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Author Topic: Synthetic Oil  (Read 2188 times)

swakefield

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Synthetic Oil
« on: February 04, 2008, 06:20:40 PM »
Will I experience any trouble switching to synthetic?  Is it worth it?  My mechanic swears by the stuff.

Sorry if this is a dumb question.
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bob bezin

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Re: Synthetic Oil
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2008, 06:54:30 PM »
its great stuff if you dont have a tendancy to leak  iuse it in my norton but the enfield weeps between the head and cylinder so i use castrol in it . do not break in an engine with it as it lubericates too well ,switch to it after break in
bobbezin
2000 RE classic ,              56 matchless g80
2006 RE delux fireball       86 yamaha SRX 600
65 500cctriumph
04 bonnie black
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Leonard

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Re: Synthetic Oil
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2008, 06:55:49 PM »
If you can afford it I've never heard of any problems and there is supposed to be the added benefit of a little more cooling.  I wouldn't make the switch until after a couple thousand break-in miles though.  People in the know say that you will have problems wearing in the engine with synthetic.

Will I experience any trouble switching to synthetic?  Is it worth it?  My mechanic swears by the stuff.

Sorry if this is a dumb question.
2009 Triumph Bonneville T100
2004 Royal Enfield Sixty-5 (RIP)
2001 Kawasaki W650 (going, going...gone)
http://www.romeoriders.com

DireWolf

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Re: Synthetic Oil
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2008, 07:39:17 PM »
My dealer said "later" when I asked that.

He wants to test it in his bike over the summer, anyway.

swakefield

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Re: Synthetic Oil
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2008, 07:46:55 PM »
Thanks!  Good info.  Sounds like I shouldn't have any trouble.  I'm past the break-in, so the swich should be OK.
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fredgold52

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Re: Synthetic Oil
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2008, 11:03:17 PM »
http://www.enfieldmotorcycles.com/forum/index.php/topic,919.msg9133.html#msg9133

This is a thread I started about the letter designations for various oils.  There's some good information in it about the "SG" designation and the heavy metals contained in such oil that provides a cushion effect for our less than precision machined critical parts - like the floating bushing that acts as a rod bearing.  At least, that's what I got out of some of the posts on that thread. 

So as much as I love the new synthetic oils, I'm gonna be running an SG rated oil made for air cooled motorcycles.

2006 '65' and a 200cc Stella, Indian all the way

luoma

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Re: Synthetic Oil
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2008, 01:15:35 AM »
I switched to synthetic after about 3500 miles. It really does take that lng to really break in an AVL. I now use 20-50W Mobile One, specifically made for air-cooled bike motors. I use very little oil, don't leak, and I feel more comfortable running the &%$# out of it.

birdmove

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Re: Synthetic Oil
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2008, 04:53:06 AM »
    Synthetic has a reputation of running cooler than dino oil. I had a 2001 Kawasaki KLR250 that would often miss the 1st to 2nd gear shifts. I tried switching to a synthetic as an experiment. After the switch I was quite amazed to find that I never missed that shift again. I was lucky I think. I doubt most riders notice as marked an improvement as I did, but its worth a try.
    Jon
« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 06:02:15 AM by birdmove »
Jon in Keaau, Hawaii

prof_stack

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Re: Synthetic Oil
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2008, 05:30:11 AM »
There's nothing like an oil thread to keep the keyboards humming.   :D

Synthetic oil is good stuff.  It promotes excellent heat transfer thus getting the engine cooled more efficiently.  In my Buell XB it means the cooling fan comes on less often.

mtrude

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Re: Synthetic Oil
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2008, 04:30:28 PM »
Hello, If i understand it right, synthetic oil has a higher point of failure than traditional oils, meaning it can withstand a higher temperature before breakdown. Thusly giving a higher protection factor. Im not sure how a more slippery oil will work in a older designed engine (agreeing with Fredgold52). This may be an obvious point , I wouldnt use it in in the primary case. Have fun, mtrude

Sam

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Re: Synthetic Oil
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2008, 10:16:06 PM »
synthetics have a more uniform molecular size, so the smaller ones don't volatilize or leak out and the big ones don't form a heavy deposit. that's it; not slipperier, no magic. just uniform size, which improves their viscosity retention (synths don't get as thick when cold, because they don't have the big molecules. That also explains the generally cooler running), and breakdown resistance (uniform molecules means no strays to crack easier when hot or under pressure). Being higher priced they generally have a good additive package, but that's not necessarily linked to their synthetic-ness.

Given their superior film strength and breakdown resistance, and flatter viscosity curve, why wouldn't you want synthetics in everything, all the time? Ideal for breakin, in fact, when you most want these virtues. I have consistently used synthetics in everything (including wet clutches) from new and never had a problem.  Overkill on an Enfield, but what the heck, it only costs a few bucks (Shell Rotella T 5w40 synthetic is about $15/gallon). Even HD has finally given up the "bearing skate" myth and peddles their own synthetic, suitable for all holes on an HD (leaving room for some bad jokes here...)
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mtrude

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Re: Synthetic Oil
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2008, 02:20:14 PM »
Hello, Thats an interesting post Sam, Id like to hear any experiences you have had using synthetics on wet clutches,  I have always heard/believed that the synthetics were too " slippery" to be used in a wet clutch, older ones anyway,  because the older oils were thicker and left  a greater film/residue/ didnt run off, etc, and helped the drive plates smoothly engage  the driven plates? but thinking about what I just said, maybe with synthetics you wouldnt have to break the clutch free after the bike has been sitting a long time?  Have fun, mtrude

luoma

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Re: Synthetic Oil
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2008, 05:02:37 PM »
My dealer recommended I use trans fluid in my clutch case. You can get it in synthetic too. I also use synthetic gear oil. Synthetic fluids cost more, but hold up longer and provide better protection. A worthwhile trade-off in my book. Why would I fuss about a couple bucks difference in oil, when I don't think twice about a hundred here or there for cosmetic accessories?

fredgold52

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Re: Synthetic Oil
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2008, 05:08:08 PM »
I've run synthetic oil in a Honda 1100 Shadow and in my manual shift scooter - both wet clutches.  No problem in either case.

I got all sorts of warnings from the traditional old scjool Vespa guys about how it would cause the cork on the clutch plates to fall off and it would dissolve critical seals.  All just old wives tales, urban legend and voo doo.  Another one is to not use synthetic if the engine has been running dinosaur oil for a long time.  Supposedly it will gumm up and clog critical passages.  Just more BS.  Synthetic oil will work just fine in most automotive applications.

The one point that I believe about synthetic Vs. older petroleum based oil is Vinces comment about heavy metals being more concentrated in the 'SG' rated oils.  This is a good thing for engines like ours.
2006 '65' and a 200cc Stella, Indian all the way