The BEST engine oil is ???? Syn vs Conv.


120 replies to this topic
  • 6fiddy

Posted June 05, 2006 - 05:31 AM

#1

I have a highly modified 02 wr 426 (444 big bore) ported head, web race cams, I bought it to replace the stock engine i recently blew apart. Does anybody know what the BEST synthetic oil i could get to treat the beast under my seat. I want to keep this engine for as long as possible. Remember that price is no object... THANKS EVERYONE!!!

  • grayracer513

Posted June 05, 2006 - 07:07 AM

#2

The premise that there is a best oil seems sound enough, but does someone here know what it is? Not according to the endless debate.

I use Amsoil Synthetic Motorcycle Oil. Specifically, MCF 10w-40. I use MCV 20w-50 in the hottest summer months only. The oil is exceptional, and is the only JASO MA oil I know of which is so specifically formulated for shared use with a transmission that it also carries the API GL-1 designation, which makes it legitimate for sale as an 80w-90 gear lube. Viscosity loss due to shear down in the gearbox is not an issue. Read This Test Report. Please note that they make and have made several other motorcycle oil products, but it is these particular two that I recommend.

The kicker is that you can get it for $6/qt. if you sign up as a preferred customer and buy in cases.

  • DigilubeJay

Posted June 08, 2006 - 01:26 PM

#3

Gray, I’m very curious how you gleaned from the Amsoil report that viscosity loss due to shearing of the oil isn’t a factor.
In any event, it most definitely IS a factor in how well oil will protect the engine parts. There is plenty of information that proves when oil loses viscosity its protecting ability is lessened, and wear metals will increase.

Every couple of years Amsoil will publish a similar battery of testing against other motorcycle specific engine oils.
Their tests and reports should only be used as a guide, and should by no means be considered a definitive answer on what oil is best for the high performance motorcycle engine.
The testing would be much more convincing if it were done by an independent laboratory certified to perform such tests, but having been involved with oil testing procedures myself, I’m certain that the cost of such testing with so many products would be far too much for Amsoil to bear. The cost of purchasing the equipment themselves is probably FAR less than just one battery of tests would cost.

The testing is quite impressive to the uninformed consumer. However, many of the tests conducted are only relevant in a test environment, and are not always the tell-all of the performance in the real world. The REAL test is when the product is put to the test of being used in the application and situations it was intended for.

One thing you will never see Amsoil do in any of their fancy testing is to match themselves up with oils that are “other than” those of moto-specific types. And the main reason for that is there are many oils that are marketed to other niches, and for FAR less money, that will easily show equal or better performance than their moto-specific offerings.

One good way to discern between junk oil and a quality product is to test it in your specific application. I want to provide you with just a few oil analyses that were done after running various oils in a single engine. Specifically a YZ250F.

The testing of these oils run in the thumper was conducted in racing situations. Real world testing, as opposed to a controlled lab environment like Amway...errrr Amsoil provided.

I won’t go too fat in depth with the analysis shown, other than you should pay close attention to the viscosity and the associated wear metals.
When making comparisons of these real world reports, it is easy to see that oil does not have to be high-dollar synthetic to be good. In fact, some of the best performers on the shelf will be very inexpensive.

Another thing that these sort of reports show, is that leaving oil, ANY oil, in the sump for long periods of time is a very silly thing to do with a high performance thumper.

When we look for viscosity, we look to the following:
SUS VISCOSITY @ 210 \xbaF expected range for 50 weight motor oils= 82-95
SUS VISCOSITY @ 210 \xbaF expected range for 40 weight motor oils= 70-85
Viscosity numbers out of these boxes will mean that the oil is either thicker or thinner than what it should be. Thinner means it was sheared out of its grade.

Also in the reports, the pertinent wear metals are: Aluminum, Chromium, Iron, Copper, Lead, and Tin. We can pretty much disregard aluminum content, as a wet-clutch puts off lots of aluminum particles naturally. (another clear reason to NOT leave any oil in for long periods)
And lead can be disregarded, as race fuels typically have very high concentrations of the element and are not shown to be detrimental to the engine.

Accept for silicon (gained primarily from poor air filtration), all other components are additives that are placed in the oil on purpose.


Amsoil 20w50 Motorcycle Spec (Group IV Syn) raced/ridden for 60 miles in a 2001 Yamaha YZ250F.
INSOLUBLES: .2%
WATER: 0.0%
ANTIFREEZE: 0.0%
FUEL: < 1.5%
FLASHPOINT IN \xbaF: 365
SUS VISCOSITY @ 210 \xbaF: 68.4 (high-dollar synthetic sheared out of grade)
ALUMINUM 7
CHROMIUM 1
IRON 9
COPPER 6
LEAD 327
TIN 1
MOLYBDENUM 1
NICKEL 1
MANGANESE 0
SILVER 0
TITANIUM 0
POTASSIUM 0
BORON 0
SILICON 7
SODIUM 2
CALCIUM 3653
MAGNESIUM 11
PHOSPHORUS 886
ZINC 992
BARIUM 0


Castrol 20w50 Motorcycle Specific (Group III Syn) raced for 30 miles in a 2001 Yamaha YZ250F.
INSOLUBLES: .1%
WATER: 0.0%
ANTIFREEZE: 0.0%
FUEL: < 0.5%
FLASHPOINT IN \xbaF: 420
SUS VISCOSITY @ 210 \xbaF: 77.3 (another high-dollar synthetic sheared out of grade)
ALUMINUM 14
CHROMIUM 1
IRON 4
COPPER 1
LEAD 3
TIN 0
MOLYBDENUM 13
NICKEL 1
MANGANESE 0
SILVER 0
TITANIUM 0
POTASSIUM 0
BORON 2
SILICON 10
SODIUM 1
CALCIUM 1948
MAGNESIUM 4
PHOSPHORUS 828
ZINC 996
BARIUM 0


Shell Rotella T 15w40 (Group II Dino) raced for 45 miles in a 2001 Yamaha YZ250F.
INSOLUBLES: .2%
WATER: 0.0%
ANTIFREEZE: 0.0%
FUEL: 1.0%
FLASHPOINT IN \xbaF: 390
SUS VISCOSITY @ 210 \xbaF: 75.8(wow..an inexpensive dino oil that stayed in grade and produced low wear metals!)
ALUMINUM 16
CHROMIUM 1
IRON 5
COPPER 1
LEAD 116
TIN 1
MOLYBDENUM 8
NICKEL 0
MANGANESE 0
SILVER 0
TITANIUM 0
POTASSIUM 2
BORON 5
SILICON 5
SODIUM 1
CALCIUM 2522
MAGNESIUM 8
PHOSPHORUS 832
ZINC 958
BARIUM 0


Exxon Superflow 20w50 (Group II Dino) raced for 73.3 miles in a 2001 Yamaha YZ250F.
INSOLUBLES: .2%
WATER: 0.0%
ANTIFREEZE: 0.0%
FUEL: <0.5%
FLASHPOINT IN F: 405
SUS VISCOSITY @ 210 F: 81.7 (imagine that..about the cheapest dino oil on the shelf, stayed in grade and with low wear metals)
ALUMINUM 28
CHROMIUM 1
IRON 8
COPPER 1
LEAD 201
TIN 1
MOLYBDENUM 76
NICKEL 1
MANGANESE 0
SILVER 0
TITANIUM 0
POTASSIUM 0
BORON 4
SILICON 7
SODIUM 1
CALCIUM 1562
MAGNESIUM 6
PHOSPHORUS 689
ZINC 850
BARIUM 0

About the only benefit we can gain by using a full Group III,IV,V synthetic oil is its ability to withstand heat degredation for longer peiods of time. And when considering oil for a car or a cruiser bike, this should be considered.
But when it is evident that we need to change the oil out in a high performance bike long before it can get close to degrading completely, there is really not much benefit at all by using a synthetic. This can, and will, be debated heavily. But definitave proof on the issue will be hard to find. Espeically with real world analysis like these being published.

BTW...these analysis are curteosy of a TT Moderator. :applause:
Many of us are thankful for his outstanding work in this area.

  • RdrMtn

Posted June 08, 2006 - 01:49 PM

#4

I started using Shell Rotella full synthetic because it is about $15 a gallon. The only thing I have noticed since switching from Honda oil to Rotella on my '01 XR650R is that it starts on the first kick now every time-no sh@%.

  • grayracer513

Posted June 08, 2006 - 02:17 PM

#5

Viscosity shear down is not an issue with Amsoil MCF, MCV, Mobil1 MX4T, and one or two other oils because they were formulated not to be as subject to it as other oils less suited for use with a transmission, as witness the results of the industry recognized ASTM D-6278 testing. An oil that is graded as a gear lube can be used to lube gears with a good deal more confidence than one that isn't.

I'm very familiar with Steve's UOA's, and he seems to have a peculiar talent of being able to beat up pretty much anything, oil-wise. UOA's are what they are; a sample of oil taken from one motor vehicle, having been used under circumstances that are rarely controlled in any real way, and which has been subjected to a number of different influences concurrently. As such, they only demonstrate the ability of the oil sampled to hold up under the circumstances under which they were conducted, and can't speak to any one particular characteristic very well at all.

In the Amsoil sample, no notation is made of which of the several Amsoil motorcycle oils was tested. If the test was done prior to this time last year, it almost certainly was not MCV. It makes a good deal of difference.

The testing I have done fails to match up with his. My sole interest in the matter was whether the oil I was using stayed in grade or did not. The sample of MCF that I sent out came back at 73.2 (SUS@100C), which is a kinematic viscosity of 13.879 Cst, and very well within the SAE 40 range. That particular sample had 8.2 hours of mixed trail and desert on it, and while it wasn't racing, there isn't usually that much difference between how hard we go when racing and playing.

In addition to their heat endurance abilities, synthetics offer purer base stocks, since they are manufactured without the contamination that must be removed from petroleum oils, greater resistance to acidity and oxidation, and base stocks with a higher viscosity index, which gives them multi-grade performance with far fewer of the typically fragile viscosity index improvers added. There do exist very excellent conventional oils and petroleum/synthetic blends, just as there are some true synthetics that are frankly not that good, but the answer to core question of whether synthetics offer something that conventional oils don't or can't is still yes, at least in general terms.

  • kid on a 426

Posted June 08, 2006 - 03:05 PM

#6

Digiglube and Grayracer no offense but you guys must have a lot of free time. Just put the correct weight oil in and change it often and you won't really have to worry about the best brand and what will last the longest.

  • MotoGoalie

Posted June 08, 2006 - 04:22 PM

#7

Digiglube and Grayracer no offense but you guys must have a lot of free time. Just put the correct weight oil in and change it often and you won't really have to worry about the best brand and what will last the longest.


trust me my friend. Just sit back and enjoy this. This conversation has evolved over the last few years into a wonderful banter of 'what if's and 'my credentials'.

I'll take Grays or Kelstrs opinion any day though, if I was a betting man.

xoxoxo to all. :applause:

  • kid on a 426

Posted June 08, 2006 - 04:24 PM

#8

I'll take Grays or Kelstrs opinion any day though, if I was a betting man.

I agree.

  • DigilubeJay

Posted June 08, 2006 - 05:56 PM

#9

What I'm trying to convey is a couple of things...

We should change out our oil before the benefits of synthetics are a factor.

There are plenty of oils that aren't marketed to the moto niche that are every bit as, if not better than, moto specific oils, and for FAR less money.

AMsoil are the MLM oil marketing kings. They are the masters at convincing folks they are the best oil out there, when they clearly are not.
The report in question, and those that came before it, are full of misleading BS. Similar to their claims of being the first to develop synthetics. That is total BS....but Amsoil dupes will argue that point till the cows come home. (of course their only ammo is what Amsoil feeds them)

Gray, not much difference in how an engine is worked when comparing a raced bike to a play bike? Please....lol

Motogoalie, do you have anything constructive to add? Of course you don't.
Most everything I've seen you post up isn't worth the ASCII spent to make it visible.
Go post whore somewhere else, jr.

  • 642MX

Posted June 08, 2006 - 06:31 PM

#10

Just put the correct weight oil in and change it often and you won't really have to worry about the best brand and what will last the longest.




Thats what I do. I use Shell Rotella 15W40 and change it every 1-2 rides.

Visit the ThumperTalk Store for the lowest prices on motorcycle / ATV parts and accessories - Guaranteed
  • dirtysanchez84

Posted June 08, 2006 - 06:38 PM

#11

In Europe...I'm sure they have it in the states, haven't been back for awhile. They have blended oil, synthetic and convetional. Has anyone ever used that stuff?

  • grayracer513

Posted June 08, 2006 - 08:22 PM

#12

Gray, not much difference in how an engine is worked when comparing a raced bike to a play bike? Please....lol

You don't ride with me, so you don't have any idea.

Motogoalie, do you have anything constructive to add? Of course you don't.
Most everything I've seen you post up isn't worth the ASCII spent to make it visible.
Go post whore somewhere else, jr.

You really just can't behave, can you?

Have a nice day, buddy. :applause:

  • kid on a 426

Posted June 08, 2006 - 08:24 PM

#13

You don't ride with me, so you don't have any idea.

You really just can't behave, can you?

Have a nice day, buddy. :D

Lol good job gray :applause: . Kill 'em with kindness :prof:

  • DigilubeJay

Posted June 10, 2006 - 01:39 AM

#14

You don't ride with me, so you don't have any idea.

You really just can't behave, can you?

Have a nice day, buddy. :applause:

What do you mean by behaving?
The guy comes in here with nothing of value to offer up to the thread, and does nothing but try to discredit my offering.

When we look at tests, we are only looking at one aspect of an oils performance. This is by no means a full indication of how an oil will perform when it is used in a combined situation.
There is far more validity in looking at what really happened to an oil after it has been used in a a situation that combines all of the aspects of a high performance engine together.

One easy to grasp example of this would be taking two bench tests like ASTM 4172/ 4-ball wear test, and JASO 904-98/wetclutch compatability.
Both of these tests are pretty much hogwash for motorcycle engines. As stand-alone testing the 4-ball test can be fairly impressive, but add all of the other factors of what an oil is seeing during a real world application, and you can throw the results of the 4-ball test out the window. The contaminants that are naturally present in the oil during a real world run can change how any oil performs in a 4-ball test...and most oil mfg's know this. That is why you won't see many listing of 4-ball wear tests by top oil mfg's. You will see these sort of tests run on greases, where the situation the testing is conducted will be similar to what the product will see in a real world situation.
You will also see this test listed by snake-oilers.

Same thing with the JASO testing to provide the MA or MB certification. The parameters of that sort of test are very narrow..as all you look for is how fast the clutch plates separate and how fast they stop. In a lab setting this can show far different results than what the oil may show when used in conjunction with all other aspects of a real world run.

Just like the additives that are used in engine oils...stand alone, many of these additives will show very poor results. But when used in conjunction with other additives, they can show great worth.

Another thing to consider is that all testing procedures can be manipulated one way or another. Certified statement or not. And this is fact.
Only way to be sure of these sorts of tests would be to have them done by an independant lab by technicians that are certified to run these tests. That is why there are such certifications to begin with. If the tests could not be manipulated, (or hosed completely up) there would be no need for tester certifications.

Yes these tests look good on paper, and provide the MLM marketeer lots of impressive stats, but results from real world situations are far more credible.

Kid, do you now what a magpie is? (lol...)

  • Ga426owner

Posted June 10, 2006 - 06:30 AM

#15

And here we go again folks................"The Great Oil debate part 4" is officially off....... :D

Grey and Digi when its gets boring around here you both always wake it up!
Keep 'em coming........... :bonk:

Oh oil ...Synth is the only way to go period! ...... my recommendation is the Amsoil - I just became a Preferred Customer under their program and I pay 5 bucks and some change for a quart.... :applause:

Thanks Grey for turning me on to them! :prof:

Now its time to go ride see ya! :prof:

  • DigilubeJay

Posted June 10, 2006 - 09:34 AM

#16

Oh oil ...Synth is the only way to go period! ...... my recommendation is the Amsoil

Care to explain to us why synth is the way to go period? Or do you only recommend things that you hear others recommending?

  • Ga426owner

Posted June 10, 2006 - 11:45 AM

#17

Care to explain to us why synth is the way to go period? Or do you only recommend things that you hear others recommending?


yea here is all you need to know - synth is better period. Less friction, better engine wear and that is all I need to know. And I figured it out all by myself ....nuf said wise man! Pick your battle with someone else :applause:

  • DigilubeJay

Posted June 10, 2006 - 03:59 PM

#18

You stepped up. I figured you had something of worth to offer. Sorry, I was mistaken.

And when we talk friction...we are far more dependent on the additive package of the oil than the base itself.

  • 642MX

Posted June 10, 2006 - 04:23 PM

#19

Synthetic or Dino. I've used both. Motorex 10W50 was my favorite, it seemed that you could ride 4-5 times without it looking too dirty. When I bought my Rekluse auto clutch the guys at Rekluse recommended the Rotella 15W40, so I switched, and so far so good. It looks dirty in 2 rides, but it doesn't seem watered down by any means.

I don't think it really matters which oil or what brand that you use, as long as you keep it changed.

My 2 cents.

  • FFRacing79

Posted June 10, 2006 - 05:40 PM

#20

Jay, you just turned off 98% of the riders/readers here. You fluanting your knowlege and talking over their heads only alienated most of them. All they want to know is what the best oil for the buck they can run. Most of everyone here changes often enough that all your specifics really don't come into play.
So instead of belittleing someone who defends his choice with the minimal of facts, why don't you just leave the big words and study facts behind and just give your honest opinion...that's all anyone really wants anyway.
Just speaking from experience...Tdub





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