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Synthetic Oil

2409 Views 23 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  MICHAELR
The '88 Wing I just bought has 160,000Km on it and it's been suggested
to me that I should use synthetic oil, that I would notice a difference.
Will I? Is there a mechanical advantage to using synthetic, or could it
cause problems in an older engine?

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I have been using synthetic for a long time. The thing that convinced me was an article I read that said synthetic oil is like honey, it sticks to all moving parts in the motor. That's good enough for me....
I have heard a lot more positive than negative about synthetic. But some people have great long term experience with non-synthetic oil such as the DELO. Neat point is that early last spring DELO was found in a full synthetic and affordable at least at Wal-Mart. This also means there is not a lot of history with it. much of the discussion of synthetic vs non boiled down to is it worth it. I use synthetic because I put on quite a few miles and I feel confident running longer between oil changes with the synthetic. You asked if you will notice a difference. What I notice is that no matter what type of oil I use the motorcycle shifts slicker with new oil. My experience with synthetic is that the feeling of shifting slicker lasts longer with synthetic. I don't think it would matter for your bike as long as you get a good oil without the friction additives and change it regularly.
I agree with Oldwing99. I like synthetic because I don't need to change it as often, so it kind of depends on how many miles per year you ride. If it 3,000 it may not be worth the extra money. If it's over 6,000 it makes more sense. I use Amzoil's motorcycle oil and filter. I did in my 1500 and next time I change the oil in my 1800 I will put in Amzoil.
Use synthetic if you want, but in my opinion in this case it might be a waste of cash.
A motor with higher miles probably has more blowby than a newer motor due to ring wear and valve seal hardening and surface imperfections. This blowby contaminates the oil and turns it acidic more quickly and this is what you are trying to avoid. Do what you like of course, but if it were me I would go with standard (like Delo or Delvac) 15w-40.
Slightly thicker for the higher mileage and increased clearances, cheap enough you can change it every 1000 miles if you want to and still probably spend less.
And yes, I am actually a big fan of synthetics. They are just not appropriate in all cases in my opinion and numerous high mileage engines.
Thanks Guys. Will probably stay with the non-synthetic. We don't put that
many miles on it, yet.

Chris, if you can't the Delo up here, not in our area anyway, the Rotella 15/40 works great (TSC or CTC) & is less pricy........ I use it in both my bikes. :waving:
Thanks 96, I will have to go shopping.

Use Rotella 15/40 also.
Delo 400 LE (non-syn)
Nothing else works any better no matter how much it costs.
Not to say some of the others don't work just as well.
Synthetic oil works great in new engines, but it tends to cause increased oil consumption and leaks in older engine. It's smaller molecules slip through places conventional oil won't. I also recommend heavier oil in an engine with obvious wear, such as low compression and oil consumption. The thicker oil seals rings better, and "fills in the gap" between bearings that have excessive clearances. It also has more load bearing ability, film strength, and resistance to shock loads.

I am an a HUGE believer in changing your oil often. I have seen the results of leaving oil in an engine to long, and it doesn't matter whether it was synthetic or conventional. I use Walmart Supertech oil in all my bikes and cars, and change it often. I have also used Autozone brand and Pep Boys brand. Pretty much the same thing. I still change the oil in my Goldwing every 1000 miles or 3 months. On a low mileage one I would go 3000 miles or 3 months. I also change the oil in my old cars every 1000 miles or 3 months. To me keeping clean oil in an engine is critical to the life of the engine, and if you change it often, you don't really get any benefit from synthetic, and it costs a lot more.
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I started to make my first oil change in my 2010 Fully synthetic but then read on here that on a new bike Fully Synthetic oil wouldnt let the seals seal properly because the oil is too slippery and dissipates heat so much better that the seals wont seal on break in. After a few thousand miles it probably doesnt matter.. at 7400 miles I might now switch to synthetic unless I hear of a good enough reason not to.
I ran Honda full synthetic in my 1800 (37K miles) because I was going on a trip and wanted to extend my miles between oil changes a bit. I likes the way the bike responded to the full synthetic so on the next oil change I put in Amsoil. What a huge difference that made. Runs smoother, quieter, and shifts great every time, every gear.

On my 1500, with 121K miles on it, I switched this time to a Honda Partial synthetic and so far after 2000 miles, it is responding very well to it. Runs smoother, quieter and shifts better in each gear and no oil consumption at all. So depending on how the next 2000 miles go, I may switch that one out to Amsoil full synthetic also.
If you are worried about the seals, use what I do. Mobil 1 High Mileage 10W-40. The additive package has a seal conditioners. 5 qts for $24 at Wal Mart. I use this oil everything right down to my lawn tractor. The myth about synthetic being bad for new engines is just that a myth. Some new cars leave the factory with synthetic in their belly.
The main thing is to use oil. Makes the engine last longer. Change the stuff often especially if most of your riding is short trips. I usually change mine at either 4000 miles or four months whichever comes first.
I just changed the Dino out of my 1200 this morning for rotela t6 synthetic. The difference it made in shifting was unbelievable. My cbr 1100 has had full synthetic since it's first oil change at 640 miles, that was 99,150 miles ago. Not a drip or leak from any seals. 100k miles on a sport bike should speak for itself. I did notice that the gold wing took a lot longer to reach normal temperature than with Dino oil, cooled down alot faster and my shins weren't as hot. On another forum I'm on there have been several complaints about delo being changed and messing up clutches recently. I've never picked up a bottle of delo to check the yellow seal on the back, I did look at a bottle of rottela 10-30 which has all ways been a no no with wet clutchs and it was jaso marked now. With the rottela t6 only 5 bucks more than rotela 15-40 Dino I've swapped every thing I own to t6. I have nothing but good and better things to say about 15/40 or t6.
This is the first comment I have run across on the new DELO which I am currently running. So far (2500 miles) no issues including clutch. I tried my best to capture the label on the back. Is there an issue with the certifications of this oil?


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the guy I bought my wing from has been running regular car oil and the clutch still works so I would have to speculate that the wing is less prone to clutch failure than other bikes from use of non JASO oils.

"We have confirmed that Chevron has recently made a change to the formulation of DELO 400 Oil to meet the new CI-4+ specification. To meet the new specification, Chevron has added 260ppm of Moly. Moly is not compatible with wet clutches."

My understanding is that if there is anything in the bottom of the SAE circle it's not wet clutch safe.

Several guys on the CBRXX forum have complained about clutch problems as well as several of the dual sport forums.
A bit of a read.
If one was really better than the other, I suppose everybody would be using it - just so long as you change the oil.......
Thank you Wingercanuck, that was interesting.
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