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Questions & validation about using HDEO #4805236 07/04/18 05:55 PM
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Goodkat Offline OP
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The bikes: 08 DR650, 14 DL1000, 14 Honda CTX700, & a Honda 82 CX500 Custom.

Is it recommended to run full syn or conv. in air cooled bikes? How about full syn vs conv. in water cooled bikes? I've read conflicting opinions on both and I'm slightly confused...

I was hesitant about using the heavy duty oils in a motorcycle but after a couple years of reading about it I decided to try it. I decided on Delvac 1300 15w-40 because it presumably is more shear stable than 5w-40. Both the CTX700 and DL1000 are low miles and basically new leftovers. There is less than 5k miles on both. I switched both over to 1300 Super and so far things seem fine. No clutch slippage and in general can't complain about performance on any of the bikes. These are our touring and leisure bikes for riding around upper Michigan, Wisconsin, etc. We don't ride until temps are in the low to mid 40's. Shifting seems fine on all bikes also and any missed shifts are operator error. We have no problem finding neutral on any of the bikes and we're not experiencing any oil consumption.

I was planning on running the 1300 Super in all our bikes with OCI's around 3500-4000 miles. I have 3500 miles on the 1300 Super in my DL1000 now and shifting still feels great. I've put full syn motorcycle oil in an XSR900 and 14 Valkyrie I had and honestly couldn't tell a difference. I'm starting to be a convert to the HDEO in motorcycles.

Should I really be concerned about using conv. in our water cooled bikes vs full syn?

I would like full syn in our newer bikes but I'm not sure I'm convinced on the 5w-40 and the 15w-40 gives me more of a warm fuzzy feeling based off of what I've researched. Some say that the tighter tolerances of newer water cooled bikes should have full syn. I bought the DR650 last year with 28k miles on it and it had Amsoil ran through it. I read conflicting opinions on full syn for air cooled bikes so I'm not sure what to stick with in that bike. Some say conv. and some declare full syn is better.

Should I just stick with Delvac 1300 15w-40 in everything? It would make things simple and cheap.

I'm curious about Delvac 1 ESP 5W-40 but there aren't as many accounts of people it as there are T6 and I'm still not quite sold on 5w-40.

Thanks in advance....

Last edited by Goodkat; 07/04/18 05:56 PM.
Re: Questions & validation about using HDEO [Re: Goodkat] #4805257 07/04/18 06:41 PM
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Hammehead Offline
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I like fully syn with PAO that can handle a wider spread VI, like a 15w50 or even a good 10w60 bike oils that are called "race" oil, having a good PI package (specially detergents).


ToYota Corolla XEI 2010 1zzfe
Kawasaki Ninja ZX9R B4
Taurus GL Vulcan
Citroen C5 phase I
I used to use syn, now whatever is on sale and never had problems. This noob knows stuff.
Re: Questions & validation about using HDEO [Re: Goodkat] #4805310 07/04/18 08:30 PM
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donnyj08 Offline
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I have an XSR900 and have ran Delvac 1300, Rotella, Shell Advance 4T 10w40 and all run great.

HDEO works great in all motorcycles. Use Delvac or Rotella with confidence! If specs matter to you Rotella meets JASO MA/MA2.

Last edited by donnyj08; 07/04/18 08:33 PM.

2008 Silverado Z71 LT 98k Maxlife FS 5w30
2010 Ford Escape 196k QSUD 5w20
2016 Yamaha XSR900 13k, Spectro 10w40, Yamaha Filter.
Re: Questions & validation about using HDEO [Re: Goodkat] #4805637 07/05/18 09:55 AM
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Brian553 Offline
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Another note:
Allison TES-439 spec is met for Delo XLE 15w40 and Rotella T4. I do believe that most CK-4 rated HDEO will get close to the TES-439 spec anyway (not that it's needed.) Shear stability tends to be a bigger concern to people, but is still well met now. OTOH, I think going with Gr3, PAO, or especially ester content may help with wicking away point-of-friction heat, thus overall cylinder and transmission heat. HDEOs keep themselves plenty clean in a motorcycle. All the bikes you listed are pretty well cool-running and low revving, except maybe the DL1000. Another note is that HDEO are more than fine until you reach freezing or below freezing temps. But honestly, if [if ] I drove in those temps, I would be putting synthetic oil in it, not really for the pumpability or whatever, but because I don't want to change my oil in those months/weather. Forget that!

Re: Questions & validation about using HDEO [Re: donnyj08] #4805802 07/05/18 12:35 PM
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02SE Offline
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Originally Posted By: donnyj08
I have an XSR900 and have ran Delvac 1300, Rotella, Shell Advance 4T 10w40 and all run great.

HDEO works great in all motorcycles. Use Delvac or Rotella with confidence! If specs matter to you Rotella meets JASO MA/MA2.


If only that were true. I and many others on this board have had less than stellar results with HDEO's in Motorcycles. If they offer acceptable performance for you and others, that's great, you can save some money on oil changes.

Re: Questions & validation about using HDEO [Re: Goodkat] #4806526 07/06/18 08:01 AM
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MichiganMadMan Offline
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Hey Goodkat,
I have a 2012 NC700X (same powertrain as your CTX700) that has had Rotella from the time I bought it. When I first got it, I ran T5 10W-30 for a couple short intervals while it was breaking in, and later on 15W-40 for some longer trips. I stocked up on HDEO when the early reports of CK-4 causing issues first came around.

Before that I ran Rotella T6 5W-40 in my Hayabusa, VFR 700, DR-650, everything. Some riders have experienced shear issues with this oil leading to hard shifting but I never did, they shifted just as well at the end of service as at the beginning. I have a policy of changing oil in the fall when I "put them to bed" for the winter, so I never had more than a year on any oil change. My OCI weren't as high.


2015 Chevrolet Impala
2011 E-350
2008 Subaru Impreza STI
2012 Honda NC700X
2011 Jonsered 2188 Chainsaw-The Judge.
Re: Questions & validation about using HDEO [Re: MichiganMadMan] #4806558 07/06/18 08:35 AM
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krismoriah72 Offline
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Here are VOAs of the most current Delvac and Rotella 15w40s.

http://pqiadata.org/Mobil_Delvac_15W40_4192017.html

http://pqiadata.org/Shell_Rotella_T4_15W40_4192017.html

IMHO you get more for your money on the Rotella with the warm fuzzy feeling that Rotella has JASO MA listed on the Jug.

With that being said.. Delvac is $13/Gallon.. Valvoline 10w40 and 20w50 Motorcycle oil is $18/gallon at Walmart.

I have used Rotella 15w40 and 5w40 with no complaints.. i am going to try Valvoline MC on my next change..im sure there will be little difference.

Re: Questions & validation about using HDEO [Re: Goodkat] #4806738 07/06/18 11:53 AM
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Goodkat Offline OP
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Thanks for all the input and of your experiences. Yesterday I decided to try Valvoline 10w-40 conventional motorcycle oil in my Vstrom 1000 because I've been curious about that oil for a while now. First impressions are meh. It honestly doesn't feel an better than Delvac in this bike. I think I actually preferred how the Delvac felt. I think the next oil to go in will be Delvac again or maybe I'll try Rotella T4. I like Shell products and prefer them in our cars.

MichiganMadMan, I'm also going to be changing the oil and filter before storage. It's good practice and that's another reason why I'm leaning towards cheaper oil. I think I'm going to change the filter before storage then probably just change the oil durring the following summer. I use a WIX on my bike and the CTX700 gets a Honda filter. If I do oil changes at around 3500 miles. I'm thinking it may be wasteful to change filters with only 3500 miles on them?

Re: Questions & validation about using HDEO [Re: Goodkat] #4807111 07/06/18 08:15 PM
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BrocLuno Offline
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Been riding a slew of bikes for over 50 years now and only few have had anything other than HDEO. Water cooled bike stay in a nice temp range. Even air cooled bikes with enough sump capacity do fine on HDEO.

The only 4 strokes that I put anything fancy in are the desert race bikes (Motul 300v, or Redline). Since I'm older now, I do not run as hard as I used to so the XL may get changed to HDEO too.

As long as the sifts are smooth, the oil is holding up fine. If they get notchy or neutral is hard to fine, time to change oil. Not formula, just the used stuff in there.

HDEO has been keeping bikes on the road like for ever. If it passes Allison shared sump use test, it's about as durable oil as you can get smile

Filters can usually go every other change unless you smell gas in the oil ...

Last edited by BrocLuno; 07/06/18 08:17 PM.

Formerly in marine engineering. In an earlier life I owned my own petroleum tank truck, and hauled for the majors and independent's.
Re: Questions & validation about using HDEO [Re: Goodkat] #4807872 07/07/18 06:01 PM
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MichiganMadMan Offline
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If I don't change the filter with every oil change on a bike, I won't remember next year. With my luck, there will be a 5 year old filter on there when the engine lets go because it's bypassing all the time. Also on my NC, the filter is in "the line of fire" of garbage being kicked up from the road by the front tire. Depending on how many backroads I go down (my natural environment on a bike), it can get pretty dinged up. Not sure I want to risk it for another year.

It's funny you mention that your CTX gets a Honda filter, I run Wix on mine. I looked up the part number on the Wix site and then bought them when I had a RockAuto order for something car related.

Ride safe.


2015 Chevrolet Impala
2011 E-350
2008 Subaru Impreza STI
2012 Honda NC700X
2011 Jonsered 2188 Chainsaw-The Judge.
Re: Questions & validation about using HDEO [Re: Goodkat] #4808229 07/08/18 09:59 AM
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alarmguy Offline
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Conventional Valvoline 4 Stroke motorcycle oil in whatever weight your bike requires is fine.
10/40 or 20/50, if you have the option and always ride above 50 degrees go with the 20/50.
It will hold viscosity well, you will love the shifting.
Cost $5 or less a quart in Walmart.

If you want synthetic Same as above but in Valvoline Synthetic motorcycle oil, still reasonably priced.

If you want to run OCIs 5 to 6000 miles go syn, 3000 to 5000 miles conventional. Sometimes actual wear numbers are better with conventional oils but will be less stable (in theory) once you get over 5000 to 6000 miles or so.

Rotella 5/40 in a motorcycle is garbage and most overrated [censored] in these forums.


14 Road King (current)
08 VStar 1300 Tourer
07 Suzuki C50
Re: Questions & validation about using HDEO [Re: alarmguy] #4808269 07/08/18 11:03 AM
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Goodkat Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: alarmguy
Conventional Valvoline 4 Stroke motorcycle oil in whatever weight your bike requires is fine.
10/40 or 20/50, if you have the option and always ride above 50 degrees go with the 20/50.
It will hold viscosity well, you will love the shifting.
Cost $5 or less a quart in Walmart.

If you want synthetic Same as above but in Valvoline Synthetic motorcycle oil, still reasonably priced.

If you want to run OCIs 5 to 6000 miles go syn, 3000 to 5000 miles conventional. Sometimes actual wear numbers are better with conventional oils but will be less stable (in theory) once you get over 5000 to 6000 miles or so.

Rotella 5/40 in a motorcycle is garbage and most overrated [censored] in these forums.


I'll be riding the V Strom at least though October and probably even in to November if it's nice enough so I probably won't be needing 20w-50. Plus it really doesn't get super hot in my region.

Over the couple of years I've frequented this forum I never thought I would read so much or become so interested in oil. It does seem that I've read that conventional can produce a UOA that indicates less wear when compared to full syn. As someone said above none of the bikes I listed are high revving, hot running super bikes. I believe a good conventional 15w-40 with a proper OCI and good filter should be just fine.

I know it's not the best to go by feel but in the case of of the V Strom 1000 there could be some merit. The 1000 has a different clutch basket than the 650 and it's a known issue that 1000 can develope a shudder or knocking in the clutch. There is a company that has a fix for it but they also tested different oils and how they affect the issue. They concluded that 15w-40 and 20w-50 reduced the knocking and shudder while in most cases lower weight oils and full synthetics exaggerated the characteristics of the clutch basket knock. To me, it does seem that the Valvoline 10w-40 is not quite as smooth feeling as the 1300 Super was. I may dump it before my trip in a few days and try RT4. If I can I'll probably try to collect the Valvoline in a clean container and use it in another bike.

Re: Questions & validation about using HDEO [Re: alarmguy] #4808437 07/08/18 03:05 PM
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Lawn_Care Offline
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Originally Posted By: alarmguy
Rotella 5/40 in a motorcycle is garbage and most overrated [censored] in these forums.


In your opinion, which does not match the general consensus here on BITOG.

I've put 14,300 miles on a 50cc engine (Honda Metropolitan) using an almost exclusive diet of of T6. Many others here have had positive experiences with it as well.

Your opinion of T6 does not make it fact.


Last edited by Lawn_Care; 07/08/18 03:07 PM.

True victory does not come from defeating an enemy. True victory comes from giving love and changing an enemies heart.
Re: Questions & validation about using HDEO [Re: Goodkat] #4808682 07/08/18 09:17 PM
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AMC Offline
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I am a big fan of HDEO's in motorcycles also. I changed the oil over to HDEO in my brand new, $17,000 Yamaha at 500 miles and have been running it ever since. Shifting is smooth, there is no valve train noise and I have confidence my engine is protected, no matter how hard I am riding. I have tried Rotella T3 & T6, Delo 400 LE, and Delvac 1300. The only one I didn't care for was the T6. With Rotella T6, The shifting got notchy after 1,000 miles but I am very sure that has to do with the grade of the oil, not the brand or the type. Yamaha engines are known for shearing oil and my engine espically does not do well with all the VI's that are used in 5w-40.


18 Honda CR-V - Mobil-1 AFE 0w-20
17 Ram 1500 SLT - QSUD 5w-20
14 Yamaha Super Tenere - Delo XLE 15w-40
Re: Questions & validation about using HDEO [Re: Goodkat] #4809729 07/09/18 10:27 PM
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TiredTrucker Offline
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I guess the question would be.... what would be the reasoning for using an HDEO over a motor oil specifically made for motorcycles? I understand that some HDEO's would work, but what is the motivation to even go that direction?


Freedom is not about having the choice to do what you want, but the choice to do what you ought.
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