Question about oil - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-02-2008, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Question about oil

Bought my bike from a gentleman who used totally synthetic oil in it. Unfortuntely I am not a big fan of synthetic motor oil, however I have no problem using it if need be. My question is this and it is probably a real simple answer, should I continue using total synthetic motor oil in my bike. Kind of goes along the lines of the previous owner was using 93 octane petrol in it, even thought the OM calls for use of 89 octane. So I decided to use 89 octane and haven't noticed any change in power or anything in the bike. Anyway any kind of advice would be helpful and thanks.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-02-2008, 07:01 PM
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May I ask why you feel that way towards synthetic oil? I don't think the engine would mind any change from syn to conventional nor the octane gas.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-02-2008, 08:17 PM
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My take on oil is this. There are under 4qts in your bike. The bike runs fairly hot and is basically a high performance motor. You can do it no harm by using oil that can withstand greater temperatures than conventional oil. (yes, some sythetics still are made with base stocks...). If you go through bikes like underwear and will sell before the 50,000 mark, then use what you want and change whenever. If you plan on keeping the bike until you die, then I would give it the best possible chance.

I have seen these motors easily go 50,000+. I have also seen them grenade at 7,000 miles. I would like mine to have the best care possible.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-03-2008, 12:17 AM
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Triumph specifies synthetic oil so most of us probably use it. I am not not familiar with reasons why an engine would absolutely require a synthetic oil but I figure Triumph knows more about the engine requirements than I do.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-03-2008, 12:25 AM
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I don't know why, but this past week there have been more questions about oil than in the previous six months. Maybe because the colder half of the country is just now getting their bikes out.

Anyway, check out this web site and it will tell you more about oil than you want to know. Based on tests there are also recommendations. If you are looking to save dollars the Shell Rotella T Synthetic is a great buy at WalMart and reccoed by this web site. Many of the twin Triumph owners on this site use it. If you have the patience to read this through you will soon lose your desire to use regular oil.

Personally, in my D1200 I use the recommended oil: Mobil 1 4T 15W50 (a MOTORCYCLE oil). Only synthetic oil is to be used in this bike (although some synthetic oils are more synthetic than others). I do not know what is reccoed for your 955i.

Don't forget that your transmission and gear box are lubed by the same engine oil and this creates more stress on the oil. Also, some conventional AUTOMOBILE oils have additives that can cause your clutch to slip.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-03-2008, 09:20 AM
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Here is what is written in the service manual for an '02 daytona 955i and speed triple:

"Semi or fully synthetic 10W/40 or 15W50 motorcycle engine oil which meets specification API SH (or higher) and JASO MA, such as Mobil1 Racing 4T.

Your Triumph Motorcycle is a quality engineered product which has been carefully built and tested to exacting standards. Triumph Motorcycles are keen to ensure that you enjoy optimum performance from your machine and with this objective in mind have tested many of the engine lubricants currently available to the limits of their performance.

CAUTION: Triumph high performance fuel injected engines are designed to use semi or fully synthetic motorcycle engine oil which meets specification API SH (or higher) AND JASO MA.

Do not add any chemical additives to the engine oil. The engine oil also lubricates the clutch and any additives could cause the clutch to slip.

Do not use mineral, vegetable, non-detergent oil, castor based oils or any oil not conforming to the required specification. The use of these oils may cause instant, severe engine damage.

Ensure no foreign matter enters the crankcase during an oil change or top-up."

The above was taken word for word from the manual. It may seem harsh, but now you can make your own decision. Since I know I'm not smarter than the Triumph engineers, I'll just go with the full synthetic. AND, I'll buy the Triumph oil filter, and none other.

About fuel, if you don't plan on going over about 6-7000 rpm, the 87 octane gas will probably be just fine. Otherwise, have a happy detonation. If you don't know what detonation is, it's when the fuel ignites too soon, and your pistons have a meltdown.

Last edited by drakewn; 05-03-2008 at 09:28 AM.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-03-2008, 09:58 AM
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Recommended Oil FIlters

Since Drakewn mentions oil filters I will post another web page addressing the issue of oil filters. Based on testing the Purolator Pure One and Mobil-1 receive their recommendation.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-03-2008, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by drakewn View Post

"Semi or fully synthetic 10W/40 or 15W50 motorcycle engine oil
He's got it right.

I wouldn't step down to a fully conventional oil but there are some synthetic blends, like Motul 5100 (which I use) that are just as good and provide great protection of the engine.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-03-2008, 07:55 PM
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I use the Shell Rotella in my BMW R1150RT and change out at every 10,000Km. It's heavily recommended by most BMW owners that are "in the know".

For the Triumph, I use Mobil 1 although I did flirt with Motul once.

They specifically tell you in the owners manual not to use regular dino oil. I can only imagine that this is because they tend to run hot.

My Daytona only ever ran hot once and that was riding it home from the dealers through heavy traffic on the day I bought it. It does mountain runs now in the cool and I never see the temperature go over 82C.

It will hit 103C if I'm stopped at traffic lights in high summer for any length of time so I figure that running full synthetic gives it the best chance of not exploding underneath me.

Too much thought is given to oil on motorcycle forums. Use what's recommended and ride the **** bike. Change it when they tell you to and ride some more.

Bikes that are ridden by squids are normally crashed or sold long before what oil you used makes any difference.

Bikes that are maintained well last longer.

As a Triumph rider, I'm vastly more concerned about chain cleaning and lubrication than I am about the engine. Check the oil level and ride. Clean the chain and lubricate.

A clean chain will definitely last longer and save you money.

My 0.02 cents worth.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-04-2008, 12:43 AM
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You got it Linaz...Ride the darn thing...The R3 skips a few miles befor it gets new oil...The D1200's chain will get way more atention than the oil in the crank.
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