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  #1  
Old 22 May 2009
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Fully Synthetic Oil????

Folks
Is it ok to use fully synthetic oil in a Transalp XL650V ? If so, any particular recommendations?

Are there any clear advantages or disadvantages in doing so? (Apart from cost!)

Chris
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Old 22 May 2009
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Price and quality issues aside- does the Transalp XL650V have a dry or a wet clutch?
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Old 22 May 2009
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Hi Bertrand

It's wet.

Chris
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Old 23 May 2009
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Hi Chris - I have a 2002 F650Dakar
I am guessing (please check - I can't be held responsible if I have got it wrong!) from what you say that your bike clutch may be the same as mine ie:

A Multiple disc clutch in oil bath, mechanically operated.

If that is the case then I would not recommend a fully synthetic- my understanding is that some the additives added to the some of these oils can cause your clutch to slip.
Oil questions are ....a very emotional topic!!!

I use Silkolene semi synthetic in my bike- Silkolene make bespoke bike oils -

SUPER 4 RANGE
Semi-synthetic 4-stroke engine oils, with MC-Syn Technology, for all modern motorcycles. Incorporates detergents, dispersants and load carrying agents to give excellent engine cleanliness and minimum wear of moving parts. Contains a balanced blend of inhibitors and anti-wear agents to ensure correct operation of oil immersed clutches and other drive line components. The advanced additive chemistry protects the engine and transmission from start-up to full power. Available in 10W-40 and 20W-50 viscosity grades.

Specifications
  • API 4-Cycle Performance Spec. SF & SG
  • JASO MA & MA2

Last edited by Bertrand; 23 May 2009 at 09:30. Reason: added link to silkolene
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Old 23 May 2009
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There are zillions of threads about oil on this and other forums and for a bike like a Transalp I have yet to find a reason to go down the synthetic route.
Semi synthetic is all you need and you could put the cost savings towards your next trip, or some s down the pub, or some farkles.
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Old 23 May 2009
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Thanks guys

Looks like semi-synthetic is the way to go then.

Here's another question though..... the last time the oil was changed was just 500 miles ago. But that was in March 2008 so it's over a year now. Since then the bike has been started every 2 weeks and allowed to run for 5 minutes. The oil LOOKS fine (still quite golden in colour and appears to have retained the viscosity when you feel it on your fingers) but should it be changed due to the time that has elapsed or is it fine for a while yet?

Chris
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Old 23 May 2009
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You should change the oil , short runs and idle periods are detrimental to oil .

You can use full synthetic in your bike , most motorcycle oils are formulated for wet clutch use .Look for a JASO spec on the oil bottle .
Full synthetic will give you a longer interval between services and better protection against extremes of temperature ,which might be important to you , it's up to you to decide.

IMHO "semi-synthetic" is a marketing hype ,which means "slightly improved mineral oil" OR " mutton dressed as lamb" .

There are a lot of oil threads on the internet ,full of daft theories and opinions .
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Old 24 May 2009
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do someone know what the manual says about oil specifications on a AT RD07?
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Old 24 May 2009
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[quote=Bertrand;243016]
I would not recommend a fully synthetic- my understanding is that some the additives added to the some of these oils can cause your clutch to slip[quote]


Not the case with bike specific oils in my experience. I use fully synthetic in my oil/air cooled, 4 cylinder road bike because I thrash it to within an inch of it's life and figure that I should use the best oil I can. I have never experienced clutch slip.

My DRZ gets it's oil changed more regularly and I ride that with some mechanical sympathy so I use a good quality semi.

Cost could be an issue, although I have noticed the price difference between a good semi and full synthetic oil isn't that much any more.
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Old 25 May 2009
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clutch

me neither - no clutch problems. There could be a whole range of reasons why some people report clutch slip when using synthetic oils but they are disproportionately represented in forums like this.

I've run an Africa Twin on non-jaso car oil of the correct weight for a hundreds of miles and had no clutch slip. Would I suggest that this sets a precedent? No.
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Old 25 May 2009
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[quote=Big Yellow Tractor;243199]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bertrand View Post
I would not recommend a fully synthetic- my understanding is that some the additives added to the some of these oils can cause your clutch to slip[quote]


Not the case with bike specific oils in my experience.
Colin
I do not know your bike - if it works for you- fantastic -
My not being able to find a straight answer to my oil questions for my bikes, I spoke to Pro's at Silkolene, Castrol etc as well BMW Tech. (as I have an 02' Dakar and a '04 1200 I wanted to really know my options) -
The outcome for my bikes was that the boxer engine is quite happy with either mineral, semi or full synthetic as it has a dry clutch-
However, since the Dakar has a wet one Silkolene, (who make bike-specific oils) BMW, Castrol Oils and two independant mechanics of amost 60 years combined experience on bikes have told me the same thing- that is not to use the fully synthetic one in that bike due to a very high probability of clutch slip. I am not an oil engineer so I am happy to accept that and have stayed with semi in the dakar and full synthetic in the 1200gs. We each must do our own research -

Some have said 'if it goes in' or 'if it fits then it's fine' - I do not agree with that! it may well have consequences anyone might prefer to do without. In the end- it's your bike so it's your call!

And depending on circumstances, it would be fair enough to say that some oil is better than no oil -says he- having put some semi synthetic engine oil into a Mauritanian army 4x4 front differential . It had struck a rock and cracked- and he was trying to get back from the border to NCK- I saw him the following year and he told me my 'repair' with instant metal etc had held- (good job too as he let me back in with a nice glass of mint tea and a smile!)
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Old 25 May 2009
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Sure, we each need to do our own research and make our own choices....which is what the OP is doing here. I'd defer to the manufacturer in any case, and I wonder why the OP is asking here rather than doing so.

My very personal experience: I stay away from synthetic, semi AND dino oils which claim to have friction modifiers, mileage enhancers, energy conservers, or anything of the sort. It is my understanding that these can cause wet clutches to slip; note that the use of such additives is not uncommon regardless of the source (synthetic/mineral) of the oil itself. I use other synthetics lacking this designation indiscriminately in both my bikes without any sign of slippage.

Mileages vary (so to speak).

Mark
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Old 25 May 2009
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There's a very simple reason why I am asking here...............

When you speak to suppliers they have a theoretical view in many cases. When you ask in a forum like this, where people are users of products in a whole host of conditions and circumstances, then you tend to get a much more accurate reply.


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Last edited by Chris1200; 25 May 2009 at 15:21. Reason: extra info
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Old 25 May 2009
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Chris, this is my attitude to oil.
If your engine keeps the oil to itself and does not share it with clutch or gearbox (like most old Brit bikes and airhead BMW's) then the oil is relatively unstressed and you can use mineral, semi?? what ever that is, or fully synthetic.
If your engine shares oil with the clutch, then avoid oils that claim to be energy conserving. (1970 on Triumphs for instance).
If your engine shares oil with the gearbox, gearboxes really chew up oils so they 'need' synthetic.
Add to this a need to above all have an oil of the right viscosity and with the right additives for your engine. EG an old flat tappet engine ( any old brit bike needs 20/50 SG only rated). A modern Japanese bike will need synthetic (for the gearbox) with very little zinc ( to protect the EFI sensors and the catalytic converter).
If the seals are in good condition and made for synthetic oil there should not be any problems with leaks.
If the clutch has grip to spare it probably will work with any oil.

Avoid any oil that claims to meet many specifications..
An oil specification is a MAXIMUM rating that it guarantees NOT to meet. SG has the most zinc and anti wear properties of ANY grade. an oil that claims to meet SF SG SH SL will not meet the lowes grade ( think SL)
SF and SH can have up to 0.010% zinc, SG 0.012% everything else is LESS.
It so happens 20/50 oil or THICKER is allowed to have more zinc than the specification suggests, but does not need to have ANY anti wear ingredients AT ALL to comply with the rating ( same as the rest).
All these rumours about slipping clutches and leaking seals are being spread by people with slipping clutches and leaking seals.
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Old 26 May 2009
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oldbmw

Thank you, a concise and easy-to-understand explanation. Much appreciated.

Chris
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