Advice Needed - Engine Oil, Lubricants, and Valve Adjustment


19 replies to this topic
  • cltrobd

Posted September 05, 2007 - 07:18 PM

#1

I have an 06 WR450 and have just finished the break in period. I need to get the oil changed, lubricate the chain, and cables. I went back to place I bought the bike and was blown away by all of the brands and types. The part-time parts guy/part-time racer told me all oils are created equal but I'm not too sure about that so I need some advice.

What is everyone using for engine oil, oil filter, chain lube, and cable lube? There are synthetic oils that are supposed to keep the engine cooler - is this true? The WR does get pretty hot especially when riding slower highly technical single tracks. I would imagine keeping the engine cooler would be the way to go for more power and longer life.

Also, the dealer told me that the valves need to be inspected and adjusted - is this true? How soon and how often should this be done?

Looking forward to any help I can get and thanks in advance!

  • ccoates445

Posted September 05, 2007 - 08:06 PM

#2

To the horror of many on this site, I put about 400 miles on mine before the first change. Yamaha says 600 B4 the first change but I think thats a bit long for a system that only holds 1.27 US quarts. Every 1k after that. Any sooner is a waste quite frankly. There are a go-zillion brands you can use but the esther base synthetics are the best choice. They are a little more $$ but the protection is much better and they hold up longer. The less friction, the less heat. Choose a weight rating that suits the temps you ride in. The chain is a whole story in itself. There are many opinions on this subject but the general concensus is that drier is better. An o-ring chain is pre-lubed between the pins and rollers. The o-rings seal them. Therefore, it is important to try not to was the lube out with any penatrants. IMO. I wash mine with simple green and a grunge brush. I rinse it with regular hose pressure and dry it with compressed air from about 12" away. I then use chain wax which has been great for me because it dries completely and is not sticky. Sticky is BAD!! I use dry-lube for my cables, but not too often. Valves seem to stay in check pretty good on mine but I would recommend you check them at the first oil change. Then every 2-3000 after that, unless you notice a sudden drop in performance. Don't forget that proper jetting will help keep your temps in check so don't forget to dial that in. I have been using engine ice thru the summer and have been very impressed at it's performance. You might want to try it. Hope that helps.

  • Solo

Posted September 05, 2007 - 08:59 PM

#3

+1 to all that coates said without getting into brands.

*Synthetics on the oil
*Dry lube, if any, for the chain (look for something that dries and doesn't remain sticky)
*I use silicone type lube for the cables. This is another place you don't want stuff getting gunked up.
*Check the valves as stated.
*There was no mention of air filter so I'll toss mine out there. No Toil- easy to use, easy to clean, easy to oil. Get a few so you can always have one ready to go. ALWAYS keep your air filter clean.

  • clark4131

Posted September 06, 2007 - 05:10 AM

#4

1000 miles between oil changes? Please tell me I read that wrong :thumbsup:...SC

  • SXP

Posted September 06, 2007 - 05:44 AM

#5

To the horror of many on this site, I put about 400 miles on mine before the first change. Every 1k after that.


I definitely wouldn't advertise that come time to sell the bike:eek:

  • ccoates445

Posted September 06, 2007 - 06:17 PM

#6

1000 miles between oil changes? Please tell me I read that wrong :thumbsup:...SC

I knew I'd get someone to bite on that. Yes. 1000 miles. The oil, especially synthetics are good for much longer, but I dare not say for fear of banishment from my beloved Thumpertalk! Weekly oil changes are a waste of time and money. (I have a bit of experience in this arena). The main cause of oil fouling is dillution. If other maintenance issues are followed closely, ie: clean high quality air filter, proper jetting etc., the oil stays clean alot longer. I happen go by the color more than the miles actually, but it usually reverts back to around the same mileage. My best recommendation, do what your comfortable with.

Fight On!!

  • clark4131

Posted September 06, 2007 - 07:21 PM

#7

I use Amsoil in everything that I own, except the lawnmower. I think it's the best thing going, but, considering the microscopic amount of oil in the WR and the fact that it's doing double duty as both an engine and gear lube, even Amsoil eventually gets its butt kicked. The shearing forces of the transmission actually destroy the oil at the molecular level, not to mention the wear debris that is always present at oil change time due to the clutch plates wearing. To me, $6 for every 150-200 miles isn't that expensive compared to a new top end, or worse, new bottom end. But, if you're comfortable with your schedule, cool. Just out of morbid curiosity though, I'd love to see a wear comparison after a similar amount of miles and hours. Have you ever sent your oil off for analysis after that long?...SC

  • ccoates445

Posted September 06, 2007 - 08:57 PM

#8

I use Amsoil in everything that I own, except the lawnmower. I think it's the best thing going, but, considering the microscopic amount of oil in the WR and the fact that it's doing double duty as both an engine and gear lube, even Amsoil eventually gets its butt kicked. The shearing forces of the transmission actually destroy the oil at the molecular level, not to mention the wear debris that is always present at oil change time due to the clutch plates wearing. To me, $6 for every 150-200 miles isn't that expensive compared to a new top end, or worse, new bottom end. But, if you're comfortable with your schedule, cool. Just out of morbid curiosity though, I'd love to see a wear comparison after a similar amount of miles and hours. Have you ever sent your oil off for analysis after that long?...SC

I'm glad you asked! As a matter of fact I have, many times. It's what I did for over 20 years. Chemical engineering and with a emphasis on racing oil development. As you can imagine, I have tested until the cows come home. (And some of them didn't). Thru the many years of changes just in engine tollerances alone, machining and hardening techinques that leave hardly anything to wear out, except after years of fatigue. Now I am not advocating a strict 1000 miles to all as riding conditions vary like opinions on this very subject. A bike that is ridden in WOT conditions in the hot desert for hours on end I would never think of it. My riding tends to be a mix of everything, but I am a big guy and I like to go as fast as my little smurf mobile will carry me. The analysis of my last 2 samples showed minimal wear and and next to zero soft and hard metal content. What shows up time after time is dillution which I am sure many of you recognize as fuel washing past the rings and into the oil. As well, some of the oil makes it past the rings and thru the guides and burns away. But after anywhere around 1k to 1200 miles, it starts to give reason enough to drain and start over. Clutch materials will tend to discolor the oil prematurely but using a quality esther based synthetic at the proper weight (viscosity) for your riding conditions, it does not add significantly to the breakdown. The w in the viscosity # is for "winter", or the viscosity in cold operating temps. My engines hold up to the harshest conditions and I can promise you there is zero build-up on the inside surfaces. Great subject. Good takes. Cheers

  • face_plant

Posted September 07, 2007 - 10:59 AM

#9

1000 miles dear lord you must be just like me :thumbsup:

1000 miles give or take 50-100 my oil is "red" so when i see brown i change it
and i run 20w50 in the summer and 10w40 winter
at 9k+ miles she is in tip top shape and my valves dont even need messed with...o the other sin cough cough....filter every other change

  • tony1970

Posted September 07, 2007 - 11:39 AM

#10

Do yourself a favor and buy an hour meter and go by the hours not the miles. I get a kick out of people who spend big bucks on a bike and cheap out on oil and filters.

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  • ccoates445

Posted September 07, 2007 - 12:23 PM

#11

Do yourself a favor and buy an hour meter and go by the hours not the miles. I get a kick out of people who spend big bucks on a bike and cheap out on oil and filters.

Cheap out? Oh no my good Tony1970! Yer talkin' to the original big spender! At least thats what the wife tells me. My curiosity. Where is it written that oil must be changed every 2-300 miles? Do you have anything to back that up? I use the best oil money can buy. I use quality filters every oil change even though I agree more with face plant on that. Hour meters work great too. But how many miles do you go prior to changing the oil? I'd be interested to hear your take on that. Cheers

  • tony1970

Posted September 07, 2007 - 03:52 PM

#12

Cheap out? Oh no my good Tony1970! Yer talkin' to the original big spender! At least thats what the wife tells me. My curiosity. Where is it written that oil must be changed every 2-300 miles? Do you have anything to back that up? I use the best oil money can buy. I use quality filters every oil change even though I agree more with face plant on that. Hour meters work great too. But how many miles do you go prior to changing the oil? I'd be interested to hear your take on that. Cheers


Well,for example my friend and I went for a ride on a trail that is a twenty mile loop. The trail takes 2.5 to 3 hours to complete since it is tight single track with several challenging sections to get up. After the ride my engine had registed 2.6 hours of run time. Now this is a slow going trail and 4 strokes create a lot of heat during this type of riding. Throw in clutch slippage and you can cook an egg off the case. Not a very friendly environment for any brand of oil. If I set my oil change intervals at mileage, lets say 1000 miles, I would have to do the same loop 50 times to reach that mark, or 130 hours of run time. Now if I do some high speed double track and crank out 80 miles in a day and put 4 hours total run time on the engine it is a completly different situation. Throw in other factors like outside temperature, moisture,humidity, creek crossings, dust, and if you race all call for oil maintainance above and beyond the norm. Hourmeters tell you how long your engine ran, and the rider knows what conditions it ran under. That determines your oil and filter changes. I change my oil every 8 hours , and my filter every 16, less if the conditions are extream. Overkill? Maybe, but I know that my oil is always fresh and uncontaminted. The fact is that the oil in modern four strokes is put under high heat and stress. Double cams, 5 valves, short strokes, and high revs do that.These are high maintainence machines.

My goal is to ride as much as possible with little down time on the bike,trail break downs and top end explosions. If that means changing my oil more than normal, my air filter after every ride, brake fluid twice a year, and coolent once a year so be it. The more attention you give the bike, it will pay off in spades in the long run on the trail.

  • cltrobd

Posted September 07, 2007 - 08:39 PM

#13

Thanks for the advice guys! It appears that my question can be answered in a variety of ways depending on experience. I imagined that might be the case. This is only the second bike I've ever owned and it's been 20 years in between (86 RM125 to 06 WR450).

20 years ago I rode with the #1 pro-125 rider in Illinois and he changed everything from tires to gear oil after every practice session or race - the oil he took out was clean enough to have been put in another bike. It was probably nice to have sponsors and all the free lubricants and parts you could use. Having a friend like that kept me in tires and free lubricants for years.

I will follow the general consensus and purchase the highest quality synthetic oil possible. I think my comfort level for change frequency falls somewhere in the 3-400 mile range. I ride mostly trails with the occasional mx track thrown in for good measure. Conditions here in NC have been dry this year and I have been maintaining my air filter after each ride. The cable lubricants are something I have yet to purchase as well and it appears that a dry lube vs. a silicon lube is a personal preference.

Now that the basics have been answered I'm on to the all important uncorking of the bike. It was great in stock condition while I got my feet wet again but my RM125 had more power. I mean, the WR will not wheelie under power! So, I will be working on jetting, etc. and following the jetting guide and free mods in the posts.

Thanks Again,
Rob

  • ccoates445

Posted September 07, 2007 - 09:16 PM

#14

Quote: "If that means changing my oil more than normal, my air filter after every ride, brake fluid twice a year, and coolent once a year so be it."

All good stuff! Even changing oil "more than normal" You have a good argument with your riding conditions, especially if thats the only type of riding you do. You are certainly doing no harm, and there is always a comfort factor we deal with in anything we do to our beloved steeds.

The question was raised if I had data that supported my "questionable" practice, and I responded with solid facts from the many analysis' I have performed in the past. Heck the manual even says 600 miles for the first change and then I think they recommend every 1800 miles or 3 months after that. But alas, they are the same ones who tell to visit our dealer for everything under the sun. And by the way, I believe I did mention in a previous reply that riding conditions and comfort level rule the day. Cheers

  • AnthonyB

Posted September 07, 2007 - 09:19 PM

#15

Not strictly true ...
Modern oils have polymers, (little plastic chains), that are designed to break up and reconstitute with changes in tempreture, to provide a varying thickness for cold vs. hot motors . The gears on bike motors, (shared gearbox, clutch & sump), take the toll on these polymers, (as does heat), and then there's blowby of fuel, (which dilutes the oil), and blowby of carbon, hmmmm ... did I hear diamonds grinding away those internal surfaces of your motor? (nuf said!)

A good quality filter is certainly what is required to extend the useable life of oil with respect to carbon / clutch / metal / other? particles ... and decently long rides will certainly evaporate most fuel blowby, however in my experience, (assuming the use of good quality oil and filters), the combination of heat and "grinding" of the polymers by the gears is the real issue, as this breaks down the oils polymers, rendering the oil pretty much useless after relativly short periods of time ... even tho' it looks clean!

Further to this, and what most don't realise, is that the oil serves a number of purposes ... lubrication? .... but what is lubrication in an engine? Oil IS your bearing surface. It forms a pressure layer a couple of thou' thick between critical surfaces and the bearing shells, and it needs to withstand huge pressures whilst concurrently carrying the heat away from same, which it can't do once the polymers have broken down!

For the price of a decent filter and a litre of oil .... Change it often!

  • ccoates445

Posted September 07, 2007 - 09:21 PM

#16

Have fun with it. Your subject is always appropriate. Good maintenance will give your bike better life and make it less prone to failure. Good luck with the mods. Charlie

  • ccoates445

Posted September 07, 2007 - 09:36 PM

#17

Not strictly true ...
Modern oils have polymers, (little plastic chains), that are designed to break up and reconstitute with changes in tempreture, to provide a varying thickness for cold vs. hot motors . The gears on bike motors, (shared gearbox, clutch & sump), take the toll on these polymers, (as does heat), and then there's blowby of fuel, (which dilutes the oil), and blowby of carbon, hmmmm ... did I hear diamonds grinding away those internal surfaces of your motor? (nuf said!)

A good quality filter is certainly what is required to extend the useable life of oil with respect to carbon / clutch / metal / other? particles ... and decently long rides will certainly evaporate most fuel blowby, however in my experience, (assuming the use of good quality oil and filters), the combination of heat and "grinding" of the polymers by the gears is the real issue, as this breaks down the oils polymers, rendering the oil pretty much useless after relativly short periods of time ... even tho' it looks clean!

Further to this, and what most don't realise, is that the oil serves a number of purposes ... lubrication? .... but what is lubrication in an engine? Oil IS your bearing surface. It forms a pressure layer a couple of thou' thick between critical surfaces and the bearing shells, and it needs to withstand huge pressures whilst concurrently carrying the heat away from same, which it can't do once the polymers have broken down!

For the price of a decent filter and a litre of oil .... Change it often!

I think maybe you missed some things in the previous posts. Your comment on carbon is well noted, but as mentioned previously, proper jetting will cut down on carbon dramatically.

  • AnthonyB

Posted September 07, 2007 - 09:43 PM

#18

Nope ... my point is that the polymers break down and don't affect the colour of the oil! :thumbsup:

  • ccoates445

Posted September 07, 2007 - 10:03 PM

#19

I'm glad you asked! As a matter of fact I have, many times. It's what I did for over 20 years. Chemical engineering and with a emphasis on racing oil development. As you can imagine, I have tested until the cows come home. (And some of them didn't). Thru the many years of changes just in engine tollerances alone, machining and hardening techinques that leave hardly anything to wear out, except after years of fatigue. Now I am not advocating a strict 1000 miles to all as riding conditions vary like opinions on this very subject. A bike that is ridden in WOT conditions in the hot desert for hours on end I would never think of it. My riding tends to be a mix of everything, but I am a big guy and I like to go as fast as my little smurf mobile will carry me. The analysis of my last 2 samples showed minimal wear and and next to zero soft and hard metal content. What shows up time after time is dillution which I am sure many of you recognize as fuel washing past the rings and into the oil. As well, some of the oil makes it past the rings and thru the guides and burns away. But after anywhere around 1k to 1200 miles, it starts to give reason enough to drain and start over. Clutch materials will tend to discolor the oil prematurely but using a quality esther based synthetic at the proper weight (viscosity) for your riding conditions, it does not add significantly to the breakdown. The w in the viscosity # is for "winter", or the viscosity in cold operating temps. My engines hold up to the harshest conditions and I can promise you there is zero build-up on the inside surfaces. Great subject. Good takes. Cheers

Your right that polymers do break down, but not a quickly as you may think. After 1000 miles (20-24 hours estimated) the only indicator in the last couple of analysis we ran was dilution, and even then it was minimal. Sorry if I misunderstood your last post.

  • AnthonyB

Posted September 07, 2007 - 10:20 PM

#20

No prob. :bonk:
Some years back we had one of the chemists from Agip come along and give our club a talk on oils ... FACINATING stuff! :ride:

The long and short of it .... I now change my oil and filters OFTEN! :thumbsup:




 
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