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Five reasons to use motorcycle oil in your bike

You can use Car Motor Oils in your Bike if you Add Two More Wheels.

You wouldn’t want to buy a used bike if motorcycle oil wasn’t used.

Impressive performance happens when you are using the right oil in the right application.

Len Groom | TECHNICAL PRODUCT MANAGER, POWERSPORTS

The results of a study from lubricant additive manufacturer Infineum caught my eye recently. A survey of 1,000 bikers revealed that fewer than 60 percent are using a motorcycle specific oil in their motorcycles. Interestingly, more than three quarters of respondents think they’re using a motorcycle oil. Clearly there’s confusion in the market that requires clarification.

Let’s start with why you should always use motorcycle oil in a motorcycle engine. I’ll boil it down to five key reasons.

1) Motorcycles run hotter

In general, automotive engines are water-cooled. A typical automotive engine can reach 235ºF (113ºC) during operation, which is plenty hot. Motorcycles, however, run even hotter, particularly big, air-cooled V-twins, like your average Harley Davidson. They rely on air flowing across the engine for cooling, which is inherently less efficient at dissipating heat. This configuration poses additional challenges in stop-and-go traffic when there’s little airflow, particularly on hot summer days. In fact, testing of a 2012 Harley Street Bob in our mechanical lab demonstrated an average cylinder head temp of 383ºF (195ºC).

Heat that intense causes some oils to thin and lose viscosity, which reduces wear protection. High heat also hastens chemical breakdown of the oil (called oxidation), which requires you to change oil more often. In extreme cases, the bike’s temperature sensors can shut down the engine if it gets too hot.

2) High rpm destroys lesser oils

Motorcycles tend to operate at engine speeds significantly higher than automobiles. Your average metric sport bike easily eclipses 10,000 rpm. Some have even pushed 20,000 rpm. Your car or truck’s redline doesn’t even come close. The hydrocarbon chains get ripped to shreds.. You can feel the after-effects through the peg and handle bars.

High rpm places additional stress on engine components, increasing the need for wear protection. It subjects oils to higher loading and shear forces, which can rupture the lubricant film and reduce viscosity, both of which increase wear. High rpm also increases the likelihood of foaming, which can reduce an oil’s load carrying ability, further inviting wear.

3) Increased power density = increased stress

Motorcycle engines produce more horsepower per cubic inch than automobiles. They also tend to operate with higher compression ratios. Increased power density and compression lead to higher engine temperatures and increased stress. This places greater demands on motorcycle oil to fight wear, deposits and chemical breakdown.

4) Must also protect transmission – prevent viscosity loss

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. Transmission gears can shear the oil as it’s squeezed between gear teeth repeatedly at elevated rpm, causing some oils to lose viscosity. Many motorcycles also incorporate a wet clutch within the transmission that uses the same oil. Motorcycle wet clutches require a properly formulated lubricant that meets JASO MA or MA2 frictional requirements.

5) Storage invites corrosion

Whereas automobiles are used almost every day, 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.

While a good passenger car motor oil (PCMO) hits many of these performance areas, it doesn’t get them all.

PCMOs usually contain friction modifiers to help boost fuel economy. Furthermore, PCMOs don’t meet JASO MA or MA2 requirements. If used in a motorcycle, they can interfere with clutch operation and cause slippage. And no rider wants to deal with a slipping clutch. Likewise, motor oils have no natural rust or corrosion resistance. Instead, corrosion inhibitors must be added to the formulation, and typical motor oils don’t contain them.

AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oil is designed for the unique demands of motorcycles. It’s formulated without friction modifiers for precise, smooth shifts. It also contains a heavy dose of corrosion inhibitors to protect your engine against rust during storage. And it’s designed to resist viscosity loss due to shear despite intense heat and the mechanical action of gears and chains.

Ensure your customers are using AMSOIL synthetic motorcycle oil in their bikes for the best protection this riding season.

And people who use car oil in their bikes probably use the term “drive” when referring to riding.

The Pinnacle of Performance

New Industry Leading 100% SYnthetic Oil to surpass engine tests no other oil can come close

The Pinnacle of Performance

The new Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil formulation builds upon its rock-solid foundation to offer enthusiasts a new level of engine protection.

Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil
(ASM, ALM, AZO, ASL, ATM, AZF, AMR)

Improving Signature Series was a challenge, but the results prove the new formulation blows the doors off the latest industry standards. Capitalizing on its firmly established success, our upgraded Signature Series Motor Oil provides enthusiasts with maximum protection and performance. The new formulation will become available in September or when current inventory is depleted.

Formulation Change? Yes

Date Available?  September (rolling change)

New Stock Numbers? No

Price Change? No

  • 75 percent more wear protection1
  • 100 percent protection from LSPI2
  • Trusted by professional engine builders
  • Ideal for turbos & direct injection
  • 50 percent more cleaning power3
    •  Guaranteed protection for up to 25,000 miles or 1 year
    (in normal service)

 

Maximum Wear Protection

Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil provides
75 percent more engine protection against horsepower loss and wear1 than required by a leading industry standard, extending the life of vital components like pistons and cams. Its strong fluid film keeps metal surfaces separated while its robust anti-wear additives further reduce wear in metal-to-metal contact regions for maximum engine life.

Protects Pistons from Low-Speed Pre-Ignition

We armed Signature Series with an advanced detergent system to protect vital engine parts like pistons and connecting rods. Most new engines feature gasoline direct-injection (GDI), often combined with a turbocharger to boost power and improve fuel economy. These new technologies pose significant challenges to motor oil, one of which is the advent of low-speed pre-ignition (LSPI). LSPI is the spontaneous ignition of the fuel/air mixture prior to spark-triggered ignition. It occurs in today’s advanced engines and is much more destructive than typical pre-ignition. Signature Series provided 100 percent protection against LSPI in the engine test required by the GM dexos1® Gen 2 specification.

Protects Turbochargers

The tremendous heat and stress turbos create can cause some oils to break down and form harmful bearing deposits through a process known as turbo coking. Over time, turbos can suffer reduced performance or fail altogether. AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil handles heat so well that it protects turbochargers 72 percent better than required by the GM dexos1 Gen 2 specification.4 It enables modern engines to achieve their full potential and service life. Signature Series provides the ultimate protection against extreme heat and the harmful deposits that can plague turbochargers and features the high film strength needed to guard against accelerated wear.

Maximum Cleaning Power to Battle Sludge

AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil has 50 percent more detergents3 to help keep oil passages clean and promote oil circulation. Its detergent and dispersant additives are so effective, Signature Series provides 90 percent better protection against sludge5 than required by a leading industry standard.

Easier Cold-Starts

Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil does not contain paraffins (wax) and stays fluid in temperatures as low as -58ºF. Extreme cold causes other motor oil to thicken, starving vital moving parts of lubrication, accelerating wear and even preventing vehicles from starting. Signature Series provides 66 percent better cold-temperature performance than conventional oil for easier starting, better fuel economy, improved oil flow and reduced wear.

Reserve Protection

AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil provides reserve protection, allowing you to go up to 25,000 miles or one year (in normal service) between oil changes if you choose. Its unique synthetic formulation and long-drain additive system are inherently stable to resist oxidation and neutralize acids over longer periods.

Signature Series is designed to deliver outstanding engine protection, cleanliness and performance over extended drain intervals – guaranteed. It provides peace of mind so you can fit oil changes into your schedule, while also reducing vehicle maintenance and waste oil.

Limiting Oil Consumption

Signature Series has a uniform molecular structure that limits evaporation and keeps it where it’s needed most – protecting your engine. Volatility (burn-off) occurs when oil gets hot, causing lighter molecules to burn off or evaporate. Signature Series falls far below the API limit for volatility, reducing the need for frequent oil top-offs and limiting vehicle emissions.

 

  1. Based on independent testing in the ASTM D6891 test using 0W-20 as worst-case representation.
  2. Based on independent testing in the LSPI engine test as required for the GM dexos1 Gen 2 specification.
  3. vs. AMSOIL OE Motor Oil
  4. Based on independent testing of AMSOIL Signature Series 5W-30 in the GM turbo coking test.
  5. Based on independent testing of AMSOIL Signature Series 5W-30 in the ASTM D6593 test engine test for oil screen plugging as required by the API SN specification.

In all future engine technology required for the extreme miles per gallon required in gasoline engines, the oil will be the weak link (Per lubricant industry publications) but AMSOIL already surpasses next to impossible ratings.  Well any well established company can eventually get to the overbuilt quality factor AMSOIL has but will not for two reasons. #1 the stockholders won’t allow it as there is no profit there. #2 should they create an oil like ours they would have to charge at least 30% higher price due to the additives required and to keep their margins workable for the distribution chains thus pricing themselves out of the industry..
Thus the customer is left with one choice to protect these new engines – AMSOIL!