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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Oil.

I've been looking through the archives a bit, and I certainly don't mean in any way to make this an oil troll...

But here's my question, and I'll keep it simple:

The owner's handbook for the '96 bikes suggests either Mobil 1 4T 15W50 or Mobil Super XHP 10W40.

If you were choosing between either of the (commonly) available Mobil synthetic options of 20W50 (V-twin) synthetic or their 10W40, which do you think would be the best for these bikes? I see in my service records from the previous owner that he ran either 15W50 mobil 1 or 20W50 valvoline dura-blend (between 500 miles and 3000 miles, then switched to Mobil 1)

I'm thinking the Mobil 20W50 "V-twin" stuff should be okay. 15W50 doesn't seem real common in any brand. My question here is really about viscosity.

I'll avoid asking my antifreeze question for now. (The bike hasn't been ridden regularly for quite awhile, and I'll be changing all the juices)

If it stays cold and nasty up here, I'll have this bike in fine shape come spring...

Thanks,

Blue-Highway
 
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Huh. I guess Mobil 1 15W50 moto oil is gonna be real hard to find these days. Their web site says it comes in 10W40 & 20W50. My service manual specs Mobil 1 15W50 MX4T or any fully-synthetic 10W40. I would suggest 10W40 over 20W50, not just because of the manual, but also because 15W50 is pretty heavy. I find that it's a pain to get the bike into neutral until it's nice & warm, & I wouldn't want to go any heavier on the oil.

It also depends on the temperatures you'll be riding in, though. If you only ride when it's, say, 75* F or above, 20W50 will probably do you right. I'm the kind of nutjob who rides whenever the streets are clear, so I should probably have 10W40 in the bike for the Winter.

Personally, I'm currently using Mobil 1 15W50 car oil. It's the plain kind; I would not suggest using the "extended performance" car oil. With the discontinuation of the 15W50 moto oil, this stuff may be the closest we can get to factory spec. The stuff I'm using is old stock Mobil 1 red cap that was discontinued. They have since re-introduced it, but I haven't seen the new stuff. I would have to look at the labels before deciding whether I would use it in a bike.

Cheers, HTH,
-Kit
 

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I don't have a problem getting the factory spec Mobil 4T from a closeby BMW dealer.

I used to change between 10-40 and 20-50. I got caught out once- temperature dropped in November to below 30 F. I just run factory weight now. It's a liquid-cooled engine, so I figure it should be just fine.

Good luck, NDist sehr calt!

Zip
 

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If this is any help at all I ran a 1996 900 Trident on Semi-synthetic 10w40, usually Castrol. I bought the bike with 2k on her and sold her at 52K and she had no problems at all. I now run my Speed Trip on the same aaaand if it aint broke don't fix it. Infact that reminds me she's due for a change this weekend :-D .
I did write a long piece on the myth of engine oils a while ago, it was based on a very long and frank talk with a very nice man from the Esso (Exxon) group who said it boils down to this,1. follow the manual, they spend a lot of money or T&D, they know what grades are best, 2. The numbers that matter are the viscosity (10w40 etc) and the API (American Petroleum Institute) rating which should always be as the manual states or greater. and 3. stick to the maintenance schedule no matter what wild claims the oil people have, coz the only way you'll find out if they are wrong is when you rebuild the engine...!

Hope this helps some

Cheers then

Nic
 

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Read this. Sure, it's probably slanted in Amsoil's favor (as in they probably excluded an oil that would have knocked them into 2nd place), but it is still a good read. Some oils that you've considered you won't after reading this study. It's pricy, but no more than a jug of Triumph labeled Mobil1.
Amsoil motorcycle oil white papers
I'm using the 20w50 in my Sprint and find that it shifts nice and starts in any weather that I'm interested in riding in. Beyond that you really can't tell much. I don't feel that automotive oil is suitable for extended use since it's not formulated to run through a gear box and a clutch. My dealer is supplying oil for 3 Sprints. PM me if you'd like to talk to him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, folks.

I found 15W50 synthetic available locally, after a bit of scratching around. The KTM dealer sells Motorex "Top Speed" 4T in 15W50, and it is fully synthetic. I agree, sticking with the recommended viscosity is probably of the most significance.

Off the topic a bit - I finally got to take the bike for a little ride around the neighborhood today. Snow melted enough. I rode it like a grandpa, though. A bit of dive in the front end when braking. Got one real leaky fork seal that needs attention. That, and I think it could use some heavier fork oil. Still need to change all the fluids. Nice bike though. Suits me just fine.

Best,

Blue-Highway
 
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