Engine Oil


This is a topic often hotly debated. Hopefully this will clarify some misconceptions.

YES the GS500 has a Wet Clutch

A 'wet clutch' is immersed in a lubricating fluid, which cools the clutch as well as keeping the surfaces clean, gives smoother performance and longer life. In the GS500, the clutch uses the same motor oil as used by the engine and gear box.
Because clutches require some friction to operate, it is important that the motor oil used isn't soo slippery that the clutch can't tansmitt torque. For this reason oils that are too thin or ones that contain friction modifiers should be avoided.

What Oil Should I Use

This depends on how the bike is used, what condition the engine is in and what oil you can afford.
But if in doubt just go for a 10W-40 grade oil, preferably from a reputable brand.

Oil Viscosity

The following oil visocities can be used in your GS500
10W-30 = If you operate in cold temperatures that reach below freezing. A Synthetic oil is recommended
10W-40 = Recommended for most bikes.
15W-40 = Suitable for most bikes. Many prefer and have had good experiences of using heavy duty Diesel Motor Oils
20W-50 = If your engine is burning oil this thicker oil might be a better alternative.
10W-50 = If you run your bike long and hard in hot environments.
15W-50 = If you run your bike long and hard in hot environments.
10W-60 = If you run your bike long and hard in hotter environments.

I Want the Best Oil and Will Pay any Price

Then go for a Fully Synthetic Motorcycle Oil designed for Motorbikes with a Wet Clutch. Pick a brand and go for it!

Synthetic - Can I really use it?

YES! Synthetic oils are superior to mineral based oils and are 100% compatible with the GS500.

NO, Synthetic oils don't cause leaks unless... you use an oil that is too thin (ie 0W or 5W oils) or the synthetic oils superior cleaning properties clear the sludge away that was actually sealing your engine. Which if this is the case... you needed new seals or gaskets anyway!

The technical advantages of synthetic motor oils include:
* Measurably better low and high temperature viscosity performance
* Better chemical & shear stability.
* Decreased evaporative loss
* Resistance to oxidation, thermal breakdown and oil sludge problems
* Extended drain intervals with the environmental benefit of less oil waste.
* Improved fuel economy in certain engine configurations.
* Better lubrication on cold starts
* Smoother clutch operation

The two things to remember when choosing a synthetic motor oil for your GS500.
1. Don't get one with "Friction Modifiers" or one labeled "Energy Conserving". They may cause your wet clutch to slip.
2. Don't get one that is too thin ie Avoid most ZERO and FIVE weight oils.

Oil Change Intervals

Suzuki Recommends = Every 6,000km or 12 months (what ever comes first)
Minimum = Every 10,000km or 12 months (what ever comes first)
Better = Every 5,000km or 6 months (what ever comes first)

No matter what quality oil you use it needs to be changed often. The gear box punishes (shears) motor oil and over time thins the oil so it can no longer offer the same level of protection. Oil also cleans the inside of your engine. There is only so much dirt that can be suspended in the oil before it starts creating sludge. Over time the oil also becomes concentrated with corrosive acids and moisture.

Oil Filter over time also clog. So EVERY TIME you change your oil... change your filter too!


What Brand Oil

Basically it simple. Buy oil made by a company known for making good oils and you cannot go too far wrong.
No name, Wal-mart, Woolworth's branded oils are mostly crap, and should be avoided if possible.

Oil Level Check

The GS500 requires:
2.9 litres of oil to refill the engine after draining the oil and replacing the oil filter.
2.6 litres if you are not changing the filter (WHY!!!).

0. The owners manual states that first, you should: start the engine and idle it for a few minutes. Then wait 3 minutes.
1. Always check the oil level of the bike with it held upright (not on the side or centre stand)
2. Unscrew the oil cap dipstick, wipe it on a clean rag
3. Place the dipstick into the opening so it rests gently on the screw threads, but don't screw it in.
4. Withdraw the dipstick and read the level of oil.
5. If needed top the oil up until it reaches the full mark on the dipstick. Your bike relies on oil for engine cooling. For this reason it is recommended to keep your engine full to its maximum at all times. The greater the volume of oil your bike has, the cooler it will run.

Can I use Car Oil in My Motorbike

Yes! As long as it isn't labeled "Energy Conserving" or "Friction Modified". Also try looking on the label to see if it contains the ACEA European Standards.
ACEA Specifications For Petrol Engines:
A1 Low friction/low viscosity, fuel economy. AVOID this one it contains Friction Modifiers
A2 Standard performance level
A3 High performance &/or extended drain