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What is the consensus regarding 10W40 vs 20W40?
Above freezing temperatures there is little difference between 5W, 10W, 15W, and 20W. There is difference but very little.

The definition of 10W is, "an oil which usefully flows at the same cold temperatures as a 10 weight oil." The W rating is assigned based on the temperature, not the viscosity at a common temperature such as 32°F or 0°F.

To create a 10W-40 oil traditionally a 10 weight oil is used then Viscosity Improvers are added to keep the oil from thinning no more than a 40 weight oil would air 212°F. Note that at 10W temperature the oil has a much higher viscosity than at the 40 weight rating temperature. The oil doesn't get thicker as it warms, it only doesn't get thin as fast as a 10 weight.

There is no definition of viscosity between cold and hot. There is no definition above or below the extremes. Marketers of synthetic leave this to your imagination. "Of course we are better! We are synthetic!"

Viscosity Improvers are weaker than base oils. Fewer are needed for 20W-40 than 10W-40 when using same quality of base oil. This drives the 'diesel" convention of 15W-40, that it should stay in grade longer with a 25 point spread than 10W-40 with 30 point spread.

We have no idea how much VI is used in any oil. Is said synthetic base oils can be made to span common multi-viscosity ranges. But once again we have no idea whether whether a superior base oil was used or VI when oil is sold as synthetic.
 
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Yeah, I have been happy with the 10W40. Had no issues shifting, oil leaking, or engine issues.

I was just wondering...
 
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Not specifically 10w40 in the O/M. Yamaha shows a selection of viscosities and the temperature range graph. See 9-1 from 2013 O/M link below.
Friend of mine has 2019 and his O/M shows same as 2013 graph.

2012 O/M was the last year Yamaha actually listed 20w40 or 20w50 though.

https://dd5394a0b8ca8e97ba29-abf76f...ls/2013/2013_FJR1300_LIT-11626-26-45_2044.pdf
That's correct, of course. :) I should have said that that one of the acceptable grades is 10w40. I do use 10w40 in both bikes.

Actually, my manual list 20w40 and 20w50 as acceptable.
 

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I did notice a difference pouring 20W vs. 10W when filling the bike (same brand oil). Also I got ticking when starting cold (say 50F or lower), I did not like that when the idea should be for the oil to reach all areas as quickly as possible on startup. I blended the two (call it 15W45 if you like), ticking stopped, but later just said use 10W40. Why have two cases/grades around when it's not necessary.

Have not noticed any ill effects in clutch or shifting..... carry on. Refilling popcorn bag.....
 

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I did notice a difference pouring 20W vs. 10W when filling the bike (same brand oil). Also I got ticking when starting cold (say 50F or lower), I did not like that when the idea should be for the oil to reach all areas as quickly as possible on startup. I blended the two (call it 15W45 if you like), ticking stopped, but later just said use 10W40. Why have two cases/grades around when it's not necessary.

Have not noticed any ill effects in clutch or shifting..... carry on. Refilling popcorn bag.....
At 50°F and below my GL1800 shifted stiffer the first 0.3 miles with 15W-40 vs 5W-40 Rotella-T.
 

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I have a more interesting perspective on viscosity, I have tested many samples from multiple drums with a state of the art viscometer. I would say that the advertised viscosity is actually more of a suggestion and not a hard & fast rule. A barrel of advertised 10w-40 may actually test more like a 5w-50 and the barrel of the same viscosity rating sitting next to it from another batch something different. Each manufacturer picks their viscosity rating at a certain temperature but still vary quite a bit.

I’ll also add that with out a doubt any of the major brand “synthetics” will outperform any of the “Dino” based oils for temperature, varnish and wear with the Ester based synthetics at the top. I have personally tested & measured things for this testing and there is a difference.
 

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It is natural for shifting to be a little stiffer when cold, as well as a touch more clutch drag until things warm up a couple or so miles down the road.
Akin to fork oil, perhaps there is a Centistoke scale for motor oils of various brands?
 

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How many times do you shift in the first 3/10s of a mile?
At least from 1 to 2, maybe up to 3rd onto 25 MPH residential road. Then back to 1st at intersection of 45 MPH road. About that time everything was well lubed and shifting as well as a GL1800 ever shifts (like a big truck). The Walmart gas pump is 0.7 miles from my carport but it wasn't there when I had a GL1800.

So yes, no expense is too great to slightly improve 2 to 4 shifts per cold ride!
 

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It is natural for shifting to be a little stiffer when cold, as well as a touch more clutch drag until things warm up a couple or so miles down the road.
Akin to fork oil, perhaps there is a Centistoke scale for motor oils of various brands?
Ray, there is a national standard for motor oil viscosity (centistokes) but I think (my opinion) production tolerances get in the way and it does vary a fair amount manufacturer to manufacturer and batch to batch. That doesn't necessarily make the product bad, just not as advertised like so many things these days.
 

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Again-- this thread is CLEARLY titled the ENGINE oil thread. Let's keep it on topic. If you wish to discuss something else please use an appropriate existing thread or start a new one.

Thank you.
 

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But Russ, I really wanna know what tires you use 🤔🤔😁😁😁😁😁

Just messin with you of course ! Just gotta some times, have a good Wednesday !
 

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I think there is an allowable range of viscosities that can be considered a 20, a 30, etc., and it's possible that the upper end of one range might be very close to the lower end of the other.

I think it's evident that maybe it's not as critical as many of us try to make it -- including me. Otherwise, how would so many people second guess the manufacturers and use thicker than suggested oils for decades with no problems?

At least Yamaha give us a range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #94 · (Edited)
So reading about synthetic oil and trying to compare oils I find that some oils use the words “100% ester”. I realize there are no standards for synthetic oils in the US but does 100% ester imply 100% synthetic base? And what the heck is 4T? Some oils are 4T some are not even some Yamalube full synthetics are labeled 4T while others are not. From what I’ve read I believe Motul uses a vegetable oil base? Amsoil and Motorex seem to be more elusive as to what base stock they use. I do know that from personal experience Motorex turns dark faster than other oils. I have been told that may be a sign of higher detergent content but I have no idea if it’s true or if that’s a good or bad thing. I know that at the end of the day good oil is good oil and there’s very little to be gained between brands but it is interesting to try and compare and frustrating as **** trying to get info from the manufacturers. If transparency is a good thing the Motul seems to publish the most info about their products.
 

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My previous ride had and oil pressure gauge. I could see how low the psi was in extreme heat. I have the Yamaha factory service manual. Says 20w50 is the recommended oil viscosity. But the sticker under the seat says 20w40. I will go with the manual. I use 90% of the time Mobil1 20-50. I may mix in 1qt. 10-40 for cold temps if I expect I will ride a lot below 50F. I have also used Ducati 15-50 shell syn. w/o anything bad to say.
 

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So reading about synthetic oil and trying to compare oils I find that some oils use the words "100% ester". I realize there are no standards for synthetic oils in the US but does 100% ester imply 100% synthetic base? And what the heck is 4T? Some oils are 4T some are not even some Yamalube full synthetics are labeled 4T while others are not. From what I've read I believe Motul uses a vegetable oil base? Amsoil and Motorex seem to be more elusive as to what base stock they use. I do know that from personal experience Motorex turns dark faster than other oils. I have been told that may be a sign of higher detergent content but I have no idea if it's true or if that's a good or bad thing. I know that at the end of the day good oil is good oil and there's very little to be gained between brands but it is interesting to try and compare and frustrating as **** trying to get info from the manufacturers. If transparency is a good thing the Motul seems to publish the most info about their products.
Donk, my take & understanding is that an Ester based synthetic is considered a premium synthetic. The Yamalube 15w-50 I use is labeled as such, the cost generally reflects that and the Yamalube syn I use is usually around $15/qrt. Whereas the Mobil1 oils & their equivalents are made from a lot of the common oil base stocks, so much less expensive.

4t imho defines it being for a 4 stroke application I believe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #97 ·
For what it’s worth I was in WMR a KTM race shop in Stuart FL the other day. They build race engines for top racers across the country so thought I’d ask them what oil they recommend. They actually have racks of race engines that have been shipped in and going out. I thought because they are a KTM dealer they would say Motorex or maybe Motul because it’s seems to be the “boutique” race oil of choice. The answer........drum roll please was, “Spectro is the only oil we use in all our engines. Both our own lab testing and real world race results have proven it as a good oil”. I never saw that answer coming. What I liked about the answer was “it’s a good oil” not better than this or better than that. Was an answer I could get behind. Made right here in the USA too
 

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I fell off my chair! Good place to ask that question, Donk.

This is just the funny side of me..... (No answer required, just to continue this oil thread Ha!) Do they use the street 4 stroke or the off-road 4 stroke.... or the heavy duty v-twin. If they use the street 4-stroke, do they use the Platinum 4 or the Golden.... or the silver???? LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #99 ·
Does an oil thread need help being kept alive?(joke). Actually in my stupidity I asked which oil for 4 strokes and was told “full synthetic the weight depends on the engine specs”. I know from personal experience many KTMs spec 10W50 full synthetic but that has nothing to do with any other manufacturer. As for 2 stroke I didn't ask and don’t really care, 2 strokes have never been my thing.

So as Paul Harvey used to say, here’s the rest of the story. I went to Specto’s website looked up their Platinum synthetic. I think the wording was “premium synthetic” didn’t see the word ester anywhere didn’t see 4T anywhere. I don’t know where that puts it in the grand oil scheme. Pretty sure it doesn’t matter either!
 

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Does an oil thread need help being kept alive?(joke). Actually in my stupidity I asked which oil for 4 strokes and was told "full synthetic the weight depends on the engine specs". I know from personal experience many KTMs spec 10W50 full synthetic but that has nothing to do with any other manufacturer. As for 2 stroke I didn't ask and don't really care, 2 strokes have never been my thing.

So as Paul Harvey used to say, here's the rest of the story. I went to Specto's website looked up their Platinum synthetic. I think the wording was "premium synthetic" didn't see the word ester anywhere didn't see 4T anywhere. I don't know where that puts it in the grand oil scheme. Pretty sure it doesn't matter either!
I think we do tend to overthink it. Most of us could buy a new bike, change the oil as specified using any brand of oil that meets the specs, and the bikes would serve us fine as long as we own them. For instance, I used plain old Pennzoil for decades before going to Amsoil and never had any problems that I'd consider to be oil related.

We come to these forums and argue oil nonstop, and how often will anyone tell you they had ever been wrong? Virtually everyone says they've used what they used on the interval they chose, and it works well for them -- everything works.
 
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