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I'm coming up on my second service on my 03 zx6r, the Bike shop told me for the first service to use regular oil for the first initial oil change, and I did. And then they said after its broken in to start using Synthetic. And if I should start using Synthetic, what kind? Please let me know your takes on this brothers, thanks, Mike
 

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Do the oil change yourself at about 2000 miles (very easy). My oil of choice is Mobil 1 15W-50 car oil, save yourself the money and use this oil.
 

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I jsut put synthetic in. The bike runs coler and seems to shift smoother. When I have a minute I'll run down to my garage and see what I used. I went to my local shop and just asked for "the best"
 

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i'm a little bias cause i get the oil cheap but i use silkolene pro-4 plus. i plan on using that on my next oil change. and yes do the change yourself. this 636 is so much easier to change than my old 02 gsxr 6.
 

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Yeah, i called my dealer Saturday morning and told him i had about 1200 miles on my '03. He said to give it around another 1000 miles just to make sure the rings were seated completely before moving to synthetic. So, i'll prob make the switch at 2000 miles.
 

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First of all, all oils are the same, no matter if they are Penzoil or Pep Boys brand. They are all made at the same plants. Synthetic are made by each individual manufacturer though, so there can be some big differences.

On my '91, I ran Castrol Syntec 5W50 for years. The bike had over 35,000 miles on it when I sold it. It even sat for 5 years without a drain plug or oil. (long story)When I put it all back together, it fired right up with out so much as a knock! Put about another 5K on it and bought the '03. The main thing that I noticed is that it seemed to run cooler and quieter. The shifts were much better, like CdnNinjaZX6R said. I would like to think that it made more power on the synthetic, but can't be sure. Probably mostly hope.

At 3K (4th oil change), I switched to Motul Synthetic 5W50. I only have 4K on it now, so I haven't noticed any great changes.

I have had many people tell me to only run motorcycle synthetics in my bikes, but the Castrol was designed for cars. Supposedly, the car synthetics will wear out a clutch quicker on a bike. I went thru a total of one set of discs on the '91, so I don't really believe it. Besides, Castrol is cheaper than Motul by about $3/ bottle. I will go back to Castrol on my next oil change.

As far as my opinion, yes go to synthetic, but not before 3000 miles or so. I probably had 15000 on my '91 when I switched.

There is also an article on oils (part 2)in this months Sportrider. I haven't read it yet though.
 

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The reason most people tell you not to use car oils in a bike is that most car oils have energy conserving materials in them (friction modifiers) which cause our wet clutches to slip. That will rob power, and cause the clutch to wear more too..
Certain grades of synthetic, like mobil1's 15w50 do not contain these modifiers, so are fine. Just look for oils that ARE NOT energy conserving.
 

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The latest issue of Sportrider has a good article on oil comparison, between the different manufacturers and between the different blends, with several wear and breakdown tests. Basically, the tests showed there IS a big difference between motorcycle specific oils and automotive oils, and that there is also a big difference between the blends with regards to heat stability and different wear tests. Mineral oils were shown to break down MUCH quicker than synthetics, and the additives in motorcycle-specific oils were NOT the same as the ones in automotive. In other words, the whole "hoax" of motorcycle-specific oils being different is not actually a "hoax"... they are indeed formulated differently to meet the needs of higher-heat higher-revving engines found in today's sportbikes.

It also tested two synthetic oils that claimed they produce more HP on two different motorcycles and found it to be a true claim. I believe the average gain in horsepower on a Gixxer 750 and an R1 was +3hp... I am a firm believer in full-synthetics, but this article only lends evidence to that belief.
 

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You have to draw you own conclusions from the article. They found minor difference in the formulations of motorcycle and car oils. Both of the synthetics tested that produced a hp increase had a relative high dose of moly (ya know that friction modifier stuff that car oil is supposed to have). About the only difference between the car Mobil 1 15w50 and the motorcycle Mobil 1 10w40 was the moly content. The car had some and the motorcycle did not. Since many of the motorcycle specific synthetics had a higher moly content than the Mobil 1 car I don't think it will present a problem.
 

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The part I found the most interesting in the Sportrider article was the Tapered Roller Shear test which they ran on four different oils, which apparently best relates to real engine stress... the results were that Mobil MX4T 10w-40 and the Motul 300V 10w-40 both broke down in viscosity less than HALF the rate of the automotive Valvoline 10w-40 and the Motul 300V 5w-40 (which were both over 40% loss!)... The idea is that for best durability run synthetic, and a 10w synthetic not the 0 or 5w grades. Even the evaporative heat stability tests definitely showed a real split between the mineral / semi-synthetic / synthetic types, with the full synthetics fairing easily the best, retaining close to 95% of their stability, while the mineral oils were down around 85%.

If you're wondering which two synthetics SW is talking about with a much higher concentration of the moly additives (friction modifiers), they are the Torco T-4SR and the Maxum Ultra synthetics, as well as the Torco T4R. Since many manufacturers claim this additive can cause clutch slippage, I'd personally steer clear of these... they aren't exactly the most popular synthetics anyway...
 

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My local Kawi dealer swears by 'Shell Advanced synthetic for Motorcycles'. Just had mine done, it really has made a big difference.
 

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That Sport Rider article’s indeed interesting. Oils are technology, like many other products we use, though the fundamental theory hasn’t changed since the invention of internal combustion c. 1890.

I’m dismayed the article probably fed ammunition to the great Oil Debate that always has (and always will) raged in every single motorcycle forum since someone invented the Internet. The technology may indeed be improving, and it might be time to definitively switch to synthetic motorcycle oils that really are “better” than some of the cage oils. Never thought I’d see the day.

Personally, I run red-cap (fewer additives) Mobil 1 15W/50 (bought by the 5 quart jug at Wal Mart) in every vehicle I own, cage (BMW) to three bikes (now two), including the ZX. None have blown up due to oil issues; that’s the only definitive observation I have. For me it’s superstition, since I’ve run the crap out of various vehicles for more than a decade using Mobil 1 almost exclusively.

The motorcycle formula tends to be rather expensive. Perhaps I’ll locate some in convenient 5-quart jug and switch to that, instead. I strongly doubt it matters in the least.

To be clear, though, that’s just an “opinion.” I’m fond of full synthetic and run it after break-in’s done in all car and bike engines.

-=DRB=-
 

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Well at least it seems most people can reach a consensus that there IS a benefit to the synths... just a matter of which one to run and when... but yeah, article definitely made for an interesting read anyway.
 

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The test whittled away at the argument somewhat. For the first time we get to see what is in the oil instead of guessing.

I run the red cap Mobil 1 in all my motorcycle and agree that it works well. Lots of other motorcyclist agree if that matters. It seems to be the most popular motorcycle oil so clutch slipping cannot be a factor.

I was a little surprised to see that about the only difference between the car and motorcycle Mobil 1 was the addition of moly. I was also surprised to discover that lots of motorcycle oils contain moly including the two synthetics that were tested for hp increase.

For me it just reinforced my belief that we are being bent over by the manufacturers. Imagine Mobil 1 charging $4 a quart to leave out moly!
 

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I use Motul Motorcycle specific synthetic oil in my ride and it runs nice. I think that the Mobil 1 car oil is different than the Mobil 1 Motorcycle oils because cars have their own transmission fluid whereas our bikes use our motor's oil. If you use the car synthetic oils you may find your clutch slipping a lot of the time. Click this link to Mobil.com to see some FAQ's about Mobil 1 Motorcycle oils. The below information was taken from their website. ____________________________________________________________________________________________

Q-- Okay. Let's start with Mobil 1 MX4T. What does it offer that Mobil 1 for cars doesn't?

A-- Mobil 1 MX4T is designed for sport bikes. Most of these bikes have multi-cylinder/multi-valve engines and use a common sump, which means the engine oil lubricates the engine, transmission and wet clutch. So unlike Mobil 1 for cars, Mobil 1 MX4T has no friction modifiers, which could lead to clutch slippage.

The motorcycle oil also has more phosphorus/zinc for enhanced wear protection at high engine speeds and high loads. Remember, most bikes don’t have catalytic converters, so higher levels of phosphorus are not a problem.

In addition, Mobil 1 MX4T uses different dispersant/detergent technology for better high-temperature performance and engine cleanliness. Mobil 1 MX4T is also offered in a different viscosity grade than Mobil 1 for passenger cars.
 

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Some more info in regards to synthetic oil.... If you put it a new motor the rings will NOT bed in properly and you will have a molten heap of motor in a short time ;) Ive spoken too a few bike mechanics that have said to me they have seen 20,000 km old 4 stroke motors blowing more smoke than a 2 stroke!

And its all down to there oil not beading in the rings.

Gareth
 
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