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Old 02-26-2017, 10:12 AM   #21 (permalink)
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The following is extracted directly from my owner's manual concerning oil specification*:

"API Service Classification SG or higher except oils labeled as energy conserving or resource conserving on the circular API service label, SAE 10W30, JASO T 903 standard MA, Pro Honda GN4 4-stroke oil (USA & Canada) or Honda 4-stroke oil, or an equivalent motorcycle oil."

So it's all a little confusing to me. I totally get that there are different organizations in different areas of the world; European, Japanese, and North American that have different classification systems. The North American system is API and that's where we get the requirement for at least SG and not having "energy conserving" or "resource conserving" on the label and any engine oil at or above this level is approved. The Japanese classification JASO is where the JASO T 903 MA comes from. And the European standard ACEA but that spec is not addressed in my manual, but it is the two other classifications beyond API that make me not want to use an engine oil designed specifically for meeting clean diesel specs.

Issue 1: It looks like to me, that even though API is fine with Rotella T5 10W30 for my bike (SM and no energy conserving or resource conserving on the label), as far as I can tell, both ACEA E9 and JASO DH-2 approval level does not approve this oil for my bike, as those are both commercial, heavy-duty engine specs only and do not address suitability for a motorcycle dual lubing necessity.

The second thing that would bother me personally using a high-quality diesel oil is that there is a lot of engineering work and time that went in to developing this oil specifically for it to do a good job protecting a diesel engine and the environment from modern, high pressure, compression-ignition combustion and engine-out exhaust, e.g., its ability to absorb high amounts of soot, fuel dumping into the oil, compatibility with DPFs, etc. I'd be leaning towards the idea that a very good engine oil for compression ignition is not necessarily the best choice for a motorcycle or even a gas-powered car no matter the quality level of the oil for a compression-ignition engine.

I'm not trying to debate or prove a point. I don't know. The T5 advocate likely knows much more than me. I just don't have enough understanding personally to feel confident using anything but an mc-specfic oil and I look for the MA JASO spec and at least SG and either 10W30 or 10W40. My MC is not very oil picky and it is somewhat low revving and I don't run it hard, so it probably wouldn't make much difference as long as it shifted okay, but to be on the safe side, I'm sticking with what I understand about the labels.

* My manual specifies the same engine oil for the standard shift and the DCT automatic version, even though the DCT actually has transmission fluid as a separate lubricant.

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Old 02-26-2017, 12:21 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregsfc View Post

"API Service Classification SG or higher except oils labeled as energy conserving or resource conserving on the circular API service label, SAE 10W30, JASO T 903 standard MA, Pro Honda GN4 4-stroke oil (USA & Canada) or Honda 4-stroke oil, or an equivalent motorcycle oil."

So it's all a little confusing to me. I totally get that there are different organizations in different areas of the world; European, Japanese, and North American that have different classification systems. The North American system is API and that's where we get the requirement for at least SG and not having "energy conserving" or "resource conserving" on the label and any engine oil at or above this level is approved. The Japanese classification JASO is where the JASO T 903 MA comes from. And the European standard ACEA but that spec is not addressed in my manual, but it is the two other classifications beyond API that make me not want to use an engine oil designed specifically for meeting clean diesel specs.

Issue 1: It looks like to me, that even though API is fine with Rotella T5 10W30 for my bike (SM and no energy conserving or resource conserving on the label), as far as I can tell, both ACEA E9 and JASO DH-2 approval level does not approve this oil for my bike, as those are both commercial, heavy-duty engine specs only and do not address suitability for a motorcycle dual lubing necessity.

(SNIP)
There's nothing in (or left out of) a diesel oil that makes it unsuitable for use in a cycle engine - unlike current auto oils. If you are fine adding standard auto oil to your cycle engine you would be way ahead using a diesel oil.

Rotella T6 has been certified JASO-MA, and according to the Shell Tech Rep I spoke with, all Rotella multigrade oils have the same additive package. Shell decided not to take all of its Rotella multigrade oils through the certification process. If that's true, T5 should have the equivalent rating. The real issue is friction modifiers (moly) - which diesel oils don't have. They do have safe levels of ZDDP though - unlike current auto oils.

Don't take my word for it, do some checking around as to the suitability of Rotella oils in cycle engines.
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Old 02-26-2017, 12:45 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Generally speaking, 10W30 oil is very similar to regular dino oil.
Any lower first number usually has friction modifiers, mostly synthetic oil found in popular semi synthetic oils sold in the store.
The number after the W, if it's higher than 30, it's usually poly type of chains added to the oil making it thicker, and handle higher heat better. Very few W40 and W50 oils are actual heavy oils without modifiers.
Synthetic oils sometimes give problems with wet clutches.

What I talked about here is just the viscosity and lubrication.
I'm not speaking of additives that serve other purposes, like protect against corrosion, or trapping CO2 gasses and stuff like that.
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Old 02-26-2017, 02:45 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProDigit View Post
Generally speaking, 10W30 oil is very similar to regular dino oil.
Any lower first number usually has friction modifiers, mostly synthetic oil found in popular semi synthetic oils sold in the store.
The number after the W, if it's higher than 30, it's usually poly type of chains added to the oil making it thicker, and handle higher heat better. Very few W40 and W50 oils are actual heavy oils without modifiers.
Synthetic oils sometimes give problems with wet clutches.

What I talked about here is just the viscosity and lubrication.
I'm not speaking of additives that serve other purposes, like protect against corrosion, or trapping CO2 gasses and stuff like that.
Then you need to make sure you're using the right terms. "Friction modifiers" are the chemicals that make the oil extra-slippery which allegedly (I don't ride motorcycles) cause trouble for wet clutches. "Viscosity index improvers" and "pour point depressants" are the ones that allow better flow in cold weather while not thinning too much at operating temperatures -- stretching the numbers on either side of the "W".

You seem to be conflating all of those into one group and they aren't the same thing.
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Old 02-26-2017, 11:41 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProDigit View Post
Generally speaking, 10W30 oil is very similar to regular dino oil.
Any lower first number usually has friction modifiers, mostly synthetic oil found in popular semi synthetic oils sold in the store.
The number after the W, if it's higher than 30, it's usually poly type of chains added to the oil making it thicker, and handle higher heat better. Very few W40 and W50 oils are actual heavy oils without modifiers.
Synthetic oils sometimes give problems with wet clutches.

What I talked about here is just the viscosity and lubrication.
I'm not speaking of additives that serve other purposes, like protect against corrosion, or trapping CO2 gasses and stuff like that.
There's really no need to get super technical. Staying with the recommended oil grade (30, 40) is always safe, as is using a motorcycle-specific oil.

If you deviate from that, you need to be careful. Research what makes an oil safe and what makes it not suitable for use in a cycle engine. The 2 main issues are additives - "Friction Modifiers" (Moly) and ZDDP (Zinc and Phosphorus). The issue with Friction Modifiers is the possibility of clutch slippage. The issue with a lack of adequate ZDDP is damage to the cams, rockers, and high pressure contact surfaces. If you are not comfortable with the differences, stick with manufacturer's recommendation to the letter.

The reason to use a non-motorcycle-specific oil is mostly cost, but also availability. Diesel oils like Rotella and Delvac are significantly less expensive and easier to find.

I've been using Shell Rotella multigrade oils in many of my cycles for years, and have determined through significant research that it's a safe choice.

But if you don't want to trust what someone says on the Internet, I won't hold it against you...
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Old 02-26-2017, 11:53 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Like said,
I use Honda GN4 (motorcycle oil) for my bike, and mix it with 10W30, and never experienced clutch slippage; though using 10W30 by itself there is some clutch slippage.

But at a ratio of 10-25% of 10W30 it doesn't damage the bike at all, and no clutch slippage, even under heavy load for prolonged riding, at the HP peak (GN4 is too thick, at W40, I find,that's why I add W30).
Besides, small engines at lower than 500cc do pretty fine with the lighter oils, as they don't really get hot.

I don't know if it makes any difference in gas mileage, but it does not damage the engine.

I'm just mentioning an option that works for me, and undoubtedly increases gas mileage by a few cents.

When I think of friction modifiers, I do mean that which decreases friction and increases mpg.

In India they ride motorcycles using vegetable oil as engine oil, just fine, for tens of thousands of miles. Vegetable oil has none of those additives an engine supposed to 'need'.
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Old 02-27-2017, 01:26 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProDigit View Post
Like said,
I use Honda GN4 (motorcycle oil) for my bike, and mix it with 10W30, and never experienced clutch slippage; though using 10W30 by itself there is some clutch slippage.

But at a ratio of 10-25% of 10W30 it doesn't damage the bike at all, and no clutch slippage, even under heavy load for prolonged riding, at the HP peak (GN4 is too thick, at W40, I find,that's why I add W30).
Besides, small engines at lower than 500cc do pretty fine with the lighter oils, as they don't really get hot.

I don't know if it makes any difference in gas mileage, but it does not damage the engine.

I'm just mentioning an option that works for me, and undoubtedly increases gas mileage by a few cents.

When I think of friction modifiers, I do mean that which decreases friction and increases mpg.

In India they ride motorcycles using vegetable oil as engine oil, just fine, for tens of thousands of miles. Vegetable oil has none of those additives an engine supposed to 'need'.
You know they make GN4 in 10W-30 - right?

Use what you think works, but by all accounts I've seen, Rotella T5 10W-30 synthetic blend is far superior to GN4 in every way.

There are plenty of under-500cc engines that get real hot - it all depends on the conditions of use.

Just because engines run with poor or wrong oil, doesn't mean they are "OK" internally. Performance and life span will suffer. No question.

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