SYNTHETIC ENGINE OIL


Information and questions on GL1800 Goldwings (2001-Present)
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detdrbuzzard
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Re: SYNTHETIC ENGINE OIL

Post by detdrbuzzard » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:13 pm



MikeB wrote:That's the answer I was looking for. Thanks.
which answer were you looking for? if you go on the purolator web site they don't recomend using oil filters designed for automotive use on a motorcycle


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Re: SYNTHETIC ENGINE OIL

Post by MikeB » Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:54 pm

The question I posed was " You say that 10W-40 oil is not recommended for the newer wings. Which wings are the newer wings? 2012 and newer or 2001 and newer? ". Since you answered it quite well, I assumed you had read this entire thread and were just posting the yet unanswered question.
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Re: SYNTHETIC ENGINE OIL

Post by teasac69 » Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:40 pm

I have an 05 with only 500 miles on it so I had my local Honda "EXPERT" go through it from stem to stern and evaluate every aspect of it. He recommends that I stay with Honda oil and filters until the miles start to pile up and then switch to synthetic when the tolerances start to loosen up. I don't know Honda well enough yet to form my own opinion but trust my local guy so that's my route at this point.

I'm a newbie here and on this GW so I'm learning all I can. I appreciate all the wisdom shared on this site and will continue to reap it's rewards as long as you share it.

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Re: SYNTHETIC ENGINE OIL

Post by fmcastro » Sun Jul 01, 2012 4:36 am

Your bike must have been ridden only short distances. If the oil has not been changed, I would switch it over to synthetic NOW and then change every 8K. Avoid short rides with a cold engine as condensation is not your engine's friend. Drain your condensate tube, which is a transparent tube with a cap easily pulled down from the front left side of your engine and do it now. You should also change your brake fluid (DOT 4), and look at your tires sidewalls for cracks, replace if necessary. Ride safely!

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Re: SYNTHETIC ENGINE OIL

Post by themainviking » Sun Jul 01, 2012 6:59 am

fmcastro wrote:Your bike must have been ridden only short distances. If the oil has not been changed, I would switch it over to synthetic NOW and then change every 8K. Avoid short rides with a cold engine as condensation is not your engine's friend. Drain your condensate tube, which is a transparent tube with a cap easily pulled down from the front left side of your engine and do it now. You should also change your brake fluid (DOT 4), and look at your tires sidewalls for cracks, replace if necessary. Ride safely!
I sorta, kinda agree with all of what fmcastro has listed here, except the oil, which I would like to qualify a bit more. I do agree you should get an oil change right away, but do not recommend synthetics till you have about 5K to 8K kilometers on the bike (we used to say 6K miles which is about 10K kilometers). Synthetic can be put in the bike earlier with the understanding that you will slow down the break in and ring seating action allowed by dino oil. If you understand that ring seating may take up to 16K kilometers or more on synthetic and are prepared for it, then by all means, change to synthetics. I changed at 1K. I am a retired Amsoil specialist, so I do have some book learnin' and classroom knowledge to add to my experience of how our oils work and I would be very surprised if other synthetics react differently.
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Re: SYNTHETIC ENGINE OIL

Post by 2008retiredplb » Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:44 am

This is another update on my starter problem.
I took a trip to Canada a couple of weeks ago and before I went I changed the oil back from Honda GN4 to AmsOil 10W-40. On the trip it got down to around 50 deg F one night and when I tried to start the bike in the morning the starter problem reoccured. This makes me believe the AmsOil 10W-40 oil is not going to be the oil I will be using. I will on my next oil change, switch to AmsOil 10W-30 oil and check it out to make sure the AmsOil is not the problem and it is only the weight of the oil that is the problem.
I did inform AmsOil about this and they said the would look into this, as they recommend the 10W40 oil in all GL1800's. I do hope they check it out extensively and change their recommendations to meet the specs Honda calls for.
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Re: SYNTHETIC ENGINE OIL

Post by MikeB » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:09 am

I'm confused. What does engine oil have to do with a starter problem?
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Re: SYNTHETIC ENGINE OIL

Post by themainviking » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:50 am

The sprague clutch for the starter lives in the engine oil, as does the tranny clutch, and the transmission. It is a common sump system.

It appears that some GL1800s, 2009 for certain, have a problem if the oil is too heavy a consistency and will not allow the Sprague clutch to engage the starter on the first try. With my 2009, it only happens when it is cool to cold (below about 40 F) and it always engages on the second try. With some bikes it seems to resist engaging at higher temps, and more than the first try. In all cases where this has been noticed, it has been 10W40 synthetic oil in the bike, and when that is removed, and 10W30 replaces it (same oil, just different weight) the problems go away. It would need to be looked into in a lot more depth to discern how far ranging this could be. All I know is that 2008retiredplb and myself both have 2009s and we both had the same oil, and the same problem, which resolved the same way.
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Re: SYNTHETIC ENGINE OIL

Post by MikeB » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:57 am

So, what he is saying is the oil is gumming and not allowing the clutch to release which is preventing the starter from turning over the engine? Somehow I just can't see that happening with 10W40 oil at 50 degrees f.
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Re: SYNTHETIC ENGINE OIL

Post by Northstream » Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:58 pm

It sounds like Amzoil 10-40 may be a problem, anyone have a problem with Rotella ,Mobil 1 or any other 40 wt synthetic oil? Not bashing Amzoil, just asking for first hand knowledge rather than speculation.

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Re: SYNTHETIC ENGINE OIL

Post by themainviking » Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:41 pm

MikeB wrote: Somehow I just can't see that happening with 10W40 oil at 50 degrees f.
So WTF? Do you think we are lying about it? That kinda takes the cake, don't it?
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Re: SYNTHETIC ENGINE OIL

Post by themainviking » Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:58 pm

Northstream wrote:It sounds like Amzoil 10-40 may be a problem, anyone have a problem with Rotella ,Mobil 1 or any other 40 wt synthetic oil? Not bashing Amzoil, just asking for first hand knowledge rather than speculation.
Yes. This is what we believe. I have not personally tried any of the oils you suggest. My only aim here is to clarify. If someone is using Amsoil 10W40 and has this problem, perhaps they should change viscosities, or change brands. I do, incidentally, know of at least 10 GL1800 owners of 2008 and older bikes who are using the 10W40, because they are getting their oil from me, and without any of our symptoms. I changed to Amsoil 10W30 and I am not having any further problems, however, I also have not seen 40F for a while. It will be fall now before I find out if 10W30 also causes the problems. Amsoil has been made aware of this, as 2008retiredplb and myself have both informed them. They will not likely reformulate their lubricants over it, but they may change their specification list for 2009 and newer Honda GL1800s. This is just a matter of editing the search engine for those years of that bike.

The only thing that comes to mind for me, are possible tolerance changes in the sprague system. Synthetics have great shear strength, and perhaps a 10W40 needs just a bit extra crank to break the metal to oil to metal that exists in very tight spaces. Maybe the tolerances were tightened up for 2009 or perhaps this is simply a matter of a couple of bikes getting tolerance levels a bit off. If it can happen with the secondary master cylinder mounting holes, why not here too. We are only two bikes on one forum, although I have read about this problem elsewhere.
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Re: SYNTHETIC ENGINE OIL

Post by MikeB » Sun Jul 01, 2012 3:03 pm

What takes the cake is your attitude Viking. I don't have all the facts and am simply trying to get to the bottom of the issue. You on the other hand, seem to know it all and can not possibly be wrong. I guess that is your right. Good luck with what you believe to be true.
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Re: SYNTHETIC ENGINE OIL

Post by themainviking » Sun Jul 01, 2012 3:21 pm

MikeB wrote:What takes the cake is your attitude Viking. I don't have all the facts and am simply trying to get to the bottom of the issue. You on the other hand, seem to know it all and can not possibly be wrong. I guess that is your right. Good luck with what you believe to be true.
Perhaps you should ask questions then instead of intimating that what you are reading is less than true. I am fully willing to provide any information I may have, which definitely is not all the information there is to be had. If you have more, add it. If not, don't accuse me of attitude problems. As far as getting to "the bottom" of the issue, if none of us with the problem can, then how are you expecting us to help you get there. If I read it correctly, you don't have this problem with your bike. Am I correct in this? As far as the theory that the best defence is a good offence -- it is not necessary here. No one was attacking you.
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Re: SYNTHETIC ENGINE OIL

Post by teasac69 » Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:34 pm

themainviking wrote:
fmcastro wrote:Your bike must have been ridden only short distances. If the oil has not been changed, I would switch it over to synthetic NOW and then change every 8K. Avoid short rides with a cold engine as condensation is not your engine's friend. Drain your condensate tube, which is a transparent tube with a cap easily pulled down from the front left side of your engine and do it now. You should also change your brake fluid (DOT 4), and look at your tires sidewalls for cracks, replace if necessary. Ride safely!
I sorta, kinda agree with all of what fmcastro has listed here, except the oil, which I would like to qualify a bit more. I do agree you should get an oil change right away, but do not recommend synthetics till you have about 5K to 8K kilometers on the bike (we used to say 6K miles which is about 10K kilometers). Synthetic can be put in the bike earlier with the understanding that you will slow down the break in and ring seating action allowed by dino oil. If you understand that ring seating may take up to 16K kilometers or more on synthetic and are prepared for it, then by all means, change to synthetics. I changed at 1K. I am a retired Amsoil specialist, so I do have some book learnin' and classroom knowledge to add to my experience of how our oils work and I would be very surprised if other synthetics react differently.
Thanks for the tips. I did have the bike carefully examined, fluids changed, tires tested and inspected, everything that moves was checked out. (plus they did the brake recall and had no issues). it was all A-OK and is running and riding fine. I am going to wait on the synthetic until my mech recommends and I think that's about 10k or so but we're using dino until then.

I enjoy reading the posts on this site. thanks for sharing.

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Re: SYNTHETIC ENGINE OIL

Post by 2008retiredplb » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:26 am

MikeB wrote:So, what he is saying is the oil is gumming and not allowing the clutch to release which is preventing the starter from turning over the engine? Somehow I just can't see that happening with 10W40 oil at 50 degrees f.
It is not gumming up the the starter, it will not allow the starter to engage because the oil is to heavy at lower temperatures. As for happening at 50 deg f. It was happening even at 70 deg while in the heated shop at the dealer. If you read my earlier posts on this you will see that the 2009 and newer GL1800 (this problem does not occur in models earlier than 2009) oil specifications changed from 10W-40 to 10W-30 because Honda was having a problem with this and by changing to a lighter weight oil. It doesn't make a difference what brand of oil but it does make a difference in weight of the oil. Below is a copy of the June 19, 2012 email I received from AmsOil technical service department.

Gene,

Thank you for updating us regarding the starting issues on your Goldwing.

Reviewing the forums and some of the comments posted concerning this issue, it appears there are several that discuss the possibility of oil contamination, such as condensation, building up. Others have felt that it is the viscosity of the engine oil that is affecting performance (too thick of a viscosity in colder temperatures). Due to this occurring when temperatures are low, it most likely is related to the viscosity of the oil. The AMSOIL 10W-30 may help to improve this due to it having a lower viscosity in contrast to the 10W-40.

I will forward your comments to our powersports department for them to consider when making oil recommendations for this Goldwing application.

Darryn Wallace
Sr. Technical Service Representative


The first thing everyone wanted to blame is oil contamination. But I do keep my oil clean and change Oil and filter at or around 5k. My trips are mostly trips of 50 to 100 miles or longer. So condensation should not be a problem. If it was anything other than oil viscosity the problem would have continued when I changed the oil from AmsOil 10W-40 to Honda GN4 10W-30. As soon as I changed the oil last winter with temperatures in my garage of 40 deg and higher, the problem stopped. Then before I took this trip in June, I changed back to AmsOil 10W-40 and the problem resurfaced the morning it got down to 50 deg. Since it is warmer now I will wait until my next oil change to switch to AmsOil 10W-30.
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Re: SYNTHETIC ENGINE OIL

Post by 2008retiredplb » Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:28 am

Northstream wrote:It sounds like Amzoil 10-40 may be a problem, anyone have a problem with Rotella ,Mobil 1 or any other 40 wt synthetic oil? Not bashing Amzoil, just asking for first hand knowledge rather than speculation.
I don't think it is a problem with AmsOil but a problem with 10W-40 viscosity oils. But only in the 2009 and newer GL1800 goldwing models. After much investigation on this matter I have found a couple of things out from people on this board and Honda dealers. First is the fact that the owners manual states the oil specification for the 2009 and newer models has been changed to 10W-30. All the older GL1800 models spec 10W-40. I do not know what the GL1500's or earlier model goldwing's spec.
This problem with the starter seems to be specific to GL1800 model and is not widely experienced or admitted by those that have been using 10W-40 oil. I do know, I did not check the owners manual on the specifications because I owned a 2001 GL1800 and have others that I supply oil to, that have older than 2009 GL1800's, and none of the bikes experienced this problem. It was only after around 25k on my 2009 that this problem with the starter showed up and the investigation proved it was the viscosity of the oil that made the difference.
The problem went away as soon as I changed to 10W-30 oil. It reoccurred when I tried to go back to 10W-40. I now will be using the 10W-30 oil.
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Re: SYNTHETIC ENGINE OIL

Post by Northstream » Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:10 pm

"The problem went away as soon as I changed to 10W-30 oil. It reoccurred when I tried to go back to 10W-40. I now will be using the 10W-30 oil."

Which 10w-40 product? Amsoil? I am only reading about Amsoil being associated with the reverse issue. Formulations are different, meeting the same OEM spec does not mean identical. I run syn Rotella in my 7.3 powerstroke, my construction generators, my wifes mini van and my honda 40 HP outboard, I am very confident in the Rotella and will run it in my goldwing unless someone posts about Rotella and a reverse problem in the newer bikes.

Did I miss a poster running Rotella who had reverse issues?

I have read my manual and yes the 10w-30 is recommended, however, my 2010 manual still has the chart showing 10w-40 for warmer conditions. Thanks

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Re: SYNTHETIC ENGINE OIL

Post by themainviking » Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:01 pm

Northstream wrote:Did I miss a poster running Rotella who had reverse issues?
Nope. You did not miss anything as far as I know. The only problems that have been discussed here have been 2009 bikes and 10W40 AMSOIL. Let us know if you have any trouble with your bike on Rotella. Thanks.
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Re: SYNTHETIC ENGINE OIL

Post by 2008retiredplb » Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:52 am

Northstream wrote:"The problem went away as soon as I changed to 10W-30 oil. It reoccurred when I tried to go back to 10W-40. I now will be using the 10W-30 oil."

Which 10w-40 product? Amsoil? I am only reading about Amsoil being associated with the reverse issue. Formulations are different, meeting the same OEM spec does not mean identical. I run syn Rotella in my 7.3 powerstroke, my construction generators, my wifes mini van and my honda 40 HP outboard, I am very confident in the Rotella and will run it in my goldwing unless someone posts about Rotella and a reverse problem in the newer bikes.

Did I miss a poster running Rotella who had reverse issues?

I have read my manual and yes the 10w-30 is recommended, however, my 2010 manual still has the chart showing 10w-40 for warmer conditions. Thanks
I far as I know, no one has reported this problem other than "Myself" and "themainviking". But as the problem got worse, it seemed to happen at temps above 50 deg. I know it was 65 to 70 deg in the dealers shop and it happened to them three or four times while there for a few days getting some other service done. The reason I used the 10W-40 oil is because over the life of my 2001 GL1800 (I put over 50K on that bike using the 10W-40), I used that oil and never had a problem, so I continued using it in my 2009 (until the starter problem happened at around 25K). When it happened and continued to happen while getting even worse I posted on this board and some others to see if anyone else was having problems. That is when I took it to my dealer and asked them about it. That is how I found the specifications had changed on the 2009 and newer GL1800's. I understand that it is something to do with the spring that holds the cogs from engaging the engine, it is a very small spring and will not overcome the thickness of the oil (not sure if that explains it clearly).
I have been using "MCF1G-CA 10W-40 AmsOil Synthetic motorcycle oil" (that is the listing for the 1 gallon size). But the 2009 owners manual does specify 10W-30 in the "Quick Reference" Engine Oil section on page 294. Also in the "Specifications" section on page 248 under Fuel & Lubricants (engine oil recommendation) but on page 165 it shows a graph that lists 10W-40 (looks like from around 50 deg and above) and 10W-30 below that.
That is around the low overnight temperature that I had on my last trip to Canada when the starter failed to engage the engine.
I also have contacted AmsOil and they said they would check into the recommendations that AmsOil is listing for the 2009 and newer GL1800's. As of today I checked and they still had the SAE 10W-40 Synthetic Motorcycle Oil (MCFQT) [this is the quart size] recommended for all1800 Goldwing's.

I can't give you any other information than the experience I have had with my Goldwing's and the oil I have used. I know nothing about other brands of oil and how they will act in this situation, but if you are using 10W-40 oil in your 2009 and newer Goldwing and take it to the dealer for service on an oil related problem, Honda will ask what oil you are using and if it is not 10W-30 oil (doesn't make any difference if it is synthetic or not), they may (and most likely) not cover the repairs under the warranty. Those are the facts I have compiled over the last two years of my experience with oil and Goldwing's.
It is the reason I use these boards, to gather and share information about Goldwing's.
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Re: SYNTHETIC ENGINE OIL

Post by 2008retiredplb » Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:05 pm

I have received this communication from AmsOil in response to my questions about what viscosity of oil to use in the 2009 and newer Goldwing's, after the problems I experienced with the starter failing to engage the engine.

Dear AMSOIL Customer,

You are correct that we should list 10W-30 as the primary recommendation for 2009-and newer Gold Wings. Honda owner’s manuals are not clear on what the specific temperature thresholds are for either viscosity, but they do state that in higher temperatures, 10W-40 can and should be used. Below is a graphic from a 2010 Gold Wing manual that shows the 50˚F range right in the middle of both viscosities. We will make the change for 2009 and newer to list 10W-30 as the primary recommendation and 10W-40 as secondary.

(The chart can be seen on page 165, Servicing your Honda section, of the 2009 owners manual)

Best regards,
Curt

Curt Moe
Product Specialist- Powersports

AMSOIL INC.
ADDRESS: 1 AMSOIL Center, Superior, WI 54880
E-MAIL: cmoe@amsoil.com
PHONE: 715-399-6332
FAX: 715-392-3097
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Re: SYNTHETIC ENGINE OIL

Post by MRRKO » Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:17 pm

Here is my plan... I bought 3 gal of Honda GN4 10W-40 dino oil when I bought my wing in June. I changed it before 1K and I will change it a 3K again which will be in the next week. I worked for the Regional Transit Authority for 38 years. We use synthetic transmission oil in the fleet and I was leary at first but over the years, I became totally sold on synthetic oil.

I ran Amsoil 20-50 in my Suzuki GS1100 The bike shifted and ran smoother. I did have a hard time starting on a cool night after sitting out all night. That bike ran hotter and that was the reason for my trying the thicker oil. The dealer said no synthetic in the wing because of wet clutch. I really think some people used the wrong oil and stuck Honda for repair. I will change the oil at 7K and at 10K I will go to Amsoil 10-30. I will continue using Honda OEM filters.I wish I would not have bought the 3 gal because I would be putting the Amsoil in right now. The 10-40 dino oil seems fine in the bike. It has been hot this year. I think the Amsoil will quiet down the trans.

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Re: SYNTHETIC ENGINE OIL

Post by themainviking » Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:54 am

MRRKO wrote:I think the Amsoil will quiet down the trans.
It both does and does not. When my bike is cold, the transmission shifts a bit clunky, and when it warms up it shifts like silk. Then when it gets really hot, it gets a bit balky and sometimes resists shifting into gear at all. Overall, it seems about normal for a motorcycle transmission, and the Amsoil may have helped marginally. The 10W40 Amsoil did help considerably, but as I am no longer using it, I am reporting on how the 10W30 operates.
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Re: SYNTHETIC ENGINE OIL

Post by dragon2000 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:14 am

I was using the Honda regular 10-40W oil in my Wing and like others posted,found the shifting a bit clunky and engine a bit noisey.

I mentioned in a previous post I was going to change to full synthenic and did. Not realizing the 09's forward oil call for 10-30W I put this in before proceeding on my 5K Km trip down to Deals Gap in N.C. All I can say is wow, what a difference. There was a noticeable difference in how it shifted/sounded this time from my trip down there last year.

Where we pay and arm and leg for the Synthenic oil up here in Canada I get mine from the US due to it being almost half price. Where my other ride (Valkyrie) is now on 10-40W semi-synthenic it will soon be making the move to full at its next change interval.

As for filters, I still go with OEM. Like the oil, I don't have a heartache paying half price getting them from south of us.
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Re: SYNTHETIC ENGINE OIL

Post by themainviking » Sun Aug 26, 2012 4:39 pm

dragon2000 wrote:Where we pay and arm and leg for the Synthenic oil up here in Canada I get mine from the US due to it being almost half price.
I do not know what brand of synthetics you are buying dragon, and the only one that I can quote retail prices on both sides of the border is Amsoil. A quart of 10W30 motorcycle oil in the U.S. carries a retail price of $11.20, and in Canada, a bottle the same size with metric numbers on it showing how many milliliters are in it retails for $12.00. As I said, I cannot compare any other brands, as all I deal in is Amsoil, but there I can compare. Taxes/shipping/etc could make up some more of a difference depending on what state you are comparing to what province. If you were lucky enough to compare Alberta to New York, though, Alberta would win. Ontario?, not so much. The bigger corporations in the U.S. ship to U.S. addresses for free or only a small charge. Shipping from the U.S. to Canada is definitely NOT FREE. To get a decent shipping cost, an entire tractor trailer needs to be filled.


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