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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's an article stating Rotella T6 is not good for our bikes.

"When we have a motor failure with one of the bikes in our service department or customer bikes on our regular Baja rides, 90 percent of the time they are using Rotella.”

 

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Good article. But correlation does not necessarily lead to causation. It may be that simply 90% of bikes use T6. Also, the two men interviewed in the article each represent motorcycle oil manufacturers, so they are anything but neutral.

Nevertheless, the article got me thinking. I just changed my oil last week using T6. Should I have instead used a motorcycle-specific oil? Has anyone on the forums experimented with different oils over an extended timeframe with reportable results?
 

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I've been running T6 in many different cycles for many years, and never heard of it causing engine damage. I do all my own maintenance, and if there was engine damage - I'd know it.

Many people swear that running standard automotive oil is fine (it isn't).

T6 has proper levels of additives (ZDDP) that regular auto oils don't, and those levels are right inline with motorcycle specific oils.

T6 didn't shift that well in the SV, so I use Mobil 1 4T instead, but it has been fine for almost everything else over the years.

I would not run 15W-40 T6 in any moderately cold temps. 5W-40 T6 is a better choice for that.
 

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T6 didn't shift that well in the SV, so I use Mobil 1 4T instead, but it has been fine for almost everything else over the years.
Thanks for the insight Jay. I was hoping my notchy shifting would be addressed by using T6 (although part of it is probably due to the rider). I will perhaps try the 4T instead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My next oil change was going to be Rotella, bought Rotella T6 at Home Depo, $22.00. The article and Jay V comment regarding shifting.... I'll be returning it today, staying with Mobil 4T.
 

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Whatever you may read on the internet, the only thing that matters is that your oil is JASO MA/ MA2 certified, which Rotella T6 is. Spend more if it makes you feel better, but it won't make a difference in real life.

Some of the claims made in the article border on ridiculous, like losing power because of the brand of oil you're using.
 

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I've used Rotella T6 (Synthetic) in dirt bikes for years. 250F will spin 14k RPM and most only hold 3/4-1 quart. Never had an issue with motor, clutch, or transmission. The regular Rotella (Dino) is good, and the full Syn T6 is good. Just want to avoid the T5 blend as for some reason, it doesn't carry the JASO/MA certification like the other two..
 

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I've used Rotella T6 (Synthetic) in dirt bikes for years. 250F will spin 14k RPM and most only hold 3/4-1 quart. Never had an issue with motor, clutch, or transmission. The regular Rotella (Dino) is good, and the full Syn T6 is good. Just want to avoid the T5 blend as for some reason, it doesn't carry the JASO/MA certification like the other two..
I was told by a Shell Tech Rep that all Rotella Multigrade oils use the same additive package, with the exception of the new Multi-vehicle Rotella (5W-30 I think) - which has low ZDDP and shouldn't be used in cycle engines.

As I understand it, the cost for certification is significant, and they didn't choose to certify the entire line - just the most popular grades.

T5 Blend should be a safe choice if you need a 30-grade cycle oil. I usually recommend it for owners of Honda CBR250/300R that recommend a 30. It's way better than Hondaline GN4 IMO.
 

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Notchy shifting can be a sign of oil that has sheared down to a watery consistency. 5/40 rotella is well known to shear quickly. Check out bobistheoilguy.
Then again, some transmissions are notchy from the factory like mt07s.
 

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Notchy shifting can be a sign of oil that has sheared down to a watery consistency. 5/40 rotella is well known to shear quickly. Check out bobistheoilguy.
Then again, some transmissions are notchy from the factory like mt07s.
That's funny. Bob's entire forum is centered on motor oil. I'm going to sign up. Yes, I changed my oil last weekend. Went with T6 again, hoping it would smooth out a bit. May have, but nothing remarkable.
 

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If it's bad for the SV then I guess I'm on borrowed time. 30,000 miles of 5w40 but I've not noticed notchy shifting, I run anywhere from 2,000-3,000 miles between changes.
Whatever, fresh oil is better than old and the internet is full of opinions. With as many problem-free miles as I have, I can't agree that it's "wrong".
 

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If it's bad for the SV then I guess I'm on borrowed time. 30,000 miles of 5w40 but I've not noticed notchy shifting, I run anywhere from 2,000-3,000 miles between changes.
Whatever, fresh oil is better than old and the internet is full of opinions. With as many problem-free miles as I have, I can't agree that it's "wrong".
My notchy shifting may be entirely due to the old fart riding the bike.
 

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Haha, just ride faster. Remember, the throttle is wide open or not at all. And the clutch lever is optional.
Love it! The throttle is simply a toggle switch. I do notice though that clutchless shifting for me is much smoother under hard throttle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If it's bad for the SV then I guess I'm on borrowed time. 30,000 miles of 5w40 but I've not noticed notchy shifting, I run anywhere from 2,000-3,000 miles between changes.
Whatever, fresh oil is better than old and the internet is full of opinions. With as many problem-free miles as I have, I can't agree that it's "wrong".
Yes you are......I wouldn't travel too far from home :unsure:
 

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I was told by a Shell Tech Rep that all Rotella Multigrade oils use the same additive package, with the exception of the new Multi-vehicle Rotella (5W-30 I think) - which has low ZDDP and shouldn't be used in cycle engines.

As I understand it, the cost for certification is significant, and they didn't choose to certify the entire line - just the most popular grades.

T5 Blend should be a safe choice if you need a 30-grade cycle oil. I usually recommend it for owners of Honda CBR250/300R that recommend a 30. It's way better than Hondaline GN4 IMO.
Yeah, I always wondered about the T5. It's a mixture of the dino and synthetic oils that both have the approval, so thought it was strange that the blend didn't.
 

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Notchy shifting can be a sign of oil that has sheared down to a watery consistency. 5/40 rotella is well known to shear quickly. Check out bobistheoilguy.
Then again, some transmissions are notchy from the factory like mt07s.
I believe this is true.

T6 5W-40 is on the thinner side for a 40-grade (there is a range), and does drop into a 30-grade rating after some use from what I gather.

It would explain why shifting degrades after a while.

T6 is a Group III synthetic (Hydrocracked - the least expensive to produce and most common), where M1 4T is a Group IV. Ester-based oil like Motul 300V are Group V.
 

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We have a petroleum engineer on my Vmax forum. In summary motorcycle specific oils are just more expensive. For a wet clutch you cannot go wrong with Rotella with its higher zinc content. The wet clutch in our gen 1 vmax’s doesn’t really like anything that’s extra slippery so Rotella Dino style is all I’ve ever used along with literally thousands of other owners. As has been previously stated a specific properties of an oil are what’s important. Not the brand for the marketing.
 

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Whatever you may read on the internet, the only thing that matters is that your oil is JASO MA/ MA2 certified, which Rotella T6 is. Spend more if it makes you feel better, but it won't make a difference in real life.

Some of the claims made in the article border on ridiculous, like losing power because of the brand of oil you're using.
Absolutely right. I also have a problem with an article that states that Rotella "does NOT meet the recommended oil specifications from the motorcycle manufacturers." Then tells you to look for oils that meet JASO MA.

My SV has seen nothing but T6 for 15 years. Same clutch, same motor.
 
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