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Micro-Ninja Oil #4637575
01/17/18 11:24 AM
01/17/18 11:24 AM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 116
Fleming Island, FL
Arved Offline OP
Arved  Offline OP
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 116
Fleming Island, FL
Greetings fellow motorcycling tribologists!

I have a 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 300 commute bike now (need to update my sig), and am a bit confused about the oil to use. Pertinent background, this is a water cooled parallel twin, bucket shim tappets, with a common sump between engine, gear box, and wet clutch. The clutch is a "slipper clutch" design. I imagine this little motor shears oil very quickly. Let me elaborate on my confusion...

The owners manual calls for "...4-stroke oils with API SG, SH, SJ, SL, SM and JASO MA, MA1, MA2 rating
"Viscosity: SAE10W-40"

A few pages later, it says:

"Although 10W-40 engine oil is the recommended oil for most conditions, the oil viscosity may need to be changed to accommodate atmospheric conditions in your riding area."

There is a graphic that provides additional information. 10W40 is good from -10C to 40C (14F to 104F). Now, I have no desire to operate my motorcycle in sub-freezing conditions, but we do, occasionally, get ambient temperatures above 104F here in tropical North Florida. This corresponds to the recommendation for 20W50 oil.

So what's my confusion? Probably just the marketing aspect - most companies call this "V-Twin Oil."

So, is there something in these "V-Twin Oils" that make them unsuitable for the micro-Ninja? They operate typically at much lower RPM, and don't have slipper clutches. Or is it just the marketing wanks trying to steer un- or under-informed owners (no disrespect intended) to the correct oil? If there is something not obvious in the specifications printed on the bottle, what do I look for?

Thanks,

- Arved

Last edited by Arved; 01/17/18 11:29 AM.

'17 Kawasaki Ninja 300 ABS
'07 Mazda MX-5 Grand Touring
'95 Toyota Pickup (22RE)
'99 Honda VT1100C3 Shadow Aero
Re: Micro-Ninja Oil [Re: Arved] #4637588
01/17/18 11:38 AM
01/17/18 11:38 AM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 611
missouri
ragtoplvr Offline
ragtoplvr  Offline
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 611
missouri
The important classification is MAn where in is blank, 1 or 2 This is good for clutch. 10W40 good year round, in your area 20W50 also ok year round may be quieter or not.


Rod

Re: Micro-Ninja Oil [Re: Arved] #4637608
01/17/18 12:03 PM
01/17/18 12:03 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 6,226
Waco, TX
Linctex Offline
Linctex  Offline
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 6,226
Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: Arved
manual calls for "...4-stroke oils with API SG, SH, SJ, SL, SM and JASO MA, MA1, MA2 rating
"Viscosity: SAE10W-40"


Wow.... is this engine design so tolerant of inferior oils,
that the warranty will be met even when running API SG oil?

I don't think there is any regular available oil on the shelf that will hurt this bike, period.


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: Micro-Ninja Oil [Re: Arved] #4637613
01/17/18 12:05 PM
01/17/18 12:05 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 6,226
Waco, TX
Linctex Offline
Linctex  Offline
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 6,226
Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: Arved
10W40 is good from -10C to 40C (14F to 104F). Now, I have no desire to operate my motorcycle in sub-freezing conditions, but we do, occasionally, get ambient temperatures above 104F here in tropical North Florida. This corresponds to the recommendation for 20W50 oil.


Just use a good 15W-40 all year round.

I put 85,000 miles on Suzuki VZ800 Marauder using whatever cheap 15W-40 was on sale that week.


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: Micro-Ninja Oil [Re: Arved] #4637654
01/17/18 12:47 PM
01/17/18 12:47 PM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 162
New York
jeff78 Online content
jeff78  Online Content
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 162
New York
On a small displacement high-revving 250/300, you *might* be able to feel a difference in the way the engine responds between a 40 and 50 grade oil.

You don't have to worry about the 'W' number in Florida, unless you park your bike in a meat freezer.

Agreed with Linctex, you likely can't go wrong with a 15W-40 for overall availability/cost/performance. Rotella T4 will even meet JASO MA/MA2.

Re: Micro-Ninja Oil [Re: Arved] #4637668
01/17/18 12:57 PM
01/17/18 12:57 PM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 663
NJ, USA
MotoTribologist Offline
MotoTribologist  Offline
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 663
NJ, USA
Originally Posted By: Arved
Greetings fellow motorcycling tribologists!

So what's my confusion? Probably just the marketing aspect - most companies call this "V-Twin Oil."

So, is there something in these "V-Twin Oils" that make them unsuitable for the micro-Ninja? They operate typically at much lower RPM, and don't have slipper clutches. Or is it just the marketing wanks trying to steer un- or under-informed owners (no disrespect intended) to the correct oil? If there is something not obvious in the specifications printed on the bottle, what do I look for?

Thanks,

- Arved

It's unlikely a "V-Twin" marketed oil would be unsuitable for you. There are non-v-twin specific 20W-50 oils though and as others have said, you can find 15W-50 or 10W-50 oils pretty easily too to eliminate any atmospheric anomalies that might otherwise restrict your choices.

In general, a "V-Twin" oil should contain more anti-oxidants and higher TBN than a non-V-Twin oil because the typical V-Twin engine generally allows more blowby and contaminants from the combustion chamber. That isn't necessarily true since many companies just take their standard 20W-50 and call it "V-Twin" without any modification, but the good ones should be doing stuff like that. Either way, it doesn't make it unsuitable for a Ninja.

Re: Micro-Ninja Oil [Re: Linctex] #4637672
01/17/18 01:04 PM
01/17/18 01:04 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 611
missouri
ragtoplvr Offline
ragtoplvr  Offline
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 611
missouri
Actually SG i a pretty good oil, just has a zinc content too high for some catalytic converters. Superior for some applications (flat tappets) over SN

The MAn rating is most important, some SN oils have additives that replace zinc that may affect some clutches. Any oil with MA rating does not use those additives.

The 300 is a stout engine, so really some oil is better than no oil, and clean oil is better than old oil. You are not going to have a problem.

Rod

Re: Micro-Ninja Oil [Re: Linctex] #4637676
01/17/18 01:06 PM
01/17/18 01:06 PM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 162
New York
jeff78 Online content
jeff78  Online Content
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 162
New York
Originally Posted By: Linctex
Wow.... is this engine design so tolerant of inferior oils,
that the warranty will be met even when running API SG oil?


It's typical for modern Japanese bikes. The manual for my current bike says 'Recommended engine oil grade: API SG or higher, JASO MA'. Same for the last couple of Japanese bikes I've owned.

Re: Micro-Ninja Oil [Re: Arved] #4637760
01/17/18 02:46 PM
01/17/18 02:46 PM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,628
Katy, Republic of Texas
blupupher Offline
blupupher  Offline
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,628
Katy, Republic of Texas
The bigget thing to look for is make sure the oil is NOT energy conserving oil.
Energy Conserving oil has friction modifiers that will ruin a wet clutch.

As said above, any HDEO xw-40 oil would do you good in Florida.
Truthfuly, even Supertech 15w-40 oil from Walmart would do you just fine.
If you don't want to "cheap out" (some just have issue using Supertech, I don't), you could look at other HDEO (Rotella, Delvac, Delo) in conventional or synthetic.


1994 Honda VT1100: Peak 15w-40/PSL/2500 mile OCI
2002 Ford F150: GTX HM 5w-20/EcoGard Syn/1yr OCI
2012 Scion xB: QSUD 0w-20/CQ Blue/5k OCI

Re: Micro-Ninja Oil [Re: jeff78] #4637768
01/17/18 02:55 PM
01/17/18 02:55 PM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 116
Fleming Island, FL
Arved Offline OP
Arved  Offline OP
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 116
Fleming Island, FL
Originally Posted By: jeff78
You don't have to worry about the 'W' number in Florida, unless you park your bike in a meat freezer.


Well, it is expected to be -2C/+28F tonight. "North Florida" can sometimes be considered "South Georgia." However, the engine will not be run under those conditions. Viva la Miata!

Originally Posted By: jeff78
Agreed with Linctex, you likely can't go wrong with a 15W-40 for overall availability/cost/performance. Rotella T4 will even meet JASO MA/MA2.


I've been considering T4. Shell's website says "Shell ROTELLA® T4 Triple Protection shows significantly improved resistance to oil breakdown under high temperatures." I'm hoping this will allow me to stretch that 40C/104F limit on 40 weight oils to whatever we get. You'd think a water cooled motorcycle wouldn't be so critical of ambient temperatures!

Thanks to all who responded.

- Arved


'17 Kawasaki Ninja 300 ABS
'07 Mazda MX-5 Grand Touring
'95 Toyota Pickup (22RE)
'99 Honda VT1100C3 Shadow Aero
Re: Micro-Ninja Oil [Re: Arved] #4637771
01/17/18 02:57 PM
01/17/18 02:57 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 5,359
Fort Lauderdale, FL
DoubleWasp Offline
DoubleWasp  Offline
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 5,359
Fort Lauderdale, FL
There are a ton of wet clutch compatible MC oils out there. Just run one of them. Forget the V-Twin label nonsense. If it's an MC oil and wet clutch rated, just run it. Your bike wont care what the name of the oil is.

I've run Valvoline MC 20/50 in my KTM, and have had no issues with my wet clutch.


07 Lincoln Navigator M1 0w-40/FU
68 Charger R/T / Supercharged 440 VR1/DBL7349
07 Ram 3500 4x4 / Cummins 6.7 /DBL7349
17 Maserati GranTurismo Cabrio
Re: Micro-Ninja Oil [Re: Arved] #4637819
01/17/18 03:58 PM
01/17/18 03:58 PM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 663
NJ, USA
MotoTribologist Offline
MotoTribologist  Offline
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 663
NJ, USA
Originally Posted By: Arved
I've been considering T4. Shell's website says "Shell ROTELLA® T4 Triple Protection shows significantly improved resistance to oil breakdown under high temperatures." I'm hoping this will allow me to stretch that 40C/104F limit on 40 weight oils to whatever we get. You'd think a water cooled motorcycle wouldn't be so critical of ambient temperatures!

The water-cooled aspect does not affect the temperature at start-up which is the main reason why they recommend different grades for different temperatures.

Re: Micro-Ninja Oil [Re: Arved] #4637881
01/17/18 05:17 PM
01/17/18 05:17 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 5,359
Fort Lauderdale, FL
DoubleWasp Offline
DoubleWasp  Offline
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 5,359
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Kawi knows something about that engine that we do not.

I'd honor their rec of 20/50 for the temp.


07 Lincoln Navigator M1 0w-40/FU
68 Charger R/T / Supercharged 440 VR1/DBL7349
07 Ram 3500 4x4 / Cummins 6.7 /DBL7349
17 Maserati GranTurismo Cabrio
Re: Micro-Ninja Oil [Re: Arved] #4638380
01/18/18 02:41 AM
01/18/18 02:41 AM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 151
California
David_g Offline
David_g  Offline
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 151
California
Originally Posted By: Arved
You'd think a water cooled motorcycle wouldn't be so critical of ambient temperatures!

Yeah I wondered about that on this forum last Summer: https://bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/4453712/1

A few weeks later I had a tour planned on that bike, and the fact that I was using the recommended for all temperatures 10W30 and it was 43.5C ambient when I was about to depart (it reached 46.5C according to my bike on the first segment of the ride) was one of a few reason I switched bikes last minute (to my BMW boxer running 15W50). I could barely wrap my head around 10W30 protecting the gearbox at normal temperatures, and it didn't seem prudent to use in that heat.

As far as your bike, I'm in the xW50 camp if you expect to operate in that temperature range during the oil change interval. I've likely violated such recommendations in the past (having xW40 in a bike when it's 41C for example). But for me, until last Summer at least such temperatures were uncommon. And I'd never ridden in as hot conditions as on the start of that trip.


2007 BMW R1200R (Mobil 1 15W50, Red Line Shockproof Heavy, Supertech 75W90)
2016 Honda Africa Twin DCT (Motul 5100 10W40)
Re: Micro-Ninja Oil [Re: Arved] #4638497
01/18/18 09:06 AM
01/18/18 09:06 AM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,947
Cedar Park, TX
sunruh Offline
sunruh  Offline
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,947
Cedar Park, TX
there are a few 10w40s that will live for very long (2k mi) in that motor and not turn into water.
finding them is not worth the effort.
srt 15w40 or supertech 15w40 is right there on the self at wallyworld for $14 a gallon and available at
any store you can ride to and most open 24hrs a day.
change it when your left foot thinks it is time and enjoy the ride.

and fyi, it was 12F here in cental texas yesterday. record for the day and coldest we've had in 7+ years.
back to 70 or 71 on saturday though!


motorcycle oil myth buster
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