Question about 2005 Ducati Supersport 1000 DS

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Oil type what oil should I use?

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There have got to be as many opinions on oil choice as there are motorcyclists. The Owners Manual says to use SHELL Advance Ultra 4, SAE 20w-50, but it also says "Engine oil and oil filters must be changed by a Ducati dealer or authorized workshop at regular intervals,as specified in the routine maintenance schedule" so take that for what you will. Some will swear on Uncle Zeke's grave that $11/qt Agip synthetic is the only thing that should go in your fine Italian machine and others will berate you as a fool for using anything more pricey than .89 cent/qt Valvoline dino oil from AutoZone. I've seen claims that "Most motorcycle oils are SG/SH and JASO MA rated where most auto oils are now SJ/SH rated and not JASO rated at all" implying that newer Automotive oils are not designed with motorcycles at all. The truth is that most of what I've read (like the MCN article link below) on the subject says that under most conditions and by most criteria, there's not a lot of difference between quality automotive oils and motorcycle specific oils. I personally think that changing your oil regularly is more important than what oil you use. One thing that seems to be in almost universal agreement is that for the first 600 mile break-in period a non-synthetic oil should be used to help "hone-in" the cylinder walls. Since your new Ducati should have come from the dealership with oil in it, this shouldn't be a big worry for most. That said, I personally choose to use Redline Performance SAE 10w-40 full synthetic in all of my motorcycles and my Jeep. I've been running it in my Monster 750 since 600 miles and I haven't had any mechanical issues with the bike. Some people have claimed to have had problems with using full synthetic oils in wet clutch bikes, but Redline is specifically formulated with an additive for wet clutch motorcycles. My personal Ducati Guru, Mike Lancaster at Ducs-R-Us, once told me that he uses Agip in all of his bikes (Hey... He's the one that started me on Redline!) but that it was more because he got it at cost than because he thought it was significantly better. He said that if he didn't get performance motorcycle oils at cost, he'd have no problem just filling them up with Mobile-1. Bottom line: Ask around, do your own research, and then you can join the oil crusades yourself.

Posted on Nov 20, 2008


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