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Another motor oil topic sure to start a discussion

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I recently bought a 2000 xr200r and am looking forward to get back into MC riding.

 

The closest manual I could find for this bike was for the 1989 model.

 

On page 48 of that manual it states:

 

"Use only high detergent, quality motor oil certified on the container to meet or exceed requirements for service SE or SF.  It is not necessary to use additives."

 

So if I understand Honda's recommendation, the current GF-4 rated oil, which supercedes SE, SF...... to SM, etc would technically be fine for this motorcycle...in other words, oils rated for cars are recommended by Honda.

 

Having said that, I plan on using the Rotella, as discussed in a previous post.

 

So who is right, the posters here that say automotive oils are not ok, or Honda which clearly states that automotive oils are fine?

Edited by Rambler54

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This whole issue revolves around the clutch. You need to use a JASO-ma rated oil in a wet plate clutch. Many honda bikes separate the motor oil and tranny/clutch oil. The xr200 shares oil with the motor/ tranny/ clutch. Modern non-ma rated oils will likely make the clutch slip. The motor will be fine, but the clutch will not be.

FWIW, I run lots of rotella and it works well.

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OK, that does make sense, and I plan on using the Rotella, based on the recommendations on this fine website.

 

Having noted that, why would Honda not make the JASO-ma recommendation?  Were they ignorant back in 1989?

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I use Rotella but also use automotive oil in the bikes. As long as it is not the energy conserving type it will be fine. I have almost 37,000 miles on my Yamaha FZ1 that I use as a daily commuter. I use Chevron oil I got at Costco. I think almost every bike in the garage has automotive oil in it at the time. They all seem to run fine. I just follow what the owner's manual says.

 

 

Oil threads.....hard....to ......resist.... :banghead:
 

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Use Rotella and life will be good for your bike.

Now go for a ride and have a great time :-)

Lol

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OK sounds good....

 

but the last point is that, if I am not mistaken, the 200cc engine in this motorcycle did not change between 1989 and 2000.  If this is true, then Honda was specifying the wrong oil for this motorcycle in 1989, since SE and SF oils were specified at that time.

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You are partially correct on the XR200 engine; it really hasn't changed since 1979185, and some would argue that the lube requirements haven't change since the SL versions.

 

What has changed during that time are the lube oils in general, and  in particular the lube oils for cars.  Oils in general have become much better,  and car oils now have additives to improve gas mileage.  So SE/SF would be OK for a wet clutch but later versions of car oils not so good.

 

So the oil debate is about finding the best value oil that does no harm to the clutch. And for us XR folks with air cooled engines we also need high temp protection, which usually means a 15W-40 dino oil or thicker.  There is a SAE spec for high temp lubrication called High Temp High Shear (HTHS) that is masured at 150C. There is a big jump in SAE required values between 10W-40 and 15W-40 oils, which just happens to be the break between car oils and fleet service oils.  A lot of synthetic oils have similar HTHS values to the fleet service oils, but ya gotta check the spec sheets to find the values. Some of the racing oils such as Shaffer and Torco, as well as Harley oils, have high HTHS values. But I'm not sure they are needed for trail riding.

 

 This is the best article on MC oils that I know of:    http://motorcycleinfo.calsci.com/Oils1.html

It is written by an engineer trying to find the best oil for a air cooled motorcycle engines, but the research describes those charactoristics of oil that provide long engine life.  His conclusions may surprise some but they are based on hard data and a lot of research.

Here is a short table of some oil specs, the Castrol GTX values are typical of car oils, note the low HTHS values compared the other oils in the table, also not all of the car oils listed are safe for wet clutches:

Oil......................... class............. @40C....... @100C....... HTHS@150C

Torco Blend............ 20W-50......... 173.......... 20.32.......... >3.5

Mobil 1 .............…. 15W-50…..... 125….…. 18……......….4.5

Rotella T................. 15W-40......... 118.......... 15.7............. >3.5

Rotella T6 Syn........ 5W-40............ 87......... 15.02............ >3.5

Castrol Syntec*....... 0W-30**........ 125......... 14................ >3.5

Mobil-1 Syn............. 0W-40**........ 75........... 13.5............. >3.5

BMW Synth............. 5W-30**....................... 12.2.............. >3.5

Mobil-1 High Mile... 10W-40........... 69......... 11.7.............. >3.5

Castrol GTX........... 10W-30........... 75......... 11.3................ 2.9

* European Formula - red label, Group IV PAO synthetic

**also meets ACEA A3 spec, which requires a HTHS value >3.5

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Yes, I agree the article was excellent, it should be made a Sticky!

(But would people read it?)

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OK, that does make sense, and I plan on using the Rotella, based on the recommendations on this fine website.

 

Having noted that, why would Honda not make the JASO-ma recommendation?  Were they ignorant back in 1989?

 

 

 

:thinking: It couldn't be any clearer on these internet oil discussions............it's not Honda that's ignorant!   And it just keeps getting clearer by the post........................! ;)

 

For those that know they have it all figured out.....great!  For those that are trying to figure out what to use.............look up the specs Honda calls for, choose what every brand you like making sure it meets the correct specs, and if you have questions call the tech dept of the oil company.

 

Also, what is good for a diesel "is not" necessarily always good for a gasoline engine...............been there done that (by accident)! ;)

 

Old School Al

Edited by Old School Al

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OK Al, one more time...here we go again   :ride: 

 

Concerning motor oils.  GF-4 motor oil is supposed to exceed all SE and SF specifications.  In 1989 Honda specified SE or SF, therefore GF-4 should meet the requirements for these bikes UNLESS, SE and SF oils met JASO-ma requirements back in the day and the current GF-4 oils do not.  That would be exceptional. 

 

Not worth arguing about, I already know diesel rated oils (15W40, for example) are a superior oil.

 

I do admit to being an ignoramus  :thumbsup:

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Correct me if I am wrong, because I was pondering the thought earlier, you just need the correct oil weight and compatible with a wet clutch?

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Honda is not a major oil supplier, they buy their oil from a bottler who buys a base stock and then blends a oil for the customer, all to the customer's price point.

 

What is unique about Honda is they will not publish specs on their oils while all of the majors, and most secondary sellers do publish specs.

 

So my question is why won't Honda share info on their oils while others will. Is it a cheap blend or snake oil.

 

All current fleet oils from Shell, Chevron, and Mobil are also rated for gas engines.

Rotella T & T6 are currently API SH thru SM.

 

And the oil weights on the bottle are weight classes; each class has a range of viscosity.  So a thin 40wt can be just a bit thicker than a thick 30wt.  What is nice about synthetic oils is they don't thin out as much with temperature increases so they provide good flow for starting and good lubrication during warm up, while still providing as good or better high temp protection. If you are racing then you should consider a racing oil because they provide much better high temp lubrication but they are thick at lower temps. 

 

It has been recommended several times that the Owner's Manual should be followed is selecting an oil but as pointed out earlier oils have changed during the past several decades so oil selection is more complicated. However the recommended viscosity will still be valid, just that now we have synthetics and blends that will provide high temp lubrication and better lubrication and easier cranking at low temps. 

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Honda is not a major oil supplier, they buy their oil from a bottler who buys a base stock and then blends a oil for the customer, all to the customer's price point.

 

What is unique about Honda is they will not publish specs on their oils while all of the majors, and most secondary sellers do publish specs.

 

So my question is why won't Honda share info on their oils while others will. Is it a cheap blend or snake oil.

 

All current fleet oils from Shell, Chevron, and Mobil are also rated for gas engines.

Rotella T & T6 are currently API SH thru SM.

 

And the oil weights on the bottle are weight classes; each class has a range of viscosity.  So a thin 40wt can be just a bit thicker than a thick 30wt.  What is nice about synthetic oils is they don't thin out as much with temperature increases so they provide good flow for starting and good lubrication during warm up, while still providing as good or better high temp protection. If you are racing then you should consider a racing oil because they provide much better high temp lubrication but they are thick at lower temps. 

 

It has been recommended several times that the Owner's Manual should be followed is selecting an oil but as pointed out earlier oils have changed during the past several decades so oil selection is more complicated. However the recommended viscosity will still be valid, just that now we have synthetics and blends that will provide high temp lubrication and better lubrication and easier cranking at low temps. 

 

 

 

I have a pretty good idea the reason Honda doesn't put specs on their oil is because it only confuses people........and would really confuse and fuel "The Computer/Walmart Engineers"!  Honda did their homework, and in Honda's, their oil covers the specs required............keeping it simple.  If one wants to go with another oil, they give the specs in the manual that need to be met.

 

The reason it has been recommended several times (me included) that the "Owners Manual should be followed" in selecting oil..................is because this is how you best stay out of trouble.  Doesn't matter what you're working on, or how out of date it is............just a basic out in the shop rule for years.  Start with the "spec information in the manual", even if outdated.  Call the oil company for what ever brand you desire, as they have application techs and if needed engineers to help update to the correct lube.  I've run into local reps for oil companies that are pretty sharp, and work close with the factory engineers.  I've seen these guys come right to the shop and be on the phone with the factory trying to get you the best product for special problem applications.  I'm presently going  through a situation with a older automotive transmission with a shifting problem and GL-4 and GL-5 in syn and non syn gear oils.  Sure looking like a incorrect lube may have started the problem.

 

In some applications any kind of lubrication will work ok...............in others it wont.  On internet discussions like this about 99% of the info is BS.............and the ones that have the most to say, usually actually know the least! :thumbsdn:

 

Old School Al

Edited by Old School Al

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Probably more important to focus on checking it and changing it on a regular basis. No oil and dirty oil are what kills most motors prematurely.

 

:thumbsup: Right on the money.............not clean and at improper level is the number one mistake of all time with oil in all motorcycle engines!  Far distant number two is wrong oil, when people also don't follow the manual. ;)

 

Old School Al

Edited by Old School Al

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