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Engine Oil For My Honda?

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Hello all,

I was wonder if you could help me with a question I have had for a while.

Can I use automotive 4 stroke engine oil in my honda motorcycles or should I be sticking to Honda GN4 10W40?

What is the difference between the Honda 10W40 and Pennzoil 10W40?

😢

Thanks in advance for you help,

Zarman

'86 XR250R

'04 cfr80

'04 cfr50

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You'd better do a search before Oil War 3 erupts! 😢 This question comes around way too often, and opens up like a bad sore(canker that is).

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The first place to start is your manual. Mine for my 650R says I can use a SJ or higher that is not labelled "energy conserving". For that reason, when I'm done breaking in I'm probably moving to Mobil 1 15w50 auto oil because it's good oil and my manual states it's ok.

What it comes down to is that if you are complying with your manual, you will more than likely be fine. 10w40 oils and higher viscosities will not be labelled "energy concerving" and should be adequate for wet clutches. Will a motorcycle specific oil be better? Probably because of the higher amounts of zinc / phosphorous etc. Personally I'm starting to doubt that mc oils will make that much of a difference for my applications and changing my oil every 600 miles.

If you are not comfortable getting regular auto oil, check out the heavy duty diesel / auto oils such as Chevron Delo 400, Mobil Delvac 1300, and Shell Rotella. All of these come in a 15w40 weight and both Chevron's and Rotella's website recommend these oils in motorcycle applications. They are designed for extreme use and contain a reasonable amount of the zinc phosphorous additives plus contain less polymers which motorcycle transmissions break down quick. I personally started using Chevron Delo 400 in my DR350 and I cant tell the difference, as you would probably find with many oils.

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The first place to start is your manual. Mine for my 650R says I can use a SJ or higher that is not labelled "energy conserving". For that reason, when I'm done breaking in I'm probably moving to Mobil 1 15w50 auto oil because it's good oil and my manual states it's ok.

What it comes down to is that if you are complying with your manual, you will more than likely be fine. 10w40 oils and higher viscosities will not be labelled "energy concerving" and should be adequate for wet clutches. Will a motorcycle specific oil be better? Probably because of the higher amounts of zinc / phosphorous etc. Personally I'm starting to doubt that mc oils will make that much of a difference for my applications and changing my oil every 600 miles.

If you are not comfortable getting regular auto oil, check out the heavy duty diesel / auto oils such as Chevron Delo 400, Mobil Delvac 1300, and Shell Rotella. All of these come in a 15w40 weight and both Chevron's and Rotella's website recommend these oils in motorcycle applications. They are designed for extreme use and contain a reasonable amount of the zinc phosphorous additives plus contain less polymers which motorcycle transmissions break down quick. I personally started using Chevron Delo 400 in my DR350 and I cant tell the difference, as you would probably find with many oils.

Never use a SL rated oil in a wet clutch motorcycle engine. This contains too many friction modifiers to be safe for wet clutch usage. Also just because it isn't labeled "ENERGY CONSERVING" doesn't mean it doesn't contain friction modifiers. Also check and see, the diesel oils you are recomending are now rated SL which means they contain more friction modifiers and are not considered Wet Clutch safe.

Could you please show me where you saw that the Chevron and Shell sites say that they recommend DELO and ROTELLA for motorcycle usage ? As for Mobil One automotive oil.. I don't think your manual says it is ok to use. Mobil Oil company says it isn't recommended nor do they consider it safe for motorcycle usage. They changed formulas a few years ago and saw the need to develop a Motorcycle specific oil. Now they have Mobil One Motorcycle oils.

My recomendation is to use a high quality Motorcycle specific oil. I highly recommend a Semi-Syn or full Synthetic oil for hard usage.

Cher'o,

Dwight

PS: This is my last post on this thread. Contact me with a PM if you have any more questions. It seems that everyone thinks they are an oil expert. Especially the ones who are too cheap to buy the correct stuff for there bikes.

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"Could you please show me where you saw that the Chevron and Shell sites say that they recommend DELO and ROTELLA for motorcycle usage ?"

Absolutely.

Here is the link for Chevron: http://www.chevron.com/prodserv/nafl/auto/content/faq.shtm

From Chevron:

"My motorcycle owner's manual recommends against using an SJ passenger car motor oil. What product does Chevron have for my motorcycle?

Due to the inclusion of fuel economy requirements in the API category SJ, many oils have been formulated to contain friction modifiers. In a motorcycle wet-clutch application, these additives cause clutch slip and power loss. Chevron Delo® 400 Multigrade SAE 15W-40 is our recommendation for motorcycle use."

Here is the Link from Shell: http://www.rotella.com/qa/answerresult.php?rowid=81

From Shell

"Can heavy-duty diesel oil be used in motorcycles?

Motorcycle gasoline engines may not seem in the same league as the big displacement diesel engine under your hood, but they share some of the same lubrication requirements. So yes, in many cases, a premium heavy-duty universal oil capable of serving both diesel and gasoline engines is the best choice for your bike.

The high power-to-displacement ratio of a motorcycle engine means rod and main bearings are subjected to loads that are not normally found in passenger car engines. The valve train is also highly loaded, and requires extreme pressure boundary lubrication. The same can be said about gears in the transmission, which are normally lubricated by engine oil. Oil additives containing phosphorus protect these highly loaded extreme pressure areas (in both gasoline and diesel engines). Because diesel engines have higher loading of components, more of the phosphorus-containing additive is present than in typical passenger car oils. And with advanced catalyst systems for gasoline engines, the phosphorus content has been declining in passenger car oils.

Since many bike engines are air-cooled, and tend to be operated at high power outputs and speeds, their lubricating oil needs to be more resistant to high temperature oxidation. That’s another advantage of a premium universal oil. Another thing you want in your motorcycle is oil that has excellent viscosity control, so that with use it retains high temperature viscosity. Some multiviscosity grade passenger car oils, subjected to extreme loads, can quickly thin out. Their viscosity can drop to the next lower grade.

One last thing to consider is whether oil contains friction modifier additives. For improved fuel economy, most passenger car oils have such an additive. But the wet clutch in your bike doesn’t perform right with friction modifiers. Universal engine oils don’t have friction modifiers.

Be careful choosing diesel oils. Not all of them are universal. In addition to the API Service Category CI-4 for diesels, look for API Service Category SL.

Premium universal oils like Shell ROTELLA® T Multigrade are formulated for heavy-duty performance, and your bike engine has some heavy-duty challenges for oil. For optimum performance, be sure your oil is up to the challenge."

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One more thing for Dwight:

"It seems that everyone thinks they are an oil expert. Especially the ones who are too cheap to buy the correct stuff for there bikes."

Whether or not this is directed at me I really don't care. I do not claim to be an oil expert. I overall recommended to use what is specified in the owners manual. Did I say MC oils would probably be better? Yes I did. Proof exists that both Chevron and Shell Rotella recommend their "Heavy Duty" oils for motorcycles as they more less comply with Diesel CI-4 as well as meet SL specs.

I'm not sure we have any true "oil experts" on these forums, but we have those who have been operating motorcycles for decades and should be able to offer sound advice. In the end, it's up to the operator to determine what is best for their bike.

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Why not just buy synthetic 4 stroke motorcycle oil? 😢

Problem Solved!

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If you want to buy synthetic 4 stroke motorcycle oil and spend $7+ a qt that is a great choice. Oil is a very personal preference. Not sure why some people get so bent out of shape when some express their opinions on oil.

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The local dirtbike dealer/shop charges $8.95 per quart of Motul 100% synthetic oil! I'll continue to pay it, but man, that's pretty steep.

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That's a smokin' deal, since the Motul 300 15/50 full synthetic sells for $12.95 a quart; whereas, the "blend"(5100 ester)15/50 sells for $7.95. 😢

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That is why I have such a hard time paying that kind of money for oil. That is steep! I have been using HP4 in my DR350 for years paying $6+ qt. I starting using the Delo 400 in it because it Chevron says its ok and it's cheap.

In my new 650R I wanted to use a full sythetic and was considering Mobil1 MX4T for $8. I think I'm going to go ahead and run the Mobil 1 Auto 15w50 though at half the price. If the clutch slips on me, I will back away and start using the MC oils or diesel again.

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Use some of that oil on your rusty wallet hindge ya cheap sob.

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I can not resist a oil thread. I have done hours of research on the subject. No expert. Just good experience. I have talked to manufactures, oil reps, engine builders, and read every lab test I can find. Here's my plug. First, it has been proven by myself and many others (including engine builders)that you can break a engine in on synthetic if you want. I have done it and never had one problem. Second, auto oils that do not contain ENERGY CONSERVING labels, and more so, full synthetics and Deisel oils work as good or better than most motorcyle specific oils. I live in Yuma where it gets dam hot. I rebuild my own and friends engines. I see for myself what they look like on the inside. How little wear there is with synthetics. This is the real test for me.

Motorcycle specific oils. I have tried to find out from the manufactures what makes their motorcycle specific oils better. I have yet to find any proof that they can offer that they are better. No test results. Usually you will get a rep on the phone who does not have a clue.

There has been testing done however. You can surf a couple hours on the net and find them. Some are well done. Others are done by the oil manufacture who is trying to sell you his oil. I am a firm believer in synthetics. I have seen them work where others don't.

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Dale,

I must clarify.

The last case I bought was from the Amsoil site for the same price you paid.

Before that my Honda dealer would order it and sell it to me for $60 per case.

Their distributor however said that they weren't buying enough and needed to buy a pallet of it, and I said, Na.

Bultaco206, proves that it can be had for the $60 range, although he gets the AHRMA National MX Champion discount and I don't. 😢 :cry:

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Firedude,

Now that Oil War 3 is erupting my thoughts are paralleling yours on oils. So what do you use in your Thumpers?

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