First Oil Change on a Used Bike. Need Suggestions

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I'll try to make this short and sweet. I recently purchased a 1985 Honda XL600. This bike is an air cooled, single cylinder, enduro style. The bike has 11k miles on it. The guy I purchased it from, said he took really good care of it and as far as I can tell, it is running really good. Matter of fact, it has always started on the second or third kick start. Anyway, my son has the exact same bike, except it is a 1983 model, but basically identical except for cosmetics and it also has about 11k miles on it. This past weekend, my son had to tear into the bottom end of his engine to replace an O-ring and a seal. When he had it opened up, he found and cleaned out some sludge. I think it was common for folks to run 10w40 dino in these bikes. Finally, my bike is in Phoenix and I will be riding it back to Colorado this weekend, doing two, 400 mile days. Before I leave Phoenix, I am going to really go over the bike from a wrench twisting perspective, along with an oil change, air filter cleaning, etc.... These 800 miles will be a good chance for me to pour in an oil that will be really, really good at cleaning up the engine. So here is my question.... What oil should I pour in? It needs to be easily accessible (Walmart or auto parts store), as I don't have time to mail order anything. I am leaning toward a synthetic and wonder if a DELVAC or Rotella would be a good choice???? Upon arriving in Colorado, I will dump this fill and go with DELVAC 1300 15w40. (becuase I have a bunch of it on-hand) Anyway, what are your thoughts and recommendations?
 

PT1

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The HDEO's 15w40 will be fine. The synthetic I have found that cleans the most is Pennzoil Platinum. But not sure if WM carries the 10w40. Harley Davidson Syn3 also cleans a lot but it is 20w50. But I would go with PP or the HDEO.
 
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If I'm not mistaken, the HDEOs have a fair degree of detergents in them. So they would be a good choice, I would think. BigJohn ... you wouldn't happen to be "Sanoke" from the Honda Shadow forum website, are you?
 

BigJohn

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 Originally Posted By: TucsonDon
If I'm not mistaken, the HDEOs have a fair degree of detergents in them. So they would be a good choice, I would think. BigJohn ... you wouldn't happen to be "Sanoke" from the Honda Shadow forum website, are you?
Good point about the detergents in HDEO's Don. For this first 800 miles and to get the "best strubbing", would I be better off with 5w40 synthetics? And....although I use to own a Honda (VTX1800), I am not on that forum. The forums that I frequent are: BTOG, StromTroopers (for Suzuki VStrom riders), ADV (for all Adventure Riders), ThumperTalk, and RV and a Hunting Forums.
 
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 Originally Posted By: BigJohn
For this first 800 miles and to get the "best strubbing", would I be better off with 5w40 synthetics?
My personal choice would be to go with the 15W-40 conventional. The add pack (in terms of detergents, etc.) should be the same as the 5W-40 synthetic, and since you're likely to dump the oil after the 800 mile trip, why spend the extra money? You know, it's interesting ... over on the Rotella website they have several articles about when and why to use synthetic, and they're pretty clear that there's no magic to the stuff. Cold start flow properties is what they seem to stress the most. Second to that is fuel economy ... but I'll bet that's measured in low single digit percent. (We'd never notice it on our bikes, but a fleet manager might see the benefit in aggregate for dozens or hundreds of trucks.) Finally, the extended change interval benefit, which the Rotella website is very cautious in recommending. So, bottom line ... I don't think there's any real reason to run with the synthetic for what you're doing.
 Originally Posted By: BigJohn
I am not on that forum.
I asked because the "Sanoke" fellow I mentioned also lives in Colorado, and has a son in Phoenix, and seems to like buying older bikes and fixing them up.
 

BigJohn

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 Originally Posted By: TucsonDon
 Originally Posted By: BigJohn
[quote=BigJohn]I am not on that forum.
I asked because the "Sanoke" fellow I mentioned also lives in Colorado, and has a son in Phoenix, and seems to like buying older bikes and fixing them up.
You have me laughing here!!!! I would much rather be riding them than twisting wrenches. But....I will have to admit that doing all the maintenance on all my vehicles, including the bikes is a legitimate hobby. And actually, both my son's are still living in the house with the wife and I....they are a Senior and Sophomore in High School. Good idea on the 15w40 Conventional....will go that route.
 
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Whatever you've got check it often, I have heard of thumpers really burning it up on the highway. I don't think a 20w50 for the ride home would be too out of the question, save the cleaning for the 2nd change. Have fun and take some pictures for the forum.
 

BigJohn

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Well, shoot.......three shops today and could not find Rotella or Delvac in individual quarts here in Chandler within a five mile radius of my hotel. So, it is yellow bottle for the XL!!!! The bike takes 2.4 quarts, so I purchased three quarts. 1 quart of 20w50 2 quarts of 10w40 First I poured in the 20w50, then a quart of the 10w40, then .4 of a quart of the 10w40. I have .6 of a quart in my bag to top it off at each fuel fill up. I am really glad I went to the trouble of changing the oil...(yeah, in the parking lot of Checkers....so I could recycle the old oil). As.....the stuff that I drained was black as the night and looked real, real dirty. I also changed the filter so the bike should being saying......"AHHHHHHH, I feel better!!!!!" So I get up in the morning and ride 400 miles to Albuquerque. I'll take pics and post them in a couple of days!
 

BigJohn

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 Originally Posted By: eljefino
Have fun and take some pictures for the forum.
Ok....here is the write up..... Here is the trip....Phoenix, AZ to Colorado Springs, CO Before departing, I changed the oil and oil filter. I wanted to go with Mobil Delac, but I could only find the oil in gallon jugs (the bike only takes 2.3 quarts). Therefore I went with good old fashioned Yellow Bottle. One quart of 20w50, and the other two quarts of 10w40. Loaded up and leaving the hotel in Chandler. Leaving Phoenix on Hwy 60 Headed into the Tonto National Forest Arriving at the first town on Hwy 60, Superior The canyon on the way to Globe Still got a ways to go..... Salt River Canyon Look to the left on the photo and you will see the road winding down to the Salt River. What awesome twisties! In between Springerville, AZ and the state line I took a rest. Ahhhh...and finally, New Mexico! Riding east, I ended up at Magdalena, NM... where I filled up with gas and road the 83 miles north to I40. About half way there, on NM 117, I came upon a nice surprise.....La Ventana Arch. The area is called the Narrows because NM 117 is squeezed into a narrow corridor between the black lava flows of El Malpais and the towering sandstone cliffs that mark the west edge of Cebollita Mesa. And finally, after a lot of 75 mph riding in serious cross winds, I arrive in Albuquerque. Navigating the west side streets, I arrive at my nephew and niece's home in Rio Rancho in 420 miles later. Saturday morning, I awoke to sleet hitting my bedroom window at 5:30am. I thought....well [censored]......rolled over and went back to sleep, thinking that I might as well get some rest if I can't ride. The 7:30 alarm only revealed that the sleet had changed to rain at 43 degrees. After a cup of coffee and some debate between my nephew and niece, I took their advice, borrowing their pickup to haul the bike home, instead of riding the rest of the trip. Here is the pic of the heroes! Darn good thing I took my kin's advice....this is what I dealt with for a good 150 miles in northern NM. And then upon arriving home....I have one happy young man!
 
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Hey John -- Cool pics -- I've been on some of those roads. But not all the way to NM, though. I saw in one of the pictures you had a bottle of Pennzoil tucked into a pocket. How did the oil level do on that trip? Did it need topping off along the way? How about the bike -- was it a good ride? How did it do at highway speeds? Final question -- what's your strategy with hotel selection ... take your chances? Or reserve ahead?
 

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 Originally Posted By: TucsonDon
Hey John -- Cool pics -- I've been on some of those roads. But not all the way to NM, though. I saw in one of the pictures you had a bottle of Pennzoil tucked into a pocket. How did the oil level do on that trip? Did it need topping off along the way? How about the bike -- was it a good ride? How did it do at highway speeds? Final question -- what's your strategy with hotel selection ... take your chances? Or reserve ahead?
I purchased 3 quarts of the Yellow Bottle, using 2.3 quarts for the oil change. The remaining 0.7 quart was the bottle you saw in the bag on the bike. Yeah, that bottle was my insurance against oil loss. So, for 400+ miles, running anywhere from 55 mph to 75 mph.....I am not aware of the bike loosing a single drop of oil. The dip stick level was the same as it was when I started. THAT IS AWESOME NEWS! This 600cc engine must be tight as a fiddle string. The engine does have a couple of tiny, tiny oil leaks, but those will be fixed over the months as I have time to dive in and replace gaskets and O-Rings. The bike came with pretty aggressive knobbies, but they handled darn good on the pavement and on the twisties. Also, I ran into some pretty tough cross winds, but the bike performed much better than I thought it would. Overall, I was very impressed with the bikes pavement handling. Hotels...hmmmm..... Depends on the trip and my plans and who is with me. When I ride alone or with the boys, we usually do the tent thing. When the wife is 2-Up with me on the VStrom...it is all about good planning, set miles per day and hotel reservations.
 

BigJohn

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Dumped the oil and added some fresh Mobil Delvac 1300 15w40 and took them for a short spin to circulate the oil. My 17 year old and my 18 year old.
 
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I've got a dual sport bike in my fleet. An '06 KLR650 liquid cooled engine. I bought it new and I've put 12000 miles on it. I run Shell Rotella T in all of my four stroke engines. Bikes, ATVs and OPE get 15W40, autos get 5W40. I also run it in a liquid cooled Kubota diesel that I've owned since new for 26 years. It gets Rotella T 5W40. Being an oil formulated for diesel engines, it keeps thing pretty clean inside. When I change oil in my equipment it usually comes out pretty black. To me, that's a good thing. If the dirt is in the oil, it's not in the engine. Being that your Hondas are air cooled bikes, they will be subjected to higher temps than liquid cooled engines. If I were you, I'd be changing oil between 1500 and 2000 miles depending on riding conditions. Dirty conditions or a lot of low speed high rpm riding will require more frequent oil changes. Long, highway trips with relatively low engine speeds and cooler operating conditions will allow for extended oil change intervals. I believe that a good quality conventional oil changed at shorter intervals is better for the engine than an expensive synthetic or designer oil run in the engine for longer periods. Just because synthetic oil might retain its structure longer than a conventional oil, contaminants in that oil will be in the engine for longer periods. Frequent oil changes removes contaminants sooner.
 
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Your an animal! I can ride my KlR250 100 miles in a few hours off road and be ok but 420 miles on the street would kill me. Back in January I rode 330 miles in a day mostly street. I havn't rode the bike since.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Chris142
Your an animal! I can ride my KlR250 100 miles in a few hours off road and be ok but 420 miles on the street would kill me. Back in January I rode 330 miles in a day mostly street. I havn't rode the bike since.
Tell you what Chris. The big dual sport machines are a pretty decent ride on the highway. I've done some fairly long distances on the KLR650 on highways. Wouldn't dare taking it in the bush though. Way too big. Is your KLR250 a Sherpa? If it is, it's a nice machine for short hops but a little down on size and power for long distance work.
 
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No mines just a standard 1990 KLR250. I changed the sprockets because it was geared way too fast. Now it has enough power to take me anywhere I point it and still goes 70mph. With the stock gearing it would do 96 mph in 5th gear but couldn't pull 6th. My friends ride 400cc+ bikes and it goes anywhere they go. It's almost got 10K on it. I check the valves once a year and change the oil alot. I had a quad that had the same basic engine and it got me to the top of the biggest dune @ Dumont dunes. The bike is much lighter than the quad was so it has more power from the weight savings.
 

BigJohn

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 Originally Posted By: Chris142
Your an animal! I can ride my KlR250 100 miles in a few hours off road and be ok but 420 miles on the street would kill me. Back in January I rode 330 miles in a day mostly street. I havn't rode the bike since.
The big Thumpers (600-650cc), afford the ability to do a lot of miles. The big, flat seat is reasonably comfy and the big, coffee can cylinder provides a ton of torque at low rpms. I gotta tell ya though...I don't think I would plan over a 500 mile day. If I need to go over 500 miles....it will be on my VStrom.
 

BigJohn

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So here is the rest of the story..... Having my nephew's truck in Colorado and needing to get it back to him in Albuquerque, I came up with a pretty good plan. Yes, that is the same white truck from two weeks ago, but instead of an XL600 in the back, it is a V-Strom. Leaving Albuquerque this morning. Here is my route..... [URL="http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=Ventana+Cielo+Ave+NW&daddr=NM-68%2FPaseo+del+Pueblo+sur+to:NM-522+to:36.870832,-104.425049+to:falcon,+co&hl=en&geocode=[censored]-Q%3BFcQxKwIduuK0-Q%3BFRbbLwIdOm20-Q%3B%3B&mra=dpe&mrcr=0&mrsp=3&sz=7&via=1,2,3&sll=37.0537,-105.59017&sspn=4.093905,9.84375&ie=UTF8&ll=36.791691,-105.227051&spn=4.108066,9.84375&z=7"]http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=Ventana+Cielo+Ave+NW&daddr=NM-68%2FPaseo+del+Pueblo+sur+to:NM-522+to:36.870832,-104.425049+to:falcon,+co&hl=en&geocode=[censored]-Q%3BFcQxKwIduuK0-Q%3BFRbbLwIdOm20-Q%3B%3B&mra=dpe&mrcr=0&mrsp=3&sz=7&via=1,2,3&sll=37.0537,-105.59017&sspn=4.093905,9.84375&ie=UTF8&ll=36.791691,-105.227051&spn=4.108066,9.84375&z=7[/URL] A quick stop in Santa Fe and a ride in the downtown area...the plaza. Riding up the canyon between Santa Fe and Taos....yep, that's the Rio Grande. The Rio Grando Gorge with Taos and Mt. Wheeler in the background. Of course, a lunch stop at Michael's Kitchen is a non-negotiable!!!! Green Chicken Enchiladas, Spanish Rice and Beans! Ridin up the Red River Canyon toward the town of Red River. 87558.......Red River, NM 87710.....Angel Fire, NM In very lonely parts of New Mexico....way out in BFE....this is what happens! Outside of Walsenburg....headed home on the fast lane. And finally......Pike's Peak....which means, I am nearly HOME!!! 415 miles of great riding on the Strom!
 
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