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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just put Delo 15W40 oil in it and evidently the starter clutch doesn't like it when it's cold out. Any suggestions for a 10W or 5W oil to use instead?
 

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Premium Member
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i assume that you are putting the oil in your 81 1100 . got to have a few miles on it , say around 40,000 . if so i would not go any lower on the oil weight . 15/40 should do OK for you.
i suspect that the delo is doing its job and trying to clean the gunk that has collected in your starter clutch . i would run it for a while and change it and the filter too .
thats my 2 cents----
 

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Still Learning
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The Delo is probably not your problem. It works up in Canada in the cold so I would suspect as Wayne said did you run a Marvel Mystery Oil(replace 1 quart so oil level is correct) cleaning in the old oil for a good easy ride of 200-300 miles to get the motor very hot and loosen the grime in the crankcase and immediately change the oil and filter while was still very hot to get the grime out?
 

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Bob Cassel
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I ran Delo for one oil change and things worked great, then the next change the bike shifted hard, the starter clutch malfunctioned and it just didn't feel right. I put in about 4 oz. of Marvel Mystery oil and things got better, but not all together right.

I just changed out to Rotella T and it is like night and day. Same 15W 40 rating, just the bike seems to like the Rotella better this go around.

I'd say dump in some MMO and see if that helps, or just change to a different brand. It makes NO LOGICAL SENSE, it just is.
 

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I use 10W-40 as recommended from my local NAPA in my 83 with 160K. It likes it just fine.
 

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Just me.
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Before your next oil change, add some Seafoam to the and run it about 100 miles, then change it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I found some

Delo 5W40. Now, according to my understanding, it should have the same lubrication properties as the 15W40, but with a lower viscosity. Right??
 

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1100s have a marginal starting system and it doesn't take much to prevent the sprag clutch from engaging. Usually the first cause is a weak battery or a starter that needs some attention. Check the voltage at the battery to make sure it's producing close to 12V when your starter is spinning. Heavy oil can also cause this problem but I'd check the battery out before going to another oil. You might try warming up the bike with a heat gun or hair dryer and see if that makes any difference. If it does or if the bike will start okay when it's been running that would tend to indicate a lighter oil could help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Checked the battery and it's fine. Also, it does restart easily once it's warmed up.
 

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Well then you might go to a lighter oil, some synthetics don't thicken up as much as dino oils, or you could give a try to a bit lower viscosity but I wouldn't go lower than the Honda manual calls for.
 

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Vintage Rider
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I use only 20w50 non synthetic car oil, and change it often. When I first got the bike the starter made a loud howling noise occasionally, but finally quit after several oil changes. I live in AZ, where it gets HOT. If you have very low temps then 10w40 or 14w40 should be fine. I would not go lower than 10w40, it is to thin to properly protect the bearings in a 33 year old motorcycle engine, plus it will be energy conserving, and can cause clutch slipping. I recommend the Seafoam idea, I use it both in oil and gas, and it works. Never tried anything else. My understanding is that part of the starter drive is in a place that does not get much oil, and tends to build up sludge.
 

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Piled Higher and Deeper
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Delo 5W40. Now, according to my understanding, it should have the same lubrication properties as the 15W40, but with a lower viscosity. Right??
Except I think that 5w40 is only available as synthetic.. Still don't see why it would be your problem, but it is not the same as 15w40 when cold.
 
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