All motorcycle oils available in my area are labeled with JASO MA2, but my motorcycle's manual recommends JASO MA. Is it safe to use JASO MA2 on JASO MA recommended motorcycle?
TL DR: Using JASO MA2 oil should work just fine for you.
Japanese standard for special oil which can be used in 4-stroke motorcycle engine with one oil system for engine, gearbox and wet clutch system. Fluid is non-friction modified.
Since most bikes use the same oil to lubricate the clutch as it does the engine, it's really important the oil you use not be friction modified. If it is, it will cause the clutch to slip, which is a huge issue which can completely be avoided.
JASO MA is broken down into two categories: MA1 & MA2
MA1 has the following properties:
- Dynamic Friction Characteristic Index (DFI) ≥1.45 and <1.8
- Static Friction Characteristic Index (SFI) ≥1.15 and <1.7
- Stop Time Index (STI) ≥1.55 and <1.9
MA2 has the following properties:
- Dynamic Friction Characteristic Index (DFI) ≥1.8 and <2.5
- Static Friction Characteristic Index (SFI) ≥1.7 and <2.5
- Stop Time Index (STI) ≥1.9 and <2.5
The site goes on to say:
If all three properties of a JASO MA oil fall within the limits specified as MA1 then the oil can be classified as a JASO MA1 oil. If all its properties fall within the limits of MA2 then it can be classified as a JASO MA2 oil. If some properties fall within the MA1 subcategory but others in MA2 then the product is simply a JASO MA product.
This leads me to believe you bike's specification for "JASO MA" means you can use either MA1 or MA2 specification. You do not want to use regular automotive oil without the JASO MA, MA1, or MA2 specification, as this would put friction modifiers into your clutch system which will cause it to slip and will introduce pitting in your gear box.
This post from Bob is the Oil Guy Forum seems to agree with my statement:
Every reference to oil to be used in bikes that I have seen only refer to meeting MA standards, but newer bikes may refer to MA2 alone - my 2014 Triumph Trophy only refers to MA, so MA1 or MA2 will do - if an oil meets a mix of MA1 or MA2 then it will simply be MA.
Bob is the Oil Guy website/forum usually provides decent information concerning oil. It is usually trustworthy information.