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1983. Honda xr200r oil

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I've used a bunch of oils in the XR engines and have some preferences based on performance. First off because of the wet clutch do not use a car oil with a energy saving logo on the bottle, it will have anti friction additives that can cause clutch slippage.

I've used some oils that caused notchy gear shifting after only a few hours of use which indicates shear breakdown of the oil to a lower viscosity. Honda oils were bad.
Best shifting has been with Torco 4T oils.  Also very good clutch action.
Next best was with Shell Rotella 15W-40 oil which is a fleet service oil commonly used in diesel engine but is API rated for gas engines. Good shifting didn't last as long as the Torco but as long as my normal oil change interval. 
The full synthetic Rotella (T6) didn't shift as good as the two above oils.
Motul 300V has additives for long cam life that I needed for my high lift cam but didn't provide good shifting after six hours.
RedLine MC 10W-40 also has additives for cam life and it shifts as good and as long as the Rotella 15W-40.   My favorite.

Mobil 1 4T V-twin oils are another possible that I have not  yet tried.

Higher viscosity synthetic oils perform better at high temps so would be a natural choice for an air cooled XR. Also the V-Twin synthetic oils.  The Motul 300V and Redline oils would only be needed with a high life cam.

If you use a good oil and do frequent oil changes these engines will run a long time between rebuilds, I put an oversize high compression piston in an 81 motor in 82 and used it in offroad competition for ten years, my son now has the bike and uses it for trail riding; the compression is still in spec.  I bought a used 97engine off ebay and almost everything inside the engine was bad, but the valves were good. 

I have an dip stick oil temp thermometer on my bike and the oil often runs cooler than expected,  but under hard use the temp will climb towards 300F,  I had 275F on my last ride after climbing 1000ft of elevation thru switchbacks.

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Oooo, 275-300. That's definitely getting up there where a true synthetic would be beneficial. I'm using Mobil 1 V-twin 20/50 in my 88. Shifting is good with it. Never noticed a drop off in shifting but I change it pretty often. Hey, it's only a quart, right? Redline doesn't surprise me. I use it in the trans and rear ends in all my cars/truck. Definitely premium stuff. 

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