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Oil Type for 1989 Vulcan 750 (I don't think year matters, these bikes were made from 1986 to 2005)

464 Views 29 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Knifemaker
I see many people have different experiences with oils for this bike. I don't want to spend a ton on the oil but I want an oil that will provide excellent lubrication. Some say go with the regular 10W-40, and some say go with the thickest oil you can go for, should I go with the 10W-40 (any oil brand like Castrol, Shell) or a 20W-50 (specifically Valvoline VR1 Racing SAE Motorcycle oil. The current oil in it has literally 0 miles on it. People say yam lube is terrible, but I am not sure. The bike ran fine, I never drove the bike with that oil just revved and idled it. The petcock was leaking which made the oil and gas mix. Too much gas and fuel was in there so of course it spitted out the air intakes, As soon as it did I shut the bike off and didn't start it again. Im thinking Valvoline but I want whats the best or good for this bike. Thank you!!
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Hey you're welcome, and thanks for the feedback.
That's the right oil.....
I just feel like getting a spoon. 馃榿
I DARE YOU.
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Wow. Been awhile since I saw an oil thread.

I use the synthetic now. Just can鈥檛 find the Rottella regular oil around here anymore,
Which synthetic?
Yep, I saw your replies in other oil threads. I saw you guys talking about oil and which is better, so I created this to see an argument happen lol. Our vulcan has 9k miles.. How many miles does your vulcan have everyone? Also what kind of oil do you guys prefer? I can find the Rotella oil cheap for $15 on walmart. Only problem is that I have to pick it up.. No walmart is close to me, only 20 mils away but that's about an hour trip.
Can't have it shipped to you?
I thought I made it clear O鈥橠arkness, it鈥檚 Rottella Synthetic. If I can鈥檛 find that I鈥檒l use Mobil 1 Synthetic, which is what鈥檚 recommended for my Bonneville.
I must have misunderstood something:

I use the synthetic now. Just can鈥檛 find the Rottella regular oil around here anymore,
At this point, I understand you use Rotella but if it's unavailable, then Mobile 1. However, which TYPE? As in, which weight? Spockster says he's using a diesel-grade oil. If I knew nothing of oil, all I'd be looking for is Rotella or Mobile 1. Would I just look for a motorcycle specific oil by each brand?

I suppose I should have been a little more specific with my initial question.
Rottella makes a 鈥渞egular鈥 petroleum oil AND a synthetic. I said the regular one was hard to find. The synthetic isn鈥檛 (as much). The Mobil 1 I look for is 10w40. I think the Rottella synthetic is 15w50.
Both of the Rottella oils are 鈥渄iesel grade鈥.
Many started using the regular Rottella because someone back in the mid 80鈥檚 ran an extensive test of oils for motorcycles.
The top rated one was the Rottella. The 2nd place went to Mobil 1 (These were both regular oils)
Rottella and Mobil 1 later came out with synthetic oils. Mobil 1 in other testing placed 1st.
Rottella came in 2nd. However Mobil鈥檚 oil was almost twice as much, so many continued to buy Rottella.
Since then, others have sworn by their particular choice, e.g. Castrol, Valvoline, Amsoil, etc. None of these are actually bad oils. That鈥檚 why any discussion on 鈥渨hat oil to use鈥 is usually met with disdain from veteran riders.

Hope that answers some of your questions 馃憤
That's much better, thanks! Since we're on the subject:
Last year, after I got the carbs back from the mechanic I did an oil change. I changed the external filter near the radiator. I had absolutely NO clue there was also a filter behind the drain plug. The current oil now has about 1000 miles on it. I'd like to change the oil again, but this time a little more thoroughly.

Is that internal filter replaceable, or am I stuck just washing it? Would brake cleaner or degreaser harm it? I think it's shown in one of the video tutorials, but my internet speed here sucks right now.
The 鈥渇ilter鈥 is really just a tubular metal screen. I cleaned mine with contact cleaner.
The importance of this for the Vulcans is if your balancers are about to give up the ghost, you鈥檒l find tiny bits of black rubber in the screen when you remove it. If you find some, the fuse has been lit and your only hope is to either replacing the balancers or bury the bike and report it stolen for the insurance money.
When a balancer goes out, it usually causes catastrophic damage to the engine.

So, just a heads up 鈥︷煒
NO WAY?!?! Yikes, I think I better change that oil sooner and check for those flecks. Thanks for the tip!

Do the balancers always go out? Is this a relatively easy thing to address BEFORE it happens?

@Checkered Floor Garage WE NEED A VIDEO!!!!

EDIT: Just did a quick search of the site, and I'm not happy.
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