Shell Rotella T6 - I'm confused! - Honda Goldwing Forums
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Old 05-15-2011, 06:12 PM   #1
Tahinjax
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Default Shell Rotella T6 - I'm confused!

I have a 2008 GL1800A. I want to try Rotella T6 at the next change. Here are my questions -

1. I have seen other posters talk about T6 10w-40. I have looked everywhere (including the Shell website) and all I can find is 5w-40. Is this the only T6 weight there is?

2. Assuming 5w-40 is the only weight, can I use this safely in my bike? As we all know. the manual calls for 10w-30 or 10w-40.

Your responses and opinions are welcomed.
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Old 05-15-2011, 06:38 PM   #2
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Welcome Tahinjax to GWOF.

You are hoping to find a magic answer that is universal and you will ultimately get the opposite answers. They will be never-ending and make you more confused. The oil debate will never end and we will never know the best answer. There is more than 1 good one I suspect.

Go to the search button at the top of this page and type in some key words like 'what oil' 'rotella' etc.

There are enough articles already here to leave you armed and most likely, further confused.

The short version of this is, it's your bike, your decision. Car oils, bike oils and diesel oils all have different blends for different things. You cannot put just any 10w-40 in a bike as it is so much different than a car. Your bike has a wet clutch meaning it lubes the engine and also has to help shift the tranny and clutch. That is why you are finding 5w-40 listed for a bike. My Honda Sabre liked it, shifted better- others will tell you to stay away. Good luck with your search.

At the end of the day, there are alot of bikes with a lot of different oils and we all seem to get where we want to go. I am now using Amsoil because I am busy and I feel better changing the filters Spring and Fall. I change the oil in all my vehicles in October when Fall sets in and the outdoor chores have slown down. I hope it is better, doubt it is worse but I don't like constant chores with 5 vehicles and trying to keep up with what needs what when.
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Last edited by L2R; 05-15-2011 at 06:42 PM.
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Old 05-15-2011, 07:36 PM   #3
trike lady
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Hello and welcome to the forum.
I personally wouldn't use anything but the recommended oil weight and without additives that would allow clutch slippage.
The service manual states, " Pro Honda GN4 4 Stroke oil or equivalent motor oil.
API Service Classification SG or higher.
JASO T903 Standard: MA.
Viscosity 10w-30."

To be on the safe side I'd select a 10w-30 that meets or exceedes API and JASO standards. Check the label.
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Old 05-15-2011, 07:41 PM   #4
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I use Shell Rotella T6 5w-40. The one in the blue jug. I've used it for 2 oil changes so far and nothing has blown up yet.
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Old 05-15-2011, 08:22 PM   #5
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Default Good point Trike Lady

I went thru this a couple years ago and read exhausting articles. To my best rememberance, (that means don't believe me, go look it up) Shell Rotella did have all the qualities required by Honda and met or exceeded them. But it is labeled and distributedto be a diesel oil. And there was all the chemical names and grades etc to back up the article. I did not go to other places to verify the author, he said that this was his profession and certainly boggled my brain into submission so as to never question it.

Wally world has it, it is reasonably priced and then.....................I got into the couple of synthetics articles that said some have one element of dinosaur oil which came to a law suit many years ago as to whether SOME of the synthethics were actually synthetics or not. I want to say Castol was the oil in question and Shell Rotella is similar if I remember correctly.


If I remember right Mobil1 is a true synthetic and there is a alot of info as to which is right for a bike. It too is easily available and viscos tests are great. The argument amongst the experts continues about dyno vs. syn. vs. the one moecule of dyno in the synthetic. Who knows but synthetic is proven to hold viscos much longer and that includes all that claim to be a synthetic. Pretty soon, you will know a little about a whole lot and I eventually forgot why I started all this reading in the first place.

Others claim that Honda does not make oil just reviews and tests what they think is best and has it labeled on their bottle.

As I don't have testing equipment, I found myself still doubting so I changed it every 5k to keep my sanity with Rotella T.

As stated before, Amsoil does offer a warranty if you use their filter and no one else does or at least used to..
Your bike, your research and your decision.


A part of my job at work is to write detailed work and preventative maint. docs. We find that cycles of equipment gets missed or ignored when cycle counts or odometers are used. People don't look or forget and there is no mental trigger to make one do so.

We found it much easier to have a document where maintenance items are routinely done by the week or month or season. For that reason and the fact my miles work out fairly reasonably on all my vehicles, I have my routine as stated before.

Probably the only people who know for sure are the last ones to own a worn out engine and more than likely, they have no data on what owner used what oil. As Chopin said, we are all riding and all seem to be doing fine
If you find my short version making your head hurt, go buy the Honda stuff like TL said and enjoy the ride to go get it. Then you won't regret it and can always change later.

.
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Last edited by L2R; 05-15-2011 at 08:30 PM.
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Old 05-15-2011, 09:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by love2ride View Post
I went thru this a couple years ago and read exhausting articles. To my best rememberance, (that means don't believe me, go look it up) Shell Rotella did have all the qualities required by Honda and met or exceeded them. But it is labeled and distributedto be a diesel oil. And there was all the chemical names and grades etc to back up the article. I did not go to other places to verify the author, he said that this was his profession and certainly boggled my brain into submission so as to never question it.

Wally world has it, it is reasonably priced and then.....................I got into the couple of synthetics articles that said some have one element of dinosaur oil which came to a law suit many years ago as to whether SOME of the synthethics were actually synthetics or not. I want to say Castol was the oil in question and Shell Rotella is similar if I remember correctly.


If I remember right Mobil1 is a true synthetic and there is a alot of info as to which is right for a bike. It too is easily available and viscos tests are great. The argument amongst the experts continues about dyno vs. syn. vs. the one moecule of dyno in the synthetic. Who knows but synthetic is proven to hold viscos much longer and that includes all that claim to be a synthetic. Pretty soon, you will know a little about a whole lot and I eventually forgot why I started all this reading in the first place.

Others claim that Honda does not make oil just reviews and tests what they think is best and has it labeled on their bottle.

As I don't have testing equipment, I found myself still doubting so I changed it every 5k to keep my sanity with Rotella T.

As stated before, Amsoil does offer a warranty if you use their filter and no one else does or at least used to..
Your bike, your research and your decision.


A part of my job at work is to write detailed work and preventative maint. docs. We find that cycles of equipment gets missed or ignored when cycle counts or odometers are used. People don't look or forget and there is no mental trigger to make one do so.

We found it much easier to have a document where maintenance items are routinely done by the week or month or season. For that reason and the fact my miles work out fairly reasonably on all my vehicles, I have my routine as stated before.

Probably the only people who know for sure are the last ones to own a worn out engine and more than likely, they have no data on what owner used what oil. As Chopin said, we are all riding and all seem to be doing fine
If you find my short version making your head hurt, go buy the Honda stuff like TL said and enjoy the ride to go get it. Then you won't regret it and can always change later.

.
" Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short."

Henry David Thoreau.
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Old 05-15-2011, 09:18 PM   #7
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ex.........actly.

for the ranting this weekend. Bad case of poison oak resulted in bad case of side effects with steroids. haven't slept since Friday night. I have gotten a lot done and made some new enemies but the story is still straight.....also found I can type 114 words a minute now.
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:16 PM   #8
trike lady
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My theory is I have less problems when I follow the directions set forth by the manufacturer.
Now if someone suggested Maple Syrup as a substitute for 10w-30, I may be overly skeptical and want to see test results: just how well did the engine, trans and clutch hold up and how many bees chased you during the test?

I follow the manufacturers recommendations and I wind up with a vehicle where parts are no longer available but it still runs. The trikes shops old truck was a good example it was an 82 S-10 with over 100,000 miles on it and I finally traded it in 2003.
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Old 05-16-2011, 05:00 AM   #9
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TL,
your advise is sound and I wouldn't argue that sticking to OEM is a bad deal. Probably the smartest advise to give another rider.

There is a line I cross for myself from time to time. Xenon light was easy to see that it shines brighter so it's a no brainer. Oil is so completely different. In reality who keeps any vehicle long enough to prove or disprove a theory. Was it the oil or because the rider never reached 3500 rpms?

In statics, you need a wide sample base because there are 'flyers' that fall outside the norm. Small samples just won't give the trend and lookly at the chart usually looks like a shotgun pattern. We just don't have real data to give this perfect answer- so yours is a safe statement to make.
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:01 AM   #10
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To sum it up, Tahinjax: Better you safe than someone else sorry.
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