Having purchased my bike used, I can’t really trust them to put new oil/fluids into it since there is no paperwork saying it’s been done. I figured I’d try a new brand of engine oil that I’ve never tried until now, one named Royal Purple synthetic. I’ve gone synthetic for years mostly because of the resiliency of it, and being able to handle heat better. I normally go with Amsoil, but I’m growing tired of the price being +$50 for just the oil in an oil change. ($12.50/quart) That, and I’d have to pay for shipping, which adds on an additional cost. I don’t change my oil enough to pay a dealer fee for a cheaper price, either.
Royal Purple motorcycle oil is normally about the same price of Amsoil, however I’ve found through research that laboratory testing of the motorcycle version versus the non-motorcycle version shows the difference between the two is almost purely due to the categorization used being legacy on the motorcycle oil. In other words, there’s not a huge (if any) difference in additives. Considering there is about a $5.00 difference between the versions, that can add up quite a bit with 4 quarts. ($20.00 difference approximately) I also went with 0w-40 instead of 10w-40 to allow me to travel into cooler environments without needing to worry about the viscosity. Since I live in Phoenix, traveling to Flagstaff during the fall/winter can dip down to 50-60 degree Fahrenheit difference.
Before I changed my oil, shifting was slightly loud. When shifting from first to second gear, the transition across neutral was very audible, which worried me a bit. Every shift you could hear, which is never a good thing. So, I started the engine and ran it at various throttle speeds for about 5 minutes to warm up the engine. I then powered it down, and propped the bike onto my blocks. I use 2×8 boards cut into 1 foot sections, then for the wheels there are two boards fused together while the kickstand has 3 boards fused together. (with the bike in first gear) This levels the bike out a bit, allowing the oil to drain properly. I loosened the oil filter before any of this happened to keep from struggling with the torque when it’s hot. I jack it up then lay the bike down onto the blocks, giving me lots of room underneath for work. When I dropped the two plugs to drain the oil, I noticed it was extremely black which let me know we were way past due for a change. I figured I’d let the bike drain for a lonnnnng time so the least amount of the oil is left in the system. Once complete, I screwed the plugs back into place, put a little Royal Purple into the new oil filter and swirled it around to prime it, then screwed on the new K&N oil filter. (tightened until the seal touches surface, then 3/4 more turn to seal) I use K&N primarily because it’s always been a spectacular quality when I used them on my older sportbikes, and the tip of the filter has a bolt piece that can be used to tighten/loosen the filter without using an filter wrench.
For my 2007 Honda VTX 1300C, it requires 3.9 quarts of oil. Not 4, not 3… 3.9. The engineering behind that is astounding. So, for filling I used a big funnel with a hose plugged into the engine oil gauge hole. Once in place, I quickly emptied each bottle into it without leaving each turned upside down afterwards. This allowed a slight amount of the oil to remain in each bottle, leaving 3.9 quarts in the engine and about 0.1 quarts total in the bottles. (I took the time to pour the remaining into a single bottle and measured, it was 0.1 quarts remaining)
Afterwards, I lowered the bike down and cranked her on. No difference in initial sound of course. (it’s not some miracle oil :-) ) The one thing I immediately noticed is the shifting was dramatically quiet, comparedly. Another thing I noticed is the flow of power was a little more noticable, almost as if my engine was less bound up or the transmission was more responsive. Whatever the case, I’m going to chalk it up to oil that was broken down with age. I was going to go with 0-w20, but I figured for my first change I’d go with a viscosity that is called for to see how things are going with the engine.
With the ride to work this morning, I’d say that Royal Purple did a good job with getting things back into working order. I’ll continue to monitor things, however just for documentation purposes I wanted to say there was absolutely no clutch slip or anything of the sort because of it being non-motorcycle oil. That term has been used as a monetary purpose for so long, and it’s sad.