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Hello everyone

I recently bought a 2007 1098S. I read online that 15w50 is what is recommended but my local motorcycle shop sold me 10w50. What is the difference?

I live in Florida so rather warm climate.
 

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The low number is viscosity when starting and the higher number is when it gets hotter...operating temp. Numbers are so close it won't matter.
 

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From Driven Racing Oil

Viscosity is the most important property of a lubricant. Understanding viscosity promotes the ability to reduce wear, improve fuel economy and make more horsepower.

For starters, in oil nomenclature, “W” does not stand for “Weight”. It stands for “Winter” and that is the key to understanding viscosity grades. A 10W-30 is a multi-grade (two viscosities) motor oil, and as the name implies, it meets more than one grade. Forty years ago there were winter grades for cold weather and summer grades for warmer weather. A typical winter grade was 10W. A typical summer grade was 30. These oils were straight grade oils. A 10W flows well in cold weather, to protect the engine at start up, but it’s is too thin for use in the summer. A 30 grade grade oil, thick enough to protect in the heat, was recommended for summer use.

Then, multi-grade oils were formulated. A 10W-30 had the winter cold start flow properties of a 10W and the summer, high temperature thickness of a 30 grade. Multi-grade oils could stay as close to the optimum viscosity over a range of temperatures - not too thick when it is cold and not too thin when it is hot.

The difference between a 0W-30 and a 10W-30 is indicated by how well each flows at lower temperatures. The viscosity of hot oil is measured using different test parameters than when the oil is cold, so the numbers after the “W” don’t relate to the numbers in front of the “W”. The difference between 10W-30 and a 10W-40 is the high temperature viscosity. Obviously, a 10W-40 is thicker than a 10W-30 at high temperature.

Armed with knowledge of viscosity grades, how can we put it to good use? Remember that using oil with a viscosity that is too high can result in excessive oil temperature and increased drag. Using an oil with a low viscosity can lead to excessive metal to metal contact between moving parts. Using the correct viscosity oil eases starting, reduces friction and slows wear.

For even more effective start up protection, use a synthetic 10W-40 instead of a conventional 20W-50. The synthetic 10W-40 flows easily and still maintains enough viscosity to protect piston skirts and bearings when it gets hot. The improved temperature stability of synthetics make them a better choice for race engines and serious high performance engines. Even with a synthetic, however, viscosity changes with temperature. Selecting the correct viscosity for an application requires knowing the operating temperature of the oil. Engines that run high operating oil temperatures require higher viscosity oil.

Engines that run low oil temps require lower viscosity oil. Look at an NHRA Pro Stock engine, a NASCAR Sprint Cup engine and a World of Outlaws 410 Sprint engine. Each engine has a very different operating oil temperature – Pro Stock, 100°F; NASCAR, 220°F and sprint cars, 300°F. All three engines run very different viscosity oils as well − SAE 0W-5, SAE 5W-20 and SAE 15W-50.

Here’s another thought regarding viscosity. It is vitally important to keep internal engine clearances in mind. Looser clearances in the engine and oil pump require higher viscosity oil to maintain oil pressure. Tighter clearances need lower viscosity oil, which provides better cooling and improved horsepower.
 

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I've been thinking about switching from a 10w-50 back to a 10w-40 just to save a little more weight but I'm not sure there's much difference in switching the first number. :wink2:
 

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I love oil threads ! Here’s what I do :( this ought to explode a few heads ) Whe I change oil at home I try to put the recommended stuff in, but often I need more than I have on hand. I usually don’t go to the store for another quart. Instead, I use the closest thing to whatever is recommended that I can find in my cabinet. Sometimes I don’t have the recommended filter, so I dig around in the filter cabinet and find one that fits. I end up using a combination of Ducati, Harley, Kubota, Suzuki, John Deere, Buell, and Fram filters on whatever they fit. Works for me.
 

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I’ve been a rotella guy for years but have found a new favorite oil. It comes in 20W-50, full synthetic, easy to buy (Wallyworld), JASO rated, and the best part is the trans shifts like butter. Valvoline 4T stroke full syn at 6.67 qt.


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Just to add to Mr Allen's post.
Oil pressure is not the goal, we rely on a wedge of oil between the crank and bearings for lubrication. Oil pressure is a side effect, it's created when oil pumps faster than it can drain away through the bearings.
If the oil is too thick oil pressure will be high but you may have minimal oil flow through the bearings. If the oil is to thin it may not be able to support the wedge of oil between the crank and bearings leading to metal to metal contact and wear.
 

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With synthetic vs mineral oils, synthetic oils are not necessarily better at handling high temperatures. All oils have additives in them to meet the multigrade specifications. Synthetic oils need less additives because the base stock is better. Since it's the additives that wear out , the main advantage of synthetic oil is it lasts longer allowing extended service intervals.
 

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I standardized on Rotella synthetic years ago on all my bike but no longer. It is synthetic and MA (motorcycle) rated but otherwise it's mediocre oil according to this incredible research - https://540ratblog.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/motor-oil-wear-test-ranking/ . I digested all that information and now use Mobil 0W40 in my bikes - wet clutch be damned. Mobil was designed for high revving, hot running European turbo engines. The evidence I can offer that Mobil protects well is that when Rotella got to full temp on my SV1000S I'd hear a bearing knock at idle. That's gone with the Mobil oil.

Final points:

1. A thinner oil is generally preferable provided you're getting adequate oil pressure. Flow is what's important.
2. Oil has evolved. Feel free to substitute 0W30 for 10W30, 0W40 for 15W40 etc., especially in colder climates.
 

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Yep rat540 has some very good info.
I wouldn't go to low viscosity though, remember on a motorcycle the oil lubricates the gearbox too.
Gearboxes typically rely on splash feed lubrication rather than pressure feed. A thin oil can drip/fling off to easily. It's a balancing act between different needs. The manufacturers specs are best ,taken with your ambient temperature range.
But yes , you should go slightly thinner rather than thicker for improved oil flow and lower oil temperatures.
Keep in mind also that as a motor wears oil clearances increase and that the gearbox tends to chop up the oil molecule strands causing it to thin out during use.
 

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On a similar vein, years ago my 2stroke yz250 had issues with notchy stiff gear changes once hot, admittedly I was running in the outback in temperature over 35deg C. I changed from the recommended auto trans fluid to 80w90 grade and it used to shift like butter.
 
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