From:Dave Molnar
Subject:RE: RE: RE: OIL Date:Sun May 25 10:18:47 2014
Response to:5178
I used to use 15-40 rotella it was not bad but I thought a
bit thin. Then they changed the formula so about 10,000
miles ago I switched to Valvoline 20-50 VR1 racing. A little
dear but it has plenty of ZDDP and I have never had any
clutch slippage (king clutch) and thats with only outer
clutch springs.

I am using Penrite 40/70 in my KJ. High Zinc, no clutch
Check out their page

Shelsley Heavy for bikes without filter, Classic Heavy with


Ford v. Chevy, Redskins v. Cowboys - nothing gets quite so
personal as choice of oil.

Your owner's manual says to use Valvoline Heavy (summer) and
Valvoline Medium (winter). If not available, use SAE 50 and
SAE 40.

ZDDP wasn't invented until the late 1930's, but it has been
used ever since. ZDDP is particularly good to prevent wear
on flat tappet camshafts. Unfortunately, the amount in
motor oils is being reduced year by year.

Friction modifiers are a more recent invention. These
reduce friction in engines to promote fuel economy and
engine longevity. However, friction modifiers are NOT good
for wet clutches.

Since Hendersons use the same oil for engine, transmission
and clutch, we need an oil is has good ZDDP content, but
contains little or no friction modifiers.

Most diesel oils, like Rotella, meet these requirements, but
the hot rating (the 40 of the 15W-40) is a little light for
summer use. My riding buddies complained that I was blowing
a lot of smoke when I used that. Other folks seem to use it
with with no problems.

Multi-viscosity oils were not invented until 1954. A good
20W-50 should be just fine instead of a straight 50,
provided it has ZDDP and no friction modifiers.

Valvoline VR-1 Racing Oil comes in 20W-50, 40, 50, and 60.
But read the label:
* High zinc/phosphorus provides extreme wear protection,
including flat tappet applications
* Additional friction modfiers to help deliver maximum
I know some people use this, and I haven't heard any reports
of slipping clutches, so maybe it's OK.

What I use is Kendall GT-1 High Performance Motor Oil with
Liquid Titanium (conventional dinosaur oil). It's got good
ZDDP content, and no friction modifiers. My riding buddies
don't complain, and my clutch doesn't slip. Kendall 20W-50
seems pretty good too, and has more ZDDP than their SAE 50.
With your cold Vermont winters, that may be a good choice
for you.

I went to the websites for many brands of oil, and compared
their Product Data Sheets (you'll have to hunt around a
little to find them). These usually give you the Zinc and
Phosphate numbers, and they usually tell you about friction
modifiers. I also called the tech support lines, and talked
to them - some were very helpful, some were not.

So do the research, and guess your best. But the offerings,
and the formulations change pretty quickly these days, so
research early and often!