Correct Synthetic Oil Use

Technical information and Q&A applicable to all years and models of Goldwings
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Correct Synthetic Oil Use

Postby keith01111 » Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:20 pm

I know there has been allot said about synthetic oil in the past and everyone has changed out and had good luck. However, What is a correct Synthetic oil for the 2008 GL 1800 Goldwing, I did some shoppin around and still havn't convinced myself on what is the correct Syn oil to use. My Manual states 10W30 with a API of SJ. All the Syn oils I found were SN and not sure how important this might be as the manual says do not use an oil in the SH or higher range? What is the JASO T 903 Standard? really all comes down to what is a good Syn oil to use to replace dureing the next oil change? Thanks.

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Re: Correct Synthetic Oil Use

Postby landisr » Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:48 pm

Welllll, I can't speak for the 1800 specifically due to the (confusing to me) specs you mentioned. However, I can say without doubt that Shell Rotella and Mobil One full syn has worked wonderfully in my 94A. I bought it new in '95, and it has had one or the other of these oils since it reached 20,000 miles, and it now has 157,000+ and it still purrs like a kitten, original clutch and all. I'm pretty sure that your bike should avoid the energy conserving oils, as they supposedly can mess up the wet clutch. So to be safe, just be sure that you choose an oil that has the second weight greater than 30, ie go with xxW40, 50 or 55. Just look at bottles on the shelves: oils that are, for instance, 10w30 will have the energy star logo on the front of the bottle. None of the 10w40 oils will have it. But I am rambling. I'm sure one or more 1800 owners will chime in here shortly. You might also peruse recent threads on this site, as I'm sure there is much more info.

Good luck, and enjoy that nice bike!
Beam me up, Scotty. There's no intelligent life down here.

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Re: Correct Synthetic Oil Use

Postby themainviking » Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:01 am

The JASO T903 MA/MA2 standards have to do with wet clutch and gear compatibility. If you do not have these shown on the oil then supposedly you should not use them in a GL1800 which has transmission and wet clutch lubed with the same oil as the engine. As far as the SJ standard goes, my understanding is that anything more recent is backward compatible, so an SK, SL, SM, SN, SO etc should be okay to use. As SH is a lesser standard than SJ, that would account for the advisement not to use. Amsoil, Mobile1, Redline, Rotella, Royal Purple, as long as they are specifically for motorcycle use, should all be fine. There is a substance, molybdenum, in some energy conserving oils that will build up on the clutch plates over time, so it is best not to take the chance and use automobile use specific oils. Even one or two of Honda's own HP4 oils containing molybdenum can do this, and so are only recommended for making power, as in crotch rocket racing, where you will be tearing down the engine after a few thousand miles, and either cleaning or replacing the clutch plates. Both 10W30 and 10W40 are perfectly suited to our 1.8 liter six cylinder liquid cooled engines. There has been a question raised about the use of 10W40 in cooler temperatures (below 60F) in that it could cause the sprag clutch on the starter to fail to engage the first time attempted, but if it engages on the second try, I wouldn't worry about it. It is possible that the weight the oil is at these cooler temps might be interfering with the way a sprag clutch operates. When up to temps however, the flow of the oil will clean the rollers in the sprag and coat them so no damage should be forthcoming. Synthetic oils also leave a coating on metal parts which prevents metal to metal contact, thereby lowering any incidence of wear. I personally use and recommend Amsoil, as I have been a dealer since 1975. I am saying this in the interest of honest disclosure, and not to attempt to influence anyone to use a product as endorsed by me. My experience has been that changing oil no matter the brand is preferable to not changing your oil at all - :lol: :lol: :lol:

My only pet peeve is the cheap ass oil filters that come apart in use, leaving residue behind which is then blamed on the oil when the engine fails. Oil filters and helmets have one thing in common. Cheap is cheap. Spend the money - buy a decent oil filter.

Oh, and one more thing... Diesel oil and aircraft oil are sometimes said to be great for use in motorcycles. Nothing could be further from the truth. Aircraft grade oils are fine in air cooled engines of all sorts... Diesel formulated oil is for use in diesel engines - NOWHERE ELSE. I am not saying it could destroy your engine, but it can and will reduce the life. Maybe only from 300K miles to 250K miles, but that means it is not properly protecting the engine.
It ain't about the destination - it's all about the journey


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