Post by ShakerNorm on May 17, 2010 20:03:01 GMT -5
I agree Pete - I've been wary of using synthetic oils in my bike - I use them in my other vehicles because they perform so well at reducing friction - but that was why I was nervous of using them in my bike - I was worried that they would reduce my clutch to a spinning, useless heat generator, even as they made the engine itself run better.
Apparently, my worries were unfounded, and I'll start using it on my next oil change!
Definition of an Expert-
An Ex is just a Has-Been, and a Spurt is just some poor drip under a lot of pressure.........
I use 20W50 all year. The chart is a very good guide to the proper oil for your engine, but as with most things, cost comes into the picture.
I bought a case of Pennzoil 20W50 motorcycle oil for about $3.50 a quart, delivered. Some of the higher ranked oils in the report go for as much as $12 to $15 a quart plus shipping, unless you can find them locally, and then you will have to pay sales tax.
I think that when you pay a whole bunch for oil, there is a tendency to not change it as often. Changing oil frequently is the key to long engine life.
One of the factors that interests me is viscosity shear stability. The ball and roller bearings and the gears crush and shear the molecular polymers that give a multi viscosity oil it's multi viscosity. As the polymers are broken down, the viscosity reverts to its base viscosity, in the case of a 20W50 oil, that's 20W or less, so to me, that is all important and it's something I can see with my oil pressure gage.
Looking at the summary chart, Pennzoil is shown as last, but in the individual chart for viscosity stability, Pennzoil is #2 in group #1. Amsol is #1 because synthetics do not depend on polymers for their multi viscosity characteristic.
Even if all the other factors are better with other oils, there is no point in having an oil in your crankcase that has a viscosity of 20, especially in the hot summer, so I still like Pennzoil, for it's low cost and its viscosity stability.
Last Edit: May 22, 2010 12:28:52 GMT -5 by pamcopete
I scanned the report, didnt read cover to cover. I posted the section on wet clutch in ZDDP and Pennzoil sticky thread.
The report acknowledges that it didnt intend to test wet-clutch specific oils. Pete - I see what you're saying. I have a crankcase of Rotella synthetic in, and havent had any clutch problems, and we've had a couple 90 degree days already, and I've ridden in stop and go traffic.
I will give the Pennzoil MC oil a think. Since you've clearly read the report, I'm wondering what your take is on the section on wet clutches. Seems like of the oils they tested, only a couple actually fit the bill, right?
I aint gonna pay $10 a quart. Not no way, not no how.
That's all the motorcycle is, a system of concepts worked out in steel. ~Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Post by tomterrific on May 23, 2010 9:25:20 GMT -5
Kevin Cameron worked at Pennzoil for a while and he thought it was the absolute worse oil. They were one of the first to go to hydro cracking and he wrote that now Pennzoil had the best base. Older article.
Just buy any motorcycle oil. There will not be better oil for an XS from the same manufacturer. You would think the petroleum engineers will know more than anyone on this list, DUH.
Most forum members seem to have got into motorcycles recently but the old guys will remember Dr. John's championship winning Moto Guzzi. After the bike retired he revealed his secrets to get so much power out of the agricultural Guzzi engine. One secret was Mobile One 5w-30 oil! In an era when tuners were running straight 50wt to keep the engines together until the end of a race, Dr. John stated 5w-30 gave his Guzzi 5 extra hp over straight 50 wt on the dyno. He said he could not run that light of oil if it wasn't synthetic.
Post by ShakerNorm on May 25, 2010 23:04:32 GMT -5
I know that almost all turbine engines (particularly aircraft ones) ONLY use synthetic oil. The stuff is extremely stable, and won't break down anywhere near as fast as conventional oils, so as Tom said - you could probably run a lighter oil and gain some power (although I wouldn't really recommend it - that Guzzi probably got rebuilt a lot more than any of our 650's).
That said - Pete is bang on when he said that the key to long engine life is changing your oil frequently. One of the most important jobs of your oil is to collect all the crap that your engine creates (soot, carbon, plastic and metal chunks......) and carry it to the filter where it (hopefully) gets removed from the system. Inevitably - there is lots of microscopic stuff that gets picked up that the filter (especially the screens in these old beasts) can't remove - so your oil eventually gets black - and the dirt that's in it scrapes and wears away at any part it rubs against. Frequent oil changes are the best thing you can do to keep your engine running for a long time - bar NOTHING!
The case for a quality synthetic oil is pretty clear - however - if you don't change it regularly, even the best synthetic oil is just as bad (if not worse) than the worst of the garbage oils out there.
Most Aircraft PISTON engines still use conventional oil, too - since they deal with a LOT more soot and dirt than turbine oils do - and need to be changed much more often (usually every 50 hrs or so vs every 1000 hrs in a turbine) - and regular oil is much cheaper than synthetic.......
It's better to change your oil regularly using cheap stuff, than use the best but never change it!
Last Edit: May 25, 2010 23:15:18 GMT -5 by ShakerNorm
Definition of an Expert-
An Ex is just a Has-Been, and a Spurt is just some poor drip under a lot of pressure.........
A synthetic of the same weight will not make your clutch slip. A synth oil is not realy any slippery than a dino oil. It flows better and lubes better because the oil molocules of dino oil are very irregular in shape and size. Kinda like diggong up a shovelful of gravel out of the a stream bed. Synth oil, the molocules are all the same size and shape. More like a shovel full of marbles or ball bearings. I have run synth oil in my Harley clutch for over 6 years, the clutch has never slipped. I run a dino oil in my 650 because changing the oil at 1500 miles gets expencive at 12 bucks a quart.
75 XS650B with 79 forks and dual disc, braided lines, disc brake on back, Pamco ignition, Pamcopete's reg/rec mods, kill switch relay, home made harness, all LED turn, brake and tail lights, tapered head bearings, bronze bushes in swing arm, soon to get shock and fork upgrades
Post by dps650rider on Jun 6, 2010 19:11:29 GMT -5
Seems to me that if a real oil filter is used (not the stock gravel strainer) to keep the oil clean and with the viscosity stability of synthetics you would not need to change the oil as often and that would bring down the cost.
I just changed my oil and for the first time am trying synthetic (Amsoil) after reading this thread. The thing that convinced me to try it is the viscosity stability.
I can't believe we're having another oil discussion after somebody saw another puff piece from Amsoil. As if they don't have a self-interest here.
I know any XS650 will be just fine with Shell Rotella Diesel. It has the additive package these motors supposedly need. So claims Mike of 650Central.com and I believe him. He's a trustworthy person.
I think synthetic oil is fine. I put it in my car so I only have one oil change a year instead of two. It saves time. I don't need it in my bikes as much because I have three of them and don't ride each more than a couple of thousand miles a year so synthetic would be overkill.
As for the efficacy of other non-Diesel rated oils, all I would say is that if their SAE rating is equal then, by definition, their performance is equal. I'd suggest stressing over something else than microscopic differences only a petroleum engineer could love.
As for the quality of Pennzoil, who knows? It seems the equal of any other oil I have used. My dad loved the stuff 35 years ago when it used a non-asphalt, Pennsylvania crude, base. Now it's part of Texas-based Texaco and Chevron, so who knows? A mechanic I knew said Pennzoil was the only company that bought old oil from him. What does that say? Isn't most used oil recycled by some manufacturer or other?
I seem to recall a Consumer Reports test from 20 years ago on NYC taxis driven non-stop to 100,000 miles. Every one was fine. There might have been a slight advantage to Pennzoil, if memory serves.
So my advice is: Get a real oil filter from MikesXS or 650Central and change whatever oil you want every 1500-2000 miles and your XS650 will be fine. If you're convinced synthetic is best for you, go ahead. But I think it's more marketing than fact.
Zinc is a good thing Modern automotive 5w xx whatever oils with "friction modifiers" are not .I have traced a plethora of clutch issues to just this . It "used to be" 10/40 summer and 20/50 winter and/or 10/40 liquid cooled , 20/50 air cooled . There are exceptions (the GSXR "oil heads") and this is meant only as a guide and reference .
These are just suggestions and my experience . I like the Rotella because how far are you from a Wall Mart , ever ? I have never had a problem with Castrol and up till recently their customer service and engineering departments were outstanding.
Now the exceptions
The other roller bearing bottom end I own is a Shovelhead . For years I used Kendal without complaint . When the troubles hit Kendal (that story is up to you to research) I was able to move to VR1-50 with no issues .
My race engines used Castrol straight wt 30-HD because that is what the sponsorship provided . Again no complaints .
Specifically for the XS the one , single , most intelligent modification you can do to the engine to improve longevity is the addition of a real oilfilter . There are many different approaches to this so there is some more research for you . I don't leave oil in a bike long enough to take advantage of a add on filter (usually no more than 2 months , 2,000 miles) so this doesn't really apply to me . This is also because I buy in bulk and pay approximately 60% of what most pay retail .
In a word , no . Call it a lack of adventuresome spirit or just set in my ways but I have zero experience with any full synthetic other than the VR1-50 in the Shovelhead .
All this goes for naught if the oil isn't changed regularly . In the XS there is no filter , just a two stage strainer that does a good job of keeping rocks , pebbles , small pets and kids out of your engine sump . Under certain conditions it won't even do that .Pump suction applied to cold oil is responsible for destroying more sump strainers than any other reason . Warm up of the XS is best done gently , without sudden rpm increases until full running temperature is reached .
It may come off as opinion , it is . Anecdotal it may be but it is my personal experience from near 4 decades . I strongly recommend that you do your own research of actual scientific fact based on these guidelines as time has , as it does all of us , passed me by somewhat .
Again , change your oil , adjust your valves , keep records and notes . If you do your personal data sample will rival mine in short order and your motorcycle will like you . Ignore these simple guidelines and not only will gawd almighty kill a kitten but your motorcycle will hate you and the pretty girls will ignore you .
Thanks Kop,, 'that is one the best articles on oil, on this fourm, i have read. I do have the side Honda paper filter, with the aluminim fins ... I hope that is OK, and with the better Sump filter in place. I have found ( the one time i tried ) that synthetic was too slipperly, and my worn clutch slipped some,,, but , With Yamalube, it did not slip. and i do have the Shell Rotella on shelf for next time. Preston
r80rt: :)This is a splendid write up, THANK YOU!!!!
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joshua: My bad. I found the bracket they supplied to mount the rectifier/regulator... Uh oh. How is this meant to work? Which way is it meant to mount? Looks like I have to use some spacers or something. Good instructions would be nice.
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trix13: Also, even though all of my connections are clean, I cannot seem to find out why , when at higher rpms, I hit the signals and the rpms pulse with the signals...hahah. same with the brake light. I appreciate all input!!
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louisvan: trix13 - I had a problem with my 1975 SX650. When I got to highway speeds, the engine lost power. The problem was in the connectors. At a certain vibration and the wind pushing on the wiring loom, the connector lost continuity. A bad crimp to the wire.
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