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Synthetic Oil


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The new 'guzzis state 10W60 synthetic.  It's my belief that synthetic is best used in a air cooled motorcycle engine, where the syn will not "fry crispy" like dino oil.  Especially if/when you get stopped in traffic on a hot summer day...   Naw,,, that never happens, right? :2c:

The later 4 valve engines that have cooling passages around the exhaust ports in the heads require a full group 4 synthetic to deal with the heat although 60 weight is a total overkill in my opinion.  

A 40 weight will have better flow through those cooling passages and the big ends and mains certainly dont require a 60 weight with regards to load carrying ability.

Seriously, anyone not using a full synthetic oil these days has their head in the sand.

Will the engine survive without it?... sure, but it so outperforms mineral/fortified oils its rediculious.

Its a bit like arguing crossply tires a better than radials.

Ciao 

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  • 5 years later...

I've got 75k service to do so ...

Accidently picked up Penrite Synthetic 20w-50 instead on mineral at Supercheap.

Seems Synthetic has the thumbs up here.

Do I need to use something like engine flush between draining oil & refilling? (I'm changing oil filter)

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My HiCam overheats horribly in traffic and I cannot understand why, on the open road it's fine although still on the hot side, around 110-115C

I always use a full synth, at the moment I'm using Motul 300V 15W/50.

I use the full synth as I'm told it can stand the high temps without breaking down.

When in traffic it can get up to 130C, although by that time it's drastically losing oil pressure and I need to stop.

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8 hours ago, cash1000 said:

I've got 75k service to do so ...

Accidently picked up Penrite Synthetic 20w-50 instead on mineral at Supercheap.

Seems Synthetic has the thumbs up here.

Do I need to use something like engine flush between draining oil & refilling? (I'm changing oil filter)

Not only do you not need to flush the old oil out, if you find you are out in the middle of nowhere and need to add a quart of oil and all you can find is dino, you can add a quart of dino oil to your sump of synthetic oil as needed. The two types of oil are fully compatible. In the early days, they sometimes didn't mix well. But those days are gone.

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5 hours ago, GuzziMoto said:

Not only do you not need to flush the old oil out, if you find you are out in the middle of nowhere and need to add a quart of oil and all you can find is dino, you can add a quart of dino oil to your sump of synthetic oil as needed. The two types of oil are fully compatible. In the early days, they sometimes didn't mix well. But those days are gone.

I mostly agree.  I did some research checking Motul 5100, 7100 and 300 motorcycle brands.  The 5100 is a synth blend, 7100 is full synth, and the 300 is racing synth.  The first two can be combined with any weight and any type of synth or dino oil.  But the 300 is not recommended to mix with other types and weights.  

Good info to know if you are traveling and need a top up and know that 15-50 or 10-60 isn't available.   Some guys want "racing" oil but it may not be a good option. 

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I use the 300V not because it states racing ergo the best (not necesarily)

My reason for using is it's easily available and can withstand high temps, high revs. Motul spec sheet (that I've seen) states that other uses include street bikes and scooters.

I only use the bikes in the summer, around 1k miles a year and changed anually.

The spec sheet also states it can be mixed with other synthetics and mineral (although you'd then be diluting the properties)

Running a full synthetic is the key IMHO, the brand is of secondary importance, but that's just an opinion with nothing to back it up.

I think most motorcycle owners over think oil brands and Guzzi engines especially the 2V/V are pretty tough.

Some HiCams must stand stupid amounts of abuse. I've very little evidence on the Daytona/Centauro engines, but when pressure and/or temp gauges are installed (temporarily or permamently), out the factory these engines can be running with stupidly low pressures and some, high temps into the bargain. They seem to do fine and the failures that do happen to these engines are connected with the badly designed pump.

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  • 4 months later...

I was in Paris yesterday (Oct 23rd, 2021), and during my pre-departure check, I noticed the engine oil level was at the lowest mark of the dipstick. I don't understand how it went from mid to low between Houston and Paris, but it can only be an erroneous reading on my part.

I only found this thread today (Oct 24th).

O'reilly could not provide any help.

When I think of Oil, I think of standard. Each oil manufacturer will advocate they have the best oil for your application.

So how can we judge? how can we compare? beyond the SAE classification, should we check which standard(s) the oil conforms to.

Our good friends at the API will provide us will invaluable information about the current standards: here!

Here is the list of Oil categories for Gasoline Engines; the current moniker is "SP". The API standard for 2004 was "SL", and "SJ" earlier.

"JASO" (Japanese Automotive Standard Organization);

JASO T503 latest issue is JASO-MA2 (2006) from JASO-MA, for motorcycle engines that use the same oil in clutch, engine, gear box;

JASO-MB for motorcycle engines with dry clutch, separate oil for gear box and engine.converters.

JASO-MA2 for motorcycle engines equipped with a catalytic converter.

SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Automotive Lubricant Viscosity Grades: Engine Oils – SAE J 300, Dec. 1999

Bottom Line, I picked Castrol Power1 because it conforms or exceed the requirements of API SP, JASO-MA2, is classified as SAE 20W-50 which means I can start my engine safely up to -20 degC (-4 degF).

Castrol has a Product Data Sheet that lists the Power1 oil characteristics: https://msdspds.castrol.com/bpglis/FusionPDS.nsf/Files/674DB92D31BE7CE0802583050045159E/$File/BPXE-A3QE84.pdf

Other oil brands,  don't necessarily gives you as much information; here's an example with Mobil: https://www.mobil.com/en/lubricants/for-personal-vehicles/motorcycles

No standard specified, no product data sheet. It does not mean the oil is not as good as the others.

Another Oil brand to consider, is AMSOIL; https://www.amsoil.com/lookup/motorcycle/2004/moto-guzzi/v11-sport-v11-lemans/1100/?volume=us-volume

And they have a product data sheet: https://amsoilcontent.com/ams/lit/databulletins/g2090.pdf

They lists the previous API Standards, but not the latest SP, they also conform to JASO-MA and MA-2.

Just for fun, let us look at comparable reported results:

Kinematic Viscosity @ 100°C, cSt (ASTM D445): Castrol=19.99 mm2/s; AMSOIL=18.5 cSt (Centistoke) units are comparable.

Kinematic Viscosity @ 40°C, cSt (ASTM D445):   Castrol=152.9 mm2/s; AMSOIL=132.8 cSt

Viscosity Index (ASTM D2270)                         :    Castrol=151                 AMSOIL=156

Flash Point °C (°F) (ASTM D92)                       :    Castrol= 253                AMSOIL=228

NOACK Volatility, % weight loss (g/100g) (ASTM D5800/CEC L-40-A-93 ): Castrol = 4.8%   AMSOIL=4.2% (not a direct comparison as Castrol did not use the same ASTM standard than AMSOIL).

So, which one between the Power1 and AMSOIL 20W-50 Synthetic V-Twin Motorcycle Oil has the best characteristics?

The Castrol has the highest viscosity results under D445 at the reported temperatures.

The AMSOIL has a better viscosity index. higher number is better, but does not tell all.

The Castrol has a greater flash point.

Go figure....

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25 minutes ago, docc said:

Try to get Castrol to declare the base oil used in their product.

True Grade 4 and, more so, Grade 5 base oils are hard to come by.

I have asked for an expert opinion.

I have contacted an Oil and Gas PVT laboratory manager to tell me what he thinks.

Again standards! the test results provided are not always determined using the same method, so we cannot compare apple to apple. Still, I would rather go with brands that make the effort to provide a product data sheet. Even if in the case of Castrol, the data sheet is from 2018. The new API standard is from 2000.

AMSOIL lists the former API standards, but those data sheets are probably not updated as often as they should.

But this is all we have for comparison.

Now, if my friend's laboratory was not in Dubai, I would be able to purchase all the brands, and get him to run some of the tests on the side.

As for Castrol, it was there along with Motul when I started to get interested in motorbikes. Motul being the reference for motorcycles at the time. But this was Europe. I have no clue what historic brands existed in the US back in the Standard Oil days....

 

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