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Old 11-19-2005, 05:46 AM   #21
xxces
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Default Re: Snake Oil, Revisited

Synthetic oils are just that, synthetic. Semi synthetics are blended from mineral and synthetics stocks. Blends still have superior resistance to viscosity breakdown over straight mineral oils, full synthetics have the greatest resistance to viscosity breakdown. This will affect how many miles you can run the oil for. Current automotive oils (API SH) have removed additives essential for motorcycle engines as they can damage catalytic converters. DO NOT RUN API SERVICE GRADE SH OILS IN YOUR MOTORCYLE. Anti-wear additives protect the engine during startup. Anti-oxidation additives neutralize the acid by-products of combustion that corrode your engine whilst sitting in the garage. If you are a relatively low mileage rider (less than 1000 miles/month) it is safe to run a mineral oil SF/SJ API spec oil and change every 3 months and before winterizing. More miles than this in the 3 month period require an oil with superior viscosity breakdown resistance (ie: blend or full synthetic). Less frequent oil changes requires an oil with a stronger anti-oxidation additive package. I run Honda HP4 (mineral oil) in my trackbike which sees fewer miles between oil changes. I run Golden Specrto semi-syn (which had one of the best anti-wear packages in an independent analysis run by motorcycle consumer news years ago) in my Hayabusa street bike, which will see more miles between oil changes. Both are changed at least every 3 months. Both have the oil filter changed every other oil change but always when winterizing.
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Old 11-19-2005, 06:20 AM   #22
rpill
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Default Re: Motorcycle specific oil?

The last study I read (I can't remember if it was MCN but it was one of the main motorcycle magazines) stated that neither the oil companies or the bike manufacturers have done a detailed analysis on the performance of motorcycle specific oils. Rather, they have just jumped on the marketing band wagon. The report stated that the only test that could be reliably performed in the short term was viscosity stability, also known as shear resistance, for bikes where the engine oil also lubricates the transmission. There was virtually no difference between auto and motorcycle oils although as a group synthetics outperformed mineral oils. The only caution was not to use an automotive oil with the "energy conserving" label. To repeat what I feel is the most important point, neither the oil companies nor the motorcycle companies have performed the exhaustive scientific tests to verify superior performance of motorcycle specific oils. They have just jumped into the marketing game the same as the "Snake Oil" companies.
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Old 11-19-2005, 06:23 AM   #23
bryfs
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Default Re: Snake Oil, Revisited

No discussion of Owen Heatwole going around claiming you have retracted the original article, and threatening to sue people on your behalf? See http://neptune.spacebears.com/cars/legal/oiladd.html as an example.
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Old 11-19-2005, 06:30 AM   #24
FX1200
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Default Re: Snake Oil, Revisited

Obviously Rau wanted to revisit his defining work: Snake Oil, as he and the moribund Road Rider/Motorcycle Consumer News refer to this piece with astounding regularity.







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Old 11-19-2005, 07:19 AM   #25
Marin_Cycleworks
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Default Re: Snake Oil, Revisited

If these additives actually did what they claimed, and you were a vehicle manufacturer, wouldn't you love to dramatically reduce your warranty claims by using a product that, in bulk, you probably could get for $5? Or you could double your warranty period on new vehicles, right?



How come no manufacturers out there use this stuff, then?
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Old 11-19-2005, 09:52 AM   #26
electraglider_1997
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Default Re: Snake Oil, Revisited

As I understand it, any diesel rated oil will handle the shear forces in motorcycle transmissions. I use automotive Mobil 1 15W50 and I've got 42,000 on my Harley. I know, Harleys have seperate trans fluid. I use BelRay red stuff. I use the Mobil in my wife's Yamaha Radian and it has over 20,000 on it with no problems. Mobil 1 15W50 is CF(diesel)rated.
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Old 11-19-2005, 01:10 PM   #27
krytster
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Default Re: Snake Oil, Revisited

I used to own a 95 Suzuki GSXR 750 that would hit the redline on the temp guage before the fan would kick on. I thought this was reason enough to change the temp sensor. I put the new sensor in and the exact same thing happened. Everyone I spoke with said these bikes were known for running hot and not to worry about it. I always used the Suzuki name brand oil that was sold in my local shop until I had to change my oil on a Sunday. My local shop was closed so I went to Walmart and purchased some Rotella 15W 40. I changed my oil as usual and when I started it the next day the fan kicked on while the needle on the temp guage was in the middle. I couldn't believe my eyes, I was so excited with my new found knowedge. When I told my riding buddies about this they didn't believe me. I guess this will be my little secret, until now.
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Old 11-19-2005, 01:58 PM   #28
Vlad
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Default Re: Motorcycle specific oil?

Excellent article, as usual, Fred. It's surprising how often you have to say the same thing over and over again before it sinks in.



Motorcycle and automotive oils are very different, as others have stated. That said, get four race mechanics together and they will start arguing about which oil is the best, but they will all agree that you should use a motorcycle specific oil. Automotive oil is not for motorcycles.



You can always do a survey of motorcycle mechanics the way I did, by checking the dumpster behind the pits at an AMA superbike event. The winning vote goes to Mobil 1 motorcycle specific oil, which is not to say that there are not other excellent oils out there. As I mentioned in an earlier article, I even had a Honda factory mechanic endorse Mobil 1 for use in a VFR.



Francis
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Old 11-19-2005, 02:03 PM   #29
ofreen
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Default Re: Snake Oil, Revisited

Check out this link -



http://www.ftc.gov/opa/1995/12/stp.htm
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Old 11-19-2005, 03:09 PM   #30
DougandCarol
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Default Re: Oil is Oil!

I would like to see what was left of the engines internalls!
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