KLR650 oil help!

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Big Jake McCandles, May 6, 2010.

  1. Big Jake McCandles

    Big Jake McCandles Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    24
    Location:
    Lincoln, NorCal
    I got an 08 KLR with almost 6000 mi on her, show she's still pretty young.
    I am running mobil 1 4t 10w-40 syn in it and I am looking to change oils. I would prefer dino for being so cost effective ( this paying 8.97/quart for m1 at the local walmart is getting to be some bullshit) I am planning on doing a strict change schedule 3-5k mi. I need something that can hold up to CA summers but still be ample protection. I was thinking like Rotella 15w-40 or maybe Castrol GTX 20w-50. Leaning towards the rotella more but not sure how it would preform under the heat.
    any comments, suggestions, opinions? thanks
    #1
  2. ChR1s

    ChR1s Spherical Bastard

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Oddometer:
    336
    Location:
    Massachusetts
  3. LngRidr

    LngRidr Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    183
    Location:
    Colbert, GA
    i'd go with the rotella and change at 3000 miles.
    #3
  4. brian72

    brian72 URBEX

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    345
    Location:
    A New English Town
    I've read a lot about oil. Mostly opinions though. Both the oils you mentioned are used by KLR riders. So you will be fine in whichever you choose. For what it's I use 20-50 not synthetic myself during summer months in the North East.
    #4
  5. ohiodualsporter

    ohiodualsporter Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    207
    I use 20-50w Valvoline racing oil and have had no problems, but its not cheap either.
    #5
  6. gmiguy

    gmiguy You rode a what to where?

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,340
    Location:
    Western NC
    #6
  7. SCQTT

    SCQTT Zwei Kolben

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,621
    Location:
    Mike's Sky Rancho
    I remember the guys in a old school Kaw shop draining the oil & filling a junk KZ750 twin up with Strohs. They wired it wide open in neutral & waited for the ensuing carnage. 15 minutes later nothing happened. They pulled the plug and drained the hot, oily beer. This thing will certainly come apart running dry! Fired it back up, WFO in neutral...........1/2 an hour later it ran out of gas. :huh It ran perfect, no smoke, no spitting an sputtering. Perhaps it was not junk........Oops, yes.... it was, afterall, a KZ750 twin!

    Bored with the much-less-than-dramatic results it was sent to the junkyard.


    Almost anything will work & work well in your KLR.



    Reynolds Yamaha Kawasaki, North High Street, Columbus OH. mid 80's
    #7
  8. R_W

    R_W wannabe

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,126
    Location:
    Kansas
    The clutch, cams, and heat are your concerns.

    My clutch would slip with Rotella, but most run it fine. My preferred oil for everything else I own.

    You don't want your oil too thick when cold, for the sake of the cams. That is my biggest concern with the 20w-50's. I run it, but make sure the engine is warmed up nicely in the cool mornings.

    You want the oil to not get too thin in the heat, or it will burn off on the highway--more specifically it will aerosol and get sucked through the breather and carb.
    #8
  9. KilLeR Kawasaki

    KilLeR Kawasaki Marky A

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,006
    Location:
    Littleton, Colorado
    There are 3.5 million pages dedicated to this very subject at KLR650.net and KLRWorld.com. Rotella is cheap. The politically correct interval seems to be 2k miles, but YMMV.
    #9
  10. Big Jake McCandles

    Big Jake McCandles Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    24
    Location:
    Lincoln, NorCal
    yeah, i have seen the threads but they were not very specific. i just looking for some more opinions. i am leaning towards the rotella, 11.50 gal at the local mart. just wondering if any of you had any experience with it. but will it hold up fine in the ca heat? they thing is too, that i am 6'4 375 and the engine has work hard, especially at highway speeds.
    #10
  11. RoberTx

    RoberTx Blind man ridin'

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    283
    Location:
    texas
    Don't worry about the oil. KLRs with the cheap stuff last a long time as long as you change it often as in about every 2000 miles.
    #11
  12. vatrader01

    vatrader01 vatrader01

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,164
    Location:
    Gateway to Skyline Drive, Virginia
    Dino will work just fine. Mobil Delvac 1300 Super 15-40 fills the bill. Rotella 15-40 will be good. Any Diesel Spec 15-40 dino or synthetic engine oil will lubricate your engine. Pick one that has a pretty bottle.

    A KLR 650 shares the engine oil sump with the transmission / clutch. All that meshing of gears and friction from the clutch action creates a breakdown of the oil, referred to as shear. Tests are performed to determine how long or far the oil can remain effective before it breaks down to the point it is no longer effectively lubricating and protecting the engine components. Few oils make it to the 2000 mile mark in a KLR 650 before it is determined they are no longer effective.

    With that bit of pertinent information, do what you wish. I drop my oil around the 2K mark. Oil is under 10 bucks a gallon. Cams are running big bucks.
    #12
  13. gmiguy

    gmiguy You rode a what to where?

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,340
    Location:
    Western NC
    In my experience, yes.

    If everything is working correctly the operating temperature of your engine shouldn't vary much as the ambient changes, especially on the freeway when you have an abundance of high-velocity cooling air.
    #13
  14. Oly

    Oly Deadlines whooshing by

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Oddometer:
    8,099
    Location:
    Underground Gardens
    I rode home from Yosemite one scorching summer afternoon and my fan kicked on while doing 60 mph. :lol3

    Synthetic 15-50 for me, get it at Walmart in the big jug for less.
    #14
  15. KilLeR Kawasaki

    KilLeR Kawasaki Marky A

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,006
    Location:
    Littleton, Colorado
    Unless you have a modified cooling system (i.e. the Thermobob), your KLR ('08 or newer) probably runs perpetually cold. If you have questions, please search for Thermobob on the KLR sites. The only time my stock cooling system fan kicks in is running off-road at a low rate of speed. Basically, the cooling system on the newer bikes is too efficient (and the cooling system too crude), and the oil probably doesn't even come up to proper operating temperature unless it is really hot out.
    #15
  16. page62

    page62 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    159
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    Fancy oils are overrated for a bike as basic as the KLR. It's almost silly to fun an expensive synthetic you're going to dump after 2K miles. What's more important is the oil change interval. Change your oil and filter as suggested and use whatever tickles your fancy. Oh, and 87 octane gas is fine, too. This beast will run on damn near anything that burns!

    Disclosure: Last oil change I used Castrol Tection Extra 15w40 because it was on sale for $9.99 at AutoZone.
    #16
  17. SAR Medic

    SAR Medic Not to cold to Ride

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    12
    Location:
    Brookings, OR.
    What are the thoughts between regular oil and motorcycle specific oils with the JASO certification.
    #17
  18. Motomantra

    Motomantra Registered Lurker

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,683
    Location:
    Beaverton, OR
  19. SprintST

    SprintST Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Oddometer:
    208
    Location:
    Ottawa Ontario mailing address
    My '08 KLR burns through so much oil (1 quart every 600 miles) that I've starting accepting the fact that it's only the filter I need to change at interval, not the oil. Through the regular top-ups new oil is continually being added. OK, I do change the oil too, but the consumption issue really pisses me off. I figure that I spend about 10% of my fuel costs in oil top-ups. That's absurd.

    Must check out the 685 kit.
    #19
  20. Bigger Al

    Bigger Al Still a stupid tire guy

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    8,260
    Location:
    Auburn, CA
    I live not too far from you and the Rotella has been just fine in my KLR. I'm 260 lbs., and the bike never gives me a moment's worry. The Rotella is formulated for diesel engines, which are far harsher on lube than any motorcycle engine.
    #20