Question about 1986 Yamaha XJ 700 X Maxim

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I've been reading different information about the type of oil to use in my 1986 Yamaha XJ700X bike with approx 8K miles on it. Some folks are recommending 10-40 and others are recommending 20-50 synthetic motor oil as the bike is old and has some miles on it. Any thoughts on the proper oil to put into this machine? Thank you.

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If you live in hotter climates like 85 degrees and above, use the 20w50. If you ride mostly under the 85 degree, use the 10w40 that is recommended by the factory.

Posted on Jun 30, 2009

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Well it depends on a few things actually, the main one being ambient temps where you live. if it's always hot outside you will use 20w50 oil as it will become more liquid when it heats up, and invertly, it if's colder outside the you will use 10w40 oil as it less thick then 20w50 and oil will thicken when its colder. Another major factor in oil choice is the engine's peak torque RPM, as the higher the engine will rev to get torque and keep a constant speed, the hotter it will run and the thicker oil you need to keep it safe. There is not necessarily a precise RPM so i will use theoretical numbers here that are not valid in any case and are just used for an example. Say the engine usually runs at around 5000 RPM at a good cruising speed and it redline at about, let's say 7000 RPM, then you should use 10w40 oil is is more liquid and will better protect the engine since it will run at lower temps. If though you have a more performant bike and lets say it's normal running speed is about 8000 RPM and redlines at 12 000 RPM, then you will use 20w50 oil as it is thicker and since the engine runs hotter, then it will better protect the engine as it will not become as liquid as water like the 10w40 would at high temp. And the last determining factor is engine wear and oil comsuption. This one is more on the optional side though. Simply put, thicker oil has less chances of finding its way through small wear lines or hole or any small imperfection in the cylinders, thusly if you engine burns a bit of oil, using 20w50 will help the oil consumption of the engine since it is thicker and will not go through small passages easily. But on the foreside though,if the engine is made for 10w40 and has an optimum temp that requires 10w40, using 20w50 instead will reduce oil consumption but will also put a little more stress on the engine and you might end up with a broken piston ring or something a bit before it would have broken using 10w40 oil, but i'm not talking about a few years faster, maybe a few months less engine life on the worst scenario, and usually if you engine is already burning oil, it might not have another 20 years to live anyway. Oh and by the way, i know it's odd talking about this here but i could not add another comment to you ford f-150 clockspring problem so i will just say it here. The clockspring is not necessarily dealer only, i used to sell some at canadian tire and we had them for at least the most common models, and guess what, your f-150 was very popular.:) So you can go to your local parts store and ask for it, there will be bound to be at least one of them that can get a jobber model for you. You can also scrounge up the scrap yards for a used one if you like, as there will be tons of clocksprings in the scrap yards. So hope all this helps.:)

Posted on Jul 28, 2009

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