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gdickelman
Male Advanced Member
1205 Posts
[Mentor]


Annandale, VA
USA

Moto Guzzi

California Vintage

Posted - 05/06/2008 :  4:22 PM                       Like
I find that my Guzzi needs the oil topped off a couple of times between oil changes (...not unusual, I figure, for air-cooled engines).

I am wondering if you need to use the same high-performance oil that is used for the oil change to top it off. Several automotive "experts" I asked said that I should use a good quality oil for topping off and match the type (regular oil or synthetic, as the case may be for the oil changes), but it is not necessary to use the precise high-performance type that is used for the oil changes.

Comments? Advice?

scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6943 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, ID
USA

Honda

XR650L, 790 Adv R

Posted - 05/06/2008 :  5:03 PM
In my opinion, it doesn't really matter, as long as you use the correct weight. I think most people worry way too much about their oil. Oil-related failures are extremely rare, especially on engines where the oil is never allowed to run low.

But nobody ever agrees on these oil threads, so let's see how many different opinions we can collect here.
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gdickelman
Male Advanced Member
1205 Posts
[Mentor]


Annandale, VA
USA

Moto Guzzi

California Vintage

Posted - 05/06/2008 :  9:01 PM
quote:
Originally posted by scottrnelson

In my opinion, it doesn't really matter, as long as you use the correct weight. I think most people worry way too much about their oil. Oil-related failures are extremely rare, especially on engines where the oil is never allowed to run low.

But nobody ever agrees on these oil threads, so let's see how many different opinions we can collect here.



Thanks. I guess this starts us down the slippery slope....
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radan2
Male Advanced Member
1117 Posts
[Mentor]


Jacksonville, NC
USA

Moto Guzzi

2007 Breva V750 ie

Posted - 05/07/2008 :  12:03 AM
gdickelman, YOU ARE ASKING A GUZZI OIL QUESTION ON A NON-GUZZI FORUM.

Notice the dark clouds gathering above you even at this moment.

Listen to the silence as the birds fly away and the insects stop their chirps and hums, silenced by fear.

Notice the ominous color of the sky, as the stars slowly wink out and the sun is obscured, producing a pale, deathly light.

See the long line of eagles, talons sharpened, flying toward you on the wings of storm, preparing to dive on you and rip out your eyes.

Man, what are you thinking? This is HIGH THEOLOGY! Not for the unsancified eyes of hoi polloi.

Forget the Great Schism and the Protestant Reformation. Forget the Crusades and the extremes of Jihadism. None of these can match the fervor and passion of the Great Guzzi Question: synthetic or dino?

Guido will come to you tomorrow, bearing his magic hose clamp. Prepare to meet thy dooooom!
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Speedmaster07
Senior Member
287 Posts


Los Angeles, CA
USA

Triumph

Speedmaster

Peer Review: Blocked

Posted - 05/07/2008 :  1:51 AM
quote:
Originally posted by scottrnelson

In my opinion, it doesn't really matter, as long as you use the correct weight. I think most people worry way too much about their oil. Oil-related failures are extremely rare, especially on engines where the oil is never allowed to run low.

But nobody ever agrees on these oil threads, so let's see how many different opinions we can collect here.


What he said. I never cease to be amazed by how obsessed some people get with motor oil. Whole forums of nothing but oil talk--some people really need to get a life. Use the same weight that was used at the last change; you will never, ever notice any effects if it happens to not be exactly the same brand.
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Indiana Randy
Moderator
2118 Posts
[Mentor]


Fort Wayne, Indiana
USA

Honda

2000 Magna V4 750

Posted - 05/07/2008 :  11:40 AM
quote:
In my opinion, it doesn't really matter, as long as you use the correct weight. I think most people worry way too much about their oil. Oil-related failures are extremely rare, especially on engines where the oil is never allowed to run low.

But nobody ever agrees on these oil threads, so let's see how many different opinions we can collect here.


quote:
What he said. I never cease to be amazed by how obsessed some people get with motor oil. Whole forums of nothing but oil talk--some people really need to get a life. Use the same weight that was used at the last change; you will never, ever notice any effects if it happens to not be exactly the same brand.


I third what Scott said. Gee, that's 3 in agreement
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gdickelman
Male Advanced Member
1205 Posts
[Mentor]


Annandale, VA
USA

Moto Guzzi

California Vintage

Posted - 05/08/2008 :  6:56 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Indiana Randy

quote:
In my opinion, it doesn't really matter, as long as you use the correct weight. I think most people worry way too much about their oil. Oil-related failures are extremely rare, especially on engines where the oil is never allowed to run low.

But nobody ever agrees on these oil threads, so let's see how many different opinions we can collect here.


quote:
What he said. I never cease to be amazed by how obsessed some people get with motor oil. Whole forums of nothing but oil talk--some people really need to get a life. Use the same weight that was used at the last change; you will never, ever notice any effects if it happens to not be exactly the same brand.


I third what Scott said. Gee, that's 3 in agreement



Slippery slope, indeed!

When the bike still had under 5000 miles on it last Fall and I saw that the oil needed to be topped off, I wondered, "What did the dealer put in here in the first place, and on the occasion of its 600 mile service?" So I called the dealer, who told me that they use full synthetic on all of their bikes and gave me a recommendation for brand and weight for topping it off. I went to the auto parts store, which did not have the recommended type. So I asked someone knowledgeable about motorcycles if it mattered what brand of synthetic, if small deviations from the weight made a difference, etc. I am not an expert on automotive engineering, but I'm smart enough to know that air cooled engines run hot and have huge tolerances compared with liquid cooled engines that run hundreds of degrees cooler. I'm not obsessive, but would rather be safe than irresponsible. My guess is that when topping off, the small amount you add shouldn't make a big difference with respect to type. But what do I know.

The consensus seems to be "top it off with oil." So I do.
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shadowrider
Male Advanced Member
602 Posts
[Mentor]


Phoenix, Arizona
USA

Harley-Davidson

FLT Tour Glide

Posted - 05/27/2008 :  8:49 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Indiana Randy

quote:
In my opinion, it doesn't really matter, as long as you use the correct weight. I think most people worry way too much about their oil. Oil-related failures are extremely rare, especially on engines where the oil is never allowed to run low.

But nobody ever agrees on these oil threads, so let's see how many different opinions we can collect here.


quote:
What he said. I never cease to be amazed by how obsessed some people get with motor oil. Whole forums of nothing but oil talk--some people really need to get a life. Use the same weight that was used at the last change; you will never, ever notice any effects if it happens to not be exactly the same brand.


I third what Scott said. Gee, that's 3 in agreement


I'll be the fourth to agree...
I use any type, as long as it's the same weight...




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Tburd
Male Senior Member
475 Posts


Waukesha, WI
USA

Suzuki

Boulevard S50

Posted - 05/27/2008 :  9:03 AM
Here's a link I just picked up this morning. It's fairly long and I haven't studied the whole article yet but from what I've seen it looks very informative. I'm curious what others here think. Comments?

http://motorcycleinfo.calsci.com/Oils1.html
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Paris Hornsby
Male Starting Member
2 Posts


vero beach, FL
USA

Yamaha

2008 V star 650

Posted - 06/04/2008 :  10:06 AM
i've never changed my oil myself, but i want to start now! the shops are screwing me over by telling me they have to take my exaust off to change the filter but the manual says you dont on the new Vstar 650's ........... all i want to know is if it is easy to do and if i've been wasting my time and money letting them do it when i can do it myself....
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bzippi
Male Standard Member
109 Posts


Rossville, Indiana
USA

Victory

2007 Kingpin Tour

Posted - 06/04/2008 :  12:10 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Paris Hornsby

i've never changed my oil myself, but i want to start now! the shops are screwing me over by telling me they have to take my exaust off to change the filter but the manual says you dont on the new Vstar 650's ........... all i want to know is if it is easy to do and if i've been wasting my time and money letting them do it when i can do it myself....



I don't think any of the 650 V-Stars require the exhaust to come off to change oil. My 650 is a 2004, and I change the oil without removing the exhaust.

The 1100 V-Star, however, is a different matter. On all the recent model years with which I'm familiar, the exhaust has to be removed to change the oil (unless you add on an oil filter relocation kit). This is a design flaw Yamaha has been dinged for over the years, yet they have never chosen to fix it.

Ooops ... back on topic. Same weight oil for top offs. Beyond that, IMO, I don't think it matters.
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WarHawk
Male Advanced Member
1796 Posts


Baytown, Texas
USA

Yamaha

'07 V-Star Custom

Posted - 06/04/2008 :  12:54 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Paris Hornsby

i've never changed my oil myself, but i want to start now! the shops are screwing me over by telling me they have to take my exaust off to change the filter but the manual says you dont on the new Vstar 650's ........... all i want to know is if it is easy to do and if i've been wasting my time and money letting them do it when i can do it myself....



V-Star 650 = easy to change, just pull the oil filter cover off (gotta get a little behind the exhaust but manageable.

V-Star 1100 = TOTAL NIGHTMARE! Its better off to get the oil filter relocation kit for those as the oil filter cover and bolts are buried behind the forward exhaust tube, you have to pull the exhaust to get a clear shot to the bolts to pull the cover

You can get the oil filter relocation kit for the 650 but its really not needed...I change my oil myself and its rather easy

Don't you carry a 1/2 quart of oil that you normally change your oil with in your saddlebags when you go on a cruise?
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Pike Bishop
Male Junior Member
55 Posts


Norfolk, Virginia
USA

Suzuki

DualSport DR650SE

Posted - 11/29/2008 :  11:38 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Tburd

Here's a link I just picked up this morning. It's fairly long and I haven't studied the whole article yet but from what I've seen it looks very informative. I'm curious what others here think. Comments?

http://motorcycleinfo.calsci.com/Oils1.html



Thanks for posting that link, it was very informative, at least to me.

I have a new bike, and I noticed the author of that article recommended changing the break-in oil on a bike after 75 to 100 miles, instead of 600, due (at least in part) to the metal particles that would likely accumulate in the break-in oil.

What do you folks think of that idea? My impression was that the oil filter would capture any metal particles in the oil fairly quickly, or at least until the filter was completely clogged.

I have a single-cylinder 4-stroke "thumper" that I want to last forever and it currently has about 100 miles on it. Should I change the oil? What do the experts think?

Thanks in advance for any insights.
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Niebor
Ex-Member

Posted - 11/29/2008 :  1:13 PM
I've noticed that If I top off, it quickly consumes exactly that quantity that I topped off. If I don't top off, It doesn't lose a drop over 3,000 miles. I wonder if Guzzi and H-D share that traight.

Regarding changing oil at 100 miles, I wouldn't recommend it. Some manufacturers use a specific oil for engine break-in. Follow the recommended schedule for break-in, usually something like 600 miles. Unless the manufacturer recommends, I wouldn't switch to full-synthetic too soon either. You may never achieve a proper break-in. I switched the engine to full-synthetic, (plain automotive Mobil 1), at about 24,000 miles. So far, so good.
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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6943 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, ID
USA

Honda

XR650L, 790 Adv R

Posted - 11/29/2008 :  3:37 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Niebor

I've noticed that If I top off, it quickly consumes exactly that quantity that I topped off. If I don't top off, It doesn't lose a drop over 3,000 miles. I wonder if Guzzi and H-D share that traight.

Apparently Ducatis do that as well. If you fill the oil to the full mark, it will quickly either burn or push some of it out the breather until it gets back to the halfway point, then it will stay there for a long time. I rarely have to add oil between the 3000 mile oil changes, as long as I keep it at the half-way mark.
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(Deleted or Lost)

Posted - 11/29/2008 :  3:38 PM
Modern, SM rated dino oils are so close to the performance of SM rated synthetic oils under normal conditions that it is not worth the extra cost of synthetics under normal conditions .
Synthetics have the clear advantage under two conditions, excessive heat, and excessive cold (oil temps over 230 F, and cold starts below 15 F). Fore and aft 45 degree air-cooled V-twins often see excessive oil temps on the rear cylinders, and can benefit from synthetics. Air-cooled bike in extreme ambient temperatures can benefit from synthetics (e.g.. Arizona in the summer, traffic jams in LA in summer.) Few riders ride in ambient temperatures below 15 F.
Synthetics all have high shear stability (important for shared sump bikes) Only some dinos have high shear stability (but SM rated HDEOs like Rotella T, Delvac 1300, and Delo all have high shear stability).
If you find you have to top up more in high ambient temperatures, find an oil with higher shear stability, or change your oil more frequently.
Top up with any SM rated oil of the correct grade, but, if you are using synthetic because you experience excessive oil temps, top up with any synthetic of the correct grade, because if you top up with dino, that dino will sludge up in hot-spots, even though the remainder of the synthetic won't.
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Night Train
Male Advanced Member
1668 Posts
[Mentor]


Sydney, Nova Scotia
Canada

Kawasaki

2006 VN900

Posted - 11/29/2008 :  4:10 PM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
I do my own oil changes so always have ample oil on hand if I were to have to top off between oil changes. However, neither of my Harleys go down in oil between oil changes. The Night Train has 80,000 on her and still doesn't go down any. I change all fluids and oil filter every 3500 miles. I just use Dino oil and haven't evolved to the synthetic yet as I haven't seen any need to change.

I would imagine that in hotter climates, oil consumption would be a consideration to a certain degree especially with air cooled engines.
There may be no harm whatsoever in topping off with another brand of oil provided it is of the same rating, but personally, I would choose not to leave anything to chance and would use what I have in the crankcase. JMHO
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Nightwatchman
Male Standard Member
135 Posts


Littleton, CO
USA

Honda

Shadow Spirit 750

Posted - 12/29/2009 :  6:44 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Night Train

I do my own oil changes so always have ample oil on hand if I were to have to top off between oil changes. However, neither of my Harleys go down in oil between oil changes. The Night Train has 80,000 on her and still doesn't go down any. I change all fluids and oil filter every 3500 miles. I just use Dino oil and haven't evolved to the synthetic yet as I haven't seen any need to change.

I would imagine that in hotter climates, oil consumption would be a consideration to a certain degree especially with air cooled engines.
There may be no harm whatsoever in topping off with another brand of oil provided it is of the same rating, but personally, I would choose not to leave anything to chance and would use what I have in the crankcase. JMHO



So, if you'll put up with a question from a total noob at motorcycle maintenance, I can use car oil in my 750 spirit... right? I'm sure this question has been asked 4 digit amount of times... I just would like to ask you because I have a lot of faith in you guys. I have a friend who used to race motorcycles and he said that I should only use motorcycle oil. However, many of you have said that you use car oil. Thus, I just want to make sure.
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Daddio
Male Advanced Member
775 Posts
[Mentor]


Calera, AL
USA

Suzuki

Bandit 1250

Posted - 12/29/2009 :  6:51 AM
quote:
From Nightwatchman
So, if you'll put up with a question from a total noob at motorcycle maintenance, I can use car oil in my 750 spirit... right? I'm sure this question has been asked 4 digit amount of times... I just would like to ask you because I have a lot of faith in you guys. I have a friend who used to race motorcycles and he said that I should only use motorcycle oil. However, many of you have said that you use car oil. Thus, I just want to make sure.

If you use car oil, make sure you avoid any oil labeled energy conserving. The added friction modifiers will not get along with a wet clutch.
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wbrownell9
Male Junior Member
58 Posts


New Castle, DE
USA

BMW

R1200RT

Posted - 12/29/2009 :  9:07 PM
This may be more than you want to know, but there is a lot of informaton about oil at http://motorcycleinfo.calsci.com/Oils1.html My takeaway was to use either synthetic or oil rated for use in diesel engines.

Clean gas + clean oil + clean air = happy engine.
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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6943 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, ID
USA

Honda

XR650L, 790 Adv R

Posted - 12/30/2009 :  8:30 AM
quote:
So, if you'll put up with a question from a total noob at motorcycle maintenance, I can use car oil in my 750 spirit... right? I'm sure this question has been asked 4 digit amount of times... I just would like to ask you because I have a lot of faith in you guys. I have a friend who used to race motorcycles and he said that I should only use motorcycle oil. However, many of you have said that you use car oil. Thus, I just want to make sure.

Since in most motorcycles the same oil that lubricates the engine also lubricates the transmission, you should use a motorcycle-specific oil that has the extra ingredients necessary to protect the gears in the transmission. And as already mentioned, don't put any energy conserving oil in an engine with a wet clutch.
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