Best oil for xr 400

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I have a 2003 xr4 and I've been running

Shell Rotella T6 5w-40 synthetic oil in it.

I have been wondering if this is the best oil for my baby.

I was wondering what everyone else runs

Walmart 20w50... but it's warm here. I'd probably run 5w30 in the winter and 10w40 in the summer in the midwest. 20w50 is hard to kickstart below 40F, so I might switch to 10w40 in the winter. basically, any oil that does NOT have slickness,mileage,high-mileage additives in it, is fine. the additives mess with the clutch. oh, I meant non-synthetic, i.e. mineral oil. synthetics are too expensive, the xr400r has an oil cooler and plenty of volume, and Honda doesn't actually call out synthetics for XRs.

Edited by cynicryder

What you are running is good for winter...  where it actually get COLD (snows).  Something heavier such as Mobil 1 15w50 is best for summer any other time of the year.  Be sure to get a good synthetic, as air cooled bikes run hot, and that will kill conventional oils pretty quick.  The same weight synthetic is also thinner at room temperature than conventional, so you also get the benefits of running thinner oil, in addition to the benefits of the heavier one.  Stay away from oils labeled "energy conserving" as they have additives that are not good for the clutch, and are generally too thin, anyway.


If you notice notchy shifting, change the oil right away.


Good Luck! 

Edited by n2omike

I have used the Honda oil for the XR250R for more than 10 years without any problems.

fwiw ,  You won't find a energy conserving oil in the viscosity grades recommended for most bikes.   Mostly a marketing tool to get you to buy specialty mc oils.

Thanks for the info

I have been running the HONDA GN4 10-40W in both of my XR's 250 and 400 and seems ok to me. Bikes do not run too hot. Same for my XR650L and XL600.

i run the same chit as you farmboy... my bike loves it.. i m not changing..

  shell rotella t6 5w40 synthetic  is a great oil and it has a jaso rating for motorcycle use.    To achieve this rating an oil will typically have less moly additives to avoid clutch slip.   Rotella conventional 15w40 also is jaso rated.  


  The gearbox will make the oil shear down (lose viscosity over time) whether it is a synthetic or not.    So it still needs to be changed "relatively" often even though its a synthetic.


   In summary, great oil for your bike, can't think of anything better.   If you want to save some money - you can switch to shell rotella 15w40 (also jaso rated) and change it often...



Edited by oregon_rider

Rotella 15-40 in all of our bikes, might try 5-40 this winter.

Well I haven't heard anyone tell me not to use it so that's good

HONDA GN4 is what I use. 

Rotella T conventional can't be beat. $12 a gallon. Why pay more?

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