Shell PCMO suitable for JASO MA2 application?

Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
786
Location
Brittany
My father just bought a 1987 Yamaha XJ900 and wants to change the oil before riding it. I am browsing oil manufacturers websites to see what the recommendations are for this motorcycle and they recommend anything from 10w30 to 20w50 as long as it meets JASO MA2 however Shell recommends some PCMO as well, Shell HX7 10w40 as well as Helix Ultra 5w40. I have a lot of HX7 10w40 in my stash and all the jugs say "JASO SG+", what is this spec? Would these oils be safe to use with a wet clutch?
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2008
Messages
4,963
I see you are in France so i don’t know what your market has but I would not put a PCMO into that bike. JASO MA is for oils that are compatible with wet clutches.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2003
Messages
2,112
Location
Daytona Beach
Shell Rotella T6 (full syn) and T4 meet that spec. I've used them both in my wet clutch Kawasaki and they work fine. Shifting ease held on longer with the T6.
 

blupupher

Site Donor 2021
Joined
Aug 27, 2004
Messages
7,393
Location
Katy, Republic of Texas
No idea what JASO SG+ is, google search does not bring up much. I found a few motorcycle forums asking about it as well, with mixed results as to should it be used in wet clutch or not.

Found a reply from a shell rep in this post on another forum

"Dear Steven Lee,

Thank you for your patience and cooperation.

Following my email below, it would seem that some OEMs, & Marketers, have “contrived” this specification which seems to be a mix of JASO and API. It is a rather informal ‘understanding’ between the Japanese OEMs and oil marketers. The TDS has been signed off by the our Global team so yes, JASO SG+ is not an error.

Some Motorcycle OEMs have developed oils which are API SG+, as they meet higher API specs in terms of piston cleanliness. JASO MA/ MA2 is used more for the frictional characteristics of motorcycle oils. For such a requirement Advance 4T AX3 / AX5 of the right viscosity grade, are the preferable oils to consider for motorcycles.

Basically there are no clear statements for JASO SG specifications, but Japanese OEMs and oil companies, understand that this specification is Nissan VG plus some general laboratory properties tests, ISOT oxidation test, and Cu corrosion. So there is no formal JASO SG+ specification. However, we do claim it on some Helix grades.

For motorcycles It will be ideal to use Advance 4T AX5 10W-40 as it is tested against JASO MA requirements for a wet clutch. However Helix HX7 10W-40 will work fine for dry clutch application, and may be able to work in a wet clutch application, depending which additive package is used as clutch slip can be an issue.

Having said that, given an option for wet clutch application I would rather recommend Advance 4T AX5 10W-40.

I trust that this information provides some clarity on this “confusing” matter."


That being said, I am not sure if I would use it or not. JASO SG+ seems to be a bastardized spec made up by Shell for motorcycle use, but not completely clear if safe for all wet clutch applications.
 

M119

Thread starter
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
786
Location
Brittany
I see you are in France so i don’t know what your market has but I would not put a PCMO into that bike. JASO MA is for oils that are compatible with wet clutches.
There are lots of motorcycle oils available, mostly synthetics of semi synthetics, 10w30, 10w40, 15w50...
Shell Rotella T6 (full syn) and T4 meet that spec. I've used them both in my wet clutch Kawasaki and they work fine. Shifting ease held on longer with the T6.
Shell Rotella isn't available here unfortunately.
That being said, I am not sure if I would use it or not. JASO SG+ seems to be a bastardized spec made up by Shell for motorcycle use, but not completely clear if safe for all wet clutch applications.
I'll stick to a JASO MA2 oil i think. I don't know which grade would be the best? It has an oil cooler and obviously not likely to be driven when below freezing so no real need for a 5w i think even if the idle is quite high on a cold start. A synthetic 10w40 MA2 is usually the cheapest but 10w30, 15w50 and 20w50 are available too.
 
Joined
Nov 18, 2020
Messages
280
Location
The Netherlands
i have been using the shell advance ultra 4t 10w40 in multiple honda motorcycles. it is ma2 approved and not that expensive either.
The difference in clutch operation and shifting is by far the best with shell as far as i can notice.
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2011
Messages
2,244
Location
California
I don't know if your dad's XJ900 has a wet clutch, but if it does, I would definitely avoid any oils labeled "energy conserving." They usually contain friction modifiers that could lead to clutch slippage. Some people have used them without issue but I don't see the point in taking the risk when the proper spec oil is only a couple dollars more per quart. I recommend Rotella T4 or T6 15w40 (or Rotella T6 5w40 if you need a lighter low temp viscosity). Very good MC oils at a fair price, and widely available.
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Messages
1,194
Location
Colorado, USA
DGXR, good common sense post. (y) XJ900 is the Seca 900, and definitely a shared sump. Many Yamaha’s back then spec’d 10w40. 15w40 would be the bees knees since it probably spec’d 20w40 as another acceptable oil. I wouldn’t hesitate to run 20w50 in the hot, hot summer months in that air cooled engine.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2009
Messages
288
Location
UK
for an unknown engine 1987 bike, I would use 15w- or 20w- and xx-40 or 50 to start with after checking what oils were current at that time.
I think FS oil or 10-30 would give you problems
Also check oil for classic motorcycles

You should have a good selection from elf & motul in france
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Messages
1,194
Location
Colorado, USA

Attachments

  • 21B78AB1-328D-443A-9C68-EB8ACB2CF780.png
    21B78AB1-328D-443A-9C68-EB8ACB2CF780.png
    169.1 KB · Views: 44

ZeeOSix

$100 site donor 2022
Joined
Jul 22, 2010
Messages
32,929
Location
PNW
Found a 1987 XJ900 owners manual pdf on-line. Google is your friend. 20w40 for warmer temperatures 10w30 colder temperatures. Same as my 1980 XS1100. Click on the red link right above the pic from said manual.



That's kind of a strange spec for the use of 10W-30. Says if temperature does not go above 60 F. Usually a manual will say use xW-xx if the temperature is X deg F or less. Guess they think 10W-30 is too thin on the hot side if the air cooled engine is running in ambient temps above 60 F.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 1, 2015
Messages
1,358
Location
Arizona
Shell T6 15w40 or M1 15w50 are both good for any motorcycle with wet clutch. As was said before the only PCMO you DONT want to use is the "Energy Conserving" type with friction modifiers.
 
Joined
Dec 9, 2011
Messages
1,805
Location
Ca USA
As was said before the only PCMO you DONT want to use is the "Energy Conserving" type with friction modifiers.

Manufactures warn against it and owners are leery of it but Energy
Conserving is not additive... its an API test that this "oil MAY
result is an overall saving of fuel in the vehicle fleet as a
whole"... there is nothing in EC oil to defeat a wet clutch...

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...

gallery_3131_51_129667.jpg
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2012
Messages
27
Location
Ireland
Manufactures warn against it and owners are leery of it but Energy
Conserving is not additive... its an API test that this "oil MAY
result is an overall saving of fuel in the vehicle fleet as a
whole"... there is nothing in EC oil to defeat a wet clutch...

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...

gallery_3131_51_129667.jpg
True.
I've been using PCMOs in my bikes for decades and the only times I've replaced clutches were when they'd done well in excess of 100K miles. On examination, the plates were almost unworn, but a bit glazed. In all cases, there was no catastrophic slip, just a tendency to slip under applied torque in high gear, thus giving me some warning.
Last couple of times I kept the plates just in case I might re-use them.
Point of fact, I'm fairly sure if I'd de-glazed them and just replaced the OEM springs they'd have been fine for a long time yet.
When I rebuild a clutch I use three standard springs and three heavier-duty ones. Still get a nice feel to the clutch but with a bit extra clamping force. I always find six heavy-duty springs too much hassle in daily use, especially in town traffic, plus it shortens clutch cable life.
 
Top