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Motorcycle Oil, Primary Fluid & Transmission Fluid: What’s The Difference?

Oil Debate on V-Twin motors requiring three sumps

The Fool Said I Can Use 20W-50 In All Three. What?

Some V-twin motorcycles, like modern Indian  and Victory  bikes, use a shared sump, meaning they use the same lubricant in the engine, transmission and primary chaincase. Most Harley Davidson motorcycles, however, use a separate sump for each lubricant. This presents Harley (Don’t forget about Davidson) owners with a choice: Use the same lubricant in all three areas of the bike, or use a separate lubricant formulated and labeled for each area. Here, we offer guidance for deciding what’s right

For the record, AMSOIL recommends AMSOIL 20W-50 Synthetic V-Twin Motorcycle Oil (MCV) in the engine, transmission and primary chaincase on most Harleys (consult the Motorcycle Product Guide at amsoil.com for specific recommendations). It offers…

  • Convenience. Riders buy and install one lubricant. This reduces cost and results in fewer half-used bottles of oil lying around the garage.
  • Simplicity. Remembering to buy one lubricant is far easier than remembering three.
  • Great all-around performance in all three areas of the bike.
  • It’s what the upper brass at AMSOIL use in their bikes.

We formulate 20W-50 Synthetic V-Twin Motorcycle Oil to be an excellent all around lubricant. It delivers outstanding engine protection due to its proven ability to fight wear, reduce heat, maintain cleanliness and prevent corrosion during storage.

See why the 50 weight qualifies as a 90 in the transmission. 

Synthetic V-Twin Motorcycle Oil also boasts a shear-stable formulation. It resists viscosity loss despite the intense pressure and churning action of high RPM transmission gears, allowing it to deliver reliable transmission protection. Synthetic V-Twin Motorcycle Oil meets JASO MA/MA2 standards and is wet-clutch compatible for excellent performance in the primary chaincase. Its frictional properties are dialed-in to allow the clutch plates to engage and disengage without loading or slipping for smooth shifts.

Despite these benefits, some riders question the practice of using one lubricant in all three areas of their bikes. They have a difficult time accepting that a motor oil can also protect the transmission and primary chaincase.

I don’t think so. My Mechanic always said you have to use different oils.  – That’s partially true…

If you believe this to not be true we make the separates for you. Debate free oil options! And yes, they are more dialed in.. This is why we offer Synthetic V-Twin Transmission Fluid (MVT) and Synthetic V-Twin Primary Fluid (MVP).

What are the differences?

In essence, Synthetic V-Twin Transmission Fluid and Synthetic V-Twin Primary Fluid are formulated to protect just one area of your bike rather than three. This specificity allows us to engineer each lubricant for its precise application.

Transmission Fluid

Synthetic V-Twin Transmission Fluid has a higher viscosity than 20W-50 Synthetic V-Twin Motorcycle Oil. A higher-viscosity, or “thicker,” lubricant can help quiet noisy transmission gears and enable smooth shifts. The lubricant develops a slightly thicker fluid film on gears, which provides cushion to help diminish loud “thunks” and gear noise.

Again, we realize that’s what people want and in some cases it’s beneficial to the gears but it’s slightly thicker than the OEM specifications or better put – on the high side of the range. The only real downside other than cost is less efficiency in cooler weather and a change in overall MPG.

Primary Fluid

Likewise, AMSOIL Synthetic V-Twin Primary Fluid is designed only to protect primary chaincase components. Its viscosity is similar to an SAE 50 motor oil. Formulating it as a straight-weight lubricant naturally offers an advantage in shear stability over other multi-viscosity lubricants. (AMSOIL 20W-50 Synthetic V-Twin Motorcycle Oil is absolutely shear stable and will not thin out from mechanical activity.) This helps the fluid remain thicker, which helps it cling to the compensator without being “flung off” as easily for maximum protection. In Harleys, the compensator acts as a shock absorber to prevent engine vibration from affecting the transmission. Compensator wear often leads to a knocking or ticking noise.

Synthetic V-Twin Primary Fluid also clings well to the chain for excellent wear protection. And its wet-clutch-compatible formulation meets JASO MA/MA2 requirements.

Many buy this because some bikes have issues shifting back to neutral. AMSOIL Primary Oil makes it much easier for the linkage to catch neutral when you need it.

One oil or three?

So, which is the better route for Harley owners? Either way you can’t go wrong but examine if you identify with the issues requiring the 2nd choices.

For riders who desire the simplicity and convenience of using one lubricant for all three areas, following our primary recommendation of 20W-50 Synthetic V-Twin Motorcycle Oil in all three areas is the best choice.

For riders who prefer lubricants dialed in for each area of their bikes and don’t mind a few extra bottles of oil lying around the garage, steer them toward our full line of V-twin lubricants.

Either way, they can’t go wrong. 

Ordering 605-274-2580

Why are We Tearing Apart this Indian Scout?

Amsoils new test bike - Indian Scout

Why are We Tearing Apart this Indian Scout?

(Plus, Check Out this New Product now in Sioux Falls)

Motorcycles occupy a prominent place in our national lore. The V-twin engine, one can argue, belongs in our menagerie of quintessentially “American” items, right next to the bald eagle, the Liberty Bell and Abe Lincoln’s stovepipe hat.

It’s easy to see why. Motorcycles stand for freedom, rebellion, power. For many Americans (like Guinness World Record holder Danell Lynn), a motorcycle is their weapon of choice to fight the specter of an unlived, ordinary life.

One of the best…

Most opt for a Harley-Davidson, whose engines have provided the soundtrack of the American summer for decades. It’s impossible to drive through just about any paved corner of America and not hear the rumble of a Harley. The brand is so firmly entrenched in our psyche that, for many, “Harley” has become the generic term for “motorcycle,” the way “Coke” stands for any soft drink in the South.

Not bad for a company founded in a little shed in Milwaukee, Wis., in 1903.

…but not the first

But for all Harley’s fame, the company can’t lay claim to being the first American motorcycle company. That distinction goes to Indian, founded just two years earlier, in 1901. Throughout the 1910s, Indian was the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world. The Indian Scout and Chief gained huge popularity throughout the early 20th Century.

But financial trouble eventually beset the company, and Indian ceased production in 1953. One of America’s definitive brands shuttered its doors.

Flash forward to 2011, when Polaris Industries, better known around here for making snowmobiles, bought the brand and injected into it new life…and money. The Chief is back. So is the Scout, which was unveiled in Sturgis in 2014. Motorcycle.com named the Scout its 2015 Motorcycle of the Year.

Today, with sales of V-twins stagnant industry-wide, the Scout has bucked the trend, thanks to its classic styling and lightweight chassis powered by a 100-hp V-twin.

Let the testing begin

This preamble isn’t meant as a commercial for Indian. It’s meant to add context to this Indian Scout that rolled into our mechanical lab earlier this year.


While one look entices most people to jump aboard and hit the streets, it beckons us to drive right into our dyno cell for a few rounds of testing. In fact, this 2017 Scout is replacing our 2012 Harley-Davidson Street Bob, which has accumulated 207,111 miles over the past few years in all kinds of engine testing.

Why the Indian? For starters, we simply like testing things around here. Our mechanical lab is a who’s who in the world of engine and equipment manufacturers. Adding Indian components to our collection of Harley, GM, Stihl, Honda and other parts seemed to fit the bill.

More importantly, we just introduced new AMSOIL 15W-60 Synthetic V-Twin Motorcycle Oil, and it’s recommended for the Indian Scout (along with Victory motorcycles). We already know the formulation works great in the Scout, but we’re never satisfied with “good enough” around here. This bike gives us our own “proving grounds” in which to test, tweak and re-test our formulations. So, in the months ahead, the Scout’s 1133-cc V-twin will be rumbling away in our mechanical lab under the watchful eyes of our technicians.

Once the tests end, the real fun begins –tearing down the engine and examining the pistons, rings, cylinders and other parts. One of my tasks here at AMSOIL is to assist in documenting some of our testing, so I plan to get awfully familiar with the guts of this Scout in the days ahead.

Hopefully we’ll have some interesting results to share soon, so stay tuned.

Until then, get out and ride.

Upgraded Protection for Indian Scout, Victory Motorcycles

 

New AMSOIL 15W-60 Synthetic V-Twin Motorcycle Oil expands the AMSOIL V-twin motorcycle oil product line. It is recommended for the popular Indian* Scout* and all Victory* motorcycles.

Fights heat and wear

Like the rest of the AMSOIL V-twin line, 15W-60 Synthetic V-Twin Motorcycle Oil is designed to resist extreme heat and deliver excellent wear protection. Summer riding can cause engine temperatures to skyrocket, especially in slow-moving rally or parade traffic. AMSOIL 15W-60 Synthetic V-Twin Motorcycle Oil’s outstanding heat resistance helps bikers ride with confidence in the most extreme conditions.

Why is extreme heat so bad for motorcycles?

High heat causes the pistons to expand, potentially leading to catastrophic scuffing and cylinder wear. It also hastens oil breakdown – the rate of oxidation doubles for every 18°F increase in temperature. Oil that has oxidized leads to performance-robbing deposits.

In V-twins, especially air-cooled models, the oil plays a vital role in carrying away heat and dissipating it into the atmosphere via the oil pan or oil cooler. AMSOIL Synthetic V-Twin Motorcycle Oil withstands intense heat, helping your bike last longer and run better.

Helps ease shifting

Riders also like to use an oil that helps deliver smooth shifts. Here again, AMSOIL 15W-60 Synthetic V-Twin Motorcycle Oil delivers. Its wet-clutch-compatible formulation contains no friction modifiers and promotes smooth shifts, helping riders avoid killing the engine.

Find AMSOIL Products for my Motorcycle

*All trademarked names and images are the property of their respective owners and may be registered marks in some countries. No affiliation or endorsement claim, express or implied, is made by their use. All products advertised here are developed by AMSOIL for use in the applications shown.

Can Your Motorcycle Survive Heat this Extreme?

Harley-Davisdon Street Bob pushed to maximum heat limits

Can Your Motorcycle Survive Heat this Extreme?

Motorcycle Survive Heat this Extreme

V-Twins Get Hot

Harley-Davidsons* and other bikes with big V-twin engines generate significant heat, especially in low-speed parades, in rally traffic or on long climbs on hot days. Motor oil plays a critical role in cooling these big air-cooled engines, and even more so in low-speed operation with limited wind generated to cool the bike. If the oil can’t withstand the heat, its ability to protect your bike is compromised.

 

Is your motorcycle protected against extreme heat?

Watch what happens when we push a 2012 Harley Davidson FXDB to 500ºF in our mechanical lab to see how AMSOIL synthetic lubricants protect against extreme heat.

AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oil Protects in Extreme Heat

To demonstrate its extreme-heat protection qualities, AMSOIL 20W-50 Synthetic V-Twin Motorcycle Oil was subjected to a dynamometer test designed to simulate conditions even more extreme than the demanding stop-and-go driving conditions of a motorcycle rally or parade route.

A 2012 Harley-Davidson FXDB Dyna Street Bob* motorcycle equipped with AMSOIL 20W-50 Synthetic V-Twin Motorcycle Oil was subjected to a strenuous low-speed test cycle, with significant idle time broken by short bursts of engine revving and little to no air moving across the cylinders. Like most Harley-Davidson motorcycles, the Dyna Street Bob features an air-cooled V-twin engine, which relies on cooling

fins arrayed along the cylinder walls to conduct heat away. To create the most-severe operating conditions possible, the electronic temperature controls, which safeguard the motorcycle when temperatures reach dangerous levels, were deactivated. The combination of low airflow and inoperative temperature controls allowed the test lab to subject the oil and engine components to intense heat not normally experienced in the real world. Cylinder temperatures reached more than 500°F, and oil temperatures exceeded 300°F – temperatures well into the range where oils begin to break down and often lead to catastrophic failure.

 

500°F is No Problem

The extreme temperatures were no match for AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oil. After nearly 70 minutes of torturous testing and heat exposure, oil analysis revealed no change in oil viscosity and only minor levels of oxidation, TBN depletion and wear.

 

Dyno Test Results

Not only did AMSOIL Synthetic V-Twin Motorcycle Oil prevent the engine from overheating and seizing

during the extreme dyno test, it did so without losing chemical integrity or ability to protect vulnerable engine components. See full results here. Synthetic V-Twin Motorcycle Oil provides outstanding protection in even the most compromising and severe high-temperature riding and idling conditions, providing peace of mind that your air-cooled V-twin is protected even in low speeds on hot days.

AMSOIL formulates a full line of products for V-twins, including AMSOIL Synthetic V-Twin Transmission Fluid and AMSOIL Synthetic V-Twin Primary Fluid.

Your bike should never get this hot. If it does, AMSOIL has you covered.

*All trademarked names and images are the property of their respective owners and may be registered marks in some countries. No affiliation or endorsement claim, express or implied, is made by their use. All products advertised here are AMSOIL-engineered for use in the applications shown.

Our Sioux Falls AMSOIL store is the #1 source for quality motorcycle oil in the region. Go ahead and try another brand, ride for awhile, then switch to AMSOIL. No need to read technical data sheets or consult with that Sioux Falls know-it-all. Just decide on performance. With performance you also get protection. Check out the AMSOIL corporate Youtube page and see just how much heat the motorcycle oils can take yet hold their viscosity. The other oils will not show test proving how stable their oils are and in order to match AMSOIL’s protection over time you should expect that oil to cost well over $15 per quart. With stockholders there would be no other way to make a profit!!

AMSOIL Powersports Dept – Motorcycle Oil Leads the Industry

Sioux Falls motorcycle oil selection

From AMSOIL to our store in OMAHA – All your Power Sports and Motorcycle fluids, oils and lubricants are in one spot!

When you have been in business in a specialized industry as the true innovator, suppliers to AMSOIL know of their management as the most committed to quality with no compromises. In fact they will even tell you of all their clients they work with – that the AMSOIL staff is the best dressed, thus demanding respect. There are dozens of strict guidelines and tests in place that ensures quality will never waver. Price and logistics are never a factor when it comes to selecting or creating the best additives and base oils used in the processes.

This philosophy is essential to have the impressive results that AMSOIL customers recognize. Face it – as difficult as it is to find AMSOIL sometimes you have to recognize their sales numbers. The products have been listed by National Oil & Lube News as 10% of all oils requested at lube centers. This is huge when you consider the competition and cheap bulk oil rates these days and the fact that many of our customers only consider AMSOIL as a powersports product. (Yes they do!!)  Customers look toward independents now for quality and have lost trust in the large corporate mega-sellers who have to constantly re-brand to regain its base.

Dirt Bike oil for clutch and motor

AMSOIL knows that Americans take their leisure time seriously and performance and dependability is key in modern powersports equipment. OEM’s put pressure on customers to use their product and often violate the law by insisting their product must be used to maintain factory warranty. Although this is a major federal violation on manufacturer liability (they must provide maintenance products free of charge per the MagnusonMoss Warranty Act if they insist one brand must be used). Thus AMSOIL must exist in the industry as the leading product offering unmatched performance.

So this is the season for motorcycling, jet-skiing, boating and other powersports. But the motorcycle oils really have made the grade capturing the largest market share in the industry for an independent oil company. When it comes to motorcycles, AMSOIL addresses all the issues. Not only do you have available specific engine oils for all types of motorcycles & ATV’s but the fuel systems, drive train and even the paint finish is addressed.

 

Here is a list of key products in the Synthetic Motorcycle/ATV line up:

Reasons customers say they will continue using only AMSOIL products: (List specific to our motorcycle customers)

  • Measurable lower temperatures under load
  • Instant noticeable performance
  • “It freed up the engine” – I get that one all the time
  • Product lasts longer – more miles and the filter brings added peace of mind
  • Addresses issues which happen in storage – off season
  • No more feeling that the engine was suffering when idling long in traffic or pushed in high ambient temperature extremes. – No loss of oil pressure
  • Customers know AMSOIL’s tech is there for feedback to to discuss issues
  • Measurable increase in fuel economy
  • MADE in USA

We hope you stop in and try our motorcycle oils and lubricants and discover first hand why people swear by AMSOIL products!! You’ll feel it in the throttle!

AMSOIL Sioux Falls – 402-933-3902

We can also ship saving you money too!! We use Speedy Delivery which is usually 1-day so a case of oil may cost $10 or so to get it to your door. Call our shipping department at 800-579-0580. We can also supply to Sioux Falls Motorcycle Shops so call us to get your account qualified today!

Note: In typical Harley Davidson motorcycles our single product the MCV 20W-50 can be used in all three sumps OR we also have Primary and Transmission specific products. Call any time with your questions.

 

Motorcycle Oil for your Motorcycle?

Harley-Davisdon Street Bob pushed to maximum heat limits

Motorcycle Oil for your Motorcycle? Ok, so it’s different but what makes AMSOIL better?

Motorcycle engines and automotive engines function differently, and the lubricants that service them have different requirements. Six crucial differences between motorcycle and automotive engines are outlined below to illustrate why oil engineered for motorcycles is the best choice for your bike.

  1. Operational Speed: Motorcycles tend to operate at engine speeds significantly higher than automobiles. This places additional stress on engine components, increasing the need for wear protection, and subjects lubricating oils to higher loading and shear forces. Elevated operating rpm also promote foaming, which can reduce an oil’s load-carrying ability.
  2. Compression Ratios: Motorcycles tend to operate with higher engine compression ratios than automobiles, which places additional stress on engine components and increases engine operating temperatures, placing greater demands on motorcycle oil to reduce wear. Higher operating temperatures also promote thermal degradation of the oil, reducing its life expectancy and accelerating the formation of engine deposits.
  3. Horsepower/Displacement Density: Motorcycle engines typically produce more horsepower per cubic inch than automobile engines, which exposes the oil to higher temperatures and stress.
  4. Variable Engine Cooling: In general, automotive applications use a sophisticated water-cooling system to control engine operating temperature. Similar systems can be found in motorcycle applications, but most are air-cooled or use a combination air/oil design. Operating temperatures in air-cooled bikes can skyrocket in stop-and-go traffic, promoting oxidation and causing oil to thin, reducing their load-carrying ability.
  5. Multiple Lubrication Functionality: Many motorcycles have a common sump supplying oil to both the engine and transmission. In such cases, the oil is required to meet the needs of both the engine and the transmission gears. Many motorcycles also incorporate a wet clutch within the transmission that uses the same oil.
  6. Inactivity: Whereas automobiles are used on a daily basis, motorcycle use is usually periodic and, in many cases, seasonal. These extended periods of inactivity place additional stress on motorcycle oils. In these circumstances, rust and acid corrosion protection are of critical concern.

No matter the conditions or the bike, AMSOIL synthetic motorcycle oils deliver the premium protection and performance your bike deserves. They are designed to control oxidation and maintain viscosity at higher temperatures, promote consistent clutch feel and lengthen clutch life, reduce engine stress and control wear and deposits in high-compression, high-temperatures motorcycle applications. V-twin or metric, AMSOIL has you covered.

Now for the Extreme test!! Hold on to your hat for this one, I was so impressed by this I thought I would grab the text from this AMSOIL brochure. So glad AMSOIL added this whole testing wing to the AMSOIL Center with bays capable of doing multiple tests at once. Watch the video which demonstrates the test laid out within the paragraphs.

red hot dynamometerV-Twins Get Hot

Harley-Davidsons* and other bikes with big V-twin engines generate significant heat, especially in low-speed parades, in rally traffic or on long climbs on hot days. Motor oil plays a critical role in cooling these big air-cooled engines, and even more so in low-speed operation with limited wind generated to cool the bike. If the oil can’t withstand the heat, its ability to protect your bike is compromised.

AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oil Protects in Extreme Heat

To demonstrate its extreme-heat protection qualities, AMSOIL 20W-50 Synthetic Motorcycle Oil was subjected to a dynamometer test designed to simulate conditions even more extreme than the demanding stop-and-go driving conditions of a motorcycle rally or parade route.

A 2012 Harley-Davidson FXDB Dyna Street Bob* motorcycle equipped with AMSOIL 20W-50 Synthetic Motorcycle Oil was subjected to a strenuous low-speed test cycle, with significant idle time broken by short bursts of engine revving and little to no air moving across the cylinders. Like most Harley-Davidson motorcycles, the Dyna Street Bob features an air-cooled V-twin engine, which relies on cooling fins arrayed along the cylinder walls to conduct heat away. To create the most-severe operating conditions possible, the electronic temperature controls, which safeguard the motorcycle when temperatures reach dangerous levels, were deactivated. The combination of low airflow and inoperative temperature controls allowed the test lab to subject the oil and engine components to intense heat not normally experienced in the real world. Cylinder temperatures reached more than 500°F, and oil temperatures exceeded 300°F – temperatures well into the range where oils begin to break down and often lead to catastrophic failure.

500°F is No Problem The extreme temperatures were no match for AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oil. After nearly 70 minutes of torturous testing and heat exposure, oil analysis revealed no change in oil viscosity and only minor levels of oxidation, TBN depletion and wear (see graphs).

Dyno Test Results

Not only did AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oil prevent the engine from overheating and seizing during the extreme dyno test, it did so without losing chemical integrity or ability to protect vulnerable engine components. This stands as further proof that AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oil provides outstanding protection in even the most compromising and severe high-temperature riding and idling conditions, providing peace of mind that your air-cooled V-twin is protected even in low speeds on hot days. Your bike should never get this hot. If it does, AMSOIL has you covered.

Amsoil 20W-50 motorcycle oil Viscosity and Oxidation tests Amsoil 20W-50 motorcycle oil TBN (Total Base Number) and wear metals test results

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