Shell Rotella T 5W-40; 3,925 mi.; Kawasaki KLR650

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Feb 28, 2005
San Jose, CA (USA)
12,440 miles on the bike; 3,925 miles on this oil. I added a magnetic drain plug at the beginning of this OCI. The virgin oil figures are from Blackstone, so compare between labs with a grain of salt. The previous OCI was with an unknown oil (probably Kawasaki's OEM 10W-40) for approximately 3,000 miles.

Note that this oil was used for an Auto-Rx clean phase. The Auto-Rx stopped the oil usage the bike exhibited. I had to add 12 oz. of oil 2,000 miles into this OCI, then ride another 500 miles to make room for 5 oz. of Auto-Rx. (Total oil capacity is 2.5 liters.) There was only 1-2 oz. of oil use in the following 1,400 miles, and all happened immediately after adding the Auto-Rx.


Butler Labs Results:

Element | Virgin | This OCI | Last OCI

Cu 0 43 120

Fe 1 48 32

Cr 0 1 0

Ni 0 1 1

Ti 0 0 0

V 0 0 0

Ag 0 0 0

Pb 0 5 6

Sn 0 1 5

Al 0 36 80

Si 4 14 17

Na 3 5 6

K 0 2 1

Mo 0 4 3

B 0 6 153

Ba 0 0 0

Ca 2884 3284 538

Mg 10 26 1063

Mn 0 0 1

P 1164 1205 1396

Sb 0 2 1

Zn 1311 1403 1685

TBN Unk 8.0 Unk

Visc SAE 40 30 30

Visc cSt 15 10.7 10.7

PQ Unk 8 13

AntiFreeze Neg Neg Neg

Fuel Dilute Neg Neg Neg

Water Neg Neg Neg

I'm waiting on Terry's interpretation of the results.

I'm still not real happy about the elemental counts, even though most are trending in the right direction. I'm hoping that a lot of it is from gunk that the Auto-Rx dissolved and that my next UOA will show a continued strong drop across the board--including the Fe.

The oil sheared down to a middling 30-weight, even though I replaced about an eighth of the total volume a little after half-way through the OCI. This is not acceptable to me, so I'm going to try Red Line 10W-40 next.
I heard from Terry shortly after I posted. In his opinion the engine's doing fine but the tranny was mighty unhappy with the low viscosity oil and accounted for much of the observed wear. The Auto-Rx scavanged some old debris as well, further raising the numbers.

So, sunruh, the reason I consider the loss of viscosity significant is because it lead to significant wear in my transmission. Assuming Red Line is able to say in grade, the transmission should show much less wear on the next OCI.

Terry recommended Red Line because it is a Group V oil, which is the most shear-stable type of oil available.

I'm going to go 3,000 miles with Red Line in my current OCI, so we'll have to wait for four months or so to see who wins the bet.
FWIW, my klr seemed to like the 15w40 flavor better than the 5w40. No UOA, just off deteoration of shift feel, the 15/40 just seemed to hang in there longer. Those motors have a lot going on in them with all the extra balancers and associated gears and chains,some parts run without bearings on alum surfaces. Not suprised to see high wear numbers. The big singles do a lot of huff and puff throught the vent hoses, possible source of the silicone? Need a Kawi tall sheild?
please tell us what terry says (if you can).
yep, your Cu, Fe, Al and Si are all very high.

however, i am wondering why you consider it shearing down in 4000 miles on a single to be significant?

i'll bet the red line does worse.
IMO the 5w40 is fine oil, the redline is better, but you should stay below 2k intervals. The redline is good to that range and the 5w40 is good to about 1500 mile.

I've never seen any oil in a hooligan type bike street ridden that I'd run more than 2200 miles or so on the best of the best of oils.

you could go longer but if you want longevity and prestine condition, that's the scenario.
Terry thinks Red Line has the potential to hold up to a 5,000 or 6,000 mile OCI if everything else about the motor is in good shape. However, for my current OCI I'm only going 3,000 miles. If the results are good we'll start extending from there.

Keep your fingers crossed!

Oh, and wileyE, thanks, but I don't need a tall shield. You may be right about the vent hoses, but I've recently convinced a fellow KLR rider to get an UOA. In half the miles he had only 4 ppm of Si, compared with my 14. So, there's hope that the Si can get lower without adding filters to the vents.
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