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  #1  
Old 26 Jan 2006
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Oil course

It can be a battle finding "the right" engine oil in some parts of the world. Some will not use anything else but syntetic oil. Others say semi-syntetic is alright, while mineral oil have some fans. But really, what is the practical difference?

What else is good to know about engine oil?

There is so many strong opinions out there about this subject, and it would be nice to calrify what is right and what is not. Thanks

[This message has been edited by Eriks (edited 26 January 2006).]
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  #2  
Old 26 Jan 2006
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There are a bunch of racers out there who prefer the old dinosaur type oil on race days as it supposedly makes the engine run cooler and hence create a bigger bang and more speed (I guess this would be with wehicles or in races where oil coolers are not an option).

The dinosaur type pollutes more and will create sooth deposits on your spark faster than synthetics. Synthetics pollute less (air and bike) and supposedly give better lubrication (though I have never lived the life of a cylinder and can't tell for sure). As for performance I have noticed no difference with synthetics. Dinosaur oil is cheaper and will serve you just fine. Marketers are really good at convincing people that they desperatly need the more expensive stuff, no matter what the product is. It is their job and MANY are REALLY REALLY good at it.

Personally I allways use the most expensive top end stuff they have at the gasstation I fill at... because I really love my bike and think that the marginal unnoticable difference, even if only plausible or immaginative, is worth it. At home I store Castrol. On the road I use the best stuff available and I am really not worried about any negative effects by running on dinosaur goo, as long as it is has the proper weight/grade/viscocity

Most synthetic oils has additives such as gasohol which are put there to make combustion cleaner and less pollutive, however, these additives make the engine run even hotter and add to the problem. If you for instance is running in a new engine because you changed your piston rings or something, this may cause problems. I have read somewhere that the oil addatives alone can raise engine temperature with as much as 10 degrees.

Don't take my word for this, I'm far from an expert...


[This message has been edited by Wheelie (edited 26 January 2006).]
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  #3  
Old 26 Jan 2006
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i jused fully synthetich because, well it must be better then the rest since it was the most expensive, till i found out my local bike shop always uses semi, cheaper and (acording to them) the same results. can't say i notice any diference in preformance. but then i'm more a cruiser then a racer.
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  #4  
Old 26 Jan 2006
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I always recommend whatever the manufacturer of the bike recommends - they have a vested interest in you using the best oil for the machine.

If you have an OLD bike - pre-synthetics - you will still be fine with the factory recommendation - you MAY get better life out of the engine with semi- or full synthetic - IF you keep it long enough for that to matter, otherwise the cost isn't worht it.

You can extend oil change times with full synthetics, but not as much as the oil manufacturers would have you believe. About double seems to be generally accepted.

Past that, use whatever makes you feel warm and fuzzy - it's your bike, and most bikes today can use whatever oil there is around just fine. The caveat to that - some oil bathed clutches don't like full synthetics, and some seals don't. If you have a problem, just change back.

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  #5  
Old 26 Jan 2006
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While my car requires synthetic, my motorcycles' manuals don't specify one or the other. This means it is a choice to run whatever meets the viscosity requirements and so forth. I've always used Dino oil in the engine and synthetic (or semi-synthetic) in the transmission of my BMWs.

Supposing I switched over to synthetic for my newer bike (a 2003 R1150GS Adventure) how likely am I to find it in less developed areas of the world? If it is difficult to find then I won't bother switching now and then in 2007 go back to Dino while on the road.

Grant, if you are correct in extending the service interval for an oil change using synthetic then I suppose it might be possible to make it all the way to a large centre before the oil change. Then just carry a litre of synthetic for topping up.


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  #6  
Old 26 Jan 2006
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Interesting replies, thanks!

Wheelie, you say that full-syntetic oil makes the engine run hotter compared to mineral oil. That is exactly the opposit of what I've heard from other sources. Anybody else who will take side in this issue?

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  #7  
Old 26 Jan 2006
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ekke:


Grant, if you are correct in extending the service interval for an oil change using synthetic then I suppose it might be possible to make it all the way to a large centre before the oil change. Then just carry a litre of synthetic for topping up.
That's the theory - it's also not a bad idea to change the filter at the recommended mileage - it still gets dirty.

My method for travel - a good standard mineral / dino oil. Available anywhere, and I don't have to carry oil, or worry about being able to find the "right" stuff when it comes time. So long as it has oil, any kind of oil, it's not going to blow up. Even olive oil works when desperate I'm told...

For travel, imho, one less thing to worry about is good. KISS.

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  #8  
Old 26 Jan 2006
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wheelie:


Most synthetic oils has additives such as gasohol which are put there to make combustion cleaner and less pollutive, however, these additives make the engine run even hotter and add to the problem. If you for instance is running in a new engine because you changed your piston rings or something, this may cause problems. I have read somewhere that the oil addatives alone can raise engine temperature with as much as 10 degrees.

Don't take my word for this, I'm far from an expert...
re gasohol - um, no.

For break-in, you should always use mineral oil, then when fully broken-in switch to whatever you like. Fully broken in is AT LEAST 5,000 miles, 10,000 on BMW's.

Synthetic oils tend to prevent proper break-in - too slippery!

See the links page for an article on oil additives.

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  #9  
Old 27 Jan 2006
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Eriks -

I am not sure about this either. What I've heard is that eventhough synthetics offer better lubrication, and hence should run cooler than dino, these synthetics also has additives to make combustion cleaner, which makes the engine run hotter. If this is the case, I don't know whether it would be because the additives would affect the timing of combustion or if the additives themselves burn hotter or something...

Regardless, the question at hand, what kind of oil to use, my personal opinion is that go for the best at hand when convenient and don't worry about dinosaur oil if that is all that is available. You might want to change it more often, maybe even change your spark a bit prematurely, but I seriously doubt that even after long distance riding on dinosaur that your bike will experience any significant negative effects. Any negative effects, if any, I'd bet you could remedy with some fuel additive when you get home to clean it all up. I have never ever heard of a vehicle of any kind which has bogged as a direct result of using dino instead of synthetics. More important is to ensure that the oil is of the correct viscocity, that your fuel/air mixture is correct, that timing is correct, gaskets are in order, etc.

Then once again, don't take my word for it. But, I would really like to see a reliable report proving otherwise; that dinosaur oil is so significantly inferior that worries about using it when nothing else is available, is justified.

I'm a marketeer and have serious trouble believing in claims from fellow marketeers, we are all like to streeeeeeeeetch the truth. I've seen plenty of commercials shoving the innside of combustion engines and the effects of different brands of fuels, etc. I've ssen plenty of commercials of chewing gum and tooth paste that will turn your teeth all white and shiny, cerial breakfasts that will make you want to run the marathon and what not. Come on folks, get a grip! There might be a difference, but a difference so insignificant that it really doesn't matter, like eating eggs or something to improve your potency. It is this tiny difference we marketers like to stretch, that is why you buy all the crap you don't need... and if you are anything like me, you buy a lot of useless crap.

In short, use dino if it is all they've got. Use synthetics if they have it. Synthetics may or may not make a significant difference, but it will give you piece of mind, which is worth the money. When you get home, buy some carb cleaner additive or something for extra assurance.

Drinking and writing, sorry...

[This message has been edited by Wheelie (edited 26 January 2006).]
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  #10  
Old 27 Jan 2006
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My rule of thumb is just keep on using what the engine has been used to running on,be it fully-synth,semi-synth or chipfat.Especially on older vehicles the important factor is viscosity.If the motor was designed to run on 15w-50 and you put synth 5w-30 in it,chances are it won't last very long and will pee oil out of every available gasket/seal(airhead BM's will!).On the other hand,if you try to run say a Honda VFR V-tec on 20w-50 chipfat,it will rattle like a can of nails as the hydraulic cam followers can't handle oil that thick.
Another thing to note is if you DO want to use fully synth,and the motor has been brought-up on semi-synth,make sure you flush it through several times before you go on any long journeys,as the build-up of carbons over the years from semi(not a problem if you carry on using the stuff) will get dislodged/partly disolved by the cleaning agents in fully synth,and has been known to then block up oilways,etc...

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  #11  
Old 27 Jan 2006
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I buy the cheapest oil of the correct viscosity. It is still better than the best oil you could buy some years ago.

It's not the oil that will send your bike to the scrap heap...
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  #12  
Old 27 Jan 2006
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MUST READ MUST READ MUST READ

The following is a short summary of Consumer Reports article on motor oils and is a MUST READ:

4-1/2-million-mile test with a fleet of New York City taxicabs turned some conventional wisdom on its head. 75 cabs were used over a 22 month period to test 20 popular motor oils in grueling conditions. They tested for wear and tear and a whole lot of other things. In short, their conclusions were that there were virtually NO noticable difference between the most expensive synthetics and the cheap dino oils as long as viscocity suggestions and oil changes were followed properly. Although the expensive synthetics worked no better than conventional motor oils, they were worth considering for extreme driving conditions, high ambient temperatures and high engine load or very cold temperatures. Their overall suggestion was to buy the cheapest goo available!

The article in full can be found here:

http://www.xs11.com/stories/croil96.htm

The following Car Craft article tests performance difference in high powered cars, also this questions wether it is wort the price difference: http://www.carcraft.com/techarticles/15378/

The following site covers a project of testing the longlivety of different synthetic oils. http://neptune.spacebears.com/cars/s.../oil-life.html

The following article gives a short summary of the "superiority" claims of synthetic over dino. The claims are likely to contain truth, but the practical difference???

http://www.d2ftechnology.com/synthet...sus_dino_.html

Second after all lawyers, marketers is the professional group the world would be better without. They should all be sunk to the bottom of the ocean, together with their synhetic oil and whitening chewing gum... exept me ofcourse

[This message has been edited by Wheelie (edited 27 January 2006).]

[This message has been edited by Wheelie (edited 27 January 2006).]
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  #13  
Old 28 Jan 2006
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I use synthetic oil,and I normally double the recommended oil change to 6k miles.If this makes any difference in the life of the engine,I'll never know.I'm convinced that synthetic oils will weep and dribble out of every seal and gasket.On the more practical side for travelling,you can find cheap 10-40 weight Dino oil in any town or 2 hut village.
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  #14  
Old 28 Jan 2006
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Quote:
Originally posted by beddhist:
I buy the cheapest oil of the correct viscosity. It is still better than the best oil you could buy some years ago.

It's not the oil that will send your bike to the scrap heap...
...i agree. I use whatever is available, as long as it has 20-50 on the can. I change it more often and replace the filter on scedule. I like that piece of info on the taxi cab test in NY, puts a smile on my face!
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  #15  
Old 28 Jan 2006
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OK, it seems like it in most cases doesn't make any practical difference if you choose syntetics over dino.

Then what about the different types of dino oil. I mean, you can buy e.g. 10/40 motorcycle oil, and you can buy 10/40 car oil. It is the same viscosity, but allegedly a different product. Or is it another marketing stunt?
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