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Yamaha Tech Originally the Yamaha XT600 Tech Forum, due to demand it now includes all Yamaha's technical / mechanical / repair / preparation questions.
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Old 16 Apr 2008
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Question What Kind of Oil??


I just bought myself a 1986 XT 600 and was wondering a couple things.
1) What kind (weight) of oil are you using in the motor?
2) The front shocks are leaking down and was wondering how hard they are to fix?

Thanks Devin
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Old 24 May 2008
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For oil, that really depends on the temperature you are riding in. The viscosity index of a heavier weight oil will be better in hot weather (i.e. it will be still be thick when it gets hot in the air cooled XT). Here's how the manual for a 1990 XT600E says it:

SAE 20W40 SE/SF if the ambient temperature does not go below 5 degrees Celsius
SAE 10W30 SE/SF if the ambient temperature does not go above 15 degrees Celsius

I use 20W50 full synthetic, I figure thicker oil will lubricate better and give the engine longer life ultimately.

The forks aren't hard to fix, I just pulled mine and replaced the seals. There's a link to a service manual floating around here somewhere here on the HUBB.

You just need some special tools and some patience, the main thing is the tool used to lock the damper rod so you can take out that bottom bolt. I had a friend cut a 27mm hex nut from 3/8" steel plate with a water jet machine, then I welded that onto a long t-handle and it worked like a dream.
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Old 24 May 2008
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I've had bad experience using synthetic in the big Yamaha singles. Also, it is hard to find on the road. 20-50 is the best for what we do, and I would recommend topping off with whatever motorcycle oil is available, instead of trying to carry litres of oil.

Big singles use oil, especially at highway speeds.
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Old 24 May 2008
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What did full synthetic do to you? I've just always heard good things about it.7f
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Old 24 May 2008
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Originally Posted by Micah View Post
What did full synthetic do to you? I've just always heard good things about it.7f
It ran out of two of them One was an old XS650 the other a 660 single.
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Old 25 May 2008
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Clutch slip!

Fully synthetic is a big cause of clutch slip, semi synthetic is even too good when you talk to Yamaha themselves, but most people use it. I do.

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Old 25 May 2008
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I use SEMI-SINTHETIC oil too in my XT6.
Triumph Bonneville 800 (2004), Yamaha XT600E (1999), Honda XBR500 (1986).

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