It's not a bad oil, but it's nothing special. Yamaha sources it from someone else.. no clue who.
I have always been a huge fan of yamalube 4R for my bike, but no one ever says they use it. Is it good for the motor and the gears?
Am I spending money on yamaha's name?
Not really, since 4 and 4R are no more expensive than other dino and dino/synth blends. You're paying for the part of the sign on the store that says "Cycle" or "Motorsports"
The brass Yamaha filter was replaced with a cellulose (paper) element in '03. The brass filter is pretty fragile... it CAN be cleaned and re-used, but I wouldn't, as it is way easy to damage it during cleaning without knowing it.
Also I am running one of those metal oil filters, but not the reusable kind. Can I take that one out and reuse it after trying to clean it? Or is that just not a good idea?
It does flow better than the paper filter.
For frequrent change intervals, I think it's fine if it's not re-used.
Ya... some people question the value of it, as oil passes through a screen and the filter before going to the engine, so it's probably only extending the life of your filter, but I like it and recommend them. If you dab a paper towel against the "goo" you'll see that the oil will be absorbed leaving you with metal filings. It does look like sludge but it isn't.
Oh yah, and I really think that the magnetic drain plug works awsome. Catches a lot of black guey crap that would otherwise be floating around in the case some were.