Oil viscosity and varying temperatures.

After getting the oil changed on Saturday the gears are changing pretty smoothly. I also understand more about what’s happening. Honda recommend using a less viscous oil during the winter than in the summer. They recommend 10W-30 at lower temperatures and 10W-40 at higher temperatures. I assume that this is because oils with higher viscosity thin less at higher temperatures.

I’m also assuming that the shop has put in 10W-30 oil seeing that we are on the brink of deep autumn when lower temperatures kick in here. Why? Because when I get on the bike in the mornings, while it is still quite cool, the gear change feels cushioned, lovely, smooth and soft. However, after the engine has warmed from the ride, or when I’m coming home after the higher temperatures of mid-day have heated the engine, the gear change is less cushioned, with the mechanism having a clack, or clunk to it. This, I’m guessing, is as a result of the oil heating up and thinning. I’m betting that when the temperatures really drop here as we head towards November, I’ll see the gear change retain its cushioned feel for longer, as the engine takes longer to warm.

I have to say, I’d almost prefer to put in a thicker oil, even in winter. This bike’s engine is so smooth. It hums finely with no harshness at all in its turning. When I’m taking it out of my street and onto the main road in the morning, the smoothness of the engine coupled with the cushioned gear change makes for a beautiful riding experience. As the engine heats and the gear change loses the cushioned effect, the clack of the metal as the gears change, even whilst being muted, simply detract from the feeling. However, with that being said, it’s still a nice ride. I’m not complaining!

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