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Here is my oil observations over the last two weeks. I have 14,500 miles on my bike and I have been using shell rotella (non-synthetic) for about 12,000 miles. I thought that it worked well but the clutch chatter was bad when cold and the shifting was always “stiff” especially when downshifting. When it came time to change the oil my local auto parts store did not have rotella so I decided to use castrol GTX 10w-40. After the oil change I made two round trips to Indianapolis and noticed that the clutch chatter was gone and the shifting was smooth as silk. Because of my observations I will not go back to rotella, but I will not say that it is crap in our bikes. I firmly believe that rotella is a great oil and it seems silly to argue about which oil is the best. It all boils down to personal opinions like which brand gas is the best
 

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I don't think it's as much the brand of oil, as it is the weight. The heavy oil can't get squeezed out of the clutch housing as fast as the lighter oil, due to the small number and size of the orifices where the oil is discharged. Allowing plenty of warm-up time heats the oil enough to flow easier.

I used KawChem 20w50 for a couple of years (25,000 miles) in my 95 VN750 and put up with the clutch slippage, even after putting spacer washers on the clutch springs to give them a little extra push. I just ended up with a stiff clutch, but still had clutch slippage during cold weather. Then finally, I switched to KawChem 10w40. Since then, it rarely slips on start-out except in real cold weather when I don't allow a generous warm-up. Some of the slippage now can be from clutch wear for a couple of years.

I've used KawChem 10w40 in my 03 from day one with no clutch slippage in 21,000 miles.

CD in Frederick, OK
 
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