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Discussion Starter #1
I don't need to be in a rush or anything.

The 2007 Roadliner I just bought had it's 6,000 mile service done while it was still owned by Yamaha corporate. And the seller did an oil change about 40 miles before I bought the bike.

But I've been looking at what kind of oil to use for the next oil change.

And then just maintenance stuff in general (cleaning the Stratoliner bags, shining chrome, etc.).

The seller was a diesel mechanic who had ridden bikes for 30 years. He really likes Castrol 20/50, saying in his experience it was the best for both cold and heat (I'm more worried about "heat").

He said he'd done his own research, and talked to quiet a few mechanics who actually rebuilt motorcycle engines, and in his/their experience, synthetic really wasn't all that great. He said it was great for gears, but not really as good as mineral oil in key ways as an engine oil.

I know people disagree vehemently on oil, but what do you think?

Also chrome polish and seat/bag cleaner (right now I'm using Turtle Wax F21 Super Protectant).

What supplies for shining up the bike do I need?
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
I'm adding here that I live in a very hot climate (Palm Springs area), and was somewhat concerned about an air/oil cooled bike.

I'd be willing to pay the extra bucks for synthetic if it helped in high temps.
 

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IMHO (see disclaimer below):

If i change my oil on a regular basis like i'm suppose to i don't believe that synthetic is going to make that much of a difference if any at all. For cooling purposes i would look into an oil cooler before i started nit-picking about oil. My 2 cents.:)
 

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Oil

For what it is worth, your engine will probably last a hundred thousand miles no matter what kind of oil you use.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I would continue to change my oil the same way I always have: once a year whether I need to or not.

I was told the service interval for a Roadliner oil change is 4,000 miles or twice a year. I would not go 4,000 miles in 6 months.

And I would not extend the interval whether I used synthetic or not.

But I keep seeing stuff like this:

On the subject of whether or not to use a petroleum or synthetic motorcycle oil my recommendation is to use a premium quality synthetic. There is absolutely no comparison between the two. Synthetic oil has been proven to resist high temperature breakdown and shearing effects at higher engine operating temperatures for a much longer time period than petroleum oil and as a result allows the oil to stay in the specified viscosity grade much longer. Synthetic oil is more uniform in molecular structure and will reduce internal friction and thus provide for lower engine operating temperatures as well as provide for smoother shifting.

We have measured the cylinder and cylinder head operating temperatures in two identical motorcycles; one running petroleum oil and the other a premium quality synthetic. We measured an average of 15-20 degree F. temperature difference after a very mild ride and short period of idling. At extreme engine operating temperatures and conditions this value can be up to 35-45 degrees F. lower with synthetic oil. We have received reports of this from motorcyclists that have oil temperature gages installed in their crankcase. We received another report of a customer that when he was using petroleum oil in hot summer heat and traffic jams he would have to shut off his air-cooled V-twin engine because it began overheating. After changing to a premium quality synthetic motorcycle oil his engine temperatures dropped significantly and he no longer had that problem on hot summer days in traffic. Again there is no comparison between the two and anybody that tells you otherwise has obviously not reviewed documented test data and facts clearly showing that synthetic oil outperforms petroleum oil in every category.

We have a report of a dynamometer test run comparing a specific manufacturers branded motorcycle oil to a premium quality synthetic oil. In the first part of the test with the petroleum oil installed in the engine, transmission and primary chaincase the maximum horsepower (Hp) was 68.1 and the maximum torque was 80 lb.-ft. In the second part of the test the same motorcycle was used and all petroleum oil products drained from the engine, transmission and primary chaincase. With the synthetic the maximum Hp was 69.8 and the maximum torque was 81.3 lb.-ft. That’s a gain of 1.7 Hp and 1.3 lb.-ft. torque, which is what We consider a significant amount of gain just from changing from petroleum oil to a premium quality synthetic oil.​

It is hard to separate the truth from the industry telling you what they want you to think.

As for the "hundred thousand miles" thing, that of course sounds really good to me.

I just came across something last night that had me a little concerned: 3rd gear failure on Roadliners.

Fortunately, it doesn't appear to be as widespread as the few people complaining about it try to make it seem. And my bike makes no "noises" so far in any gear. Other than her standard purr.

Oh, and Sparky, my bike already HAS an oil cooler. I thought it was just a stock feature on the Roadliner. Am I wrong? My unit sure looks OEM.

On my view, the cooler the better. When I first started looking at bikes, I only considered water cooled bikes. I stumbled across this Roadliner the last week of my search, and asked a lot of questions before concluding I would probably be all right even out here (not a lot of traffic jams in this area).
 

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Your bike has an oil cooler so you don't need to add one. Conventional oil is great oil and like the other guys said your bike will last a long time if serviced regularly.20/50 castrol is a very good all year around oil.I've used castrol 20/50 in both bike with no problems.The oil companys will say what sounds good to make you buy their oil. It's all good oil,it has to pass industry standard tests or they couldn't sell it.Just my 2.6723 cents.Ride safe and keep the shiny side up.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm not rich by any means, but I'd be willing to use synthetic if I would get even a marginal benefit.

My diesel mechanic previous owner is a pretty darn knowledgable guy, and it was his view - also based with his conversations with people who took apart engines for a living - that synthetic actually didn't provide as MUCH protection.

He said that synthetic was THE best for gears, but not for engines.

Based on what you guys are saying, conventional oil (Castrol 20/50) it is.

What are you guys using for the chrome and the paint?
 

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Even if i was rich (and i'm not:() i don't get into all those 'wiz bang' cleaning chemicals and 'special' solutions. People have given me samples of all that kind of stuff and i always go back to hot/warm water with dishwashing soap and a cloth that wont scratch and that is what i still use with very satisfying results.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Sadly, when they said "cash" I thought they said "rash" and made sure to stay away.

Had the same problem when they were handing out brains. Really need to get my hearing checked.

That said, I'll pay more for stuff that works BETTER. I'll even pay more (although not as much more) for stuff that works EASIER.

What I really hate doing is paying more for stuff that works worse just because I was a sucker and I believed another lying rat bastard.
 

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i don't get into all those 'wiz bang' cleaning chemicals and 'special' solutions.
i always go back to hot/warm water with dishwashing soap and a cloth that wont scratch and that is what i still use with very satisfying results.:)
Hands down, what Sparky said. Really hard to beat basic logic:cool:
Used the same for a long time, when you are done, wax her up good and ride on:D
 

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Discussion Starter #15
TenTwelve,

Don't doubt that. I'm sorry for not being more clear, but when I said "links" I meant reviews or evaluations on what makes Yamalube or the H.D. the best oil to use, rather than a where can I buy it thing.

Synthetic, semi-synthetic, conventional. Which kind, which brand and why.

I've got about six months to decide, but no time like the present to start stocking up if I can figure out which one should be best for my bike.
 

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Even if i was rich (and i'm not:() i don't get into all those 'wiz bang' cleaning chemicals and 'special' solutions. People have given me samples of all that kind of stuff and i always go back to hot/warm water with dishwashing soap and a cloth that wont scratch and that is what i still use with very satisfying results.:)
I only have one issue with this idea...most dishwashing liquid will cause your the wax on your bike to degrade a little bit faster. So, as long as you're someone who like to wax occasionally, that's not an issue. But, if you're a "one wax every spring" sort of guy, by mid summer, the soap will have taken most of the wax off the paint.

I use meguiers (sp?) car wash solution, it's like 4 bucks for a gallon at walmart or target, and it works great. With such small surface area, it lasts for a couple years before I have to buy more.
 

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The advice you got was sound advice on the Castrol 20/50.
Bottomline is not so much what oil you use vs. how often you change it.
If you are going to go with a standard petro oil I would change it every 2000 - 2500 miles or so. In your case that works perfect, one right before winter, one late spring, one mid summer. Yes, two changes are most likely ok too, my schedule of 3 times is just because I enjoy changing oil. Only takes minutes on my bike and I tend to do things to an extreme. *L*

Only if you are to use a synthetic would I hold out to the recommended 4000 mile change.
This of course assuming your bikes have a shared oil pan with the gear box as it does on the V Star 1300. The gear box does degrade the viscosity of oil on a rather low amount of mileage compared to a bike and car that does not share a gearbox.

My Vstar 1300 calls for 20/40 oil. I get close to that with Delo LE 400 15/40 (my favorate dino oil for the bike) also Jaso Rated Rotella 15/40 dino oil. (like that one too)

Here is a link (a true test by a magazine) that shows you the shear of a couple motorcycle oils with the theory that a shared gear box will do the same. The test is limited to a few brands because of the expense of the test but it kind of gives you an idea ... also what seems to be a reason that I agree with others in this thread, that if you use a synthetic I would hesitate to use something that starts out with a low number ex. 5w/40 or 5/50 and this link shows you the reason. The lower the number, the more faster the oil seems to sheer, synthetic or not.
if you take the time to read the article you will note that the Vavoline Auto oil is standard petro oil and the Motul's and Mobile are synthetics.

http://www.sportrider.com/tech/146_0310_oil/photo_17.html
 

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For Lexan windshield: non-ammonia based glass/surface cleaner followed by an application of Pledge/Old English/Favor (fills minor scratches, sheds rain/fog, and makes bug corpses easier to remove.)
For routine shine: Pledge/Old English/Favor
For extra special shine: Meguiars New Car Gloss
Basic cleaning: cool water and mild dish soap; use a fabric pot scrubber for bug removal
For seat/bags: mink oil
For oil: whatever the hell you like. I use Valvoline 20W50 dyno MC oil and change oil/filter every 3,000 miles. If I were using synthetic liquid gold I'd still change it every 3,000 miles.
For underarms: Mennen Speed Stick;)

Use quality cleaning and lubrication materials and don't agonize over the small stuff.:rolleyes::)

Enjoy the bike.
 

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Valvoline 20/50 motorcycle oil or Mobil 1 V-Twin 20/50 if u prefer a syn. Both avail inexpensive at Wally World or Auto Zone & Advanced. Plexus is wonderful for ur windshield, Wizards Leather Plus is awesome for the bags and ur leather goods, and Meguires Detailer Mist & Wipe is awesome for paint and Chrome!! When u feel energetic Meguires Liquid Wax Wet Look is the ticket on ur paint and Chrome alike!! NJOY ur ride and keep the shiny side up!!:)

Tire pressure is critical on these bikes if you want the rear to live past 5000 miles. Check the psi every time you ride. CK COLD. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
If you are going to go with a standard petro oil I would change it every 2000 - 2500 miles or so. In your case that works perfect, one right before winter, one late spring, one mid summer. Yes, two changes are most likely ok too, my schedule of 3 times is just because I enjoy changing oil. Only takes minutes on my bike and I tend to do things to an extreme. *L*

Only if you are to use a synthetic would I hold out to the recommended 4000 mile change.
Alarmguy,

It's POSSIBLE that I could ride a lot more than I think I will, but based on my driving to date, I won't go 4,000 miles in 6 months. I very likely won't even go 2,000 miles in six months.

Which is why I change my oil based on "twice a year" rather than every X,000 miles.

This of course assuming your bikes have a shared oil pan with the gear box as it does on the V Star 1300. The gear box does degrade the viscosity of oil on a rather low amount of mileage compared to a bike and car that does not share a gearbox.

My Vstar 1300 calls for 20/40 oil. I get close to that with Delo LE 400 15/40 (my favorate dino oil for the bike) also Jaso Rated Rotella 15/40 dino oil. (like that one too)

Here is a link (a true test by a magazine) that shows you the shear of a couple motorcycle oils with the theory that a shared gear box will do the same.
It is my understanding that the engine oil lubricates the gear box on the Roadliners. Someone will hopefully correct me if I'm wrong.

What my mechanic seller friend told me was that synthetics are GREAT for gears, but not as good for engines. But in a case where the engine oil is also the gear oil, what do you do?

A case for semi-synthetic.

I will be using 20W50 because that's what the manual says to use. And if the manual told me at step four to stick my tongue in a live light socket, then dang it I would stick my tongue in that socket.
 
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