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Commando 961 oil spec

Discussion in 'Norton Motorcycles (Modern)' started by Deano, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. Deano


    Jul 24, 2019
    Hi all,

    Firstly, apologies if this subject has been discussed endlessly on here already...!

    I'm looking to do an engine & gearbox oil change on my 2014 961 Commando. I have the factory service manual which quotes the required spec as SAE 10W-40 API SG,SH & SJ, JASO MA. However, there is no mention whether this needs to be mineral based, semi-synthetic or fully synthetic. Is any type acceptable providing it is the correct viscosity & API spec? I already have Castrol 10W-40 grade API SJ but it is fully synthetic & would like to know if this is suitable to use or not. Does anybody know if the factory use a synthetic oil or a mineral based one?

    Many thanks.
  2. Eljahara

    Eljahara VIP MEMBER

    Jul 8, 2018
    It is semi synthetic 10W-40 for both engine and gear box

    as per my service invoice:

    Carried out Annual service;

    - Oil and filter changed with 10w40 MOTUL semisynthetic oil used.

    And yes - many threads on this - just do a search on the modern Norton forum for "oil"
  3. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Oct 4, 2013
    I’m not aware of any sensible argument no to use a top quality full synthetic in these engines.

    Gearbox and primary is a slightly different case, complicated by the rather agricultural nature of the box and the fact the box shares its oil with the primary side, and hence the wet clutch. Bel Ray Sport transmission oil (designed for HD Sportsters) is highly recommended by many on this forum. I have some too, but haven’t put it in yet...
    Clive and richard-7 like this.


    Feb 28, 2016
    378847A0-E016-4397-BE2D-D6BAB0138F63.jpeg From the owners book
    Lincolnshire Poacher and Deano like this.
  5. Fredvincent


    Aug 29, 2018
    Remember reading a Castrol paper recently that recommended not using fully synthetic oil in an air cooled/bearing engine until it was fully run in - in their tests, this was about 5,000 miles before all the surface pointy bits had been worn down. Fully synthetic oil, I believe, is too good for the likes of our engines and I will always use semi-synthetic as stated by Norton.
    Lincolnshire Poacher likes this.
  6. Deano


    Jul 24, 2019
    Thanks all for the replies. I'm decided I'm going to use Castrol Power 1 10W-40. It is a semi-synthetic oil with an API SN JASO MA-2 spec so should be fine. However, I will take the "superior acceleration at the twist of a throttle due to power release technology" claim with a pinch of salt...!! o_O:D

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