New to me... DCT.... Africa Twin

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1,027
Location
Colorado
Two weeks ago I sold a bike.... so I could purchase a bike. Out was the BMW Sertao and in the stable was a 2017 Honda Africa Twin with the "auto" Dual Clutch Transmission.

Note.... I have never owned... never even ridden a DCT. Only my time with a Recluse Clutch on my WR426 years ago was something similar.

The bike has 6,500 miles.

Ugh... Man, I didn't like my first couple of rides. The temps have been cold, so my rides have been short, but the DCT was jumpy, clunky and abrupt.

Today the temps were warm and nice, so after 5 hours in the home office, I bailed for the garage, warmed up the bike, dumped the old oil, replaced the filters and poured in some new "slippery juice" and went for a spin.

Oh my goodness. It was like I had a new transmission installed. It was completely different and completely exceptional.

What magic juice did I use????

Yep, my home blend of 50% Rotella T4 15w40 Conventional and 50% Rotella T6 5w40 Synthetic. I have found that every bike I have owned, loves semi-synthetic Rotella that has the JASO clutch certs.

I was nervous if the DCT would like it or not, because Honda specs a 10w30 for this application..... but the Jury is unanimous on their decision.... it LOVES IT!

And I love this bike. It is far better than both my KTM 950 ADV-S's that I owned for over 10 years and it blows away the BMW Sertao.
 

BigJohn

Thread starter
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1,027
Location
Colorado
Nice bike! The Honda DCT is supposed to be very good. If they were still sold, I'd pick up a VFR1200X with the DCT.
Ha... Got one, minus the DCT. I wanted the DCT on the VFRX, but couldn't find one two years ago. I really don't mind the shifting on a touring bike.

Now... it will be interesting if I keep both bikes. Right now the wife says YES, as she loves the VFRX for our touring trips. We shall see what she thinks of the AT!

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1,448
Location
Ca USA
Hiya John... the one thing an owner has control over is the viscosity of their oil but
running a 40 grade instead of the prescribe 30 grade is costing you 2-3 HP in
unnecessary oil drag with 0.0 increase longevity... because both a 30 or 40 grade
will meet and exceed your mileage expectations...

JASO not much help... Shell Rotella can buy a Jaso cert for $365 no testing required...

As of 2021 Jaso has approved 469 10w30 and 33 5w30 and 20 0w30 oils...

JALOS does not test oils. They register oils based on manufacturer
data and site. Most of the data is generated by additive package
manufacturers. The system is just for registration. They hate any term
that implies their approval such as “certified by”.

Cost to register one grade of oil from one manufacturing site is
40,000 Japanese Yen or about USD $365.00.

JASO sets the standard. JALOS has the responsibility for the review
and registration. Once this is done you have the right to use the mark
on your labels. The documents submitted for review include the
technical performance data and label design.

Quote JASO
"The Panel may disclose the results of market surveys in a manner such
that particular names of submitters and their oil products are not
identifiable."

So no oil is currently listed to be the cause of wet clutch slip... fact is
high mileage not our oil is the observed cause of a clutch loosing its grip...

Jaso has approved 1,537 oils which covers just about everything on the
market... From 0w to mono 30 grades to 60 multi grades... from Auto to
Cycle oils... What oil should a wet clutch customer stay way from???
JASO can't help... the results of market surveys are in a manner such
that particular names of submitters and their oil products are not
identifiable.

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Messages
1,448
Location
Ca USA
I was nervous if the DCT would like it or not, because Honda specs a 10w30 for this application..... but the Jury is unanimous on their decision.... it LOVES IT!

Mercy John your Honda clutch will also LOVE the prescribe 30 grade because

The holy trinity of science is 1)Reason 2)Observation 3)Experience...
employing those tools we observe that the primary cause clutch slip
are high mileage... mileage is the constant among all of the clutches
that begin to slip... oil choice whether JASO approved or not is not a
constant... High mileage is the constant where all clutches begin to
loose grip due to normal glazing and contaminates that build up over use...

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Messages
1,448
Location
Ca USA
Yep, my home blend of 50% Rotella T4 15w40 Conventional and 50% Rotella T6 5w40 Synthetic.
Mercy John... Mixing oils is a crap shoot whether you will upset the balance and negate protection...

Blackstone Labs wisdom

"Usually, at least several of these additives will be synergistic. That
is, they react mutually, in groups of two or more, to create an effect
that none of them could attain individually. Changing or adding to
this formula can upset the balance and negate the protective effect
the formula was meant to achieve, even if you are only adding more of
something that was already included in the initial package."

"This information should also be taken into account when adding to the
oil already in your bike or when mixing oils for any reason, such as
synthetic with petroleum. In these cases, always make sure the oils
you are putting together have the same rating. This tells you their
additive packages are basically the same, or at least compatible, and
are less likely to upset the balance or counteract each other."

Synthetics versus Mineral
What is 100% true for all the synthetics are uniform sized molecules
that don't exists naturally... so armed with that knowledge you can
see that synthetics are refined for uni formally and purity where as
minerals are random and less pure... mixing 50% to 50% equals less
pure synthetic and more random molecules...

full-45634-36928-syntheticmineral_oil2.png
 
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1,062
Location
Arizona
Your magic juice is no surprise to me. I have shocked more than one bike owner talking them into trying Shell T5, T6 or M1 in bikes. Besides being inexpensive compared to boutique bike spec oils the shock comes at the difference in the gearbox. Less notchiness and quieter operation is notable. Many knuckleheads put thin oil in thinking its all good and makes more power ....i have dumped oil that is like water. I don't even ask what it was but tell them if they like the better feel of the gearbox use the heavier Shell or M1 and to heck with the $11 bike oils. Exception to this is if you're racing it hard. then spend the $$ on the best.

Your DTC is actually in 2 gears at once for milliseconds so clutch slippage is much less concern than a manual power shifting
 
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4,373
Location
N.C.
Because I am not paying $12 a quart for Honda branded oil and Rotella 10w30 does not carry the JASO cert and I am not on the thin oil band-wagon for high compression engines. Rotella 40wt has proven exceptional in 100's of thousands of bikes.
I ran Rotella T4 15w40 in my Vstrom for years. At the time, it was one of the more popular oils on the Vstrom forums. Nice bike BigJohn, give us an update when you put some miles on her. (y)
 

BigJohn

Thread starter
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1,027
Location
Colorado
Put 150 miles on the Africa Twin today with mixed riding of city, canyon twisties and dirt. Engine and tranny were smooth and flawless.


..............
 
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BigJohn

Thread starter
Messages
1,027
Location
Colorado
So you are blending a 10w40 Rotella semi-syn. Very cool. I'm blending a 15w-40 Rotella semi-syn for my dirt bikes.

Yep... 15w40 Semi-Synthetic here are well.

I mix 50/50 Rotella T4 15w40 Conventional and Rotella T6 15w40 Synthetic for my Enduro Racing bike... my WR450. The bike loves the brew.
 

BigJohn

Thread starter
Messages
1,027
Location
Colorado
I ran Rotella T4 15w40 in my Vstrom for years. At the time, it was one of the more popular oils on the Vstrom forums. Nice bike BigJohn, give us an update when you put some miles on her. (y)

Yeah, I put 50,000 miles on a 2007 WeeStrom and most of those miles were with straight Rotella T4 15w40. It was this bike that showed me T6 5w40 would shear and burn off quicker.
 
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47
Location
NB Canada
Because I am not paying $12 a quart for Honda branded oil and Rotella 10w30 does not carry the JASO cert and I am not on the thin oil band-wagon for high compression engines. Rotella 40wt has proven exceptional in 100's of thousands of bikes.
Rotella has t4 and t5 in 10w30.

”Proven exceptional in 100’s of thousands of bikes.” Can you back that one? What about the people who think 5w40 t6 shifts like crap after 1000mi?
 
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1,528
Location
California
Rotella has t4 and t5 in 10w30.

”Proven exceptional in 100’s of thousands of bikes.” Can you back that one? What about the people who think 5w40 t6 shifts like crap after 1000mi?
Sure Rotella T4 and T5 are available in 10w30. Do they have the JASO MA/MA2 statement on the label? Yes someone said above that Shell can just buy the certification from JASO without any testing. But even if that is true, the 10w30 products are not labeled JASO MA/MA2 and that is why I will not use them. Besides, why mess with such a good thing? Both my bikes love the 15w40, it's in the recommended viscosity range, it's a stout oil, and much less costly than most MA/MA2 oils. So these oils are a good choice for me and apparently many, many others. For decades, riders have been using the T4/T6 15w40/5w40 with wet clutches, with very good results. So I would agree with the statement that these oils have proven exceptional in hundreds of thousands of bikes.

Is there scientific proof? I don't know. If there have been data collected or studies performed on the performance of the T4 and T6 oils with wet clutch motorcycles, I have not seen them.

But again, we are talking about the experience of many thousands of riders with these oils. My experience is "proof" enough for me. It's really very simple: if it works, use it... and if it doesn't work, find something that does. Yes it's true that some riders do not like the shift quality with the 5w40 and they should find another oil that works for their bikes -- maybe that oil is your suggested T4/T5 10w30, maybe it's something else.
 
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26,403
Location
PNW
Sure Rotella T4 and T5 are available in 10w30. Do they have the JASO MA/MA2 statement on the label? Yes someone said above that Shell can just buy the certification from JASO without any testing.
I think the company applying for the JASO registration has to provide test data ... they just don't pay and get it without data to prove it meets the JASO test requirements.
 
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