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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I know everyone has their preferences and there's all the mythology about oil, but I love my old machines, and lets face it, they're not meant to rebuilt. Sure we can and many of us do, but it was never meant to be typical. They were built to be ridden till they die. AAnyway, I used in in an XS400 I owned, that got what I thought was a sticky valve. I had a spare engine so I swapped it out. Anyway a year later as I'm pulling the valve cover to see about the stuck valve, I was amazed at the way after a year of sitting in a barn, the top end of that engine was lubricated like it had run yesterday! I've sworn by it ever since. Trouble is most motorcycle synthetics are crazy costly. That's why I swaer by this stuff:

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(Oh as it turned out, what I thought was a stuck valve probably wasn't cuz it was fine.)

I've heard folks tell me it'll make my clutch slip but thhat's never been my experience. I know it's the kind of thing you really would have had to see to appreciate, but it made me a believer. Unfortunately the local Honda shop closed so I have to wait on a filter till tomorrow before my Nighthawk gets it's first change with synth.

Oh and I forgot the boring video explaining

 

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Rotella T6 is fine to use on wet clutches since it is rated for JASO MA.
 

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...and lets face it, they're not meant to rebuilt. Sure we can and many of us do, but it was never meant to be typical. They were built to be ridden till they die.
I think you're applying modern thinking - you know, where no one rebuilds anything anymore, they just order up a new engine or transmission. If Honda intended them to be "ridden until they die", they would have been considered disposable when they were built... like Harley owners back then thought of them - including the service manager at the H-D dealership where I had to go buy parts for the City of Tampa Police bikes while I was their only mechanic for 12 years, and he told me that if my CBX blew up I couldn't rebuild it - and yet somehow they're still around 45 to 50 years later. Interesting way to prop synthetic oil, but hardly convincing from a quality mass-production mechanical standpoint.
 

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Curious statement "they're not meant to rebuilt. ...................................... They were built to be ridden till they die". I guess this is why Honda originally sold oversize pistons and rings, replacement bearings and all the internal engine parts, many of which are still available 50+ years later. Sorry but I heard this story almost 50 years ago.
As for the Rotella T oil? Lot's of people are using it and love it. Note that the important "JASO MA/MA2" rating is on the label which means it's suitable for motorcycles and wet clutches, I'll stick with the Castrol 4T oil I've been using for the last almost 10 years.
 

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"Ridden untill they die.. not meant to be rebuilt". REALY!?!? Got any Vincent's sitting in your collection you want to dispose of, I know a recycler that will be willing to help out...
Call me an a**hole .. but That has got to be one of the most moronic, ignorant, uninformed, and just (enter your own here), statements I have ever heard regarding old / vintage motors!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
"Ridden untill they die.. not meant to be rebuilt". REALY!?!? Got any Vincent's sitting in your collection you want to dispose of, I know a recycler that will be willing to help out...
Call me an a**hole .. but That has got to be one of the most moronic, ignorant, uninformed, and just (enter your own here), statements I have ever heard regarding old / vintage motors!!
I didn't mean that it isn't worth it, but there's no huge aftermarket industry like with American bikes. NO matter how you guys complain about my statement, the fact remains, the industry support isn't there for old Japanese like there is for American junk. Regardless of superior Japanese design, the lack of interchange, the vast variety of Japanese parts, makes such an industry much more complex and smaller.

The difference in protection is worth it to me. That gallon was $30 and itr should give me almost 2 changes. The protection difference is real and it is a big deal.

I never said they aren't rebuildable or worth it, but it's a fact that it's a much more used part situation and far less common than rebuidling and restoring Harley junk.
 

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So true. Seems to me there is a huge aftermarket parts industry for vintage japanese bikes.
 

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I get what you're saying. I've dug lots of motorcycles and other things out of the junkyard that people threw out because it was easier and maybe cheaper in their eyes to buy new. If every motorcycle ever made was rebuilt.....
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I get what you're saying. I've dug lots of motorcycles and other things out of the junkyard that people threw out because it was easier and maybe cheaper in their eyes to buy new. If every motorcycle ever made was rebuilt.....
I do it too, I've never bought a new bike, 90% of the bikes I've owned were "brought back" That said though I've almost never had to even remove a head. These Japanese machines, if carefd for, can be reliable as hell. That's why I swear by my Rotellla T6 ;)
 

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Not yet,If you build basically the same motorcycle forever it makes it easier for the aftermarket people to fill the gaps for parts not available from the manufacture anymore,unlike the Japanese bikes that have been in a state of constant evolution. It maybe harder to find parts now for some Japanese bikes but the most popular ones have tons of aftermarket parts.Look at Mikes XS site. I'm glad people give up on bikes,so I can add it to my flock.:D:D
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You guys sound like I'm saying it's worthless to rebuild and I'm not. Just saying it is a lot more for the serious than American bikes. Some Japanese bikes are common like XS650s, and lots of aftermarket is made. Try doing the same with my Yami 1974 TX500A (in 75 renamed XS500). Yes there are used bikes and some parts, but it's a lot harder.

I'm just saying after seeing after a year of sitting in a barn, how well lubricated the top end of tht engibne still was gives me a lot of faith in T6 cuz it was T6 I used in that bike. I've had conventional oil machines apart after that long sitting and stuff was basically bone dry. The protection advantage is real and it's a big deal. I'm also pretty reliable about changing my oil, but not as much by mileage as by time. I'm certain my use of synthetic makes a big differenc in protection during the times I put more miles on.

Keeping a machine running without need of rebuild is preferable to me anyway.
 

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I think most of us would like to avoid an engine rebuild if possible. Advantages of synthetic oil aside, I'd guess probably half or more of the older Hondas now in need of rebuild are in that condition not because of some oil disadvantage, but because of the disadvantage of it being owned by someone who had no clue as to the needs and idiosyncrasies of the engine design of the period - and every engine has them, regardless of brand or age. I remember clearly being appalled by some of the design standards in use by Harley when I was hired to work on Tampa's Police bikes in '76 after being indoctrinated into motorcycles with Hondas prior... like the genius idea of relying on crankcase pressure to return oil from lubing the primary chain in a cover where a dry clutch lived and somehow expecting that method to work just fine forever under abusive conditions, which it rarely did, as well as the hardheaded, stubborn factory continuing during that period to solid-mount gas tank halves to the frame right above a solid-mount top motor mount strap that the thrashing engine would break in half like it was a piece of plastic rather than an eighth-inch thick piece of steel, and the increased vibes resulting in regular fuel leaks from the nuts welded into the inside mount areas of the gas tank halves... so yeah, when things evolve slowly, I guess that allows the aftermarket to get up to speed better since back then, many Harley parts fit a span of bikes and engines covering 20 years or more. I'll take my vintage Japanese stuff over industrial equipment-based technology, era for era still further ahead in design and innovation
 

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I've got rotella T6 in my goldwing, whenever it sits more than one or two days the clutch plates stick together. I don't want to destroy the first gear engagement dogs so I start it on the centerstand and free the clutch off before I ride it. That stuff might be great in other bikes, it's coming out of mine at the next oil change.
 

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I started running the T6 in my '06 Royal Star Venture at 9k miles
Clutch started slipping around 20k miles. Not positive that the T6 caused it, but I also noticed the motor seemed noisier. Sold it at 26k miles. I'm not sold on it but it's supposed to be great oil.
 

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So, hu, probably a stupid question but: is there such a thing as an 'ideal' oil for these engines? My NH manual says SAE 10W30 JASO T 903 standard MA. I am not planning on riding below 20F, thank you, :-D so 15W40 Rotella T6 synthetic would be good, right? Is there anything that'd be more recommended?

Right now the oil looks fine but I have no idea how long ago the last oil change was so I'm thinking of doing one relatively soon...
 

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There's the "best oil" debate that's been raging for 50+ years. It really boils down to what you prefer to run, important things being the correct JASO and weight ratings.
I will stick with oil specifically designed for motorcycles.
 

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Yeah, I was researching online and I also saw the mention of it being a loooong debate :-D I guess I'll go to the nearest auto parts store and start looking around (they have motorcycle stuff in those, right?)...
 
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