new 230 oil questions

brand new 230. what weight oil is used? how much? how long before break-in? what's the breakin procedure? when can i change to synth oil? i know this is probably in the manual but i don't have.

thanks :)


No owners manual? :D It’s not hot is it? I see you have some other toys so I guess you’re legit. :D I just use the Honda GN4 10W-40 per the manual 1.1 quarts.

Break in:D…..hmmmmmm………. I don’t like the recommended break in. Hope I don’t get flamed for this but I did some research & this is what I do. Feel like I need a disclaimer. BTW Bike seems to run strong too.

1. Ride bike for 5 minute intervals. So, as not to overheat it while it is still tight (Don't ya love that smell the first minute you start it up? It's only once.). Get back on it when I can hold my hand on the fins. Yes, it is tedious.

2. Change oil after 3 five minute runs. Oil is also the tranny oil & there are lots of metal shavings in it. Breaking the tranny in too.

3. During each run (at least the first three) give a short full power blast. This is to increase the cylinder pressure spreading the top ring tight against the cylinder wall allowing it to seat nicely.

4. One gal of fuel(50+ miles) should get it broke in for continuous use. I'm just being cautious on this one.

5. Change the oil again.

The service manual says to change the oil every six hundred miles. That would be about six tanks of gas. I change more like every 2 tanks or three rides which ever comes first.

The owners manual says, “During the first 15 miles avoid full-throttle starts & rapid acceleration.” If you do this you can wear down the cutting edge of the top ring before it really seats well. :) Then it will never cut the seat properly unless you re-ring it. It’ll run ok but the power loss is about 5% per dyno testing. The guy that wrote the article builds & tests high performce auto engines for a living. If I find the link for it I’ll post it on TT, just not sure where.

Going directly against the owner’s manual. So, consider this the usual disclaimer for TT & myself. :D

I've asked the same question and got different opinions.Fundamental to all answeres was to vary the throttle and do not run it at sustained rpms.The site I was referred to sounds like the advice from Toast.Apparently the first 20 miles is critical for a good seat on the rings to cylinder wall.Short bursts of throttle and deceleration;much like a single track that's technical putting you in 2nd and 3rd gear.The other important tip was to let the bike warm up and don't rev it before you load it up.Along these lines you would want to stay away from synthetic for a couple of hundred miles.Again like mentioned the idea is to load up the rings to put pressure on the cylinder walls ie;acceleration and deceleration.I too went short times but they were 15 a time and then cool off.

Thanks, Maco. Yep, I left left that out. :) Warm it up first.

Also, changing the oil like that may be over kill but there's lots of metal in those first oil changes & just makes me feel better to get it out of there. Especially, since the 230 has no filter.

Nice feature article from Motocross Action Magazine for this month. I can't really disagree with anything they say. This long but I think worth while for me to type.

This is not the start of a argument but take it for what it is worth. This comes from the motorcycle industry but NOT an oil company. They are not recommending specific brands of oil . Neither do I .

There is no need for descussion here. Use what you want. I just thought it was a nice article and wanted to share it. There is a UMPTEENTH line discussion going on elsewhere in the forum .






Secret World of Four-Stroke Oil


There's more to it than car oil


The life blood of a four-stroke engine is motor oil. It breathes it, eats it and oozes it. Most four strokes, save the CRF450 and CRF250, use the same oil to lubricate the valves, cam, piston, crank, clutch, and transmission. This shared oil forces the motor oil to lubricate more than double the moving parts as the independent premix and gearbox of a two-stroke.

In an effort to reduce weight , maximaize power and trim the cases , your light-weight four-stroke motorcross engine uses just enough oil to get hte job done. On a racing machine , it's more important than ever to use the best racing oil made and to change it rutinely.




Not bad, but probably not the best. Why not ? It is designed in reverse order to a motorcycle oil. The priority hierarchy of automotive oil is :

( 1) Maximize fuel economy .

( 2) Reduce emissions.

( 3) Offer protection for the moving parts.

Today's automotive motor oils do not have the same degree of extreme pressure and anti-wear agents that they did just a decade ago.




Oil changed ten years ago when automakers were pressured to clean up the air. Since 1993, the entire automotive industry has worked to reduce exhaust emissions. Automotive motor oil must adhere to the performance categoies set by the American Petroleum Institute ( API ) .

These are called the API service categories. The API categories have been around for 50 years, but for the first 35, the categories were upgraded six times to meet the demand for higher engine performance.

The current API designation is SL. The API SL oils are designed to provide better high deperature deposit control and lower oil consumption. SL oils are missing important agents that improve extreme use lubrication. In their place are friction modifiers that improve fuel economy.




It could. If you're using and automotive motor oil in your racing four-stroke , you're not buying the best protection. An API SL oil is missing vital anti-wear components:

The most important being Zinc, Phosphorus, and Sulfur. These agents are harmful to the catalyst tha is used to diminish the level of pollutants in automobile exhaust.




YES ! The friction modifiers in motor oil improve fuel economy by making it easier for the gears , bearings, pistons and rings to slip , slide and turn inside the engine. Unfortunately, these friction-minimizing agents also make it easier for the clutch in a motorcycle to slip. If you are using automotive motor oil in your bike , apart from CRF's, you are losing hook-up and acceleration, as well as reducing the life of the clutch.




As soon as it became apparent the the American Government was mandating economy over protection, the Japanese Automotive Standard Organization ( JASO ) developed a standard specifically for performance four-stroke motocycles. JASO designates two different four-stroke oil classifications:

MA and MB.

The MB il is low friction and the MA is sans the friction enhancers ( ie. Honda synthetic silver and gold )




Motorcycle specific oils are pumped up with five times the anti-wear , anti-scuff and extreme pressure additives of regular motor oil. As an added plus, motorcycle oil does not include ( except for MB rated Honda Silver ), molybdenum disulfide and other friction modifiers that wreak havoc on clutch performance.

Maxima, a popular motorcycle oil supplier, starts with a API SG Service Category base oil, the last formulation that was't regulated as to the amount of Zincdialkyldithiophosphate ( zinc, phosphorus, and sulfur ) it could contain. Maxima then boosts protection through a proprietary mix of performance additives. The end result is a motorcycle oil that doesn't break down under extreme heat and is tough enough to cushion meshing gears.




If the bottle of oil doesn't list that it is an API SG Service Category or JASO MA spec, it's not good enough for your motocross bike. Although a bottle of oil might say "motorcycle specific" or "safe in wet clutches," the best endorsement is the API SG or JASO MA designation. It's better to be safe than sorry.

There is a caveat that applies to CRF owners, however --whic we will clear up in a few paragraphs.




The most popular viscosity is 10W40. It's thin enough not to bog down the crank and offers ultimate protection uder an extreme lad. Every owner's manual lists the recommended oils, brands and viscosities.




The Honda CRF oil system separates the combustion side of the engine from the transmission. The CRF separates the engine sump to keep the metal shavings from the transmission from floating around in the same oil that is use to lubricate the piston , rings, and rod and crank bearings.

The upside of this design is that the CRF can use a slipperier JASO MB - spec oil in the top-end, while using a JASO MA-spec oil in the transmission.




Do not use automotive motor or gear oil in the CRF transmission. It the gear oil doesn't have the word "two-stroke gear oil ", safe to use in wet clutches, Or the API SG or JASO MA designation, don't use it.




Yes and no.

Honda uses separate oil for the CRF's top-end and transmission. This is not a new idea. BSA did it decades ago. Yamaha , Kawasaki, KTM, and Suzuki use the same oil in the top-end and tranny.

Which is better ?

Separate oil:

The benefit of separating the oil, like Honda does , is that the top-end is not contaminated by clutch debris or broken teeth. Additionally, hte heat of the combustion side doesn't thin out the transmission and clutch oil. The CRF can use an MA-series oil in the tranny and slippery MB-series oil in the top-end.

The downside is that the oil quantity in each chamber is reduced ( to approx. 650cc ),

increasing the need for more frequent oil changes. Any oil loss , no matter how small, becomes critical when you have a small pool to draw from.

Shared oil:

The benefits of using the same oil throughout the engine, like the RM-Z, KX-F, KTM, and YZ-F, are that the lare supply is less likely to reach critical levels, overall engine temperatures are reduced and oil changes aren't demanded as frequently. On the downside , shared oil engines must use an MA-series oil for the clutch ( which means that the top-end doesn't get the benefits fo the slippery MB friction modifiers ).




Don't get to confused by these terms.

by definition they are different, but in action they all work about the same.

A wet sump engine has a pool of oil in th ecrankcase. A dry sump engine doesn't store oil in the crankcase , but instead in a remote tank and oil lines. A semi-dry sump engine is , in reality , just a marketing term for a wet sump engine that tries to elevate the cranshaft out of the pool of oil .

The Yamaha YZ-F is a dry sump design. All other four-strokes use wet sumps, although they go to great lengths to avoid the negatives of an old-school oil pan under the engine. Suzuki and Kawasaki coined the semi-dry sump termenology, but the KX-F and RM-Z are at the very least semi-wet sump engines.





Special blends of low viscosity ESTER SYNTHETICS cna protect like a 30W under extreme use, but let the crank spin like it has a 0W. Zero weight is the same viscosity as water.

But, the real secret to getting horsepower out of four-stroke oil is to use less of it.

Most modern four-stroke engine designers try to keep the crank ( and even the transmission gears) from beign submerged in an oil bath. It takes horsepower to slog thes parts though heavy oil. Thus, lessening the amount of oil that pools at the bottom of the crankcase or gearbox increases horsepower.




Yamaha recommends changing the oil and oil filter every five rides.

Honda's Eric Crippa advises changing the engine oil as fequently as posssible and changing the oil filter every fifth time. one fo the problems with a fequent service regimen is that it provokes people to use CHEAPER oil.





Pay careful attention to the condition of the spent oil. If it looks and smells dirty, you need to service it more often. Extend the time between service intervals if the oil appears and smells clean.

High-end race teams , Formula 1 and Reno Air Racers send their used oil out to have it analyzed. Laboratory tests can use a spectograph to determine what metal particles are in the oil - and whether that particel evidence could be pointing towards a potential failure.

This is too expensive and extreme for a local racer, but you should always sift used oil for broken clutch plates , teeth from gearsor any other unusual conditions.




Unless you are a factory racer you can skip this question. If you want the best protection for your 360 Modena berlietta, run an Ester Synthetic, API SG, JASO MB, four-stroke, motorcycle racing oil !


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