Victory XC notchy shifting

dnewton3

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1) the Vic XC chassis is one of THE best cruiser touring bikes I've ever ridden. Put about 35k on XCT in 5 years; pretty much all touring out west and often very hot.
2) I ran Rotella 15w-40 dino oil in mine and never had any performance or shifting issues. I've heard complaints about shifting issues with the T6, but I never had that with the T4. O/FCIs every 5k miles. Love the simple maintenance of the Vic 106/6 bikes!
3) I curse Polaris for killing off the brand; values dropped like a rock.
4) shared sump oil systems are nothing new as we all know. And they are robust if designed/made right. My friend I ride with has 100k+ on his 2008 GL1800 (his touring bike), 173k or so on his old ST1100 (still running, and it's his "loaner" bike when others come to visit), and 53k on his newer ST1300 (his communter bike). Never a trans/engine oil related issue ever, using just normal oil and filters (no super-duper premium syns ever). Yes - he rides a LOT.
 
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Yep, people that ride the same bike all the time will be able to tell when shifting quality and clutch performance changes. And if it improves with an oil change then it's not hard to conclude the oil was the root cause.
Easy to agree with that. It's true some folks change the oil way early with respect to a manufacturers recommendation, and may not put enough miles on their bike consistently to know what a fall-off in shift quality feels like. Then it does become a 50-50 guess as to what shift quality degradation feels like if you've never felt it.
 

TacoFergie

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1) the Vic XC chassis is one of THE best cruiser touring bikes I've ever ridden. Put about 35k on XCT in 5 years; pretty much all touring out west and often very hot.
2) I ran Rotella 15w-40 dino oil in mine and never had any performance or shifting issues. I've heard complaints about shifting issues with the T6, but I never had that with the T4. O/FCIs every 5k miles. Love the simple maintenance of the Vic 106/6 bikes!
3) I curse Polaris for killing off the brand; values dropped like a rock.
4) shared sump oil systems are nothing new as we all know. And they are robust if designed/made right. My friend I ride with has 100k+ on his 2008 GL1800 (his touring bike), 173k or so on his old ST1100 (still running, and it's his "loaner" bike when others come to visit), and 53k on his newer ST1300 (his communter bike). Never a trans/engine oil related issue ever, using just normal oil and filters (no super-duper premium syns ever). Yes - he rides a LOT.

1. I certainly agree! Though I haven't ridden many other cruisers I really like it. Not my preferred riding style as I like a more upright position, but this is easier and more comfy for the wife. She is short and had back surgery a few years back so I have the bike to suit both our needs, otherwise I'd prefer a something more like an adventure bike or upright sport touring. But the XC is an absolutely solid bike that performs very well all around.
2. I suppose I wrote off dino oils since synthetic is "generally" a better fluid that tends to stay in grade and break down a much slower rate from my research. Only thing I've seen in the Victory crowd regarding synthetic is clutch slippage. But I feel like that's more of a wrong oil used or cable adjustment issue. Though I did have a DRZ400 that seemed to have slower clutch engagement when I tried a synthetic mc oil, never slipped though. I can't recall the oil I used (that was 8+ yrs ago), got it our local suzuki dealer.
3. I know a lot people feel the same way, myself included. However prices are starting to go up on XC's and XCT's compared to other manufactures. It's crazy to see that early XC's are still going for $8k on up. 2015-2017 seem to go for a minimum of $12k. Not bad unless you compare to HD's overpricing.
4. I hear ya, shared sumps aren't new by any means. I know some bikes are inherently harder on oil than others. Which it seems the 106/6 may be harder on oil due to torque and transmission setup? I know many Vic guys run T6 (T4 and T5 as well) without any issue I had. So it may have been the high heat and hard riding? I was ringing it out pretty hard for about 40-45min going up in the Rockies. Running to red line in almost every gear (once speed was plateaued I would shift up of course), scraping floor boards and down shifting/braking hard into corners when trailing a local that clearly knew the road well. I'm used to banging gears on a dirt bike, so I'm guessing I may treat it differently than some.
 

TacoFergie

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I changed the oil last night to M1 20w50 and Fram Ultra XG7317. So far it shifts better than 15w40 T6 (even when fresh) and no clutch slippage as some Victory riders report with syn oils. But I only have about 50 miles on it so far. Should be putting about 200ish miles on tonight after work. I'll keep this updated periodically for anyone that is curious and for the lurkers like I am usually.

FYI I emailed Schaeffers about some confusion I had regrading their 707 20w50 VTwin oil based on their product tech data sheet and product description. Their response was that due to my bike requiring a JASO MA spec and their oil has certain friction modifiers that is not suitable for wet clutch applications. What confused me is that it is JASO MA-2 rated which I thought was backwards compatible with JASO MA and MA-1. It's a bummer because I like their products and would love to try it out, but I also don't want to damage my clutch.
 

ZeeOSix

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FYI I emailed Schaeffers about some confusion I had regrading their 707 20w50 VTwin oil based on their product tech data sheet and product description. Their response was that due to my bike requiring a JASO MA spec and their oil has certain friction modifiers that is not suitable for wet clutch applications. What confused me is that it is JASO MA-2 rated which I thought was backwards compatible with JASO MA and MA-1. It's a bummer because I like their products and would love to try it out, but I also don't want to damage my clutch.
The JASO MA rating is broken into two friction category groups ... MA1 and MA2. These days, I don't think you will find any motorcycle oil that is specifically rated as MA1. It will be either MA or MA2. IMO, using either one you won't see any difference. My Yamaha XSR900 calls out "JASO MA" and I use JASO MA2 with no problems.

 
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I changed the oil last night to M1 20w50 and Fram Ultra XG7317. So far it shifts better than 15w40 T6 (even when fresh) and no clutch slippage as some Victory riders report with syn oils. But I only have about 50 miles on it so far. Should be putting about 200ish miles on tonight after work. I'll keep this updated periodically for anyone that is curious and for the lurkers like I am usually.

FYI I emailed Schaeffers about some confusion I had regrading their 707 20w50 VTwin oil based on their product tech data sheet and product description. Their response was that due to my bike requiring a JASO MA spec and their oil has certain friction modifiers that is not suitable for wet clutch applications. What confused me is that it is JASO MA-2 rated which I thought was backwards compatible with JASO MA and MA-1. It's a bummer because I like their products and would love to try it out, but I also don't want to damage my clutch.
I don't understand what Schaeffers told you. Should be of no consequence running that in a wet clutch if everything is as you say it is.
 
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I don't understand what Schaeffers told you. Should be of no consequence running that in a wet clutch if everything is as you say it is.
This is from Schaffer's Technical Data Sheet, I found their PDF by searching for this oil located here: https://www.schaefferoil.com/documents/229-707-td.pdf

"Extreme V-Twin Synthetic Plus Racing Oil is not recommended for use in those motorcycle and ATV applications that specify engine oil that meets JASO MA or MB. Use of Extreme VTwin Synthetic Plus Racing Oil in applications that specify JASO MA or MB oil can cause slippage and improper engagement of the clutch mechanisms."

"Extreme V-Twin Synthetic Plus Racing Oil meets and exceeds the following specifications and manufacturers’ requirements: API Service Classification SM, Harley-Davidson® V-Twin specifications and JASO (T903) MA-2 specifications"

Basically the JASO ratings in actuality are a bit confusing, they have MA, MA1, MA2. MA1 is not very popular and I cannot think of any bikes that use this oil so you're pretty much looking at MA & MA2, the MA2 shows that is for bikes with catalytic converters, MA is a mixture of both MA1 & MA2 properties which is kind of like in the middle and most manuals recommend either JASO MA or JASO MA/MA2.

In a nutshell if you have a bike that needs MA-2 you should be fine but not MA.

More explanation on JASO oils:
 
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3. I know a lot people feel the same way, myself included. However prices are starting to go up on XC's and XCT's compared to other manufactures. It's crazy to see that early XC's are still going for $8k on up. 2015-2017 seem to go for a minimum of $12k. Not bad unless you compare to HD's overpricing.
First let me say I really liked the Victory Cross Roads.
I dont agree Harleys are overpriced at all.

The difference in HD quality components over Victory were as obvious as, lets say BMW over Chevy.
Both do the job but you get what you pay for, lets not forget Harley is still in business, Victory is not. the company that owned Victory now has the Indian name that they bought, compared to like Harley Cruisers they are the same price and more and honestly the Indians are lacking some quality components. But still ok. I just checked out some new Indian Cruisers, still lacking that quality paint, still have some plasticky feel to the materials and these bikes are the same price as the Harley cruisers.

Everything from the quality of plastics to metal right down to the quality brake lines of a Harley compared to the Victory's.
Two different classes of bikes, both good but you cant compare price of an upscale specialized brand and call it overpriced when the other brand is out of business.
 

ZeeOSix

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Basically the JASO ratings in actuality are a bit confusing, they have MA, MA1, MA2. MA1 is not very popular and I cannot think of any bikes that use this oil so you're pretty much looking at MA & MA2, the MA2 shows that is for bikes with catalytic converters, MA is a mixture of both MA1 & MA2 properties which is kind of like in the middle and most manuals recommend either JASO MA or JASO MA/MA2.

In a nutshell if you have a bike that needs MA-2 you should be fine but not MA.

More explanation on JASO oils:
Yamaha has shown the following snip-it in the owner's manual for the 2016 thru 2021 XSR900, which does have a catalytic converter. The owner's manual just says "JASO MA". Also, bottles of Yamalube 10W-40 oil just shows "JASO MA". It appears Yamaha doesn't really care if it's MA1 or MA2 specifically.

I think if you look at all available JASO motorcycle oils, they are going to be marked either MA of MA2 ... probably most of them will be marked MA2 because most newer bikes now have a catalytic converter. Seems Yamaha believes that their oil marked as MA is fine to use in their bikes with a catylitic converter.

2016-2021 XSR900 Oil Specs in Yamaha OM.JPG


1628361381445.jpeg
 

ZeeOSix

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More explanation on JASO oils:
The article says the following for JASO MA rated oils. They say MA is for "all applications" which makes it sound like it's OK for MA1 and MA2.

"JASO MA: Oils for motorcycles with a wet clutch. These oils deliver the needed friction performance to prevent the clutch from slipping and are therefore non-friction modified. These oils can be used in 4-stroke motorcycle engines where there is one oil system in place for the engine, gearbox and clutch. MA oils are suitable for all applications."

I'm not sure I buy into some of what that article says, like that JASO MA1 is for motorcycles that don't have a shared sump ... strange, because I've never seen this said anywhere else. MA1 is still within the MA friction specs, so seems to be some conflict going on there. So does MA1 not meet the specs of what the engine needs and only for the gearbox? ... it's not very clear what they mean.

It also says:
"JASO MA1: This is a lower standard specification for motorcycles that require different oils for the engine, gearbox and clutch."
 
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This is from Schaffer's Technical Data Sheet, I found their PDF by searching for this oil located here: https://www.schaefferoil.com/documents/229-707-td.pdf

"Extreme V-Twin Synthetic Plus Racing Oil is not recommended for use in those motorcycle and ATV applications that specify engine oil that meets JASO MA or MB. Use of Extreme VTwin Synthetic Plus Racing Oil in applications that specify JASO MA or MB oil can cause slippage and improper engagement of the clutch mechanisms."

"Extreme V-Twin Synthetic Plus Racing Oil meets and exceeds the following specifications and manufacturers’ requirements: API Service Classification SM, Harley-Davidson® V-Twin specifications and JASO (T903) MA-2 specifications"

Basically the JASO ratings in actuality are a bit confusing, they have MA, MA1, MA2. MA1 is not very popular and I cannot think of any bikes that use this oil so you're pretty much looking at MA & MA2, the MA2 shows that is for bikes with catalytic converters, MA is a mixture of both MA1 & MA2 properties which is kind of like in the middle and most manuals recommend either JASO MA or JASO MA/MA2.

In a nutshell if you have a bike that needs MA-2 you should be fine but not MA.

More explanation on JASO oils:
With the overlap between MA and MA2, I don't understand how this oil would cause a problem. MA2's main reason for being is designed to be used with catalytic converter's, and typically lower in zinc/phosphorus. The zinc and phosphorus numbers in this oil are sky high, so I'm not sure how the MA2 can apply?

MA2 has higher coefficient of friction than MA. How does that lead to causing issues with slipping? It would seem this oil is better at providing enhanced friction with respect to the clutch, counter to what they spec. Confusing!
 

ZeeOSix

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MA2 has higher coefficient of friction than MA.
MA2 is in the top half (higher fiction) of the total friction range defined by MA, and MA1 is in the bottom half (lower friction) of the total MA range. If an oil is rated just MA it hasn't fallen solely into the MA1 or MA2 friction ranges of all the defined friction tests. If an oil meets two of the MA2 tests and one of the MA1 tests, then it has to be rated just MA (for example).

Like I posted earlier, Yamaha just calls out JASO MA for the 2016-2021 XSR900, all model years have a catylitic converter. And Yamalube 10W-40 is just rated MA. The Castrol Power 1 10W-40 I have on deck is rated MA2. I'll run either MA or MA2, I don't think it's going to really matter.

How does that lead to causing issues with slipping? It would seem this oil is better at providing enhanced friction with respect to the clutch, counter to what they spec. Confusing!
Yes, Schaffer's info is confusing.
 
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MA2 is in the top half (higher fiction) of the total friction range defined by MA, and MA1 is in the bottom half (lower friction) of the total MA range. If an oil is rated just MA it hasn't fallen solely into the MA1 or MA2 friction ranges of all the defined friction tests. If an oil meets two of the MA2 tests and one of the MA1 tests, then it has to be rated just MA (for example).

Like I posted earlier, Yamaha just calls out JASO MA for the 2016-2021 XSR900, all model years have a catalytic converter. And Yamalube 10W-40 is just rated MA. The Castrol Power 1 10W-40 I have on deck is rated MA2. I'll run either MA or MA2, I don't think it's going to really matter.


Yes, Schaffer's info is confusing.
Actually the PDF states that using this oil in a JASO MA/MB it can cause clutch slippage and that it meets or exceeds JASO MA2 specifications. The website that you provided earlier had a lot more info on that stuff than the one I had posted. From what little bit I understand from it that MA2 makes the clutch a bit grabbier if you needed an oil to help keep it from slipping. This Schaeffer's oil says it's a racing oil so they must not be all that concerned about the converters longevity by having the extra zinc and phosphorous in there.

I would use MA2 instead of MA if the bike specifically called for MA2 but if the bottle listed both MA/MA2 I wouldn't hesitate on whether to use it or not. I don't think I've ever seen an oil solely for MA2 until this Schaeffer's, usually the ones I see are just MA or MA/MA2.
 
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To further clarify, it's the phosphorus levels that are bad for a catalytic converter. Typically zinc and phosphorus are within a few hundred ppm of each other because from my understanding, they need to be relatively balanced in order to perform properly.

JASO MA2 has a window of 800 ppm to 1200 ppm of said phosphorus, as well as the already discussed friction ratings being met. Schaefer's is well above that at a stated 1300-1900 ppm.

IMO, regardlesss of the racing designation, that Schaeffer puts on the oil for marketing for whatever reason, if it has an official industry rating it would need to be acceptable to use in vehicles that specify that rating.

In addition to the friction rating confusion we've talked about, this adds more question as to what Schaefer's is basing it on.
 

ZeeOSix

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Actually the PDF states that using this oil in a JASO MA/MB it can cause clutch slippage and that it meets or exceeds JASO MA2 specifications.
Yeah, that's something that is in disagreement with other info on JASO motorcycle oil ratings. If you use an MA in a MB application, or vice-versa then there many be clutch operation issues. But for them to say you can't use MA2 for something calling for MA doesn't sound correct to me.

The website that you provided earlier had a lot more info on that stuff than the one I had posted. From what little bit I understand from it that MA2 makes the clutch a bit grabbier if you needed an oil to help keep it from slipping. This Schaeffer's oil says it's a racing oil so they must not be all that concerned about the converters longevity by having the extra zinc and phosphorous in there.
MA2 has higher friction levels test requirements and is suppose to be for bikes with catalytic converters. Schaeffer's says: "Use of Extreme V-Twin Synthetic Plus Racing Oil in applications that specify JASO MA or MB oil can cause slippage and improper engagement of the clutch mechanisms."

But MA2 is suppose to have more friction and therefore less clutch slippage, so how would MA2 cause more slippage in a bike calling for an MA oil which has a less friction spec? They contradict their own statements.

I would use MA2 instead of MA if the bike specifically called for MA2 but if the bottle listed both MA/MA2 I wouldn't hesitate on whether to use it or not. I don't think I've ever seen an oil solely for MA2 until this Schaeffer's, usually the ones I see are just MA or MA/MA2.

Here's one ... only has the JASO MA2 rating. I've seen other motorcycle oil bottles that only show the MA2 rating.

1628444232280.jpeg
 
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Castrol could be just getting on with the show, and saving some ink on the label (lol), knowing MA2 it covers other bases as well. Sounds silly, but is there a situation do you know wet clutch where the new specifications with higher friction coefficient would cause an issue? I don't see that happening, but wanted to pose the question.
 

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As I see it, any oil rated as MA2 "should" be able to used in a motorcycle that requires MA. This is pulled from the link @ZeeOSix had posted earlier.

1628463732455.jpg

I don't understand what Schaeffers told you. Should be of no consequence running that in a wet clutch if everything is as you say it is.

I don't either....Especially given the above info. I love Schaeffers oil, but there statement on the site and in the email is contradicting since MA2 (which their oil is rated) has higher friction standards than MA (what my bike recommends).

The JASO MA rating is broken into two friction category groups ... MA1 and MA2. These days, I don't think you will find any motorcycle oil that is specifically rated as MA1. It will be either MA or MA2. IMO, using either one you won't see any difference. My Yamaha XSR900 calls out "JASO MA" and I use JASO MA2 with no problems.

That is my thought as well. I'll continue with M1 20w50 and probably try Schaeffers next. Which to my understanding the only reason M1 doesn't have the JASO rating is due to the Zinc and phosphorus levels.

With the overlap between MA and MA2, I don't understand how this oil would cause a problem. MA2's main reason for being is designed to be used with catalytic converter's, and typically lower in zinc/phosphorus. The zinc and phosphorus numbers in this oil are sky high, so I'm not sure how the MA2 can apply?

MA2 has higher coefficient of friction than MA. How does that lead to causing issues with slipping? It would seem this oil is better at providing enhanced friction with respect to the clutch, counter to what they spec. Confusing!

RIGHT!? My thoughts too! What is odd now that I think about it is that my bike recommends MA, yet it has a catalytic converter. So there are even some issues there too. I'm thinking way too deep here aren't I?? haha But thats why we are all in this forum to begin with.

To further clarify, it's the phosphorus levels that are bad for a catalytic converter. Typically zinc and phosphorus are within a few hundred ppm of each other because from my understanding, they need to be relatively balanced in order to perform properly.

JASO MA2 has a window of 800 ppm to 1200 ppm of said phosphorus, as well as the already discussed friction ratings being met. Schaefer's is well above that at a stated 1300-1900 ppm.

IMO, regardlesss of the racing designation, that Schaeffer puts on the oil for marketing for whatever reason, if it has an official industry rating it would need to be acceptable to use in vehicles that specify that rating.

In addition to the friction rating confusion we've talked about, this adds more question as to what Schaefer's is basing it on.

Whats confusing me is that M1 is rated SJ, but has high levels of zinc and phosphorus which like you said is not good for catalytic converters. M1 is potentially higher yet at 1600 phosphorus and 1750 zinc depending on the phosphorus levels actually measured in the Schaeffers.

MA2 has higher friction levels test requirements and is suppose to be for bikes with catalytic converters. Schaeffer's says: "Use of Extreme V-Twin Synthetic Plus Racing Oil in applications that specify JASO MA or MB oil can cause slippage and improper engagement of the clutch mechanisms."

But MA2 is suppose to have more friction and therefore less clutch slippage, so how would MA2 cause more slippage in a bike calling for an MA oil which has a less friction spec? They contradict their own statements.

Thats where everything gets confusing to me since the engineer claims it may cause slippage but if it would, it would get rated MA2 to my knowledge. How it is rated MA2 is beyond me since it surpasses the levels of phosphorus allowed in MA2 oils as well. I think I'm going to try it when I'm due for my next oil change to see how it goes. I've emailed back to them regarding what the difference is between the 707 and 705 since the spec sheets are identical and it even states 705 "can be used in most types of 4-cycle aircooled or water-cooled motorcycle and ATV engines including those motorcycles that have a common sump for the engine and transmission". Very contradicting to say the least.
 
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M1 20w50 V-Twin has 1600 phosphorus 1750 zinc as stated above, and did a GREAT job for over 5,000 miles on an OCI in my ZRX1200. Stayed in grade, plenty of remaining TBN, and shift quality was as good as the day it went in, IMO. As far as I am concerned, both flavors of M1 (V-Twin and 4T) are hard to beat when used in a proper grade for bike it's used in.

This Schaefer's discussion is interesting, and it could come down to whoever wrote that was coming off of a party night and just didn't quite hit the keystrokes right, lol.
 
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