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Oil analysis.

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by typhoon, Jul 21, 2007.

  1. Anyone use a company that provides this service? I think it's time I blew this "bike oil" myth out of the water using science.

    Regards, Andrew.
  2. havent done it myself but here you go


    not overly cheap , but will be beneficial after a couple of tests

    in the states it is fairly big

    a mates old man had his pickup rebuilt, ( big diesel engine)

    he didnt think all was well, got the oil tested and from that they told him x bearings have probs due to 100 times expected bronze , along with soime other things,

    net result rebuilder repeated rebuild at no cost
  3. Just something "In context"

    From http://www.triumph675.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=10347

    And not sure if this helps but hey, it's only 20-30 seconds to see if it's worth reading/keeping :)

  4. Cost should only be around $20-30, not really that bad considering people are willing to pay $50+ for oil without actually knowing if it's going to be of any benefit or if it's being changed often enough.
    Could actually do an oil analysis myself, but I'd charge a lot more than that ;).
  5. Here's my plan, 4000kms on a quality diesel engine oil, analysis, then 4000kms on a quality bike oil, analysis. Same bike, same riding conditions, same rider.
    This will take several months to get results out of, but should be veeeery interesting.
    I encourage others to join in for all our colletive knowledge's sake!

    Regards, Andrew.
  6. yes last i checekd several years ago it was about $30 to test 2 samples , 1 being the new oil and 2 being the used of the same oil

    the real benefit of doing the tests i knowing after x kays the oil is still servicable , this is what truck companies do to increase service intervals which save money on service costs along with keeping the vehicle on the road making money

    Andrew , to keep the results correct i would suggest a 2nd change after 100 kays so as to not contaminate the results of the 4k sample
  7. So you are saying do a 100k flush between oil changes?

    Regards, Andrew.
  8. I would do the 100k flush as you can never get all the old oil out when doing an oil change. It would not surprise me if they still found traces of the old oil after the flush. This test will not prove much as the engine is not new and at any point could start to fail. To give us a true indication of what oil is best we would need at least 4 bikes of the same model and kilometere reading 2 running X brand Diesel oil and 2 running X brand bike specific oil.
  9. Mate these engines go 150-200k kms without any problems, this one is only nudging 90k kms, so no problems with weird wear particles I'd think!
    WHat I am really trying to show is retained viscosity and wear/detergent additives left in the oil AT THE CHANGE INTERVAL to prove that motorcycle oil is not special or magical. I think the analysis will show that nicely, if I find the right place to do it.
    Any metals found in the oil will be incidental to the testing for these purposes, and will only serve to freak me out or make me happy!

    Regards, Andrew.
  10. This test still will not prove much as the fact is "oils aint oils". I will continue to use bike specific oil as after many years in the auto industry I know the damage that can be caused by the wrong choice of oil.

  11. And that is why I am doing the tests, so people can ignore such biased thinking that has no basis in fact.........

    Regards, Andrew.
  12. :LOL: :LOL:

    Doing it properly should provide a nice bit of information with regards to specific batches and brands of oils, and will serve your purpose well for your chosen oils, but it reads as though you assume most oils are the same base oil, with the same additives, merely rebranded to suit target-market specific applications. Is this your initial hypothesis? What data is there to prove/dispove this hypothesis? (Out of genuine interest)

    And to make the test fair, it would make sense to seriously consider four oil changes -

    a total flush and filter change, refilled with a control oil for 10ks or so.
    (Test kilometres) with oil A, with either a fresh filter or washed in oil A.
    again total flush and new filter with control oil for 10ks.
    (Test kilometres) with oil B, same procedure with the new oil filter repeated.

    Also to consider - to what effect does seasonal additives in the fuel affect results? (Considering it seems the test will be over a year or so)
  13. yes otherwise you skew the results

    IIRC they do test on the new sample and the used sample , so you want to keep it as accurate as possible

    RS101 gives a better explanation below
  14. I have considered the seasonal effects of fuel, and it will probably be pretty obvious in the test samples. However, it shouldn't have an effect on the oil's viscosity or any remaining additives, it will merely show up as additional contaminants. The bike only gets choked for about 15 seconds on startup whether summer or winter, so there will be no additional oil dilution in winter, and besides, winter will be the diesel oil sample, so I am being harsher on the diesel oil!
    My reasoning behind the fact that engine oils are pretty much all the same(comparing synthetics to synthetics, same viscosity etc) is that in the 70's and 80's, non motorcycle oils were specified and used in motorcycle engines, and they have proven that they last just as long (if not longer) than more modern engines. Yes, SOME newer engines have higher specific output per litre compared to the older engines, but many of these older engines were air cooled, and that is extremely hard on an oil in itself.
    An example is my Z 650, which was still going strong when I sold it last year(80k kms, may have even gone around once). It had lived on teh manufacturer's specified Castrol GTX. And my GTR manual merely specifies any SE-SG engine oil, which it has hapily lived on for 17 years(the rocker covers and cam area was spotless when I opened it up for valve adjustments, no varnish build up at all). The GTR engine is comparable to anything currently built by Japan (ie, DOHC, 16v, 10500 rpm redline etc) so it will make a good test bed for real world oil use in a real world application, not a lab engine. It is also in good condition, not using oil and as noted above, very clean inside.

    The other thing is that apart from the wet clutch, a motorcycle engine does not put any significant additional loads on an oil. Yes they have a gearbox, but many, many cars have common engine/transmission sumps, and many cars specify plain engine oils for transmission fill with no ill effect.
    It is questionable the wet clutch does much more to the oil than add a very small amount of partices anyway, unless severely abused. Of course a wet clutch is more sensitive to certain friction additives, but having used three different auto/diesel oils in bikes, I have never come across the problem.

    Regards, Andrew.
  15. :? Only car I can think of that shares oil with the engine and gearbox is the mini. I've not seen any modern cars made this way, especially since virtually everything these days is also available as an auto (and fairly sure the mini is the only car to ever run an auto box on engine oil).
    Still good luck with the testing, always good to find a definitive answer to something rather than just rely on conjecture and assumption.
  16. And out of personal oil preference, I do agree with you that it doesn't matter what oil you use, as long as it is within suggested viscousity range and meets the same SAE standards.

    The only practical benefit of synthetics that I can think of is the fact that the molecular "chains" in the oils are the same size, causing a more reliable oil surface (less likely of getting short chains, although I would imagine that they would not form significant patches of "thin oil" on friction surfaces), though I am willing to be corrected if wrong.

    Good luck, will be interested to see the results
  17. Actually the main benefit of a synthetic is that they're a homogenous blend of identical molecules, not a mix of thick and thin oils. So whereas a mineral based oil will over time get "sludgier" as the lighter components boil off a synthetic remains exactly the same viscosity. Also generally less chance of impurities in a synthetic.