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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

Use This to Keep Mud Off Your ATV, Dirt Bike and More

amsoil mudslinger

Keep Your ATV Clean and Ease Clean-up

If you spend your time racing down muddy trails or forging questionable terrain on your ATV, UTV, dirt bike, off-road truck or snowmobile (well, snowy trails for the latter), AMSOIL Mudslinger is about to be your best friend.

This handy product will literally change your post-mudding experience. And, trust me, we know mudding. From sponsoring GNCC races on muddy courses in West Virginia, Indiana and elsewhere, to going off-road with Brad Lovell, the AMSOIL crew gets down and dirty with the best of them. So, we formulated Mudslinger with us and other mudders in mind.

What is Mudslinger?

Mudslinger is an aerosol that provides a protective, non-stick layer of armor against the accumulation of mud, dirt and snow on ATVs, UTVs, dirt bikes and snowmobiles. It makes removing mud and dirt with low-pressure water easy while protecting against UV rays and keeping equipment looking pristine. If you haven’t tried this standout product, here are a few ways (and reasons) to add it to your cart today and use it all year long.

The best cleaner to keep mud off your ATV/UTV or dirt bike

Mudslinger can help keep mud off your ATV/UTV or dirt bike. Here’s what a few riders and racers of off-road vehicles and powersports equipment have to say.

@moto_synthetic: “I like getting my bike dirty, but I really don’t like cleaning it very much. Applied it to the rear wheel before the ride since that seems to be the dirtiest part of the bike most people see. Went for the ride, got the bike filthy, came home and washed it up. Probably 98% of the dust came off with using just the hose. This stuff works great for people who love getting their bikes dirty but hate cleaning them like me!”

One of our sponsored race teams, Twisted Monkey Racing, said… “We are excited to try it out today to help keep the dirt and mud off the car during the triple crown race.”

Restore ATV/UTV, snowmobile or dirt bike luster

The sun’s UV rays slowly rob your powersports equipment of that light-new shine we all love. Mudslinger not only helps prevent accumulation of mud, dirt and snow, it provides a protective layer to counteract the damaging effects of UV rays. Its unique formulation restores, cleans and shines plastic, fiberglass and painted surfaces. Just spray it on a clean surface, allow it to sit for 15 minutes, then wipe off the excess with a lint-free microfiber towel for a brilliant shine.

Keep snow from sticking to your sled

Mudslinger is great for preventing the accumulation of snow, too. Before you take your snowmobile out on your next ride, apply Mudslinger anywhere you want to avoid snow buildup. Just make sure not to spray the seat or windshield.

Keeps car and truck tires clean

If you’re wondering if Mudslinger keeps tires clean, the answer is a resounding “Yes.”

Mudslinger can work on your daily driver or your prized car. Spray it on your tires to restore luster but also prevent the buildup of mud and snow. We recommend spraying it right after washing your car for the most protection.

Former NFL wide receiver and current outdoor enthusiast Jeff Janis uses it to keep the wheels clean on his truck and Chevy Camaro.

 

Protect your snowblower from sticky snow

Winter means snow. Heavy, wet snow can plug the chute on your snowblower, wasting time and trying your patience. Not only that, freeing a blockage from the chute while the snowblower is running is dangerous. Before the snow hits and you pull your snowblower out, spray a coating of AMSOIL Mudslinger in the chute to help keep the snow flying all winter.

Protect your lawnmower

As AMSOIL Preferred Customer @bturner250 found, you can use Mudslinger to keep your lawnmower clean. After using Heavy-Duty Degreaser and a water hose to remove built-up gunk and grime, he sprayed Mudslinger post-wash to protect his engine. “The engine literally looks brand new.”

Remember that next time you hit the rummage sales and find an old lawnmower with a good motor that just needs a little TLC.

How do you use Mudslinger?

Plenty of this Mudslinger is available in our Sioux Falls store at the Tea Exit (Exit 73), or at Stan Houston’s on W. 12th St. See the AMSOIL wall near the parts department.  I believe Power Brokers also keeps this product in stock.

What is a CVT Transmission?

CVT transmission cracked open

CVT Transmission? How Does It work?

“CVT” stands for continuously variable transmission. A CVT transmission uses a pair of variable-diameter pulleys and a belt or chain to provide unlimited gear ratios.

How does a CVT work?

To illustrate, think of a traditional automatic or manual transmission. They’re built with a defined number of gears, for example first through sixth (plus reverse). The transmission can operate in only one gear at a time. You typically feel a slight surge with each gear change.

CVTs, however, offer unlimited gear ratios.

Take a look at the image. You can see the metal belt connecting the two pulleys. Depending on engine speed and load, the computer automatically varies the pulley sizes to ensure the optimal gear ratio for the driving conditions.

CVTs use variable-diameter pulleys to create unlimited gear ratios.

CVT transmission pros and cons

What good does that do?

Imagine pedaling a bike. As you approach a steep hill, you adjust the shifters so a smaller chainring attached to the pedals is driving a larger sprocket on the rear wheel. This reduces the effort required to move the bike.

When you reach a stretch of flat road, you adjust the gear ratio again so a larger chainring attached to the pedals is driving a smaller sprocket. This helps achieve the perfect balance between energy expended and bicycle speed.

The same principle applies to a CVT, except the computer does all the thinking for you. When starting from a dead stop, it varies the pulley diameters (smaller drive pulley and larger driven pulley) so the engine can move the car as efficiently as possible. As you accelerate, it continuously varies the pulley sizes to keep the engine in its “sweet spot,” which results in improved fuel economy. Plus, you never feel the gear engagements because, in effect, there aren’t any.

CVTs gaining in popularity – but there are negatives

These benefits are why many car makers, including Nissan, Honda and Toyota are introducing more vehicles with CVTs.

There are drawbacks, however, including the “rubber-band effect” (you rev the engine, yet it takes a moment for vehicle speed to catch up) and lack of driver involvement (zero fun). In addition, most CVTs’ relatively diminutive parts can’t handle the power and torque of the truck or SUV you use to tow your boat or camper, which is why you find them mostly on smaller cars. Although there are some exceptions, as the list shows, which shows popular vehicles with a CVT.

What cars have a CVT transmission?

  • Honda Accord
  • Honda HR-V
  • Mercedes-Benz A- and B-Class
  • Nissan Altima
  • Nissan Pathfinder
  • Subaru Forester
  • Subaru Impreza
  • Subaru Legacy
  • Subaru Outback
  • Toyota Camry
  • Toyota Highlander Hybrid
  • Toyota Prius

Slip into something special

One look at the guts of a CVT and you can’t help but wonder how the belt doesn’t just slip wildly over the pulleys.

Believe it or not, the transmission fluid plays a major role in ensuring the belt or chain remains in contact with the pulleys without slipping.

That’s why CVTs require specialized CVT transmissions fluids, and not the traditional automatic or manual transmission fluid you probably have in your garage. CVT transmission fluids must be formulated with the correct frictional requirements to guard against slipping. Using the wrong fluid will reduce performance and potentially wreck your transmission.

Wear protection also important

Solid wear protection is also vital to maximizing CVT performance and life. That’s why we designed AMSOIL Synthetic CVT Fluid to fight wear and help extend transmission life.

To demonstrate, we pitted AMSOIL Synthetic CVT Fluid against Nissan NS-2 CVT Fluid in a field trial. After 100,000 miles, the belt lubricated with AMSOIL Synthetic CVT Fluid demonstrated minimal wear, as you can see in the images. This helps you get the best performance and most life out of your CVT.

The belt lubricated with Nissan NS-2 CVT Fluid demonstrated increased wear.

Buy AMSOIL Synthetic CVT Fluid

While driving purists may initially scoff at the notion of a transmission that requires no driver input, many eventually warm up to CVTs’ increased gas mileage and smooth operability.

If you’re one of them, make sure you protect it with a good CVT transmission fluid.

Steps To Maintain Your Snowblower – Things to Know

check belts from idle wear in the spring on snowblowers

Never Overlook This When Maintaining Your Snowblower

Thanksgiving day, 2016. While my family was gathered in my dining room, imbibing spirits and making merry, I was in the shed disassembling the carburetor on my snowblower, reeking of petroleum as rivers of gasoline flowed under my jacket cuffs and saturated me to the elbows.

Here’s what happened, and here’s how to avoid it.

Snowblower maintenance can be distilled to this Golden Rule: Maintain your fuel system.

I’ll say it again: Maintain your fuel system.

A snowblower that won’t start is almost always due to a fuel problem. And nothing raises your blood pressure like a dead snowblower following the season’s first snowstorm. You know it! We always wait to the last minute on that first snow.

Preventing fuel-system problems starts in the spring prior to storage.

Leave the carburetor full of gas

This is where everything unraveled for me. One theory says that shutting off the fuel line and running the engine until the carburetor empties helps prevent varnish that plugs the jets and prevents starting.

Wrong, at least in my case. As I discovered, leaving the carburetor empty and exposed to air hastens oxidation and varnish. Fluctuating temperatures and humidity throughout the summer invite varnish, and it doesn’t take much to plug the tiny orifices in a carburetor. Then, it’s just a matter of time before you’re stinking of gasoline on Thanksgiving day while blasting carb cleaner on everything within reach.

Instead, add fuel stabilizer at the end of the season, run the engine for a few minutes to distribute the treated gas throughout the system, then shut down the engine. Now you can shut off the fuel line for the summer. The treated fuel in the carburetor bowl provides protection and helps keep components clean.

Some people claim you should run the carburetor empty since the gas will evaporate anyway. That may be true, but evaporation takes time, and the carburetor will at least be protected in the interim.

Stabilize the gas

As mentioned, treat gas with stabilizer prior to storage. Stabilized fuel protects against oxidation and varnish throughout the summer.

Use ethanol-free gas

When water infiltrates your gas tank in the form of melted snow, it can cause phase separation, a phenomenon that occurs when the bond between ethanol (present in most gasoline sold today) and gasoline breaks. When this ethanol/water mixture enters the combustion chamber, it creates a lean-burn situation that can damage your engine.

For best performance, use 91-octane, non-oxygenated (ethanol-free) gas. Many gas stations offer non-oxygenated gas and advertise it for powersports and off-road use. It’s a little more expensive, but spending a few extra dollars a winter to help your $1,000 dollar machine run strong isn’t a factor, in my opinion. At the very least, use ethanol-free gas during storage to help ward off phase separation.

Perhaps test your gas to see if it is really and truly ethanol free. I know many who say “I never use ethanol” and after testing the source gasoline it turned out to be laced with ethanol! Put your gas in a glass jar and see if you see it separate over time. Sometime you need to shake it up.

(Find out how to fight ethanol problems in small engines.)

If you use ethanol-blended gas, consider continuous use of a fuel additive, such as AMSOIL Quickshot, formulated to address ethanol-related performance issues.

Change The Oil in the Spring

Used oil contains acids that can slowly corrode metal components. Prior to storage, change the oil to remove acidic byproducts and ensure maximum protection throughout the summer. After changing oil, I like to run the engine for a couple minutes to distribute oil throughout the lower end of the engine.

Fog the engine

Use fogging oil to protect the upper end (cylinder, piston, valves) from corrosion during storage. Remove the spark plug, which provides the perfect time to inspect its condition, and spray a little oil into the cylinder. Slowly pull the starter cord a few times to distribute the oil, then replace the plug.

Check the gear housing – It can fail!

Clean any debris from around the filler port on the auger gear housing, remove the plug and ensure the gear lube level is up to the top. If not, add the correct lubricant (check your owner’s manual for viscosity).

Inspect belt condition and linkages

Stressing a worn belt after it’s sat idle for months is a recipe for a breakdown. When a belt does break, it’s often while clearing the first big snowfall of the year. Spring is the prime time to check the condition of drive belts and linkages. It’s much easier and far more comfortable to crawl around your snowblower on a mild, spring day than in the winter.

One final word of advice: Keep an eye on the weather at the start of winter. When the forecast calls for the first snowstorm of the season, start your snowblower a few days early to ensure it’s ready to go.

That gives you plenty of time if your snowblower won’t start – like about two hours on Thanksgiving day – to fix any problems.

AMSOIL K-9 Foundation Supports Law Enforcement

Operation K9 in Duluth

AMSOIL K-9 Foundation – Al Amatuzio’s Legacy

AMSOIL is involved in races and events all over the country, but one event we especially love is “Operation K-9,” which supports the AMSOIL Northland Law-Enforcement K-9 Foundation.

AMSOIL founder and lifelong dog lover Al Amatuzio started the foundation when he saw a need for consistent funding to support K-9 programs at law-enforcement agencies in and around Superior, Wis., and Duluth, Minn. Although Amatuzio had for years purchased dogs and supported K-9 programs on his own, he wanted a permanent solution. The foundation currently supports five local agencies with 12 dogs. Two more dogs will be added this year.

The foundation holds “Operation K-9” each year to help with community outreach and fund-raising. Handlers and their dogs put on a show to demonstrate the dogs’ capabilities, while providing a chance for residents to interact with the dogs up-close.

This year’s event took place the second week of June. Take a look at the images.

Dog training in Duluth

Helps police agencies pay for K-9s

K-9 officers are no ordinary animals. They’re bred specifically for their intensity and ability to perform difficult tasks while being easy to train.

As you can imagine, K-9s aren’t cheap; one dog can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $20,000 – not including training or daily care – and can originate from Hungary, the Czech Republic or Canada. Most law-enforcement agencies can’t support K-9 programs by themselves.

The AMSOIL Northland Law-Enforcement K-9 Foundation contributes up to $10,000 toward the purchase of a dog. The foundation’s goal is to one day cover the full purchase cost. Without support, the costs of K-9 programs would come right out of a police force’s ever-tightening budget. Without help, most agencies couldn’t afford to put K-9s on the street.

Critical to law enforcement

A K-9 can identify a person, explosive device, narcotic or other target 4-6 times faster than its handler due to a sense of smell 10,000 times stronger than a human’s.

Most K-9s specialize in detecting narcotics or explosives. A narcotics K-9 is often used in traffic stops. If an officer sees paraphernalia or suspicious activity in the vehicle, he or she will sweep the vehicle with the dog. Officers could never conduct as thorough an investigation on their own.

K-9s are also used to keep the community safe in ways some people might not even know. For example, K-9s can sweep the premises for explosives prior to a college graduation or similar event.

Paired with handlers from day one

Typically, when an agency wishes to purchase a dog, a handler is first chosen. Upon delivery, the K-9 is placed immediately with its handler to begin training. Dogs are taught all the skills needed for duty, such as tracking, obedience and agility. When dogs are working in the field and get the command to go, it’s like a game – they think it’s time to play and they focus on the tasks at hand. But, when they return home with their handler, they integrate into the family like a pet.

AMSOIL is proud to partner with others in our community to support and fund the AMSOIL Northland Law-Enforcement K-9 Foundation. Our support also includes the Annual 5K Run for the Dogs each fall in Duluth, Minn.

If you would like to support K-9 programs throughout the country, visit https://www.uspcak9.com or look for local events and programs in your area.