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The oil controversy thread

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by Roarin, Jan 17, 2007.

  1. Well then, whats the best way to start a biatch session on an internet forum? Specially a bike one. Easy peasy. Just start a thread on whats the best oil to put in your two wheeled pride & joy :LOL: So here goes.

    After extensive research on the disinformation super highway -including emails to certain large oil companies, I have come to the following conclusions. And to add fuel to the fire, I've gone & put my money where my mouth is, changed to something so far from conventional it doesn't enter normal thinking, and we'll see what happens :LOL:

    Okay then. What governs the quality of a lubricating oil? As far as I can gather, it's the quality of the base stock. Without getting all technical, there seems to be about 4 different base stock oils available. From there, all the different distributors add there own additive packages to create an oil to do a certain job -whether that be for the engine in your car, truck or even our two wheeled conveyance. What do these additives do? A number of jobs it seems. One is to modify the viscosity of the oil -that is, make the oil behave as two different grades of oil at different temperatures ie 10W-40 Another is to suspend contaminants and allow them to be carried to the oil filter & then filtered out. Another is to neutralise the by products of combustion so as to prevent the oil turning acidic & attacking the bearings in your engine. Also, wear aditives are added such as zinc & from memory phosphorous to prevent wear on startup when no oil pressure is present.

    What does this mean to us then? Well, the only reason you have to change your oil is when these additives are worn out. The base oil is still fine. Nothing wrong with it at all. Bullsh!t you say. Well then -how come truck engines can go from 50-80,000kms between oil changes? Yes that 50-80 THOUSAND kilometers. Now these are not disposable engines. They are $50,000 plus engines. Not something you want to be rebuilding every second month. Well I wouldn't want to anyway

    So how is this possible you ask? From what I can gather, its all about the quality of the base stock. And the quality of the oil filtration system. The better the base stock, the less additives have to be added, so the longer the oil lasts. Remember, it's the additives that wear out, not the base stock. What do heavy duty diesel oils use? The best base stock you can lay your hands on. Also, with the advent of catalytic converters in cars, most of those lovely anti wear components in lubricating oil have to be left out, as they will poison the cat & render it useless. Diesels do not have cat. converters so these addditives can be left in. Are you starting to see where I'm heading? Shock horror.

    Yep. I'm talking about feeding your pride & joy on premium heavy duty diesel oil. Gasp. Why?
    Because I believe they use the best possible base stock available.
    Its available in the right viscosity for my bike. Well, close enough for me :) Maybe not if I lived at the south pole but plenty close enough for our climate :)
    They do not contain any of those friction modifiers that can make your clutch slip. Yay.
    It says on the bottle that it is a mixed fleet oil. This means Diesel, petrol & turbocharged engines.
    The bottle also says it can be used in transmissions & hydraulic systems. Which lays to rest all those wives tales about the transmission "chopping up" the oil & making it ineffective in a motorcycle engine.
    And its cheap. $30 for 5 litres of the best oil money can buy. Two oil changes for my bike :)

    So I've gone & done it. About 1/2 an hour ago in fact. At 54,000kms old.
    Initial impressions. The gearbox shifts like a hot knife through butter. Neutral seems to be way easier to find. Time will tell the rest of the story. But I can't think of a harsher torture test than living inside the engine of my poor little 400. Which goes pretty much everywhere with the throttle pinned to the stop & pretty close to redline. Every single time I ride it :LOL: :LOL: And you can be rest assured I will tell you if my bike blows up in the next few thousand km's

    PS If you want to know what this magic elixer of the gods is, just drop me a PM.

    PPS Someone I know has used this particular oil in some sort of multivalve Daihatsu cage that has done 400,000kms without a valve adjustment & still uses no oil

    • Like Like x 3
  2. Which type did you use Roarin ?
    Many Harley owners swear by Diesel motor oil & use it exclusively.
    Harley-Davidson say its perfectly ok so long as it’s a CF, CF-4, CG-4, or CH-4.
  3. G'day everyone,....

    Yeh,...I'd be interested,......and as an aside.....
    My 4x4 has done over 535,000kms and is still running like new.
    3Ltr V6 petrol.

    Dr Who?
  4. I understood this bit Roarin :shock: :LOL:

    ...and I have seen you ride that poor little baby, so hope to hear how it all goes in the long run :grin:
  5. Ever seen the oil filter used on a truck? - that is the reason for the long service intervals. In normal use most vehicles won't "use up" the additives in the oil - it's the fact they become loaded up with wear particles that is reason why you need to change the oil. If you really want to protect the engine then fit a better oil filter - if that's not possible then increasing the frequency of oil changes. If you want to be really pedantic send your old oil to somewhere like here. For around 20-40 bucks they'll tell you exactly whether the oil you're using is working and if it was changed too soon or too late. They'll can even tell where/how any wear in the engine is occuring.
  6. All good points and well done on the research.

    I must point out one thing though, ....

    You raised the point about the Diesel oil not being friction modified :

    QUOTE: "They do not contain any of those friction modifiers that can make your clutch slip. Yay.

    No engine oils have contained friction modifiers for over 10 years! Even stuff like Castrol GTX2 that used to mention it in their TV ads during the 80's with the mafia like characters stopped adding them in the early 90's.

    So all bike owners can forget anything thewy have ever been told about friction modified oil and motor cycle engines because it is extinct!

    Just my 2.2c worth (Including GST)
  7. Yep, I am quite aware that trucks use a way more efficient oil filtration system. From memory some of the European trucks use a high speed centrifuge to remove the carbon as well as oil filters that have to be seen to believed.

    Let me just add -I am in no way advising people to go 50,000kms between oil changes. Just stick with what you're happy with :)
    For me, I'm quite happy to change the oil & filter every 6-8000kms.

    Sorry but I have to disagree with you there jd. I found some web pages where a couple of dudes put new oil in their car engines & then had oil analysis done every few hundred miles. The viscosity was down to a mono grade within 1200 miles if I remember correctly. This is entirely due to the additives being "used up" I'm pretty sure the viscosity has a huge impact on the film & shear strength of the oil -one of the most important things you are looking for in an engine oil. I'll see if I can find them & post them up :)
  8. Quite normal in truck service to do a filter change in between oil changes..........trucks also do continuous long trips with everything at operating temperature, so contaminants tend to burn off or not stay in teh oil as much. They also use a fuel which is much less susceptible to diluting and dirtying up the oil. The filters ARE huge, my "small" 6v53 detroit had a 2.5 litre oil filter capacity.
    Also, friction modifiers do exist, I pity the person who does not believe this, look around, read some labels, put some in your bike and get back to me. Been there, done that.
    The guys in the US swear by Rotella truck oil, both synthetic and mineral, in bikes. Rimula X also gets a mention.
    Personally, I am happy with my GTX, it serves me well, and gets changed out every 4-5000kms.
    Another reason to use the older SG/F/G or truck oils is they still contain the anti scuff additives so very necessary for flat tappet (like motorcycle) engines, and these additives also help the gears in the gearbox stay happy. These additives bond to metal surfaces which have pressure applied to them, in a very thin layer, and help prevent metal to metal contact between the parts.
    Any oil SH or later has very little or none of these additives, due to teh introduction of catalytic convertors(the additives poison the convertors), and newer engines run roller rockers/lifters, so do not need the additives.
    Also Roarin, I believe you may be confusing the additives being used up with the longer chain molecules being broken down and reducing viscosity, which all oils will do eventually.
    However, I pretty much agree with your point of view. If you've read any of my other oil posts, you know what I think of "motorcycle oils". :roll:

    Regards, Andrew.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Okay mineral oils will breakdown quite rapidly since they're produced by refining raw crude and will therefore contain a lot of lighter hydrocarbons which will be driven out of the oil. Quality synthetic oils however are manufactured in a lab and therefore contain molecules of a consistent size and shape so even if some of the oil burns of the remaining oil will retain the same chemical composition. It's this loss of lighter fractions which causes mineral oil to change viscosity, not the breakdown of the viscosity modifiers. So with a quality oil and a quality filter oil changes do not need to be done that often - as your truck example highlights perfectly ;).
  10. Ok I have done some looking into this as well...

    simple facts are these and this is what it all boils down to: the lenght of the molecule... yep full synth has the longest molecule strands and least rubbish molecules...

    So who makes the "best" quality oil??

    Mobil 1 will be effective in a motorcycle engine (as tested in a VFR800) for 5800km

    Motul 300 factory line will be effective in a motorcycle engine (as tested in a VFR800) for 5100km

    Silkolene Pro 4 (cant remember if it was Pro or not) will be effective in a motorcycle engine (as tested in a VFR800) for 5000km

    Rest of the tested oils from memory did not meet the 5000km test so I did not care...

    one note and I'll back this up from my own expiriance Ester baised oils seam to make the gear box feel better...
  11. Lets also note that Diesel engines dont rev that high like 4pot sportsbikes do and that truck motors have huge sumps therefore the oil will take alot longer to build up nasties.
  12. Here's the rub lordtb, I have been using Ester based oil for the last 44,000kms in my 400 -Motul 5100 to be exact -but let me tell you, the diesel oil I'm using sh!ts all over the Motul as far as shift quality goes. The difference is amazing. I would not have believed it if I had not tried it for myself :shock:

    DuHast, the oil I'm trying has a CL4 plus API rating. Independant testing gives it an average 75% extra safety margin over minimum CL4 plus standards in wear testing
  13. Chucking a few banana skins in a gearbox will make it run real nice too - for a while ;).
  14. Molecular length is the difference between motorbike oil and the rest.

    From what I have learnt over my sort time span MB oils are specifically made with short molecular strands. This is because when long molecule strands are run through the gearbox, they get mucnched up, real quick... Short molecular strand oil doesn't suffer from this (well not as quick anyway) and therefore does a much better job over time in your bike...
  15. Which is why many cars and light trucks specify engine oils for their gearbox fills :roll: And many older front drive cars had engine/gearbox in one unit, and used the same oil.
    Sorry, urban myth.

    Regards, Andrew.
  16. However, diesels have massively high bearing loads, they run 20+ to 1 compression, and develop peak torques around 1200-2500 rpm, both of which make life hard for oils on teh bearing surfaces.

    Regards, Andrew.
  17. look up some of the 2-stroke v8 detroit diesels.

    i have one in my crew, an atkinson, and it revs its tits off...... still uses same oil as the spankin' new UD :?
  18. I have used car oil (Valvoline XLD, $17/5L) for nearly 50,000ks now. Total odometer reading has pased 99,999km and HAVE NO PROBLEMS WHATSOEVER.

    The valvoline is rated CF for diesel and SJ for petroleum. Motul 5100 on the otherhand is rated SG (?) only :?

    I think motorcycle oil is a niche product which lives on the FEAR or motorcycle owners.
  19. G'day everyone,.......

    I ran my CB250 on Penrite HBR 30.
    I have had no problems with the bike at all.
    But its probably not important.

    Dr Who?
  20. Not entirely correct there jd -from what I can gather with a bit more searching :) I have found reports of trucks going 100,000 miles on a single oil change, with oil analysis as part of the maintenance schedule. The only things added were additives to bring the oil back in spec -no changes to the base oil.

    I agree entirely re synthetic oils being more stable over extended oil change schedules. But can you tell me one person that halves their oil change when using synthetic oil? To me thats just throwing money down the drain :) Especially at $90 odd for 4 litres of oil. Why use that when this particular oil I have found will actually out perform some synthetics in certain areas -all for $6 per litre. As far as I can gather, synthetics advantages are only in subzero conditions & extreme heat situations ie only found in say Antartica or when your engine is facing catastrophic meltdown -somethings gone badly wrong :) In which case you're basically farked anyway.

    One thing I must add is that I am not sure how the stator windings will survive in the diesel oil. I have had conversations with a motorcycle electrical rewinding specialist regarding a certain brand of MOTORCYCLE oil causing problems with the windings -I believe it affects the insulation in some way. Not sure if it's coincidence or urban myth.
    I guess time will tell with the diesel oil :)