Oil: Semi Synthetic or Synthetic? TBS2k - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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Oil: Semi Synthetic or Synthetic? TBS2k

I'm ready to change oil on my 2000 TBS. Manual says to use semi-synthetic 10/40 API/SG.
I've been reading through the threads and there seems to be differing opinions about synthetic oil superior protection on the one hand and clutch slippage on the other. Also, apparently API/SG is now considered obsolete and modern Triumphs can use either semi or full synthetics with higher API ratings. I don't know if full synthetics were available in 2000 (if not, that might be why not listed as option in service manual) and whether its OK to use a 4T full synthetic oil, like Motul 5100 4T Motor Oil, without causing any issues or should I just stick to semi-synthetic?

What brand and type of oil does the Hinkley Triple community recommend?

Thx.

Bob

Last edited by whiskeyzulu; 10-14-2019 at 12:43 PM.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 01:32 PM
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I had my triple for ~20 years. I've now sold it but I see its still going strong..
Semi - Synth nearly all the time.
I treated her to fully syth if it was on special offer and therefore no extra expense.
If the manual says semi ... who am I to argue.
Those triple engines are strong (well except for the sprag clutch.!!)
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 03:48 PM
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Nothing wrong with full synthetic as long as it's rated for the wet clutch. JASO-MA (or MA2) rating is a must.

Lots of guys use Shell Rotella-T6. It's engineered for Diesels, but checks all the boxes for most bikes. (I think they have removed the SN rating at the request of their lawyers, but it once carried that rating). Anyhow, it's a full synthetic, SAE 5W-40, and it's available from Walmart for a reasonable price (~$20/gallon). It is suitable for use in gas engines prior to 2011 model year.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-15-2019, 10:51 AM
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I have run semi-synthetic oils in both my old triples for many years. It is factory approved, which is good enough for me, AND it is a little cheaper than a full synthetic product. I am always careful to use the weight and grade specified by Triumph, but I use what brand I can find locally. I have been a gearhead all my 74 years of life (a lot of that as a time professional mechanic)...
but I do not pretend to know more than the factory engineers. ...J.D.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks fellas. Interestingly, while the Triumph Service manual says Semi the Haynes manual says Semi (10/40 weight) or Full synthetic (5/40 weight).
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 06:02 PM
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Whisky,

The thunderbirds always ran synthetic. Originally 15w-40w from dealer. I was too far away and when Mobil came out with the bike oil in 10-40 I switched. Only put 47K on it before moving to the big T-bird. By the way before that oil came to market , oil from dealer said MX4T. It is still on the stuff at autozone. (motorcycle for Triumph), no wonder the oil was expensive. If triumph had the oil made for them. Kinda wild.

ride safe

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danr620 View Post
MX4T... (motorcycle for Triumph)
You;re joking, right? We're talking motorcycle oil ratings, not texting.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 08:58 AM
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wsc,

The quotes was a quip, the MX4T is on the bottle on the Mobil 1 motorcycle oil.

Dan
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 10:15 AM
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I wasn't sure!

For those interested, the "4" means 4-stroke the the "T" stands for some long word starting with "T" that means synthetic blend. Since it's a motorcycle rating, and many motorcycles have wet clutches, it's pretty safe to assume the 4T oils also meet the JASO-MA/MA2 specs and are OK for wet clutches.

As far as the question of whether full synthetics are OK when the recommendation is for semi-synthetic, I'd say the recommendation is a minimum spec, not a limit, in other words, no straight dyno oil.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-20-2019, 10:52 PM
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Gotta' love a good oil thread.....
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