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When you say factory oil, I assume you mean oem kawi oil. There is two parts to explain here though. Car and motorcycle oil are different due to a number of things. Car oils are not designed to be run in bikes due to bikes sharing engine and transmission oil. Using car oil can adversely affect your clutch. The difference between oem oil and an aftermarket motorcycle oil is the additive packets, synthetic and Dino oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
When you say factory oil, I assume you mean oem kawi oil. There is two parts to explain here though. Car and motorcycle oil are different due to a number of things. Car oils are not designed to be run in bikes due to bikes sharing engine and transmission oil. Using car oil can adversely affect your clutch. The difference between oem oil and an aftermarket motorcycle oil is the additive packets, synthetic and Dino oil.
Thanks friend . There was car oil put in this bike before i got it, although it was not run due to carb jelled, it had been turned over six or eight different times.(attempted to start bike) and I got it started it twice myself, for around 20 sec each time.
Do you think any damage has been done? can I change it to kaw oil and stop any further damage from occurring?
Thanks for your time and concern.
 

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2007 Yamaha Road Star Silverado 1700
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Doubtful any damage has been done to the engine. However if it is the wrong type of car oil (the "energy conserving" type with friction modifiers) you might have issues with your clutch. Draining and replacing the oil with non-energy conserving oil a few times usually solves the problem IF you do have clutch slippage issues.

Oil is a touchy subject, and if you ask 5 riders for their opinions, you'll get about 10 different answers. I personally use heavy duty diesel engine oil in my bike, and have done so in all of the bikes I've had with excellent results. Shell Rotella is my favorite. Do your homework, see what other people use and their experiences and go from there. Just don't use the cheap dollar store oil!

If you absolutely must have the best of the best, get AMSOIL synthetic oil. It probably doesn't cost much more than Kawasaki oil. Truth be told, Kawasaki/Suzuki/Yamaha/Honda oil probably isn't all that great anyway, and it is certainly overpriced.
 

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Doubtful any damage has been done to the engine. However if it is the wrong type of car oil (the "energy conserving" type with friction modifiers) you might have issues with your clutch. Draining and replacing the oil with non-energy conserving oil a few times usually solves the problem IF you do have clutch slippage issues.

Oil is a touchy subject, and if you ask 5 riders for their opinions, you'll get about 10 different answers. I personally use heavy duty diesel engine oil in my bike, and have done so in all of the bikes I've had with excellent results. Shell Rotella is my favorite. Do your homework, see what other people use and their experiences and go from there. Just don't use the cheap dollar store oil!

If you absolutely must have the best of the best, get AMSOIL synthetic oil. It probably doesn't cost much more than Kawasaki oil. Truth be told, Kawasaki/Suzuki/Yamaha/Honda oil probably isn't all that great anyway, and it is certainly overpriced.
OK, good info, If I use Rotella diesel oil, will need to add anything? and why is it ok to use ,does diesels share transmission fluid? just wondering.
 

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I use Amsoil, any motorcycle specific oil will be fine. Just drain it and replace with the kawi oil, unless you have clutch slippage, drain after 2k and your fine, if it starts slipping then drain quicker .
 

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Like primal said, some people use Rotella. I have just decided to spend the money and get the Kawasaki Oil. An oil change really isn't all that expensive and knowing that the manufacturers suggested oil is in it is a little peace of mind for me.
 

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2007 Yamaha Road Star Silverado 1700
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Like primal said, some people use Rotella. I have just decided to spend the money and get the Kawasaki Oil. An oil change really isn't all that expensive and knowing that the manufacturers suggested oil is in it is a little peace of mind for me.
Don't be confused, just because an oil has a Kawasaki label on it doesn't mean it is the manufacturer's recommendation. Chances are the owners manual just says "10W-40" oil. I'd be willing to bet that the Kawasaki oil is just rebranded Shell (or another manufacturer's) oil at twice the markup.
 

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People like the Rotella because it has the right additives, and it's cheap.
In general, I like blends, and the Honda oil is actualy rated fairly high in that catagory. In general, a good motorcycle oil is all you need- it doesn't have to have your brand's name on it. As mentioned, they buy oil from a big company and sometimes add a dye to it. You really think Kawasaki or BMW has it's own oil wells and refineries?

Also as mentioned, oil is as nuts as asking someone his martini recipe. My general rule of thumb is how hard do you ride? For continued high revs, a full-on synthetic is best. For touring and jerking around, a blend or Rotella is good. The main thing is changing oil on a regular basis- as per the owners manual, or even sooner.
 

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Doubtful any damage has been done to the engine. However if it is the wrong type of car oil (the "energy conserving" type with friction modifiers) you might have issues with your clutch. Draining and replacing the oil with non-energy conserving oil a few times usually solves the problem IF you do have clutch slippage issues.

Oil is a touchy subject, and if you ask 5 riders for their opinions, you'll get about 10 different answers. I personally use heavy duty diesel engine oil in my bike, and have done so in all of the bikes I've had with excellent results. Shell Rotella is my favorite. Do your homework, see what other people use and their experiences and go from there. Just don't use the cheap dollar store oil!

If you absolutely must have the best of the best, get AMSOIL synthetic oil. It probably doesn't cost much more than Kawasaki oil. Truth be told, Kawasaki/Suzuki/Yamaha/Honda oil probably isn't all that great anyway, and it is certainly overpriced.
Your "truth be told" is pretty much off base. Fact is Honda/Kawasaki/Suzuki/Yamaha oils are made by brand name refiners to meet the standards of the manufacturers - including the appropriate additive packages. When I worked at a Honda dealership it was common knowledge that Honda petrolum base oil was produced by Kendall and was good oil by all standards. Honda's synthetic has gotten a pretty good reputation over the past decade and a half. You're simply saying what all the AMSOIL people say... greatest thing since sliced bread. I'd ask you to back up the claim if you want to say "truth be told", because I'm thinking a bunch of other oil refiners might want to dispute it. And I'm still waiting for anyone to show just how valuable the additional protection might be.


Now when it comes to all the periferal stuff everyone can spout off their preference with whatever justification. I will say 100,000 on dino oil is as good as 100,000 on synthetic. Unless one can prove there is a difference in wear it's hard to say absolutely how good one is over another. The only actual statistical data accumulated was by Consumer's Reports with their taxi test of car oil and that is constantly disputed by people for which the end results don't fit their desires.

The actual truth is pretty much not that well researched. The real question comes down to just how good is needed. After all, gold alloy jumper cables will work better in conducting current than the common steel/copper ones. The difference is insignificant in the over all picture. More and more, I am coming to the conclusion that the same is true with the oil claims. How much actual lubricating capability and other capabilities are actually needed and how much is overkill. I'm betting the common petroleum based 10w40 motorcycle oil would match up pretty well with synthetics under the normal operating conditions with 3000-5000 mile change intervals for the average rider. Until someone actually does full on statistically valid research it is all manufacturer marketing and individual conjecture.

Depending on where manufacturer branded oil is bought it also was not extremely overpriced. Fact is if you have a fair dealer the motorcycle grade oil isn't that much more than the national brands sold by Walmart (I got $3.99/qt vs $3.79/qt if I remember right). It's also one place where one can support a dealer they like, by paying maybe a buck more (again, fair dealer fair price).

I will say I use motorcycle oil for the same reason some may use synthetics. I figure the motorcycle additive package put together by honest to goodness petrochemical engineers makes sense over running car oil. I figure that's worth something, much as you guys figure going synthetic is worth something. In addition I figure since I am at the bike shop buying a filter and I want them to be there next year, I'll buy my oil there too. I usually get the gallon of oil since it saves a bit.

So you won't find me badmouthing any given oil, only giving the reasons why I use motorcycle oil and usually a manufacturer's private label. People can run whatever, bacon grease for all I care - and it would smell good too, but claims of inferiority without any statistically valid proof is just conjecture on their part. The AMSOIL may be superior in areas to the Honda oil, but the question really is - is it overkill for the average street rider. No one has the answer for that. Gold Wings have gone over 100,000 with petroleum base and with synthetic, some probably running car oil (but I'm hedging my bet with the motorcycle blend since all the friction inhibitors have shown up), so which is doing the better job - no one's shown me.
 

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2007 Yamaha Road Star Silverado 1700
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Oh, I have no doubt that the manufacturer-labeled oils are fine oils, however there's nothing to suggest they are any better than any other oil out there that has proven appropriate for motorcycle use.

What I'd like to know is if there are any actual published studies showing that motorcycle engines require a special additive package, especially modern liquid cooled engines. I'm not saying they don't need a different formulation, but I've never seen anything proving it. It always becomes a "motorcycle engines need motorcycle-specific oil" argument, not a "motorcycle engine needs motorcycle-specific oil because this study shows...." argument. What makes a motorcycle engine fundamentally different from a car engine? I can understand high revving inline-4 engines needing something special if they are run near redline most of the time, but otherwise I don't see the difference (but I'm always open to doing some reading to explain this if you know of any articles).
 

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Oh, BTW, I've never used AMSOIL and never plan on doing so. Rotella works just fine for me. If I'm feeling really froggy I'll use the Rotella synthetic oil.
 

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I actually went to the trouble of calling a couple of oil company customer service lines;
Oil formulations (recipes?) were changed some years ago. I was told NOT to use car oil -even in dry clutch bikes like BMW- because bikes rev much higher and create more heat.
 

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Oh, I have no doubt that the manufacturer-labeled oils are fine oils, however there's nothing to suggest they are any better than any other oil out there that has proven appropriate for motorcycle use.

What I'd like to know is if there are any actual published studies showing that motorcycle engines require a special additive package, especially modern liquid cooled engines. I'm not saying they don't need a different formulation, but I've never seen anything proving it. It always becomes a "motorcycle engines need motorcycle-specific oil" argument, not a "motorcycle engine needs motorcycle-specific oil because this study shows...." argument. What makes a motorcycle engine fundamentally different from a car engine? I can understand high revving inline-4 engines needing something special if they are run near redline most of the time, but otherwise I don't see the difference (but I'm always open to doing some reading to explain this if you know of any articles).
I don't know about reports, odds are there are SAE papers published (that I probably couldn't understand if I tried). But there are two things that a majority of the motorcycle engines have that radically changes the requirements for the oil package, relative to breakdown and lubricity, when compared to cars - the gear box and clutch use the same oil. You may realize that any separate standard tranmission will use 80w90 gear box oil due to the load conditions it will operate under. My MotoGuzzi and Bultacos recommended 80w90 for the separate gear box oil, I'm thinking Harleys and BMWs do too. Meshing gears are far harder on the molecular chains in oil than anything in a car engine. That is one concern. Then there is the clutch. The clutch has to operate properly in that same oil. Those two unique situations changes the petrochemical engineering of the additive packages. To the point where the latest friction reducers may possibly cause clutch issues.

But again, no one has really done any destructive testing in actual motorcycle engines that I have ever seen or read and the only automotive test I've seen and read with any statistical validity was the one by Consumer's Reports with the taxi testing of car oil. They actually compared wear in their test and the results were interesting. Those real world destructive tests with some statistical data are the kind of tests that prove out what is actually needed. There are a bunch of lubricity testing for film strength, like the three ball bearing test, but there is no direct numerical relation that can be drawn. No actual number that the motorcycle engine requires relative to the force placed in the bearing test. Only the max out number.

Again, the only reason I do the motorcycle oil is because I figure the engineers who developed the package know what is needed better than I do, so it cuts out any conjecture on my part. It also avoids any conflict with the automotive additive package and the bike clutch/gearbox requirements. And to support my favorite dealership that's 120 miles away. Heck, I order my cam chain tensioner gaskets from them and have them mail the parts to me rather than screw around with an unknown nearer to home. They're that good in my opinon, I know them and trust them.

The key thing is if you have good experience with something that's good. But there is a bit to be said for actual need. Gas kind of falls in that category. My KLX650 when a 650 REQUIRED 92 octane, with the big bore it became tolerant of 89 octane. My Zephyr runs great with 87 octane. Someone may claim 110 race gas is best, but none of my bikes NEED the octane, so it would be a tremendous waste for me to do so. The "testing" of need in the case of gasoline is relatively easy based on being able to hear detonation and pinging. Oil isn't so easy. So I just hedge my bets by doing motorcycle oil - and support the dealer.
 

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I actually went to the trouble of calling a couple of oil company customer service lines;
Oil formulations (recipes?) were changed some years ago. I was told NOT to use car oil -even in dry clutch bikes like BMW- because bikes rev much higher and create more heat.
You know, the funny part to that is someone covering their butts. Most Japanese cars are reving as high as any BMW twin does. My old 89 Prelude was running about 4200 rpm at 65 and redline was something like 8500 or 9000 I forget. My Nighthawk S ran about 4400 at 65 and redlined at 10,000. In addition the liquid cooling on most bikes gives them temperature control on par with cars. The run in the low 200s much like a lot of cars.

I could understand their concern when it comes to the sportbike revs and the clutch in oil thing. though. And again - the engneers know more than I do.
 

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Oh, BTW, I've never used AMSOIL and never plan on doing so. Rotella works just fine for me. If I'm feeling really froggy I'll use the Rotella synthetic oil.
Rotella - truck oil. Diesel specific I believe. I think the diesel oil has a lot higher loading in those engines. Riders claim good stuff, but again - no testing data. As long as the bike doesn't blow up in a reasonable amount of miles it's peachy. And no one has put up that they've ever had a problem from Rotella.

For what it's worth, back in the mid 80s we sold a kid a 75 CB750 with about 30,000 miles on it. He tore the top end down to change a gasket that was slightly leaking oil. He figured it would need redone anyway "with all those miles on it". He found the piston/cylinder easily in spec as well as the rings - it didn't need a thing, just a head gaket and proper torque/retorque to make it oil tight (hopefully as any in-line 4 air cooled owner will tell you). He honed the cylinders and threw in new rings since it was down. The proper servicing and good oil will make even one of those oldies last 100K easily - maybe not leak free, but easily.

My bet is that bike probably ran car oil over the ten odd years it ran until we got it (and maybe there after too). There wasn't much in the line of mfr branded oil back then, much less a proliferance of motorcycle specific oil other than two stroke premix/injector lube. So it likely did those miles with great wear on car oil...

But I'm hedging my bets - you know the song and dance by now.

What we need are some riders willing to sacrifice for the good of motorcycling - run the same oil till she blows! See what it takes!

Yeah... that's gonna happen.
 

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Hello, Cliff. I have ridden motorcycles several hundreds of thousands of miles using only automotive oil. I have never had one single oil related failure in that time to engines, transmissions or clutches. Will you get the same results? I have no idea. I am not an engineer or mechanic and I don't actually know much about oil. Good luck.
 

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Rotella - truck oil. Diesel specific I believe. I think the diesel oil has a lot higher loading in those engines. Riders claim good stuff, but again - no testing data.
Rotella is JASO-MA certified for motorcycle wet clutch applications.

Both the 15w40 Triple T protection (the regular oil) and the 5w40 T6 synthetic carry this designation.

Your correct that it is marketed as a diesel oil....but it works darn good in bikes. I use the synthetic T6 in my Victory....and the dino 15w40 in my other bikes and ATVs.

As for testing data....well, I did run 800 miles over my manufacturers recommended service interval (3300 instead of 2500) on the Rotella T6 in my 106ci VTwin then sent the oil in for analysis from Blackstone Labs.

This was there conclusion:

Wear metals compare nicely to averages, which show typical wear for this engine type after about 2,200 miles on the oil. Considering this oil was in use longer, that's great to see. The TBN (active additive) is good at 5.7, since 1.0 is low. Go 3,500 miles next oil and check back.
They gave me a nice little chart with a bunch of numbers....but the above is the upshot.
 
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