Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Oil and Water

 Its wrenching season!    Im working up my checklist and buying all the fluids and parts I need.  I made the horrible mistake of looking at a forum to see what Oil  I should use.   This is a BAD idea!  People are so divided on the subject of which oil to use that it makes democrats and republicans look united.   For each brand, style, or viscosity of oil, there is a sycophantic group of devotees that will shun you if you have the audacity to choose any oil but their favorite.   Heaven forbid that you ride a different style of motorcycle that requires a completely different standard. 
I have found that my only recourse is to do the unthinkable and consult my manual.  For a 2001 Kawasaki Concours, I need 10w-40 JASO rated oil.   That is what is required.    Now, if you ask the Kawasaki dealer,  you absolutely have to buy Kawasaki Brand oil.   This I have found is not true.  Kawasaki oil is made by Motul.  Motul as most may know do make a good enough product, however they charge a premium price.   After all, their oils are run in the MotoGp bikes and at very high RPM.  I do not ride a MotoGP bike!   My lil ole Concours rarely gets above 5k RPM.   So paying the price for a race bred oil makes no sense.   Castrol is what I tend to use.  and I am partial the Actevo X-tra(partial synthetic).  It is JASO rated and it makes my bike purr like a kitten. 
I have tried a few from the forum,  The Shell Rotella T6 Full synth was supposedly a good inexpensive alternative for my bike.  Rotella is made for Diesel Engines and is JASO rated, so I figured if the forum dudes like it, it's worth a try.  After running it,  I found that it really made for hard shifting, and the oil burned rather quickly.  It worked ok, and when I changed the oil there were no shavings and it didn't break down at all, so it protected as it should. 
For this last season's oil change I tried the "Dino" motorcycle oil.  The Castrol GO(4T mineral based oil) and it worked really well.  Shifting was smooth and the engine really loved it.   However, the oil burned super fast and the oil got really dirty really quick.  Im confident that there won't be any shavings.  It was an ok oil, however, I think I'm going back to the semi synthetic.   So far, it has been the best for my bike.   Actevo X-tra is on sale at Amazon as well, so win-win.    If the Castrol Power 1 ever goes on sale, I may just go to the Full synth version, but as of now it makes for one expensive oil change.
So to sum up.   If you want to know what oil to use,  look at the owners manual to your bike.   If you keep it within the specifications then you should be fine.   Read the oil data sheets, read the forum if you dare, but ultimately, find the oil that makes your bike happy and keeps your pocketbook from hemorrhaging cash.   And for goodness sake, do NOT become an oil Nazi.   Let people do what they want.  Let them find whats best.  Now, lets talk tires...... uh.. nevermind. 

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