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I changed the oil on my Gold Wing a few weeks ago and put about 900 miles on it. The oil looks as clean as when I changed it. Is it possible the oil may not be circulating ok? I went from a regular 10W30 to a synthetic 20W50, and am hearing engine knock at 4000 RPM now along with that nasty rattle I posted about weeks ago.
 

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The reason I ask is the old owner said he had just changed the oil 10 days before he sold it to me and put a few hundred miles on it. The oil was very black when I changed it. Makes me wonder when he actually did change the oil!
 

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A lot of people think a heavier oil is better but it is not always true. A 10/40 or 10/30 circulates faster and cools friction parts better even though the oil pressure may be lower.
 
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I agree with dave on that.
some put heavier oil so it wont break down as fast but not always better for a small engine.
10 w 30 to me would be best but we could get into a debate in a snap on here just my preference.
 

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Generally, I'd agree with Dave about 10-30 being good for most small engines... but I notice these sort of blanket statements are usually made by people from relatively mild climates. Down here in Texas, we regularly top out above the 100's in April. And I'm not talking single-day unusual events either. This year, we have had 77 consecutive days of 100+ temps thus far. The hottest summer on record... EVER! In June I rode through Terlingua on my '97 and it was 114... at noon! Three days later I was in Del Rio at a stop light and a bank sign there said 118. I notice william_84 is in Tampico, Mexico (a very nice place by the way...) and uses Castrol 20-50... it's got to be hot down there!

At these kinds of temps... the extra protection of that heavier oils sure makes me feel better. I use the Castrol 20-50 too.
 

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I've used Castrol 20/50 in the summer here in OKCin my lastfour bikes. Runs quieter and shifts smoother. Honda approves of 20/50 for sustained higher temps.
 
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