Motorcycle Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I drained the oil in my vulcan, it only had 1 quart in it. I added 2.5 quart of some random weight car oil now a week later the bike will go into first gear but when I let go of the clutch it feels like it wants to move but doesn't, with the clutch out in first gear the motor runs and revs. I cannot get the bike into second gear running, I haven't tried not running. It's on the side of the road :/

1994 vulcan 1500
 

·
Member Map
Joined
·
23,911 Posts
Drain the oil and replace it with a motorcycle specific oil or one that is not labeled as "Energy Conserving" on the API label. The energy conserving oil has friction modifiers that can cause the clutch to slip.

With luck, everything should be ok after an oil change with the proper oil.
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,381 Posts
Sounds like you used an 'energy conserving' oil, and the friction modifiers are making your clutch slip. You'll have to drain that oil, and replace it with plain oil, or motorcycle oil. Some have luck clearing the slippery stuff from the clutch by adding Marvel Mystery Oil, and running it for no more than about 100 miles (assuming you can get miles). Then drain and add fresh oil, hope for the best.
At that age, assuming it has a few miles on it, it might just be prudent to put in a clutch kit, including springs. Not a difficult job, if you have the proper tools.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
276 Posts
Many old bikes have a wet clutch...the clutch uses the same oil as the engine...not a big deal back in the pre-synthetic days of oil...but today's synthetics have some impressive friction reducing tech in them...great for the engine...but bad news for a wet clutch.

Check the owners manual, probably recs 10w/40...drain it, change the filter, add what the manual says, and you should be fine after so many miles.

No need to pay for expensive "motorcycle" oil...just get what the manual says and stay away from "synthetic" and "high mileage" oils.

If you really want synthetic, find it in what the manual suggests and BE SURE it's ACEA A3...Not A1, or A5 or anything else...A3 only...A1/A5 are too slippery.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,381 Posts
The old synthetic myth again ... nothing inherent in synthetics makes them more likely to cause a clutch to slip. It's the 'energy conserving' type oils that are extra slippery, because they have additives to reduce friction, and these additives will soak into a wet clutch, making it slip. If not left in too long, they may be cleaned out with fresh oil.

I've used synthetics since they came out, without any bad effects, only good ones: faster heat removal, better starts in cold, etc. Also, there IS a difference in motorcycle oils meant to be shared between the engine and transmission, but it really only matters if you run high mileage (>5000) between changes. Diesels have similar needs, which is why Rotella T6, developed for Diesel engines, also has the MC rating.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
276 Posts
"nothing inherent in synthetics makes them more likely to cause a clutch to slip"

Synthetics typically carry an ACEA rating.

A1 and A5 are the "'energy conserving' type oils" that you correctly say to avoid and the ACEA warns that "These oils are unsuitable for use in some engines." as they are "low friction low viscosity oils"

The can may not say "energy conserving", but if it's A1 or A5 it is...A3 is the one you want...check your container...I'm betting it's A1 or A5 and should not be used with a wet clutch.

While A3 is not a "Low friction" oil, it is a "low viscosity" oil...which may lead to low oil pressure in a hot engine thus starving critical parts of fresh oil flow when they need it most...Follow the owners manual recommendation...especially for old bikes built before synthetics.

The only A3 synthetic I've found is Mobiles "high mileage" 10w/40 which contains "Seal re-conditioners"; I avoid that stuff..stops leaks today...creates a waterfall tomorrow.

Knock yourself out...
http://www.oilspecifications.org/acea.php
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
276 Posts
I use Mobil 1 20W-50 V-Twin oil, which is specifically designed for use with motorcycle clutches.
The Mobile 1 product guide does not give an ACEA rating for that product, does your can have one printed on it?

I'm betting it is not ACEA rated because it does not meet their requirements for low viscosity and/or low friction...two things you don't want with a wet clutch.


Also, I was talking about off the shelf synthetic oils, not those specifically for motorcycles where the manufacturer has that wet clutch in mind...but at ~$10 a quart, that's too rich for me and for everyday driving it's overkill...If you punish your bike with long runs in grueling heat, then maybe...but not for everyday driving.

Synthetics are "better" than conventional because of their film strength...In a high heat, intense situation, where a conventional oil would be "squeezed out" from between moving parts (causing wear), synthetics can take a lot more pressure before being "squeezed out"..."slipperiness" comes from additives.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,381 Posts
The only authority that rates oils for motorcycles is JASO, and few US oils carry that rating. One that does, and is not so expensive, is Rotella T6 full synthetic, available at Wal Mart for not much more than the other oils when you buy it in gallon size.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
276 Posts
JASO MA are non-friction modified oils designed for a wet clutch.

I found two with that rating:

1. Valvoline 4-Stroke Synthetic Motor Oil 10W-40 and 20W-50

2. Mobil 1 Racing 4T 10W-40

Next time I'm at walmart, I'll check out that Rotella.
 

·
Troublemaker
Joined
·
2,520 Posts
The only authority that rates oils for motorcycles is JASO, and few US oils carry that rating. One that does, and is not so expensive, is Rotella T6 full synthetic, available at Wal Mart for not much more than the other oils when you buy it in gallon size.
Winner!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
276 Posts
What good is a JASO rating if so few use the standard?

Two, maybe three oils , that I can find locally, are JASO rated. The only reason JASO exists is because American standards were too loose for the anal retentiveness of the Japanese engineers.

IF you can find the proper JASO oil for your bike, then you're set...but if not, you must wade through an ocean of ratings and oils...for synthetics, avoid A1 and A5...your best shot is an A3 without friction modifiers.

Here's one from Castrol:
 

·
Troublemaker
Joined
·
2,520 Posts
What good is it?

Check the owners manual, that is the standard used by Japanese motorcycle manufacturers. Seems they would be the ones that know what to use.

Since I have several hundred thousand miles on Rotella T6 without a single oil related failure, I am guessing it is a great option for everything from my 1974 Honda 360 to my 2009 Yamaha Raider.

Oil for most motorcycles is easy to find, there is no wading through an ocean of oils. If you are in doubt, just go to a bike shop and they will fix you up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,133 Posts
Hey, find one that works for you, and stick with it...
lots of the old timers would never change, even if it meant losing their jobs(well maybe not that much but they might lie about what they used if they knew it was the right stuff, which sometimes wasn't and ruined the new machines...) feeling nauseaus yet?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
276 Posts
There are lots of oils that aren't JASO rated but would pass if tested. Yes, a motorcycle shop could fix me up, but at ~$11 a quart...

My point is that, for the most part, "special" motorcycle synthetics are proven superior; but for the typical driver the extra cost is unnecessary.

High heat, high stress (racing), long change intervals, any "abnormal" driving situations, synthetics make sense and may be worth the cost.

So if you want to save some money, use conventional or "off the shelf" lower cost (non energy conserving) synthetics that aren't JASO rated but do meet ACEA-3 specifications...you can find these in the oil aisle places like Menards which routinely put them on sale for $2.99.

I had an old Honda Civic with ~120k miles on it, ran conventional Castrol GTX from day one...head gasket blew...I took it apart and spec'd it...no measurable wear and very clean; 4000 mile change interval; mostly city driving...this was more than a decade ago...conventionals have stepped up their game since that time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
370 Posts
I use Rotella T In my GS1000E. I started with synthetic, great stuff, but like all synthetics it has smaller molecules and will find a leak if it can. The head started leaking. Tweaked the head torque and switched to the Dyno version, no leaks. The motor seems happier with the synthetic, a bit more valve noise. Quieter with the Dyno, not quite as happy but more than acceptable. Motorcycle specific oils are out of the ballpark in price
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
276 Posts
"Motorcycle specific oils are out of the ballpark in price"

I think I was at AutoZone, they had a bottle of 10w/40 cycle oil for $9...reading the specs, it was the same as the "car" oil on the same shelf for $3.99...put a picture of a motorcycle on the bottle and double the price.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top