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#520108 - 12/25/13 11:06 am Re: Synthetic vs mono grade oil [Re: jamie weeks]  
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Mr Mike Offline
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Gunner,
I never checked but is 20w50 Castrol or Valvoline suitable. B50's clutches share engine oil. What do modern bikes that have wet clutches recommend.
Mr Mike

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#520116 - 12/25/13 11:51 am Re: Synthetic vs mono grade oil [Re: jamie weeks]  
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John Healy Online content
John Healy  Online Content


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Boston, Massachusetts
Mr. Mike, read up on the history and introduction of JASO MA series of oils.


#520117 - 12/25/13 11:54 am Re: Synthetic vs mono grade oil [Re: jamie weeks]  
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bandit Offline
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Texas
Check out Amsoil. They offer a 10w/30, and a 20w/50 in their "Z-ROD" package. This falls under automobile oil designed for older style engines. This package offers a high zinc content for flat tappet type engines. Amsoil also offers a range of motorcycle specific oils in the 10w/30, 10w/40, 20w/50 and a 60w. I'm not sure if these oils offer zinc, but I do know Amsoil does extensive research in the engine lubrication department. Read up on this by searching Amsoil.com.......just a thought.


69 Lightning
71 BMW R75/5
57 Cushman
74 MGB

So it's every hand to his rope or gun,
Quick's the word, Sharp's the Action.....
#520126 - 12/25/13 12:14 pm Re: Synthetic vs mono grade oil [Re: Mr Mike]  
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DavidP Offline
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Gnashville
Originally Posted By: Mr Mike

Gunner,
I never checked but is 20w50 Castrol or Valvoline suitable. B50's clutches share engine oil. What do modern bikes that have wet clutches recommend.
Mr Mike

My A65 is modified to breathe through the primary, thus it shares the engine oil. I've found that the Valvoline 4-stroke MC oil, 20w50, works just fine with my clutch.


Stepping on others doesn't make you stand tall.

71 A65L "Zelda"
92 BMW K100rs "Gustav"
#520160 - 12/25/13 3:55 pm Re: Synthetic vs mono grade oil [Re: jamie weeks]  
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gunner Online content
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gunner  Online Content
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Farnham, Surrey, UK
Hi Mr Mike, for info IM using Silkolene Silkolube 20W50 in both my B44 and A65. This is a mineral oil intended for classic cars and motorcycles. It doesnt actually have the JASO MA spec but I checked with Silkolene and they said this oil is suitable for bikes with wet clutches, mainly due to the lack of friction modifiers which are incompatible with wet clutches. This oil has an API grade of SF.

I have noted that the formulation of some Castrol GTX versions does seem to differ between countries. You have to make sure you buy the 20W50 Classic type and not the modern 15W40 or 5W30 versions as these will have friction modifiers and make your clutch slip.

IM not sure about Valvoline products but their VR-1 20W50 oil seems to be a modern oil with an API grade of SL which means it probably isnt suitable for classic bikes with wet clutches.

Last edited by gunner; 12/25/13 3:56 pm.

1968 A65 Firebird
1967 B44 Shooting Star
1972 Norton Commando
#520172 - 12/25/13 6:07 pm Re: Synthetic vs mono grade oil [Re: jamie weeks]  
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John Healy Online content
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Silkolube is rated SF, and as such, would not have any of the friction modifiers that brought on the development of the JASO standard in 1999. It is the friction modifiers that the JASO standard addresses. Silkolene does recognize, and support, the JASO standard for their modern motorcycle oils.


#520223 - 12/26/13 5:43 am Re: Synthetic vs mono grade oil [Re: gunner]  
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Stuart Online content
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Scotland
Hi,

Originally Posted By: gunner
one has to consider that the last recommendation issued by BSA for 20W50 was based on what was available at that time (1973?). I dont think there was any other multigrade available around in 1973.

10/40 was certainly around then and had been for many years previously:-

. Early (1968) triple manuals contain a recommendation to use 10/40 in certain low ambient temperature ranges; this recommendation was dropped from later manuals.

. 20/50 was the bane of particularly Honda; they actually ran a long campaign certainly in GB to try and stop owners who switched from Britbikes but still used 20/50 in their new Hondas. One fact they quoted was that, while it took less than seven seconds after start-up for full pressure to show at the camshaft with 10/40, it could take up to forty seconds with 20/50!

Nevertheless, anyone (contemplating) using thinner multigrade than 20/50 in a Britbike might want to read John Healy's Post #420795 of 26th February 2012 in th...he Triple Forum.

Hth.

Regards,

#520236 - 12/26/13 7:22 am Re: Synthetic vs mono grade oil [Re: Stuart]  
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triton thrasher Online content
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triton thrasher  Online Content
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Originally Posted By: Stuart

. 20/50 was the bane of particularly Honda; they actually ran a long campaign certainly in GB to try and stop owners who switched from Britbikes but still used 20/50 in their new Hondas. One fact they quoted was that, while it took less than seven seconds after start-up for full pressure to show at the camshaft with 10/40, it could take up to forty seconds with 20/50!



20W/50 used to make 1970s Jap bikes' clutches sticky too.


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
#520297 - 12/26/13 5:43 pm Re: Synthetic vs mono grade oil [Re: triton thrasher]  
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cas.vanderwoude Offline
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I've used Mobil 1 synthetic on a few motorcycles. They have 20/50 "V-twin" and 10/40 grades specifically for motorcycles. The v-twin is a high temp oil and great for big singles. Its not cheap, but I believe it to be very good. I also add a bit of ZDDP additive for good measure. Synthetics for cars can, and will, mess with wet clutches and should be avoided in wet clutch bikes.

#520333 - 12/26/13 10:19 pm Re: Synthetic vs mono grade oil [Re: cas.vanderwoude]  
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Gary E Offline
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Gary E  Offline
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Originally Posted By: cas.vanderwoude
...I also add a bit of ZDDP additive for good measure...

Good on ya for the ZDDP. How do you know if too much or not enough is being added?


1967 BSA Wasp
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#520353 - 12/27/13 6:16 am Re: Synthetic vs mono grade oil [Re: Gary E]  
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triton thrasher Online content
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Originally Posted By: Gary E
Originally Posted By: cas.vanderwoude
...I also add a bit of ZDDP additive for good measure...

Good on ya for the ZDDP. How do you know if too much or not enough is being added?


Or how do you know if it needed any?


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
#520354 - 12/27/13 6:24 am Re: Synthetic vs mono grade oil [Re: jamie weeks]  
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kommando Online content
kommando  Online Content


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Scotland
Quote:
Or how do you know if it needed any?


You look at the spec on the label, if it JASO then it is ok, if its API SM or onwards eg SN then go elsewhere as it will have the low ZDDP.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_oil

Quote:
"All the current gasoline categories (including the obsolete SH), have placed limitations on the phosphorus content for certain SAE viscosity grades (the xW-20, xW-30) due to the chemical poisoning that phosphorus has on catalytic converters. Phosphorus is a key anti-wear component in motor oil and is usually found in motor oil in the form of zinc dithiophosphate. Each new API category has placed successively lower phosphorus and zinc limits, and thus has created a controversial issue of obsolescent oils needed for older engines, especially engines with sliding (flat/cleave) tappets. API, and ILSAC, which represents most of the worlds major automobile/engine manufactures, states API SM/ILSAC GF-4 is fully backwards compatible, and it is noted that one of the engine tests required for API SM, the Sequence IVA, is a sliding tappet design to test specifically for cam wear protection. Not everyone is in agreement with backwards compatibility, and in addition, there are special situations, such as "performance" engines or fully race built engines, where the engine protection requirements are above and beyond API/ILSAC requirements. Because of this, there are specialty oils out in the market place with higher than API allowed phosphorus levels. Most engines built before 1985 have the flat/cleave bearing style systems of construction, which is sensitive to reducing zinc and phosphorus. Example; in API SG rated oils, this was at the 1200-1300 ppm level for zinc and phosphorus, where the current SM is under 600 ppm. This reduction in anti-wear chemicals in oil has caused premature failures of camshafts and other high pressure bearings in many older automobiles and has been blamed for pre-mature failure of the oil pump drive/cam position sensor gear that is meshed with camshaft gear in some modern engines."

#520367 - 12/27/13 8:46 am Re: Synthetic vs mono grade oil [Re: jamie weeks]  
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stubbicatt R.I.P. Offline
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stubbicatt R.I.P.  Offline
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Westminster, Colorado
Anybody ever hear of roller or ball bearings "skidding" on their races due to the high lubricity of synthetic oils, thus leading to their ruin?

Man. This discussion, every time I read it, leads to significant abdominal distress. I can envision my big end shell bearings screaming when I use 20-50, ZDDP added, oils, and the crank bearings, roller or ball, all comfy and happy; or the big ends all comfy and happy with a 10-40 synthetic oil, and the crank ball or roller bearings screaming out in agony.

And in all cases, the tappets being ground down like soft cheese because the oils don't have enough ZDDP.

Groan. I really, truly, wish there were a "right" answer.


Hate is a poison which one consumes hoping for another to die.
#520372 - 12/27/13 9:36 am Re: Synthetic vs mono grade oil [Re: jamie weeks]  
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triton thrasher Online content
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triton thrasher  Online Content
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Skidding sounds like a fairy tale to me.


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
#520374 - 12/27/13 9:41 am Re: Synthetic vs mono grade oil [Re: jamie weeks]  
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kommando Online content
kommando  Online Content


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Never heard of it but it looks like a myth

The Harley version arrives in r.m.h when someone posts: "The mechanic [service writer, parts counterperson] at my local Harley dealer told me synthetic oils are 'too slippery' for Harleys. He says it'll make the roller crank bearings skid, flatten out and make the bearings sieze."

Well, this is an interesting story. Is there truth behind it? Well, there's never been any proof offered of a bearing failure due to oil that reduced friction so much that the bearings or races skidded. Are there apocryphal stories? Sure. People have claimed that customers with hopped-up engines running automotive synthetics have come in with failed roller bearings and the post mortem revealed that the bearings were flattened. With hundreds of people posting r.m.h over the years, none have had a bearing failure that could be attributed to use of an automotive synthetic.

http://www.bamph.com/rmh/oilmyths.htm

#520380 - 12/27/13 10:28 am Re: Synthetic vs mono grade oil [Re: jamie weeks]  
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John Healy Online content
John Healy  Online Content


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Our customers have been using Mobil 1 V-Twin one synthetic, and regular Mobil 1 before this was available, in their Vincent's since it was put on the market. The Vincent lower is not all that different from a Harley. A couple of them are pretty high mileage.
The one I personally service was built by Rip Tragle and has had nothing but break-in oil and then Mobil 1 in it since it was built some 15 years ago. I have had the timing chest open to put a BTH mag on it and inside looks as new as the day it was built. Vincent has a reputation of wearing out timing chests. This bike is almost a daily rider and no wear in this timing chest.


#520382 - 12/27/13 10:40 am Re: Synthetic vs mono grade oil [Re: jamie weeks]  
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John Healy Online content
John Healy  Online Content


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Quote:
Groan. I really, truly, wish there were a "right" answer.


This question was answered 15 years ago with the development of the JASO oil standard for motorcycles.

We have been fed the line that our U.S. oils were backward compatible. If you bike required an API-SG rated oil than API-SH or later would work. IT DOESN'T for bikes with wet clutches, and bike where the metalurgy requires film strength additives to protect gears, cam and valve gear.

In 1999 the Japanese motorcycle manufacturers after suffering with clutch slipping and gear wear (a lot of Japanese engines share engine and gear oil), after getting a deaf ear from the API, turned to their own association (JASO) and developed their own standards. Basically it returns U.S. motorcycle oils back to the API-SG rating.

While a lot of the "boutique" oil companies (Spectro, etc) realized this years ago the major brands only came on board after 2006 and today nearly a brands offer JASO rated oils for motorcycles.


#520832 - 12/31/13 10:34 am Re: Synthetic vs mono grade oil [Re: jamie weeks]  
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John, I read following

20w -32F = -0 celsius
30W 33F-80F =1-27 celsius
40F 81F- =27 celsius

At the moment I use GP 50 castrol it reads on the can for classic motorcycles so I bought that.
The other castrol can reads 20/50 for classic cars thats why I didn't buy that one, for cars, I wonder if that is useable for motorcycles as well, the staff don't know anything to tell me and I have not found any info on castrols website.

Anyone out there able to shine a light?

#520867 - 12/31/13 12:57 pm Re: Synthetic vs mono grade oil [Re: Morgan aka Admin]  
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photobob Offline
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I have been using 20/50 oil for the last 12 years in my A10 Gold Flash which I sold last year And have been using 20/50 in my A65 for the past 3 years no problems but both bikes have an external filter fitted and I change the oil every year regardless, even if the mileage was low. You could read the post I put up about on the 27th which gives a link that tells you all you need to know about oils.

#520891 - 12/31/13 4:32 pm Re: Synthetic vs mono grade oil [Re: jamie weeks]  
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John Healy Online content
John Healy  Online Content


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Boston, Massachusetts
Morgan:
When "Hector" was a pup, some 50 odd years ago we only had straight weight oils. Our motorcycles, based upon the technology available - mostly the ability to control the Root Mean Average "RMA" of the hills and valleys created when one grinds a crankshaft, required following the chart you have copied above. This chart was based upon ambient air temperatures and would provide the proper oil thickness in the bearing for the oil to do its job and keep the parts from touching each other.

Follow this chart and you will not have any problems using mono-grade oils. You should also look for an mono-grade oil that rated SG, or lower. This will ensure the oil will not contain any friction modifiers used to get better fuel mileage.

And while roller bearing big ends of Gold Stars, Vincent, Harley Davidson, etc., need the same measure of film strength and thickness under pressure, they do not need as much oil flow that is essential for plain bearing lower ends to work. Because of that, it was common for engines using roller bearing connecting rod bottom ends for manufacturers to specify 50 weight for these engines.

About the time Hector's coat was graying Harley started to use 20/50, instead of the 50 weight they had used for decades. This didn't go unnoticed by Vincent owners and most owners use 20W/50 in these engines today. About the time Hector was only a distant memory we started using Mobil 1, and Mobil 1 V-Twin in Vincent's when it became available.

So why not use 10W/40? For several reasons: a. Modern metal technology, and grinding equipment, allows finishing the rod journal to a RMA much lower than was ever available when our motorcycles were made. b. This means the oil film does not need to be as thick as it once was. c. With this thinner viscosity oil, to maintain the hydrostatic oil wedge the bearing clearances need to be less than used with previous technology (which can only be done if you control the RMA). d. It also means that the bearing shell itself be a bit wider to retain the pressure and allow the hydrostatic wedge to form.

So, if you are using a monograde oil follow the chart above. It should have an API rating of SG or lower.

If you choose to use a 20w/50 select one that is rated API SG and JASO MA or higher (MA2). These oils are typically sold as "V-Twin."

These oils will have zinc ratings that are appropriate for the metallurgy used in our engines, an operating viscosity that will allow the hydrostatic wedge to form which essential for the operation of plain bearing engines, and will not have the friction modifiers that will make ring "break-in" near impossible and will not cause clutch slippage.


#520905 - 12/31/13 6:59 pm Re: Synthetic vs mono grade oil [Re: Mr Mike]  
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redrooster Online content
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Last edited by redrooster; 12/31/13 7:14 pm.
#520990 - 01/01/14 3:41 pm Re: Synthetic vs mono grade oil [Re: jamie weeks]  
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Morgan aka Admin Online happy
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John,

Below are two photos of cans that contain my latest oils.
the yellow Pennzoil is modern motorcycle 20/50 and has all the JASO MA API you are mentioning. That oil I had difficulties to find now

the Castrol GP50 does not mention anything of above. I do have 20 pints of this Castrol oil.

Reading your info tells me that the 20/50 would be good but GP50 doers its job as it does not contain any additives.. so maybe I should try to find that next tine and be looking for 20/50 PENNZOIL or MOBILE but I'll use up the GP50 first..

Thanks.

Attached Files pennzoil.jpgcastrol.jpg

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#520994 - 01/01/14 4:02 pm Re: Synthetic vs mono grade oil [Re: jamie weeks]  
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kommando Online content
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I wouldn't touch that Castrol, its low detergent so the crud will settle out in the sludge trap and is the sump and other low points in the engine and oil tank instead of being carried to your filter. You have fitted an filter in the return I assume. 50 is thick and takes some warming before properly lubricating the engine. As there appear to be no specs on the can or on their website the additive package could be minimal.

#530420 - 02/26/14 12:15 pm Re: Synthetic vs mono grade oil [Re: jamie weeks]  
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Morgan aka Admin Online happy
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Hi

I asked castrol and their reply was

Quote:
The Castrol BSA Goldstar original recommendation was always for GP50 when the temp is above 50F and XL30 when below 50F, So in theory you could use 20w/50. GP50 was also recommended by Castrol for the gearbox and that is still the recommendation. The best rule of thumb is to use the lubricants recommended in the owner handbooks.



Then I double checked and asked Castrol if their Classic oil XL 20W/50 is good for motorcycles.

reply
Quote:
The 20w/50 is a good fit for most motorcycles 1965-1980 and cars 1960-1980.

Last edited by Morgan; 02/26/14 12:16 pm.
#530427 - 02/26/14 12:53 pm Re: Synthetic vs mono grade oil [Re: jamie weeks]  
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Allan Gill Offline
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Rotherham - S. Yorkshire
I gather they didn't mention what additives they use? I don't think their mention of "lubricants mentioned in the owners handbook" really stands, especially compared to the modern advances with lubricants.


It appears that on this occasion Castrol have buried their head in the sand or don't want to be responsible for the highly unlikely chance that a better improved oil would harm an engine.


beerchug
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