Manual: Change gear fluid to 80W weight < 40F. Me: Whuh? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-03-2011, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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Manual: Change gear fluid to 80W weight < 40F. Me: Whuh?

I haven't ridden in a few weeks due to the sub-freezing temperatures and attendant possibility of black ice on the roads (especially from snow/ice that melted during the day and froze overnight). But as soon as it's clear on the roads and above freezing for 24 hours, I'll be back out there just like I was through around the middle of December.

As someone who tries to ride year-round in the Northeast, back in early October changed my oil to a slightly lower viscosity - from 10w40 to 5w40 Rotella T. I thought about changing the gear oil too but didn't bother.

I read the manual again recently and it specifies 90W for temperatures above 40F, and to change to 80W for conditions under 40F. 90 W is what I put in the last time I changed it back in October of 2009 (PJ1 Silver Series Hypoid Gear Oil). I rode part of the winter of 2009-2010 as well without changing the gear oil, and was planning to change it in the Spring.

Since I don't ride very much when it's under 32F and not even then for a good part of the winter, how much difference could it make it ride a total of, say, 80-100 hours of mostly city riding (which is to say, lots of clutch work and frequent shifting between first and third gears) on 90W gear oil in 32-40F temperatures? (And where I've already done more than half of that winter riding already on the 90W oil?)

"Until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you will not know the terror of being forever lost at sea." (Despair.com)
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-03-2011, 02:59 PM
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I have 75W-90 automotive gear oil in mine. Around $13 a gallon, IIRC.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-03-2011, 04:57 PM
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What am I missin here, I know I'm an Old Dog but variable viscosity gear lube have been around a while, and my gosh where are you puttin it, no more than it takes use a variable wt. full synthetic hypod oil like Mobil 1 or something...
The Shell Rotella T 5w-40 Syn. sounds good for the engine, clutch & tranny, but I'd go with the multi-Vis Syn. gear oil as it is not a prob. to change the very small amount...
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-03-2011, 06:14 PM
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I think I am using Mobil One 70w90 synthetic gear oil right now...and see no reason to use anything else. I do have a bottle of Supertech 75w140 that I used in my Vulcan. Did not think they still made single viscosity hypoid gear oil anymore. Synthetic is the way to go here too.

To answer your question, Once the bike starts moveing the hub tends to heat up pretty good, so I would not worry about the oil in there, it should be fine. I would however pop for a bottle of the Mobil One when you get a chance.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-03-2011, 11:42 PM Thread Starter
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Come the thawing season that Mobil 1 synthetic gear oil is going in.

The PJ1 bottle was just the first thing that came up as a hit for "gear oil" on motorcycle-superstore.com when I bought a raft load of maintenance stuff last year to do to my new (to me) bike. I figured they were all pretty much the same, the manual said 90W and so did the bottle. Never thought there's be an issue about variable weight AND have the (in theory most popular) gear oil be single weight...

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 12:49 AM
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Since it takes so little, and doesn't have to be changed that often, I always just used Kawasaki shaft drive oil. Also, I would never use anything below 10w40 in a motorcycle engine, it just doesn't have enough load bearing ability to protect the bearings. It should be fine down below 0 degrees. I live in AZ, and 40 degrees is about as cold as it gets here, but it reaches above 120 during the looooong summer. I won't use anything but 20w50. I have used both regular and synthetic. I prefer regular oil, and change it often. I often use Lucas non synthetic, because it is what I use in my race car, and I just buy some extra. IMO it is about the best non synthetic you can get, it is rated for engines up to 2000 HP. It lasts a lot longer in the bike than it does in the race car. And it costs almost as much as synthetic. Good old Castrol GTX is as good as anything else in the Vulcan, just change it often, at least every 2000 miles.

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