Lucas oil? with 20w-50? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-02-2015, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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Lucas oil? with 20w-50?

I'm getting a little knocking/rattling sound from my front cylinder and I just want it to stop making noise. I know 20w-50 is fine but can I add the Lucas oil to it. The bike is a 2006 with 13,000 miles on it. I need to find out soon cause I'm going on a trip and I don't want it to blow up under my legs on the way there. Can anyone give me some information or advice.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-02-2015, 09:40 PM
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unless your in the desert, 20w-50 is thicker than the manual specs. hell, it even says 10w-40 on the crank case or the filler cap (one or other). I live in SW florida where temps are regularly way north of 90 degrees, and only use 10w-40 synthetic.

now, 20-50 is not really gonna hurt the engine, its just not really designed for it.

front cylinder makin noise... do you still have the ACCT's (automatic cam chain tensioners)? if so, they could be going bad. try the grambo trick (search forum for it) to see if it helps.

as far as adding lucas to the oil, I personally don't believe in oil treatments, at best they hide potentional problems while causing no further issues, at worst, they hide problems, while allowing said problems to get worse. also, oil treatments may cause issues with our clutches, since they are bathed in engine oil.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-02-2015, 10:59 PM
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If you have engine "knocking" or "rattling" you don't fix it by using a thicker oil. It's like putting a bandaid over a bullet hole. Your just trying to hide it and hope it goes away....if something's seriously wrong...it won't go away, it will just get worse.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-03-2015, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
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Well I definitely try that method. as for the knocking, I'm just hoping I hit bump in the road and it goes away. I talked to my mechanic and He said it could last one mile or it could last another 10,000. But I Won't put in the Lucas oil but my last question is, is it OK to mix oil like 10w 40 and 20w50?
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-03-2015, 06:53 AM
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I'm no expert but mixing different viscosities of oil is not recommended. Like Teddy Bear said, the engine oil also lubricates he clutch plates so you need to be careful what you put in the engine.

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2002 VN 750, stock except for accessories
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-03-2015, 08:02 AM
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I wouldn't recommend mix viscosities either, but if your low on oil, and preferred brand and weight are not avail, mixing will get ya thru until you can change it.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 02:55 AM
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I would not run 20W-50 oil or mix different viscosities or brands. Only air/oil cooled cruisers need that heavier viscosity (and hopefully with an additional oil-cooler). VN 750's are made to run on 10W-40 oil per Kawasaki.

Personally, I like regular Castrol GTX 10W-40, which seems to agree well with the clutch plates grabbing without slipping as well. Synthetic oil, even the correct 10W-40 viscosity, may be too slippery for proper wet-clutch performance, but some types work out alright. The oil filter also needs to be able to handle a higher synthetic oil flow rate. That often means having oil filtering capability of 35 microns, such as on a stainless steel racing filter (e.g., FLO PCS1), or a K&N Performance Oil Filter (KN-204).

Engine knocking is often caused by using a gasoline octane level that is too low e.g., 87 vs. 91 or 93 octane. Although Vulcan's, like most U.S. motorcycles, can technically run on regular 87 octane, it's best to run a higher, brand name, gas like 91 or 93 octane with a compression ratio of 10.3:1. Additionally, Shell and ExxonMobil high-test gasolines have up to 5 times the cleaning agents blended in for less valve and piston carbon deposits than regular grade gas. They pollute the air about 30% less too. Finally, one (1) ounce of Marvel Mystery Oil per gas tankful lends to a cleaner running engine as well as lubricating your fuel system regularly from the inside out as you go. Your plugs will tend to stay cleaner and last longer that way. I hope that this helps your bike for smoother running.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 08:35 AM
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". Although Vulcan's, like most U.S. motorcycles, can technically run on regular 87 octane, it's best to run a higher, brand name, gas like 91 or 93 octane with a compression ratio of 10.3:1."

We all disagree here. The ONLY reason to run a higher octane is if your engine knocks on a lower one. Higher octane has more detergents because it needs them as it leaves more deposits. Today..engines with 10.3:1 compression really are not "high compression" motors. Vulcan 750's were designed to run on regular gas and buying premium for them is just a waste of your money.

AND...

Synthetic oil is NOT "slipperier"...from Pensoils website:

Myth: You shouldn’t use synthetic oil in an older vehicle. The myth is rooted in the idea that synthetic oil is “slipperier,” lower in viscosity, or not as compatible with seals and will therefore leak or leak more in places conventional oil might not. Again, completely untrue. Synthetic oils will enhance the engine protection in older vehicles just as they do for new engines.

10W40 regular oil flows the same as 10w40 synthetic oil...that's what those numbers mean. You don't need special filters.

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Last edited by Knifemaker; 09-23-2015 at 08:56 AM.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 10:19 AM
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will add, that ANY motorcycle safe oil (within recommend viscosity) will be just fine for our clutch plates.. the synthetic oil I use is a MOTORCYCLE oil.. not a product for auto engines.

and I agree with you on everything you said KM.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 11:58 AM
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Well, you're half-right with your opinions Knifemaker, although some of them are less than factual here. First, a motorcycle compression ratio of 10.3:1 IS relatively high for an older street bike - especially for one more than 10-years-old. Today, a number of coolant/oil cooled street bikes run 10 to 12:1 compression ratios to boost horsepower. That's because air/oil-cooled bikes lack close internal tolerances in valve and pistons for higher compression ratios. Fortunately, coolant/oil cooled bikes, like Vulcan's, do not have that old-school cooling problem i.e., requiring 'strategic cool-downs' on a run.

Gasoline combustion in a motorcycle engine is a relatively simple and dirty matter. I agree, that even the cheapest 87-octane grade at the local Quick-Mart will get most bikes to run alright for a good while. And yes, nearly all manufacturer's make commercial motorcycles to run on the cheapest gasoline available to meet EPA MINIMUM STANDARDS for sales i.e., tolerating 87-octane blends. Gasoline is like food for humans in a way. You can eat the cheapest foods and still live for a good while. But performance for both eventually progressively suffers due to various kinds of deposits, buildup, and gunk which robs performance, slowly yet surely. No law against using the cheap stuff.

Informed reading does help in understanding this little researched topic of gasoline types. Motorcyclist (2015) magazine, the June and July 2015 editions, had some great articles titled: Gasoline 101. In Part 1: Origin, Additives, and Octane, Ari Henning, reported that after refinement, base gasoline types are simply shared among all brands. The important part is what is added by design to each base stock gasoline by a company i.e., detergent additives in top-tier name fuels are at minimum 2.5 times higher and free of metallic additives for all grades of gas, including 87-octane. Higher octane gas can prevent unwanted detonation (knocking), if that becomes a problem, on regular unleaded (87-octane) gas. The best reason, however, to use higher octane fuel though is for keeping the internal parts of an engine clean. For example, Shell's premium 93-octane gasoline has FIVE TIMES the cleaning agents minimally required by the EPA. This helps to keep an engine in a higher state of tune from excessive carbon deposits found on spark plugs, piston crowns and intake valves. Extra quality costs extra money - it always will.

Synthetic oil, of the same viscosity like 10W-40, does NOT have the same flow-rate qualities as regular motor oils. If that were true, what would be the big reason to buy significantly more expensive synthetic oil? Too run cooler, oil needs to flow at a faster rate through an engine at minimum. For most motorcyclists, with riding habits of an hour or two at a time, the synthetic oil fad is indeed a big waste of money. That's just enough time to run at normal operating temperature. Synthetic oil reportedly have some advantages for those making long runs in the saddle of a few hours or more or if doing the ton+ regularly. Similar protection by simply changing regular motor oil and filters every 3-4,000 miles on a motorcycle. The cost-benefit ratio is just not there for normal street riding purposes with synthetic oil, unless primarily air-cooled. Fear not though, synthetic oils too will be considered yesterday's news too once electric bikes become the new craze.

Last edited by BTRart750; 09-23-2015 at 12:02 PM.
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