What oil should I run? (type & weight)

I'm sure ya'll have done the oil thing a dozen times, but I'm new to the forum as well as to my '90 Honda XR600R. :)

I ride it HARD on the street. As in high revving, compression braking, canyon twisty road style.

I live in So-Cal and right now the typical riding day is about 55-75 degrees.

My questions are:

1) What type of oil should I use, Full Synth, Semi-Synth or Plain?

2) What weight is good to use?

3) Do you care if you use car oil or specific 4 stroke oil?

4) Why are there two different spots on my bike to drain the oil (one below the shift lever the other on the front of the frame).

THANKS! <rookie questions, hahah>

ps. what I've been using is 20-50 Semi-Synth Quaker State automotive oil.

I just run 20/50 non-synthetic motorcycle oil. Why? Because its just easy to buy my oil at the same place I get my filter, and its cheaper than synthetic. Besides, I'm still not convinced that full-synthetic doesn't cause premature clutch wear.

There are two spots on your bike to drain the oil because there is oil in both places, and both need to be drained.

Kevin, I had almost immediate clutch failure on my CBR900RR after using full-synth for the first time. :)

But after seeing how GOOD my engine looks after running it as hard as I did with just 1 quart in it, I'll almost swear by the semi-synth. :D

Even if I did lose one rocker arm :D Which just came in so I'm OUT of here to eat burritos then put the new rocker arm on. :D

Thanks for explaining the drain thing. Somewhere else someone mentioned an oil "catch" and that got me confused.

I too run 20-50 non-synthetic moto oil as it is cheap and safe for the clutches. Be aware that air cooled XRs run hot and need frequent oil changes. I tend to change my oil after 3 or 4 rides to be on the safe side.

amsoil 0w-40.

works great and last even with the sharing the oil with the engine/clutch and gearbox. Best oil I have used in the Xrs so far.


Mobile 1 15/50 full synthetic. Around $4 a Qt. They also make a motorcycle specific oil for twice the price.

I looked at the Mobil 1 15/50, but wonder about the effects on the clutch. I saw that it is non-energy conserving, what is the difference between this and the cycle oil? Anyone had any probs with it? Ryan :)

the non motorcycle oils break down very fast from the clutch and drivetrain.

Originally posted by Victor Venturo:

Mobile 1 15/50 full synthetic. Around $4 a Qt. They also make a motorcycle specific oil for twice the price.

Yeah I looked at the motorcycle specific Mobil One tonight at Kragen Auto Parts. It was selling for $4 and change. I considered it, but after reading the back and not seeing anything about what effect it might have on clutches, I passed it by for some Castrol Semi-Synth 20-50.

I have been using Mobil 1 in xr's since the mid 80's and have had no clutch problems. We have had some built up enough to break the baskets, but no clutch plate problems. There are some sites to go to to read, but until just recently no one seems to have made anything better than Mobil 1 (it was in Rick Graham's and Bubba Shoebert's factory hondas) for motorcycles,,and it seems that their own mc specific oil may be the only one. FYI if you look there are no EC rated oils that have a lower viscosity rating than 10 and I found only one (quaker state) that had an upper rating higher than 30. Before the SJ rating I can't even remember starting clutch problems from EC oils. My XR's now run either 15-40 Mobil Delvac (Mobil 1 for Diesels) or 5-30 in colder times(I live in Alaska). Lots of people use the 15-50 with really good results too. FYI there are a few reasons why Diesel intended oils are favorable to motorcyles.

Let me correct my wording on the above post,,,

I havent been able to find any oils that have an EC rating on a lower viscosity rating higher than '10'. FYI even the Generic brands such as NAPA branded oils in the 5-30,10-30 are all called Energy Conserving. For that reason I think it has way more to do with the viscosity than any magic additives to reduce friction, to get an EC rating.

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