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Finally bought a KTM, now i have a couple questions

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Hey, i bought a 2010 KTM 300xc, very nice and clean bike, lot of compression,but my question is this, the previous owner used 80 weight gear oil in it, he said it is do for a oil change, so i am going to go ahead and change it, he gave me a quart of the oil that he uses and told me to use it, should i? Or should i change it back to stock oil? If i changed it back to stock oil could it mess anything up? Thanks in advance IMG_20170905_131912.jpeg

 

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Use it up, decide what you want to use from then on.(nice bike btw)

Edited by DEMI
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Don't overthink it. I went through the same thing when I first bought my KTM. The transmission will be fine with anything except oil that is designed for 'friction reduction'. I ran Rotella T3/T4 for a while. Currently running Wal-mart brand ATF Type F just because it's cheaper, and the shifting seems smoother.

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No worries, been running the Bel Ray 80 weight for many many years and never had a problem. But yeah, as mentioned above there are plenty of other great options out there. Main rule I follow with any dirtbike tranny oil is that it should look the same coming out as it did going in. On most 2-strokes this ends up being around 8-12 hours run time. Do that with any good high performance quality oil and you'll be good

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Two strokes don't care what is in the gearbox, although friction modifiers in fancy oils can mess with your clutch pack.  I use whatever 10w40 motor oil is on sale at the auto parts store.  Lots of other good choices above.  Use up the oil he gave you, then just get something else.  Stay away from synthetics and expensive stuff intended to increase gas mileage through reduced friction.    A few other tips:

1. 15 hours is a good change interval

2. Don't use the "oil level" check hole in the right side case.  The threads are weak on KTMs, and lots of guys strip that out.  To get the level right, buy a measured cup of some type.  

3. An easy way to check the health of your clutch is to run the bike aggressively through the gears on pavement (in a safe and cop free location of course!).  If the motor is spinning up like it does with wheelspin on dirt, then your clutch is slipping. Further inspection is warranted.  It it feels nice and tight, you're good to go!

Enjoy the new bike!  Looks great!

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I like ATF, it is meant to be used in clutch packs.  Any engine oil you use should be a motorcycle specific oil, these will be void of the "friction modifiers" mentioned by others in this thread.

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KTM recommend JASO-FD standard 15/50 fully synthetic oil in their 2 stroke gearboxes. We use Motorex Top Speed in our heavily modified mx 125s which are raced hard.  According to research most car oils aren't suitable for wet clutches as they don't have them. Depends a lot on what you use the bike for I suppose. Lots of guys in the UK use automatic transmission fluid which is real cheap and they seem happy with it which is probably fine due to very regular oil changes. We change max of 2 hours (because of the racing - that's all they are used for)

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19 hours ago, markit said:

80s too heavy for a bike gear box. 10/30 should be fine.

Note that 80 weight gear oil is little if any 'heavier' than motor oil.

Edited by Chas_M
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Yeah, this is a short excerpt straight from Amsoil:

"...Gear oil differs from motor oil. While many motorists may assume SAE 90 gear oil is thicker than SAE 40 or 50 motor oil, they are actually the same viscosity; the difference is in the additives.

Motor oil contains additives such as detergents and dispersants to combat byproduct chemicals from gasoline or diesel ignition..." 



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On 9/11/2017 at 7:45 AM, rpt50 said:

2. Don't use the "oil level" check hole in the right side case.  The threads are weak on KTMs, and lots of guys strip that out.  To get the level right, buy a measured cup of some type.  

 

This.  I measured a few times while draining and now just put the same amount in every time.  That little bastard stripped on my 07, the case is not very thick there...and on the newer ones the spring for the rear brake lever makes it a little more difficult to access the drain hole so i wouldn't bother with it.  

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Just to add the old fart perspective on this discussion, motorcycle gearboxes have been fundamentally unchanged for decades, going back to at least the 70s when I started riding and working on bikes.  And, with a few notable exceptions (for example, the current Honda recall on all 15-16 450s), they are really bulletproof.  In my own 4 decades plus of riding experience, I have had exactly one gearbox failure, and it was not oil related at all (in a horrible mud race, the mud actually pushed through the countershaft seal on my RM, wrecking the output shaft bearing).  From my old fart perspective:

1. I think ATF is a good choice, although I currently don't use it myself.  Many point out that it is designed for gears and clutch packs, which is exactly what you find in motorcycle transmissions.  By the way, I'm so old I remember when ATF was the "hot set-up" to use in your forks.

2. Motor oil works just fine too.  In fact, I have yet to see a manual that does NOT specify motor oil for the transmission in a two stroke.  While it is true that the newest bike in my current stable is an 09, you can rest assured that there is nothing in the transmission of your brand new bike that requires some special oil.

3. Specialty manufacturers have many choices of motorcycle-specific gear oils that I'm sure work just fine.  Are they better?  How would we know?  From my own experience gearbox failures are far too infrequent to notice any effect of an oil.  These specialty oils are certainly more expensive.  

4. Whatever oil you use, the key to gearbox and clutch longevity is frequent oil changes.  Motorcycle gearboxes do take a pounding.  I never use the clutch for shifting on any bike, and I mercilessly abuse the clutch in my 125s to keep the revs up in the powerband, and I mercilessly abuse the clutch in my 250 controlling the power.  Whatever oil you choose, conditions like this require frequent changes due to all the particles (clutch and metal shavings) that accumulate.  I have kind of settled on 15 hours--it seems to work for me.  

Edited by rpt50
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Hi, on point 2, presume you mean motorcycle engine oil as opposed to motor (car) engine oil? KTM specify motorcycle engine oil in their manual. Contrary to all the Europeans belittling Motorex as KTM have a share in the Swiss oil company, I checked my manual and they recommend any synthetic motorcycle oil suitable for wet clutches. Agree about the longevity of boxes and clutches - the 125s take a pounding at mx - sitting on the gate full throttle with clutch in, dropped, flat out then clutchless hook up into third with throttle still pinned - and that's just the start lol

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18 hours ago, mixgashaulbass said:

Thanks for the replies guys, it looks like the majority of the people are telling me to go back to stock, and that 80 weight is too heavy for that bike, if i go from 80 weight to stock oil will it mess anything up?

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That just is not accurate.  80w gear oil is perfect for your bike.viscosity-grade-comparisons.thumb.jpg.2ae9d19478f1b2bb979a1e9dbf5bc7a2.jpg

It won't mess anything up changing oil though.  

Edited by c-slak
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Just use it up and move on.... it will work. The PO used it and the bike survived. 

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As another old guy, I seem to remember some conversation in the 80's about car oil having a molecular structure much like spaghetti strands for better performance on bushing-style bearings while motorcycle transmissions having straight-cut gears will chop up those strands, so motorcycle-specific oils have a spherical molecular structure. I can't prove a word of this, but it made sense to me so I've always used motorcycle-specific oil in bikes (dirt and road) and car oil in trucks...

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