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All 650's Switching to Full Synthetic Oil

NBRC

2021
CB650R ABS
Jan 26, 2022
Portugal
Riding Since
1992
I haven't recommended anything, but yes, a 5W will lubricate better at start-up than a 10W, which is when most engine wear occurs. This is exactly why manufacturers recommend 5W-xx or 0W-xx oils for colder climates.



Sure, OK.



I think you've misunderstood. A 5W-30 oil is thicker at 20C than it was at operating temp (say 100C). It is also thicker at 20C than a 10W-30 is at operating temp (100C). You are correct that the 5W-30 and 10W-30 are both about the same viscosity at 100C, where they will both be somewhere in the range of 10 centistokes. So when your engine is at operating temperature, it's got nice hot oil pumping around at that viscosity of about 10cSt. But when you start your engine, the oil will be much more viscous, for either grade. My point was that even a 5W-30 will be much more viscous than 10 cSt at start-up. So, saying that it's 'too thin' and will cause higher wear rates at start-up doesn't make any sense. It's already many times thicker than the oil at its designed operating temp, and if anything, it will reduce start-up wear compared to a more viscous oil like 10W-30, because it has less resistance to flow at cold start-up.



And this is where it goes off the rails, but I think I get the issue now. Are you under the impression that it's actually better for the engine oil to be thicker at start-up than it is at operating temp? If that's the case, why run a multi-grade at all? Just put in some straight 30 weight and be done with it. But there's tons of research that refutes this idea. Multi-grade oils exist because the lighter weight oil at startup is better for engine lubrication. Just think about it a bit: if the engine is designed, from the bearing tolerances to the oil pump, to operate with an oil of about 10cSt viscosity, then why on earth would starting it up cold with thicker, slower pumping oil be better? I bet you don't start your bike cold and then romp on it right away because you think the thicker oil is somehow offering more protection for your engine. I bet you wait for the oil to warm up, like a responsible owner. But if thicker oil at startup is better, then why wait? Probably because when it's cold out, you can actually feel the loss of performance. Once it starts getting closer to that 10cSt viscosity, it starts feeling better.

See, if we could engineer a lubricant that was 10cSt at 20C, and stayed 10cSt at 100C, then we would have the holy grail of lubrication. But we can't because physics and chemistry. So, an engine oil is specified for the operating condition, where it spends 99% of its time, accepting that most wear will occur at start-up when the lubricant is well out of the design viscosity parameters. But, with a mutli-grade oil, we can at least minimize that viscosity spread, and improve the viscosity index of the lubricant, as seen in that chart I posted for the 10W-30. Sure, it gets thicker as it gets colder, but not as thick as a 30 weight when cold. And sure, it still thins out as it gets warmer, but not as much as a 10 weight when hot. That's what it means to minimize the viscosity spread, and a A 5W-30 does even better to minimize the viscosity spread, a 0W-30 even better still.

So, why does Honda recommend a 10W-30? I could venture a bunch of educated guesses, and would be happy to postulate if you're interested, but better cold-start protection certainly isn't one of those reasons.
Well, my bike rests in the garage and inside temperate is always more than positive. 10W seems good to me. :)

I always start by believing that if maker recommends something, there must be a reason why.
I'm also tempted to believe that a 5W40 would protect better the engine. So, why does Honda insists on the 10W30?! Does anyone know or has a clue why?!
Untill I undestand that, I decided not only to keep the 10W30, but also use the original Honda oil. I live 500m from the local dealer, easy and cheap to get. Saturday morning I was doing a check in my bike. Needed to top the oil. Walked "down the street" and 30 minutes lated I was back in the garage with a can of 10W30 Honda oil ;-)
Honda knows that most of our bikes will be submitted to huge reving torture. Would they be recommending something that wouldn´t be enough to protect the engines againt that?! Don´t think so...
 
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Dankotaru

2019
CBR650R ABS
Jul 5, 2019
7000' ASL, USA
Well, my bike rests in the garage and inside temperate is always more than positive. 10W seems good to me. :)

I always start by believing that if maker recommends something, there must be a reason why.
I'm also tempted to believe that a 5W40 would protect better the engine. So, why does Honda insists on the 10W30?! Does anyone know or has a clue why?!
Untill I undestand that, I decided not only to keep the 10W30, but also use the original Honda oil. I live 500m from the local dealer, easy and cheap to get. Saturday morning I was doing a check in my bike. Needed to top the oil. Walked "down the street" and 30 minutes lated I was back in the garage with a can of 10W30 Honda oil ;-)
Honda knows that most of our bikes will be submitted to huge reving torture. Would they be recommending something that wouldn´t be enough to protect the engines againt that?! Don´t think so...

10W-30 is great, and what's specified. As to why? The general process for an OEM is to first identify an operating viscosity for the engine's intended use and design. In this case, Honda went with 30 weight, likely for some fuel efficiency benefits over the more typical 40 weight. The winter weight was typically determined according to the ambient temps the engine was likely to be used. For automotive use, a little chart in the owner's manual would identify when a 5W-xx or 0W-xx grade should be used, but you hardly see that anymore (for reasons I won't bore you with) and obviously not for our motorcycles. Honda likely doesn't expect a lot of weirdos to be using a four-cylinder sport bike below freezing, so a 10W-30 will be perfectly suitable for most everyone. And it's what they sell. That last part might be a bigger reason than some want to admit.

The final point is a question of benefit versus necessity. A 5W-30 or 5W-40 engine oil will lubricate better on start-up. Even if it's warm enough so there's no difference in pressurization time, the 5W-xx will always be closer to operating weight at start-up than a 10W-30. Which means it will warm up and get to temp quicker, get to operating weight quicker, reduce pumping losses, burn off condensation quicker, additives that require heat will activate quicker. A host of benefits, but none of them are necessary. The point that I @icajewler was making is a valid one: at what point do the benefits really manifest? Even if I ran a 5W-40 and saved two seconds of pressure loss at cold start-up, maybe 20 times a year in my climate, that's a grand total of 40 seconds a year of dry run time I've saved. How much will that impact the life of the engine, an engine that for most owners will never see north of 50k miles, much less 100k? Same on the hot side, how much time does your engine really spend at temps so hot that a 40 weight might be necessary to ensure minimum film strength? So there are benefits to running a tighter viscosity grade like 5W-40, but that's not the same as being necessary. Whether the benefits are worth it, like extra 'insurance' the oil will be at least 10cSt when running hot at the track, or getting rid of the few seconds of extra clatter during really cold starts, is up to each owner. My only point in these discussions has been to help clear up some misconceptions on oil viscosity and basic rheology.
 

OneyedK

2021
CB650R ABS
Jun 19, 2021
Riding Since
1993
A lot of info in this topic, will take me a while to digest all this...

If I happily ignore all this info and simply buy an oil that ticks the right boxes (per the Honda owners manual),
the viscosity of that oil will be at value x if the engine is at it's normal operating temperature.
If I buy me some Castrol Power RS1 10W-40
(mainly because of the red colour of the oil and the fact that the color of the bottles match the color of the crankcase covers).
I put the oil in the bike and ride the same way as before.
Is the viscosity different at the same operating temperature? (and does this matter?)
 

saulius

2019
CB650R
Aug 30, 2022
Riding Since
2019
Has anyone on here used Motul 7100 10w-30 in their bikes ?
i am going to use it- as in my country all bike shops sells it for most of bikes , even for sport bikes; so i assume that it will be fine for my cb650r, because that oils meets all the specs of hondas GN4 MA. aswell, because honda does not make oils, i think i can use other brand instead
 

Tony650r

2020
CBR650R
Nov 30, 2021
Riding Since
2006
Fellow Canadian here. I’ve never heard of a magnetic oil pan heater. Can you just easily slap it under any vehicle/motor with zero install? How do you know when the oil is heated enough? Is there a temp gauge or temp vs time table guide?


A little off topic, I have a magnetic oil pan heater that I’ve used on various vehicles. If I feel the need to start the bike when it’s -30 C it’s makes for a very quick start. Not that I’m going for a ride in the snow. My Honda Odyssey hates the cold!
 

Tony650r

2020
CBR650R
Nov 30, 2021
Riding Since
2006
I too have thought about this a lot. Dankotaru has made a really educated and compelling argument. So why does the manufacturer recommend a certain grade of oil? While reading this thread a thought struck me. Why does any company/business do anything, what motivates their choices? Answer, money, profit. I may be wrong, this is just spit balling, but I think it makes sense that for a mass production, honda would choose the least expensive oil that is adequate instead of a higher quality, better performing, extreme temperature resistant, thus more expensive oil. Then why not recommend to the consumer a “better” oil? Well I think that would be admitting that they fill their engines with the cheapest oil they can get away with. Then that plays perfectly into the whole planned obsolescence thing. I’m not sure, does Honda make their own oil or do they rebrand another producer? In either case, Honda’s 10w30 full synthetic hp4s is still only classified to late 90’s standards asi SJ, and Jaso T903 MA. Most, maybe all modern oils for 4 strokes are classified with the 2006 standard of only (no T903) JASO MA1, MA2 (apparently recommended for bikes with cats), MA (mix of MA1 and MA2) . The cat thing makes sense because emissions were becoming more and more stringent. It’s also said that MA2 makes the clutch more grabby, less gradual, and doesn’t slip as much as MA1 or MA. Has anyone ever tried the regular honda oil vs an M2 and felt a difference, for better or worse?
Another interesting thing is that for a 2021 cbr 1000rr the honda manual still only recommends SG (standard from the late 80’s!!) or better, and/or Jaso T903 MA!! Doesn’t even say to use Honda HP4S full synthetic. So that means they pretty much recommend to use the same GN4 mix as in my 2020 cbr650r? Seems odd to me. Am I wrong to say the 1000rr is a much more demanding of it’s engine/trans components, therefore requiring higher grade oil? Higher compression and octane, tighter clearances and specs. Could it be that Honda produces large quantities and tries to limit the variations, and more complex (more expensive) variations of oil for more profit? Basically only mass produce and recommend a few types of power sports oils that can cover a wide enough spectrum of median performance that is simply adequate. What do you peeps think about this? Anybody have a brand recommendation of the very very best full synthetic MA2 10w30? And now because of Dankotaru, I’m also considering 5w30. Because at operating temp it’s the same viscosity as 10w30 right? But like he said the 5w means it’s thinner at ambient than w10 and flows better on cold start up. At least that’s what I understood.
Ah yes one more thing, it seems to be established that my gen cb/cbr650 runs hot, or at least the temp gauge shows it’s running just shy of in the red. Has anyone ever actually measured the block temp? Maybe it is just that the gauge isn’t visually too precise? Or maybe it really does run hotter than it should and in that case maybe a 40 is justified over a 30? Please interwebs 🙏 please just tell me what to do 🙏. My brain hurts, why do I do this to myself 😂.

Well, my bike rests in the garage and inside temperate is always more than positive. 10W seems good to me. :)

I always start by believing that if maker recommends something, there must be a reason why.
I'm also tempted to believe that a 5W40 would protect better the engine. So, why does Honda insists on the 10W30?! Does anyone know or has a clue why?!
Untill I undestand that, I decided not only to keep the 10W30, but also use the original Honda oil. I live 500m from the local dealer, easy and cheap to get. Saturday morning I was doing a check in my bike. Needed to top the oil. Walked "down the street" and 30 minutes lated I was back in the garage with a can of 10W30 Honda oil ;-)
Honda knows that most of our bikes will be submitted to huge reving torture. Would they be recommending something that wouldn´t be enough to protect the engines againt that?! Don´t think so...
 

NBRC

2021
CB650R ABS
Jan 26, 2022
Portugal
Riding Since
1992
Hello.

Obviously Honda does not make or blends oil. It will depend from region to region. I believe around here is ELF, others mentioned to found different sources. Maker is irrelevant. All have an equivalent knowledge. It´s just a matter of price that needs to be achieved.
What they do, they ask a subcontracted specialist to make a blend that covers the most of their applications range. That is called standardization and makes them save allot of money. I’m pretty sure, having the best blend in the world is not their first request in the list.
But other brands do the same as Honda, all promises the best of performance but in the end they use only the minimum blending to pass the certification tests.
Honda doesn’t specify MA1 or MA2, they just generally say MA, because on every continent or region, that can (and they do) use a different suppliers and the blend and certification can vary from one situation to another.

Generally speaking it seems that there are many users using Motul 7100 as an affordable and superior solution. It´s a JASO MA2 and is an ESTER based oil, so not difficult to me to believe it is better that the Honda OEM and many others on the market. ESTER based lubricants are in a superior class of their own.

My bike always got the Hoda oil because they are performing the maintenance during the warranty period, but the next one, I'll be doing it myself with the MOTUL 7100 10W30. Why?
  • It´s ESTER based, thus a superior syn oil class
  • It´s cheap and available everywhere
  • Looks to be the oil with most positive real world reviews. Many state that the gear change gets improved.
  • Absolutely no need to change the viscosity. 10W30 cover that the most need.
One thing I belive, the Honda blending, should be many time more effective than what the moust of us need, to protect our engines on our everyday usage. My name is not John MCGuinness ;-), I can´t and I don't want to ride like him, why would I need the same oil as he needs? ;-)
 
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JDude

2020
CB650R ABS
May 20, 2020
Ottawa
Riding Since
1979
Fellow Canadian here. I’ve never heard of a magnetic oil pan heater. Can you just easily slap it under any vehicle/motor with zero install? How do you know when the oil is heated enough? Is there a temp gauge or temp vs time table guide?
Yes, it’s that simple. I picked one up quite sometime ago at Princess Auto, unfortunately I no longer have the actual specs for it. You could put it on a timer similar to a regular block heater if you wanted. You’ll be able to feel the difference in temperature by touch, the top of the engine will be the ambient temperature but where the heater is attached you feel that it’s significantly warmer. I hope this helps.
 

JRinKtown

2018
CB650F
Jun 30, 2019
I too have thought about this a lot. Dankotaru has made a really educated and compelling argument. So why does the manufacturer recommend a certain grade of oil? While reading this thread a thought struck me. Why does any company/business do anything, what motivates their choices? Answer, money, profit. I may be wrong, this is just spit balling, but I think it makes sense that for a mass production, honda would choose the least expensive oil that is adequate instead of a higher quality, better performing, extreme temperature resistant, thus more expensive oil. Then why not recommend to the consumer a “better” oil? Well I think that would be admitting that they fill their engines with the cheapest oil they can get away with. Then that plays perfectly into the whole planned obsolescence thing. I’m not sure, does Honda make their own oil or do they rebrand another producer? In either case, Honda’s 10w30 full synthetic hp4s is still only classified to late 90’s standards asi SJ, and Jaso T903 MA. Most, maybe all modern oils for 4 strokes are classified with the 2006 standard of only (no T903) JASO MA1, MA2 (apparently recommended for bikes with cats), MA (mix of MA1 and MA2) . The cat thing makes sense because emissions were becoming more and more stringent. It’s also said that MA2 makes the clutch more grabby, less gradual, and doesn’t slip as much as MA1 or MA. Has anyone ever tried the regular honda oil vs an M2 and felt a difference, for better or worse?
Another interesting thing is that for a 2021 cbr 1000rr the honda manual still only recommends SG (standard from the late 80’s!!) or better, and/or Jaso T903 MA!! Doesn’t even say to use Honda HP4S full synthetic. So that means they pretty much recommend to use the same GN4 mix as in my 2020 cbr650r? Seems odd to me. Am I wrong to say the 1000rr is a much more demanding of it’s engine/trans components, therefore requiring higher grade oil? Higher compression and octane, tighter clearances and specs. Could it be that Honda produces large quantities and tries to limit the variations, and more complex (more expensive) variations of oil for more profit? Basically only mass produce and recommend a few types of power sports oils that can cover a wide enough spectrum of median performance that is simply adequate. What do you peeps think about this? Anybody have a brand recommendation of the very very best full synthetic MA2 10w30? And now because of Dankotaru, I’m also considering 5w30. Because at operating temp it’s the same viscosity as 10w30 right? But like he said the 5w means it’s thinner at ambient than w10 and flows better on cold start up. At least that’s what I understood.
Ah yes one more thing, it seems to be established that my gen cb/cbr650 runs hot, or at least the temp gauge shows it’s running just shy of in the red. Has anyone ever actually measured the block temp? Maybe it is just that the gauge isn’t visually too precise? Or maybe it really does run hotter than it should and in that case maybe a 40 is justified over a 30? Please interwebs 🙏 please just tell me what to do 🙏. My brain hurts, why do I do this to myself 😂.

I use Motul 7100 Full Ester synthetic in either 10W 30 or 10W 40 depending on season. It's great oil with an excellent additive package, and being Ester based, it's more protective.

I'll add to the need for knowledge with what seems to be a 'little known fact' (thanks Cliff): Some oils with the designation "Racing' on the label are not necessarily better for the street. A case in point: Motul V300 Racing oil is popular among a certain crowd with high performance bikes ridden on the street, and for some riders who tour long distances. It's a wonderful oil, but it has some serious limitations for the street rider.

I talked with a Motul tech (one of the people who help formulate the oil;). He said they designed the additive package to provide the utmost performance and protection under extreme conditions. Sounds great right? He followed that by saying, because of that, the additive package will break down quickly after 1500 miles, resulting in inferior protection.

Sales people in retail stores don't seem to be knowledgeable about these things. I've heard them recommend this V300 as a long interval oil. They figure, if it's good for racing it must be better in all respects. So that's an example of the need for proper information. Sometimes the easiest way to gain that is to go to the source and talk with a tech.
 

Dankotaru

2019
CBR650R ABS
Jul 5, 2019
7000' ASL, USA
JASO MA1, MA2 (apparently recommended for bikes with cats), MA (mix of MA1 and MA2) . The cat thing makes sense because emissions were becoming more and more stringent. It’s also said that MA2 makes the clutch more grabby, less gradual, and doesn’t slip as much as MA1 or MA.
If you want to learn about the actual specifications and distinctions for MA, and its sub-classes MA1 and MA2, we've discussed it before in this thread:
https://650f.bike/threads/ma-or-ma2-oil.3879/

It has noting to do with catalytic converters, but is all related to clutch friction.
 

iStill

2021
CB650R ABS
Feb 17, 2022
Riding Since
2012
Have somebody tried Motul 7100 & Castrol Power 1 Racing 10w30?

I’m actually using Motul, but for some reason I’m not liking the oil, sometimes the gears refuse to engage with the QS.
On my cars I’ve tried many brands and I end on Castrol every time.

What’s your opinion on these, is there somebody that tried both of them?

Thanks!
 

Brammers

2014
CBR650F ABS
Staff
May 30, 2014
Hampshire, England
I've been running castrol racing 10w30 for a handful of years. I think it's a very good oil... Especially for the cost. No issues with the QS I fitted either.

Note I'm on a much older 650f that is definitely "bedded in" by now!

J
 

Ian Warren

2021
CBR650R ABS
Mar 12, 2022
United Kingdom
Riding Since
2019
I wouldn't use car oil on a motorbike . Since the clutch is wet clutch and it also uses the same engine oil with the gear box on a motorbike, oils for motorbikes have different additives thus different specs even though it might have the same rating .
Spot on!
Bike oils are different spec because the clutch and gearbox are also lubricated in the same oil and car oil lacks the required additives and shouldn’t be used in bikes!
 
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