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Trust the List or the Bottle JASO MA/MA2?


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Was due for an oil change after a long trip and noticed the previous oil I was using (Castrol Power 10w50) isn't on the official JASO list - current as of May1st - even though it claims to be MA2 on the bottle. The Castrol Power 10w40 is on this list however; but only MA and not MA2. I ended up going with Shell Advance Ultra, which is on the official list as MA2 for 10w40 & 15w50

Did a bit of control+F'ing on the list and noticed a lot of popular oils aren't on the list at all. I've used Rotella T6 5W40 every winter and it's not on the list. All Maxima, Motul, and Yamalube oils make the list. Surprisingly only two Mobil oils are on the list and they're not the 10w40. Amsoil is completely absent.

I did some digging and looked at some spec sheets: it doesn't look good for Castrol 10w-50... as the JASO MA2 standard is listed under a section called "performance claims".

Compare this to Shell's sheet for Advance Ultra: "Specifications, approvals, and recommendations".

So what's the consensus here? Is this just companies not submitting samples to renew a certification? If an oil isn't on the JASO list how can the company claim that it meets or exceeds the standard? Is it from their own testing in-house so they don't need to pay for the cert? How do we know who to trust? I wouldn't buy a helmet that claimed "meets or exceeds ECE/SNELL/DOT standards" but didn't go through the actual agencies' tests to that established the standard.

Not trying to start an oil thread, as far as I care just pick a weight for your climate that your owner's manual says you can use. But the JASO cert is supposedly pretty big for wet clutch operation and longevity, and big manufacturers claiming to be JASO when they're not on the official monthly list seems shady at best and misleading for consumers.


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I run T6 all year.  I also run it in my cars.  However, if I had a new car (my cage is an 06 Mazda 3S trashed by Chicago drivers, winters and roads but I really like Mazdas because they're reasonably priced "driver" cages with a real auto trany, I.e., no CVT, zoom, zoom), I'd use Mobil ESP 0W-30, as 0 is the ticket now day.  Not in bikes of course and also no friction modifiers but the point is in hot weather 0 won't hurt you, hence T6 despite not being on the official list, prolly cuz it's also diesel rated.  JASO wants its shekels and many moves oil exceeds MA &/or MA2 but don't get listed but if it's on the jug you're not voiding the bikes warranty.

And this now officially an oil thread

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No idea where that list came from or what it's supposed to contain, but it would appear to be incomplete. Or maybe it doesn't cover all oils sold in the US.

For example, Shell Rotella isn't on the list, and in the US, it's definitely marked MA/MA2 on the bottles. (5W-40 synthetic and 15W-40 conventional, maybe other variants).

Even if that is some sort of "official" list that is supposed to be complete for the entire world, it takes a lot of time for stocks in stores and in distribution to to be replaced.

So in the end, if the bottle says MA/MA2, then that's what's in the bottle and that's what I go with.

Edited by bwringer
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On 7/7/2021 at 1:44 PM, bwringer said:

No idea where that list came from or what it's supposed to contain,

It's from the organization that regulates and oversees the implementation of the JASO standard for motorcycles: JALOS (Japan Lubricating Oil Society). The link I provided is a direct link to the organization's list of JASO MA, MB, and MA2 filed oils from their own website. The list is published on the first of each month.

The disconnect here is oil manufacturers claiming their oil is JASO MA/MA2 rated but not actually filing and submitting registration to JALOS and letting them conduct their tests. Only oil that has proven to meet JASO specs can have the JASO box on the bottle with the registration # so that you can look it up and its specs. See example from a bottle from an oil that is actually on the official list - in this case Motul:

The picture above is out of date (T903:2011) as JALOS updates the spec every 5 years to remain up-to-date with motorcycle tech so we are currently on T903:2021. But you can look up this exact oil on Motul's website and check the technical data sheet to see that it is currently registered as M033MOT165 that appears on the JALOS list which is recent as of July 1st 2021. It is on line 670.

I'm not saying oils like Rotella aren't formulated to JASO specs and meet the requirements, but we don't actually know that they meet JASO MA specs; we can only take Shell's word that they are testing to ensure performance to spec. Shell has other oils on the list: so either they haven't submitted Rotella since the last spec update, or they did and it didn't pass. I like Rotella T6 myself and have used it every winter for the past 3 bikes I've owned, but I question the ethics of oil manufacturers being able to list their product as meeting a spec when they won't even submit their oil to the governing body of the said spec to guarantee that it in fact... meets the spec.

Here's a good article that can explain with more details if interested.

On another note it looks like Castrol submitted a bunch of their oils to JALOS last month, as of June they only had 1 oil on the list and it looks like they now have 9.

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I've done the car/diesel oil thing before, but went back to motorcycle specific oil years ago. Shifting quality is better and lasts longer "moto formulations are indeed different", I'm a big fan of Motul and Belray oils.......but by all means run car oils 40/50 weight if that's your cup of tea. :) 

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Thanks for the clarifications! I did not know about JALOS.


I would appear that submitting your oil to JALOS for testing is a third-party assurance that it meets the JASO specs and gives you the right to display a specific logo. I'm sure it also involves the exchange of large amounts of money.

It would also appear that the JASO specs are public, and you are allowed to claim in the text on the bottle that your oil meets these specs based on your own testing, but you are not allowed to use the JALOS logo without the JALOS testing.


I suppose it comes down to comfort levels and who you believe. I don't believe Shell would make a false claim about meeting JASO MA/MA2 specs on their Rotella bottles, so I'm comfortable with that. Why would they bother?

Of course, others may make a different decision, or feel differently about it. All valid opinions.


You may also have the opinion that motorcycle-specific oils (with or without the JALOS logo) may be better in other ways, or meet a higher spec, and you are likely correct. Whether that makes any actual, perceptible or worthwhile difference or not to you or your bike's engine is hard to say, and it's also a different question.

Ride365, for example, feels that there is a difference, at least in longevity, and that it's worth the added cost. He's absolutely right.

Others may feel differently, that it's not worth the added cost, and that a JASO oil like Rotella is perfectly fine too. They're also absolutely right.

Edited by bwringer
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