Join Date: Jul 2019
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I've heard of a few scarce issues with the K&N filter for the ninja, and one of my local trusted mechanics steers every customer away from them on purpose. He said (and i dont know if i believe this) that the K&N filter is 'low resistance' filter, it is designed to allow fast flow of oil. But on some bikes, the resistance of flow through the filter is not only expected by the engine and oil pump, but needed.
I was experiencing CCT noise with the K&N filter and *synthetic* 10w-40 motul oil. And on top of the noise, my clutch felt crappy. It was grabby, not smooth, and the part of the lever pull that was actual "clutch action" was very small and unforgiving.
So I went back to the kawi filter, and kawi/honda *conventional* 10w-40 with nothing special in it. Night and day, runs so much better. Much quieter, clutch feels perfect, and I am at 30,000 miles on my '14. Runs Great.
Did you run the bike for a minute after you filled it with new oil the first time to allow the oil to refill the system and get air bubbles out, then top it off? (meaning, have you done many oil changes on various vehicles before?) It is essential that you replace the filter, fill it up with oil, run the engine for a minute or two to get the pump spinning, then top it off again to the correct amount.
But you did say you put the old stuff back in and it was fine, so perhaps not the issue. Keep in mind that used engine oil has different properties than when it was new too.
I strongly recommend the kawi filter, and conventional motorcycle oil for the 300. In my opinion, this engine hasn't changed a whole lot since the original 250s came out, which was a long time ago. So my thinking was that the engine was designed back then for use with conventional oil, and since then, hasn't changed much except for piston/cylinder dimensions a bit. I've pulled apart a 250r engine from more than 10 years ago, and it is exactly the same as the 300. And I can confirm that conventional oil runs better than other types with additives and stuff, for my bike at least.
Go get some literal Kawasaki or Honda branded 10w-40 standard 4-stroke motorcycle oil, that's all I use now, its cheap, and works great. Plus at my mileage, I have to stay on top of oil changes anyhow, so it all works out.
Good luck, hope this helps.