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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/21/2005 4:40:47 PM EDT

My wife & I took the MSF course a few years ago, and since then I've ridden occasionally using my employer's Harley. She, however, has struggled to find an affordable cycle that allows her to put both feet on the ground (she has short legs). Well, we found a cycle for her--a 1985 Honda Shadow 500--that we got a decent price on. Best of all, it's from a retired co-worker who is known for his meticulous maintenance.

Anyway, to the point of this thread. I need to 2 things:

1) an owner's manual. Honda referred me to another website for old manuals, and that site doesn't exists.

2) what kind of oil to use and a maintenance program. I went to the auto parts store for a quart to top off, and they had 10w-40 and 20w-50. A brief google search implied that car and motorcycle oil is basically the same, but synthetics are worth their price in a cycle. Is that true, and what weight does this thing need?

Any help from a newbie cycle owner appreciated!
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 6:31:22 PM EDT
Its a little more then you want, but how is this,
Link Posted: 8/22/2005 11:04:40 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2005 1:47:46 PM EDT by chuckhammer]
Almost all road-going Japanese motorycyles use a wet clutch. That means the clutch disks are always in an oil bath - the same oil your engine and tranny uses. For this reason, I would stick with motorcycle-specific oil rather than using automotive oil. They are engineered to be clutch-friendly and must meet a different API specification than that used for automotive oil.
Link Posted: 8/22/2005 11:05:55 AM EDT
Also, if it's not water cooled I would use a synthetic motorcycle oil.

Have fun riding and stay safe.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 1:23:37 PM EDT
A big +1 with what Chuckhammer said! The transmission gears and the clutch plates literally rip oil molecules to shreds, according to what I've been told by petroleum engineers. That breaks them down post-haste, and automotive oil isn't designed with the additives that combat that sort of abuse.

Also, forget synthetics for most four-stroke motorcycle engines (like your Shadow). Use a synthetic and you'll soon get clutch slippage--not good.

On the other hand, if you had a bike that utilized separate oil baths for the engine and the clutch/transmission assemblies like the CRF450R/X dirt bikes, then you could use a synthetic or automotive oil for the engine. But a regular motorcycle-targeted oil would still be required in the tranny.

Don't know of an online site for old manuals, though. Maybe try some of the motorcycle boards or ask the magazines. Good luck. Ride safe and have fun.
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