With exception, that is exception
, of Shell Rotella T Synthetic 5w/40, avoid all 5w oils, and ALL oils that say the term "energy conserving" in the API donut ring on the bottle label (here in the USA). You don't want to use these on wet-clutch bikes (clutch in same oil bath as the motor oil), "energy conserving" oils have additives that may cause clutch performance problems- i.e. the clutch can't clutch. The energy conserving oils, as a group (there might be exceptions), top out pretty much at or before the 10w/30 weight, 10w/40 and higher you should be fine. As explained here in this series of articles, whenever S-rated oils (light automotive oils) get bumped another letter grade deeper into the alphabet, it is API working with the American auto industry to make lighter weight oils that flow faster inside an engine, using less engine power to pump oil. It isn't necessarily making a better lubricant, it's helping the bloated US car market meet their fed. gov. mandated CAFE standards (corporate average fuel efficiency).
(Note, this chart needs to be upgraded to represent the newest C-rated oil of CJ-4 rating, for low sulfur emissions with the newest grade of diesel engine and fuel technology.)
Scan down the left side index table of this site to "lubricants" to view info on oil filters, too.
Full website with 20 tons of dedicated motorcycle information, including a healthy dose of VStrom info:
Here is the latest API Engine Oil Guide showing the CJ-4 oils, 3 pages in PDF format (updated version of what is in the link above: http://www.api.org/certifications/en...lGuide2006.pdf
C-rated oils are commercial grade oils, typically meant for industrial and diesel applications, and generally have what is now the best parts lubricating additive package of any oil type commonly available at the retail level. C-rated oils are meant first for superior parts lubrication in very high stress environments, and engine efficiency second. This is the opposite of today's S-rated automotive oils, which are designed for engine efficiency first and parts lubrication second. Which do you want, an engine that lasts longer with less internal wear, or an engine that eeks out another couple mpg? Is the fuel savings over the life of the engine greater than the cost to replace parts that could have lived longer with better lubricants?
Motorcycle specific oil was likely at its best additive package and viscosity blend at the SG rating, since then the really good additives that provide superior lubrication have been lessened and lessened, because of pollutant concerns and CAFE standards. There still are a couple SG rated motorcycle oils out there, but they are expensive and can be hard to find (won't be at Auto Zone, etc.)
CI-4 oils (such as Shell Rotella T Synthetic 5w/40) are meant for high speed engine applications, as shown in chart of the 3rd website above. The nice thing about the Rotella (both synthetic 5w/40 and non-syn 15w/40) is that they are available at everyone's favorite Walmart store in gallon jugs for $10-20. SWEET! I've used both of these oils in my VStrom, no complaints yet. Little to no burn off between oil changes and the engine hums along as happy as a clam in the mud. Rotella T 5w/40 Syn. is rated CI-4 Plus, Rotella T 15w/40 non-syn. is rated the newest CJ-4
Shell Rotella T Synthetic 5w/40:
Shell Rotella T 15w40-
In the simplest terms, follow the chart in the owner's manual, along with the text that says use whatever brand/flavor oil you want as long as it's not Energy Conserving. After all, that's what the engineers engineered it for. (It could be 10w/40 pig snot as long as it's not energy conserving.)
Any other questions? Yes, you in the back... Thanks for taking my question- my question is this, why doesn't anyone put even 1/10 of one percent of the thought into automobile oils like they do with motorcycle oils? Thanks.