Oil for smoother shifts

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  • Oil for smoother shifts

    I know, another oil thread... I did search and didn't find a thread addressing this specifically. And I value the opinions on the forum, so here goes.....

    My 2014 GL1800AC doesn't shift great. I typically preload on the 1-2 shift. Still clunky in general and sometimes its hard to find neutral. I'm using Honda GN4 10W-30 Motorcycle Oil currently. Less than 200 miles since it was changed. What's the best motorcycle oil/additive you've experienced for shift quality? Thanks.
    2014 Honda Valkyrie GL1800C/A

  • #2


    The Honda transmission has never been a 'buttery smooth' transmission.

    How many miles on this machine that's only six years old?
    Ken (IBA #50030) & Grace (IBA #62768)Tucson, AZ"Get busy living, or get busy dying." -Andy Dufresne, The Shawshank Redemption 1994ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕMy blog

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    • #3
      How many miles on the bike?

      Test- Grab your shifter with your "Hand" how much play does it have "Up/Down" ??

      The 2 shifter Hyme joints are not serviceable and have a lot of slop/play right out of the box, and tend to wear as they are used.
      Your environment plays into wear as well.


      OIL---
      My bikes prefer Rotella T4 15/40 (5,000-intervals)
      Click image for larger version  Name:	08-07038.jpg Views:	0 Size:	85.7 KB ID:	135665

      The T6 Synthetic had me changing oil to soon due to viscosity breakdown. (3,000-intervals) ya weird huh?

      Click image for larger version  Name:	a3d838be-8a38-449c-a3ff-a49426875ac5_1.17df79bcec7e8f16e6925a736013b206.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	33.7 KB ID:	135666

      I tell everyone- Try different oil weights/brands until YOU find what your bike likes??
      **You may not like the Truth-But that doesn't change it!**

      "Life is Tough-It's tougher when you are stupid"

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      • #4
        Originally posted by kwthom View Post


        The Honda transmission has never been a 'buttery smooth' transmission.

        How many miles on this machine that's only six years old?
        3,900
        2014 Honda Valkyrie GL1800C/A

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        • kwthom
          kwthom commented
          Editing a comment
          You don't really have that machine broke in, to be honest.

          Run that oil you have in the bike another 1000 miles or so, then toss in one of those two that Rocky mentioned.

      • #5
        [QUOTE=Rocky;n135663]How many miles on the bike?

        Test- Grab your shifter with your "Hand" how much play does it have "Up/Down" ??

        The 2 shifter Hyme joints are not serviceable and have a lot of slop/play right out of the box, and tend to wear as they are used.
        Your environment plays into wear as well.


        6 mm of play in the shifter.
        2014 Honda Valkyrie GL1800C/A

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        • #6
          Originally posted by garncarz View Post


          6 mm of play in the shifter.

          6mm is not a lot of play at your mileage.

          My 1800 gets temperamental shifting after 4500 miles after an oil change.


          As kwthom says. these 1800 trans are a harder than other bike transmission to shift smooth. (It's about technique)

          I've owned 6 GL models the 1800 is the worst of all of them to shift smoothly.

          Some days it is as smooth as glass. if it gets a hair across its A s s ?
          I'm trying to find that technique again.

          My 86 1200 SEI shifts soooo much better.
          **You may not like the Truth-But that doesn't change it!**

          "Life is Tough-It's tougher when you are stupid"

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          • #7
            Thanks for the advice. I'll give the rotella a try at the next change.
            2014 Honda Valkyrie GL1800C/A

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            • #8
              Although its not cheap in comparison, I use Royal purple in mine. Shifts are very smooth. And quieted the noise down from the gear box
              Attached Files

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              • #9
                I have been using Shell T-6 for 172,000 miles and the only time it gives me trouble is when I get in a hurry and wear my shoes instead of the Boots. And yes after 5000 to 8000 miles it does shift a little harder or clunk if you prefer.

                Edit: I have 214,540 miles on my 2004.
                '04 Titanium ABS
                Michelin Primacy Alpin PA3 ZP 195-55-16
                Bridgestone BT-45 130/70-18
                Member - E. CLAMPUS VITUS
                Free Grazer IBA #22990
                NRA, Elks, and too many others
                Yuma, AZ

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                • #10
                  My bike loves the "Rocky shifter kit".

                  Much smoother shorter positive shifts.

                  Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_3664.JPG Views:	0 Size:	1.66 MB ID:	135693
                  **You may not like the Truth-But that doesn't change it!**

                  "Life is Tough-It's tougher when you are stupid"

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                  • #11
                    I found a noticeable improvement when switching from semi-synthetic to full synthetic oil (Amsoil)...... Jim
                    2008 GL1800/California Sidecar Trike
                    GWRRA & PGR
                    Semper Fi

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                    • #12
                      Switched to Mobil1 Racing 4T. Initial impression is that she shifts more smoothly than with GN4.
                      2014 Honda Valkyrie GL1800C/A

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                      • #13
                        I use RedLine 20-50 full synthetic and it works for me here in the desert. I would not use it in a cooler climate. I have run it for a lot of years and I have had zero problems and the shifting is pretty good.
                        2001 Goldwing-2013 Ninja 300-1996 Pacific Coast-1994 2003 Super Sherpa
                        Life GWRRA & Life AMA member
                        Semper Fi

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