Ok, you motorcycle gurus...answer me this.

Discussion in 'The Club House' started by wjnfirearms, May 9, 2012.

  1. wjnfirearms

    wjnfirearms New Member

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    I've been working on cars and bikes for my entire adult life. While I consider myself pretty knowledgable, but by far I don't know everything, this just doesn't make much sense to me and never did.

    What the hell is the big difference between motor oil for cars and motorcycles? I don't see any difference at all, though obviously I can't see what is added to the mix. What makes mc oil so much greater that synthetic brands to justify costing up to 4 times as much as Pennzoil Platinum or Mobil 1!!??:eek::eek::eek: The conventional petroleum oils are just as bad in comparison, 2 to 3 times as expensive. I was at a local shop the other day picking up my new front tire after it got mounted and balanced. He had this stuff, I cannot remember the brand, that was $70/gallon!!

    They run Mobil 1 in NASCAR stockers and they run up to 9000 rpm and being a fan, I haven't heard of a rash of lubrication related engine failures in any make engine for years. I bought a gallon of M1 for $26 at Wally World yesterday. I ran Amzoil in the Yamaha touring bike I had back some years and it ran just fine on it for many miles and smiles.

    I'm not cheap, guys, by any means. Still, $70/gallon for motor oil? Come on!! :mad:
     
  2. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    I am not an expert when it comes to oil. But the way I understand it is some ratings should not be used with a wet clutch, like on a motorcycle. One of my bikes said not to use any oil that had an "SH" rating...whatever that is. I have been buying valvoline motorcycle oil at walmart for a decent price. It is a lot cheaper than the Honda shop anyway.
     

  3. fireguy

    fireguy New Member

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    I use Castrol synthetic in my VTX1300. The main thing to watch for in my bike and many like it that use the same sump for engine and transmission is that it doesn't have the extra slick additives that would harm a wet clutch.
    I would have to go out to the garage to tell you the markings on the oil bottle as an example, and I'm too tired.
     
  4. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    a lot of it has to do with the additives they use in the oil. many motorcycles use a common sump that allows the same oil that lubricates the engine, also lubricates the transmission and clutch. because of the shear and stress forces of the transmission gears and the friction plates in the clutches, they require different additives than a conventional engine in a car or truck.
     
  5. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    With a car it is engine oil, on most motorcycles it is engine and transmission oil which requires friction modifiers, etc..

    Use Red Line oil for your motorcycle.
     
  6. fmj

    fmj Active Member

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    What they said!

    Engine and trans oil. therefore it needs different additives and is a different class/rating
     
  7. ellis36

    ellis36 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That's exactly what I've always read and believe. Truth is, if you religiously change your oil every 1000 miles any of the top brands will probably be OK. (Highlight 'probably.') A lot depends on your riding habits…Week-end rides or long-haul blasts across Kansas in July. IMO, $70 oil is a bit much, but buying and using the brand recommended by the manufacturer and stocked by your local dealer doesn't add that much to the cost of an oil change. And helps support the people who you may need for service along the way.
     
  8. rjd3282

    rjd3282 New Member

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    It's strictly about the friction modifiers and the effect on clutch friction material.
     
  9. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    true about the friction modifiers, but most motorcycles are air cooled and so they put additives in there to help with heat related breakdown of the oil. plus there are the stress forces associated with the transmission if it uses the same oil as the engine, so more additives for the transmission are needed also.

    try doing the oil change on an older Harley. engine oil and filter. different oil fot the transmission and then also a different oil in the primary for the clutch. use to cost me about $60 to do an oil change every few months!
     
  10. Overkill0084

    Overkill0084 Active Member

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    http://www.mobiloil.com/usa-english...fferences_Between_Car_and_Motorcycle_Oil.aspx

    This article goes into a fair bit of detail:

    http://motorcycleinfo.calsci.com/Oils1.html

    It this ^ article doesn't answer most of your oil questions, then oil isn't your problem.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2012
  11. silverado113

    silverado113 New Member

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    And then if you have a Jap bike like I do, I can't use "energy conserving" oil either which most car type oils have!
     
  12. wjnfirearms

    wjnfirearms New Member

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    Cleared that up for me. Thanks, guys.