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09 CB400 engine oil

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Servicing' at netrider.net.au started by bradr, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. Does anyone know if its ok to use Valvoline Syntech 5w/40 in the CB ? , i have always used it in my GTS 250 Vespa although it dosen't have a clutch , some guys are telling me no no no don't put synthetic oil in the bike as it will upset the clutch ? , yet looking at the Valvoline spec chart it says the Syntech is the oil for the CB , same with Castrol , they also recommend a synthetic oil for the CB , i could use one of the many bike specific oils but i have used the Syntech for years in both my Vespa & my Mini Cooper S so i am hoping to continue , any advice would be appreciated

  2. Don't use anything with friction modifiers in them as, yes, your clutch wont work. It's the 'fuel efficiency' friction modifiers which cause the clutch to not work, not the fact it's synth.

    Don't know about using 5/40... The official is 10w30, most service places put in 10w50 (which makes the bike feel gluggy imo) so I went with motul fully synth 7100 10w40.

    I would hazard that if you've used the same oil in your car you don't want to use it in your bike!
  3. Hmm , i better get some Motul then , thanks for that
  4. I've only just got a CB400 so I'm a bit of a noob, but I've been reading extensively about oils recently, especially Michael Kaufman's Motor Oil Bible. Basically, the idea that you can't put automotive oils in motorcycles in rubbish. It's a scam pushed by the motorcycle companies who want you to buy their crap oil (like Honda's 4 stroke motorcycle oil - far inferior to most modern oils), and the oil companies who want you to fork out more cash for basically the same stuff branded as motorcycle specific. The only automotive oils that you would specifically avoid would be ones designated as "energy conserving" or as containing friction modifiers. On the Valvoline site, they recommend either Durablend 10W-40 or SYNPOWER FULL SYNTHETIC 5W-40. It's sounds good to me, and I wouldn't hesitate using it. I recommend you read Kaufman's Motor Oil Bible. You can buy it for about $16. Well worth the money. Motorcyclists are spending far too much money on oil that in most cases is simply not worth it. I'm using Penrite 10W-40 full synthetic. Personally I wouldn't touch a mineral or a semi-synthetic. Waste of time and money. Wow, here I am, spouting off like an expert, and I'm actually a noob. But read Kaufman's book, and you'll become an oil expert too.:beer:
  5. Aw man, read Kaufman! That Motul stuff is overpriced crap. After all the reading I've done, if I were you I would not hesitate for one millisecond to use that Valvoline Synthetic stuff. How much does it cost? I wager that anything comparable in the Motul range costs nearly (if not entirely) twice as much. Don't do it, dude. Unless you got cash to burn.
  6. Are you saying that you have put Penrite oil into your CB400 ? , how many k's has it been in ? ,no clutch problems ? , i think i'll chat with Valvoline about the Synpower because i tend to agree with what you're saying about the "energy conserving " addatives & i don't think that Synpower contains any of those does it ? ,i know of at least 2 people who run the Penrite in big bike engines and have done so for lots of km's & had absolutely no drama's , i've also heard some negative reports on the Honda 4 stroke oil as per what you're saying , i'll do some investigating with Valvoline on monday & post my findings .
  7. No, as I've just put Penrite Auto synthetic into my CB400, I can't report on long term issues, but from my studies and readings, I am fairly confident that I will have no problems. The research backs my view up, not that of those people who say, "Oh that oil is designed and used for cars, therefore I wouldn't use it in a motorbike." Motorcycle specific oil is for the most part a marketing ploy. I would apply the principles to the use of the Valvoline Synthetic you're proposing to use. I think that's an excellent oil, and not just for cars, but also for motorbikes. The Valvoline site specifically recommends it for the Honda CB400! Go there and check it out for yourself. BTW, Supercheap is selling the stuff for $49 for 5 litres at the moment, I think. That's dirt cheap compared to supposedly motorcycle specific synthetic oil.
    People who say you can never use automotive oils in motorcycles are ignorant. Michael Kaufman is a lubricant expert who has written the last word on automotive and motorcycle engine lubrication; read his book and you'll come to the same view.
  8. I ve recently done my oil change for 6000km and have used the honda oil change kit which contains 4l semi-synthetic honda oil and and oil filter.

    Cost me $55 from a dealer which I thought was a good price.

    With the new oil i have noticed my clutch being a lot smoother on my bike compared to motul 5100. A few mates with cbr250rr who have sworn by motul and have just switch to the honda oil also now recommend it.
  9. Are you guys for real? What do you think Honda uses in its own test engines? Some exotic brew that ensures nothing goes wrong? Or the stuff their dealers will sell? Those test engines will have done more hard kilometres than you will ever do, and the engines will have been just fine. "Inferior performance"? By what credible and objective measure? There's vast amounts of piffle talked about magic oils, and the manufacturers must laugh all the way to the bank when people with road bikes pay over the odds to use them. The key to oil is the right grade, well filtered, changed at the right intervals. Ask any honest mechanic.
  10. Your naivete and faith in the Honda engineers to be in your side is touching. Unfortunately, your assumptions (which is all they are as shown by such comments as "those test engines WILL HAVE DONE more hard kilometres"; "...and the engines WILL HAVE BEEN just fine" -- in other words, you don't really know, you just assume based on your faith in those engineers) are wrong. It is an observable fact that Honda build quality vehicles and have done so for years. Their engineers build reliable vehicles and their reliability is one of the factors that keep their customers loyal and returning to buy their products when they need to be replaced. No one disputes this. No one disputes the fact that their engineers have tested their engines long and hard. What I (and others such as lubricant expert Michael Kaufman) am disputing is whether the lubricants the motorcycle manufacturers recommend is indeed best for your motorcycle in the long term. Research has shown this is not the case. Experts have been arguing that you can use vastly superior oils to those recommended and get vastly superior performance and longevity out of your motorcycle. After all, it is not in the interest of the Honda engineers to sell you an engine that suffers no engine wear and lasts indefinitely. They want you to come back and buy a new Honda in 5 to 7 years or even sooner. And if you follow their recommendations for engine oil, you will have higer engine wear and you will be back in 5 to 7 years, if not sooner, to buy yourself a new Honda. Thanks for trusting the engineers. If you look at the current Honda CB400 owner's manual (p. 93), you will not read any recommendation for synthetic oil, and its basic recommendation for oil is "API SG or higher". Huh? SG oil is stuff from the dinosaur age. If you look up top motorcycle specific oils like Motul or Motorex, I don't think they even start below SL - in other words they start like five grades above SG! So an ignoramus who follows the Honda manual, will go get himself a mineral or a semi-synthetic blend of API SG rated oil, when in fact there are vastly superior oils out there that will not interfere with your clutch. All mineral and semi-synthetic blends shear and disintegrate almost as soon as you start using them whereas synthetic oils will keep their lubricating qualities for 2, 3 or more times longer than petroleum based oils. Also remember that motorcycle engines operate at much higher temperatures and more extreme pressures than automotive engines. These higher temperatures lead to immediate viscosity loss in the very type of oil recommended by Honda (Honda 4 stroke motorcycle oil). In other words Honda is recommeding oils which not only suffer greater viscosity loss almost as soon as you turn your key, but also exhibit almost immediately inferior lubricant stability due to high temperature breakdown. Read Michael Kaufman's Motor Oil Bible, especially the chapter on Motorcycle oil, and you will see that your faith in the manufacturers' oil recommendations are misplaced. And your advice to ask any honest mechanic is just plain silly. You think mechanics are lubricant experts as well? Since when are mechanics specifically trained in lubrication science? All mechanics will see by following the manufacturers recommendations is what the manufacturers want them to see: reliability and durability associated with Honda engines. Whereas, in fact, if they followed the recommendations of modern lubrication science they would observe vastly superior reliability, durability and performance in the same Honda engines.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Mate for starters, if you're going to write a long paragraph like you have done, please break it up a bit. What you have written there is so hard to read I could hardly get passed the first sentence.

    Secondly, I am a qualified mechanic. Trust me, all this stuff I read on the forum about using fancy motorcycle specific oils is BULLSHIT. It's better off to use any old brand from Repco/Supercheap as long as you change it on time and use the correct amount.

    In my car/bikes I just use whatever is on special when I go to the local auto care shop. Whether it's Penrite, Shell, Valvoline it doesn't matter.
  12. Thanks for showing us that you don't like reading. Here's a short quote for you then:

    Michael Kaufman, The Motor Oil Bible, p. 143:

    "Even those mechanics who are brilliant when it comes to automotive
    engines are not necessarily experts on lubrication. Lubrication technology is
    much more involved than most of them thinks. Nobody can know everything, but in order to give people the most accurate
    advice, it pays to make sure that you have all of the relevant information."

    Why pull out your mechanic credentials only to show us that you know nothing about lubrication science? And swearing just proves you've got nothing informative to say.

    You didn't read carefully what I wrote. Of course, using any oil is better than nothing; of course changing oil is better than not changing it. No one is disputing that if you follow the manufacturers recommendations etc, and if you follow the regular oil regime changes etc., you'll get good reliability.

    I'm just saying that from what I've studied, modern synthetic oils will provide engines with less wear and greater longevity and performance and that the oil recommendations from motorcycle manufacturers are vastly inferior to alternative products on the market. Why? Because the motorcycle manufacturers want you to buy their second-rate oils. Oils provide lubrication to allow moving engine parts to move past each other with the least amount of friction. Research has shown repeatedly that petroleum based oils rapidly lose their lubricity and viscosity with high temperatures. That means there is increased friction between moving parts, which means increased engine wear. That means that an engine with a petroleum based oil or even a blended oil will not survive as long without major repairs as an engine that has enjoyed the benefits of modern synthetic oils.

    Hope the paragraphs are short enough for you. :)
  13. Um, I don't like reading? How do you know what I like? All I said was what you wrote was very difficult to read as you did not break it up. Surely other people will agree.

    Just because I haven't read a book about oil like you doesn't mean I don't have something informative to say. People on the forums place too much emphasis on the brand or type of oil, rather than the importance of clean, simple, regular servicing.

    As for credentials, I did study oils briefly when I completed my trade. What credentials do you have? (Besides reading that book of course).
  14. I've been using Castrol Edge full synthetic on my CBR600F for the past few oil changes and have not noticed any problems (also ride mostly in heavy traffic to and from work so work the engine hard). Honda recommended oil & filter change is about every 6,000km but I've been stretching it to 9,000km on a full synthetic and when I do change it, oil is coming out clean (i.e. not black). I recommend everyone using MC specific oils to reconsider.
  15. just breaking that into paragraphs...
  16. This looks promising
  17. That sounds like a good common sense approach , do Honda say 6k ? or 6000mls ? ie 10000kms ? , i'm just going to do 10000k oil/filter , thats what i do on my Vespa GTS , Mini Cooper S & every other car/bike i've ever owned , mind you with your city bump/grind 6k would be kinder to the motor where as i'm doing predominately rural open road beautifull glorious running .
  18. Oh dear...

    Wrong? Really? I've read enough about engine development programs to reassure me that anything intended for release will have had the crap caned out of it, in hot cold and any other difficult conditions they can find. It's called proving and they take it very seriously, as any company that has had to pay a fortune in recalls will tell you.

    You just told me that was all wrong. Which is it? Is Honda reputable and competent or isn't it?

    Vastly? What do you call vastly? I deal with an old school mechanic who is probably one of Australia's experts on SOHC Honda Fours and six-cylinder CBXs. He's clocked up 300,000km on a single cammer using Valvoline XLD, and sees nothing in the longevity of engines he overhauls that has justified the expensive oils some of those owners have used. My CB1300 can reasonably be expected to do 250,000 or more on the Delo 400 diesel oil I feed it, so how much more vast do you want?

    Oh God, the conspiracy theory. Here's a thought mate; if Honda sells me a bike that's worn out in seven years (my CB is coming up nine years) would I ever buy another one from them? Well, would I? Would anyone else I ever talked to about my worn out bike? It just doesn't work that way, and if you're not sure what the effect of excellent durability is on sales, track the strong history of the BMW K series, most of which did their huge mileages on very basic oils. Or look at the global success of the Honda 50 Cub if you want to see durability at work.

    As are the internals of the CB400 engine, fundamentally a '90s model. There's nothing fundamentally different in a current CB400 from a zillion other bikes that have gone before it that have had very long and very happy lives on non-synthetic oils. It's not a race bike, it works within clearly defined parameters of pressure, heat and revs, and was designed when SG was current. The specified oil will keep it in good order, despite your one expert's unproven view that Honda is wrong. Does he list the thousands of engine failures that prove his point? He has the power to bring the Honda Motor Company to its knees if he has.

    Ignoramus? You really are a disciple for Kaufman. Do you also follow the Motortune engine break-in bloke as well? Ask a hundred bike mechanics how many bikes they have ever seen where the oil has affected the clutch. It has been a possibility raised for years but I don't know any techs that have actually seen it happen.

    Mechanics like Spruce and my bloke see what Kaufman doesn't apparently see; the insides of engines. Nothing betrays bad lubrication like a worn bearing or a scored cylinder. There's just no evidence for a wholesale failure of oils in roadbike engines that are, against the odds according to you, delivering good performance, good economy and pleasing longevity. And any claim that something "vastly better" is possible is just a good way to sell a book.

    If you want to use $90 oils in your bike, go ahead. But don't dare try to make out I'm ignorant if I have reasons not to.

    Over and out...
    • Like Like x 1
  19. The Penrite i notice actually says ''suitable for wet cluches '' , now that takes the guesswork out heh .
  20. Bradr
    All mechanics I've spoken to say that bump/grind city riding is harder for the engine than your higher revving rural open road. The reason being that although you may be revving lower, it's inconsistant (ie. you rev up to 5k to take off at the lights, ride for a few hundred meters, stop and do it all again for the duration of your trip). This is worse for your engine than riding at a constant rev range (say 6-7K) for the whole trip. The 6K recommended oil & filter change is recommended by my mechanic. Not sure what the manual says (don't have one) but reading the forums here, this sounds about right.