What Oil and Filter?

Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
  • Sponsored Links
Post Reply
Posts: 117
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:24 am
Location: lakewood,wa
Motorcycle: 1984 honda goldwing

What Oil and Filter?

Post by SAILOR » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:00 am

I'm looking to do my first oil change on a GL1200 I just bought. Any suggestions on what oil and oil filter I should be using?

User avatar
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 1:15 pm
Location: West Coast of Canada
Motorcycle: 84 GL 1200I
75 GL 1000 (in pieces)
'02 Gas Gas Trials
'56 Norton 600

Re: What Oil and Filter?

Post by feetup » Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:47 pm

I see this has been up all day and no one has ventured to reply.

The topic of oil type and brand has generated more discussion on the various Goldwing and other motorhead forums on the web than any other, save perhaps the usefulness of deer alerts.
Some advocate the use of motorcycle specific oils, and some say it is just a waste of money.
Almost everyone agrees that you should not use any oil which has friction modifiers, although it has come to light lately that there is no requirement for these to be shown on the label.
The most reliable and educated information I have been able to uncover is to use an oil that is rated no less than what is recommended in the manual, which is API SE / SF. There is some very good information which gives excellent reasons not to use oils rated newer than SG or SH, for the sake of the clutch.
Do not use any friction reducing additive with your oil either.
As far as viscosity, many use 15w 40, some like 20w 50, and some like 10w 40. You will find that oil too thick might make your starter clutch miss occasionally, and oil too thin will make your transmission sound even worse than it already does.
Some hold dearly to fully synthetic oils, some say dino (for dinosaur) oil works just fine for half the price.

Above all these bikes are hard on their oil so regular changes are far more important than which oil you use. The manual recommends oil and filter every 8,000 miles, and many change more often than that. Once you get used to your bike you might find that the transmission starts to sound like a bucket of bolts after 5,000 miles or less and fresh oil really perks thing up. A number of owners use this "sonic technique" for change intervals. After all 4 quarts of oil and an $8 filter is cheap payment for the pleasure we derive from these old machines.

As far as filters go, there are some really bad ones on the market, but you won't go wrong paying a little too much for an genuine Honda filter. Do a web search on oil filters if you have some time and you will get an education in personal tastes and some good hard evidence of the bad and the good. Once again, the key ingredient here is to change it regularly.


Post Reply