Air Cooled Single Oil Recommendations

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Hello, new to the board, first post. I am trying to sort out an oil choice for my DR650 dual purpose bike. It is a 650cc air cooled single, shared trans and engine oils. Capacity of 2.1L. But it has the SACS air cooled engine oil system similar to the GSXR's. This bike has had a very notchy transmission from new. Plus there have been reported internet failures of the 3rd gear which may or may not be oil related. I used to run Rotella T5 15w40 but have since switched to Kawasaki S4 15w50 that I scored for $7 a litre. I noticed a very significant reduction in the shifting notchiness with the Kawi syn oil. I have since depleted my stock. Does anybody have any info on who makes the Kawi S4, just for interests sake? I am thinking of going to a 20w50 oil to protect against any possible trans issues and see how the shifting is. I have heard good things about Maxima products. I can get Maxim$ Synth blend 20w50 for $10.95/L. Or Mamix Extra 4 15w50 full synth for %16.95/L which is a decent price for a full synth MC specific oil. Anther easy to get option which should be decently priced is the Mobil 1 20w50 V Twin. But I see it is not JASO certified, http://www.mobil.com/USA-English/Lubes/PDS/NAUSENPVLMOMobil1_Motorcycle_Oils.aspx. I wonder how my clutch would like it? Thoughts?
 
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The Valvoline 4T 20w50 synthetic is JASO MA2 certified, and I have had good luck with it in my shared sump bikes. Held up much better than the Castrol RS 10w50, and 20w50 synthetic I have run in my air/oil cooled Triumph.
 
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How are the gears breaking? Any failure analysis? Are they "underwater" in oil or counting on it flinging? Mid-shift banging or just hard pulls already in gear? I'd take some cylinder head temps after a good ride at a normal temp. My virago was 205'F at 75'F ambient and could have used a 30-weight. You in canada shouldn't need more than a 40 unless you're running it wicked hard... but a 1 cyl should get good cooling- no 2nd cyl half out of the airflow. I'd concentrate on smooth shifting in case the clash of going into gear with a mostly-but-not-totally slipping clutch is what's chipping these 3rd gear teeth. In short keep doing what you're doing. IMO no need for a 50 weight.
 

bkoz

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Originally Posted By: eljefino
How are the gears breaking? Any failure analysis? Are they "underwater" in oil or counting on it flinging? Mid-shift banging or just hard pulls already in gear?
The issue is with 3rd gear, its driven in 3rd, 4th and 5th. No failure analysis has been done that I know of. It is a very rare occurence but something I am aware of. I will get an analysis done when mine blows. wink The bike is notchy shifting in and out of gears. And it has been known to pop out of 2nd and 3rd when I am running it hard in the dirt and not paying attention to my shifts. Typical Suzuki trans.
Originally Posted By: eljefino
I'd take some cylinder head temps after a good ride at a normal temp. My virago was 205'F at 75'F ambient and could have used a 30-weight. You in canada shouldn't need more than a 40 unless you're running it wicked hard... but a 1 cyl should get good cooling- no 2nd cyl half out of the airflow.
I am in the Okanagon. It can get pretty toasty in the summer. The bike gets nice and warm when trail running, 1st/2nd gear stuff.
Originally Posted By: eljefino
I'd concentrate on smooth shifting in case the clash of going into gear with a mostly-but-not-totally slipping clutch is what's chipping these 3rd gear teeth. In short keep doing what you're doing. IMO no need for a 50 weight.
From the pics I have seen the dogs either break or the gear fractures. The suspicion is that it a manufacturing issue, but good oil won't hurt. I am more interesting in helping the shifting.
 
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He's in Kamloops, in the Okanagon Valley as he stated - that's really a desert. Some awfully hot temps in the summer. I guess that you could experiemnt w/ various Shell Rotella offerings. You could try the synthetic 5w-40 T6 version as opposed to the conventional version that you likely have been running. By the way, were you using T5? Was it the American 10w-30 T5 or one of the Canadian Shell T5's? I have seen a 0w-40 T5 product that costs as much as T6 at Can Tire - weird. I wouldn't use that one in a shared sump. My old thumper (SRX-600) was run w/ 0w-40 XD-3 from Esso. It loved that stuff. A draggy clutch while stuck in traffic was par for the course when using lesser conventionals but not w/ XD-3... T6 was not around for me to use in it back then. XD-3 is being called something else these days. Every season or so I go to the big, heavy diesel shops around here & see what sort of stuff that they have in. Usually great deals to be had on some tough HDEO's... My thoughts. John.
 
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Rotella 15w40 is about the nothchiest shifting oil Ive ever ran. Im of the opinion and experience, that the first ten thousand miles is the most important, so frequent flush with what ever oil. Then after that use the more expensive oils if want longer change intervals. I havent ran the maxima extra, but sounds like a great oil. Motul 15w50 300v) is also a very good oil protection wise. Ive been debating on grabbing me another dual sport, luv the freedom of movement, and the ability to do stuff not normally done with a street bike.
 

bkoz

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Originally Posted By: Reg# 43897
He's in Kamloops, in the Okanagon Valley as he stated - that's really a desert. Some awfully hot temps in the summer. I guess that you could experiemnt w/ various Shell Rotella offerings. You could try the synthetic 5w-40 T6 version as opposed to the conventional version that you likely have been running. By the way, were you using T5? Was it the American 10w-30 T5 or one of the Canadian Shell T5's? I have seen a 0w-40 T5 product that costs as much as T6 at Can Tire - weird. I wouldn't use that one in a shared sump. My old thumper (SRX-600) was run w/ 0w-40 XD-3 from Esso. It loved that stuff. A draggy clutch while stuck in traffic was par for the course when using lesser conventionals but not w/ XD-3... T6 was not around for me to use in it back then. John.
Sorry about that, I was running the 15w40 Shell Rotella T. As far as the synth 5w40 Rotella, my thinking was that the trans would be happier with a heavier base stock, thus the 20w50. Any opinions on this theory?
 
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I see no problem with running a 20W-50 in hot weather, especially in an air-cooled motorcycle engine that sees some slower speed trail riding. The Mobil 1 v-twin 20W-50 is recommended for wet clutch in HD's, so not sure why it would not carry MA or MA2 JASO rating. Amsoil makes a very good bike oil in 20W-50/MA2. It would protect your transmission very well and has been tested specifically against gearbox wear and protection. I cannot see it costing as much as the Maxima oil. Many of the guys I know that ride Harleys have switched over to the Amsoil stuff and like it. The Valvoline syn 4T sounds good too and perhaps slightly less cost than the Amsoil.
 
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I see that Wallmart in my neck of the woods has just started carrying 20w-50 Valvoline VR-1 bike oil. Very good conventional bike oil from what I have read here. OT: They are also carrying Castrol RS bike oil which is a 1st... John.
 
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I have a 2001 DR650. My main oil the last few years has been the Rotella 15w-40. I've not experienced any adverse issues, the bike runs like new.
 
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Originally Posted By: bkoz
Does anybody have any info on who makes the Kawi S4, just for interests sake?
Elf (Total Group) private labels for Kawasaki.
 
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I usually run rotella t6 or the 15w-40 in my dr650 , but I have ran M1 15w-50 before for a nice trip down to the dragon. No I'll effects from the 50wt. As for the 3rd gear thing, it's mostly a problem in places like Australia where 3rd gear gets hammered riding in the sand with high ambient temps. Don't lug it in 3,4,or5 or at all really and you shouldn't have a problem. Also replace you hub Cush rubber pieces every few years and it will help keep the shock stress off the gears. It's a single thumper, keep the revs up or it hammers the gear box. Also, clean up your shifting, sloppy shifting can ruin a gearbox on any bike, and it's NOT the bikes fault if it fails.
 

bkoz

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I came across this thread and figured it would be interesting to update it 5 years later. I ended up replacing 3rd, 4th and 5th gears in my transmission at about 27,000kms. I was getting a pronounced gear whine in those three gears. When I split the cases I found that the gear tooth faces had spalling issues. After running Rotella for about the first 10k I switched to semi or full synth 20w50. I went through multiple different brands depending what was on sale. The oil was dropped on average every 2500kms. Any of the 20w50 oils still shifted fine @ 2500kms. While running Rotella the shifting was horrible at around 1800kms. To fix the issues with the transmission I believe that cryo treatment and tumbling would be a big help. I just couldn't justify the cost versus new parts. It's not a big job swap in fresh gears.
 

ZeeOSix

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Originally Posted By: bkoz
I ended up replacing 3rd, 4th and 5th gears in my transmission at about 27,000kms. I was getting a pronounced gear whine in those three gears. When I split the cases I found that the gear tooth faces had spalling issues.
Gear wear from lack of the oil's protection, or a material problem with the gears? Were you running oils not JASO MA approved?
 

bkoz

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Originally Posted By: ZeeOSix
Gear wear from lack of the oil's protection, or a material problem with the gears? Were you running oils not JASO MA approved?
The oil's were all JASO approved. I believe it's a Suzuki problem. I have worked on Suzukie RMZ250 and RMZ450 motorcross bikes with the same issue.
 
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Yamaha XT600's used to do that to 5th gear, and were told to not use 5th at low speeds. I pulled my DT230 down and found the same thing with 6th.
 

bkoz

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Originally Posted By: webfors
Is the conclusion that no oil type/viscosity would have prevented this?
That is my guess. For the next 25,000kms I will only run 20w50 and see if there is any difference.
 
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