benefits using it.
I have used 'motorcycle' oil and ordinary motor oil. Over the years, I have also used
mineral, semi-synthetic and synthetic oil. All have performed very well.
All the different bikes I've owned, through the 60's, 70's and into the 80's, all I ever used was what I thought was a good oil, for cars, off the shelf at Wal-Mart. Don't recall ever having a problem.
My experience was exactly the same.
I remember the warning about using that "extra slippery" synthetic oil, making your wet clutch start slipping. I've never had a problem with synthetic.
It is probably best to avoid "ENERGY CONSERVING" synthetics as these may have
friction modifiers which could increase the risk of clutch problems. The energy or
resource conserving label is usually found on lower viscosity synthetics like
5W-30 or 0W-20 - I haven't seen it on any 5W-40 synthetics.
I don't remember when I first heard of motorcycle specific oil.
There was certainly none here in the 1970s. 20W-50 Castrol or Duckhams Q
was the order of the day.
I still change my oil every 3,000 to 3,500 miles...
In that case, you probably won't see any benefit from using a fully synthetic oil.
what benefit am I getting for paying twice as much for a quart of oil?
I would say there is little or no benefit.
...is there something I'm over looking?
I don't think so.
With motorcycle oil should I just keep using it up to 5,000 miles, or more?
No. Modern cars and vans generally have longer service intervals than bikes.
Right now I'm thinking I'm using it just because I'm supposed to. ?
Your bike, your choice. I'm using Valvoline 10W-40 semi-synth in my Suzuki.
I did the valve clearances last month and the camshafts look as good as new
at 70,000km (43,000 miles). I use the same Valvoline oil in our Honda Civic.
Runs like new at 270,000km (168,000 miles).
I use 5W-40 synthetic in my Kawasaki because it reduces the rattle from the
clutch when the engine is cold. I think the improvement is due to the lower
cold viscosity and not because the oil is synthetic. Currently using
Mannol Extreme 5W-40. I have also used Comma 5W-40. Both oils
are specified for use in petrol and diesel engines with long service
intervals. The Kawasaki is at 122,000km (76,000 miles).
All of the motor oils mentioned above have been through my
standard wet clutch compatibility test: